TTL Flash control highly overrated?

Started Nov 15, 2003 | Discussions thread
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Jared Hunter
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TTL Flash control highly overrated?
Nov 15, 2003

What's the big advantage of TTL over a good automatic flash. Instead of dickering around with FEC and constant readjustments, why not just get a good automatic flash? I use a low-end Nikon SB-22 and it gives me hassle-free flash shots in auto mode. Once I set the flash to the same aperture as the camera (in manual aperture/shutter speed mode), I get perfectly exposed shots from close-up macros to entire rooms WITHOUT re-adjusting anything on the camera or flash. I can literally take a closeup of a watch on a table and raise the camera to snap someone across the room without tweaking any settings. Note that although some flashes will overexpose the watch, that's due to poor design of that particular flash unit rather than any fault of the automatic flash principle e.g. some powerful Sunpaks or Vivitars do not control their output very precisely. Nikon flashes seem to be very effective at automatically squelching down flash output when necessary.

I think in principle, TTL should be more accurate, but in practice, the averaging effect of automatic thrystor flashes produces far more consistent and predictable results.

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