Skip to main content

Speedlights 101

Lesson 27 of 40

Built-in Meter

Mark Wallace

Speedlights 101

Mark Wallace

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

27. Built-in Meter


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:11:19
3 Flash! A Drama in 4 Parts Duration:18:42
6 High Speed Sync Duration:15:03
7 High Speed Sync Q&A Duration:25:15
8 Shutter Priority Mode Duration:23:12
9 Manual Mode Duration:50:21
10 General Q&A Duration:19:21
11 Color It Duration:15:53
12 Diffuse It, Twist It, Pull It Duration:17:29
14 Shoot: Softbox and Umbrella Duration:41:44
15 Shoot: Three Light Setup Duration:21:56
16 Shoot: Freezing Motion Duration:17:39
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:06:28
2 Bouncing the Light Duration:36:18
3 Off-Camera Flash Options Duration:29:03
4 Light Modifiers Duration:08:15
5 Limitations of Your Flash Duration:20:48
8 Light Metering Duration:13:48
9 Light Metering Q&A Duration:42:50
10 Guide Numbers Duration:18:52
11 Built-in Meter Duration:20:28
12 General Flash Q&A Duration:24:10
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Light Shaping Duration:36:58
2 Group Lighting Duration:46:18
3 Lighting Dark Environments Duration:17:37
4 Indoor Holiday Photos Duration:23:10
5 Outdoor Events at Night Duration:13:46
6 Lighting Dark Events Q&A Duration:13:14
7 Portrait Lighting Duration:32:22
8 Portrait Lighting Q&A Duration:21:57
9 Butterfly/Clamshell Lighting Duration:16:06
10 Q&A and Lighting for Men Duration:24:12
11 Final Q&A Duration:06:15
12 Ninjas! Duration:27:02

Lesson Info

Built-in Meter

We're gonna move on what I want to show you sort of take us out. We're going to show you this, um, the secret meter that's built into some flashes that sort of cool, and they will finish with some questions and answers and set up for tomorrow, and we're sort of at that point where I really am giddy to show you this next thing. And so what we're going to do here is going to start by showing off feature that's built into cannon speed lights. Okay, this is built into cannon speed lights. It's also built into nikon speed lights, and it may be built into other speed lights as well. I know are quantum flash has this what kind of flashes have this now? This is one of those things that, um, sometimes it feels like first class and coach class, right? That the some clashes have some cool stuff that others don't. So, for example, the five, eighty x two has this built in, but the little brother the four thirty does not. The five, eighty x two has the auto focus assist being the little brother does...

