Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Canon Speedlite 580EX

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 1:21:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash. Since then, I have shot
my granddaughter's second birthday and two family Christmas gatherings, among
other things. Much of what I have done so far was done using mostly
program/default settings on both the camera as well as flash.

I'm not really seeing the flash underexposure issue.

The other night, I was at the monthly meeting of a group of friends. With the
20D and 580EX on a tripod and using the timer, I shot this pic. (Broadband
Junkies BEWARE!: Please be patient. I'm using a "good buddy" server
[translation: free/slow] feeding a 144k image. It's gonna feel like you're on
dial-up again. Sorry.)

<http://www.redelfs.com/IMG_0963.jpg&gt;

I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same time,
the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.

Comments? (Yeah, like I have to ask!<g>)

:) 
JR

More about : canon speedlite 580ex

Anonymous
January 12, 2005 4:36:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Jim Redelfs" <jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> wrote in message
news:jim.redelfs-FCE86F.22215411012005@news.central.cox.net...
> It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash.
> I'm not really seeing the flash underexposure issue.

Certainly some individual EX flash and camera combos are at opposite ends of
the manufacturing tolerances and have e-ttl issues. However, in my
experience with a variety of EOS equipment, e-ttl is not the design problem
some would have you believe.

> The other night, I was at the monthly meeting of a group of friends. With
> the
> 20D and 580EX on a tripod and using the timer, I shot this pic.
> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same
> time,
> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.

Yep! On my monitor it looks as one would expect a properly exposed photo to
look from an on camera flash in that environment. I am sure a histogram
will indicate a bias towards underexposure which belies the reality of the
environment and what constitutes an ideal exposure.

Are you really sure you want to identify yourself with those guys?? ;) 
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 10:27:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Jim,

You could tweak that image quite easily by opening it in Photoshop Elements
which I believe shipped with your 20D. Once you have the image open, in the
toolbar click Enhance>Adjust Brightness/Contrast>Levels. Drag the black and
white Output Levels sliders (at the bottom of the dialog box) to adjust the
shadow and highlight range, then slide the grey slider to the left to
brighten the midtones. I took the liberty of tweaking your image, check here
for comparison.
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1vv9n/IMG_0963_.jpg

John

"Jim Redelfs" <jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> wrote in message
news:jim.redelfs-FCE86F.22215411012005@news.central.cox.net...
> It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash. Since then, I have
shot
> my granddaughter's second birthday and two family Christmas gatherings,
among
> other things. Much of what I have done so far was done using mostly
> program/default settings on both the camera as well as flash.
>
> I'm not really seeing the flash underexposure issue.
>
> The other night, I was at the monthly meeting of a group of friends. With
the
> 20D and 580EX on a tripod and using the timer, I shot this pic.
(Broadband
> Junkies BEWARE!: Please be patient. I'm using a "good buddy" server
> [translation: free/slow] feeding a 144k image. It's gonna feel like
you're on
> dial-up again. Sorry.)
>
> <http://www.redelfs.com/IMG_0963.jpg&gt;
>
> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same
time,
> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
>
> Comments? (Yeah, like I have to ask!<g>)
>
> :) 
> JR
Related resources
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 1:05:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Jim Redelfs wrote:

> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same time,
> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.

Nobody seems to be overexposed at all. The phot illustrates the problem
of lighting a dark area with depth to the scene of interest from a
single light, however. There is no way you can get even depth of
lighting pointing a flash from the camera in such a scene. If the
ceiling were white, you could ahve bounced it there and gotten more even
illumination in depth. But this venue appears to be rather dark painted.
Histogram shows little info in the highlights so another stop of
exposure would have been better... but then the grey sweater would have
been washed out for sure.


--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
January 12, 2005 3:31:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

I would think that a $1500 camera and a $500 flash should do allot better
than that. Its pretty bad when a $6 throw away film camera can take a
similar picture. We should not need any computer to make a good shot, only
just to edit the picture.


