How to do fill flash?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Murray@uptowngallery, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I rarely use a flash so I have never figured out how to control it well.

    I have a 4-AA cell auto unit (don't remember the brand or rating) with tilt head. I usually just use auto on the flash & set the manual (film) camera accordingly.

    Indoors with incandescent light, I assume the flash, used as above, will predominate and mostly reduce color temperature problems with color film.

    I have a flash book SOMEwhere in the garage, but are there any quick & easy methods to try (ceiling bounce, fill, etc), that can be done with adjustments to f-stop only. The flash has no, well, I guess it DOES have two power ranges by virtue of having two distance ranges, but with auto, not much control.

    Do I need to meter the subject when using alternatives like fill or bounce or just make an aperture adjustment?

    I'm just looking for some basic ideas to try - and I'll keep my eye open for the book.

    Thanks

    Murray
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If it has an auto mode just try setting the F stop one stop larger then the camera setting.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Murray,
    If you're using bounce, you can just leave the flash in auto & set the camera as recommended by the flash.
    Outdoors I've used an auto flash set to auto & it works OK sometimes. Depnds on the ambient light. As Nick suggested, if you can control the flash & set the out put lower, it's pretty easy you're just lying to the flash unit about how much light it needs to provide.
     
  4. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Thank you
     
  5. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    It can be tricky getting good results from a flash that only has two settings, changing the ISO on the flashgun will help change the output. Maybe look for a secondhand Metz flashgun with a full aperture range.
     
  6. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I have a bigger Sunpak (?), about 100 W-S, but needs repair...or next one I buy won't be a fixer-upper.

    Hey, it's only film, I"ll give it a try.
     
  7. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    With most flash units changing the ISO only affects the calculator dial and suggested f-stop, not the actual output of the flash. If you have something like the Vivitar 285 it has variable output the Viv 283 has an accessory(VP-1) that plug in and replaces the auto sensor.

    Murray your stored pm's need to be emptied.
    I can loan you a 283 & accessories to futz with. send me your address.
     
  8. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    murray,
    Best bet is a Metz 60CT1 with a mecamat, choose your fstop from the 10 or so options, nearly enough power to fry eggs, should you need it.

    erie
     
  9. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Erie - will it do bacon too?

    John - I dumped some PM's. I'll PM you reasons not to loan me things & see what you think.

    Thanks
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've never done any scientific investigation of this issue, but my sense is that the better flashes (ones that might more likely be found in a wedding photographer's kit) seem to do automatic fill flash better. My Metz 60 series flashes work very well. My Olympus T32 does too. When I used one a long time ago, my Vivitar 283 did too. IIRC, my old Metz 202 worked well too.

    In the past, I've seen the results obtained using simpler and cheaper units, and generally the results weren't as dependable.

    It may be that some flashes' sensors and circuitry are designed with this in mind, well others are not.

    Matt
     
  11. haris

    haris Guest

    First, you need to buy/get flash with which you can change output, best through aperture marks. After that is simple. For example you use ISO 100 film, 1/125 shutter speed, f11 stopped lens. Transfer same parameters to your flash, that is ISO 100 for film (and distance to your subject if your flash is totally manual), but set your flash to range to "tell" flash like you use lens set to between f8 to f5,6 (that is one to two stops more open then your lens is actually open).

    Flash will think you use lens set to f8, and will output less light (one stop less instead what is needed for f11 (how you actually set you lens)). If that is too much light, set flash to f5,6 stopped lens, but leave lens set to f11.

    If you can't have flash with output changing option, that is if your flash have fixed output power, then you need to improvize. For example, place layers of white tissue over flash head to reduce output, move flash away from your subject, etc...

    Other way is to use camera/flash system capable to do that.

    For example I have flash without changing output on flash (Canon 420EX). But, because it is system flash, I set my lens for example to f11 and on camera (Canon EOS3) there is command to change flash output. That way if I want fill flash I on camera set flash to -1 stop (down to -2 depend of sitation) less flash than is really needed for lens set on f11, and get automatically fill flash because TTL metering calculate subject distance and (in this case reduced) flash power.

    But, for mine Mamiya RB, Bessa R2A, Yashica MAT I am buying manuall controlable flash too :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2007
  12. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    OK...

    thank you