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  1. #1

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    Metering for Flash?

    I haven't done a whole lot of work with flash in the past, but I'm interested in exploring the option a bit, especially for portraiture work where I need to isolate movement in less than ideal lighting.

    My question is, and forgive me if this seems like a juvenile question for those of you with experience, how exactly does one determine exposure and flash power when shooting entirely analog?

    I have a Canon 580EX-II flash gun right now, and I'm going to set up a small mini-studio in my new apartment next month, for which I'd like to get a strobe or two, but I'm completely lost in terms of metering for this. Can someone help me out and/or point to some resources which may be helpful?

    Thanks, and sorry if this has been discussed before; I searched but couldn't find anything.

  2. #2
    dehk's Avatar
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    One of the universal Secret.

    f-number = Guide Number / Distance
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    So, if you have 2 lights, with a main and fill, use the above relationship for the main light. Use the light-to-subject distance (camera distance does not matter).

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dehk View Post
    One of the universal Secret.

    f-number = Guide Number / Distance
    How do I determine the correct shutter speed?
    ~ Michelle

  5. #5
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    By far most of the light will come from the flash(es) and the shutter speed doesn't really come into play unless the shutter speed is very slow and/or the light in the room is quite bright.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnywalker View Post
    By far most of the light will come from the flash(es) and the shutter speed doesn't really come into play unless the shutter speed is very slow.
    Oh, I see, because the flash will be much shorter in duration than the actual shutter speed, right?

    So is something like 1/60" a good point to start with?

    Where does film speed play in?

    Also, is there any way to meter according to the zone system with flash?
    ~ Michelle

  7. #7
    dehk's Avatar
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    Your shutter speed must not exceed the sync speed of the camera. Like Johnnywalker said, shutter speed doesn't really come into play. The f stop controls the exposure on your subject that is lit by the flash(es). The shutter speed controls the exposure behind your subject. The slower it is the brighter your background will be (saying if you're outdoor - day time ). Indoor its effect is minimal, if everything is going to be light up by your strobe anyways.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  8. #8
    dehk's Avatar
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    Film speed. The Guide number usually is stated with the ISO number, and usually with ISO100, if you're using film other than 100, do the math to open or stop down your aperture.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  9. #9

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    Awesome! Thanks for the help. I think this should get me off the ground level with this stuff.
    ~ Michelle

  10. #10
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Handheld flash meter. There really is no other way for multiflash studio work.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

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