Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
New Member
Kalki's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 24
Flash Photography Tips

I have been getting into and learning film photography for just over a year now. I feel like I have just about grasped the basics, such as metering and exposure and film selection, and had a lot of fun and some good results in the process. One thing I am yet to look into in much detail and can't really find that much in the way of tutorials online is film flash photography, One of my friends asked me if i would consider shooting one of his club nights as he is after an authentic film feel. I told him i really didn't know that much about the flash photography side of things but might have a practice and get back to him.

Can anyone give me any guidance or point me in the right direction, in terms of film selection etc. Was thinking about maybe giving it a go in black and white, should i be thinking about using any filters etc?

Thanks, James

11-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,415
The pertinent considerations are:
  • Flash features supported by your camera
  • Camera features supported by your flash
  • Flash features in general (guide number, zoom, bounce, etc.)
Hmmmm...looks familiar! Film photography with flash is essentially the same as digital photography with flash.

That being said, most film cameras have fairly primitive flash support by today's standards and current high-end flash units may not mesh well with older cameras. Probably the most glaring mismatch is that most film cameras do not support a TTL metering or if they do, are incompatible with current flashes. A good example is my Pentax Super Program. It supports TTL flash, but cannot control my Sigma EF-610 DG Super. Similarly, that same flash is limited to fully manual mode (calculate aperture for f/stop) with all of my film cameras since it lacks an on-board sensor.

The most common scenario is that you are shooting with a camera having a hot shoe with few or any dedicated features supported by your flash. The flash will generally support a hot shoe and have an on-board sensor with one or more power levels. To use:
  • Set the flash to an appropriate "auto" distance range (power setting)
  • Set the lens aperture to the setting indicated by the scale on the back of the flash for the "auto" setting being used and the ASA/ISO speed of the film you are using
  • Set the camera shutter speed to "X"
The flash will moderate its output based on the response from its onboard sensor and allow for the appropriate exposure of your subject. It is really pretty easy.


Last edited by stevebrot; 11-25-2013 at 06:49 PM.
11-25-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
Site Supporter
gofour3's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,334
QuoteOriginally posted by Kalki Quote
Can anyone give me any guidance or point me in the right direction, in terms of film selection etc. Was thinking about maybe giving it a go in black and white, should i be thinking about using any filters etc?
Any b&w film in the 100 – 400 ISO range is fine for indoor flash. The faster the film the more DOF you will get. You do not need any filters for indoor flash.

The best flash depends on the film camera you are using, one of the older Pentax Autorobo units works great on any K or M series body. The Pentax AF400T is perfect for the LX.


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
film, flash, flash photography, photography, selection
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tips for photography in dull grey weather? saint_david Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 02-10-2013 07:43 PM
Any Photography Tips on Shooting in 110 degree weather? reivax Photographic Technique 17 07-29-2012 06:58 PM
Tips for indoor photography? hks_kansei Photographic Technique 6 06-25-2012 07:34 PM
Tips for using non-ttl flash off camera F8&Bthere Photographic Technique 15 08-16-2009 06:04 AM
Flash tips nystateofmind27 Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 04-12-2007 01:09 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:39 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]