"Alan Browne-" <alan.browne@FreelunchVideotron.ca> wrote in message
news:cs3ebe$ra8$1@inews.gazeta.pl...
> Jim Redelfs wrote:
>
> > I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the
photo,
> > particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed
well
> > enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same
time,
> > the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
>
> Nobody seems to be overexposed at all. The phot illustrates the problem
> of lighting a dark area with depth to the scene of interest from a
> single light, however. There is no way you can get even depth of
> lighting pointing a flash from the camera in such a scene. If the
> ceiling were white, you could ahve bounced it there and gotten more even
> illumination in depth. But this venue appears to be rather dark painted.
> Histogram shows little info in the highlights so another stop of
> exposure would have been better... but then the grey sweater would have
> been washed out for sure.
>
>
> --
> -- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
> -- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
> -- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
> -- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
January 12, 2005 7:24:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly? The problem is the
folks in front are much brighter than in the background. Is there a
technique with flash to improve that?

I played with it by erasing out a curves adjustment layer to different
degrees and got the histogram looking pretty decent even if it was
sloppy (blotchy) work. I actually do this all the time in high contrast
images.

Here's an example:
<http://www.edgehill.net/1/?SC=go.php&DIR=California/Bay...;
Those dark clouds are the original, the hillside is lightened. I
probably screwed something else up on that, I went through a bunch of
contortions playing with adjustments heh. One nice thing with a DSLR is
there is lots of room to play with bringing out detail from shadows.
It's just incredible.

Bub wrote:

> I would think that a $1500 camera and a $500 flash should do allot better
> than that. Its pretty bad when a $6 throw away film camera can take a
> similar picture. We should not need any computer to make a good shot, only
> just to edit the picture.
>
>
> "Alan Browne-" <alan.browne@FreelunchVideotron.ca> wrote in message
> news:cs3ebe$ra8$1@inews.gazeta.pl...
>
>>Jim Redelfs wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the
>
> photo,
>
>>>particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed
>
> well
>
>>>enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same
>
> time,
>
>>>the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
>>
>>Nobody seems to be overexposed at all. The phot illustrates the problem
>>of lighting a dark area with depth to the scene of interest from a
>>single light, however. There is no way you can get even depth of
>>lighting pointing a flash from the camera in such a scene. If the
>>ceiling were white, you could ahve bounced it there and gotten more even
>>illumination in depth. But this venue appears to be rather dark painted.
>>Histogram shows little info in the highlights so another stop of
>>exposure would have been better... but then the grey sweater would have
>>been washed out for sure.
>>
>>
>>--
>>-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
>>-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
>>-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
>>-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
>
>
>
January 12, 2005 7:55:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Oh, here's the modified pic: http://www.edgehill.net/IMG_0963_-.jpg

paul wrote:
>
> I played with it by erasing out a curves adjustment layer to different
> degrees and got the histogram looking pretty decent even if it was
> sloppy (blotchy) work. I actually do this all the time in high contrast
> images.
>
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 10:11:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

paul wrote:
>
> Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly?

damn physical rules of the universe.
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 11:18:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Jim Redelfs wrote:
>
> It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash. Since then, I have shot
> my granddaughter's second birthday and two family Christmas gatherings, among
> other things. Much of what I have done so far was done using mostly
> program/default settings on both the camera as well as flash.
>
> I'm not really seeing the flash underexposure issue.
>
> The other night, I was at the monthly meeting of a group of friends. With the
> 20D and 580EX on a tripod and using the timer, I shot this pic. (Broadband
> Junkies BEWARE!: Please be patient. I'm using a "good buddy" server
> [translation: free/slow] feeding a 144k image. It's gonna feel like you're on
> dial-up again. Sorry.)
>
> <http://www.redelfs.com/IMG_0963.jpg&gt;
>
> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same time,
> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
>
> Comments? (Yeah, like I have to ask!<g>)
>
> :) 
> JR

Sorry to say, Jim, but your shot is considerably underexposed. I
imported the image into Photoshop and looked at the histogram ... it's
heavily biased towards the black end, with no tonal value above 205 (top
is 255). I would estimate about two stops underexposed, maybe 2 1/2.

