TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times | Transcription

I’m not going to keep beating you over the head with this … Well, yeah. I actually … I’m going to keep beating you over the head with this. Let’s talk about this because a lot of people, including our own staff photographers, often have said to me, “Pye, other people say that TLL recycles just as quickly as manual.” I say to them, “It does not. In fact, if you think about it, logically for one second. If your camera is firing a pre-flash and then flashing afterwards, it would use a little bit of power for that pre-flash, would it not?” They say, “Yes.”

I said, “Don’t you think that takes a little bit of battery power?” “Yes.” “Don’t you think that would require a little bit more recycle time afterwards because your flash fired twice?” “Yes.” “Don’t you think that your recycle time would be a little bit slower with TTL versus manual?” “No.” I don’t understand. I don’t understand the logic behind it.

What I did was I actually did a test. I used the Canon 580EX II. We ran a simple test just to prove this point. Let’s talk about how we did it. We’re using the 580EX II, we used standard Duracell and Eneloop rechargeable batteries. We ran the test three times with each just to make sure, like we didn’t want anybody to doubt the results, okay? Each time we used brand new batteries, either freshly recharged Eneloops or brand new Duracells.

With each test procedure, here it was. We had Olivia sitting there, we set up a little clam shell lighting set up, we had the camera on a tripod so that way nothing would change, okay? We’re using manual and TTL exposures on the flash and we set those exposures basically to be identical across the board. That way when a manual flash fired, it was the same exposure as when the TTL fired. We did a manual test first, we did the TTL test second.

What does that mean? We started manual and then we tested TTL, and then we went back to manual on the same set of batteries before swapping batteries. The test here was that if basically we only did the manual test first and then we did TTL first, people would say, “Oh, this is the batteries.” By doing this, we started with manual so we used the batteries first on manual. The same set of batteries we then switched over to TTL to get our reading and the same set of batteries went back to manual. Now, the batteries had been used twice, once manual, once TTL, and then back to manual to get our final kind of test results.

Okay, so manual was tested third and then we ran the same test three different times with each set of batteries and with the exact same results. Now, the numbers slightly varied based on how old the batteries were, like whether the Eneloops were a new set of Eneloops versus an old set, but the numbers were identical in the way that they progressed, okay?

Camera settings was 1/100th of a second F7.1 and iso 100. That way we’re running a pretty heavy flash, okay? Under TTL, we’re at plus 1 2/3 for the exposure setting and at manual, we’re between 1/2 and 1/4 power. Now, once that was all set up we started taking our shots and check this out, this was the result that we got across the board. Manual would start out extremely quick, we’re at 0.58 seconds for the first recycle, 0.73, 1.08, 1.23, and then from there it slowly declines to 1.33 by the eighth shot.

When we switch over to TTL, it goes immediately to 1.05, 1.68, and it starts dropping. We end at 2.51 on the twelfth shot on TTL. Then, switching back to manual, mind you, same set of batteries. Back to manual, the first recycle is 0.66. We ended at 2.51. Second recycle was 0.88. Third recycle was 1.38 and that’s where it basically stabilizes. We end at 1.66 after 10 additional shots. Now, at the very end of this, let’s not even talk about these earlier numbers, at the very end 1.66, that’s more than 50% faster. Or 2.51 seconds is more than 50% slower than 1.66. That is a huge difference in recycle time.

Does TTL use more power and does it slow down your recycle time? Yes. If your camera, if your flash is firing a pre-flash to gauge exposure it will indeed use power and it will indeed slow down the recycle time. If you don’t believe, run the test yourselves. Guys, we’ve done it six times here just to show you and we have all the video footage there to prove it and everything, so please take my word for it and don’t waste your time.

CHAPTER GETTING OVER THE FEAR, HYPE, & MYTHS

CHAPTER 2: THE BASICS OF FLASH

CHAPTER 3 UNDERSTANDING LIGHT

CHAPTER 4: ON-CAMERA FLASH GEAR BASICS

Chapter 5: DIRECT FLASH DONE RIGHT

Chapter 6: STUDIO LIGHT? JUST BOUNCE IT!

Chapter 7: MORE LIGHTS, REFINEMENT, & CREATIVITY

Chapter 8: CASE STUDIES

Chapter 9: BONUS CHAPTERS

Total Course Run Time: 8H 17M 4S