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Dark viewfinder problem when attempting macro with ring flash

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by pworden, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    I have a 90mm Vivitar macro and ring flash on a Nex 6. Very dark viewfinder unless ISO is up fairly high and f-stop quite wide. The resulting shot with flash is also almost as dark as scene in viewfinder. It seems that the viewfinder isn't reflecting the light that is actually there. I've had the flash set to constant on and still the same result. This worsens when the magnification is higher as expected, but it seems that the sensor isn't seeing what's there.
    I have all settings at manual. Front curtain off, DR off. Any advice?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    There's a setting in the settings menu which defines whether the viewfinder should try to emulate the light that is there or whether it should just show a normal bright preview. I don't know how exactly it is called, but when using a flash, it's often necessary to turn this off in order to get the EVF to a visible brightness level.

    However, if your shots are actually dark then the most probable cause is a flash that's not in sync properly.
     
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  3. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Thanks, Poki. I'll check all of that.


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  4. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    I found where I could change the viewfinder brightness from automatic to manual, but found nothing else as specific as you suggested. I also found that if I popped up the built-in flash, the viewfinder or LCD shows a brighter scene. I should have said earlier that the dark viewfinder wasn't all - it shows a dark LCD also.

    Poppingup the built-in flash makes both LCD and viewfinder a bit brighter but still so dark that its tough to focus.

    I've read that with macro shooting sometimes people open up the lens to focus then stop it to to take the shot. That wouldn't be very workable with insects though. I am hoping there is a setting I am unaware of that would improve the view.

    Last, I'm using Sony's ADP-MAA which is tough to make stable to the camera. Flash release is slow - not synced well. I have it attached well at this point but sync is not great.


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  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    What we need to know to be able to help you - are the photos you get exposed okay or are they as dark as they appear in the viewfinder / screen (doesn't make a difference as it's the same video stream).
     
  6. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Without the flash popped up, yes, as dark as the viewfinder. I'm able to correct exposure quite a bit on raw files but have little to no idea what I might see ;)

    With the flash popped up, the photos are better than the LCD/viewfinder preview, but i can see the ring flash fires too slow. Have it set for fill flash - didn't see a choice other than that or slow sync or rear flash.

    Using a new Polaroid ring flash that seems quite nice if it was in sync.


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  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yeah, than you can't do anything with camera settings. Flash sync mode doesn't matter if it's not in sync at all. Are you sure your shutter speed is slower than the maximum flash sync speed of your camera (which is probably somewhere around 1/160 or 1/250)? If so, you can either try change some settings directly on the flash unit (don't know which settings exactly could solve this) or contact the Sony support. Unfortunately I'm not the most experienced photographer when it comes to non-Sony flashes, but I'm sure Sony can help you as the cause might as well be the hot shoe adapter or the camera itself for some reason I don't know.
     
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  8. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Yes, shutter speed was slower on my latest testing. I didn't there was a maximum so thanks for that info. I'm thinking it's the adaptor. Not sure if here is any alternate. I see some old Sunpak ring flashes work without an adaptor so that might be worth some time looking for that. I will contact Sony. Thanks again!


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  9. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    195
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    What is a Polaroid ring flash ? A flash or LED's ?
    What exposure mode are you in and what settings are you using ? ISO / speed / aperture etc

    If you have LED ring flash, these have very limited power and should be considered ambient light so i am afraid it is not powerful enough to illuminate properly unless you boostb up ISO
     
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  10. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    PL-MRFS 48 LED ring flash. ISO 100 f/5.6 close to 1:1. I am planning to
    O use it for insects outside but the LCD viewfinder situation is more of a problem than somewhat too low light. I'm thinking it's the adaptor. Pretty bad reviews on it.


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  11. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    All manual old old lens so no autofocus either.


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  12. Tabibito

    Tabibito TalkEmount Regular

    177
    Apr 1, 2013
    How about trying to set the setting effects to off, that way what you see in the viewfinder is not affected by the aperture and shutter speed you are using.


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  13. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Great idea - I'll try that. Will post back tomorrow. Thanks!


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  14. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    195
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    Boost your ISO to 800. This will help give you better finder and may help prevent under exposure
    You still did not mention what exposure mode you are using ( P/S/A/M ????) and what shutter speed is showing on the camera
     
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  15. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Turning live view off worked like a charm! Brilliant!
    I'm using M mode, several shutter speed all 1/160 or under.
    So, the dark viewfinder problem is solved. Now the only remaining problem is the unreliable connection to the adaptor. Guess that's a known problem with this adaptor. Last night I found an article by a nat geo photographer using a different ring flash on the nex-6 and looks like no adaptor needed. I will check that out. Maybe return the flash and adaptor for that one. More $ though, of course!


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  16. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    y6ejy4um.
    Here it is. Will try rubber bands to get a more stable attachment.



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  17. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
  18. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I have Godox ML-150 ring flash. Much better than those led ring lights.

    The Sony unit may be better than Chinese units. It is remotely possible that they have calculated how much light macro work needs (most old macro lenses focus moving the whole lens forward or need extension tubes and image circle is bigger that way, calculate 1 or 2 stops light loss and you want to use small aperture and ISO quite often too) ... .

    With ISO 200 I have used that Godox unit about half power so it has got enough power. With still subjects led lights work ok but even light wind makes photographing plants much more difficult.
     
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