Colin.
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 2:21:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <cj4Fd.12978$hc7.7027@trnddc08>,
"Digi - Reb" <John.Duggins@verizon.net> wrote:

> You could tweak that image quite easily by opening it in Photoshop Elements
> which I believe shipped with your 20D.

Thanks, John. It did (does).

> http://mysite.verizon.net/vze1vv9n/IMG_0963_.jpg

Of the two follow-ups that included re-done versions of the image, I like
yours the best.

I'm pretty impressed, overall, with the NEWSGROUP! What's with you? All the
opportunity in the WORLD for flames and nit-picking but only legit criticism,
if a bit adament by some, but nary a flame.

(Good Morning, Your Worm - Your Honor! The prisoner who now stands before you
was caught red-handed! Red-handed showing FEELING! ...of an almost HUMAN
NATURE!! This will NOT DO!)

I'm learning a lot just lurking. Carry on.

(Thanks, again)

:) 
JR
January 13, 2005 12:58:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Crownfield wrote:

> paul wrote:
>
>>Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly?
>
>
> damn physical rules of the universe.


Heh... what about a more expensive flash?
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 3:18:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Bub wrote:

> I would think that a $1500 camera and a $500 flash should do allot better
> than that. Its pretty bad when a $6 throw away film camera can take a
> similar picture. We should not need any computer to make a good shot, only
> just to edit the picture.


Ahem. The photo is a classic illustration of expecting the camera to do what
the phtographer needs to do: consider the situation and light for it. It would
have been much more effective, with a single flash and nothing to bounce light
off of, to move everyone to a more shallow composition, crop the group tightly
and hence get more even illumination. OTOH, the casual pose of a group having a
drink together is better coveyed with this snapshot.

If you can get everyone to hold still for 10 seconds (more or less), a non-flash
shot would have worked better too. But nobody can hold still very long.

--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 3:24:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

paul wrote:

> Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly? The problem is the
> folks in front are much brighter than in the background. Is there a
> technique with flash to improve that?

As I said in a prior post, one can bounce off the ceiling (if it is white) and
get better distribution than a direct flash. But a direct flash drops at 1/r^2
from the camera ... objects twice as far receive 4x less light (2 stops).
Nature's like that.


--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 4:01:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

paul wrote:

> Crownfield wrote:
>
>> paul wrote:
>>
>>> Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly?
>>
>>
>>
>> damn physical rules of the universe.
>
>
>
> Heh... what about a more expensive flash?


More expensive errors.


--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 8:41:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <cs6ai1$cuh$1@inews.gazeta.pl>,
Alan Browne <alan.browne@freelunchVideotron.ca> wrote:

> If you can get everyone to hold still for 10 seconds (more or less),
> a non-flash shot would have worked better too.

Oh, fer pete's sake! ...and I had it on a TRIPOD! Why did I forget THAT?!

(This is Photography 101. I'm losing it...) <sigh>

> But nobody can hold still very long.

Ain't it the TRUTH?!?

Anyway, I'll do what I can to recreate the shoot at our next meeting and see
what I can improve on, including a couple of non-flash frames. Stay tuned...

:) 
JR
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 8:43:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <SoCdneW4_8dSK3vcRVn-pA@speakeasy.net>, paul <paul@not.net> wrote:

> >Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly?

> > damn physical rules of the universe.

> Heh... what about a more expensive flash?

Oh, right. That's the solution! ARGH!!

[wandering off muttering $500 over and over]

:) 
JR
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 8:43:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Jim Redelfs" <jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> wrote in message
news:jim.redelfs-E8A0E2.17431013012005@news.central.cox.net...
> In article <SoCdneW4_8dSK3vcRVn-pA@speakeasy.net>, paul <paul@not.net>
> wrote:
>
>> >Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly?
>
>> > damn physical rules of the universe.
>
>> Heh... what about a more expensive flash?
>
> Oh, right. That's the solution! ARGH!!
>
> [wandering off muttering $500 over and over]
>
> :) 
> JR

We rent Quantum T4D flashes for our 20Ds to use on paying assignments.
Better characteristics than the 580, except for one. That we rent them is a
clue. The flash head retails for $575 at B&H, which wouldn't be too bad,
except you have to buy a battery pack for it too, no internal batteries like
the 580EX. The pack we use retails for $485. And then there's the charger,
which bumps the price of the pack to $504.95. But! B&H will sell you a
package deal, all of the above for 999.95! And, since both of us shoot, we
need two of them! 500 bucks, indeed! <G>

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 5:21:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

>
> <http://www.redelfs.com/IMG_0963.jpg&gt;
>
> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same
time,
> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
>
> Comments? (Yeah, like I have to ask!<g>)
>
> :) 
> JR




The shot is underexposed by about one stop, maybe a little more, no doubt
about it, and the histogram tells the tale.


