First Time With Metz Flash
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Old 06-14-2007   #1
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Default First Time With Metz Flash

Got my Metz 45CL-4 digital and was trying to learn how to use it. This thread is a continuation of a thread started in Weddings, however, since I am now asking for help on technique, I am posting this here.

I am not looking for anyone to say anything about the pictures other than the lighting. What exactly is acceptable? What should I be looking for?



This is also my first attempt at pulling pictures in from another website.

I am trying to understand how to create a stunning sunset portrait using ambient light as well as flash without looking too flashed.

Test 1: This image was taken after several other attempts. I noticed that the flash was hitting the ground in front of Ray, so I moved closer. ISO 400, f/18, 1/30. I really wanted to have an f/5.6 for this picture, but I couldn't get the wider aperture and still drag the shutter. And of course, I forgot what I set the Metz at. I was trying to set the Metz one stop higher than the aperture, so I may have had this at f/22, but I highly doubt it.


Test 2:
ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/50
Kelly...hello...what did you set your Metz flash on? I believe it was on Auto, f/11.

Test 3:

I dialed the Metz down, but of course, without the exact number, this is pointless. However, the flash is beginning to resemble the ambient light. I think I want them to be one stop higher than the ambient light. Is that true?



Test 4:

I put this photo in so you can see how dark it is beginning to get. This was a handheld shot, ISO 100, f/9.0, 1/50. Of course, once again, some foolish boy expected the camera to determine what the Metz flash was set on.



Test 5: ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/15, handheld. What I had the Metz set on is a mystery. I am going to return to this thread, do some more shots, and carefully record the Metz settings for each picture. I know that that what I have done here is virtually useless since I don't include the Metz settings. But I did learn how to include a photo and have more of an essay. That, to me, is helpful.

I was shocked I could set the camera so low, handhold, and get this good of a shot.


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Old 06-14-2007   #2
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Hey Kelly,

Glad to see you out and about trying the Metz. Did you get the wireless going?

Anyway, your doing the exact same stuff I'm going to work on this weekend.

In test one: did you try it at around f/8.0, 1/30th? If so, did it overexpose? The reason I ask is that this is what I would try from the get go. My thinking is (from Mark's explanations) that the flash is only going to expose for the subjects and therefore the f/8, 1/30th would bring in the beautiful ambient light in the horizon. This may be totally wrong though. But one thing that still gets me is how should I be metering for this exact same shop? Partial? How did you meter? I would think that you would never meter spot or what about evaluative? I just don't know yet.

Craig
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Old 06-14-2007   #3
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Great thread Kelly!! I was fallowing the "dragging the shutter" thread over in weddings, and I look forward to any info on this subject!! I really want to get some picture like this, but have failed at all attempts. Yours are certainly heading in the right direction and came out way better than mine!! #1 and # 3 look pretty good I think

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Old 06-14-2007   #4
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Interesting. Looks like my set of first workthrough shots with the Metz as well. You have to test the limits and boundaries.

For the sunset shot, off the top of my head and an initial first shot, I'd have put the Metz about 6-8 feet away from the subject and clipped it off wirelessly at about f/4 in Auto mode and dragged the shutter for the ambient, but I don't know what your ISO was. I'd have set the shutter at 1/15 and f/8 or so at ISO 400-640 for the first stab if I had to guesstimate a first shot.

The last one looks great!

All flash units, like all cameras, have their little quirks you have to fiddle with to understand how the camera is going to react just like you have to figure out how they are going to work together.

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Old 06-14-2007   #5
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Hey Kelly,

Just trying to get a better understanding of what you are doing here. When you set up this shot, what are you metering for? In other words, where is your starting point? Are you metering for the couple, the sky or the ambient light in the background?

Also, when you say ambient light are you referring to the field or is the sky your main interest?

I think what Craigsexton is saying is going in the right direction. What I would do is start off metering for the sky and let the flash expose for the couple.

Sorry for the questions, but I am asking this because your apertures seem to be all over the place and I'm not sure exactly where you are starting from.

Also, I see you, like me have the Lightsphere. In the instructional DVD they have a model shoot on a boat. What they did was expose for the sky using the camera's highest flash sync, use TTL fill flash to expose for the model. Now, I know the sphere isn't going on the metz, but the premise is the same for setting up the shot.


