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Why are my speedlights so dumb?

Started May 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Why are my speedlights so dumb?
May 17, 2012

The SB-900 is (was) the top of the line Nikon flash. In general, I'm very happy with it. However, there one nagging issue that has always annoyed me.

There is no way that I know of to review the last iTTL flash settings or produce the settings before the flash is set off. If there is a way to do this, I haven't figured it out.

With my camera, I look at the meter, note the aperture, ISO, shutter and then make adjustments as needed. Similarly, I can note the settings in aperture priority mode, switch to manual and apply those settings or modify them until I get what I want. I like working in M mode but I also like the camera to give me good feedback. It guesses right most of the time and I can usually tell if it's going to get fooled.

It would be darn convenient to be able to see what the flash metered for the scene before taking the shot or, a close second, being able to recall the settings used for the last iTTL flash fire.

I could look at the scene (or exposure), switch to manual and dial the flash up and down.

I realize that I can use a light meter and/or start out with manual settings and adjust from there but I spent a lot of cash for a smart camera and a smart set of speedlights. It doesn't seem unreasonable to want this info as a starting point.

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