Patrick
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 5:39:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

>
> > I would think that a $1500 camera and a $500 flash should do allot
better
> > than that. Its pretty bad when a $6 throw away film camera can take a
> > similar picture. We should not need any computer to make a good shot,
only
> > just to edit the picture.



If he took the shot at ISO 800, it would have allowed more ambient light in
the shot. Try it. But the exposure has to be right on, or you might get
too much shadow noise.

I'm in the wedding business, and I encounter dark areas a lot, and the one
solution is using slaved flash, both powerful, one undiffused aimed at the
ceiling at a 45 degree angle, and the other diffused aimed at the subjects.
One bounced flash can do a good job if the cieling is not too high. If
there is no bouncable cieling, two diffused flashes, one mounted high on a
pole (held by my assitant), and the other on a hot shoe or bracket.



Patrick
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 9:10:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Kibo informs me that paul <paul@not.net> stated that:

>Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly? The problem is the
>folks in front are much brighter than in the background.

That's pretty much a fact of life with direct flash in a dark room.
Inverse square law: "I canna change the laws of physics, Jim!"

> Is there a
>technique with flash to improve that?

I find that a diffuser helps a lot, but it won't perform miracles. As
someone else has pointed out in this thread; bounce flash would've been
the ideal solution, but the room doesn't seem to have any white surfaces
to bounce it from.

>I played with it by erasing out a curves adjustment layer to different
>degrees and got the histogram looking pretty decent even if it was
>sloppy (blotchy) work. I actually do this all the time in high contrast
>images.

Same here. In shots like the example, I overexpose a little (shooting
RAW), then tweak the gamma or curves a little when processing to even
things out a bit.

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 1:14:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <wjFFd.100$ru.71@fed1read07>, "Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net>
wrote:

> We rent Quantum T4D flashes for our 20Ds to use on paying assignments.
> Better characteristics than the 580, except for one. That we rent them is a
> clue.

Renting them may not be too bad, especially if the technology for that stuff
changes rapidly. Does it?

Ever since I took my first frame using the flash, tripod and cable release, I
have desired a better portraiture capability. Nothing fancy. Just another
flash and an umbrella - or something. I know *NOTHING* about studio
equipment. Where do I start?

<sigh>
JR
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 1:46:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Jim Redelfs" <jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> wrote in message
news:jim.redelfs-F1E522.10145214012005@news.central.cox.net...
> In article <wjFFd.100$ru.71@fed1read07>, "Skip M" <shadowcatcher@cox.net>
> wrote:
>
>> We rent Quantum T4D flashes for our 20Ds to use on paying assignments.
>> Better characteristics than the 580, except for one. That we rent them
>> is a
>> clue.
>
> Renting them may not be too bad, especially if the technology for that
> stuff
> changes rapidly. Does it?
>
> Ever since I took my first frame using the flash, tripod and cable
> release, I
> have desired a better portraiture capability. Nothing fancy. Just
> another
> flash and an umbrella - or something. I know *NOTHING* about studio
> equipment. Where do I start?
>
> <sigh>
> JR

The technology progresses at a snail's pace, compared to digital cameras.
So, renting the flashes becomes a purely economical decision.
As far as where to start, if there's a good, i.e. not Best Buy, Ritz, Wolf,
et al, camera store in your area, start there by talking to the people who
work there. Find out if they offer classes (Calumet, for instance, does) in
lighting and other aspects of photography. Or take a class at the local
community college. Find out what works for you before you buy, and find out
what's available.

