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07-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #1
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Something is not right

This past week I worked as a volunteer in our church's denomination national convention as the one responsible for photo and video. I worked full time with the help of other volunteers working part time.

My setup was a K-x that I bought new in January of 2011, with a Metz 48 AF-1 dedicated flash. I also used mostly my Tamron 18-250 mm zoom lens, and for interviews my 33 year old SMC Pentax-M f1:1.4 50 mm lens.

I mostly shot with the Tv shutter priority exposure, ISO mostly at 1600, shutter speed in the range of 1/60 to 1/125. The venue was mostly illuminated artificially so this value was not too much of a factor. I shot over 3,500 photos and videos through the whole 5 work days of the past week.

The problem is this. I shot much more photos because I frequently was over and under exposed. I even was shooting an initial photo to see if the setup was ok. Most of the time I ended compensating with the EV compensetion setting. Is this as it should be, am I doing something wrong or is there something wrong with any one of my pieces of equipment? I recall that I had less trouble when I relied mainly on the built-in flash.

Is this how it should be? What can you guys suggest me to check or do? TIA.

07-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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What mode was the flash in? PTTL, Manual?
07-29-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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EV compensation affects the background. The flash can be compensated +/-2 EV using the edial in "flash mode" menu from the d-pad (Edit:I dont have a Metz, but you probably can reduce flash power similarly on the flash unit). If you are shooting wide open you might have too much light to be below Sync of 1/180 - the camera flash does not support HSS. If you dont want to stop down, its a perfect opportunity to mount an ND filter to get you to that slower shutter you require.

Samples are always helpful when asking for assistance to diagnose an issue like this.

Good luck.
07-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Sorry I forgot to say that I always use the Metz flash in TTL mode. My concern is that I feel I have more trouble using it than the built-in one. I expected a worry-free performance and it has been anything but.

Don't get me wrong. It is a fine piece of equipment... when it works ok. I am not about to get rid of it; just want to better understand how to get the best performance and improve my odds of getting better shots than with the built-in flash. For the time being I have been doing a lot of manual adjustments to get good results. Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

07-29-2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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Are you using the multi segmented metering? If not do so, the camera will compensate and determine the right exposure.
07-29-2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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Yes I was. I usually work with the Auto 5 point.
07-30-2012, 04:25 AM   #7
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I am confused at what you were attempting to do here.

While the zoom lens will support P-TTL mode, the 50 mm lens will not work in any flash mode except manual or auto using the flashes built in sensor. Which lens were you using for flash.

Also, with your settings ISO 1600 and slow shutter speed you would likely over expose for bright shots, but in dark Asa you may need slower shutter speed, even wide open
07-30-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
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I was using only the zoom with the flash. The 50 mm lens was used in ambient light basically for interviews.

What I am looking is for a setting in which the camera and the flash would for the most part take over the exposure adjustments in order for me to focus mainly in my subject and still get a reasonable proportion of shots correctly exposed. As it is right now, I am shooting an initial shot to check exposure every time I make changes to the zoom. So far I haven't figured out the logic behind the exposure changes with respect to the zoom changes. Some times I need to do opposite adjustments for the same zoom focal distance. Odd.

As mentioned before, I appreciate any help in figuring out what is going on.

07-30-2012, 07:02 AM   #9
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Flash photography is exposure controlled by aperture. Switch to Av stop it down & reduce your ISO IMO.
07-30-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by trevinon Quote
I was using only the zoom with the flash. The 50 mm lens was used in ambient light basically for interviews.

What I am looking is for a setting in which the camera and the flash would for the most part take over the exposure adjustments in order for me to focus mainly in my subject and still get a reasonable proportion of shots correctly exposed. As it is right now, I am shooting an initial shot to check exposure every time I make changes to the zoom. So far I haven't figured out the logic behind the exposure changes with respect to the zoom changes. Some times I need to do opposite adjustments for the same zoom focal distance. Odd.

As mentioned before, I appreciate any help in figuring out what is going on.
what I do for flash is set the camera to manual (since you are limited to 1/180th any way) and adjust the aperture to give about -1 stop based upon ambient, and let the camera and flash do the rest.

I have never been happy with auto modes and flash because the pentax way of shooting is to adjust the parameters to get teh shot with natural light first, and then just add flash for fill. this means in Tv Mode, you are not in control of aperture , and without auto ISO you might be restricted by the limited aperture range. which explains why you had some under and some over exposed.
07-31-2012, 07:47 AM   #11
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Thanks to mattt and Lowell Goudge. I will try their suggestions and report back as soon as possible. Hopefully either of the suggestions will finally work for me.
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