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  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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    SB400 exposure metering

    I finally had a few minutes to play with my SB400 tonight, and I noticed something I thought odd. The way I understand it, TTL is supposed to allow the camera to accurately meter with the flash attached, but I noticed that the meter on the D60 was metering as though there were no flash attached. Every shot I took turned out properly exposed, so I'm confused. Have I got something set wrong (a look through the manual didn't give me any revelations)? Or is the TTL that the SB400 is capable of not give me accurate pre-firing metering?

    Rod

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Are you shooting in Manual mode on the cam?
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  3. #3
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    Nope. Aperture or Shutter mode. Rarely use manual.

  4. #4
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    Ok, dumb answer to a smart question. Flash mode is TTL on the camera. I played a little more tonight and found the following:

    Left the flash in TTL in the camera. In aperture mode, with the flash off, the camera chose 1/4 shutter speed, with the exposure meter centred. With the flash turned on, camera chose 1/60 shutter speed, but the exposure meter was showing that I'd be way underexposed. When I took the picture with either flash on or off, it turned out fine. With flash on, viewing the data showed that the camera did indeed use 1/60 shutter speed. I have no idea what brightness the flash fired at.

    So then I switched to Shutter priority mode. I started at 1/200, with the camera showing that I was going to be underexposed. As I slowed down the shutter speed, the meter didn't begin moving until I hit about 1/30th or so. When I got to 1/4, the meter showed perfect exposure and when I snapped the picture, the flash didn't fire. I did get a nicely exposed shot with a well centred histogram.

    I rarely ever used the on-camera flash, thus hadn't paid much attention to the exposure meter before with it on, so I tried with the on-camera flash on and I got the exact same results. So it appears as though:

    1) The exposure meter on the D60 doesn't work quite right with flash units, including the on camera flash unit.

    and/or

    2) I'm misunderstanding how the exposure meter is supposed to work with flash units.

    and/or

    3) I've got something set wrong in the D60 when using a flash.

    and/or

    4) Something is up with my D60.

    If anyone has an idea, I'm all ears.

    Rod

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia
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    295
    You need to ignore the on-camera metering when using flash... the camera is metering the light it sees until you actually push the button, so in most situations where you are using flash this will obviously show an underexposure.

    The clever stuff kicks in once you push the button: i-TTL makes sure the flash delivers just the right amount of light to get the exposure correct. Unless you make a habit of deliberately working in challenging situations for the automatic system you will find it gets it right 99.9% of the time, confirmed by your original statement that "every shot turned out properly exposed".
    D300 | MB-D10

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiamondSCattleCo View Post
    2) I'm misunderstanding how the exposure meter is supposed to work with flash units.
    as kev says above, the exposure meter is an ambient light meter only. the reason its picking 1/60s is cos, generally speaking, that is the default flash sync speed for all cameras.
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  7. #7
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    Mar 2006
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    Ah, thanks guys. Appreciate the info.

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