not. The five, eighty x two has the ability to remote control flashes. The little brother does not there's those different things this has double the power than the little brother the same is true of of nikon flashes the sb seven hundred doesn't have some of the features that espn nine hundred nine ten has so this is one of those things that's on lee in some flashes and its old school this is what old school flashes used to use before the ninja was around. Okay, and I forgot the technical name of this thing somebody please tell me what it is there's some people out there like how? Because you know it's a built in light meter sound something like thyroid but does not it is a resistor thyroid something but what this does is there's this little dot right there in the french see that that is a light meter that's what that is and so what this does is it meters like a little bit differently? You will set on your camera the s o value and the aperture value that your camera is using and what the flash will do and this works on camera off camera doesn't matter with the flash will do is uh when you're pointing this at a subject it will turn on the flash to flash is going to come out just like ninja knows it's going to come back and as soon as it feels like there's enough light hitting the subject, it shuts the flash off so it doesn't go through the lens it just looks and says is that enough light based on what you've told me yes turn off that's how it works okay and so it's a little round trip it works right there now to get this to work all you can in people grab your cannon flashes make sure can and flashes an tl mode so it should just be an e t l mode you can have it on camera off camera it doesn't matter it will work and then what you gonna dio is we haven't dipped our toes into custom functions here we go with custom functions by way let me just tell you custom functions what they are s o that you can't understand them custom functions allow you to set specific things on your flash like are you using meters or are you using feet do you want this guy to be always set for a small sense or large sensor do you want to have a certain kind of illumination even our center weighted there's some things like that that you can set on your flash well one of those custom functions on a cannon speed light is this built in secret meter so hit and hold si dot fn on upper left hand corner this button right up here on the upper left hand corner is pushing hold it and then you're going to see this little thing that says f n and I might say, oh one and something else so what I want you to do is turn the dial so I'll show you guys here turn the dial until it says function five okay function five and then push the set button and you're going to get a flashing number usually it's zero make that zero a three and hit ok are set right now hit the pilot I'll take you out and now notice it says e in a bunch of numbers some stuff okay? You just missed a pure flash no kidding so what you did is you said stop using a t t l we're using an external light meter he specifically this one on the front of the flash and now what you can do is notice it's asking u s o aperture value so you set those two things so we're going to do here is going to push the send button once something over here somebody home conceit and push the set button once and now so is flashing and you put that on whatever I saw your cameras on I'm gonna put it to one hundred it's going to shoot it I so want actually put on two hundred sorry two hundred okay, you can push set button once push it twice now is asking what the aperture value is I'm just at the aperture value to nine ok that's all I have to do now I know that I can put my camera any camera I s o two hundred f nine and then down here there's a scale and it says anywhere within two point three feet and twenty feet this flash is going to be able to handle it they can shoot anywhere from two point three all the way up to twenty feet and it'll work okay we'll try it your ready to try it ok so come on out kelsey and sarah come out here what we're gonna do is we're gonna trigger this manually so I'm doing is I'm plugging in my pocket wizard just so we can trigger and again you could have a sink cable you could have um you know any of the ways that we talked about carrying these I like pocket wizards if you haven't noticed by now okay so this guy here now is it not all the way in needs there it goes okay so now this will fire this flash I think yeah I think the oh yeah that's right sorry don't cover the light meter it won't work so don't do that okay so now this will actually work it's actually me during the light and changing as we do that that's why it wouldn't do that ok so now we're going to use a human light stand you okay so sarah come on over here was gonna be standard here all right, so that was aperture value. What did I say? Nine nine so I'm gonna put my nikon on f er nine I'm gonna have a shutter speed of two hundred why that's my sink speed it could be really whatever depending on the ambient light okay and then my eyes so value is two hundred so my eyes so aperture value is set according to the flash it's all good I'll take one of these guys here through it on so I can trigger okay, so what are you witnessing? You're witnessing a nikon on controlling a cannon flash I know sacrilege. Okay, now watch this. The flash is going to some place you don't come in in the flashes going to meet her the light not the camera that's gonna use its built in meter so this is f nine or so two hundred we're going to take a picture and off two straight you guys, we're going do this tethered as well. We've got a good exposure. Can you see that we gotta get exposure. We'll show it to this camera right here. So we controlled cannon flash with a nikon light. We can move back a little ways because it's going it's going to figure it out right and is figuring it out based on the light bouncing back to the flash not through the camera so I can go wherever I really want to take a picture and we're still getting good exposures crazy. Okay, now we're gonna d'oh. I know that's pretty cool. What about night guns? Can they do that? Well, sure, of course they can. It's an icon. Okay, so night cons. You saw how crazy this was to do this with a can and have to go in a custom functions yet to go blast that set set, right, like on people. This could be very, very complicated. So let me start with t m o k so stick with me. This is a very, very in depth and complicated to do this on an icon and the s p nine hundred. What we're going to use you push mode rotate that, eh? Okay, so I know isn't that crazy? And so that's that's really what you do so a is saying that it's the aperture priority you're going to go in there and do the same thing I could do the same thing. So let me show you how you set this up. So I'm gonna go in here and it's asking me for the aperture value so says f number so I can set it to whatever I want also it to five point six the one thing I don't like about the speed light that nightgown spotlight is now on a change my eyes so to two hundred how do I do that? There's no button here to change that to change that you have to go to the menus on a nine hundred at the push and hold. Okay, once you get into the men you have to scroll to the so then you get hit, okay? And then you can change that whatever you want it to be so we're gonna change it down tio two hundred two hundred going the wrong way. Sorry. Two hundred thirty's and now that set exit now I two hundred five point six ok, I would like for you guys we're gonna have well, you're not tethered start we'll do it from this guy was going to say you guys shoot this we will let you shoot this but it won't show up we're gonna do the same thing we have our nikon we're going to stick a, uh pocket wizard on it so we can trigger it again. You could use a cable for this. You could use some other things to do this. We're gonna make sure it's firing firing yes now on the nikon the built in meter is on the side is this little hole right here if you wondered what that little guy is right there that's what it is. So when you're doing this it's right there, make sure you don't cover the meter, it won't work. Ok, so now we have a nikon, right? We have a cannon. We're at five point six I so two hundred. Okay. All right. I'm gonna come over here, who's point that in that direction and make sure this is firing. It is ok. So this is all being controlled by my, uh my cannon cannon is very good and we have a proper exposure and we're going to show that appear because we're tethered. And so you can see that this is pretty crazy that we're letting the flash figure out the exposure. Now the spectator highlights I don't like this is just a flash is blasting away, and so we can see some craziness but also go to the other side. We'll just show