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D700 Auto FP

johnmac 7 129
30 Sep 2012 11:06PM
Hi, is it best to leave on 1/320s (Auto FP) or 1/250s (Auto FP) setting on the camera. Would it affect any other settings by leaving it on all the time or does it only come on when I attach my SB700?

Hope this make sense

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LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
1 Oct 2012 6:48AM
Auto FP 1/320 gives a slightly faster "shutter fully open" sync speed than auto FP 1/250, with some loss of flash output - reducing the maximum range of the flash.
I use 1/250.
The benefit of auto FP is that when the shutter speed is faster than 1/500 and the flash is switched on the flash still fires.
The effective flash output reduces as the shutter speed increases so the main advantage is the option to use some fill light to lighten shadows.
Auto FP on the camera body does not affect anything unless a suitable flash is attached to the camera and switched on.
There should be some explanation in the D700 instructions - look in the index under Auto FP high speed sync to find the relevant page.
johnmac 7 129
1 Oct 2012 8:09PM
Hi thanks for getting back. Do you think it would be better to leave it on this setting for low light and/or just daylight fill in flash
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
1 Oct 2012 10:56PM
Switch to Auto FP at 1/250 and leave it there, forever.
johnmac 7 129
2 Oct 2012 8:17AM
Thanks for your advice I really appreciate it
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
2 Oct 2012 5:49PM

Quote: Do you think it would be better to leave it on this setting for low light and/or just daylight fill in flash

I part disagree with scottishphototours for low light flash.
There are two main flashgun settings.
TTL/BL/FP on the flash (auto FP at 1/250) is when daylight and flash are being balanced by the camera metering and flash in typical outdoor lighting.
In low light there is usually little or no daylight to balance so you are better switching the flash to TTL. When you do this exposure is based on the flash output. Shooting this way the camera is likely to switch to whatever sync speed you set as the exposure speed - usually 1/60.
When working from a tripod sometimes it is worthwhile setting a longer shutter speed - I sometimes use up to 1 second.
The idea behind 1/60 as a minimum shutter speed is to avoid ambient light blur if the camera is moved after main flash exposure.
When shooting fungi from a tripod if there is a cluttered background I may need half a second exposure for background detail. Often I set the camera to minus 0.66 stops to slightly underexpose the cluttered background, and the flash to plus 0.66 stops exposure for correct main subject exposure.
CAUTION - if you set sync speed to longer than 1/60 remember to switch it back, otherwise you can get blurred backgrounds next time you use flash in low light.
If you use studio flash 1/250 is too fast for some studio units - 1/125 may be needed to record full studio flash output.
johnmac 7 129
2 Oct 2012 7:14PM
Thanks for the info, I think I need to do some experiments.
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
3 Oct 2012 1:15PM
The daylight fill-flash that he is setting (Auto FP 1/250 - e1 menu item) only becomes active when the flashgun is set to TTL/BL and it then switches on FP mode. When the flasgun is in TTL only, FP mode is not activated and therefore you can set it and leave it. I have mine set like this and use my D700's in daylight/indoors/with studio flash/with long exposures and have never had to reset it.

There is an e2 setting item that allows you to set a seperate flash shutter speed of as low as 30 seconds (when using front and rear curtain sync in aperture priority mode or programmed auto mode), and you could set this to allow you ambient control in low light situations on a tripod. So johnmac, to clarify:

e1 - set to auto FP 1/250 to allow FP mode to activate when TTL balanced fill-flash is activated on the flashgun
e2 - set to required shutter speed for low light ambient control on a tripod when using aperture priority or P mode

See pages 305 to 308 in the D700 manual for full descriptions.

johnmac 7 129
3 Oct 2012 8:42PM
Many thanks all for your reply and advice. I shall give it a go on Sunday when I'm doing inside and outside work
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
4 Oct 2012 5:17PM
I find the AutoFP setting invaluable for providing some fill-in illumination when photographing back-lit birds - such as a bird flying across the sunlit clouds. I may be using a shutter speed of, say, 1/2000th and normal sync flash is not an option. However, it is important to realise that the effective amount of light from the flash drops off very quickly at higher shutter speeds. It's fine if I get the camera within a few metres of the bird (or vice versa), but useless at longer distances.

johnmac 7 129
5 Oct 2012 9:24PM
Thanks all, I will more than likely have to try this out Sunday morning. I'm photographing inside a large building and outside. Really glad I asked the question as I will make full use of your advice

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