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Old May 26, 2004, 4:47 PM   #1
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I've been shooting mostly flash pictures with my D70 since I got it and I'm curious about something that's going on.

I've been using "Auto" for everything and all of the pictures seem to be with the lens wide open, the shutter at around 1/60th and the ISO seems to be about 200. The photos seem to come out exposed OK, but I have considerable ambient light and just enough flash to fill-in. In other words, it appears the flash shuts down for the proper exposure as determined by ambient light. This seems strange to me. Shouldn't the lens stop down further and/or the shutter speed go up a bit and the flash do a little more work? I always thought lenses performed better a couple of stops from wide open, and we know things are sharper with a faster shutter speed.

This is almost identical with both the on-board flash and the SB-800 set for iTTL (no iTTLBF).

Now, I can't complain much about the balance of light. The photos turn out decent, just soft as oppossed to the harsh lighting I would expect with a strobe.

Here are some family pictures shot mostly with the SB800 pointed straight at the ceiling. I used the occassion of a family brunch to get a better feel for the camera. Camera settings are about the same however when I use the on-board flash head-on.

http://www.pbase.com/deanej/marys_brunch

I'm not complaining, just wanting to understand everything I can about a very complicated camera system (compared to my 35mm Nikon FA film camera).

Deane

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Old May 26, 2004, 9:58 PM   #2
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Hi Deane, I'm not the best person to answer this question for you but try switching to P mode and you can decide when to use the flash. If you do this, you should see some of the effects that your looking for.

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Old May 27, 2004, 11:54 AM   #3
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I ran into a post on the DPReview forum last night regarding this issue. The person switched to aperture priority so the lens could be locked at something like 5.6 or 8. The SB800 has more than enough output to handle that and then some.

The results were dramatic. The performance of the kit lens in my quick test shots were significantly improved, not to mention the benefits of the added depth of field.

For some reason, as was mentioned in the post I read, the camera chooses to use the lens wide open and a fairly slow shutter speed (I have mine programmed to not go below 1/60 rather than the default 1/30). It apparently then throttles the flash down to give the correct exposure. If I understand what is happening correctly, this is not the most ideal combination for good images. My initial tests indicate the aperture priority method will be much better.

I haven't done enough with it yet to determine if there are other issues introduced or not.

Deane
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Old May 27, 2004, 8:05 PM   #4
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Hi,

I found that i can get really superior result using Aperture priority instead of Auto.

The Auto mode is not the best asset on this camera. So use the priority modes to get to most out of it.

Luc


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Old May 29, 2004, 5:12 AM   #5
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Morris is spot on. Whatever customisable usersettings (sharpening, tone adjustment, colour mode, etc.) set are overridden by the camera when in Auto.

See here: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...135088#p135088

...my last post for more suggestions on flash shooting. Since aperture is the only factor governing flash exposure (because the distance to subject is largely fixed), selecting the ideal lens aperture becomes cruicial to getting the best exposed images using flash.
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 5:55 PM   #6
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As far as the low shutter speed of 1/60, wouldn't that be at least in part due to ISO 200? From what I've read, it seems the consensus is the D70 has relatively low noise levels up to 800 or so, with each bump up in ISO increasing shutter speed. Is that correct?
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