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02-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #61
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The most common use of pop-up flash in my experience is it being used outdoors in near darkness shooting landscapes. Short story two times same trip.
2006 vacation in New Zealand on a Doubtful Sound guided tour. There is a power plant buried in solid rock that the tour visited. (Manapouri Underground Power Station) I was shooting with my *ist Ds overlooking a glassed in overlook to the powerplant turbine room. A guy with a Nikon walks up to take a picture into the turbine room and takes a shot. Remember, this is underground a few hundred meters, well up pops his flash giving him a good blast in the eye - he looks at me and grunts - heh. Later on the return trip my son and I are up on top of the tour boat on lake Manapouri about half way back to the dock. Up on top again comes the Nikon guy, he stands facing the stern of the boat and takes an image of the mountain range we just left. We are at least 3Km from the mountains, he pops up his flash and takes a few shots. Now do you really think a pop up flash is going to do anything to "fill" in the shadows on a mountain range 5Km away or not bounce back into your face if you shoot directly into a 2m by 3m piece of plate glass?

Did you also note that very few, if any, so called pro cameras do not have pop up flashes? Why? They are under powered, prone to give you red eye and to the uninitiated they are a crutch. There are other methods of providing fill light using off-camera flashes and the use of off camera flash - either TTL, P-TTL or manual gives the photographer greater control rather than just blasting away with the "automatic" settings. Never assume, learn the craft, if something does not work the way you think it should investigate how those who get it to work got it to work. One other thing, never, ever go into a situation using a new technique, al least to you, for the first time based on "assumptions". It will come back to bite you.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL


Last edited by PDL; 02-02-2016 at 05:50 PM. Reason: clarification
02-02-2016, 06:10 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
The most common use of pop-up flash in my experience is it being used outdoors in near darkness shooting landscapes. Short story two times same trip.
2006 vacation in New Zealand on a Doubtful Sound guided tour. There is a power plant buried in solid rock that the tour visited. (Manapouri Underground Power Station) I was shooting with my *ist Ds overlooking a glassed in overlook to the powerplant turbine room. A guy with a Nikon walks up to take a picture into the turbine room and takes a shot. Remember, this is underground a few hundred meters, well up pops his flash giving him a good blast in the eye - he looks at me and grunts - heh. Later on the return trip my son and I are up on top of the tour boat on lake Manapouri about half way back to the dock. Up on top again comes the Nikon guy, he stands facing the stern of the boat and takes an image of the mountain range we just left. We are at least 3Km from the mountains, he pops up his flash and takes a few shots. Now do you really think a pop up flash is going to do anything to "fill" in the shadows on a mountain range 5Km away or not bounce back into your face if you shoot directly into a 2m by 3m piece of plate glass?

(Laughs). If a Pentaxian has done anything like this, I don't want to hear about it!
02-02-2016, 08:01 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
Using flash in manual on a manual lens, regardless of the flash (pop up, external) you need to calculate the proper f/stop using the guide number of the flash. If you are taking the lens off of A or are using a lens that does not have an A setting then the camera CAN NOT get the f/stop from the lens. The flash will default to full.

Read up on how to use guide numbers and calculate f/stops based on distance from the flash to the subject. I would suggest that you use the X setting which sets the shutter speed to 1/180 of a second (on my K10D/K20D0). Personally I hate the on board flash, the sun does not shine from my forehead as it were. My setup is using up to three Yongnuo YN560-III speedlights controlled by a Yongnuo YN560-TX. I use my Gossen Light meter to determine the proper f/stop and control the flash ratios using the controller on camera. Strictly old school manual flash control much like I have been using for the past 40+ years. Learn the craft and take control, you will be amazed.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL
I envy your ability to be on top of all that stuff, back in the day when I was using my Spotmatic F with manual hot shoe flash, sitting at the kitchen table thinking about it carefully I could manage and would fire off a couple of test shots and they would come out ok, but of course I had to wait until I got the film & prints back from the lab to find out. But in real word use under pressure to get the shot the clarity of the kitchen table dissipated and I generally messed up. I ended up getting an "Auto" flash. with a sensor that measured the return light, just leave on f4 and shoot within the specified distances, my keeper rate went way up . thanks for the tips, I should invest more time into flash

---------- Post added 02-03-16 at 02:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
One other thing, never, ever go into a situation using a new technique, al least to you, for the first time based on "assumptions". It will come back to bite you.
absolutely agree with this, down on myself for falling for it, and not being up to speed on flash operation. the problem can be that at the time you don't realize its an assumption.
a note of further explanation: I went to the shoot intending to use the aperture ring to set the f stop, the same as I had done the previous year and obtained great results with my optically triggered flash set up. I actually had my hand on the aperture ring when I decided It may be better to control the aperture from the camera. At the time I didn't know I was making an assumption, I didn't have the knowledge to realize the mode of the flash would change, subsequently being cranky with myself for not knowing and cranky with the owners manual for not providing me with that knowledge.
cheers ..... not so cranky now, at least I've learned something

Last edited by Cee Cee; 02-03-2016 at 12:44 AM.
02-03-2016, 12:54 AM - 1 Like   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I like Michael Caine's quote about being in Jaws 4:


"I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.
Brilliant - I hadn't heard that before!

