ISO 1600 and flash.
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Old 06-10-2007   #1
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Default ISO 1600 and flash.

I'm instinctively trying to avoid ISO 1600 setting with flash but at ISO 800 I'm still
getting heavy shadows and a dark background of the bride and groom whilst coming
down the isle. My set-up is 5D and a 580ex mounted to a QRS-E2 with a Stofin Omi
bounce. I'm shooting manual of coarse at the lowest shutter speed I dare to go for a
moving subject and that is 1/80s at f/5.6 ISO 800 with the flash dialed in at +2/3 FEC
to make up for the omni. Straight on flash. And even with those settings I'm
still pushing my exposures by one stop in the RAW converter. I suppose I
could instruct the wedding party and bride and groom to stop at a certain
stages whilst coming down the isle and while they are stopped and still,
drag my shutter down to 1/30 and open up to f/4. That should thin
the shadow some more. The flash does look heavy in my shots.

I guess my question is how many of you in this situation would dare shoot
ISO 1600 with flash? This will of coarse greatly increase the work flow
because of running these images through a noise filter possibly.

Thanks for your thoughts and insights.

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Old 06-10-2007   #2
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

Not a wedding photographer and I really haven't played with a flash at those levels but I'm curious: have you done any test shots to see how bad the noise might be? There is no point in speculating if you haven't tried it.
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Old 06-10-2007   #3
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

My first question would be why are you shooting at 5.6?

I think that is the cause of what's troubling you. First off, if you are adjusting exposure by a stop in Raw conversion, then why not make it easy on yourself and do it in camera and shoot at f4? Noise at high ISO's is always a problem, but it is less so if you can get the exposure as correct as possible during the shot. The more adjusting with expsoure during PP, the worse noise can. Also, most noise recduction programs are a simple plug-in and take no more time than the average filter so disrupting work flow shouldn't be too much of an issue.

As far as the dark backgrounds, again the aperture comes into play here. The flash is exposing the bride and groom so you are relying on the S/S and aperture to control the ambient light. 5.6 is too narrow to get good ambient light even at 1/80th shutter speed. It would work in the reverse also. If you were shooting at 2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/250th then you would also have poor ambient light.

My simple suggestion would be to open up the aperture to fix these problems.

Also, do you take a handheld meter reading of the aisle prior to the ceremony? The need for flash or high ISO may be diminished if you know exactly what your values are.

Attached is a photo of a father walking his daughter down the aisle. By getting a reading ahead of time I knew I could use ISO 400 @ 2.8 with a shutter speed of 1/80th. The 2.8 coupled with the 1/80th gave me plenty of light to expose the amibence. Fill flash was used to off set the windows and open door behind the couple. I threw away my omni-bounce and now use the Demp flip-it in it's stead.

Hope this helps. These are just my humble suggestions and maybe somebody else has some input too.

Respectfully,


John
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Old 06-10-2007   #4
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

I have to admit, I'm A little gun shy of fast stops because I had a bad habit
of getting one person oof and the other sharp. I'll loosen up a little bit and
open it up.

I did do some ISO 1600 flash experiments with good results but I should
be able to pull this off with ISO 800 at 1/30s f/4. It is awfully dim in this
church. Much less than the lighting in your image. I'm 10 feet at 50mm with
full body shots in portrait position. In hind sight maybe the high FEC #'s
was the culprit in the heavy shadows. I'll experiment...thanks!
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Old 06-10-2007   #5
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

Keith, here's something that may prove useful. It's a link to a depth of field chart. It lists about every camera known to man. You pick the camera, the focal length, the aperture and the distance to subject and it will give you the depth of field values.

Online Depth of Field Calculator

From what you've given me:

5D, 50mm, 10 feet you can use 2.8 and have a depth of field of 2 ft. That should be enough to keep two side by side people in focus.

Best of luck,

John
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Old 06-10-2007   #6
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngster View Post
5D, 50mm, 10 feet you can use 2.8 and have a depth of field of 2 ft. That should be enough to keep two side by side people in focus.
Assuming you hit the correct focus point...
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Old 06-10-2007   #7
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

I think f/3.5 looks about what I need for forward moving bride and groom.
Just to be safe.

Thanks for the DOF chart!
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Old 06-15-2007   #8
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithallenlaw View Post
I'm instinctively trying to avoid ISO 1600 setting with flash but at ISO 800 I'm still
getting heavy shadows and a dark background of the bride and groom whilst coming
down the isle. My set-up is 5D and a 580ex mounted to a QRS-E2 with a Stofin Omi
bounce. I'm shooting manual of coarse at the lowest shutter speed I dare to go for a
moving subject and that is 1/80s at f/5.6 ISO 800 with the flash dialed in at +2/3 FEC
to make up for the omni. Straight on flash. And even with those settings I'm
still pushing my exposures by one stop in the RAW converter. I suppose I
could instruct the wedding party and bride and groom to stop at a certain
stages whilst coming down the isle and while they are stopped and still,
drag my shutter down to 1/30 and open up to f/4. That should thin
the shadow some more. The flash does look heavy in my shots.

I guess my question is how many of you in this situation would dare shoot
ISO 1600 with flash? This will of coarse greatly increase the work flow
because of running these images through a noise filter possibly.

Thanks for your thoughts and insights.
The first obvious error is shutter speed. It is too fast, and this is causing under exposures, to be sure!

You were correct with placing the body in manual...kudos to you for that. But you should be using an ISO of 400 and mostly never at ISO 800 or faster.

But you need to adjust the shutter speed for Ambiant light exposure, AND place the flash in auto E-TTL and let it expose for the subject/s. Adjust aperture for required depth-of-field. Tripod is often required. You might need to put your Canon flash at EC 1/3 or 2/3 depending. IGNORE the exposure scale on the Camera's LCD/view finder! Regardless of the aperture setting, E-TTL will do it's magic. For such shots, NEVER flash head-on especially without a diffuser...find a way to bounce if you can.

In such dark church venues, and for weddings in particular, don't get scared by slow shutters of 1/30 or 1/15 seconds. Remember the flash will often freeze hand shake and subject movement, but often one needs a tripod. I've shot countless such shots and have received great results with this advise.
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Old 06-17-2007   #9
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

In addition to the previous advice, you may want to try using second curtain sync. Where the flash fires at the end of the exposure. This puts the ambient exposure of subjects walking down the aisle in a smaller and less exposed image to the flash shot, where as first curtain make the ambient image larger, since they are walking toward you. If that makes sense to anyone??!!
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Old 06-17-2007   #10
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Default Re: ISO 1600 and flash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVE PROUTY View Post
In addition to the previous advice, you may want to try using second curtain sync. Where the flash fires at the end of the exposure. This puts the ambient exposure of subjects walking down the aisle in a smaller and less exposed image to the flash shot, where as first curtain make the ambient image larger, since they are walking toward you. If that makes sense to anyone??!!
Yes it does. Thanks for the reminder.


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