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09-28-2009, 10:08 PM   #1
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Flash on....slower shutter speed?

So here i am, with ambient light...trying to get a macro shot on a spider.
Without flash, its impossible to get a focus on this windy day considering more than a 3 second shot....
With flash...i get overexposure. Reduced to the minimum aperture of 22, ISO 100....still, overexposure. I cant seem to get the shutter speed beyond 1/180.
Then, while i was toying around with the camera, i found out that when i turn the flash off, shutter speed goes all the way to 1/8000. But then of course, it is way too dark.

Why? Why is it that when i need the shutter speed to go faster to compensate for the flash, it limits it to 180? is there a menu i should be fiddling with on my K200D?

Some help would be appreciated. I am not sure how the mechanic goes, but it seems counterintuitive to me that shutter speed is limited when flash is on...

Cheers!

09-28-2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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The shutter is only completely open for 1/180. There are two parts to the shutter, if I understand it correctly, one part that opens and another part that closes. For shutter speeds faster than 1/180, the second shutter begins closing before the first shutter is completely open. If you fire a flash when the shutter isn't completely open, only part of the frame will be exposed to the flash's light.

What kind of flash are you using? Did you try using flash compensation or exposure compensation?

Er. Yes. Learning how to use flash lighting is a pain. I'm trying to figure it out myself. It gets easier.
09-28-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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You may need to read up a little on flash sync speed and the application of HSS (high-sync speed) for starters.

Then you'll need to appreciate that for macro work, a flash on the hotshoe just won't do it - firstly because the light source may not be directed properly towards the subject, or the light may be blocked by the lens hood or barrel, but also because the flash has a MINIMUM working distance to be able to meter correctly in auto mode.

Using the flash in manual mode may give some flexibility in this regard, but it may not give the best results. Off-camera flash or macro ring flashes work best in these conditions.

Hope this helps.
09-28-2009, 11:58 PM   #4
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D4rknezz,
I'm wondering why you needed the flash in the first place.
If I was using your camera I would have probably used ISO 400, or even ISO 800 if the IQ remains the same.
Plus used a wider aperture.

I imagine that your saying, you needed more DOF, to make the shot. However this isn't always the case. I shoot closeups, using ISO 50 at f1.8 on windy days all the time, with good results.

What I do, is observe the object, for a few seconds or minutes if required. It will usually stop in pretty much the same place for a few moments, before it changes directions again.
I then focus on this location, and wait for it to return. Then of course take the shot.
It's rare that it takes me more than 3 attempts to make the shot

09-29-2009, 05:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for replies

Thanks! These are additional infos i didnt know before. I am going also going to read up on the sync flash? that you mentioned.
I tried opening up really wide at 2.8 and ISO 1600, however, the image either still is too dark, or i still need to take a 3 second picture just to get a bearable picture.

I am sorry! I forgot to mention i was doing this at night....>_< I just realized i wrote windy day. Lol. windy night.

I didnt know that on auto i need a minimum working distance with flash. What is the minimum distance? (would be good to know). For me it isnt an issue though? because I am shooting manual...its a K lens.

I would like to invest on some flash and macro flash rings later...i have been looking at Nikon's flashes : http://www.getprice.com.au/images/uploadimg/556/350__2_NikonR1CloseUp.jpg
Do we have something like this for pentax? or what would you suggest ?

Also.. i am not sure if my original question was answered there; why the hotshoe flash limits my shutter speed?
Thanks for all the tips!
09-29-2009, 06:25 AM   #6
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When you are stuck with an onboard flash at close range and you need to tone it down, just loosly wrap a single layer of tissue or napkin or any kind of thin white paper in front of the flash...not ltouching the flash if you can help it. You can buy clip on hard plastic diffusers for a more permanent solution.
09-29-2009, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thanks!

I havent read up on diffusers and the likes, i need to look into it, sounds like a cheaper and quicker solution than a off camera flash at this moment. And the tissue is a great idea for me being so budget restricted. I definitely will try this.

I read up a little on flash sync today, some of the language on the link i had was a bit confusing , but I now kind of understand the issue i had.
Cheers!
09-29-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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To answer your original question: eveyr camera has a "maximum sync speed" - the fastest shutter speed that is able to synchronize with the flash. On your camera (nd all Pentax DSLR's, I think), it is 1/180" - that's one of published specs of the camera.

If your pictures are too bright even stopped all the way down and at your lowest ISO, consider diffusing the flash - stick a piece of paper or something in front. With a manual lens, the built in flash always fires at full power. Another option would be to buy an external flash that allows you to control how much light is put out. Or even one that doesn't - as long as you can use the flash off-camera (via a cord), you can simly move the flash further away to reduce light. No reason it should cost more than $40 or so for the flash & cord.

09-29-2009, 08:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
So here i am, with ambient light...trying to get a macro shot on a spider.
Without flash, its impossible to get a focus on this windy day considering more than a 3 second shot....
With flash...i get overexposure. Reduced to the minimum aperture of 22, ISO 100....still, overexposure. I cant seem to get the shutter speed beyond 1/180.
Then, while i was toying around with the camera, i found out that when i turn the flash off, shutter speed goes all the way to 1/8000. But then of course, it is way too dark.

Why? Why is it that when i need the shutter speed to go faster to compensate for the flash, it limits it to 180? is there a menu i should be fiddling with on my K200D?

Some help would be appreciated. I am not sure how the mechanic goes, but it seems counterintuitive to me that shutter speed is limited when flash is on...

Cheers!
Perhaps you should have a look at this guys setup: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/51505-my-macro-photos.html

He achieves some stunning results with very limited tools, just his internal flash.......

It is shown here: The dark side of nonsense: Dyfuzor - na potrzeby watku na stronie Pentaxa o makrofotografii

- Bert
09-29-2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Also.. i am not sure if my original question was answered there; why the hotshoe flash limits my shutter speed?
Thanks for all the tips!
The FIRST response answered this question
09-29-2009, 10:29 AM   #11
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wuah

Wuah. I just finished taking some flies picture literally 20 mins ago...was very happy with them. I may delete them now.

That was awesome.

Thanks for all the responses guys. Each of them are truly helpful. I googled and read up more based on the photography jargon i get each time someone replies. I didnt realize my question was answered, my limited technical knowledge is a barrier, of course. But going to keep crawling slowly ahead!
10-04-2009, 02:43 PM   #12
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You might also try a flash with the auto-thyristor feature, wherein it (the flash) would monitor it's own light output and automatically shut itself off to give just the right amount of light..and diffusers also won't hurt.
08-15-2010, 12:53 PM   #13
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I've been having the same problem today, very helpful...thank you!
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