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Speedlite not syncing with 35mm camera

Discussion in 'Photography Tips, Tricks & Tutorials Forum' started by Peter4333, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Peter4333

    Peter4333 New Member

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    I have just bought a Canon Speedlite 199a to use with my Canon AE1 (35mm film camera). I've read several manuals and watched many online tutorials, and am unsure as to why my camera's light internal light meter is not synchronising with the flash as it is supposed to. For example, when I have selected an f stop of 5.6 on the Speedlite, my camera's meter shows an f stop of 2.8. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
  2. Roger S

    Roger S Crazy Canuck Administrator

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    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    The flash operates independently of the camera's light meter f stop reading. It will attempt to fire as if the camera aperture is set the same. The light sensor in the camera sends the signal to the flash to fire, and cuts that signal off as soon as your scene appears to be properly exposed in the camera. If you set your aperture at f/2.8 as recommended by the meter, and the flash is set to f/5.6, then the camera will cut short the flash duration as it deems necessary.

    I know, that's all plain as mud so far, but the interesting thing to note is to ensure that the lens f stop is equal to or lower (smaller number) than that set on the flash.
    MikeB likes this.
  3. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    This is how I believe its supposed to operate.

    First of all, the camera's built-in exposure metering (center-weighted with a silicon photocell) is independent of the flash unit's setting. The camera's light meter is measuring the actual reflected ambient light and this should not change because there is a Speedlite present.

    When you select an "f/stop" on the Speedlite you are actually controlling how much light is being fired rather than setting your camera's f/stop. The three Auto Apertures (ISO 100; Red-f/2.8 Green-f/5.6 Yellow-f/11) are intended to address distance ranges identified on the scale. Canon calls these Automatic Coupling Ranges, choosing the correct range is supposed to ensure you get the correct exposure. The guidance is that you select the Yellow range for close camera-to-subject distances (less than a meter), Green when the camera-to-subject distance is 1 meter or longer, and Red when the distance is greater than 5 meters and when using bounce light.

    Second, when the f/stop selected on the Speedlite is greater than the maximum opening of the lens, you will get a warning, you are supposed to select the smaller f/stop on the Speedlite. Note the instructions are referring to f/stop not aperture - a larger f/stop is a smaller aperture or in the case of the Speedlite less light.
    Roger S likes this.

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