Getting Into Studio Flash on a Budget – Part 2

So we have all the gear, all we need now is an idea!  Firstly we need to set up the flash or flashes and the trigger to fire them.

Flash Setup

Ttake your TT685F and set it up like this:

Flash Settings
TT685F Flash Settings

 

That’s M for Manual

Zoom set to 14mm we want a wide spread inside our light modifier.

CH 1 and Group A unless you are in a room filled with other photographers using flashguns; stick with Channel 1 and Group A it is just easier to remember.  If you are using two or more flashes stay in Channel 1 and set the second flash to Group B, Group C and so on.

Flash power at 1/128 is irrelevant, we’ll fix that when we take a test shot.

All that remains now is to turn on the X1-T and set it to Channel 1 tap the test button and you should see the flash fire.  You should also be able to dial the flash power up and down, all without touching the flash.  It’s like magic.

Camera Setup

Unless you are shooting with a X-Pro or an X100 you are almost certainly going to be using an EVF rather than an OVF.  This is one of the few times an OVF is arguably better.  The problem we have is that what we see through the EVF  before we hit the shutter release is not what we are going to get.  When we hit the shutter release we are going to fire the flash and get a lot more light.

Put the camera in Manual and set the aperture to F8, shutter speed at 180 and ISO to 200.  Dark in here isn’t it?  If you are seeing either a totally black image or an extremely dark image through your viewfinder or on the back of the camera you need to tweak a setting.

Goto the first setup menu (blue wrench 1):

  1. Screen Set-up
  2. Preview Exp./WB in Manual Mode
  3. OFF

That should suddenly make everything much clearer.  Bear in mind if you are used to seeing the exposure previewed in your EVF and if the setting was ON you will be, you might want to go back and turn that back on when you are done.  Sadly this isn’t something you can enable/disable in the Q menu.

Now we’re ready to fire off a test shot, have a look at the results and decide what you want to adjust.  You have a lot of options…

  1. Dial the flash power up or down
  2. Move the flash closer or further aware from the subject (google “inverse square law” if you’re surprised how dramatic that can be.)
  3. Widen or close down the aperture on your camera, this will also affect depth of field.
  4. Reducing your shutter speed isn’t going to do anything – forget about it, because the flash is always at 180.  You can wave your camera around on a half second exposure and the flash will still freeze all motion.  Go faster than 180 and you’ll be out of sync and you’ll half the frame blacked out.
  5. ISO behaves pretty much as you would expect, it controls the gain on the sensor.

Welcome to the fun world of off camera flash.