*ist DS built in flash over exposure

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by GS, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. GS

    GS Guest

    Just purchased this unit, and am *very* pleased with it thus far, but I
    notice that on subjects that are 15' or closer the auto flash really
    overexposes the picture (subjects), even when setting the flash exposure
    compensation as low as it goes. I've tried the various modes, but short
    of turning the flash off (and increasing the iso) I can't seem to get
    around this. Am I missing something and is there a way around this?

    I've also noticed that even with the iso turned up to 800/1600 the flash
    unit still engages quite often, when I use my film camera with 800 film
    this almost never happens.

    GS, Mar 3, 2005
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  2. GS

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    I ended up putting the flash in manual mode. I do a lot of natural light
    photography, and only really use the flash as fill.
    Paul Mitchum, Mar 3, 2005
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  3. GS

    GS Guest

    Did you find the flash washing/whiteing the subjects out as well?
    GS, Mar 3, 2005
  4. GS

    Gaderian Guest

    External or built in flash? DSLR's are not as forgiving as the 35mm film
    cameras when using a flash. I use the *istD but I believe the metering
    systems are very close so here's my 2 cents worth. I was having similar
    problems when I first bought my D and I found you have to play around and
    experiment a bit.

    The built in flash is adequate but it has it's limitations, especially with
    a lens hood. I like to use an external flash for better results especially
    if you want to bounce or reflect the flash for different results.

    In the "green program" everything is pretty well automatic and the metering
    uses the 16 segment light metering. Not bad but it may give you different
    results in certain circumstances when using a flash. If your subject has
    very dark surroundings, the subjects skin tone will be very bright because
    the camera is calculating the exposure on all 16 segments which is pretty
    well the whole frame. In that case you need to use the "center weighted
    balance" or the "spot metering" setting.

    In the green mode the camera defaults to 16 segment metering so you need to
    select the P, Tv, Av or M mode to achieve these results (the manual has the
    full instructions). It sounds complicated but it really isn't once you
    experiment with it.

    I found the best results worked with the camera in the "P" or "Hyper
    Program" mode with an "external flash" (I ended up buying the AF360FGZ flash
    that Pentax touts as the perfect match for the D and the DS. Excellent
    results but expensive). From here you can set the metering to center
    weighted or spot metering. With spot metering put the centre focus on the
    subjects face then snap the flick. The meter will base the exposure on the
    persons face and hopefully your flash has a TTL setting (the external flash
    has this setting and a P-TTL setting as well). Centre metering will use a
    slightly larger area from the centre and the multi segmented uses the widest
    area to calculate the exposure. I like to use 400 to 800 ISO for inside
    darker areas where there's a lot of movement, to reduce blurring. I also
    set the "white balance" to "flash." Elsewhere I flick the knob to the green
    mode and use the defaults. A lot of times I switch the dial back and forth
    between the two modes and keep the image with the best results. If you're
    really brave, use the manual mode.

    Like I said, experiment a lot because you're not wasting film and you can
    erase the bad results. After a while it will become easier.
    Hope this helps.
    Gaderian, Mar 3, 2005
  5. GS

    Gaderian Guest

    Whoops! I meant INTERNAL flash. Sorry.
    Gaderian, Mar 4, 2005
  6. GS

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    Somewhat, but that's kind of the nature of flash photography. You might
    experiment with the white balance.. Put it on auto or flash.
    Paul Mitchum, Mar 4, 2005
  7. GS

    Glenn Guest

    I usually use the P mode when using the flash and I have only had mine
    for a month, but I don't have any problems with the flash at all. It
    sounds to me that you have a camera problem. Did you buy it from a
    place where you could take it back and compare it with another from
    their stock?

    Glenn, Mar 4, 2005
  8. External or built in flash? DSLR's are not as forgiving as the 35mm film
    Really? Why?


    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Mar 4, 2005
  9. GS

    Gaderian Guest

    Hello Joel.
    Good question :)
    In retrospect I should have qualified that statement with "In my experience.
    .. ."
    I find that the digital settings have to be exact. Perhaps it's because I
    now have more options on my D and the fact that I have shot more 35mm film
    in manual modes when using flashes with my older cameras.

    For some reason it has taken me quite a while to adjust to my new Pentax
    DLSR when using a flash. However I am now pleased with the results.
    Gaderian, Mar 4, 2005
  10. Print film has more latitude (dynamic range) than does either slide film or
    digital JPG's. If you shoot RAW on DSLRs, you get some more dynamic range, but
    at a cost of having to post process it to recover it. Also, film processors
    will typically do the equivalent of adjusting levels and curves so that the
    prints will come out even if the film was somewhat under/over exposed.
    Michael Meissner, Mar 5, 2005
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