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08-19-2016, 09:51 AM   #1
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Johnny Rod's Avatar

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Fill flash using AF280T and Super Program

Apologies if this has been covered but I couldn't find it if it has!

In the last year or two I've been getting the hang of fill flash, with old manual cameras with leaf shutters, and another old flash unit. I do have, somewhat unregarded in a drawer, my Super Program and AF280T flash. The latter I bought a way back not long before I stopped taking film pictures, so I don't have much experience of it at all, and at the time I didn't have a Scooby how to fill anything. So, I would appreciate some pretty straightforward instructions, that the manual doesn't cover. Sorry if this gets a bit wordy. Simple indoor flash photography is no problem, but fill in bright sunlight, I'm not so sure.

With little or no automation, I'd set up fill flash like this. Set flash to auto, read off the required aperture (e.g. f4), stop down another two (f8), and set the shutter speed according to ambient light (at f8) at or below max sync speed. Alternatively in manual mode, read off the aperture from the distance, the again stop down two stops and set the shutter speed.

With the AF280 I could do the same, but is there a better way? Some way of using the TTL function, as this works with the Super Program? I presume just using TTL as is would give too much flash light. I don't think the ISO slider on the flash does anything other than change the lookup table on the back. Would I have to go for some halfway by using TTL but setting aperture manually at two stops below what the table says? In which case is there any point using TTL over the normal auto setting?


08-19-2016, 12:26 PM   #2
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You are quite entitled to being confused! I have both the Super Program and AF280T and while the manuals for both are quite good, simple tasks such as flash fill are not well explained. Let me see if I can help.

TTL mode on flash:
  • The flash does not need to know the camera ISO for TTL or Programmed TTL flash
  • In TTL mode the flash duration is managed in real time by the body
  • In P or Tv modes, exposure is not metered for ambient light. Shutter speed is fixed at 1/125s and aperture depends on the camera set ISO.
  • In Av mode using TTL, shutter speed is fixed at 1/125s.
  • M mode using TTL allows use of shutter speed to balance ambient exposure against the flash. Note that there is no metering when the flash is turned on.
  • I am unclear as to whether Exposure Comp will affect flash duration in TTL mode

Auto mode on flash:
  • Exposure comp does not affect flash output in either Auto mode
  • In P and Tv modes the body will poll the flash as to whether in Auto-green or Auto-red mode and will set the aperture appropriate to the body ISO setting. Exposure comp in these modes shifts the aperture. Shutter speed is fixed at 1/125s.
  • In Av and M mode, aperture is set on the body in reference to the calculator scale on the back of the flash. While the ISO setting for the calculator does not affect the flash duration, it is important to remember to update before using the calculator. Aperture may be used in both M and Av mode to affect flash contribution. In M mode, shutter speed may be used as well.
  • In Av mode, shutter speed is fixed at 1/125
  • In M mode, shutter speed is settable up to 1/125, but metering is disabled when the flash is turned on.
The two manual ranges are, well, manual.

To control the amount of fill, I suggest (the short answer to your question):
  • M mode with TTL (controls ambient contribution only)
  • M mode with Auto (aperture to control flash contribution, shutter for ambient)


Last edited by stevebrot; 08-19-2016 at 01:28 PM.
08-22-2016, 01:35 AM   #3
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Wow, thanks! I'll have to re-read that a few times

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