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How-to's Accessories Reviews

Nikon TTL Flash Metering System

Russ MacDonald (Arkayem)

Keywords: nikon, speedlights, lighting, flash

Conditions: Flash in iTTL Mode - not in iTTL-BL Mode.

(TTL means iTTL in this series of articles)

It is very important to remember that the Nikon TTL Flash metering system is not actively coupled to the Camera metering system. Even though these two systems use the same metering sensor in the camera, they act independently. This is definitely not intuitive and not explained well in any documentation that I've read. It is alluded to in the Nikon CLS pamphlet when it talks about using the FV Lock button to meter a subject that will be off-center when the background is dark.

Note: The TTL-BL flash metering system is actively coupled to the camera metering system, and I will talk about that in my next article.



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Mike Vonderheide (Michael V) on June 21, 2013

Thanks Russ. This is very helpful. I'm anxious to understand the specifics regarding TTL-BL.

John Muir (jtm3) on June 19, 2013

Using flash in bright conditions is still an area where I feel like I am sometimes working by trial and error and a better understanding what the camera is actually doing sure helps cut down on the guess work. Looking forward to your next article.

William Rodriguez (camerapapi) on June 19, 2013

I am familiar with the excellent explanations on how to use flash by Mr. McDonald and I know that this series will be not only very instructive but also very interesting for the flash student. Like others, I am looking forward to learn more about flash photography in the next articles. William Rodriguez Miami, Florida.

Mike Banks (unclemikey) on June 19, 2013

Russ, thanks for this and I am anxiously awaiting your next article regarding TTL-BL. I have been wondering why I was having so much difficulty with my d-7100 and SB-910's. Could you comment on this? Recently I've taken to just using flash in manual mode because I seem to be more able to control the exposure.

Frank Kuypers (fkuypers) on June 19, 2013

And how would this work for the new D7100 ( that I just bought)...? Any new improvements there for the TTL metering?

Daniel McLaughlin (Father Dan) on June 19, 2013

Russ, Thank you for practical advice on how to use the Nikon Flash and camera settings. I suspected they were not working together regarding amount of light but I was too timid to say so when asking questions. Also, I found that many accomplished photographers were not sure of how the two systems work. I have a Nikon D700 with a SB900 flash and I use Rogue small flash reflector with the flash diffuser screen overlay. I get less shiny faces or objects but I can still over-power the sceen with more flash than is needed.