Fill Flash?
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Old 10-18-2011   #1
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Default Fill Flash?

So I know that there are some people who love fill flash and those who are not too bothered. In the Arizona sun it is not always necessary, but I am finding that more and more people are surprised that I am not using a flash with better beamer when they see me carrying my kit.

The simple reason for this is that I have never really found my results to be realistic and my subjects often suffer from steel eye etc.

So I have been reading up on fill flash for my set up (Nikon D90 with 300mm f4 afs and sb600 with better beamer) and I have found what I hope are going to be better settings than I had previously used. To be specific, I have read that Nikon tends to be a little on the harsh side and that to have an appropriate fill the user needs to find a way to dial in -5 on the flash compensation (the flash only allows you to get to -3).

I thought that if I am going to experiment, then I would ask others how they use fill flash and experiment with your settings too!!

These are the settings that I have been advised to try:

Matrix Metering
TTL-BL setting on SB600
Flash compensation (on flash) -1 to -2
Flash compensation (from D90 menu) -3

If anyone has any other suggestions for me to try out I would be very grateful.

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Old 10-18-2011   #2
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

Like you Alex, I've never been impressed with fill flash and tend to prefer shots without. Will be very interested with your results
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Old 10-19-2011   #3
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

I use fill flash only in awkward lighting situations like the sun behind the subject or at an angle that half of the subject is getting direct sunlight and the other half is in shade. Better Beamer helps in the way that the range is increased or I can use a smaller aperture.
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Old 10-19-2011   #4
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

Hi Alex, Like you I have a lot of sunshine, but I did buy a Better Beamer, but when I tried it I was never satisfied with my results. So now I manage without it. Although I do miss a lot of bird shots when trying to positioned my vehicle to get the angle of lighting right. Another problem I found, when shooting from the car the flash is too high to go through my window, the only way was to try to manage without my bean bag.
Hope to see your results however.
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Old 10-19-2011   #5
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

Back in May when I went to Magee Marsh:

The Biggest Week in American Birding, a birding festival held in the Crane Creek - Magee region of Northwest Ohio

more than one person recommended the better beamer and flash. I usually have enough of a hard time approaching birds and already enough gear to carry. (not that I have the 500 F4 like some of the lucky people around here) Personally I want my pics to appear as natural as possible and I think thats easier to do without flash.

I will have to try the better beamer sometime. Have not so far. Would love to see others chime in on this subject.....
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Old 10-22-2011   #6
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

Never Liked my results with flash, so I don't use it, We have plenty of sun in Australia and our Birds are pretty casual creatures plus I like the look of birds without flash, But if I had Humming birds here I might just be tempted. , Also was wondering if and when you use flash does it frighten the bird, I may get 5 or 6 shots of a bird without flash would I get the same with flash?
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Old 10-22-2011   #7
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

Most birds don't mind the flash at all. Only bird I have seen to react is magpie, they get a bit startled but don't fly away.
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Old 10-22-2011   #8
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

I used a flash on 2 birds a couple ofthe months back but the results were not realistic. Pics were fine but the birds appeared to loose their softness.

Now I tend not to use it at all though I will mount it just in case there is a bug or flower closeup that needs it. There is a diffuser on it which reduces the power quite a bit so will not be much use at a distance anyway.

I have ordered a better beamer but have no idea why.
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Old 10-23-2011   #9
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Default Re: Fill Flash?

Some know how to get it right.
http://photocamel.com/forum/birds/145974-chaffinch.html


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