John
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Old 06-14-2007   #6
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Thanks guys. I need to understand a few things:
1.) What atmospheric conditions need to be present to predict a good sunset.
2.) I need to get the Metz off the camera and onto a stand. I am waiting for my radio units to arrive, and until then, I am stuck on camera.
3.) How to expose for ambient light. Which metering system to use. I was using spot metering in all of these, as it seems that would be the best thing to meter the sky, IF that is the correct thing to do. I spot metered the sky to the left of the sun, then set my Metz one stop higher than the meter read. Given that it was on camera, I don't think the results were fair.
4.) I have no idea how I did the last shot. I need to make sure I am recording the details or I will not learn.
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Old 06-14-2007   #7
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Thanks John, for asking.

I want the sky metered correctly. I want to be able to produce a rich sunset with the couple exposed appropriately so that it doesn't look like someone held a flashlight on them.

The aperatures were all over the place as the light was shifting rapidly and I was trying to find the right combination of shutter speed, ISO setting and aperature.

Michael reported in one of the other threads that the SHUTTER SPEED should be the factor for determining ambient, and the APERTURE should be the factor determinng flash.

So my understanding of this is as follows: I meter for the sky to create the beautiful sunset. If the meter in the camera suggested ISO 100, f/11, 1/60, then I would need to make adjustments for a larger aperture in order to drag the shutter and get more ambient light in. So, If I kept ISO at 100, f/8, that would allow for 1/30...which is getting closer to a setting that would allow for a richer sunset.

Once I determined that, I would set my Metz on Auto, f/11, ISO 100. However, I need to get the Metz off camera so I can place it closer to the couple to figure out if this is actually what I am wanting.

I suggest this "formula" based upon Mark McCall's posting in "More Fun With the Metz" where he exposed the background at f/4.0 and set his Metz at f/5.6. (Just now looking back at that thread, I see that he had his shutter set at 1/100. It was evening and perhaps that shutter speed will allow for enough ambient to create the portrait he did. http://www.photocamel.com/forum/wedd...etz-flash.html)

One of the things that doesn't make sense to me is how I can set both a low aperture AND a low shutter speed to drag the shutter AND have the flash work correctly.

Did all of this babble make any sense?
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Old 06-14-2007   #8
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Craig (and any other expermenter) I am looking forward to exchangning pictures and settings here on this thread so we can get this figured out.

Thanks again everybody! Let's make this a valuable experience for all of us! (Which means, keep coming back to this thread because I hardly have any idea what I am doing and I desperately need your help. )
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Old 06-14-2007   #9
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Kelly if your metering the sky and get that right, is your only option to change the amount of flash to get the person lit correctly? Inside the ambient light does not change like it does in your sunset photos so I was able play with different shutter speeds to change how the background was lit. I will be watching this closely to try to learn something.
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Old 06-14-2007   #10
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Default Re: First Time With Metz Flash

Kelly wrote:

"So my understanding of this is as follows: I meter for the sky to create the beautiful sunset. If the meter in the camera suggested ISO 100, f/11, 1/60, then I would need to make adjustments for a larger aperture in order to drag the shutter and get more ambient light in. So, If I kept ISO at 100, f/8, that would allow for 1/30...which is getting closer to a setting that would allow for a richer sunset. "


Yes, that is what I was looking for. I agree with that theory. The flash is going to expose for the couple and it's shutter speed that's going to allow the ambient light in. It makes sense and now I have a better understanding of what you were going for.


The one thing I will caution about tho, is keep an eye on those flash values. One can take all the readings of the ambient light they want, but if the couple is out of the flash range, it won't work. I know Metz recommends the subject be in the middle third of the maximum flash distance for best accuracy. (I'm not saying that's the case in your pictures, just bringing it up )

I agree with about keeping this thread open. I haven't tried this particular set-up in over a year and that was on film. When I can I am going to make an attempt or two of my own and will post the results.


John


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Last edited by youngster; 06-14-2007 at 02:30 PM.. Reason: removed exif data...I think you were meaning that it was the flash settings you didn't record...my bad :)
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