Adapted Lenses and Manual Speedlites

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by SpicySaffron, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. SpicySaffron

    SpicySaffron New to Mu-43

    Nov 7, 2013
    I love my MD rokkors on my lumix G1, but I'm expecting a YN560 II speedlite that I'll be using for portraits. Because the flash is manual (Even if it had TTL it wouldn't work with the G1), do I have to go full manual on the camera as well, or can I keep my camera set to Av mode? For longer shoots (1 hour+) manual mode isn't so bad because the clients are usually patient, but for a quick 30 minute run and done shoot I feel like going full manual and having to mess with flash settings will slow me down. Anyone got experience with an adapted lens + speedlite combo care to chime in?
  2. Go manual. I almost never use til flashes. I do rely on auto thryster flashes assuming single flash setup on occassion.

    There are two exposures involved. Foreground determined by flash power and aperture. Background or ambient is controlled by aperture and shutter. Start at 400 iso f5.6 at max sync speed. Set you flash auto to that or use a meter accordingly (alternatively trial and error).

    After set, reduce shutter to bring in more ambient.

    Sent from mobile.... excuse my typos
  3. SpicySaffron

    SpicySaffron New to Mu-43

    Nov 7, 2013
    Typically I like my aperture wide open at 1.7 or 2.8 depending on the lens for the bokeh (and being able to drop my ISO) and I like to shoot in the 100 to 400 range, any higher would be for really dim environments, which was why I got the flash. IF I have to drop down to full manual that's fine, it will take getting used to, would the reason Av not work be because of the auto shutter not being able to sync with the flash?
  4. SpicySaffron

    SpicySaffron New to Mu-43

    Nov 7, 2013
    Also I'm moving from the "available light" realm so that I can shoot in more varying conditions, so adding flash for me as a photographer is a big leap. My shoots before were mostly out in broad daylight so I never had to worry about not getting enough light, but I helped shoot a wedding and in the church I saw my gear struggling badly.
  5. Once you start thinking in terms of stops AND dual exposures (foreground and ambient), things fall into place fairly quickly. So I suggested ISO 400 @ f/5.6 as a starting. Letsay, you need about 1/2 power on the flash to properly expose the foreground. You can certainly shoot f/2.8 at 1/8th the power of the flash for the similar exposure. Then adjust the shutterspeed to bring ambient back into proper.


    Ambient exposure = Aperture + Shutter (ISO is assumed)
    Foreground exposure = Aperture + Flash power (ISO is assumed)

    if your primary light is ambient. Figure out Aperture/shutter first then determine how much more fill light (flash power) you require for shadows via flash.

    If your primary light is flash. Figure out Aperture/Flash power first then determine how much less or more shutter you need to adjust ambient.

    Its pretty straight forward once you get some practice under your belt. Generally, photographers like a known starting point like "ISO 400 @ f/5.6 w/ max shutter sync" for flash primary or Ambient @ ISO 400 as a starting point then quickly pop off a few test shots to adjust. There are several techniques or approaches strobists use... with practice you start building your own thoughts/process.

    It can be as complex or as simple as you want Example:

    At times when I'm in a hurry (candid with flash as my primary), I will set ISO 400 at some aperture, letsay f/2.8, with proper ambient exposure then stop it down via shutter -2 exposure comp (not too slow of a shutter than you get ghosting). Then set my flash to Auto and dial in ISO 400 w/ f/2.8 then let the flash determine proper foreground exposure automatically. You'll end up with some background at -2 exposure comp (or more exposure from flash spill over) and a proper lite foreground. Often I'll have the flash with off camera cord held with one hand up high.

    At times when I'm in a hurry (ambient is my primary w/ bright high contrast high noon sunlight), I will just simply set my ISO, aperture, and shutter accordingly (make sure its still under max sync or ND filter it), then set my flash to auto but pull back its power by 1-2 stops. This will fill in the details in the shadows (avoid the dark circles around the eyes) but still keep them looking like shadows (-1 to -2 of ambient)

    The answer is that you want as much control over Av and Shutter since you are dealing with dual exposures. Av mode in dark light will always try to bring ambient to correct exposure which is often not what you want if flash is your intended primary light source. Furthermore, remember that shutter only affects ambient exposure. Letting the camera decide without the autoTTL communication from a dedicated native flash will cause the camera to often work against you when you are trying to maintain a foreground exposure.

    Incidentally, the common limitation of most camera systems that many strobist hit often is max shutter speed. There is some really creative stuff you can do with cameras with electronic shutters that have much higher sync speeds.... these few cameras that have electronic shutters are favored by strobists. I'm pretty fluent with the basics of strobing BUT I have a lot to learn with the more creative aspects... the way I see it, sticking to "natural light" photography is essentially ignoring a whole world of creative options that flash offers. Most "natural" light photos I have seen could be made dramatic or improved with a strobe in some manner. Let's take a basic portrait done outside in daylight.... even a pop of a very weak flash that has almost zero impact on exposure will add that "twinkle" in the eyes of the subject. It adds dept to the eyes and that subtle difference can really turn a good portrait to a really good one. Flash doesn't have to be that "deer caught in headlights" look.... it can be done creatively.

    let's take landscape.


    Its not obvious but the above could not be done without a flash. One on the right and one on the left. I didn't have a flash with me at the time, so the light was from my wife's P&S camera (long exposure gave me time). The high contrast of the background would have placed those areas well beyond the dynamic range of the sensor and pushed most everything to 0.
  6. Lets take this example:


    You can't tell but the eagles are in the shade and the background is in bright daylight. It would look awkward if the background was over exposed so that the eagles were properly exposed. It would look equally awkward if the background was brighter than the subjects.. the eagles. What to do?

    1) Set my exposure of the background -1 or -2 stops of what my meter was giving me. At this point my subjects would be pretty underexposed.
    2) Setup my flash to FULL power with the "better beamer" attached (sort of Fresnel lens to narrow and amblify the effective range of a flash). This brought the subjects back to proper exposure.

    Notice the twinkle in the eyes... I think that subtle difference really adds to the photo.

    Here's a "natural light" candid


    Its an ok photo.. (its actually a test photo). But notice my son's eyes... its lacking that twiinkle from a flash. It makes the pupils look life-less. It has no definition. Technically its a properly exposed photo with offset sunlight from a window that does add depth to the face. But the eyes look lacking.

    Here's another candid but with that "twinkle" in the eye from a light source. I hope you can see the difference in the eyes.


    Practice.... have fun.

    Attached Files:

  7. SpicySaffron

    SpicySaffron New to Mu-43

    Nov 7, 2013
    Thanks for the wealth of insight into the realm of flash photography. I'll keep this in mind as I do some practice shoots this weekend. Nice images as well, especially the landscape shot :smile:
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