Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos

Started Feb 6, 2012 | Discussions
TonyMaro
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Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
Feb 6, 2012

I just upgraded from an Oly E-510 system to the 7D and one 430EXII (and kept my Oly flashes to use as dumb slaves.)

Taking casual portraits today indoors with a Sigma 50mm prime f1.4. I put the 430EX in a shoot-through umbrella, set to run slave TTL and disabled the pop-up and used it just to trigger the 430EX. I used ISO 400 with Av and aperture at around 5 and hand-held the camera.

It wasn't until the day was over that I realized how bad I screwed up - every shot with a flash attached was clocking in at 1/30 to 1/40 of a second shutter. All blurry. Of course you couldn't tell that in the viewfinder, and I made the noob mistake of never looking at the shutter speed it was using.

With my Oly, this never would have happened, but partly because I would have been running in full manual mode. I made the stupid assumption with my new gear that it would use the TTL to adjust the flash brightness within reason.

So, short of saying screw the TTL and going full manual, what did I do wrong? I never expected it to go that low on the shutter speed when flash was involved.

 TonyMaro's gear list:TonyMaro's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +4 more
Canon EOS 7D Olympus E-5
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Danga
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

In Av (or Tv), exposure is based on ambient lighting and flash works as fill-flash.

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Oly Canikon
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

TonyMaro wrote:

I just upgraded from an Oly E-510 system to the 7D and one 430EXII (and kept my Oly flashes to use as dumb slaves.)

Taking casual portraits today indoors with a Sigma 50mm prime f1.4. I put the 430EX in a shoot-through umbrella, set to run slave TTL and disabled the pop-up and used it just to trigger the 430EX. I used ISO 400 with Av and aperture at around 5 and hand-held the camera.

It wasn't until the day was over that I realized how bad I screwed up - every shot with a flash attached was clocking in at 1/30 to 1/40 of a second shutter. All blurry. Of course you couldn't tell that in the viewfinder, and I made the noob mistake of never looking at the shutter speed it was using.

With my Oly, this never would have happened, but partly because I would have been running in full manual mode. I made the stupid assumption with my new gear that it would use the TTL to adjust the flash brightness within reason.

So, short of saying screw the TTL and going full manual, what did I do wrong? I never expected it to go that low on the shutter speed when flash was involved.

(C Fn1) gives you three options for flash in AV mode

(1) 1/250, (2) the range of 1/60 to 1/250 or (3) full auto. You apparently have it set to full auto.

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Ruud R
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012
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rfdillon
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to Ruud R, Feb 6, 2012

Probably best to set it on manual and dial in the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO that you need to make the exposure you desire.

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TonyMaro
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to Ruud R, Feb 6, 2012

Thanks to evryone for the links and other feedback. I've been doing off-camera flash for years now, but obviously this is a case of the camera wanting to be smarter than me Now I have some homework to do to play with that new knowledge of the 7d features.

I noticed other people talk about keeping their manual with them, but honestly the manual reads like greek to me. I've learned more from Google, YouTube and these forums than I ever could get from the manual.

Loving the 7d though, and my 70-200 f/2.8L will be here Tuesday. Can't wait!

 TonyMaro's gear list:TonyMaro's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +4 more
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Calliope
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

Try this one! It's much better than the manual and it is always handy to have a reference with you.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EOS-Digital-Field-Guide/dp/0470521295

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SteveJL
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

TonyMaro wrote:

I noticed other people talk about keeping their manual with them, but honestly the manual reads like greek to me. I've learned more from Google, YouTube and these forums than I ever could get from the manual.

Loving the 7d though, and my 70-200 f/2.8L will be here Tuesday. Can't wait!

This one also reads MUCH nicer than the manual.

http://www.amazon.com/David-Buschs-Canon-Digital-Photography/dp/1435456912

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ultimitsu
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

TonyMaro wrote:
.....

It wasn't until the day was over that I realized how bad I screwed up - every shot with a flash attached was clocking in at 1/30 to 1/40 of a second shutter. All blurry. ....

....So, short of saying screw the TTL and going full manual, what did I do wrong? I never expected it to go that low on the shutter speed when flash was involved.

I dont understand the problem. TTL is an automatic program that controls flash output, but your problem was undesirable shutter speed, how are they connected?

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Mark B.
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to ultimitsu, Feb 6, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:
TonyMaro wrote:
.....

It wasn't until the day was over that I realized how bad I screwed up - every shot with a flash attached was clocking in at 1/30 to 1/40 of a second shutter. All blurry. ....