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
Anonymous
January 14, 2005 11:04:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

paul <paul@not.net> wrote:
> Yeah what is it with flash dropping off so quickly?

Physics. If the flash at 1 meter lights a 1x1 area, it'll
light a 2x2 area at 2 meters --- providing only 1/4 of the
power to each of the 4 1x1 areas inside.

> The problem is the
> folks in front are much brighter than in the background. Is there a
> technique with flash to improve that?

Many:
- bounce the flash: the distance difference of the light is thus
lesser. You can even bounce off glass roofs or dark ceilings
(beware: coloured ones may colour your flash light!) if your
flash has enough power --- and tilt --- for that.
- go further away (needs a stronger flash, though), to lessen
the distance differences
- group the people tighter, to lessen the distance differences
- use more flashes, strategically positioned, to bring more light
to the rear
- use longer exposures, higher ISO, wider apertures, allowing in
more ambient light, thus lessening the need and differences of
the flash light. Drawback: white balance, subject
movement, tripod wanted, depth of field, graininess.
- use more ambient light sources, turn on the lights, open the
curtains, etc. drawback: white balance may be off, or different
for different parts of the picture.
- You could use a ND filter, darkening the parts of the image
where the foreground subjects are --- provided there exists and
you have just such a filter --- thus allowing the flash to push
out more power, but not having your front subjects overexposed
- make your front subjects wear/be darker and your background
subjects wear/be lighter clothes or colours.

> Here's an example:
> <http://www.edgehill.net/1/?SC=go.php&DIR=California/Bay...;
> Those dark clouds are the original, the hillside is lightened.

You either want an ND filter for that one (to 'darken' the sky
by it) or a cheap substitute: use a tripod. Shoot once with OK
brightness for the sky, once for the hill, merge the photographs
digitally. Thus you'll have less noise in the hill part.

-Wolfgang
January 14, 2005 11:04:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Thanks, great tips!

Wolfgang Weisselberg wrote:

> paul <paul@not.net> wrote:
....
>>The problem is the
>>folks in front are much brighter than in the background. Is there a
>>technique with flash to improve that?
>
>
> Many:
> - bounce the flash: the distance difference of the light is thus
> lesser. You can even bounce off glass roofs or dark ceilings
> (beware: coloured ones may colour your flash light!) if your
> flash has enough power --- and tilt --- for that.
> - go further away (needs a stronger flash, though), to lessen
> the distance differences


Ah, that's interesting, boost the flash power, step back & zoom in.


> - group the people tighter, to lessen the distance differences
> - use more flashes, strategically positioned, to bring more light
> to the rear
> - use longer exposures, higher ISO, wider apertures, allowing in
> more ambient light, thus lessening the need and differences of
> the flash light. Drawback: white balance, subject
> movement, tripod wanted, depth of field, graininess.
> - use more ambient light sources, turn on the lights, open the
> curtains, etc. drawback: white balance may be off, or different
> for different parts of the picture.
> - You could use a ND filter, darkening the parts of the image
> where the foreground subjects are --- provided there exists and
> you have just such a filter --- thus allowing the flash to push
> out more power, but not having your front subjects overexposed


What is an ND filter?



> - make your front subjects wear/be darker and your background
> subjects wear/be lighter clothes or colours.
>
>
>>Here's an example:
>><http://www.edgehill.net/1/?SC=go.php&DIR=California/Bay...;
>>Those dark clouds are the original, the hillside is lightened.
>
>
> You either want an ND filter for that one (to 'darken' the sky
> by it) or a cheap substitute: use a tripod. Shoot once with OK
> brightness for the sky, once for the hill, merge the photographs
> digitally. Thus you'll have less noise in the hill part.
>
> -Wolfgang
Anonymous
January 15, 2005 1:12:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Kibo informs me that Jim Redelfs <jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> stated that:

>In article <cs6ai1$cuh$1@inews.gazeta.pl>,
> Alan Browne <alan.browne@freelunchVideotron.ca> wrote:
>
>> If you can get everyone to hold still for 10 seconds (more or less),
>> a non-flash shot would have worked better too.
>
>Oh, fer pete's sake! ...and I had it on a TRIPOD! Why did I forget THAT?!

