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Pointers on using external flash with bronica etrsi?

Dan McBride , Jul 26, 2007; 08:19 p.m.

Hi - wondering if some kind soul out there would give me some pointers?

I am using an ETRSi with a Vivitar 285 (non HV) (on the hotshoe) and the AEII prism/meter.

I have a completely newbie silly question...

I believe I have the calculator dial set on the flash correctly for use with a 75mm lens and 160 120 film. I have my lens set down to the apeture that appears in the dial on the flash - but my question is what do I set my shutter to??

My manual for the AEII says that if using external flash to either turn off the internal meter or place the prism in manual metering mode.

Am I correct in thinking that the use of a flash indoors means that my apeture and shutter remain consistent while I am shooting? My only adjustments happen when I either move the 285 to the wide or tele settings or use a degree of bounce?

Does using the PC sync cable rather than the hotshoe give any type of auto exposure or auto-flash level abilities?

Thank you for any help you might lend!

Dan

Responses

Frank Kimble , Jul 26, 2007; 10:25 p.m.

The flash will produce most of the light indoors. If you want the background dark then pick a fast shutter speed. If you want to pick up some of the ambient light in the background then pick a slow speed. I like to think of it as taking 2 separate pics at the same time, the aperture setting = flash setting are used to take the pic of the main subject. The shutter speed along with the already set aperture is used to take the pic of the background.

John Wilson , Jul 27, 2007; 12:51 a.m.

"I believe I have the calculator dial set on the flash correctly for use with a 75mm lens and 160 120 film."

Your flash is not concerned with which lens is mounted. The numbers you see correspond to how far away the flash can illuminate a subject for a given output (aperture setting) and ISO (film speed). It will be set for f/8, for example, regardless of which lens. F/8 is F/8 to the flash. The flash doesn't care about your shutter speed. More on that later.

"My manual for the AEII says that if using external flash to either turn off the internal meter or place the prism in manual metering mode."

This is because the shutter speed is not the determining factor for exposure when using flash. The aperture is. The flash gives you all the light you need for the chosen F/stop on your lens (within the limits of the flash.) The metered prism only sets shutter speed in A mode. In other words, useless for what you are doing with flash.

When using flash, use the Manual mode on your prism so you can control the shutter speed with the Shutter Speed Dial. If you are using a handheld light meter don't even turn the prism on. Save your battery. You're probably wondering why you would even want Manual mode, right? Well, sometimes it's good to know what the ambient light is. Frank explained this well as it concerns lighting up the rest of the picture that the flash won't be lighting. This is called dragging the shutter when you use a slower shutter speed. You can go the other way and use a fast shutter to get hard shadows and lots of light falloff. With a fast shutter, you aren't lettin much ambient light at all fill the picture. This is how you can get dramatic, hard edged looking portraits.

"Am I correct in thinking that the use of a flash indoors means that my aperture and shutter remain consistent while I am shooting? My only adjustments happen when I either move the 285 to the wide or tele settings or use a degree of bounce? "

Your Bronica will sync with the flash at all speeds due to the leaf shutter. Set the f/stop on the flash to the F/stop on the lens and the subject will turn out just fine. Like Frank said, adjust your shutter to get more or less ambient light for filling in the background or softening shadows caused by the flash. No need to go below 1/60 or you'll still get some blur due to your own movement.

The shutter speed is largely irrelevent as far as exposing the main subject. The flash handles that part.

When outdoors, you can set your flash for one stop below the normal exposure for fill flash. This is great when a person is backlit so you can fill them in instead of getting a silhouette. In bright sun fill flash is useful to pop some light into those dark eye sockets and under the chin to eliminate raccoon eyes and hard shadows.

"Does using the PC sync cable rather than the hotshoe give any type of auto exposure or auto-flash level abilities? "

No. The PC connector just lets you get the flash off the camera for studio type shots. You'll get much better portraits by putting the flash on a stand and bouncing it into an umbrella. On camera flash is good when it's all you've got but flash from a proper stand is excellent and produces results that you cannot get with the flash aimed directly into a person's face.

Those are the basics. Using flash is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. It makes things much easier.

There is a great site that will answer all your questions. This guy is awesome when it comes to teaching you how to use flash:

http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/

Daniel Clark , Mar 29, 2011; 10:17 a.m.

When using flash such as a Vivtar 283/285 etc, on a stand with umbrella or bounced, is it still a case of setting the f stop the same on the flash as it is on the camera? And setting the shutter according to hoe much ambient light you want? Wil the exposure still be correct? I have a bronny and metz 45cl-4 but Ive read a lot about the vivitars, Im thinking of getting a couple and using them off camera but I am unsure of how to get correct exposure doing it this way. (Im a portrait shooter by the way) I also like the idea of underexposing the background for more dramatic shots, but again Im unsure how to go about this.

Steve Smith , Mar 29, 2011; 10:41 a.m.

Your flash is not concerned with which lens is mounted.

But the 285 does have an adjustable head to control angle of coverage.

The metered prism only sets shutter speed in A mode. In other words, useless for what you are doing with flash.

Although you could use it for fill flash outside wherte the ambient light is the main light source.

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