Nikon needs firmware improvements for flash

Started Dec 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
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WFulton Senior Member • Posts: 2,689
Nikon needs firmware improvements for flash

No universal Nikon forum here to post this.  It is also about Nikon zoom lenses.

Proposal: Nikon seriously needs to make two important flash improvements in the camera firmware.

1. Put the TTL vs TTL BL flash selection choice in the camera firmware. It is a camera function, the camera does this metering.

Only one of the current flashes (SB-910) even still offers TTL. SB-300, SB-400, SB-700, camera internal flash, and Commander operation do not offer it, they all do TTL BL by default. We can still select TTL via Spot Metering (not intuitive, it is NOT Spot metering for flash), but when we forget to reset it, then Spot metering does grossly affect all ambient metering. If we don't reset some TTL option, nothing happens if not using flash.

Bring back TTL mode, with a camera menu metering function (to choose TTL or TTL BL). Of course, the Nikon flash system is TTL BL, but it sure goes better sometimes to be able to turn it off (to regain TTL mode).

2. Add a camera menu to disable (ignore, or prevent) D-lens distance from affecting TTL BL direct flash.

It was not a bad idea (for prime lenses), direct flash suffers from inverse square law causing dark backgrounds behind subject distance. The metered direct flash sees that dark too, which routinely causes overexposure. Just how life is. D-lens distance can compute Guide Number, and say "Whoa - that's to much flash for this distance", and hold back the flash, by reducing its metered level.

The problem is, we don't use prime lenses much now. D-lens distance is obviously quite inaccurate for most zoom lenses. It can report it very different, different inaccuracies at different zooms at different distances. The flashes own GN mode feature (using only distance) will not use the D-lens distance, not accurate enough to use for flash (see some numbers at ). With most zoom lenses, the D-lens distance might report about anything, fictional data. When it frequently reports a too-short distance, it will incorrectly hold back TTL BL direct flash, and we suffer underexposure (any too-long distance blissfully has no effect).

Incorrect D-lens distance only affects TTL BL direct flash. Still, we need an option to simply turn D-lens report off for flash. It's distance report is wrong more than it is right.

Tilted head for bounce flash ignores it now. FV Lock ignores it now. TTL mode ignores it now (but alas, TTL mode is going away too). We need a camera menu to always turn off D-lens distance influence, for TTL BL direct flash too.

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