So.. for indoors flash in a ‘normal’ environment (i.e. a room with not too much, not too little light), here is my new, “restated-as-an-easier-mnemonic” rule of thumb:
The 400-40-4 rule (a.k.a. the “4-4-4-rule”).
As a simple starting point, do the following:
- Flash aimed 45 degrees up, behind you
- 400 ISO
- 1/40th second
That will give you an ambient light exposure of around -2 stops. Which looks like this:
Of course if your background is now too dark, you can raise ISO, lower f-number, or slow down shutter. If on the other hand the background is too bright, lower the ISO, select a faster shutter speed, or increase the f-number.
Often, simple rules of thumb are the secret to success. And simplicity is key – “4-4-4” sounds simple enough to remember, no?
I am assuming Flash mode is in automatic?
Yes indeed. TTL mode, which is automatically metered flash
Michael – what are your thoughts on using a non-VR (or IS) lens and having the shutter speed lower than the focal length? ie (shutter set at 1/40th second with a focal length of 70mm on a crop camera). Will the sharpness suffer because of the shutter speed setting due to the slight motion blur…provided that I dont have the steadiest hands? just a thought…
Oh yes, VR/IS is great,it buys you several stops. So then you can shoot with slower shutter speeds, indeed.
would you still recommend shooting with a slower shutter speed (1/40th second) even if it is a non-VR/IS lens…even if the focal length is 70mm or more?
I would be careful, but when using flash, sure, no problem. The flash, after all, is 1/1000th second or less.
Pingback: Slow flash – a misnomer | SpeedLighter.ca