Another Flash Question

Jun 5, 2005
Denver, Pennsylvania, uSA
On the D70's pop-up flash, it is always fill-flash unless you change the metering to spot metering. If I use the SB-600 and change the settings on the flash itself, will it change or stay at fill-flash if I am using matrix metering?

May 15, 2005
Real Name
Hi Greg,

When you say fill flash, do you mean Balanced Fill Flash?

For external SB800 flashes (should be same for SB600), the flash mode can be set on the flash. When switching the camera to Spot metering, the SB800 automatically turns to regular TTL. (Thom Hogan explains that Spot metering or Manual exposure mode will switch the flash to TTL mode, but on my camera (with the new D70s software) and SB800 only Spot metering makes the flash turn from TTL BL to TTL).

I've tried various settings on the camera and flash, and they indicate the following:

1. Spot metering turns off balanced TTL mode when using either built-in or SB800, reverting to regular TTL.

2. Manual exposure setting turns off balanced TTL mode when using the built-in flash only.

3. Different from what Thom writes, when using the SB800, Manual exposure does NOT trigger regular TTL mode in the flash. Both EXIF and the results indicate that the SB800 works in TTL BL mode (as set on the flash).

4. The difference between TTL BL and TTL can be significant. I repeatedly got exposure differences of nearly 1EV.

5. Flash compensation can be set either on camera (for internal or external flash) or on the flash. When you set the flash compensation on the flash, the value is added to what is set at the camera. Moreover, the value on the flash is not recorded in the EXIF, only the in-camera setting.

6. I found some minor exposure differences between Manual exposure and Aperture priority, even if the aperture, shutter speed and flash mode are identical.

7. Thom warns about using flash compensation together with TTL BL, as the result is unpredictable. The solution is to work in regular TTL mode (Spot metering or Manual exposure for internal, or setting the SB600/800 to TTL).

Here is an example picture where I used Manual exposure together with Spot metering to expose for the window and then shot at Matrix metering with internal flash:

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

I hope it helped a bit.

Good luck,
Mar 18, 2005
Ellamore, WV
Real Name
Nikon Cafe
Laughing with you Greg. I think it is cool when fathers and daughter interact like this!

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