As an aside, around 2006 I spent a couple of weeks visiting the north east coast of the US, from New York up to Maine. One of my stop-off points was Martha's Vineyard and I spent an enjoyable day in Edgartown where some of Jaws was filmed. I felt like I already knew the place, which shows how often I'd watched the film!!

02-03-2016, 07:37 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
(Laughs). If a Pentaxian has done anything like this, I don't want to hear about it!
I think we may be insured against that, thanks Pentax .... I was always pleased that my K7 did not have the automatic pop-upping flash (which my old Canon EOS300 did) .... In P mode it would always catch you out, and delayed the actual capture of the shot as well. Much better the Pentax way with the photographer taking the decisions ....

Which I guess comes back to the main focus of this thread, which has become to be about how we learn and find out specific kinds of information and get our knowledge.

I do think there will always be certain kinds of generic photography-equipment functioning type of things that will remain outside the scope of individual camera modal manuals. One of these things IMO is probably the general principles of automatic flash exposure. Certainly I found this knowledge through photography books, going back to the days when I used the Canon SLR, which had the same kind of built-in flash with its ETTL exposure control. So the awareness of ambient light and flash exposure balancing techniques and how the cameras function came from general photography books .... When I got my Pentax I knew automatically that P-TTL was the equivilent' of the general system types I had been reading about.

There are some system specific quirks that you'd have to read about, perhaps in flash dedicated books (for Canon and Nikon) or something like my Guide for Pentax (as sadly there are no books on the flash system yet). It seems that knowing about whether the flash system tries for a fill-in or a full exposure is something we just have to pick up somehow, probably through forums. Canikon have additional custom controls to further refine these behaviors ... Ours is determined automatically.

That's probably why the combination of manual exposure mode plus P-TTL auto flash mode is so good ... Transparent and consistent.

The other bit of system-specific knowledge that was part of this problem for the OP is the behaviour of the flash when the lens aperture is uncoupled from the cameras control. If you understand that P-TTL is dependent on aperture coupling and autofocus, then its easier to figure out the variations .... We only have small (small print literally!) guidance in the manuals about the flash firing at full power in that instance. There were a number of trip-up hazards for our OP all combining here, and it's been interesting to think about their impact. The question is, how best to tie it all together, in what form so the information is easily accessible .... ?
02-03-2016, 03:54 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
The question is, how best to tie it all together, in what form so the information is easily accessible .... ?

I do believe the answer is in your sig, Nigel!
02-03-2016, 04:02 PM   #67
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Here's something like what I'd like to see as the opening few sentences when turning to the section on "Using the inbuilt Flash" , followed by the explanation of different modes & other info. (and I hope I got my facts right)

Using the Inbuilt Flash

When using the inbuilt flash in all camera modes including M mode (manual), the flash will function as a p-ttl (auto) flash so long as an "A" type (automatic aperture) lens is fitted, Including any 3rd party "A" type lens. ( list of pentax lens types DA, FA, F etc etc )

When in p-ttl mode, a preflash is fired to determine the required flash strength, then the shutter opens and the flash fires and the picture is taken. This all happens very quickly and usually appears as one single flash.

When a non "A" type lens is used, or an "A" type lens with an aperture ring is used with the ring not at the "A" position (aperture set manually using the ring) the camera fires single full strength flash so the photographer must set the aperture and/or the ISO to obtain the desired exposure.

followed by the explanation of the different modes.....

As I said earlier, I think flash photography is not intuitive at all for the inexperienced user, reading some thing along the lines of what I've outlined above would have certainly dispelled any misconceptions & preconceived Ideas, and pointed me in the right direction. I wonder how other inexperienced flash users & novices would feel reading this, would something like be helpful or is this too specific and based on my own experience.
02-03-2016, 05:27 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
The other bit of system-specific knowledge that was part of this problem for the OP is the behaviour of the flash when the lens aperture is uncoupled from the cameras control. If you understand that P-TTL is dependent on aperture coupling and autofocus, then its easier to figure out the variations .... We only have small (small print literally!) guidance in the manuals about the flash firing at full power in that instance. There were a number of trip-up hazards for our OP all combining here, and it's been interesting to think about their impact. The question is, how best to tie it all together, in what form so the information is easily accessible .... ?
I understood that using the lens aperture ring the camera can not control the aperture & the implications of that in both in flash and non flash operation, my lack of understanding leading to the error, was not realizing that as soon as I put the ring back to the "A" position the flash entered the auto p-ttl mode, I believed that by selecting Manual mode on the camera the flash was also in manual mode. - well not actually manual mode as being able to control the flash power, but that it would just fire a full power flash similar to if using the aperture ring.
cheers
CC.