Oh dear. ;) 

>> But nobody can hold still very long.
>
>Ain't it the TRUTH?!?

2nd curtain sync flash mode & some background light is the way to deal
with this problem. For example:
<http://lo.ve.ly/gallery/LychnobyteatDream/CRW_5314?full...;
1/25th, (handheld), ISO-1600.

>Anyway, I'll do what I can to recreate the shoot at our next meeting and see
>what I can improve on, including a couple of non-flash frames. Stay tuned...

If you want the shot to look pretty as well, have them gather in front
of the bar, rather than around a table in a dark corner:
<http://lo.ve.ly/gallery/DV8-23-10-04/CRW_4781?full=1&gt;

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
January 18, 2005 9:23:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

paul <paul@not.net> wrote:

> What is an ND filter?

neutral density filter. Darkens the image, but does not affect
the colours. Say you got a bright window left and the interior
of the much darker room right. An ND filter can reduce the
contrast by darkening the bright window somewhat.

-Wolfgang
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 1:38:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

In article <41E4CF52.CDEF05D@killspam.127.0.0.1>,
Colin D <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote:
>Jim Redelfs wrote:
>>
>> It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash. Since then,
>> I have shot my granddaughter's second birthday and two family
>> Christmas gatherings, among other things. Much of what I have done
>> so far was done using mostly program/default settings on both the
>> camera as well as flash.
>>
>> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
>> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
>> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same time,
>> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
>
>Sorry to say, Jim, but your shot is considerably underexposed. I
>imported the image into Photoshop and looked at the histogram ... it's
>heavily biased towards the black end, with no tonal value above 205 (top
>is 255). I would estimate about two stops underexposed, maybe 2 1/2.

It's doing what he told it to do. The way Canon flashes work is, if
you use them in P/Auto modes, they'll try to illuminate the foreground
while keeping the shutter speed at 1/60 or faster, even if this means
that the background is dark.

If you want the entire scene to be fully exposed (which'll mean a slow
shutter), try Av mode.

--
Mike Kozlowski
http://www.klio.org/mlk/
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 7:30:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 22:21:54 -0600, Jim Redelfs
<jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> wrote:

>Comments? (Yeah, like I have to ask!<g>)

Hi Jim,

I think your picture is a little underexposed. But...

I used to have this problem too. My flash shots used to be rather
inconsistent. However, over the years I have learned to use my
equipment to overcome it.

This link is from year 2001:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=36...

Please allow me to quote from it:

"If you have gotten into the habit of locking focus using an
individual focusing point, and then recomposing before the shot, you
will almost certainly get a bad flash exposure in E-TTL mode with the
550EX or any other EX-series Speedlite"

The camera discussed was a D30 (!). So it is not a new "problem" after
all.

If you want a specific discussion on the 20D, I found this one
helpful:

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-24...

And finally, these are the articles that helped me built my career as
a photographer:

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index2.html

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index3.html

So, in my humble opinion the "infamous" Canon flash underexposure
problem is mostly a case of users not understanding how their
equipment works. It is unfortunate that some of them prefer blaming
the manufacturer for it.

Best of luck to you...

Jeff
JustAnotherWeddingPhotographerwhoJustShotHis42ndWeddingThisMorning
Anonymous
January 23, 2005 3:49:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Mike Kozlowski wrote:
>
> In article <41E4CF52.CDEF05D@killspam.127.0.0.1>,
> Colin D <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote:
> >Jim Redelfs wrote:
> >>
> >> It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash. Since then,
> >> I have shot my granddaughter's second birthday and two family
> >> Christmas gatherings, among other things. Much of what I have done
> >> so far was done using mostly program/default settings on both the
> >> camera as well as flash.
> >>
> >> I think the camera and flash did a pretty decent job of taking the photo,
> >> particularly the good depth of field. The folks in back are exposed well
> >> enough to be easily identified by a familiar viewer while, at the same time,
> >> the folks in the foreground are not badly over exposed.
> >
> >Sorry to say, Jim, but your shot is considerably underexposed. I
> >imported the image into Photoshop and looked at the histogram ... it's
> >heavily biased towards the black end, with no tonal value above 205 (top
> >is 255). I would estimate about two stops underexposed, maybe 2 1/2.
>
> It's doing what he told it to do. The way Canon flashes work is, if
> you use them in P/Auto modes, they'll try to illuminate the foreground
> while keeping the shutter speed at 1/60 or faster, even if this means
> that the background is dark.
>
> If you want the entire scene to be fully exposed (which'll mean a slow
> shutter), try Av mode.
>
No, it's not doing what he told it to do. It has underexposed the
frame. The camera evaluates the scene in front of it, centre-weighted,
with the pre-flash. The centre of the frame is actually between the
front people, so it saw more background, and yet the background is
dark. The histogram tells it all. The *maximum* brightness recorded is
a value of 205, 50 short of overexposure, so no part of the scene is
overexposed in any way, including the front people.

