How much light does CNTL flash "spill" into scene?

Started Jan 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
William Porter
OP William Porter Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
Re: sybersitizen is right (again) — the ANSWER

Glenn wrote:

Just to be clear. Using FEL eliminates the flash delay on wireless in the A99 either at sync or in HSS mode? Or just in HSS?

William will be glad to hear this I'm sure.

Yes, indeed, I would. So (I suspect) would Gary Friedman.

And I'm wondering also about FramerDave's reference to using a bit of exposed film (or the F20's protective bag) to block the light leak. Why does this work-around keep getting mentioned? Is there really something to this after all — is this really necessary?

It seems to me now (i.e. as a result of what I learned in this thread) that there really is little or no light leak, even when the shutter speed is slow. In my most recent tests, the shutter can be quite slow — 1/60th sec, 1/80th sec — and yet no light from the controller leaks into the scene captured, provided that EITHER (a) the aperture is stopped down sufficiently AND/OR (b) the ISO is low like 100 or 200. In other words, under normal flash shooting conditions. So if one or the other of those settings that most control flash (aperture or  ISO) is set to reduce the camera's "vulnerability" to the flash, then there seems to me to be no need for any "muffler" on the controller.

Or is the muffler necessary in one special circumstance only: to obviate any reflection from the control such as we see in your tests, Glenn, when you're shooting towards a window or mirror? I just did some tests in my dark (late night) kitchen. Using an un-muffled F20AM as control, shooting into a nearly pitch black kitchen, with the F43 pointing down into the porcelain sink, I get this result:

  1. Basically, no light leak from control — an eerie light issues from the porcelain sink, but the kitchen is otherwise pitch dark; but
  2. I do see a very slight specular reflection in the window I was facing when I shot and this has to come from the F20.

My settings were 1/60th sec, f/3.2, ISO 100.

So is the muffler designed simply to help when you're shooting towards something reflective? Or do people still think it's necessary in some other circumstances?


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