Question about Nikon Speedlight SB-600 TTL Flash

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Flashing negative sign

When shooting outdoors only, my SB600 flash is flashing a negative sign and goes into negative exposure numbers slightly overexposing my images - tried compensating with aperture, etc with no luck.

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A few suggestions for outdoor flash too bright with SB-600.
1 - If flash is in the auto mode, try hitting the (-) symbol a few times to lower the flash output
2 - Quick fix for close shooting - pull down the diffuser. You loose about 2 stops of flash light and effect is much softer. Don't forget to raise it later or you might think you have the opposite problem
3 - On the camera side, you play with your ISO. Depending on the scene, changing ISO can increase or decrease effect of flash vs background. This can be tricky to predict in auto because the camera is doing calculations of its own.
4 - You can put the camera in aperture mode and set your apeture so that you get a good balance between flash and ambient light. The camera will adjust the shutter speed, which increases or decreases the effect of the background - while the flash remains a constant. This can be very effective in tricky lighting situations, but be prepared to take lots of test shots to get it right.
5 - You can put the flash in manual mode. That will give you a consistant fixed reduced flash output regardless of what the camera tries to change. You have to keep checking your display to see the effect, but with camera in auto this can be a winner.
6 - Finally, you can go "old school" and put both camera and flash in manual and find your best combination. When I'm pressed for time in tricky conditions I often do this by finding a good setiting for a fixed distance, and then adjusting my apeture up or down as I shoot closer or farther things. We had to do it like this back in the day, and with the histogram on the display, I can get dead on where the camera "brain" would get tricked.

Posted on Mar 31, 2010

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