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11-22-2014, 12:17 AM   #16
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The hardware is the key, the light is also very important, followed by technical problem




htc one mini 2 hülle


Last edited by Lareina; 11-24-2014 at 02:24 AM.
11-22-2014, 08:08 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astronomersmith Quote
And I get fussed at because I am "supposed to be the family photographer"....a title I didn't ask for, btw.
Any suggestions or quick, easy fixes? Any reference or website or something that could help me take better flash photography?
Or...could there be an adjustment on my Ds that I need to make? It almost seems to me, that the flash is too strong, so to speak?
Lucky you, I try to be a family photographer, but the family is not really crazy about that idea. Only cats have no objection

Have you tried no flash shooting?
Practice first, shoot the room subjects in similar lightning conditions as for the party. What's that, evening with electrical light, or day time with natural light?

Set your camera in manual, set the ISO 400 first, and open aperture wide, I believe it will be f3.5-5.6 for you. Not the brightest, but it's what you have. If it's not sharp enough close aperture down a bit. Now you need to set appropriate speed. To avoid hand held shake, your X in speed 1/X number should be bigger than your focal lens distance number. For example, if you set the distance to 18mm, your speed should be no slower than 1/20. If it's 55mm, the speed is no slower than 1/60. You get an idea. Does not work for me all the time, but that rule helps.

When you test around those numbers, and find out that ISO400 is not enough, try 800. Or if you move above 400 to 200, would be even better. Try to light up the room (turn more lights, open curtains or so)
The less ISO number, the better.

Now metering. You play with that too, to find out what metering method will be the best for your indoor condition and subjects and see the difference.
Anyway, the key is here - practice. It's also fun

Disclaimer: I'm not a photo pro, so if I said something wrong, please correct. It's just how I test indoor shooting.
11-22-2014, 09:02 AM   #18
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Here's my suggestion for a quick fix. Do not use Auto ISO. Use A-mode for aperture, select an ISO that is a stop or two below what you need for ambient light and fire away. Try this first, it is the quick answer to your overexposure problem.

The best answer of course is an external flash, with diffuser and preferably bounced off the ceiling.
11-22-2014, 10:52 AM   #19
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built in flash is crap, but if you do have to use it and cant get an external flash at the moment, then this could do the trick for the time being. i used it a couple of times and tends to soften the light and creates more natural looking images

DSLR Pop-up flash diffuser

11-22-2014, 11:14 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
The typical pop-up flash look is in fact terrible.
It mainly consists of
1. unnaturally hyper-corrected WB (flash light is daylight balanced)
2. strong shadows
3. directly frontal light (hence shadows are also "wrong")
4. drop in the occasional red eye, due to flash being on axis with the lens
This mirrors my assessment. Even using pop-up flash for fill-in with a bright background makes the subject look like she was wrapped in plastic wrap...
11-22-2014, 12:53 PM   #21
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Examples of my previous post. Both these are with a 28mm prime lens because that combination is really small, so I take it a lot of places. The popup flash is always right there, while my AF560FGZ is not. I have some failed experiments with this combination, mostly when the only solution is bringing the whole kit along. Practice is fun and will help your skills. These are both with the K-7.

The room is pretty bright in the first shot so ISO is only 200. The flash is helping freeze the action - shutter speed is only 1/30. It's at f5.6.


IMGS7133
by just1moredave, on Flickr

This one was in a historic hotel lobby at dusk. It's a large room lit b\y a fireplace and a handful of lamps and incandescent lights, with nothing really to bounce light from. I used f3.5, 1/20 and ISO 800. (If you think I simply raised the shadows in processing, you haven't processed a lot of high ISO shots with a K-7.)


11-24-2014, 08:46 AM   #22
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Thanks everyone, all great suggestions! You've definitely give me some ideas to try out, and I will. Thanks again for the awesome response!

To answer a couple of questions...I have tried auto mode mostly, thinking, these are "just snapshots" of family and friends, nothing posed or with much though involved. I've pretty much quit carrying my DS, because other people are using their P & S cameras - the little bitty ones with a screen as big as the camera? Anyway, they get better pictures with those, than I do my (to use their words) "fancy" camera! Ha! My 10 year old *ist DS is a fancy camera....I think it is flattered! But, embarassed at the same time, being out performed by pocket cameras. Or, maybe I should say that " I " am the embarassed one!

