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01-21-2008, 04:57 AM   #1
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540fgz newbie questions...

I just got myself a 540fgz flash. I was using a Nikon SB-28 before, and it works well in A mode. However, I sometimes need P-TTL to take quick shots so I got a 540fgz.

My problem: How come when I use P-TTL, my shots come out underexposed, or have awkward lighting, etc. But when I use it in A mode, it works just great. I know that P-TTL cannot be perfect all the time, however, I am disappointed because the results from P-TTL differ greatly than using A mode. In short, P-TTL = sucks. Mostly unusable shots. Any tips? Maybe there is something I need to do/adjust? Or do I have a defective flash unit? I'll try to post some shots later...

01-21-2008, 07:32 AM   #2
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I always keep FEC set to +1 when using the 540 in P-TTL mode and it seems to work fine that way, EXCEPT I've noticed weird things when doing vertical shots @10mm using my Sigma 10-20mm. I always bounce off the ceiling and flip up the wide-angle diffuser on the flash when I use this lens. Horizontal shots @10mm are fine (after using the +1FEC) but when I flip the camera (and the flash so I keep the ceiling bounce) the borders of the shot are horribly underexposed (center subject is somewhat ok though). I switch to A mode and they come out perfect....Weird....

So just keep your FEC set to +1 in P-TTL and you should be ok, I figure that the P-TTL metering is very sensitive to blowing highlights. If you notice weird happenings with portrait shots at 10mm, then go to Auto.
01-21-2008, 07:36 AM   #3
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To add to my post, I think the next indoor event I'm going to try the whole shoot in "A" mode and see what happens. Now I do find that outdoor fill-flash with P-TTL and HSS works great (I use Av mode on the camera to meter for the overall scene) to calculate the needed power to "fill" in the subject.
01-21-2008, 08:32 AM   #4
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I'll try what you suggested as soon as my batteries are all charged up Used up mine, as well as my spare set just now, figuring out what to do with my flash! Bought a Demb Flash Diffuser Jumbo to see if there's any improvement. There is, but just barely. Auto still wins hands down. Hope upping the FEC by one would help...

When using the flash for fill and HSS, is the FEC still set to +1? Thanks for replying!

01-21-2008, 08:41 AM   #5
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I honestly don't remember whether I need FEC+1 for my fill shots, we're deep in winter here so it's been awhile since I've done outside portaits. I do know that I would sometimes adjust both EC (for the ambient exposure) and FEC (for the amount of fill) after quickly reviewing some shots, but I don't think I would use any compensation by default (as opposed to indoors)

I have the Flip-it (not sure if it's the jumbo or just the large) and I find that if the room is small enough (and ceiling fairly white/low) just doing a regular ceiling bounce works fine. It's when I have a high ceiling/big room the flip-it comes out.
01-21-2008, 09:09 AM   #6
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I just bought my 540 not too long ago as well. I found that turning the custom setting "AE-L with AF locked" to on has dramatically improved P-TTL capabilities though Auto is perhaps the most consistent. More testing will have to be done on this...

My 2c
01-21-2008, 05:56 PM   #7
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@egordon99: I still use the diffuser even with a low ceiling cause when I bounce, the bottom part of my photos are dark...

@TFTM: I think my cam is set to "AE-L with AF locked" already. I'm not too sure though. Will check later and compare...

Thanks!
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