Question on D7100 Auto ISO behavior for flash photography

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Questions
Sammy Yousef
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Not quite right Mako
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 5, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

wiseone wrote:

I've moved up from a D7000 to D7100. I shoot animals indoors (mostly) at an animal shelter for publication. I shoot with shutter priority to catch action (160 to 250 or flash limitation) and auto iso. I was able to get away with using the little Nikon 400. With the D7K exposures were pretty good.

With the D7100, exposures way off,  and not the same color balance from the flash because from what I gather here the flash/exposure is reversed from the D7K. From what I've read on this thread, if you use a flash in "commander" mode, it will  force the cam to expose the way it used to? I assume when you set commander mode (I also have the Nikon 700 flash) you should also set the cam the same?

No...Commander mode in camera only affect the pop-up flash. Doing that in conjunction with Auto-ISO basically disables Auto-ISO.

Correct despite previous reports that it "restores behaviour from old implementation" it does no such thing. It just disables auto ISO.

I would prefer to use the little 400 as it gives  (used to give) just the right amount of fill but it has no commander setting.and so far this has become a major problem and my post processing time has doubled.

Your SB-400 should work as it always did with your D7K. Exposures should not be way off. Are you in spot or matrix?

Mako, read the thread above again. It appears they've changed the flash implementation on the D800/D600/D7100 (and I assume D5200). With external flash, auto-ISO is raised to 4x minimum ISO set. Read the section on auto ISO and flash at the bottom of this page:

http://www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics4b.html

So his problem is he's using Nikon's weakest external flash, and he's use to a fill flash implementation that does raise the ISO first, but his new camera doesn't do this - instead it caps the auto ISO with external flash. So he ends up with underexposed pictures.

My problem is that my camera also raised raised ISO, but it raised it last, so I always had auto ISO but not as fill. The D7000 fills first, the D7100 fills first but with a limit.

I'm afraid Nikon's made a pig's breakfast of consistency when it comes to auto-ISO and flash. 3 generations of camera, and 3 subtly different mutually exclusive implementations that the photographer needs to be very aware of. It's very unfortunate.

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Mako2011
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Shouldn't
In reply to Sammy Yousef, Apr 5, 2013

Sammy Yousef wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

wiseone wrote:

I've moved up from a D7000 to D7100. I shoot animals indoors (mostly) at an animal shelter for publication. I shoot with shutter priority to catch action (160 to 250 or flash limitation) and auto iso. I was able to get away with using the little Nikon 400. With the D7K exposures were pretty good.

With the D7100, exposures way off,  and not the same color balance from the flash because from what I gather here the flash/exposure is reversed from the D7K. From what I've read on this thread, if you use a flash in "commander" mode, it will  force the cam to expose the way it used to? I assume when you set commander mode (I also have the Nikon 700 flash) you should also set the cam the same?

No...Commander mode in camera only affect the pop-up flash. Doing that in conjunction with Auto-ISO basically disables Auto-ISO.

Correct despite previous reports that it "restores behaviour from old implementation" it does no such thing. It just disables auto ISO.

I would prefer to use the little 400 as it gives  (used to give) just the right amount of fill but it has no commander setting.and so far this has become a major problem and my post processing time has doubled.

Your SB-400 should work as it always did with your D7K. Exposures should not be way off. Are you in spot or matrix?

Mako, read the thread above again. It appears they've changed the flash implementation on the D800/D600/D7100 (and I assume D5200). With external flash, auto-ISO is raised to 4x minimum ISO set. Read the section on auto ISO and flash at the bottom of this page:

http://www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics4b.html

Same with D7000...Auto ISO is only increased to be two stops above Minimum (if in this dim ambient. Two stops is like ISO 100 to ISO 400, and 400 is very reasonable for bounce). Logic and reason finally won. Slow sync has an additional affect... So with the SB-400 mounted,  he should not be underexposure. I think a past firmware update changed things on the D7K and why the commander mode workaround no longer works.

So his problem is he's using Nikon's weakest external flash, and he's use to a fill flash implementation that does raise the ISO first, but his new camera doesn't do this - instead it caps the auto ISO with external flash. So he ends up with underexposed pictures.

Shouldn't. My D7K does the same and my pics are not under exposed. I'm thinking there may be a setting nuance he's overlooked. Also, there are other nuances with the SB-400 do to the lack of a flash interface and why it performs different than say a SB-700. Hogan alludes to it in his guide.

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wiseone
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Re: let's see if I have this straight....
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 5, 2013

I use spot metering, auto iso set at 100/1600 max.  I use spot metering and focus because the critters are often frightened and I have to be in focus on the eyes/face immediately before they react to the flash. I have to use a flash because the ambient light is so iffy...cats usually in the shadows of their little enclosure, which is usually in shadow blocking the overhead light.

The first time, I tried no auto iso and they were all WAY under exposed...using the auto iso  they were salvageable.

there is no setup...I move from each dog run/cat enclosure and photo them there. I have found that the bigger the equipment, the more frightened they become so the little flash always worked well. I use the 18-200 lens which allows decent wide angle to portrait.