Of course, the people at the back will be darker than the people at the
front, so a metered exposure should tend to overexpose the front persons
but in this shot even they are barely exposed enough.

This problem of underexposure is well documented with Canon dedicated
flashes, and appears to be related to the metering method employed by
Canon.

I have partially solved the problem with my 300D by setting the camera
on manual, at 1/200 at f:8, and setting my Metz flash to meter itself at
f:8 using its own sensor - whereupon I get optimally exposed images.

I find it interesting that the 300D meter consistently underexposes when
metering itself, but the flash unit metering itself can give properly
exposed images. Go figure, as they say.

Colin
Anonymous
January 26, 2005 7:12:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

Colin D <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote:
> Mike Kozlowski wrote:

>> It's doing what he told it to do. The way Canon flashes work is, if
>> you use them in P/Auto modes, they'll try to illuminate the foreground
>> while keeping the shutter speed at 1/60 or faster, even if this means
>> that the background is dark.

i.e. they try to keep the shot hand-holdable, and Auto only
uses ISO 100-400.

I cannot say if
http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/
is all correct or not, but it surely is extensive!

>> If you want the entire scene to be fully exposed (which'll mean a slow
>> shutter), try Av mode.

or Tv or M (the flash will still be on auto, but you can change
the settings on the flash).

> No, it's not doing what he told it to do. It has underexposed the
> frame. The camera evaluates the scene in front of it, centre-weighted,
> with the pre-flash.

Centre-weighted? 20D? E-TTL II? Only if you set CF 14 to 1!
Or maybe if you switch off AF. Or maybe if you use FEL.

> Of course, the people at the back will be darker than the people at the
> front, so a metered exposure should tend to overexpose the front persons
> but in this shot even they are barely exposed enough.

Pulling digital is hard, once you've got blown-out
highlights.

> I find it interesting that the 300D meter consistently underexposes when
> metering itself, but the flash unit metering itself can give properly
> exposed images. Go figure, as they say.

Maybe you are fighting your 300D's flash metering method instead
of working with it, or maybe you two were not meant for each other.

-Wolfgang
Anonymous
February 12, 2005 1:51:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Jim Redelfs" <jim.redelfs@redelfs.com> wrote in message
news:jim.redelfs-FCE86F.22215411012005@news.central.cox.net...
> It's been a month since I got my 20D and 580EX flash. Since then, I have
shot
> my granddaughter's second birthday and two family Christmas gatherings,
among
> other things. Much of what I have done so far was done using mostly
> program/default settings on both the camera as well as flash.
>
> I'm not really seeing the flash underexposure issue.
>
> The other night, I was at the monthly meeting of a group of friends. With
the
> 20D and 580EX on a tripod and using the timer, I shot this pic.
(Broadband
> Junkies BEWARE!: Please be patient. I'm using a "good buddy" server
> [translation: free/slow] feeding a 144k image. It's gonna feel like
you're on
> dial-up again. Sorry.)
>
> <http://www.redelfs.com/IMG_0963.jpg&gt;
>

That looks like that hamburger place over on Lankershim.

GT
--
"destroy your safe and happy lives before it is too late,
the battles we fought were long and hard,
just not to be consumed by rock n' roll" - the mekons
!