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Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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autozoom position indicator


I'm using a Canon 100 mm macro on my Canon Elan 7E with a 420EX speedlite. When I press the shutter button half way, why does the autozoom position indicator for the 50 mm focal length light up? Why not the 70?

Thanking you in advance.

~Bunny


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2/7/2005 8:26:12 PM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  Susan, I don't think I can help you much in this one. I have put my 100mm on my 7NE with the 420EX Speedlite. I have tried different things and the light always lit at 70. The only time it stayed at 50 and blinking was that the head of the Speedlite was pointing upward. Did you try taking photos and the exposure were wrong? Just curious.


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2/8/2005 9:42:07 AM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  Hi Andy,

I took pictures of a dried up flower sepal leftover from last year's Confederate Rose, which I placed on the paper tray of my LaserJet printer. The page of paper was placed like a paper backdrop -- curved and without a crease.

What I did notice was that when I set the exposure for aperture priority at f/22, the shutter speed was awfully slow --10 seconds plus, yet the flash head was pointing directly at the pod, though at an approximately 45-50 degree angle, rather than straight on. If I figure correctly, it should have bounced off the white printing paper and hit the subject, as well as hitting on the side. The goal was to enhance texture.

Further, the flash was less than 6 inches from the pod, so the flash should have caused over exposure, or been a relatively short shutter speed --not 10 or more seconds. But, according to the LCD screen, the exposure was f/22 at 10 seconds. And, the light on the flash said "50". My ISO was 100.

When I turned my flash off, and then turned it back on again, the reading was 70. I have no idea why. The flash was aimed at the same angle to the subject on the paper tray.

Wednesday, the stores should be open again after Mardi Gras and I'll get the film processed, and batteries checked.

Thanks for your feedback.


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2/8/2005 11:54:54 AM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Almost sounds like the camera wasn't registering the speedlite, as the settings your camera was giving, f22 at 10 seconds sounds like you would of got a good exposure with natural light.

Let us know how the pics turn out.


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2/8/2005 8:23:56 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  That's how it sounded to me, and likely to others. But I thought I had the flash pointed at the subject. Still, it seemed awfully bright to give that reading.

I must have done something wrong.

The pictures I took with the internal flash were short, but then, I imagine the depth of field was close to zero. I felt I needed more depth of field, hence the reason for the f/22. My background didn't matter because it was white paper. My shutter, likewise, didn't matter because I was on a sturdy tripod. But the DOF did matter.

Once I get them printed, and a few put onto a CD, I'll see if my husband is willing to put them up for me. (I've had lots of frustrations trying to learn this camera. I know it's potential, but am wondering about my own at this point.

Anyway, thanks for your input.


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2/8/2005 9:20:14 PM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  So your 420EX is working properly. As I mentioned previously, the flash will give you the blinking 50 indicating that the flash head is not in the normal 90 degree position. If you are using the macro lens and it is only inches away from the subject, the exposure value, f22 for 10 seconds, is normal, even with the use of flash. First of all, you have to understand how the EOS flash system works. You won't get it from the camera or flash manuals. When in Av mode, the flash will put out enough light to lit the subject. The long exposure is for the background in ambient light (in your case, the subject and background probably are the same).

Another factor you have missed is that you are using the macro lens. If your lens is only a few inches away from the subject, you are probably at 1:1 magnification ratio. Watch the distance and ratio indicator on the lens barrel carefully. According to the manual that came with your lens, the exposure needs to increase a full 2 stops at 1:1. 1 1/2 stop at 1:1.5 to 1:2, a full 1 stop at 1:3 and 1/2 stop at 1:5. This is due to less light entering the lens at those magnification. The camera has automatically adjusted that for you.

I strongly recommend you reading this article about how the Canon's flash system works. For a complete article about Canon's EOS flash system, here's the link:

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

About the flash exposure when the camera is set on Av mode:

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index2.html#avflash

I am a slow learner myself. I printed this entire 3 part article and went over it a few times just trying to understand it. After taken pictures for more than 20 years with a manual camera, it took me a couple of years to get out of the Green Box mode when I got my first EOS camera. It will take a while to fully understand and utilize the Canon's system. Just keep trying.


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2/9/2005 9:32:04 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  As always, thank you, Andy.

My lens was about 12 inches from the subject; the flash head was 6 inches away.

I found that I couldn't get as close with the Canon EOS 100 mm macro, as I could with the 105mm, f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor lens. I know nothing of physics, but when using my Nikon, I could literally fill the screen with an entire, tiny wildflower, such as the wild common violet. (See my personal web page for flowers>wildflowers in my garden at: < http://bunnysnow.us/>)

The side view of the Red Hibiscus (under Portraits) was taken with the Elan 7E in full auto mode with the 420EX Speedlite. On the other hand, the ground view of the Spiderwort wildflower (below the hibiscus) was taken with a Nikon FE, and a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D AF lens, just inches away. (I cannot get that close with my 100 mm EOS macro, without a special attachment.)

Thank you for looking up the articles, although I'm not certain I'll be able to understand them. Perhaps, my husband's scientific mind can help.

If the long exposure is for the ambient light, which is in this case is mixed lighting sources (fluorescent and incandescent), what shutter speed would I use to use only the flash as a lighting source, in manual mode? Or, how would I meter just the flash?

