Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/11/02

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Subject: Re: [Leica] SF20 Howto
From: Mark Rabiner <>
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 15:10:21 -0800
References: <> <p05111001bbc9692abbdd@[]> <>

Erik van der Meulen wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 07:45:35AM -0600, Karen Nakamura wrote:
> > The SF-20 meets all your needs except bounce. It's so small and light
> > that it's always in my bag. The huge LCD on the back makes it a cynch
> > to dial in -1 or -2 fill in flash and I've had perfect luck with my
> > M7. It was expensive but you only cry once.
> Wonderful that this topic pops up today! I have just received my (second
> hand) SF20 and am about to try it for the first time on my sons second
> birthday party later today ;-) I will be shooting with an M6TTL.
> Thing is, I do not know how to! It did not come with a manual. My
> Internet search resulted in:
> but I am not sure if I miss things.
> Also, I am not sure about the difference between 'fill' and 'regular'
> flash operation. Is the first where I set the camera to 1/50, ignore the
> M6 meter information and let the TTL do its magic, while in the latter I
> do my shutter and apature according to the M6 light meter and have the
> flash (at -1 or -2) just 'play along'? While writing this it does not
> make sense, since in that way I have a chance to fail the sync between
> flash pulse and shutter opening.
> Sorry for all this beginners ignorance...

I'd try not to tackle these problems on a kid's second birthday but on a
non or lessor occasion. It's a common mistake. Learning under pressure.
Bad shots on important occasions. 

I took a walk around my block to test my Metz 32.z2  flash with My M6
and 50 at dusk a few years ago and that series of shots dominates my
portfolio or any stack of prints I ever bring anywhere. (8x10's with
Delta 100) But it's better to test flash fill on people. Maybe
mannequins would do it!  Nobody can think under the kind of pressure of
a kids birthday. :) It is a famously tricky issue for photographers
which require some trial and error.  I'll say that most flashes nowadays
are set for fill flash and you have to over ride it to make it come out
full flash. And then you have to reset it when you turn it back on
again. One of my Nikons work that way at least. I kind of specialize in
"synchro sun photography" which is what we are posting about but I know
no one who shares my enthusiasm for it except when I turn on the TV and
I see the news guys who never seem to take their flash off the camera.
Even in the hot noon day son with the Mad Englishman.  
"Synchro sun photography" is what my photography teacher called it and
he was an old old timer in the the mid 1970's. 
And I think I saw it in the Graphex book. They are like Leica Guides
only for Speed Graphic's. A must for any Leica shooter. It's always what
you don't think!
I'd shoot this one with the flash in the bag. 
Known as "flash in the bag" technique. An effect which can be achieved
no other way!
Use 1600 film in color or black and white it's amazing how good that
stuff is. Or 800. I like NPZ. Hand held photography has come along way
because of the improvements in films. Not news. Have all the proofs made
in the 16x20" size!

I remember in the early 60's when they upgraded the speed of Tri X from
300 something to 400 and everywhere people were saying that these new
fangeled flashes (there were two) were going to the trash can. No need
for them anymore!
Well you can still use a flash with 1600 ISO (a new word I learned in
St. Louis; "Izo" Like Izod only without the "D". 
.. and with a long O.

They sure stabilize your color balance.
And I'll take an effective shutter speed of 1/20,000 of a second any day.
At f16.

And be there!


Mark "Blast 'em!" Rabiner

Portland, Oregon USA
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In reply to: Message from "eric" <> ([Leica] Best M7 Fill Flash Survey)
Message from Karen Nakamura <> (Re: [Leica] Best M7 Fill Flash Survey)
Message from Erik van der Meulen <> ([Leica] SF20 Howto)