Unless I can figure out how to make the d7100 work as well for me as the D7k, I will have to return it.

I'm sure it's "operator error" and I need to get the settings right ...I just hope I am able to solve the problem soon.

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Mako2011
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In reply to wiseone, Apr 5, 2013

wiseone wrote:

I use spot metering, auto iso set at 100/1600 max.  I use spot metering and focus because the critters are often frightened and I have to be in focus on the eyes/face immediately before they react to the flash. I have to use a flash because the ambient light is so iffy...cats usually in the shadows of their little enclosure, which is usually in shadow blocking the overhead light.

The first time, I tried no auto iso and they were all WAY under exposed...using the auto iso  they were salvageable.

Doesn't seem right. Flash will freeze the motion so drop the shutter speed back down to 1/60s and spot meter should expose for the subject with no need to go to auto-ISO (ISO 200-400). You won't get perfect back ground expose with ITTL but that's not what your after if I read you right.

there is no setup...I move from each dog run/cat enclosure and photo them there. I have found that the bigger the equipment, the more frightened they become so the little flash always worked well. I use the 18-200 lens which allows decent wide angle to portrait.

Unless I can figure out how to make the d7100 work as well for me as the D7k, I will have to return it.

I'm sure it's "operator error" and I need to get the settings right ...I just hope I am able to solve the problem soon.

Upload an example of the D7100 underexposing here with full EXIF...that may help as something just seems off. Good Luck!!

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wiseone
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Re: Upload
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 5, 2013

These are some original jpgs with flash with my set up

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Mako2011
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Exif missing
In reply to wiseone, Apr 5, 2013

wiseone wrote:

These are some original jpgs with flash with my set up

Unfortunately most of the EXIF has been stripped so no way to check your in camera setting for you. The exposure is actually very realistic (natural)  for 1/160s 400ISO and not overblown at all. The second one especially I would not call underexposed. Still, I'm not seeing any reason to shoot at 1/160s. Wonder why DPR has flipped these and displayed then wrong.

For these shots there really is no reason to engage auto ISO. Spot meter in aperture priority at 1/60s (flash sync speed) and 200 ISO. At that distance with a slight adjustment in FEC and your there. Let the flash do the work as it's not really a fill flash situation.

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wiseone
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Re: Exif missing
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 5, 2013

Those jpgs were straight from the cam...wonder why exif isn't showing???

I need a higher shutter rate because the animals are usually moving enough to blur at 1/60.

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wiseone
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Re: flash synch
In reply to wiseone, Apr 5, 2013

On camera flash synch is 1/60...but flash shoe (sb400 and 700) synch at 1/250??

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Sammy Yousef
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Re: flash synch
In reply to wiseone, Apr 5, 2013

wiseone wrote:

On camera flash synch is 1/60...but flash shoe (sb400 and 700) synch at 1/250??

Both can sync up to 1/250th. Mako's right about freezing the motion IF there is no ambient component on the subject.

Here's a simple test for both you and Mako to try (you on D7100, Mako on D7000).

Set ISO of 100

Set auto ISO max to 3200

Set 1/250th and f/22

Attach off camera flash. Don't care which one f/22 should mean there's not enough light.

Go photograph a dimly lit or even dark room.

What is the resulting ISO on the image?

My guess is the D7100 will give ISO 400 and the D7000 will give 3200.

If I'm right the way to fix this is on the D7100 is simply to raise the ISO manually to 800, allowing it to boost to 3200. If I'm wrong I apologise that I wasted your time.

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wiseone
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Re: flash synch
In reply to Sammy Yousef, Apr 7, 2013

There is always ambient light  and I mainly try to use the flash as fill because the ambient light varies from cat containers (bright to dim lit) the dog runs are the same...

I read in the manual that you need to have the external flash in the hot shoe to make any adjustment to flash in the menu...so I will try to make the same adjustments with the flash attached to see if it works better.

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hea
hea
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Re: isn't this exactly why you don't use auto ISO?
In reply to Sammy Yousef, 9 months ago

agree this is an abomination

new to D7100 after years of D40, never had problem aith auto iso and flash with D40

my solution, turn off auto-iso when using flash, not liked this Nikon improvement

 hea's gear list:hea's gear list
Nikon D40 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
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lock
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In the case of flash
In reply to hea, 9 months ago

Set maximum auto iso to a lower value, like 400 or 800. The lower you go, the less noise you will get. Also, flashpower will have to increase sooner but will fail to cover the distance as well.

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shryock
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Re: Set flash to commander mode
In reply to Sammy Yousef, 9 months ago

Does the "commander mode trick" work on a D7000 plus a 3rd party speedlite?

I tried the trick on my D7000 with a YN565EX on its hotshoe.
Took a few pictures on an area in the office (fluorescent lighting).
I set it to 1/125 min shutter speed and ISO 1600 as maximum ISO.
Aperture is at f5.6

My results were at ISO 400 and 1/15 shutter speed at f5.6.

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