that this works again. So we'll do one more time going to take a shot. And then if you can look sort of over to where kelsey is. There you go. And just with your eyes back to me. Good, good, good, good. And we can see that we change the circumstances. And we're just fine. Still gonna get exposure and we can try to do something else is trying to take a shot of this entire wall over here. So is pointing in the wall. Just pointed the wall. Ok, so I'm going to try to take a shot of this. See what we get. Looks like we have a pulse are inside the, uh, the tv. Right. So that's. Pretty cool. We can take a speed light, tell it to meter its own light, yank it off the camera and it will work just fine. Now, here is the problem with this. We grabbed this from this is pretty limited. Okay is exciting. Is this is that you can say, ok, um, I can just take this off the camera. No meters unlike the other thing you can do is you, khun do this with several flashes. You can mix and match different brands, right? Because you have our quantum we could have our night, khan. We could have our cannon. We might run into issues if we did those all simultaneously because they'd all be pushing out light. Might you confused me, that's something we'll try oftheir. I'm not brave enough to try alive, but you can do this with multiple lights. The issue is what if you want to start shaping that light right? Let's put a soft walks on here so we'll get much softer light uh well, guess what happens when you put a stop locks on their black if we put this backwards so that we can put this in a soft blocks and you can see the light so you are very limited if you want to bounce this well, it might work but it's going to be highly inaccurate, so this is pretty much an awesome thing if you're using the flash like this once you start adding stuff to it, you're going to start having issues so modifiers and things like that and we've tried that we actually tried using umbrellas we tried using some balance cards and some still thin nominee bounces and that gary falling on that kind of stuff and for the most part it started getting the exposures incorrect started getting them wrong but it's in a pinch if you need to light up a place and you don't have meters and you just want to use it, you can it's pretty cool I'm guessing we have questions I have that I see that look in your eyes thanks here well, you just answered two of them because people asked if it worked with flash bounce and other people asked about if it works with modifiers so you're saying not very well not very well in fact it doesn't okay if it can't see the light coming back, it won't know when to shut off and so you'll normally get is just overexposed images yeah and that so let's just go back in time and say, hey, we wanted we want to mix, eh? Canon and nikon and we want to shoot with multiple flashes and just make it work. The best thing to do is put him in manual mode you put him in manual mode, put triggers on them some pocket wizards or seeing cables then you khun take this shot is going to be the same every single time it doesn't even matter if you have ten or twenty different brands, you can always dial them in or out the exposure is not going to change and so in a pinch manu mood the main manual mode is the way to go that's why? I wish I had my t shirt that said tt over this last dtl busters yeah, and then what would you say about a t shirt for manual mode? Maybe they'll be on the back manual mood rules don't know doesn't pocket wasn't have those tio dio but they I think they sold him out yeah, they gave him out all right, well, let me ask you another question from king lyric who is danny from luxembourg? Would high speed sync work with this functionality as well? No, it does not. It does not because remember, high speed sync is multiple bursts of light. I'm going across as the shutters is going crossing a line so it might work if you had a really long flash duration, so if the flash turned on and the shutter went by, and the flash is always on for that entire time, it might work, but the chances that that working correctly early, slim there is a thing, though that exists to do exactly that thing it's called hyper sink that's the thing that pocket wizard has, and it allows you to tune in your different flash to allow you to do that, but, um, you know, I'd be very, very surprised if it worked. It'd be really this look question from my friend claire claire avara, she says earlier, mark said, pocket wizards have different versions for nikon and cannon are you using a nikon pocket? Wasn't for the nikon flashing a cannon pocket wizard for the cannon? Cameron yeah, so let me dispel this because I'm confusing people, so we're using two different flavors of pocket wizard parties into german flavors, so on these demos were doing in full manual mode, we're using the pocket was plus three and this is for it just triggers flashes and cameras so it just tells the flash to fire that's it and so because we were in manual mode, we just needed something to tell the flash to fire and that's the plus three does it can work with any flash studio flash um any speed light, it doesn't matter as long as you're just telling it to fire and that's it. Okay, so that's what this does the ones I was talking about are the many in flex which thank you kelsey for these guys and these guys are different. So what these do the's air made specifically for speed lights and what they do it's a different thing? They don't just tell the flash to fire they do all the through the lens meet oring stuff, so they also have the pre flash and they talk from the the camera to the flash back to the camera they send eyes so information, aperture value information, all that kind of stuff. So these air intelligent, they send information and therefore you need the cannon one with the cannon, the nikon with that the nikon the plus three's these little guys like this, they're not sending any of that kind of information all they're doing is just saying fire and so this will work with with any camera flash, so they're two different things I need a weapon or about that actually it's on pocket with your dot com slash webinars it's about an hour and a half of info yeah, cool um a couple more questions about I don't even know how to announced the virus ter method I restore I think yeah, this is their story yeah didn't I say is like by road with resister yes you did by restoring and can you x the question is from check p can you use? Can you use a just it's the flash exposure down or up with using that cyrus ter method you can't on some speed lights it depends on which speed like you're using so I'm gonna take my little uh this guy right here this is the nikon speed light and it is on that method the built in light meter will call it that it's got a little plus minus right here and you can see that I can do flash exposure compensation so that works just fine on the espn nine hundred the sb nine ten is going to do the same thing. Let me grab five eighty e x to think you can also do it on the five eighty x two but just to be safe let's check this move double checks I know also the quantum flash allows you to do that um so on this guy here it does not appear I could be wrong on that, but I don't see a way that you can just quickly do that on the cannon flash I'm not saying it doesn't, I just don't see a way to do it right off here, cmd asked. What is the advantage of detail flashover this preset flash the advantage of tio flash means that you can use light modifiers he can use a soft box, an umbrella you can use high speed sync you can you know you've got you've got greater control of your flash using t tl, then built in because, um, you can you can add stuff to the flash so it's a more intelligent way of figuring out the exposure so both of them are sitting out flash and then measuring how much light is coming back. One of them is doing that using the pre flash of the little ninja. The other one is just doing it in real time. The difference, though, is with tiki ellis through the lens and so it's not dependent on the flash being able to see the light coming back is dependent on the camera being able to see the light that's coming back. And then the other thing with gtl is that you can make adjustments from the camera that affect the flash and so it's it's, a much newer, much more advanced much better a way of mirroring the light if you're going to be using some kind of built in meter, yeah, it's better teaching. L is better than the old that's. Why it was invented.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Once you know what’s happening with your camera and flash you can do almost anything. Speedlights open up a new realm in your photography. They are light to carry, quick to set up. And you never know when you're going to need that extra light for a more dramatic image.

