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MN Shutterbug

Need flash assistance.

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I purchsed the Canon 430Ex not too long ago, and still have not quite got it figured out. I tried it on a hummingbird from about 15 feet, a week ago and over exposed at -3. I did some tests this evening on a corn cob, 30 feet away. I shot once with no flash, one at -3, one at -2, and one at -1. The shot at -3 came out with the same exposure at with no flash. the one at -2 was slightly over exposed and the one at -1 was grossly over exposed.

I then tried manual settings. At ISO 400 and F8, with the flash set for high speed, the camera gave me an effective range of just 0.5 meters at 1/16 power, 1/8 and 1/4 power. It also showed my camera shooting at 1/8000 sec. When I turned high speed off on the flash, it gave me an effective range of 14 meters, the same as switching from Av to manual on the camera. However, when I checked the exif on the under exposed shots, instead of 1/8000 sec., it showed 1/250 sec. and with high speed on the flash turned off, my camera read 1/125 sec. but the exif showed 1/30 sec. This really has me baffled.

I'm going hunting tomorrow and really need to get this figured out. Maybe, when using EC on the flash, I need to cut my ISO down to 100? At ISO 400, even 20 feet would be too close at EC -3.

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XT, if you are overexposing even at -3 or -2 flash EC, try leaving your flash at those settings but adding to the underexposure by dropping the camera's EC to -1 or -2 and see if you like that.

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But, wouldn't this scenario be using the flash as the main source of light? I understood that the flash should not override ambient light.

Also, what am I doing wrong with my manual settings?

Thanks!

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Xt,

You also talked a while back about getting the Better Beamer also, did you have that on in these tests?

If so, I read that it was important to have the flash zoom range set to 50, the autor said that it works backwords from what you think and maybe concentrates the flash more at a zoom setting of 28 then it does if you set it at 85. If you were not using this I don't know enough about flash to help.

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X, shoot me an e-mail located in my profile. After I will try and post an answer here as well, I just don't have the time right now. Tonight or tomorrow. Since you are in a hurry I will send you a link or two. My suggestion will be to shoot in Av mode and use your flash in HSS and TTL mode.

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Mike, check your custom functions. There's one that, if enabled, will set your shutter speed at 1/250 in Av mode when the flash is on. Regardless of light, that's the setting that will be enacted if that CF is turned on, a sure recipe for overexposure in many situations.

If your flash is in high speed synch and your camera is in Av and that CF is turned off, the only other reason I can think of for overexposure is that your iso is too high for the lighting and the camera can't manage a fast enough shutter speed to expose it properly.

This is a case where exchanging partial clues online is frustrating. If we were there in the field shooting and we could look at the camera and the situation and the settings, we could fix it in a heartbeat.

Here's what I suggest. First, clear all custom functions. Second, put camera in Av mode with aperture wide open and flash in high-speed synch. Put iso at 400 and compose a photo in the shade about 20 feet away (shade so there's not such bright light that the shutter speed required will outstrip the camera's fastest shutter speed available). Use no EC whatsoever.

Take a picture. See how it looks.

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The 430EX has only 6 custom functions, none that have anything to do with the shutter speed. The functions this flash have are 1. - auto power off, 2. - has to do with a slave unit, 3 - auto zoom for image size, 4 - AF assist beam, 5 - modeling flash and 6 - has to do with the LCD panel display. I understand the 580EX has many more custom functions.

However, I was doing some research and it sounds like I shouldn't even be using the flash in dark shade. Could that be affecting it?

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The custom functions I was referring to are those in the 30D, not the flash. In-camera, you want custom function #3: Flash sync. speed in Av mode. It should be on auto, not on 1/250 sec (fixed).

If you want to clear all custom function in-camera settings, go to the menu and go one line down from the Custom Functions line and you'll see "Clear settings."

I use the 430EX for everything. It is my go-to flash. It works well in deep shade.

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