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Photography Question 
Georgia Goeken

D300 & Sb800 Issues with pictures

OK Im hoping not to confuse anyone , Im trying to learn flash and my issue is I put my camera in Manual~ I meter what I want to take the picture of and I have my SB while metering I then take my picture and its almost like my "metering" or camera isnt reading I have a flash on makes all my images harsh bright and my settings are way to low,

Example I have a dark room Im in to practice I put the ISO at 3200 !!! f2.8 and seems SS has to be 8 VERY LOW to be "metered" correctly when I take the picture of course mvement and its REALLY REALLY bright , I cant figure out for the life of me whats wrong ~

Even when I dont use the SB same issues ISO 3200 in the house and still REALLY low SS etc its almost Like Im missing a setting somewhere and Im almost ready to go back to D80

Any help ? Opinions etc would be great

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5/21/2008 11:18:24 AM

John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Georgia, If you have this problem with the D300, you'll have it with any camera. I don't understand exactly what you are describing, but shooting in a dark room at ISO 3200 is strange. Check your manual to see what the flash sync speed is for the 300; likely 1/125 sec. Set the flash to TTL until you have time to learn to use manual flash settings. Shoot in normal ambient light.


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5/21/2008 12:58:54 PM

Michael  Wasson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/28/2006
  ISO 3200 at f2.8 with a flash and slow shutter. I would think this would cause over exposure in just about any case. TTL is definentlty the mode you want(agreeing with John).

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5/21/2008 3:08:32 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  Hi Georgia, it is good you think outside the automatic mode. But first may I ask how you determine to use ISO 3200 and f2.8 for exposure? Getting the right exposure is not a guess work. It has to be based on something.

Fortunately your camera can help you. Unless you have a separate handheld meter, you can set your camera to any automatic mode, like Av, Tv or even full automatic mode, to get the exposure parameters. Half press the shutter to get the exposure parameters. Then use these parameters as the base. Now turn to M mode and set those parameters. Experience changing one parameter at a time and see what's the outcome. You can deliberately over or underexpose by increasing or decreasing a parameter to see what effect you will get.

Now about flash. I won't get into TTL, iTTL or whatever because I am no expert on this. But the basic concept is the flash is used mainly to light up the subject, not the entire scene. It has to be used within an effective distance. Too close, the subject will be washed out. Too far, the subject will be too dark. Also the flash has minimum power output. f2.8 seems to be too large of the aperture even with minimun flash output. Add ISO 3200 to that, no wonder your subject will be too bright. Also make sure the focusing point is right on the subject instead of something dark and far behind the subject. Otherwise the camera will instruct the flash to put out more light. Hope this helps.

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5/22/2008 5:40:15 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Setting either TTL-BL, TTL, or AA (non-TTL Auto) on the SB-800 should give you good exposure in most circumstances. However, the SB-800 is going to give too much light on a near subject (2m or nearer) if the camera is set for ISO 3200 and f/2.8. See the Flash Shooting Distance Range table in the SB-800's manual, p. 31 for TTL, p. 39 for AA. At such high sensitivity and wide open aperture the speedlight's minimum possible flash output is going to be too much. Using the SB-800 and a lens aperture of f/2.8, the maximum ISO setting to use is ISO 400 in TTL-BL or TTL modes, and ISO 200 in AA.

With the camera in M mode, the metering scale will always give a reading for the ambient light in the room without regard for the flash. The flash in one of its auto modes will then attempt to provide a small amount fill light. If you want a higher shutter speed to allow hand-held shooting, then set it. The meter scale will show the amount of underexposure that the far background will recieve, but the D300 + SB-800 will automatically adjust the flash to give good exposure to your near subject.

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5/22/2008 6:01:27 AM

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