CLS TTL vs M settings

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by aaephoto, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. aaephoto

    aaephoto

    50
    Jun 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    Hi All

    I bought a SB600 and want to try out flash photograph using CLS but I got confuse between TTL vs. M settings. I want to know which is best for a novice like me, what the advantages are if I use TTL vs. M setting or vice-versa. And which one is the easiest to use for learning purposes?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
     
  2. TTL is best for you as a beginner IMO. Some might say M, but not me. Does the 600 have TTL- BL? That is what you would use to balance flash with ambient (background) light.
     
  3. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    210
    Aug 10, 2007
    Chicago
    Both manual and TTL are worth spending time with, each has it's advantages. Manual will be the most consistent, particularly when the flash to subject distance remains relatively constant. TTL works well too and can be especially handy with subjects that won't stay still, though you do want to keep an eye on it. Just as with standard metering, sometimes it can be fooled by excessively dark or light subjects, though there are tools built into the camera, such as flash value lock that can help you to gain additional control with that.

    There are so many different situations that you could run into that it's impossible to recommend any single formula. Just take as much time as you can experimenting and getting to know the various features. Keep track of what settings you were using as you view your results to get a strong feel for what works and what doesn't. The more you use the system, the more comfortable you'll be making choices for a particular type of subject.

    Have fun!
     
  4. aaephoto

    aaephoto

    50
    Jun 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    Thanks guys! I guess i just have to explore both option
     
  5. cotdt

    cotdt

    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    i-TTL fires a preflash causing some subjects to blink. go with A mode.
     
  6. aaephoto

    aaephoto

    50
    Jun 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    Phil - What do you mean by 'go with A mode'?
     
  7. dan1son

    dan1son

    Sep 24, 2007
    Austin
    SB-600 doesn't have an A mode.

    A mode is the old style automatic flash. The flash itself fires and shuts off when it senses enough reflected light to light the subject. The SB-800 has it, but the SB-600 does not.
     
  8. cotdt

    cotdt

    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    oops being an SB800 user I forgot how castrated the SB600s are!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2008
  9. if your interested in learning more advanced off-camera flash photography i really recommend www.strobist.com. They have a pseudo-lighting class that is really easy to read and understand. They deal completely with "M" (manual mode) and it opens up a whole new world of lighting possibilities. check em out. and don't forget to join their flickr group.
     
  10. I'm sure you didn't mean to make sb600 owners feel like trailer trash because they don't own the most expensive external flash. Owning an sb800 doesn't guarantee good results, and since you use yours in A mode, you're not taking advantage of its advanced feature set anyway. I've seen some wonderful flash work done with sb600s. In fact, I took these snaps with a castrated sb600 :rolleyes:.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2008
  11. dan1son

    dan1son

    Sep 24, 2007
    Austin
    First external flash I used was when I borrowed my fathers SB-600 during my older sisters wedding when I first got my camera. I was very new at the time, but it impressed me enough to warrant buying my own flash. When it came to it I wanted SU-4 and A modes bad enough to warrant the price difference. Although, I wanted A mode to use with my old manual film cameras. I don't see much use in using A mode when I have CLS unless I'm taking flash pictures of my cat. He blinks everytime.

    CLS is amazing. There are a lot of environments where it works wonderfully. Sure in a strobist environment Manual makes sense since you're setting up shots relatively slowly, but for an event that requires constant movement and environment changes there's nothing else better than CLS right now.

    That being said, the SB-600 would be enough for probably 90% of my shooting.
     
  12. aaephoto

    aaephoto

    50
    Jun 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    @James Thanks for the strobist links that is a very insigthful site for lighting.

    @Frank - Inspiring photos!