Last edited by Cee Cee; 02-04-2016 at 03:31 PM.
02-03-2016, 05:34 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cee Cee Quote
I understood that using the lens aperture ring the camera can not control the aperture & the implications of that in both in flash and non flash operation, my lack of understanding leading to the error, was not realizing that as soon as I put the ring back to the "A" position the flash returned into the auto p-ttl mode, I believed that by selecting Manual mode on the camera the flash was also in manual mode. - well not actually manual mode as being able to control the flash power, but that it would just fire a full power flash similar to if using the aperture ring.
cheers
CC.
For what it's worth, I think a few of us (me very definitely included) will have learned from this...
02-03-2016, 06:11 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
For what it's worth, I think a few of us (me very definitely included) will have learned from this...
"its a good day when we learn something"... I've learned quite a bit but I'm not sure which was the good day , cheers
02-04-2016, 04:33 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I do believe the answer is in your sig, Nigel!

Sure, that's a problem though .... It IS only below my sig and in the articles section, not packed into the new camera boxes and not on the shelves in bookshops and public libraries !

Cee Cee, your manual re-write there is commendable, but I can't ever see Pentax going that far .... They're not particularly renouned for engaging directly with the end use and the end user, so the manuals steer clear of most ' educative' angles. It's hard to imagine them suddenly coming to understand what details and specifics the human beings require .....

From my experience of writing the guide, and from feedback and noticing little things missed out, I have realised that it's really a structural and constructional type of issue .... For example, my detailed 'Lens and Modes' section was constructed to follow certain patterns of mode and specific flash functioning for each one ... This very pattern did not accommodate the specific configuration you encountered, not because I wasn't aware or didn't want to mention it directly, but because it did not occur in the particular structural pattern my section was based around .

Manuals are the same .....
02-04-2016, 07:59 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Cee Cee, your manual re-write there is commendable, but I can't ever see Pentax going that far .... They're not particularly renouned for engaging directly with the end use and the end user, so the manuals steer clear of most ' educative' angles. It's hard to imagine them suddenly coming to understand what details and specifics the human beings require .....
I think you're right about that, I've always thought it may be a language or translation thing.
The better service manuals I've worked with include a description & tutorial of each section of the equipment, the advantages of the chosen topology & how the sections fit together, some of the best lessons I've learned in electronics have come from quality service manuals, it sort of creates a bond, like they've trusted you with their inner secrets, yet other manufacturers supply nothing more than a poorly copied schematic diagram. I've always found the higher the quality of the manuals, the higher the quality of the product , Clients sometimes ask me for recommendations as to what equipment to buy, you can guess the ones I recommend. A far cry from a consumer product owners manual I know, but I think on a similar principle, a well written manual that not only informs but educates a little along the way may well create a stronger bond to the brand. Personally I think Pentax should go the distributed "Owners Guide", and online "Operational Reference Manual" route, perhaps even a Flash Photography Reference Manual, If any one knows where we can get one of those.

cheers .
02-04-2016, 04:35 PM   #73
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For future reference, knowing that flash shooting is occasional, and lessons learned can end up recollected incorrectly, my workflow for an important shoot calls for simulating the shooting experience a short time before it happens. If it calls for multi-flash (often making use of an optical slave as Cee Cee did), the practice generally involves shooting in front of the bathroom mirror to confirm that the on-board is triggering and the slave lights in image.

While some flashes include the s1 and s2 functions, not all of them work flawlessly. Probably only the Pentax and Metz versions are very reliable. I agree with one of the comments above that shooting cameras such as the K-3 with the manual ratio on-board controller is most reliable. Of course, with the earlier cameras you are stuck with pre-flash TTL which isn't so reliable. The other advantage to avoiding pTTL is that you are getting immediate shutter release rather than the preflash delay.
02-04-2016, 04:47 PM   #74
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I recall in the K-and M-series manuals they taught us how to hold and focus a camera. Film came with a 'Sunny 16' table when I was young. They've done these these things in the past (when life was simpler).
02-04-2016, 05:09 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I recall in the K-and M-series manuals they taught us how to hold and focus a camera. Film came with a 'Sunny 16' table when I was young. They've done these these things in the past (when life was simpler).
Funny thing about all the "auto" settings that make everything "easier"... Simpler meant limited choices that required thinking through the manual aspects. Amazing how well flash worked back then, and you didn't have any opportunity to fine tune until after the film came back from processing (or hanging in the dark room).

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 02-04-2016 at 05:35 PM.
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