40D and the MT-24EX Flash Metering Problem

Started Sep 14, 2008 | Discussions thread
Goshzilla New Member • Posts: 14
Re: 40D and the MT-24EX Flash Metering Problem

I don't check the DPR forums all that often, so I got here through an RSS feed of your blog.

The 40D is my first DSLR, so I can't compare to other models, so I will do my best to report what I've found since few others are responding. I may also just be accepting poor results since I don't know anything better. I'll also try and post some examples, so pardon the length and amature images.

Upon first getting the MT-24EX, I thought I was just terrible, since everything did seem to blow out. My only subjects in March were small spiderlings, so as you imagine a hanging spider on a web without any background nearby creates a lack of anything for the flash to register with.

Yet I when I had a continuous background, everything came out fine:

After that I tried just setting the FEC to negative values in hopes that even if the rest of the image came out underexposed, at least it wouldn't blow out as bad. After spending 2500 on the camera/lens/light, I wanted to salvage something. Even then, I found the light to be very harsh:

So I made a makeshift diffuser out of paper towels. At first I had it pressed against the flash head, but later made them larger and balloon out so there was some space. I figured it would distribute the light in a less linear fashion, which at the time I thought would be good.

This seemed to help a lot. Looking through my photos (while still needing improvment in many areas), I can see a shift from almost 12'noon harsh lighting, to a softer, more even lighting.

I ended up tiring of this setup since it was such a pain to try and pack away, and of course the paper didn't always last long. I then ended up getting the Sto-fen diffusers mainly for their convenience factors, but also since I'd rather attach mods to them, over the bare flash head. I also started reading some of John's blog and tips on Juza's site. By factoring in the distance to the background, I got much better results, which I had accidentally found way back when I first started. But now with technique, I can get better shots more consistantly.

I usually shoot at M: 1/250:f/16:ISO100 and no FEC.

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