A flash decision - do I need TTL?

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Discussions
vw671 Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Re: How about an automatic flash?

perrydo wrote:

Just checked B&H for METZ 52 AF-1 price is now $299.

Thanks

$249.99  shipped @ Adorama.

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OP Tckay Contributing Member • Posts: 569
Re: Thank you!
3

Ive ordered a Metz 50 AF-1, £129, and it should be delivered tomorrow. Thank you all for your great advice and suggestions.

Regards

Tracy

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Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,330
Re: A flash decision - do I need TTL?

IanML wrote:

Undah wrote:

I have a family member that has eyes close without fail using TTL flash.

Try with and without red-eye reduction. It may improve the issue - everyone is different in that respect.

I'll try that, thanks.  My understanding is that it's different for everyone and it depends on the time between pre-flash and actual exposure.  That time, in milliseconds, varies between manufacturers.  I just happen to photograph people that are sensitive to Sony's timing, and it frustrates me.

Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,330
Re: A flash decision - do I need TTL? Is a pig's a** pork?

Jeadm wrote:

+1 Yes, definitely you do need TTL. If manual was truly that important you can always go into manual mode if need be with a TTL flash. That isn't the case the other way around.

I just picked up a used Metz 50 AF-1 for $150. You may have trouble finding a new one, they've discontinued the model. It's being replaced with the Metz 52 AF-1, which just came in stock this weekend for $250 at B&H.

Wow really??

I just bought my 50 AF-1 a few months ago for $350 !

Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,330
Re: How about an automatic flash?

Dave Oddie wrote:

Another alternative if cost is an issue is the Metz 36 C-2 which is an automatic flash and about £70 (here maybe other automatic models out there even cheaper). This flash has a "magic eye" on the front which allows you to simply set the ISO and aperture (to one of there values, f2, f4 and f8 for ISO 100) and the magic eye monitors the light reflected back of the subject and turns the flash off when it has received enough light.

This sounds interesting.

Back in the day before TTL flash was invented this was state of the art stuff and miles better than manual flash.

It also has another advantage. It doesn't need a pre-flash to judge the exposure. Most if not all TTL flash systems fire twice in rapid succession when you take a photo. The first flash is so the camera can work out how much light is needed for the real exposure and it communicates this to the flash for the second main flash.

In the days of film TTL flash systems didn't need to do this because they measured the light reflected off the film and shut the flash off in real time. Digital cameras can't do that so have to resort to the pre-flash strategy (so much for progress eh?).

The potential problem with this is some people react to the pre-flash and when the photo is actually taken the result is a picture with eyes half closed. Strangely enough some people seem affected by this more than others and I speak from experience with my two sons one of whom with which it was virtually impossible to avoid this effect with my old A100.

I should say though this seems much less of a problem these days and isn't reported very often maybe because the time between the pre-flash and the main flash is much reduced on more modern cameras (???).

Very well said.  Definitely still a problem here. That time between pre-flash and actual exposure varies between manufacturers.  I photograph this one person that always (read every single time) has lazy or half-closed eyes with my sony + flash in TTL, but never with Canon 5d MII + flash (read not even one time).  I don't own the canon.

Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,744
Re: A flash decision - do I need TTL? Is a pig's a** pork?

Undah wrote:

Jeadm wrote:

I just picked up a used Metz 50 AF-1 for $150. You may have trouble finding a new one, they've discontinued the model. It's being replaced with the Metz 52 AF-1, which just came in stock this weekend for $250 at B&H.

Wow really??

I just bought my 50 AF-1 a few months ago for $350 !

You know what they say:  There's always something new right around the corner.  Of course that rule only applies a fraction of a second after you've spent your money or the return window closes.

Enjoying my 50 AF-1 so far though, had to flash it to firmware v3 to get all the functionality with my A57.  The 52 is tempting though, read a couple positive first hand reviews so far.  I've so missed the bigger gun since returning to my Minolta Sony roots (since film anyway).

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Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,330
Re: A flash decision - do I need TTL? Is a pig's a** pork?

Jeadm wrote:

Undah wrote:

Jeadm wrote:

I just picked up a used Metz 50 AF-1 for $150. You may have trouble finding a new one, they've discontinued the model. It's being replaced with the Metz 52 AF-1, which just came in stock this weekend for $250 at B&H.

Wow really??

I just bought my 50 AF-1 a few months ago for $350 !

You know what they say: There's always something new right around the corner. Of course that rule only applies a fraction of a second after you've spent your money or the return window closes.

So true, ha ha.

Enjoying my 50 AF-1 so far though, had to flash it to firmware v3 to get all the functionality with my A57. The 52 is tempting though, read a couple positive first hand reviews so far. I've so missed the bigger gun since returning to my Minolta Sony roots (since film anyway).

Now I have to see what firmware I have. What added functionality did you get?

bruce Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: ADI

On Sony cameras it is not called TTL it is known as ADI - Advance Distance Integration. Read about it here http://alphastrobist.wordpress.com/what-is-adi-flash-metering/

Faith Yeung Contributing Member • Posts: 537
Re: A flash decision - do I need TTL?

TTL flash with manual mode. It will add values to all your existing lens as they can be stopped down for better performance.

If money is the issue, I suggest you trade off 1 of your lens and get a good flash.

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Dave Oddie Veteran Member • Posts: 4,124
Re: ADI

bruce wrote:

On Sony cameras it is not called TTL it is known as ADI - Advance Distance Integration. Read about it here http://alphastrobist.wordpress.com/what-is-adi-flash-metering/

Sony camera have both ADI and pre-flash TTL (called just that) and the latter will be used non-adi lenses by default and you need to use it if you bounce the flash or use wireless flash I believe.

In any case both use a pre flash with ADI also adding in the distance to the calculation so both potentially suffer from the lazy eye effect.

The gap between the pre-flash and the main flash is much shorter on my A77 than on my old A100.  I could detect the two flashes on that but can't on the A77 and I attribute the better success with much fewer lazy eye shots I have photographing my son (with flash) to this.

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Jeadm Senior Member • Posts: 1,744
Re: A flash decision - do I need TTL? Is a pig's a** pork?

Undah wrote:

Jeadm wrote:

Enjoying my 50 AF-1 so far though, had to flash it to firmware v3 to get all the functionality with my A57. The 52 is tempting though, read a couple positive first hand reviews so far. I've so missed the bigger gun since returning to my Minolta Sony roots (since film anyway).

Now I have to see what firmware I have. What added functionality did you get?

Not so much added, just proper functionality period.  No ability to select HSS for one, that was enough for me to stop playing with it until I flashed the firmware.  The latest fw version is 3.  To see which one you're running I think you hold down the mode button as you switch on the flash power.  Interestingly it asks you to remove the batteries before you connect the PC to the flash, a step I might have overlooked if I wasn't in the mood to read directions.

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irrealis Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: How about an automatic flash?

Also, FWIW, I've found pets to be much more susceptible to the pre-flash TTL than people. My cat and one of my dogs blink without fail, as do ~80% of the shelter kitties I've tried to shoot that way. Since I have to use manual for that it's become a habit and I never use TTL (I have the newest Sony flash). Maybe I don't know what I'm missing in other situations, but manual seems to work just fine. I always bounce the flash if I'm really off in settings the first time it's easy enough to adjust for the second time (and then keep that setting for a while). After some trial and error I've gotten a good feel for what the settings should be just by looking at the light in the room... sure my brain's not quite as good as the Sony algorithms, but I still get good photos!

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