can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
jodad New Member • Posts: 12
can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?

I'm sorry all if this is in the wrong forum.

I just bought an f6 and an sb400 flash and have read the manual so many times but i just cant figure it out. all the different synch modes etc.

In the past with  my simple Leica film, when I want to use flash, its because its a bit dark. In that case id just set to 1/50 (which is the Leica m synch speed) match aperture on lens and flash head and that's it. perfect exposure every time.

With the F6, my preference is to use P mode (the reason I bought it is for easy quick shooting and an almost fool proof metering system).  If I'm in P mode which as I say is my preference, when its a bit dark, I guess it tries to balance the background and so lowers the shutter speed. This isn't what I want. How do I use the f6 with flash and not have to have slow shutter speeds? And when should I use slow synch or fast synch and rear or front synch. I don't understand them?

Anyone can give me an overview of how the flash works with this camera and my flash please? As I say, the manual doesn't help me...

and please don't suggest shooting manual and manual flash (sb400 doesn't have any buttons other than on/off   ).

P.S, I'm using matrix metering in P mode.

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,340
Film camera?

jodad wrote:

I'm sorry all if this is in the wrong forum.

I just bought an f6 and an sb400 flash and have read the manual so many times but i just cant figure it out. all the different synch modes etc.

Wrong website even: Isn't the F6 a film camera? I would not expect the SB400 to work with it at all.

JohnnyLuddite Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?
1

Does the Sb-400 say ttt or ttl/bl when attached to the F6? Whereas the sb-400 can do ttl/bl, it's not mentioned in the F6 manual, only the Sb-800 and Sb-600 are.

If you can test with an Sb-800, that could likely confirm.

Also, what lens are you using? Does it have distance information support?

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JohnnyLuddite Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Film camera?
1

Well the sb-400 manual says the F6 is supported. And although the F6 is a film camera, it's got a lot of the digital support including ittl since it overlapped digital for such a long while.

The film forum on this site might have someone with an F6.

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David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,340
Re: Film camera?
1

JohnnyLuddite wrote:

Well the sb-400 manual says the F6 is supported. And although the F6 is a film camera, it's got a lot of the digital support including ittl since it overlapped digital for such a long while.

The film forum on this site might have someone with an F6.

Yes Johnny, I just read in the SB400 manual that the F6 is supported (that surprised me), page 10.

afoton
afoton Senior Member • Posts: 1,860
Re: can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?
1

jodad wrote:

In the past with my simple Leica film, when I want to use flash, its because its a bit dark. In that case id just set to 1/50 (which is the Leica m synch speed) match aperture on lens and flash head and that's it. perfect exposure every time.

With the F6, my preference is to use P mode (the reason I bought it is for easy quick shooting and an almost fool proof metering system). If I'm in P mode which as I say is my preference, when its a bit dark, I guess it tries to balance the background and so lowers the shutter speed. This isn't what I want. How do I use the f6 with flash and not have to have slow shutter speeds? And when should I use slow synch or fast synch and rear or front synch. I don't understand them?

If you want to control the shutter speed, you have to leave P-mode.

and please don't suggest shooting manual and manual flash (sb400 doesn't have any buttons other than on/off ).

Even if you set both the aperture and the shutter speed on the camera, the flash will be automatic. Just like yout Leica, but you don't have to tell the flach which aperture you use.

OP jodad New Member • Posts: 12
Re: can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?

JohnnyLuddite wrote:

Does the Sb-400 say ttt or ttl/bl when attached to the F6? Whereas the sb-400 can do ttl/bl, it's not mentioned in the F6 manual, only the Sb-800 and Sb-600 are.

Also, what lens are you using? Does it have distance information support?

The SB400 is apparently good with ITTL. The flash itself doesn't have any screen or any buttons other than lock and on/off.

I'm using a 58 G lens so yes on distance info I believe

fpapp
fpapp Senior Member • Posts: 1,679
Re: can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?
2

jodad wrote:

I'm sorry all if this is in the wrong forum.

I just bought an f6 and an sb400 flash and have read the manual so many times but i just cant figure it out. all the different synch modes etc.

In the past with my simple Leica film, when I want to use flash, its because its a bit dark. In that case id just set to 1/50 (which is the Leica m synch speed) match aperture on lens and flash head and that's it. perfect exposure every time.

