Would my fellow board members be so kind as to help me nail down my assumptions re Nikon and FILL flash capabilities.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by richard_sentry, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Would my fellow board members be so kind as to help me nail down my
    assumptions re Nikon and FILL flash capabilities.

    In this posting, I am interested in fill flash. Not in the 3D
    capabilities of the F5. I have had a few too many less than ideal
    results from heavy contrast lighting on one party of two, or one,
    themselves. It may not be possible to get fill flash to save the day,
    particularly with the F4, and it may be necessary to carry a
    reflective light bouncer, such as the photoflex, even if that means
    either another person to hold it or a stand/tripod to hold it.

    In any event, it is my understanding that the F4 will FLASH Matrix
    Meter with AIS lenses. But it is my impression that the F4 will only
    AUTO FILL FLASH with CPU chipped or AF lenses - based on the following:

    Halfway down the page of this url:


    there is the statement:
    Nikon F4 - Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash works with all AF, Ai-S and Ai
    Nikkor lenses.

    But at this location 2/3 down the page:


    Automatic balanced fill-flash: Possible when AF Nikkor or AI-P
    Nikkor lens is used with Nikon dedicated Speed lights.

    There is the immediately above specification that AUTO balanced fill
    flash will only work with AF lenses.

    Or should one just forget about fill flash with the F4, use lite disks
    for bounce filling and follow the MANUAL approach as per:


    Half way down the page the paragraph starts with:
    \\\ In a perverse way, this is the easiest way to do fill flash,
    because manual flash does not care about how reflective the subject
    is. \\\

    This location gives good definitions


    However, Matrix fill flash and AUTO fill flash and the F4 and AIS
    versus CPU lenses is still not certain in my camp.

    My plan is, if the F4 will meet the need, fill flash wise, to hold off
    on and to leapfrog over the F5 when the time comes for digital, after
    a maturing phase in the digital evolution. This assuming that the F5
    is not a vast degree better at FILL flash, than the F4. and the 3D
    part is, again, not of concern to me.

    I have other points but it is probably better to present this, above,
    on its own. Thanks.
  2. I have been using Nikon cameras (F4, N90, N90s, F5, D1H, D1X,& D100) andNikon
    Speedlights (SB-24, 25, 26, 28dx -- the latter since I started shooting digitally about
    two years ago) and just simply don't have a problem with these units -- or at least
    not in a very long time. Mostly I shoot slides with film cameras. <P>The metering
    circuit in every camera since the N90 was introduced is markedly better than the TTL
    flash metering in the F4. <P>What are my secrets? I think they are:<P> a.)
    Ixperimented enough to figure what works in different situations.<P>b.) I never
    expcted terrific results straight out of the box, that I was going to have to train my
    brain to evaluate what I was photographing and how I wanted the results to look like
    in terms of the capacities of the equipment and the media I use (hence the
    experimenting).<P>c.) That I don't expect the camera and flash to think for me but
    with me. I have to think about what I am photographing, the ambient light situation
    and the effect i am going after andthen i can tel lthe flash and camera how to react.
    for instance: do I want the fill level to evenly match the ambient light level or do I
    want it somewhat lower. If lower then about how much lower? How reflective is my
    subject/ Is he wearing black and she wearing a whte gown? If so which would I rather
    preserve detail in (the dress and the skin tones). <P>The maturing phase for digital is
    either here or a long way off. Thousands of professional photographers are getting
    excellent results with D100 and D1X cameras and have been for a while. On the other
    hand the future is going to bring more resolution, maybe a physically larger imaging
    chip size, lower digital "noise" at higher ISO settings and some workflow
    refinements.<P>Having owned all three cameras, the F5 creams the F4 series in
    terms of metering and autofocus accuracy and speed. But then so does the N90s and
    I'll presume the F100, but to a slightly lesser degree.
  3. If there has been a quantum leap in flash metering and operation after the F4 and since the N90, as you mention, Ellis, then that is enough for me to find a way come up with the extra dough for the F5. I can get great shots with the earlier Nikons, such as the F2AS, F3 and particularly the FA, with its closed loop lens correction function during daylight. But auto or matrix fill flash is not an option prior to the F4. I would prefer to stay with the pro F line, rather than the N90, etc.

    Ellis, I don't expect the camera and flash to think for me but with me, either. That is relevant to why I originated this discourse to begin with. I do have quantities of magnificent shots that I have mastered the printing of, when I have the golden hour lighting I design, and the light coverage of my subject. I know the 180 ED and use it to maximum results. I have done virtually all of my shooting with a light meter and the camera on manual.
    I have recently found myself in relatively impromptu circumstances when I was shooting couples and the light, which I could not change, held a heavy contrast and shadow for one of the parties. I did not have a bouncer or capacity to SC-17 cable off the camera. This was an instigation point for my attempts to get a workable fill flash that would serve me. And the camera that would support it.

