Using flash in live view


RobL

Link Posted 27/02/2020 - 08:01
I usually use manual camera settings for flash but can only use the viewfinder as live view is too dark to see anything; this is a problem when I shoot very low down, taking flowers for instance, when the hinged rear screen is handy. Does anyone have a solution for this? I have never really understood how live view adjusts for shutter speed unless the software is doing the calculation and displaying what the result would look like, in which case can that be turned off so it resembles more the viewfinder?
Last Edited by RobL on 27/02/2020 - 08:01

davidwozhere

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 01:46
I always use a long exposure and a reflector, if necessary, for these shots. I'm curious how yours is so dark you can't see flowers? You don't get the 'clinical' look with natural lighting.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

RobL

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 08:27
davidwozhere wrote:
I always use a long exposure and a reflector, if necessary, for these shots. I'm curious how yours is so dark you can't see flowers? You don't get the 'clinical' look with natural lighting.

If it's not a completely still day I need a fast speed to prevent blur and a smallish aperture for depth of field in close-up, but for plants in shade and/or on a dull day this would mean a very high ISO without flash. Using these settings manually with 100 ISO means that the image is way underexposed, hence the live view is dark, but the settings are fine for flash. Sometimes I will slow the speed down and rely on the flash to freeze movement but that can result in fuzzy edges around the flower, it also helps to contrast the flower against the background. Here are some examples:










This is generally only an issue for handheld shots, using a tripod I can frame and focus using a high ISO and then turn it down for the shot. Having an optical viewfinder means I can I see and focus using whatever settings are used and I am sure I read somewhere that mirrorless bodies can be set so that the sensor doesn't simulate the actual exposure for this reason, so I was wondering if the same could be applied to the K1; however I cannot find anything in the settings. Neewer produce right-angle viewfinders for Pentax available in three different magnification ranges so that could be a solution and I would be interested to hear if anyone has tried one.
Last Edited by RobL on 28/02/2020 - 08:29

Lubbyman

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 09:34
Sounds like you need a right-angle finder. I've used one for years (on K20D then K3) and wouldn't be without it. It isn't the answer to everything, there are still some positions where you wish you had a 45 degree finder or infinitely flexible back and neck, but it's a very useful thing to have. £39.95 from SRB Photographic or cheaper from Amazon.

Steve

LennyBloke

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 10:51
Lubbyman wrote:
Sounds like you need a right-angle finder. I've used one for years (on K20D then K3) and wouldn't be without it. It isn't the answer to everything, there are still some positions where you wish you had a 45 degree finder or infinitely flexible back and neck, but it's a very useful thing to have. £39.95 from SRB Photographic or cheaper from Amazon.

Steve

is this any good...

https://carmarthencameras.com/used-pentax-angle-finder-case-sh33756.html

Not sure if it's a refconverter M or A - but it's a genuine Pentax, nicely made. Do your research to see if it fits (I believe it does) - but looks like a good buy at £24.99p
LennyBloke

RobL

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 11:46
Thanks both for your suggestions, I like the idea of a genuine Pentax finder and there were a couple of models so one with clean optics would be tempting: my searches found a couple of virtually pristine ones in the Leica shop in Austria but at 80 euros+ very pricey. Incidentally if you are a collector of film era Pentax they have some interesting stock in top condition. The Neewer has the advantage of being new but on one video it looked rather a wobbly connection to the camera. Another make is Seagull with some on eBay so something to ponder.

Ps. the eyepiece cover from my old 35mm body fits the K1 so it looks like the old finders would as well.
Last Edited by RobL on 28/02/2020 - 11:48

Lubbyman

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 13:22
Mine is a Seagull, I wouldn't be surprised if all the cheap ones of Chinese origin are just rebadged versions of the same things. If you can find a genuine Pentax in decent condition that fits your camera it would be worth going for. My Seagull is plastic and isn't as robust as a genuine Pentax version would be. Perfectly usable, not delicate, but needs treating with respect. Its connection to the camera is OK but is simply plastic sliding onto plastic and would be the bit that breaks first. However, having said that, I've had mine for about 10 years and no damage (so far...).

Steve

MrB

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 17:56
Would this work - set up two adjacent User Modes, one for a bright live view (wide aperture + slow shutter) and the next for your flash exposure (small aperture + fast shutter). Use the first to frame your shot, then one click of the mode dial and take the shot.

