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How to use correctly multiple flash

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alexcherny

I have Maxxum 7, Maxxum 5600HS (D) (and Maxxum 3500xi, Minolta AF24-105/3.5-4.5 (D), Tokina AF20-35/2.8, Tokina AF80-200/2.8 and two russian reflex lenses MTO 500/8). Camera and 5600HS (D) are new for me - I have took only 10 rolls. Last week I have tried to test such feature of this flash as "Multiple flash" (page 60 of its manual). I set camera to M mode, select flash frequency from 5 to 10 Hz, select number of flashes as "--" (that means "flash while the shutter is open") and select power level 1/16 or 1/32. I have made photos of band in enough dark blues club. Typical shutter speed was from 1/2 to 1 sec, typical aperture was from 4 to 8, film was Kodak Profoto 400BW. And almost all pictures were over-exposed. I understand that shutter speed or aperture should be changed. But how, which way? Can anyone help me and explain possible method of solving (calculating) this problem?
Sorry for bad english
Thanks in advance
Alex Cherny
 

peterblaise

Well-Known Member
>

> I have Maxxum 7, Maxxum 5600HS (D) > and Maxxum 3500xi ... Camera and > 5600HS (D) are new for me ... I have > tried to test such feature of this flash > as "Multiple flash" (page 60 of its manual). > I set camera to M mode ... almost all > pictures were over-exposed... Thanks > in advance ... Alex Cherny

Why weren't you using the Minolta 7 camera's P Program mode so the camera could help you by using it's wonderfully sophisticated computer to calculate proper exposure?

Love and hugs,

Peter Blaise Monahon - peterblaise@yahoo.com -
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A

alexcherny

> Why weren't you using the Minolta 7 camera's P Program mode so the camera could help you by using it's wonderfully sophisticated computer to calculate proper exposure?

Because in the instruction manual (page 60) is written:
"* The camera must be set to the M (manual) mode for multiple flash photography. Multiple flash cannot be used unless the camera supports the M mode.
1. Set the camera to the M mode."
So I don't know what to do.
Best regards,
Alex Cherny
 

peterblaise

Well-Known Member
>

Hi again, Alex,

Are you and the manual talking about different things?

Multiple flashes = more than one flash occurrence during an exposure, that is, you leave the shutter open, and fire off one, then another, and maybe even additional flash occurrences in a long sequence of separate flashes, like when someone sets the camera on a tripod with the shutter on bulb for 20 minutes and then walks around a house at night and flashes their hand held flash 10 times in different places in view of the camera to illuminate different parts of the house, then returns to the camera and closes the shutter? That's 100% trial and error for exposure, and yes, exposure would then be "manual" since the camera computer has no idea what you are doing! Good luck!

I thought you wanted to use multiple wireless flashes, in which case, set the camera on full auto Program, link the flashes according to the wireless instructions, flip up the on-camera flash, set your exposure and flash compensation to whatever you want to try (not necessary), and fire away! Then, the camera calculates the appropriate exposure automatically.

Can you tell us more about exactly what you are after? Do you want to walk around and fire the flashes at different times to get a strobe effect or other special effects on film, or are you trying to use more than one flash all at once to take one instantaneous picture?

Love and hugs,

Peter Blaise Monahon
 
A

alexcherny

Hi, Peter,
thank for your assistance!
I am talking about exactly multiple flashes (not multiple wireless flashes), which means - how to calculate proper exposure during more than one flash occurrence during an exposure?
I have no idea about which way should I take into consideration influence from 3 to 10 flashes (with level of power 1/32 or 1/16) during 0.5-1 sec exposure.
What is the question.

> Can you tell us more about exactly what you are after? Do you want to walk around and fire the flashes at different times to get a strobe effect or other special effects on film, or are you trying to use more than one flash all at once to take one instantaneous picture?

