Trying to wrap my mind around TTL bounce flash with a film camera.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by rpavich, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Hi,
    I've done a lot of off camera and bounce flash with digi. I find it very easy but not so easy to translate that knowledge to film.

    Let me explain.
    I normally shoot manual camera settings and TTL bounce flash. I got spoiled by just looking at the LCD and using that to adjust the mix of ambient and flash using the flash FEC.
    Now I need to KNOW what the heck I'm doing because there isn't instant feedback.

    Does anyone shoot this way? With your camera on manual and your flash on TTL?
     
  2. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    Sure, it's a bit more "by feel" but I usually set the flash output for a little less than the ambient exposure.
     
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    So you use what would be a normal camera exposure and then just a touch of TTL flash, maybe -1 FEC?
     
  4. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    -1 stop indoors is a bit much for bounce, I'm more likely to be at -1/3 to -1/2 (depends on which system I am using). Outdoors it can be as much as -1 if the subject is backlighted, for sunsets and "stuff" where I want the subject to pop off the background I might go the other way as much as +1 (and if you are shooting against a sunset use a warming gel on flash, elsewhere maybe a cooling gel).
     
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Thanks Mike, I'll start there.

    One question; if I want more flash in the mix can I dial the exposure down a stop and the flash compensation up a stop? That way it starts to look like the key light?
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I shoot TTL with film very often. I use a Nikon F3HP and a dedicated Metz 60CT4. Unless it's fill flash outdoor (which rarely I can do a bounce) I never set for minus compensation. Bounce flash (with the flash as the main light) usually results in slight underexposure so I would at times increase the compensation but never decrease.
     
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Thanks.

    So would you say that when you shoot TTL flash with the compensation at 0 the flash blends in and is unnoticeable as a main light source?
    If I wanted to make it the main light source as opposed to ambient I'd dial in +1 FEC and dial -1 EC on camera?
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    First I would like to ask you in which situation that you want to use flash? Many people use flash just to fill in the shadow in bright sunlight and that I don't do very often nor I ever bounce it such a situation.
    But I use flash very often (especially with film) when indoor and at night like a party, indoor portrait, indoor events etc.... and in those situations I would bounce that flash and use 0 compensation. Sometimes I would do a +2/3 compensation on the flash. I do not set compensation on my camera. It's always on manual.
     
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    I'd be using it just like you described, indoors when the light is either low or when the light is not very good light and would like to make the light better and also portraits (mimicking a softbox)
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    With your FE2 and SB16B use the exposure compensation on the camera. (the flash doesn't have one). You will set the aperture manually of course. The shutter speed can be set manually or you can leave it on A and it's automatically set to 1/250. But try first without any compensation. I would say your results will range from just right to somewhat underexposure. I don't think you would run into overexposure when bounce. Direct flash could cause overexposure though but not bounce.
     
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Thanks. What about with an SB24 which does have FEC? I also have an SB24
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    It all depends on the very camera/flash combinations.
    There are "oldtimer" flashes (as the Metz 60 CT-4) that got no LCD at all, but still enable TTL flash exposure.

    If you want TTL fill-in flash you need a camera that lets you choose such and a flash that goes with it (either propriatory flash or generuc with SCA 3000 adaptatiion, such works even with the 60 CT-4)

    The flash TTL mode is controlled by the camera. So one cannot set the camera on manual and set the flash for higher film speed to get TTL fiill-in flash.
    (If I'm wrong please correct me.)

    A likely less bothersome solution would be, not to use TTL, but metering with a flash sensor in the accessory shoe. Then you could position the flash as you like, set flash and camera in all combos that make sense and still get an exposure close to TTL, depending on the viewing angle of your lens.
     
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    rpavich

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    Thanks for the help I guess I'll burn a roll with some testing.
    I shot a lot of manual flash and that's pretty easy comparatively speaking...take a reading, set the camera and flash...done. I didn't want to do that. I wanted something that was more automatic.
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I suggest you get yourself a Garry Fong Lightsphere
     
  16. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    With the FE2 and Nikon flashes you can set exposure compensation on the camera or change the ISO. With the Metz flash compensation has to be done on flash for the F3 but I believe you do it on the camera for the FE2. Do the same for your SB-24 as the SB-16B. Use normal sync as the FE2 doesn't support high speed sync, rear curtain sync or TTL-BL. Only standard TTL is supported.
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    As I indicated, use a flash in its autoexposore mode, but not TTL metered.
    You either could place the flash on the camera, employing its incorporated sensor or put there just the accessory flash sensor. (Many system flashes got such an accessory sensor.)

    Expose for ambient light as usual, but use one of the apertures the flash offers in automode and keep the shutter speed within the acceptable range.
    Control the flash fill-in by setting a higher film-speed at the flash.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  18. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Before TTL flash, automatic flash units used a sensor on the flash. When there was enough light hitting the sensor, the flash got turned off. On an old Vivitar 285 for example, the automatic settings have an f stop setting and a range of distances where that setting applied. Manual flash used a Guide Number where you multiplied distance by that number. Do avoid calculations in your head, there was a distance calculator. The final result is the Fstop.

    Today's cameras that are able to use TTL, the sensor is on the camera behind the lens. The same principle applies with non-TTL flashes except the sensor is closer to the film plane accounting for lens f stop and bellows extension.

    With ambient light, you'll need to know what ratio of ambient to flash you would like. I hated the look of flash so I preferred to use about 1/2 stop less flash to ambient. But keep in mind your shutter speed because your shutter may cut off some of your flash exposure.
     
  19. OP
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    rpavich

    rpavich Subscriber

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    Not a chance..sorry. No tupperware on my flashes.
     
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    rpavich

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    shutter speed only controls ambient..right? Flash is waaaayyyyy faster than any shutter speed.
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Shutter speed like or slower than the sync speeds only controls ambient light.

    (Speed higher than the sync speed, not actually controls the flash exposure but cuts off parts of the image from flash exposure. With leaf shutters of course one practically can even forget about sync speeds with electronic flash.)
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    When replying on topics as these I typically forget that there may be members that are not aware of this and those "computer" flashes that first showed up in the 70s ....
     
  23. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    We're Old Dogs. :laugh:
     
  24. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    While I use TTL flashes for my film camera I use only those "computer" flashes on my digital.
     
  25. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    The ambient light is controlled by f stop and shutter speed. The flash part of the exposure is controlled by f stop. If you're using a focal plane shutter, the shutter speed must be slower than the duration of the flash. If the shutter closed Before the flash turns off, a portion of your frame will not be exposed by the flash. Take a look.
    https://fstoppers.com/originals/demystifying-high-speed-sync-68527
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    strobist has some interesting articles they might be useful.
    i just paid attention to my guide numbers and ambient light back in the day
    it wasn't really too hard and it worked out.
     
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