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Author Topic: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting  (Read 3616 times)

olivander

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Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« on: May 19, 2012, 11:22:39 PM »
Hey guys,

I've been shooting with Canon's 24mm L II I usually shoot with the 16-35mm as I'm primarily a club photographer, but I wanted something that can suck in more light, and I prefer primes.

I've been using the lens now for 3 days, and I just cannot seem to get the 24mm L II under control, it's like an untameable beast.

Quick to focus, quick recycle time, but I'm just finding the consistency of the flash is blown out. It just flashes people white.

I push my iso between 400-1250 (I'm comfortable with those numbers because of the 5D Mark III I use), and I stop my lens down usually between 2.5-4 ~ I shoot completely manual settings except for my flash.

I'm just confused as to why I cannot seem to get the flash consistency correct, one shot there's not enough flash, the next there's too much, and it really sucks, because it's empeding my work flow, having to spend way too much time correcting over exposure, or ditching out shots. Which sucks, because a lot of the stuff I see, doesn't happen twice.

The flash I'm using is a 580EX.

I'm asking here, because I never had this problem with my 16-35mm, and I can use the same settings all night, and some are dead on, some are ridiculous.

I work as part of a group of shooters ~ you can see our stuff here: http://www.voena.com.au ~ we're about looseness, tits out, messy crap.

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Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« on: May 19, 2012, 11:22:39 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2012, 12:23:07 AM »
Its probably the FEL button you may need to become familiar with. When in TTL, the flash will determine the exposure based on what the camera sees. You may need to lock the flash exposure on whatever your metering on.

the FEL will lock the flash power to the exposure you set it to.

The manual would help alot in understanding this.
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olivander

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 12:29:37 AM »
I get you, god that is so damned simple, my partners Nikon got accurate exposure every single shot, and it was giving me hell!!!
I knew it was for metering purposes, but I didn't know it locked, thanks so much!

Where is it on the Mark II, I guess that's why I've never paid attention to it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 12:31:33 AM by olivander »

briansquibb

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 02:36:57 AM »
Remember the metering on the 5DIII is on the centre AF point

olivander

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 09:09:50 PM »
Yeah I don't think it's that, still can't get accurate metering from it. My flash is pretty banged up, (580EX it's missing the pull out/flip down difuser) they got smashed out of it.

So it's not exposing accurately, it just blows out randomly.

So I've been shooting at 1/128 and then just stopping up or down depending on how far away I am.

Would it be this!? ~ I am going to guess so, and if so, is the 600EX worth the upgrade, or just grab another 580.

DHL1313

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2012, 11:53:14 PM »
I have 2 580EXII's. One of them I blew up with a pocket wizard using the HSS too much. Canon fixed it but every now and then it does the same thing. I just open the battery door, then it resets. I need to send in 5D3 for metering thing and I'm sending the flash in with it. If no luck I'm getting all 600's.

muldereric

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 02:41:31 AM »
Try using a pre-flash to determine exposure when using your 580's in a dark(er) environment. If you have the 5D3 it can be triggered using the M.fn button (next to you firing button). It causes your flash to fire while your camera records over- or underexposure when actually flashing. It adjusts it's settings and fixes them for the upcomming shot (indicated by the * you see in your viewfinder's display).

Edit: Small question. You flashing straight towards your "object", or have you tilted/rotated your flash aiming somewhat towards the ceiling? If tilted upwards, you using the flash's white bounce card?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 02:44:26 AM by muldereric »

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 02:41:31 AM »

olivander

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 05:44:28 AM »
I shoot straight no bouncing, or rotating of the flash head, I don't mess around, and I've tried preflash, it ups the accuracy but I still miss 1/4 of the shots due to incorrect exposure, and then every 5/10 shots it'll just go out for the kill with full blow out, no detail stored. It still doesn't expose correctly, I've tried every metering mode, it just won't give me accurate exposure.

I've checked my hot shoe mount, it's not damaged.

I'm sure this problem would be easier to diagnose if I had another flash with TTL.

Biffbim

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 05:46:42 AM »
I too have very mixed flash results with my 5D3.

First try was using a Yongnuo ST-E2 on the 5D3 and a 580EXII in my hand for fill flash.  The flash fired but
the exposure is way, way underexposed.  This was in sunlight, spot metering, ETTL, Av, auto ISO. 
A thread on dpreview indicates that others have had similar results.  The Yongnuo ST-E2 is fine on my 500D.

Second try.  Next day I dropped AU$800 on a 600EX-RT and tried some more fill flash in sunlight. This time
I used the 600 on a hot shoe cable.  Faces not in full sun exposed well, however, faces in full sun were
blown right out.  3 or 4 stops at a guess.
I'll put this down to me not knowing what the hell I'm doing.

Third try, inside in soft light with the 600EX on a wire bouncing some fill.  The 580EXII was group B as a key
with a beauty dish in close and I had a 430EX group C as a rim flash.
I got consistent pleasing results.  Maybe I'm getting a clue or maybe the camera in Av is just good at this.