I would like exactly to take photo of music band playing blues in dark club with a strobe effect.
But I have also another question concerning using two flashes in wireless mode. I have tried to take pictures the following way: I turned on 5600HS (D) and 3500xi in wireless mode, raised built-in camera flash and made photos in Ratio-Flash mode (built-in flash works not only as controller but as usual flash). But because of 5600 has much more GN than 3500, brightness from 5600 side was bigger. The question is - can I set light intensity ratio of 1:2 between 5600 and 3500? Instruction manual of 5600 (page 45) says - "Make sure that RATIO is not displayed on the data panel of the off-camera flash except using with the Wireless Remote Flash Controller".

Faithfully yours,
Alex Cherny
 

peterblaise

Well-Known Member
>

Hi Again Alex,

You're having fun, aren't you?!?!? Good for you. That's what Minolta Photography is all about!

Multiple sequential flashes during one long exposure is trial and error. You can try to figure out how bright to make each flash, but without TTL Through The Lens understanding and calculation of just how bright each flash is TO THE CAMERA you never know. Trial and error.

Why not try multiple exposures where the cameras DOES control the flash and exposure. Multiply the ISO setting of your film by the number of exposures you want, say, for 4 exposures on one image, that takes ASA 100 to ASA 1600 (that's x4, or 4 stops), and then just let the camera do it's computerized thing for 4 exposures on one frame - completely computerized and accurate!

For wireless remote flash, just change the DISTANCE of each flash to the subject. If you want one flash to have 1/2 the power, make it TWICE farther from the subject than the other flash! The camera doesn't know or care, and it will turn them all on and off at the right time for a perfect exposure, and you control the ratio with our own choices in flash DISTANCE placement.

Finally, try the STF function on your Minolta 7 with live action to see a "strobe" effect - I think STF and flash work together - this can be your experiment to show the world just how smart is the Minolta 7 camera, and just how smart are Minolta 7 Photographers! ;-)

Let us know how this all turns out, and also show us some pictures somewhere, okay?

Love and hugs,

Peter Blaise Monahon - peterblaise@yahoo.com -
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A

alexcherny

Hi again Peter!

> Why not try multiple exposures where the cameras DOES control the flash and exposure. Multiply the ISO setting of your film by the number of exposures you want, say, for 4 exposures on one image, that takes ASA 100 to ASA 1600 (that's x4, or 4 stops), and then just let the camera do it's computerized thing for 4 exposures on one frame - completely computerized and accurate!

I am not sure it is correct way - it is does not matter what ISO setting will be (computer in the camera uses this setting to determine which exposure should be).
I did the following actions. First, I set aperture and shutter speed in M mode in order to shutter speed would be approx. 1 sec and meter index displayed "0 position" (so called "recommended exposure").
After this I set 5600HS (D) in multiple flash mode (select flash frequency, for ex&le, 5 Hz (5 flashes per second), select number of flashes "--" value (what means that flashes continue at the set frequency while the shutter is open - it is useful not to think about how many number of flashes should I set and select power level 1/32 (for ex&le)) and took the photo. I know that I need to consider this additional amount of light from 5600, but how? I cannot evaluate a amount/influence of 5 strobo-flashes on 1/32 level of power...
You see, instruction manual of 5600 (page 62) tells (I quote):
"10. Set the shutter speed and aperture.
* The shutter speed is calcualted as follows to suit the selected flash frequency and number of flashes.
Number of flashes (TIME) / Flash frequency (Hz) <= Shutter speed
For ex&le, when ten flashes and 5 Hz are selected, 10/5=2 requires a shutter speed of longer than two seconds."
That is funny. It is nothing mentioned about aperture! It is just aperture should be taken into consideration!

> For wireless remote flash, just change the DISTANCE of each flash to the subject. If you want one flash to have 1/2 the power, make it TWICE farther from the subject than the other flash!

In my opinion, not TWICE farther, but only square root of TWO :) Maybe I will use another way - I will set level of power on 1/2 value.

> Finally, try the STF function on your Minolta 7 with live action to see a "strobe" effect - I think STF and flash work together - this can be your experiment to show the world just how smart is the Minolta 7 camera, and just how smart are Minolta 7 Photographers! ;-)

Unfortunately it is impossible because of "camera's STF mode triggers a continuos multiple exposure, it should be used with a tripod {it is almost not admittable in blues club} and a still subject {musicians are not still subjects}" (page 180 of instr. manual) and further - "* Flash DOESN'T fire." So it is another case.

