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10-26-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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k10/flash help

ive tinkered with it a bit with mixed results, so i figured i'd finally just ask and see what guidance you folks can provide....

typically i avoid flash (not counting the blah built in unit, which i will use in a pinch). i have 2 flash options, the 360 from pentax (preferred, i'd guess) and a lower end but pretty nice vivitar.

in this instance, i have a particular use-case. nothing super-serious, but figured i'd ping the board to see if my results can be improved...

tomorrow is firefighter's day at my kids school. since daddy is still waiting for the job search to bear fruit, i get to go and snap some pictures. i think some will be inside, im sure there will be some outside with the truck. i plan on bringing the 360 and using it...have not decided if i will be busting out the 16-45, 50-135 or the 40....odds are the 16-45 or 50-135 tho. ill have to decide once i get there and see how close i can get.

i just tend to screw up because i get my shooting settings mixed up, both on the k10 and the flash. so, whats the best way to set things up? i know one thing that frustrated me was that the 360, once i seemed to set it up where i wanted...once it's off, i gotta re-figure things out.

any and all pointers would be greatly appreciated!

10-27-2009, 05:18 AM   #2
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no-one want to touch this one eh?

From my experience with a K10D and AF540FGZ, inside I'd set the flash on Auto Mode, 400ISO & f8. Set the camera on M mode, shutter 1/125. Start aperture at f8 and wobble the cameras aperture to get a suitable exposure histogram. Outside I'd leave the flash in P-TTL mode, camera in P mode and vary the FEC to suit.
10-27-2009, 06:18 AM   #3
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I have the AF360FGZ, but I've used itwith the K-7 and the K2000.

I totally agree that "M" mode is best. Depending on the lens, etc. I set the aperature to f4.0 thru f8.0 and shutter speed to 1/60 thru 1/125. I use ISO 200 to 400 most often. I use the AF360FGZ flash on P-TTL mode and use this diffuser. (I used 3ml thick foamy sheets, so no stiffner needed)

With DIY diffuser:

Direct flash:

Last edited by Sew-Classic; 10-27-2009 at 06:39 AM. Reason: fix img links
10-28-2009, 08:52 AM   #4
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Basically, with flash, the FLASH exposure is solely determined by flash power (actually duration, how long the bulb is actually firing for), aperture and ISO. Ambient exposure is determined by ISO, shutter speed, and aperture (just like without any flash), so the trick is balancing the two. If I'm indoors in a smallish room (such as in someone's house), I usually just forget about ambient since the flash is powerful enough to light up the entire room (hence the 1/180s below, if the flash didn't fire, I'd have a more or less black picture) Now although you're shooting MANUAL Mode, that's only for the ambient exposure (the exposure needle in the viewfinder will blink warning you about underexposure, but ignore that). The camera's P-TTL metering will determine the needed flash output for a proper exposure.

Here's something I wrote on another forum -
"Easy" recipe for great P-TTL flash shots -
1)Point flash at ceiling
2)Put camera in MANUAL mode on the mode dial
3)Set FEC to +1 on the flash head

4)Shoot RAW (this allows you to recover some highlights that might get blown as a result of #3 above)

5)Set ISO to 200 (to start)
6)Set shutter speed to 1/180s
7)Set f-stop to whatever DOF you want

Now if the flash runs out of "power" because of high ceilings, you can raise the ISO or open up the f-stop to compensate. Or you can slow down the shutter to bring more ambient light into the exposure (in addition to adjusting ISO/f-stop) If the ceiling is REALLY high (like in a church), you may need a reflector to throw some of the light forward (I use the Joe Demb Flip-it).

Quick and dirty outdoor fill flash tutorial -
Basically, if your subject is in shade and the background is bright (ie under a tree) or majorly backlit, fill flash is your friend. Think of those times when you got a properly exposed background, but the subject was almost pitch black.

Put camera into Av mode, metering will set the shutter speed to expose the overall shot (which in the situations that call for fill-flash will generally be the background) based on your selected aperture/ISO.
Make sure flash is set to HSS (in case your shutter speed go faster than 1/180s) and P-TTL. Fire away! The shutter speed/f-stop/ISO will expose the background, and the flash should output enough power to light up the foreground.

Now to control the background exposure, you use exposure compensation on the camera body (which would adjust the shutter speed), to adjust how much fill for the flash exposure, you use Flash exposure compensation. The trick is balancing the two (as it is with indoor work), and that comes with experience/experimentation.


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