I do have a fairly big, fairly old external flash that I haven't used in years, well, since I used it on my ME-Super and K-100....probably 7-8 years ago or more. I may drag it out and see if it has any life left in it? I know it will swivel up (so I can do bounce?), and I could diffuse it somehow too. It is worth a try I guess, thanks to the suggestions I got from you good people.

Scott

Scott

---------- Post added 11-24-14 at 09:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Lucky you, I try to be a family photographer, but the family is not really crazy about that idea. Only cats have no objection

Have you tried no flash shooting?
Practice first, shoot the room subjects in similar lightning conditions as for the party. What's that, evening with electrical light, or day time with natural light?

Set your camera in manual, set the ISO 400 first, and open aperture wide, I believe it will be f3.5-5.6 for you. Not the brightest, but it's what you have. If it's not sharp enough close aperture down a bit. Now you need to set appropriate speed. To avoid hand held shake, your X in speed 1/X number should be bigger than your focal lens distance number. For example, if you set the distance to 18mm, your speed should be no slower than 1/20. If it's 55mm, the speed is no slower than 1/60. You get an idea. Does not work for me all the time, but that rule helps.

When you test around those numbers, and find out that ISO400 is not enough, try 800. Or if you move above 400 to 200, would be even better. Try to light up the room (turn more lights, open curtains or so)
The less ISO number, the better.

Now metering. You play with that too, to find out what metering method will be the best for your indoor condition and subjects and see the difference.
Anyway, the key is here - practice. It's also fun

Disclaimer: I'm not a photo pro, so if I said something wrong, please correct. It's just how I test indoor shooting.
Ha! I didn't mean to infer that everybody in my family gatherings "wants" me to take their picture....far from it! I meant, a few people want me to take pictures of the family, so we'll have something to remember them by in the future. They want candid photos more than posed ones. Then, of course, I have to face the wrath of angry subject who didn't want to have their picture taken! In other words, I'm in a no-win situation. <haha>

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions - I think they'll help!

Scott
11-24-2014, 09:10 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astronomersmith Quote
Thanks everyone, all great suggestions! You've definitely give me some ideas to try out, and I will. Thanks again for the awesome response!
To answer a couple of questions...I have tried auto mode mostly, thinking, these are "just snapshots" of family and friends, nothing posed or with much though involved. I've pretty much quit carrying my DS, because other people are using their P & S cameras - the little bitty ones with a screen as big as the camera? Anyway, they get better pictures with those, than I do my (to use their words) "fancy" camera! Ha! My 10 year old *ist DS is a fancy camera....I think it is flattered! But, embarassed at the same time, being out performed by pocket cameras. Or, maybe I should say that " I " am the embarassed one!
Some people can do really cool pictures with phones and p&s, but they happen to be also skilled photographers I don't believe that pictures of "cellphone people" are much better than yours.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about. The most important is how you like what you're doing. Try to explore your camera more. It's actually great feeling when you have an idea how to get out of camera what you want- to have control over equipment.

Some people can get into photography instantly. I went into all my hobbies instantly, except this one. Old manual lenses were a huge help because I had no choice but switch to manual, and got frustrated for a while why I can not get great pictures. Than I just relaxed. It takes time. Lots of time. It's like learning the new language: first you understand nothing, then something, then more, then you can speak and discover new culture. But you can not do it in month of two unless you are genius.

11-24-2014, 11:02 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astronomersmith Quote
I do have a fairly big, fairly old external flash that I haven't used in years, well, since I used it on my ME-Super and K-100....probably 7-8 years ago or more. I may drag it out and see if it has any life left in it? I know it will swivel up (so I can do bounce?), and I could diffuse it somehow too. It is worth a try I guess, thanks to the suggestions I got from you good people.
Film cameras like those used a mechanical switch to fire the flash. Some old flashes have really high voltages on the terminals, which was OK in those days*. DSLRs and probably before that use an electronic flash trigger, which can be destroyed by high voltage. You may find the flash trigger voltage somewhere online or measure it yourself. Less than 30 volts is safe for the DS. Later cameras that have a PC terminal might go higher. Any Pentax-branded flash is OK.