> Let us know how this all turns out, and also show us some pictures somewhere, okay?

Today (precisly tomorrow) I can show you only overexposed pictures - I need to print them, scan and send someway.

Have a nice weekend!

Alex Cherny
 

peterblaise

Well-Known Member
>

Hi Alex,

Ahh, too bad the flash doesn't work in STF mode on the Minolta 7 camera. Anyway you only need a tripod and a still subject IF you want all 7 images to perfectly align on top of each other. So? That's not what you are after anyway! Why not try STF mode hand held with moving subjects? You may get the "strobe" effect you are after. Have fun -- try it!

Hey, you're not worried about hand holding the 1 second exposure, so why worry about a tripod for STF mode - use it any way you want to! Go ahead! Experiment! It's only film!

In multiple exposures on one frame, by setting the film ASA to compensate for the number of exposures, you tell the camera to do the calculating for you, including the flash accuracy. Try it. What film ASA are you using? As I said, with ASA 100 film, if you then set the camera at ASA 1600 (1/4 exposure each) , then 4 exposures will add up to a perfect exposure equaling ASA 100 (4 x 1/4 exposures = 1 accurate total exposure). Let the camera do the thinking! Then, of course, reset the camera's film ASA to properly match the film after the multiple exposure experiment for other images.

Also, why not combine multiple images digitally? Take each one as a straight flash, and then play in the computer!

You are right about the inverse square law, so twice the distance = 1/4 effective flash power. Doh! I though of that after I hit the send button (I did, I did!)! ;-)

Love and hugs,

Peter Blaise Monahon - peterblaise@yahoo.com -
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A

alexcherny

Hi Peter,

> Why not try STF mode hand held with moving subjects? You may get the "strobe" effect you are after. Have fun -- try it!

When STF mode is used, shutter works 7 times for 1 frame. Why 7 times? I can suppose that the 1st picture is the most fuzzy, the 2nd has much sharp focus, the 3rd has almost clear focus, the 4th is absolutely focused and so on. So STF mode is used exactly to make a photo a little bit defocused, and all. It could be used only for still subjects, are you agree? And don't forget that a flash cannot be used during 7-time-exposure. So strobe-effect is impossible.

> In multiple exposures on one frame, by setting the film ASA to compensate for the number of exposures, you tell the camera to do the calculating for you, including the flash accuracy. Try it. What film ASA are you using?

Kodak Profoto400BW. But Peter, I make NOT multiple exposures, but ONE exposure with multiple flashes during this exposure.

> Also, why not combine multiple images digitally? Take each one as a straight flash, and then play in the computer!

Are you joking? :) I prefer to make one complex photo myself using camera's possibility instead of tricks with digital ways - scaner, computer, PhotoShop and so on.

Best wishes,
Alex Cherny
 
A

alexcherny

Peter,
my sincerel congratulations with Independence Day!
I wish health and wealth to all people in your country!
Alex
 

peterblaise

Well-Known Member
>

Hi Alex,

In STF mode, only the aperture changes between each of the 7 exposures, not focus. The goal is to get the aperture blades to not define the edges of out of focus image elements, so you get 7 images with slightly changing depth of field, but it does not change focus. Try it with out without trying flash just to see how it records moving subjects -- it might be fun. Again, it's only film, and you will be so much smarter about the cameras capabilities if you do try it!

If you set your flash to fire manually and then push the test button, you'll get flashes happening during the STF exposure if you hit the flash and the camera shutter at the same time.

Why can't you try the multiple exposure feature on the camera to combine 4 images, properly flash exposed, on one frame? I don't understand -- it is a feature of the camera, why won't you try it?

It just might work for you, and solve your initial inquiry - Q: how to set flash on multiple exposures. A: Let the camera do it!

--

Love and hugs,

Peter Blaise Monahon - peterblaise@yahoo.com -
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