    For daylight, particularly considering the degree to which I darkroom the shots, the light meter, again in daylight, of the F5, is not of great advantage over other Nikon internal light meters. I modify the colors, to such an extent.

    But, if it is possible, that I can get a flash fill to work as well as, actually, I have now found the daylight Matrix metering to work, then that is a milestone on my quest.

    If you wouldnt mind, I am curious as to how the flash metering circuitry of the F5 is better than the F4. Obviously the 1005 CCD light meter is somewhat better, but how does that relate to Auto Fill Flash, F5 versus F4 ?

    Perhaps only a held and directed bounce screen will do it. BUT, if the flash smarts in the N90 and beyond, and particularly the F5 have jumped way ahead of the F4, this is of great interest for me, and for that I am grateful in your inclusive posting. And do so welcome the postings and viewpoints of others.


    I have downloaded both the SB-28 and the SB-26 pdf manuals. Quite valuable to find and view them, thanks, Phillip.
  4. I believe that the F90X, F100 and F5 have identical TTL flash metering capabilities, based on using 5 TTL flash sensors.

    I also agree with Ellis that the metering capabilities since the N90 (F90 internationally) (1992) are markedly better than the predessor cameras.
  5. If you shoot with a F100 and a F5, with a SB-28 or SB-26, there is not a whole lot of difference in the 'flash' results. Both camera bodies will work better than a F4 or F4s body. If you decide to use 'M' mode and figure the feet and f-stop required, then the camera body would not matter much. For a wedding, the F100 or a F5 can make one day of work just about painless.

    (When the F4 body was 'new,' it worked super. It still does. Just technology has advanced with the F100 and the F5 in the area of speedlight use.)
  6. http://homepages.tig.com.au/~parsog/Guy/nikmeter.html
  7. It is actually a touch hard to overstate the value of these perspectives.
    The line:
    ///For a wedding, the F100 or a F5 can make one day of work just about painless.///
    is both provocative and enlightening. It addresses an element that is quite relevant to me, but heretofore not included in the computations.

    It is obviously the case that the F5, introduced years after the F4, had the advantage of a much greater CPU computations per unit time, per size of chip. It is also conceivable that Nikon introduced or included quantities of additional algorithms, in the area of flash fill and flash function ? into the onboard chips.

    Then there is the smartening of the SB units themselves, with the SB-80DX being the presumably smartest available, while the SB-800 is not yet available.

    The above is only speculation on my part. I do take the word of those here posting, re the F5, F100 etc, being quite better than the F4 in terms of flash. That being said, are there other factors and scenarios which account for the considerable improvement of flash functions with the F5 ? I am quite interested.

    Such is one of the functions of a forum, different perspectives.
    Please continue. Thank you.
  8. Is this guy for real? A ton of bizarre prose and rambling, already knows more about how fill-flash works than the Nikon engineers yet can't answer his own question. Here's the bottom line regarding daylight-balanced fill flash on the newer models. The F4's handles it well enough but the F90, F5, and F100 are the pro bodies which do it best. I shoot AIS lenses on a F90 with an SB-28 all the time in daylight situations with slide film and honestly find little difference in result from the "D" AF lenses. I use an old 28mm 2.0 indoors with Fuji Superia 400 for indoor family photos during the holidays and it works great there, too. I don't care what kind of smart camera you have: If you throw a tricky situation at it like mirrors or strong backlighting, they all will take a bad shot once in a while. Honestly, you're approaching this whole thing backwards. Quit speculating about what might happen, go out and rent a new body and speedlight from your local camera shop, shoot a few rolls, THEN form an opinion.
  9. Eric, this guy is for real.
    And he is me.
  10. n m

    n m

    Edmund: Right, let's get the book. Now; Baldrick, where's the manuscript?

    Baldrick: You mean the big papery thing tied up with string?

    Edmund: Yes, Baldrick: the manuscript belonging to Dr. Johnson.

    Baldrick: You mean the baity fellow in the black coat who just left?

    Edmund: Yes, Baldrick: Dr. Johnson.

    Baldrick: So you're asking where the big papery thing tied up with string be- longing to the baity fellow in the black coat who just left is.

    Edmund: Yes, Baldrick, I am; and if you don't answer, then the booted bony thing with five toes at the end of my leg will soon connect sharply with the soft dangly collection of objects in your trousers. For the last time, Baldrick: Where is Dr. Johnson's manuscript?

    Baldrick: On the fire.

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