View Full Version : Using a non dedicated flash - settings?

1st May 2010, 09:50 PM
The miracle of ebay has delivered a cobra D400 flash to my door. The voltage is safe for E series cameras, I have fired of a few shots and all is well.

Just wondering what settings to use for people photos, indoors, using the E510 and 14-45? I have never used a flashgun before so it is all new to me.

The flash has an iso slide on the front which I assume would be set according to the iso indicated on the sliding scale on the rear. The rear has a slide with two scales on it one is in red and labelled auto the other blue which is a distance range. The slide can be set according to the f number. As I move the slide the the display gives corresponding indications of iso and DIN. Again I am assuming I will use the blue scale and slide it according to the distance I am from the subject to give me the correct iso to use?

I really don't mind admitting that I don't have a clue:rolleyes: So any help would be much appreciated. I know I should get an fl36 or 50 but all in good time....



1st May 2010, 09:59 PM
Here are my two methods:

For a sunny day, set the camera to Aperture mode and (say) ISO200, and set the flash to ISO200 as well. Now select either red or blue range on the flash and see what aperture it requires. My old Vivitar gives you f5.6 or f2.8. In that case I would select the f5.6 range and set the camera to f5.6 as well. Now the camera and flash agree on ISO and on aperture - and you can take your pictures. Just check that the shutter speed doesn't creep over 1/180th or so, as that is the maximum flash speed on most E-cameras. This method is great for outdoor fill flash and will lift the shadows slightly.

Second method for darker days or indoors. Set the camera to manual, select (say) 1/150th second and ISO200. Set the flash to ISO200 exactly as above and take the same aperture setting suggested by the flash and set it on the camera. Take a picture and it will be mostly flash if you are indoors. Now... try reducing the shutter speed to 1/50th or lower and see how you can balance the flash against the indoor lighting. Clever , eh?

You can go further and set both camera and flash to manual mode, but you will need a tape measure :)


1st May 2010, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Pete. I am off to annoy the wife, I mean experiment, she is watching a film just now so I will just add some nice strobe effects at appropriate moments.



1st May 2010, 10:40 PM
Seems to be working okay Pete. Although having a little difficulty getting focus in the low lighting conditions. She is getting grumpy and threatening to throw cushions:eek:

Thanks again though:)