I have a Sekonic flash meter, but have no idea how to use it with the Canon EOS system.
It seems to me that I plugged the sync from my Sunpak flash into the flash meter to read only the flash output.

Again, thanks.


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2/9/2005 11:46:47 PM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  Susan, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens does indeed can focus down to 6 inches away from the subject. Usually at this close, I will switch to manual focus. If you are using auto focus, make sure the distance limit switch is at 0.31m position and select the focus point from your camera carefully.

When taking flower photos, I usually use available or continuous light. In this case, I just use a grey card to measure my exposure. When using flash, I will use my Sekonic L718 flash meter to measure the flash exposure (don't we have the same set of equipment?). In this case, I will set my camera's exposure mode to manual, and mount my 420EX on a light stand. On the meter, I set the switch to flash mode and set the ISO and shutter speed I am going to use. Usually I want the background to go very dark so I always set the shutter speed to the max. sync speed. I then press the test button on the meter and place it next to my subject. The meter now is waiting for the flash to fire off so it can measure what aperture to use. Now I just need to press the test button on the flash (the red one) and the flash meter will tell me what aperture to use. When I get the value, I will set my camera accordingly. It's that simple. Give it a try.

By the way, how was your pictures turn out?


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2/10/2005 7:54:08 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  Thanks, Andy.

I have the Sekonic L-358 Flash meter. But, I image your directions would work the same. I also would like my background to go very dark, but had forgotten how, and will use your suggestions.

My pictures were interesting. I'm having them put on a CD (as we don't have a slide scanner). Those where I shot directly into the background appeared to be a bit overexposed --sort of high key lighting. This, I suspected would happen after seeing how brightly the flash appeared.

But, the interesting ones were taken with the flash at an almost right angle to the camera. The exposures seemed okay, but the flash picked up a shade of blue from either my gray file cabinet or from the blue plastic in the HP Laserjet 1000 series printer tray. The blue plastic did not show in the viewfinder, but the color seemed to reflect back onto the image. I'll have to check it out more closely once we put the CD images onto my computer.

By being so close to my subject, I lost a lot of DOF, even though I closed down to f/22. Therefore, the entire flower sepal was not in focus. I did manage to get the tiny hairs on the sepal in focus and whatever was up front, when I was shooting in full auto mode. If I moved back, I would have had to find a better background as the printer tray would definitely have shown.

This just goes to show that there are more things to consider than what is visible in the viewfinder.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

~Bunny


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2/10/2005 10:47:03 PM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  In reading the Canon EOS FACTS, http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/flashfaq.htm
I think I just answered my own question, and please, Andy, correct me if I’m wrong.
It is written: “METERING PATTERNS WITH FLASH

· Ambient Metering Patterns
“For non-flash photography, the 6 metering segments are weighted according to the user-set metering pattern (center-weight, partial, or evaluative). The pattern is more heavily weighted around the subject. But when a flash is turned on (internal or shoe-mount) in dim light, the camera wants to set shutterspeed/aperture based on the background, and *not* the subject. So the metering pattern changes."

That's the reason for the long time exposure, and for the potential of the bluish background. If the metering took place on the background, and my flash was at right angles to the subject, then the flash metered off the file cabinet which is a grayish blue color, and hence colored my background bluish-gray.

Very interesting! So much to remember, But there's nothing like experience, and the guidance given on BetterPhoto.com make learning easier, and faster.

Thanks.


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2/11/2005 12:02:27 AM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  The Elan 7 series has 35 metering segments. Anyway, when you put on the flash and set your camera in one of those preset mode (green box, portrait, landscape, etc.), the camera will use the evaluative exposure metering automatically (no choice). And the camera will set the aperture and shutter speed combination, usually at 1/90 at f/5.6.

When you set your camera in the creative mode (Av and Tv), whatever metering mode you have set previously will remain the same. For M mode, the camera will set the metering mode to Center-weighted automatically (also no choice). I don't remember what metering mode is used for Dep mode because I have never used flash with that mode. I think the flash symbol blinks. The camera knows where your subject is because you 'focus' on it.

When the shutter release is pressed all the way, a pre flash is fired and the light is reflected back from the subject to the camera's sensor. After calculating the subject distance, preflash reflection, etc., the main flash fire and illuminates the subject. All the calculations are done in the camera, not in the flash.

Back to your hibiscus photo. If you turn off the flash, the exposure will still be 10 seconds at f/22. Hope this makes sense.


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2/11/2005 9:03:06 AM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  I was hoping that I could put the picture(s) online directly. But, my brain cannot figure out how to upload. So, for pictures of the description mentioned above, go to:
http://bunnysnow.us/
and click on Canon Elan. It's my on-going location for trial and error in learning my camera.

Thanks.

Bunny


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2/17/2005 6:35:11 PM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  I like your Christmas Cactus photos, especially the second one. I took a few myself but I like your angle and the dramatic lighting. What I would recommend is to learn how to use your flash meter and set your camera and flash on manual, and use a reflector (a simple white board will do) to bounch light back on the shadow side. You will have more options on the look of your photos. Keep posting your work.


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2/18/2005 5:59:34 AM

 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
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  Thanks, Andy.

Bunny


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2/18/2005 6:50:35 AM

 
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