The gaps in Fujifilm’s TTL technology

Introduction

It’s been great to see TTL and wireless TTL appear more commercially with Fujifilm, particularly with the access to gear from the strobe manufacturers like Godox and Profoto. This has really opened the door to flash usage with Fujifilm, and brands like Godox have made it affordable for people to experiment with flash. Although it’s good, it has not been without it’s teething problems and it’s not perfect (yet). As a result, I decided to put my thoughts together on what Fujifilm needs to do to make their offering better.

AJH29176-2

Auto ISO and Flash

When you are using flash, the current Fujifilm TTL setup will lift ISO unnecessarily despite flash being detected. What this means is when you use flash with auto ISO, you could easily be stuck with a photo at ISO6400 or ISO12800 despite it not being required for the flash power available. Put a decent sized flash like a Godox TT685F on you camera in a small room and you’d expect the flash to fire at ISO200 without full power. Unfortunately this isn’t what happens and it’s using more ISO and less flash, rather than the other way around.

AJH29190

When you set ISO to 200 manually, you quickly realize that the flash is quite capable of lighting the room without having to adjust ISO. This seems a strange if not somewhat incorrect implementation of the ISO. Why would you want a photo at ISO12800 instead of ISO200?

So what can Fujifilm do to fix this? I think there are a number of ways you can do this:

  1. Use flash power until maximum and fill with ISO. This is my preferred option.
  2. Limit the number of stops allowed for ISO raising when it detects a flash. I.e. 3 stops
  3. 1 or 2 along with some degree of intelligence based on metering (see the metering section)

Metering

This is the second concern I have with the current implementation of TTL. Metering method has no impact on TTL in the current implementation on Fujifilm. If I compare this to Nikon’s iTTL system, I think that Nikon’s maturity with flash photography shows.

Nikon’s system adjusts power on the flash based on the metering method selected. Ie if you select center, it will only issue enough power to light the subject as a fill flash. If you select matrix metering, it will by to provide enough flash to light the subject and background. This seems like a relatively simple and effective implementation.

AJSH9810 6000 x 4000

Exposure compensation and TTL separation

The third concern with the current implementation of Exposure Compensation. Because of the way auto ISO/shutter is typically implemented there should be the ability to have TTL adjusting subject and exposure compensation adjusting background. These should be adjusted independently.

So let’s say, as an example, that you are taking a photo of someone in a forest…if you adjust exposure compensation, ambient should change, if you change TTL, flash should change.

Exposure compensation should allow you to adjust ambient, TTL should adjust the flash.

Conclusion

Not sure if there is anything else you can think of I missed? Feel free to let me know. Hopefully this isn’t the end of Fujifilm’s development with TTL.

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