When To Use Flash On Film Camera
If you are wondering when to use flash on film camera then this is the right post for you. There are several cases when you should use flash on film cameras, and that includes:
1. When you are taking photos indoors
2. Taking photos of details indoors
3. When subject is poorly lit
4. When you are shooting backlit
5. Taking photos outside on a sunny day, to avoid hot spots and intense shadows
The main question is can you as the photographer use your skills and make camera adjustments that result in better pictures than the automatic setting? Often, indoor scenes will be illuminated sufficiently, meaning there will simply be enough light without the flash, so a flash is not required. It is often better if we allow the camera to flash. This way, the exposing light comes straight on and thus the entire face is well-lit.
Light originating from a built-in flash is not without glitches. The flash, being close to the lens tends to produce a “red eye”. Also, this flash location tends to create strong shadows that blemish faces. Also, the built-in flash only works for short distances and thus is useless when the subject distance is more than several yards (meters) away.
Best way to use flash on film camera for beginners and when to use it
As a beginner, you can rely on the automated exposure/metering system of the camera, and put the flash on Automatic mode so that it will turn on the flash when the metrics show it’s needed, and you don’t have to worry about it.
This is a really good option for all beginners because it will probably give you good-quality photos most of the time and you won’t waste your film. Of course, if you wanted to play a bit more with your photos you can use manual flashes paired with the camera, which are not set up for automated mode.
This puts you at the risk of wasting some film but gives you better control of your photos.
How and when to use manual flash on a film camera?
Even though flashes come in all shapes and forms, they all work on the same principle. All of them have a small light sensor in front that reads all of the light emitted by the flash itself and of course the light reflected by the subject. So, if the sensor detects that the amount of light in the surrounding is sufficient, the flash won’t emit any light and the exposure on your photos will be correct.
The first thing you have to do is to set your camera on sync speed. The sync speed is usually written in red or with a lighting bolt in front of it so it is pretty easy to notice it.
Now let’s take a look at the settings on the flash, as an example, I will use Nikon SB-20 Speedlight Electronic Camera Flash and its settings. The first thing you want to do is to match the ISO setting on the flash to the ISO on your film. On the right side you have a selector that shows different positions, so for example, if I wanted to use this setting shown on the photo I will have to use an aperture of 8 and so on.
The scale distance on the bottom tells you the maximum distance you can use your flash. So for example on the aperture of 8, the maximum distance the flash can be used is 4 meters or approximately 14 ft. It is also important to note that these flashes also work with digital cameras, of course, all of the settings are the same.
Which film to use with your film camera and when to use it?
It is recommended to use a 100-speed film when using the flash. In comparison to the 400-speed film, the 400 will always pick up more light which can be handy in some cases.
Of course, that decision will be on you, whether you need it or not. In most cases, you should not combine the flash with a film of 400, only when there is a big shortage of natural light. When you are shooting with an ISO of 100 that gives more manageable aperture values