Philip
Last Edited by MrB on 28/02/2020 - 17:56

Lubbyman

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 20:19
A wild thought - does turning monitor brightness to maximum help? Or is it still too dim?

Steve

RobL

Link Posted 28/02/2020 - 23:21
I tried that Steve, it didnít really work because the image wasnít very clear. Mr B thatís an idea, as long as my settings stay fairly constant, although not for hand held shots. For manual I set the top button to ISO and on a tripod itís an easy matter to frame and focus and just twirl that down to a low number for the shot. My original question was whether the live view could be divorced from software replicating the exposure, which I assume it does otherwise how does the shutter speed affect the live view? For my last shot above the live view was off, autofocus on, and I just pointed ďblindĒ in the direction of the plant and fired off a few hoping to get one that was framed ok. It looks to me there are two options, either use a small tripod which is fiddly to set up although I have done that, or the angle viewfinder and get my knees muddy.

DOIK

Link Posted 29/02/2020 - 09:21
It looks like the option was crippled sometime after the K5 as that works the way you want it to.

John

Lubbyman

Link Posted 29/02/2020 - 11:28
Got it !! Found it deep in Pentaxforums. It's a workaround, seems usable although not exactly intuitive. I've checked it out for a K3 so hopefully it's OK for a K1 too. The key to it is that screen dimming in live view seems to be a response to the user deliberately underexposing, but not to when the camera can't get a correct exposure. So you trick the camera into underexposing because it can't get a correct exposure, and as a result live view doesn't dim.

Here's how...

1.Set auto-ISO range to a narrow range that covers the ISO you want e.g. you want 100, set range to 100-200 (you'll see why later).
2. Using viewfinder mode (not live view) and M or Av with the ISO that you want, determine aperture and shutter speed that together give a correctly exposed image. Remember those values. (Note: you don't need to look through the viewfinder and get mucky knees for this, but do cover the viewfinder to stop direct light entering.)
3. Switch to TAv mode. (Yes, that really is TAv)
4. Set aperture and shutter speed to those you've remembered from step 2. ISO will be automatically set to the ISO you want.
5. Switch to live view. The image is bright as it's correctly exposed.
6. (This is the clever bit...) Change aperture and shutter speed to what you want. If you want values that would underexpose at the ISO you want, the camera will try to increase ISO to compensate, but can't do it because of the narrow range you set in step 1. There will be an 'ISO out of range' warning (flashing number on K3, might be different on other cameras). But THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE IMAGE DOES NOT CHANGE.
7. Focus.
8. Ensure flash settings are to your liking.
9. Press shutter button to take picture. ISO will be in the range set in step 1, it might not be exactly what you want but will be close. Ambient light will be underexposed because ISO isn't high enough for correct exposure with ambient light, flash will provide the light for correct exposure.

I've just taken a flash picture on a K3 like this, it is correctly exposed. Turnng flash off gives huge underexposure. Live view was normal brightness, Is that what want?

I still prefer a right angle finder and mucky knees, though. But that could be because the K3 doesn't have an articulated screen.

Steve
PS: At last I've found a use for TAv mode!
Last Edited by Lubbyman on 29/02/2020 - 11:29

derek897

Link Posted 01/03/2020 - 19:08
Another alternative might be to use a manual flash, I've been using flash and live view and as i was reading and wondering why this was happening to you it occurred to me that my flash is manual. I set my flash strength manually and live view is unaffected
I know what i like, If not always why.

RobL

Link Posted 01/03/2020 - 22:23
Gosh Lubbyman you really have been working on this, Iím impressed! Iíll give that a go, it makes sense because my ISO range is limited to 3200.

Derek897 my first reaction would be that a manual flash would overexpose in this situation but I could be wrong, I use P-TTL because I can just set the exposure I want and the flash will give the necessary light. Also if I just want fill-in flash I can slow the shutter speed down to suit, but Iíll give your idea a try as well, I really need to widen my flash expertise.

Thanks again both.

Lubbyman

Link Posted 02/03/2020 - 09:53
RobL wrote:
Gosh Lubbyman you really have been working on this, Iím impressed!

Your question caught me at the right time! I've been wondering about trying live view for indoor macro and also (not connected) whether I should try to use the ring flash more often. It sort of pulled the two strands together. And I like trying to find the answers to technical problems.

By the way, the next technical problem is why the house plumbing has started to vibrate noisily when some taps are turned on and, more importantly, how to stop it. If you've got any ideas...

Steve
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