This workshop will give you the confidence to incorporate small portable flash in your photography toolkit. From shooting receptions at weddings or adding drama in senior portraits, this workshop will include lots of live shooting examples that will help everything make sense. Get ready to take your photography to the next level. Once you start working with a portable flash, you'll never understand how you lived without them.


Gary Hook

Mark's wealth of knowledge combined with his engaging and 'fun', experimental approach to teaching is a winner. I learned a great deal but what truly reinforces the learning is that he actually shows what he is talking about. He gets a question and quickly sets up the practical demo for the answer. Brilliant. Given that this session took place some time ago ( but by no means diminishishes the tremendous learning value) the lessons and knowledge are based techniques that will stand the test of time; however, if I was advising Mark on his teaching techniques, the main are a of 'focus' would be to be more effective with his demonstrations. He holds the back of the camera up, makes his point quickly and then moves on, just as the video is locking on. Great idea to talk about what button you are pushing, but when your fingers are obscuring the 'learning point' it diminishes the effectiveness of the demo. Overall great course which I will watch parts again and highly recommend it. Thank you PS Give both Kelsey and John and huge hug as they are all-stars making things happen!

Alexander Svishchenkov

Great! I'm so thankful to you, CreativeLive, for providing this great opportunity to learn an important subject of photography - Speedlights - from the professional Mark Wallace. He is such a good teacher and explains everything in real-life situations and on slides. As he fires his flash, I instantly see the resulting photo on my screen, so this is theory combined with practice. I'm in fact watching you from Belarus, and it's midnight, so I'm fighting with sleep, but I can't get myself away from the screen. this is my 1st CL experience. I'm very grateful for running a rewatch of the previous Day the following morning, so I woke up and saw what I'd missed. And it's totally free! Thank you so much for a true first-class education!

Aussie David

Truly a fabulous class. Mark has such a gift for taking a complex subject and making it so understandable and fun at the same time. Mark is easily one of the best instructors out there. Highly highly highly recommend this class.