Old flashes may be marked with focal lengths for use on 35mm film. You can just convert these because they were based on the flash angle of view - the DA 18-55 is roughly a 28-80 in angle of view. The flash may have its own sensor. Once you scrape the dust off, these are OK for some automatic control of flash power. The sensor is limited to the field of view the flash was designed for, and typical distance. A flash with one center terminal on the foot won't have any interaction with the camera except "fire" so any settings are done on the flash.

*Unless you lost the cap for the PC terminal and happened to touch it with a charged flash.
11-24-2014, 11:06 AM   #25
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Here's an article explaining how to test a flash voltage:
Measuring the Voltage on a Vivitar 285 Flash | Life is a Prayer.com
I did it once on an old manual flash, and got 230+V... no dice...
11-24-2014, 05:13 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astronomersmith Quote
I have tried auto mode mostly, thinking, these are "just snapshots" of family and friends, nothing posed or with much though involved.
That may be the cause of your overexposure. In "Auto Pict" mode and all scene modes (one whole side of mode dial), the flash is supposed to pop up automatically and the camera's P-TTL system is used to properly expose the scene. If you raise the flash manually in those modes it will discharge at full power. Most of the other modes (P, Av, Tv, M)), the camera will not pop the flash up automatically. In those modes when you raise the flash manually, P-TTL is always used unless it is turned off with the four-way controller.


Steve
11-24-2014, 07:02 PM   #27
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Hi Astro,
I put my ist ds in Auto-Pict with the 18~55mm kit lens to check your problem.
Photo#1 below is with the on-camera flash, at 18mm.
Note that the image is garish and the piano keys and white picture frame are saturated,
while other items are a bit under-exposed
If there was a face in there , it would be over-exposed and/or too white from my experience.

Years ago I had similar problems with the small AF16 flash on the ME Super.
It was explained to me that the cause was the flash being almost on the axis of the lens,
and furthermore, the flash beam from a low GN flash is necessarily narrow and parallel to the axis.
so I purchased the flash bracket (photo#2), which has rotation and tilt.

The bracket makes a big difference, especially if bounce flash is used.
The photo#3 is with the AF360FGZ on the bracket, and set with the diffuser, pointing up,
with the white reflector pointing to the subject.

My M4/3 camera takes better flash photos with the on-camera flash than the Pentax does.
I think that is because the sensor/lens is smaller, and the flash pops up higher, to result in
moving the flash relatively up off the axis.

Another trick I do with the ist ds is to put a little rectangle of black electrical tape
on the axis of the flash lens (photo#4). Then put the camera in M mode and use the aperture ring to control exposure.
This works well with the Vivitar 28mm 1:2.0 CFWA which has a long snout. With this lens and that method the ist ds can expose industrial photos
(look at the metal dust on that lens filter!) from 1:5 to about 5 metres.
But I have not tried that for family photos.

Hope you sort out your flash photos!
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX *ist DS  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-01  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX *ist DS  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-01  Photo 
11-24-2014, 08:09 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That may be the cause of your overexposure. In "Auto Pict" mode and all scene modes (one whole side of mode dial), the flash is supposed to pop up automatically and the camera's P-TTL system is used to properly expose the scene. If you raise the flash manually in those modes it will discharge at full power. Most of the other modes (P, Av, Tv, M)), the camera will not pop the flash up automatically. In those modes when you raise the flash manually, P-TTL is always used unless it is turned off with the four-way controller.
I had not heard of that, but then I've never used Green mode.

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-24-2014 at 08:33 PM.
11-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
In "Auto Pict" mode and all scene modes (one whole side of mode dial), the flash is supposed to pop up automatically and the camera's P-TTL system is used to properly expose the scene. If you raise the flash manually in those modes it will discharge at full power.
I just tried that both ways on the ist ds with the 18~55.
switch off
1) In Auto Pict mode, switch on, manually raise flash by the button, then expose a photo.
switch off
1) In Auto Pict mode, switch on, half press shutter, flash raises, then expose a photo.

The histograms of both photos ( close ups of a stainless coffee pot) were almost the same.
In both photos, at iso 200, the camera set 1/60th and f/5.6
In both cases the flash pre-fired a burst to focus
11-25-2014, 02:52 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
*snip*
so I purchased the flash bracket (photo#2), which has rotation and tilt.
*snip*
Which is also quite convenient should you want to do bounce-flash portraits in (duh!) portrait orientation and still get the benefits of the white card (i.e. catchlights)...
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