m6 and flash question

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by richard|10, Nov 15, 2000.

  1. I never use a flash, so I must admit I'm a bit ignorant on the
    subject
    of flash photography. How do you use a m6 and cheapo flash to
    get that "strobe/blurry" effect in photos? For example, let's say
    you're photographing a guy walking at night. In the photo, he'd
    be properly exposed and there would be little motion trails,
    blurriness around him. I just thought I'd do a little experimenting
    for fun and so far my photos have been washed out because
    they were overexposed. Thanks.

    <p>

    -richard
     
  2. I tried this years ago by using a one-second shutter speed. The flash froze the subject, and the shutter collected the fuzz. However, at night, the fuzz was mostly light sources that were in the frame, such as auto headlights, streetlights, etc. The subject didn't have much fuzz connected with him. I suspect that what we see today is not done with cheapo flash guns, but with more sophisticated weapons that can pump out more than one flash every ten seconds, which is what my old Vivitar was able to do. Also, if you've been experimenting with print film, maybe printing it darker would reveal something like what you hope to see.
     
  3. This effect is nice if it is desired, but with the Leica M, it is
    sometimes the way the picture comes out anyway due to the slow flash
    sync speed. The effect is called ghosting, and happens because the
    ambient light is strong enough to register on film as a blur... as
    well as the flash, which is usually sharp due to the short duration
    of the strobe.

    <p>

    If you could set the flash sync to the more readily available (on
    SLRs) 1/250th of a second, ghosting would be reduced since the time
    that the ambient light would be exposed would be very short. The
    1/50th of the Leica M, is over two stops slower, thus allowing 4
    times the light to hit the film... aside from the flash. In any
    ambient light other than total darkness, there is a chance for
    ghosting, whether you want it or not. If you want it, find a good
    subject, make sure there is some light and set you exposure for a
    manual setting that has a shutterspeed of 1/50th or slower. Set your
    auto flash for the f-stop of your exposure, (or maybe one stop less
    for a more natural look), and shoot the shot.

    <p>

    I don't use my Leica M for flash, so I don't know which curtain the
    flash will fire on, first or second, but it will determine the
    position of the blur streak... in front or behind the moving subject.
     
  4. If you were using manual flash (which you should have been in this
    situation), then the photo was overexposed because you didn't set the
    aperture correctly. If you were using automatic flash for a photo of a
    guy walking at night, then the reason why is was overexposed is
    obvious. The automatic flash was trying to light up the whole
    outdoors.

    <p>

    If you want the strobe/blurry effect, set the aperture for the manual
    flash exposure, and then set a slow shutter speed that meters
    correctly for the evening ambient light.

    <p>

    As someone mentioned, the M6 doesn't have second curtain sync, so the
    trails will be "ahead" of the subject rather than behind.
     
  5. Thanks for all your responses. I was shooting some DJs at a
    club tonight and did some experimenting. We'll see tomorrow
    how they turned out.
     
  6. The reason some of the more sophisticated recent SLRs have "rear
    curtain synch" is to fire the flash upon release of the 2nd curtain,
    rather than the traditional 1st curtain release. This causes the
    ghosting to trail the flashed image, rather than lead it. This is more
    typically effective.
     

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