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07-29-2020, 02:05 PM   #1
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Fill Flash question

Hi,

New to me, used Pentax DA * 55mm F1.4 lens came in, as usual want to have fun with the new toy. Asked my son to be my model and was trying to shoot wide open at F1.4. It's mid afternoon with harsh sunlight I wanted to have some light on the shadow areas. If I use the built-in flash the shutter speed doesn't go more than 1/180 and even if I reduce the flash output to the minimum the pictures end up all washed out.

My friend who is a Canon shooter suggested using "Fill Flash", what is the equivalent of this in Pentax world?

How do I shoot in these situations wide open?

I am not a Pro, trying to learn new things.


Camera - K-3.

Thanks.

07-29-2020, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by suraswami Quote
Hi,

New to me, used Pentax DA * 55mm F1.4 lens came in, as usual want to have fun with the new toy. Asked my son to be my model and was trying to shoot wide open at F1.4. It's mid afternoon with harsh sunlight I wanted to have some light on the shadow areas. If I use the built-in flash the shutter speed doesn't go more than 1/180 and even if I reduce the flash output to the minimum the pictures end up all washed out.

My friend who is a Canon shooter suggested using "Fill Flash", what is the equivalent of this in Pentax world?

How do I shoot in these situations wide open?

I am not a Pro, trying to learn new things.


Camera - K-3.

Thanks.
The reason the shutter speed will not go faster than 1/180 when using flash is that is the "sync speed". If the camera allowed you to use a faster speed, you would have black banding/uneven lighting on your subject because above 1/180s there is no moment in time when the sensor is wholly exposed by the shutter curtains. The flash fires at a very fast pulse, in the 1,000 of a second, and all your sensor needs to be exposed at this instant to receive this light.

Fill flash is the same in Pentax as in Canon. You have been using fill flash. If the flash at lowest compensation is providing too much light you have a few options:

1. Stand further from your subject and use the lowest ISO possible.
2. Use a ND filter. This will mean that your shutter speed will need to be slower to get the same amount of ambient light on your subject, but the fill flash effect will be less due to the ND filter. This will only be possible if you can manually control the flash output.
3. Use HSS if your camera allows it. You can then use a higher shutter speed than sync and the output form your flash will be less.

Can you post a picture showing the problem, and tell us what mode the camera is in.

Last edited by pschlute; 07-29-2020 at 02:54 PM.
07-29-2020, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Fill flash simply means a flash to fill shadows. Now, your issue is that the picture will be overexposed even without flash... If you want to use f1.4 in sunlight, you need either ND filter to make the shutter speed drop to 1/180 (sync speed or lower) or a dedicated flash with High Speed Sync (HSS) which will allow shutter speed faster than 1/180.
07-29-2020, 03:12 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks. Figured it out. Onboard flash was overexposing, but using AF540 flash in HS mode, I was able to go to 1/1600 and ISO 100 at F1.4, picture looks better. Need to play around more but Son won't pose anymore, need to pay him lol.

07-29-2020, 04:22 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The faster your shutter speed gets in HSS the less flash output you will have so keep that in mind. I don't have a Pentax flash but my Sigma manual has flash charts showing the effective distance in HSS at different shutter speeds and apertures.
07-29-2020, 05:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
The faster your shutter speed gets in HSS the less flash output you will have so keep that in mind. I don't have a Pentax flash but my Sigma manual has flash charts showing the effective distance in HSS at different shutter speeds and apertures.
I tried different Shutter speeds and 1/1600 gave more acceptable results. Will have to experiment more.

I have to carry extra flash to combat this situation now

I probably will try using reflector shades and see how it comes out.
07-29-2020, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by suraswami Quote
I probably will try using reflector shades and see how it comes out.
Yes, in bright sunlight a reflector usually works quite well.
07-29-2020, 07:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
Yes, in bright sunlight a reflector usually works quite well.
Hi Carl, are you from Quebec City? We visited last summer, beautiful city, too bad we didn't have more time to explore, was just a one day trip from Montreal and then we have to drive back to US to catch our flight back home.

07-29-2020, 09:03 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by suraswami Quote
I tried different Shutter speeds and 1/1600 gave more acceptable results. Will have to experiment more.

I have to carry extra flash to combat this situation now

I probably will try using reflector shades and see how it comes out.
Or simply bring a neutral density filter...
07-29-2020, 09:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Or simply bring a neutral density filter...
Will try it out. Should I buy ND4?
07-29-2020, 10:25 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Using wide-aperture lenses wide open in bright light is one of the reasons given for the KP having a 1/24000 top shutter speed with it's electronic shutter. It's not a total solution, however, having limitations of it's own.


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07-30-2020, 01:50 AM - 1 Like   #12
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May I remark, that the usual solution in portrait photography is to avoid harsh sunlight. That means to move into a shadow, to shoot in the morning or evening or to use a diffuser.
07-30-2020, 06:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
May I remark, that the usual solution in portrait photography is to avoid harsh sunlight. That means to move into a shadow, to shoot in the morning or evening or to use a diffuser.
Very true. But even in share f1.4 can be tough to pull off depending on overall light levels.
07-30-2020, 06:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by suraswami Quote
Will try it out. Should I buy ND4?
Honestly I'm not certain. I tend to avoid the brightest daytime areas and shoot when the light is better, but adding an nd filter to the kit adds flexibility for this and other needs like smoothing water.
07-30-2020, 05:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by suraswami Quote
Hi Carl, are you from Quebec City? We visited last summer, beautiful city, too bad we didn't have more time to explore, was just a one day trip from Montreal and then we have to drive back to US to catch our flight back home.
Yes, I live in Quebec City. Glad you liked the city! Many people visit it as one-day trip while visiting Montreal but, yes, this is a bit short to really explore the city. But it's always possible to come back for a few days and get a better feel of the city and suroundng area!
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