Am I using my Vivitar 285 correctly

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Bighead, May 20, 2005.

  1. Bighead

    Bighead Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Portrait / Wedding stuff: Got to make sure I am getting the best possible exposure and I gotta be quick about it....

    I set my Nikon N80 on Manual... Pick 1/60 or 1/125 for shutter and usually, I am using a wide open apeture... I make sure the flash "color" is set for the aperture range that I am looking to use.. And shot.....

    But, I realized that might be false.. I guess I should be metering still and not relying on the flash to give me the amount of light I need for proper exposure..

    Should I pick shutter priority, meter the shadows, pick my aperture from that, then set the color on the flash.....

    I'm so confused.... Help please...
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,708
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Morning, Bighead,

    I don't know all the details of your particular camera, but I strongly suspect that your use of "Manual" mode is the correct choice. Normally, you should use the fastest possible shutter speed which will allow proper synch; with horizontally-moving focal plane shutters, that's usually 1/60, but with vertically-moving shutters, it's more likely 1/125.

    Forget about metering: The autoflash feature element of the 285 is what controls the light output. Just be sure that the f-stop setting on your camera matches the "color" on the selector device on the 285. With B & W negative materials, I often use about 1/2 stop wider on the camera and slightly underdevelop the film when using autoflash; that tends to reduce the contrast somewhat; I often do the same with color negative film, since it tolerates a little overexposure better than a little underexposure.

    Basic idea: just treat the camera as if it were fifty years old with absolutely no auto features. Let the flash take care of the exposure.

    Konical
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,413
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bighead,
    What Konical said. Use manual & set aperture to color range on 285. Or spend the bucks & get a ttl flash form Nikon or Sunpak.
     
  4. Bighead

    Bighead Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    First, FULL paying wedding gig... You can be sure I will be getting an SB-800, if not two of them....
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would also recommend getting something like a stofen or Lumiquest device to soften the light and a Stroboframe bracket to move the flash up off the camera a bit. Relatively inexpensive and it's amazing the difference they will make.

    Have fun!

    Paul.
     
  6. Bighead

    Bighead Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I utilize both and yes, what a huge difference.......
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Wedding shots are notoriously troublesome to meter using automatic strobe or in-camera metering -- between the black tuxedos and white bridal gown, you're screwed :smile:

    Better to hand-hold incident meter if you can!!!!!
     
  8. Bighead

    Bighead Member

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    To bad the powder blue tux hasn't come back full swing....... That would help...!!!