So I wonder why the sunlight fill flash results were so over exposed.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 05:51:15 AM by Biffbim »
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TotoEC

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2012, 07:11:57 AM »
I too have very mixed flash results with my 5D3.

First try was using a Yongnuo ST-E2 on the 5D3 and a 580EXII in my hand for fill flash.  The flash fired but
the exposure is way, way underexposed.  This was in sunlight, spot metering, ETTL, Av, auto ISO. 
A thread on dpreview indicates that others have had similar results.  The Yongnuo ST-E2 is fine on my 500D.

Second try.  Next day I dropped AU$800 on a 600EX-RT and tried some more fill flash in sunlight. This time
I used the 600 on a hot shoe cable.  Faces not in full sun exposed well, however, faces in full sun were
blown right out.  3 or 4 stops at a guess.
I'll put this down to me not knowing what the hell I'm doing.

Third try, inside in soft light with the 600EX on a wire bouncing some fill.  The 580EXII was group B as a key
with a beauty dish in close and I had a 430EX group C as a rim flash.
I got consistent pleasing results.  Maybe I'm getting a clue or maybe the camera in Av is just good at this.

So I wonder why the sunlight fill flash results were so over exposed.

I have the 600EX-RT and have not (yet) tested it outside under the sunlight.

I have to ask:  were you using spot metering?  were you using manual AF point selection?  did the main subject get the correct exposure as intended?

onlyme

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2012, 07:19:20 AM »

Not sure if this has been mentioned but the diffuser out will disable the flash zoom. Could it be where your diffuser is bashed up the flash thinks its out and not zooming properly?

Biffbim

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 08:22:00 AM »
For my attempted fill flash I had centre point AF, evaluative metering and front curtain sync.  The face fairly
much filled the frame and was blown out horribly. Six shots all the same.
Is this where I should be using HSS?  Setting manual and letting the ETTL do the work? I'm sure there is something
I'm not getting about fill flash.
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Chris Burch

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 03:03:09 PM »
Look under the speedlight settings on the in-camera menu and change the metering type from Evaluative to Average.  I find it gives me FAR more consistent flash results and fewer issues with blown out faces.  Canon admits Evaluative is primarily for outdoor use and may not be suited for indoor shooting.  It still varies quite widely though, so be prepared to adjust flash compensation as needed.

The 5DII and 5DIII both weight their metering to the focal point at the time of shutter release and not when you originally locked.  If you lock focus and then recompose, you might end up with the locked focus point in the center of the frame and pointing at a black tux instead of a bright face.  The camera will then try to expose the tux more so than the face and you'll get blown out skin tones.  I do centerpoint focus/recompose, so i always have this issue with evaluative metering in the flash.
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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 03:03:09 PM »

olivander

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 11:17:50 AM »
Yeah I average everything, I think she needs replacing sometimes she gets confused whether the diffuser is in or out (it's definitely out, on the floor in some dirty club in Sydney somewhere).

I found manual worked really well I dont mind stopping up and down https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=474250909257265&set=a.474245409257815.128674.465145816834441&type=1

I'll probably buy a 430, I just punch hard light at everything and do everything else in post, softboxes are a waste of time for me. And god after the trashing this flash has taken, I think I'll buy something cheaper next time. I'm a club/festival shooter, unless someone can give me a great reason to try anything else I'll probably go this way.

I'm not to sure of the model differences (except the 600 has radio) and the 580 has more options, but I pretty much just use ETTL, or manual.

Let me know if there's anything else I should try before adding her to my other wasted equipment, there seems to of been a lot of that lately for me. I should start shooting safer stuff... (Won't happen)

The disadvantage of live event is that I'm insane with where I go...

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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 10:26:08 PM »
Yeah I average everything, I think she needs replacing sometimes she gets confused whether the diffuser is in or out (it's definitely out, on the floor in some dirty club in Sydney somewhere).

I found manual worked really well I dont mind stopping up and down https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=474250909257265&set=a.474245409257815.128674.465145816834441&type=1

I'll probably buy a 430, I just punch hard light at everything and do everything else in post, softboxes are a waste of time for me. And god after the trashing this flash has taken, I think I'll buy something cheaper next time. I'm a club/festival shooter, unless someone can give me a great reason to try anything else I'll probably go this way.

I'm not to sure of the model differences (except the 600 has radio) and the 580 has more options, but I pretty much just use ETTL, or manual.

Let me know if there's anything else I should try before adding her to my other wasted equipment, there seems to of been a lot of that lately for me. I should start shooting safer stuff... (Won't happen)

The disadvantage of live event is that I'm insane with where I go...

the yongnuo 565 are basicaly a much cheaper copy of the 580 only main difference is the lack of HSS so if you dont use HSS much it might be  a pretty good option at $150 not such an issue if it gets trashed and if you dont even need ettl the 560 from yongnuo are only $70 almost disposable!
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Re: Continuous blow out, with ETTL troubleshooting
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 10:26:08 PM »