With the F6, my preference is to use P mode (the reason I bought it is for easy quick shooting and an almost fool proof metering system). If I'm in P mode which as I say is my preference, when its a bit dark, I guess it tries to balance the background and so lowers the shutter speed. This isn't what I want. How do I use the f6 with flash and not have to have slow shutter speeds? And when should I use slow synch or fast synch and rear or front synch. I don't understand them?

In P mode the only option for controlling the shutter speed is custom setting E2 which sets the slowest shutter speed the camera uses during flash photography. The fastest speed (and default is 1/60). If you want a faster shutter speed you will have to use manual or shutter priority mode. With the SB-400 the fastest shutter speed you can get is the camera's flash sync speed of 1/250 since the SB-400 doesn't support high speed sync.

In P mode (if E2 is set to 1/60) the camera will automatically select shutter speeds between 1/60 and 1/250 based on ambient lighting conditions when the SB-400 is used.

Anyone can give me an overview of how the flash works with this camera and my flash please? As I say, the manual doesn't help me...

and please don't suggest shooting manual and manual flash (sb400 doesn't have any buttons other than on/off ).

If you have the camera in manual exposure mode, the SB-400 will still be in TTL auto mode because as you say there are no controls on the unit.

P.S, I'm using matrix metering in P mode.

Since the SB-400 has no controls, if you want to use it as the main source of light, you have to set the camera metering mode to "spot". If the metering is set to "Matrix" or "Center Weighted" the flash will operate in "balanced fill flash" mode.

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fpapp
fpapp Senior Member • Posts: 1,679
Re: Film camera?

David Lal wrote:

JohnnyLuddite wrote:

Well the sb-400 manual says the F6 is supported. And although the F6 is a film camera, it's got a lot of the digital support including ittl since it overlapped digital for such a long while.

The film forum on this site might have someone with an F6.

Yes Johnny, I just read in the SB400 manual that the F6 is supported (that surprised me), page 10.

The F6 is the only film camera that fully supports I-TTL and also traditional film TTL!

I love mine!

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David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 13,340
Re: Film camera?

fpapp wrote:

The F6 is the only film camera that fully supports I-TTL and also traditional film TTL!

The F6 must be quite a machine!

Do you shoot much film still? I do (a bit) - but medium format 6x6 and 6x4.5. I switched to medium format film many decades ago.

fpapp
fpapp Senior Member • Posts: 1,679
Re: Film camera?

David Lal wrote:

fpapp wrote:

The F6 is the only film camera that fully supports I-TTL and also traditional film TTL!

The F6 must be quite a machine!

It is! I forgot to mention that it's also capable of recording full EXIF data that can be retrieved and added to film scans! It can also imprint basic shooting data on the space between the frames.

Do you shoot much film still? I do (a bit) - but medium format 6x6 and 6x4.5. I switched to medium format film many decades ago.

I do! I also sometimes shoot medium format with my Fujica GL690!

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JohnnyLuddite Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: can someone give me some help with the F6 and SB400 flash please?

jodad wrote:

JohnnyLuddite wrote:

Does the Sb-400 say ttt or ttl/bl when attached to the F6? Whereas the sb-400 can do ttl/bl, it's not mentioned in the F6 manual, only the Sb-800 and Sb-600 are.

Also, what lens are you using? Does it have distance information support?

The SB400 is apparently good with ITTL. The flash itself doesn't have any screen or any buttons other than lock and on/off.

I'm using a 58 G lens so yes on distance info I believe

Yes, it should be the iTTL system. As the information fpapp's illustrated, your only control is whether spot metering (TTL) or matrix etc (TTL-BL).

And then, if you stick with P, then you've got a range of shutter speeds.

The thing I'm coming to grief with is sticking with P mode because you have no control of ambient versus flash contributions; and I've found that getting predictable results is then almost impossible particularly if you've got similar contributions from ambient and flash. You indicated that your scene is dark, but what kind of exposure without flash do you have?

TTL-BL works well when the scene's backlit and you're trying for fill on the subject. You may be better off with TTL if the flash is dominant - and with spot metering, the exposure on the subject would likely be correct then.

Do you have a digital body where you can experiment and get immediate feedback? I do this often when taking with an sb-800 on the F601, with the D750, and it gives pretty good results even without iTTL on the F601. I understand that your preference is for full auto, but I don't believe this is going to give you the best results with flash because you've lost control. Going for manual on the camera (while keeping TTL) can give good results because you can assess the relative ambient/flash.

PS - I would personally be considering an sb-800 or something with such a wonderful camera!  Congratulations by the way.

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