Back in April 2008 at the start of my Australia tour, I was greeted at Sydney airport by Mr Nikon Australia. He stripped me of my Canon 5d kit and lent me a Nikon D3 camera with a 12-24mm lens, a 24-70mm lens, a 70-200mm lens, an SU800 flash and an SU800 commander. I spent the next month touring Australia teaching and shooting with Nikon’s extraordinary new system.
The kit was supplied without manuals and it was up to me to work out the various opportunities the Nikon flash system has to offer. One of the most useful of my findings is If you operate the D3 in manual exposure mode, and use TTL flash on or off the camera, the exposure compensation control adjusts the flash output. The ambient exposure stays the same as the ISO, shutter speed and aperture are fixed at the settings you choose. But rather than leave the exposure compensation control without a function some clever technician at Nikon decided to put it to good use and control the one setting that the camera still controls in manual exposure, the output power of the flash.
This set up was perfect for me as I used the aperture to control the ambient exposure and the exposure compensation to control the flash power. Fully independent control without button fumbling.
I’m not sure what other cameras offer this in the Nikon line up. I’m not even sure if this feature is mentioned in the user manual but I do know it is very useful and brilliantly simple.
Have your say
Have you used a Nikon DSLR in manual with TTL flash? if so, what have been your experiencies? Email me here with your findings and a few of your pictures. The best of these will be published here for other photographers to enjoy. All contributions will be fully credited together with links to the authors website or blog.