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We don't go through the detail
of why Canon had changed its mind to utilize the mainstream TTL flash technology.
This has already been explained in the Canon F-1n site already online.
manual for 300TL Flash (new)
views of the SPC that
handle the TTL flash at the mirror box. - Tom Scott
Canon certainly did its job well by studying the available options in the market
on those that have already offered the TTL flash capability before incorporating
its own version for the T90. But since TTL flash must relocate the meter sensor back
to underneath the main mirror box (Another will perform the required metering function
near the eyepiece, you can take
a look at this illustration),
facing the curtain and measure the reflected light back from the film during a pre
flash for optimum exposure recommendation (so the flash can cut off the power output),
a new dedicated flash unit with enhanced capabilities was launched together with
But first, let us list down what the camera has to offer within its core feature and how well does it perform with the 300TL
Speedlite. Usually, when mentioning flash photography, we talk very much about flash
synchronization. And it is relative to the camera's shutter mechanism. The T90's
vertically traveled duralumin
shutter blades were designed
to achieve its top speed of 1/4000 sec at stable and reliable capacity. Another side
feature it has was - its top sync speed was also raised to a new height. Thus, for
the first time, Canon has a model to provide a 1/250 second X-sync speed with A-TTL
facilities.(Horizontal traveled shutter curtain believed to be more durable and trouble
free but since it takes longer time to traveled across the 36mm picture frame than
the vertical traveled curtain of 24mm, its main draw back was the lower sync speed.
Among the Pentax LX,
Nikon F3 and Canon New F-1
pro level cameras (ALL were employed with Horizontal traveled
shutter curtains), the highest was the LX (1/100 sec), with the New F-1 second with
its 1/90 sec and the Nikon F3
the slowest at 1/80 sec.).
The 300TL was a dedicated flash unit was created to be the ideal match for the T90.
A selection of five modes (Full Auto, A-TTL, FEL, Manual Hi and Manual Low) lets
you meet every photographic situation with total control. We have go through the
300TL' s features one by one below.
Program A-TTL Mode
This mode automatically responds
to a wide range of illuminations, from dark surroundings to bright, so automatic
fill-in flash is possible. The shutter speed is automatically set between 1/60 sec.
and 1/250 sec. Using the A-TTL control system, this mode measures the light reflected
from the film surface directly by a sensor inside the camera. When being used for
fill-in flash photography, the A-TTL mode automatically reduces flash emission to
balance the exposure level between the main subjects and the background. This prevents
unnatural lighting of the subject while accurately exposing the background.
High-speed flash sync opens up a new world of faster flash photography. The T90's
shutter speed can be set anywhere between 30 sec. to 1/250 sec., giving the photographer
great control over subject movement, depth of field and ambient light. In addition
to the slower shutter speeds, the T90 when fitted with the 300TL flash unit can operate
at the faster shutter speeds needed for daylight photography. The T9O switches to
the center-weighted average metering mode automatically to select the correct aperture.
if the subject is too far away, both the shutter speed and aperture will blink in
the viewfinder as a warning.
The 300TL flash unit was designed
to specifically take advantage of the advanced electronics and superior operation
ease of the T90. The combination of the T90 and 300TL makes possible some creative
applications in the dark and brighter ambiance light conditions. All operations on
the 300TL are fully automatic, even when shooting in broad daylight.
New features like Advanced Through-The-Lens (A-TTL) metering, Flash Exposure Lock
(FE Lock), and second-curtain sync combined with the T90's 1/250 sec. flash sync
speed to make a great variety of complex flash effects as simple as ordinary available
light photography and the aperture-priority A-TTL Support the entire range of aperture
Using this mode, the photographer selects the appropriate aperture depending on distance
from the subject. Thus, when the background is as important as the main subject,
you can choose the correct aperture from among the entire available range and the
appropriate shutter speed will be set automatically between 30 sec. and 1/250 sec.
If the subject is too far away, the viewfinder shutter speed and aperture indicators
start blinking as a warning.
the correct exposure setting, the FE (Flash Exposure) Lock mode lets you position
the main subject anywhere in the frame while still getting proper exposures automatically.
