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X-100 Fill flash range

Discussion in 'X100F, X100T, X100S, X100, and X70' started by John can't afford Leica, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. John can't afford Leica

    John can't afford Leica New Member

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    So I'm about to buy an X-100 primarily for it's fill flash capability. Just hoping someone can check my math...

    As I understand it the X-100 built in flash has an anemic GN of 15 feet. So as a primary source the flash it is capable of (in feet):

    GN=15
    ISO Max Dist 1:1
    100 7.5
    200 10.5
    400 14.7
    800 20.58
    1600 28.812

    Used as fill flash with mother nature providing primary on a bright day, the sunny 16 rule would suggest f16 @ 1/100; iso 100. Nearly maximizing the mechanical shutter flash sync would translate to f5.6 @ 1/800; iso 800. Perfect, I want some depth of field. So the working range for fill at -1 compensation would be about 10'; maybe a little more based on:

    Max Distance = 15/5.6 X (1.4 X 4) = 10.29' @ -1

    Given the smaller sensor this is roughly equal to F8 in the 35mm world. Also, the built in ND filters will open the aperture giving less DOF if I choose but have no other impact.

    Do I have it right?

    John
     
  2. John can't afford Leica

    John can't afford Leica New Member

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    Meant all at iso 100...
     
  3. Jonimages

    Jonimages Premium Member

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    I can't comment on the math part. In real life quick shooting scenarios outdoors the flash isn't sufficient. You will be happier buying one of the smaller flash units and using the built in flash to trigger it optically. I'm not into math but when I engage the ND filter I need more light. The built in flash isn't strong enough for most situations. Of course it's rare I use the built in flash but if I need 1/2 to full power for outdoor portraits using a godox ad360 then the built in flash is no where near good enough. I see very few circumstances you would be happy with the built in flash but if you can get your subjects within a few feet you may be fine.

    In regards to ISO 100 you mentioned wanting to buy the x100. The x100f allows shooting RAW at ISO 100. I know the x100s converts ISO 100 to jpg only. Not sure for the x100 or x100t.
     
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  4. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Well-Known Member

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    Same as jonimages I can't comment about the maths. Not sure about the max sync speed you mention or why you'd equate it to 100ISO rather than the native 200.

    I would like to hold up the in built flash as being very good for fill. I went to my son's wedding this past week and it held up very well with group shots outdoors in bright sunlight. I've never needed anything else since I started with the x100 series in 2011. You won't be disappointed with its fill flash capabilities.

    It provides enough flash, at my usual -1 FEC, to add that extra bit of light to diminish the shadows in the sun.

    I work with the ISO and allow it to capture the ambient indoors with the flash adding that extra sparkle.

    It's never going to be a full on modelling light, but that's not its intent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  5. jknights

    jknights Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with Joni.

    I think your maths looks fine but reality is the best exposure guide!
    I used a EF-20 unit in TTL mode or my SB800 in manual mode if I need more power. It even works with the AD600BM but I tend to shoot flash in manual exposure mode.
     
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  6. John can't afford Leica

    John can't afford Leica New Member

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    Thanks all. I was using ISO 100 just to open the lens an additional stop, didn't think about the raw only limitation. Also, on the shutter speed I understood that 1/1000 was the max sync speed. I used 1/800 to keep the math simple realizing I could squeak out another 1/4 stop.

    Thanks again - gave me a bit more to think about.

    John
     
  7. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Well-Known Member

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    1000 is the max sync speed at f2, but can be higher - up to 4000 - at smaller apertures.
     
  8. John can't afford Leica

    John can't afford Leica New Member

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    Well that's a game changer....
     
  9. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Well-Known Member

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    This is a copy/paste from the review of the X100T from the DPR site.

    "...As on previous models the maximum mechanical shutter speed at F2 is 1/1000th, increasing to 1/1250th at F3.2, 1/2000th at F4, 1/2500th at F7.1 and 1/4000th at F8 and beyond..."

    Also well worth reading is the same site's review of the original X100, particular the page about flash

    This page:
    Please login or register to view links
     
  10. pfogle

    pfogle Puzzled

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    I had a couple of X100's and a X100T.

    In my experience, the leaf shutter is great for off-camera flash outdoors, but the built in flash is almost useless.

    In the end, I gave up on this track as I found the fixed lens too limiting for the portraits I wanted to take.

    You likely won't want to use the ND filter with fill-in flash, as it reduces both the daylight and the flash, which negates the advantage of using flash to kill the bright daylight. It's really only useful to get better bokeh, but with the 23mm lens, the difference is not huge...

    Bottom line - the X100 series is great for off-camera flash for (semi-) wide-angle portraits in daylight, but is probably no better than other cameras for other styles of photography.
     
  11. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Well-Known Member

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    I puzzled at the comments about the built in flash. I've had the x100, x100s and now own an x100t. The built in flash has always worked brilliantly.

    I don't use it for model photoshoots where it's the only light or principal light; it just isn't built for that.
    But for group shots, eg at my son's wedding this last week, it was just great.

    It was sunny, plenty of light, groups arranged so that they weren't squinting into the light, the flash gave just the right lift to the photos and took the dark shadows out - no problem. I took most at -1 FEC as well, so not even using the whole available power.

    It's not a strong flash by any stretch of the imagination but, in my experience, it's fine for what it can do
     
  12. John can't afford Leica

    John can't afford Leica New Member

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    I can't speak from experience old timer but that was certainly the conclusion I came to - it's why I took the time to remember how to do the math . I'll be renting one for a week before I jump in with serious dollars but forgetting external flash, it seems to have about a 3 stop advantage over my e2 and 4 over my old om's. Will know soon enough if it's enough for my purposes.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  13. Jonimages

    Jonimages Premium Member

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    "It's fine what it can do" is different for each person. That is why you have the comments about the flash. The X100 series is a great camera for those that value off camera flash for portraits. You are correct it is good enough for some things. To take advantage of the features requires stronger lights. Even just adding a small off camera flash set in optical mode can do wonders the on board flash can't. The on camera flash is a good starting point and may be good enough. Doing math and then actually applying that in real world situations is another as I have not encountered a perfect situation.

    I can shoot wildlife with the x100f too, but it isn't a great camera for that. It comes down to what the end user wants to get out of the camera.
     
  14. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with all you say. For my purposes, I don't want an off camera flash on such a small(ish) camera, it works just as I want it.

    Far better than the onboard flashes on my more P&S cameras such as my small pocketable Canons.
     
  15. John can't afford Leica

    John can't afford Leica New Member

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    Guys, this was never a debate as to the benefits of off camera flash. The op (me) was simply asking for confirmation as to the maximum working distance of the in camera flash. Asked and answered.

    Thanks for the help.

    John
     

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