....So, short of saying screw the TTL and going full manual, what did I do wrong? I never expected it to go that low on the shutter speed when flash was involved.

I dont understand the problem. TTL is an automatic program that controls flash output, but your problem was undesirable shutter speed, how are they connected?

They are connected because the OP shot in Av. On Canon DSLRs, Av and Tv put the flash in fill mode - the aperture/shutter speed set the background exposure, flash is set for subject. Shooting with the camera in manual and the flash in E-TTL has always worked well for me with flash indoors, whether on the camera or off.

Mark

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ultimitsu
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to Mark B., Feb 6, 2012

Mark B. wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

I dont understand the problem. TTL is an automatic program that controls flash output, but your problem was undesirable shutter speed, how are they connected?

They are connected because the OP shot in Av. On Canon DSLRs, Av and Tv put the flash in fill mode - the aperture/shutter speed set the background exposure, flash is set for subject. Shooting with the camera in manual and the flash in E-TTL has always worked well for me with flash indoors, whether on the camera or off.

I understand how TTL and canon flash works, which is why i dont understand the problem. Unless with Oly setting camera to Av with flash attached makes the camera set shutter speed to whatever level required after taking into account of the manual flash output. But that simply isnt "TTL".

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Oly Canikon
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to ultimitsu, Feb 6, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:

Mark B. wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

I dont understand the problem. TTL is an automatic program that controls flash output, but your problem was undesirable shutter speed, how are they connected?

They are connected because the OP shot in Av. On Canon DSLRs, Av and Tv put the flash in fill mode - the aperture/shutter speed set the background exposure, flash is set for subject. Shooting with the camera in manual and the flash in E-TTL has always worked well for me with flash indoors, whether on the camera or off.

I understand how TTL and canon flash works, which is why i dont understand the problem. Unless with Oly setting camera to Av with flash attached makes the camera set shutter speed to whatever level required after taking into account of the manual flash output. But that simply isnt "TTL".

It can be set so that ambient light exposure and the flash exposure are independent.

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birdbrain
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

Have a look here it's a very useful resource for Canon flash photography:

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

There are 3 parts to it in all.

The first thing to know when using flash on a Canon in P,Tv ands Av is that the camera will always try to expose for available light and use the flash as fill in.

One thing I have learnt is to first get as good an exposure as you can without using flash by taking a shot and adjusting the EV. Then add the flash and adjust the flash EV as necessary to get the result you want. Long winded at first but as you get to learn the process it becomes second nature and you get a feel for what you need.
--
Phil

I wondered why the ball kept getting bigger, then it hit me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/philthebirdbrain/

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elfroggio
elfroggio MOD
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Re: Just switched to 7D, now problems with flash photos
In reply to TonyMaro, Feb 6, 2012

TonyMaro wrote:

Taking casual portraits today indoors with a Sigma 50mm prime f1.4. I put the 430EX in a shoot-through umbrella, set to run slave TTL and disabled the pop-up and used it just to trigger the 430EX. I used ISO 400 with Av and aperture at around 5 and hand-held the camera.

It wasn't until the day was over that I realized how bad I screwed up - every shot with a flash attached was clocking in at 1/30 to 1/40 of a second shutter. All blurry. Of course you couldn't tell that in the viewfinder, and I made the noob mistake of never looking at the shutter speed it was using.

You need to buy THE best Canon flash book. It's from Syl Arena: http://www.amazon.com/Speedliters-Handbook-Learning-Craft-Speedlites/dp/032171105X for the Canon technical details.

Here's one, single flash, straight on:

  • Camera on full manual, the f/stop for the depth of field and the

  • Flash on E-TTL

http://www.foto-biz.com/Flash/The-secrets-of-straight-on-flash

  • Canon 7D with 70-200L f/4 IS and 580ExII flash.

  • Lens @135mm and I am 2.2 meters or 7.2 feet away.

  • Camera in manual mode with f/8 & 1/40sec & ISO 400 (thanks to the IS, I can be at 1/40sec and still get sharp photos.)

  • Flash straight up pointing to the ceiling with a Gary Fong Lightsphere II. The Lightsphere converts the flash into a “mini bare bulb.” The flash is 7 inch tall and the Lightsphere adds another 3 inch so the whole contraption is 10 inch or 25 centimeter above Jasper's eyes.

Head over to: http://neilvn.com/tangents/ and http://www.speedlighter.ca/ for many great articles on how they use flash. And there is also the strobist at: http://www.strobist.blogspot.com

-- hide signature --

Thanks
http://foto-biz.com
The Business of Being a Photographer -- Lightroom Q&A

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