The 300TL's FE Lock mode employs spot metering and the principle of AE lock to provide
accurate flash exposure of the subject in any situation. The subject is initially
spot metered by means of a 1/20th strength pre-flash that locks in the correct exposure
setting. The photographer is then free to recompose the shot. The resulting exposure
is not affected by the position of the subject or the reflectivity of the background.
The FE Lock mode can also let the photographer place the subject wherever he wants
in the frame while shooting at night. Shooting a non-centered subject in darker conditions
without the FE Lock would result in an overexposed picture as the flash attempts
to illuminate the background. But we have seen too much of this kind of total black
out in the background when dealing with automatic flash. It works like slowing down
the shutter speed to absorb more ambiance light from the background to show more
'natural' effect. But this also may take in excessive artificial light (subjective,
some may like and some don't).
H/S Control * Note: The T90's H/S Control allows
compensation for very white or very black subjects. "H" is used when the
subject is white. While "S" is used when the subject is black. The H/S
Control functions with either one-point spot metering or multi spot metering.
| Click here for master map for control |
Either shutter-priority FE Lock or aperture priority FE Lock can be selected depending
upon the shooting situation. Moreover, because of H/S control operation, the T90
can independently control the exposure level of the main subject with the flash and
the exposure level for the background with ambient light. Once the subject is metered
and locked in with the AE Lock, the viewfinder display shows how bright or dark the
background is in relation to the correctly exposed subject.
The H/S controls
can thus be used to bring the background into balance with the main subject for a
more dramatic shot. For night flash photography, with no H/S controls used, the background
will be underexposed. Since the H/S control is variable, the photographer can choose
the degree of exposure he wants for the background, making possible a variety of
effects from the same situation. And this operation also prevents the background
from being overexposed when using the flash for fill-in.
The Second-Curtain Sync
All SLR cameras during the sixties up to the mid-eighties came with flash synchronization
has always been timed for when the first shutter curtain is fully open, which was
common on the camera models from all manufacturers. Actually, I was first caught
by this feature when the T90 was launched and thought this is a good one, of which
I can imagine a fascinating effect that was never before possible with the conventional
First-Curtain Sync. The T90 and Speedlite 300TL offer the alternative of flash output
just before the second shutter curtain begins to operate. This is particularly useful
for capturing a sense of motion when shooting at a slow shutter speed. The flash
discharge comes at the very end of a rather long exposure so that the scene can be
naturally seen with the light flowing from it. Strangely enough, not many people
took notice of this unique feature pioneered by the T90 but they seemed to be very
excited about it when Nikon had this feature available for the first time with it
AF 35mm SLR camera, the F801/N8008.
Bulb Mode You can also use the T90 for shooting in
bulb mode for a variety of expressive effects. The bulb mode is used for very long
exposures, such as for night scenes or even astronomical photography. When using
the bulb mode, the aperture is set manually and the shutter remains open as long
as the shutter button is pressed down. When making long exposures, the camera should
or suggested to be mounted on a tripod and a cable release should be used in order
to avoid camera shake during the lengthy exposure time. The T90's bulb mode is specially
designed to be highly energy efficient. Battery life is maintained even during very
Ring Flash Its dedicated TTL Macro Ring Flash can work
from as close as 1 m. (0.4 in.) away. Another flash designed for the T90 to utilize
its TTL flash capabilities was a ring light! This completed the T90 extension into
the area of macro photography. There are times where correct exposures are particularly
difficult when doing super close-up photography. But with the Macro Ring Lite ML-2,
you can maintain precise control over flash photography even at exceptionally close
distances. Moreover, since accurate focusing becomes critical when doing ultra close-up
photography, the ML-2 features a focusing lamp to clearly illuminate the subject.
You can also check where shadows will fall by using the ML-2's modeling light.
The ML-2 has two separate flash tubes arranged on the right and left sides
of the ring unit. Both can be fired together, or for more versatility, either can
be fired alone, creating a slight shadow on the subject and thus adding a quality
of depth. The Macro Ring Lite ML-3 designed for the Canon EOS System can also be
used with the T90.
Even in macro photography, sometimes the composition of the background is critically
important. The ML-2's TTL automatic mode makes it easy to bring out a feeling of
solidity in backgrounds with no complex compensation calculations. More depth of
field means a greater sense of actuality. Thus, you can shoot extreme close-ups that
still gives a sense of presence to your photos.