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Advanced Questions
by Chuck McKern

With over 12 years of retail and professional experience Chuck thought he'd heard it all - until he took this job.

Send us your questions for either the Beginner or Advanced columns by clicking HERE.  Please include as much detail about the technique, camera, lens, or film as you can so Chuck can answer your questions.

I'm searching for a good source of information on TTL flash. Maybe it's out there and I have missed it, but I can't find a good, understandable book or article explaining how to use my Nikon SB28 to optimize my images.

I'm a reasonably intelligent guy who has read the manual three times, searched and read articles on the web, read the technically outdated sections of popular books on photography, shot lots of test photos and still come away scratching my head. Sorry Moose, I find most of your stuff very useful, but the TTL article on your web site just doesn't get me there. All of us motivated amateurs and wanna-be pros have flash. Few of us can use it to good advantage. There are many of us hungry for a good article to help us better use the flash equipment we carry. 

Larry Libsch

I agree there is not a lot of good, easy to read, information on flash photography (especially sophisticated ones like the SB-28). One good source of information might be the Nikon School video on the SB-28. It is designed to help people get the most out of their SB-28 and is available directly through Nikon. While I haven't had the chance to watch this particular video, I have been impressed with the quality of other videos I have seen in the Nikon School series. Another potential source of information is the Magic Lantern guide for the Nikon SB-28 by Michael Huber (ISBN 1-88340352-9). While I wouldn't call this easy reading, there is a lot of good information here.

Singh Ray makes a series of very high quality (and expensive) color intensifying filters. Their online web site does a pretty good job of showing how the filters are used and the effect they have. All except the green intensifier. Does anyone have experience with this filter? At $160 it's a little too pricey to just buy on a whim and a hope.


I have not been able to find anyone who has experience with the green intensifier. It does seem like it would be helpful to enhance the richness of healthy green foliage. Maybe call Singh Ray and see if they can email a sample photo of the green in use. There is one sample in their gallery that was created with an Intensifier Polarizer. That may be similar to the results of the Green Intensifier (without the polarization effect).

You can reach Singh Ray at 1-800-486-5501. They say you will get better response by calling rather that emailing.

Is any Company working to develop a slide in Kit, to convert a 35 mm film Camera to a Digital Camera? I would be interested in following the progress of such a development if one exists. If you have any information on this, Please send me an E-Mail, and let me know if a website exists, and if so the address. Thank you very much 

Robert Thimsen

There is a company that has been working on a drop in digital adapter for SLR cameras. They are Silicon Film.

This e-film (as they refer to it) is available for use in selected Nikon and Canon cameras and all the current lenses for those cameras. The attachment is limited to 1.3 megapixels and uses a small CCD. They do include a viewfinder mask to correct the aspect ratio between 35mm and digital formats. The usable area of the chip is about the size of the center spot in the viewfinder of a manual camera.

The e-film cartridges are not interchangeable between camera models. This product is still developing and has a long way to go to compete with the current assortment of 2 and 3+ megapixel cameras.

If you would like more information on this technology, you can check them out at

I just subscribed to your magazine and to be honest it is very helpful and powerful one too. I have been interested in photography from before but I began to take it seriously last year. I love photographing NATURE and CLOSE-UPS PHOTOGRAPHY but this needs traveling and some money, bear in mind I want to take pictures for profits so I decided to get collection of photos (portraits, landscape, wildlife, still-life) and I will sell them through a different agencies.

I am going to buy this outfit: NIKON F5, 24-85mm f2.8-4 AFD,80-200mm f2.8 AFD and SB28. So my questions are: Does this outfit deliver the goods for my subjects? Which tripod and head in the Manfrotto range will cope with all this subjects (I will try to take photos from a lower angles)? 


The camera equipment you have mentioned is a great set-up for what you are looking to do. I would probably suggest a lens around 300mm or 400mm or invest in a high quality tele-converter for the wildlife photographs.

As far as the tripod I would look at the new Bogen Manfrotto 3001N, 3001D, 3001PRO. These are new revisions to the 3001 tripod and come with a built-in low-angle adapter. As far as the head, a lot of photographers that I know swear by ball heads. The ball head I would start to look at for that tripod would be the 3262 medium ball head. The nice thing about this system is that you can get any head to go with any leg set. This will allow you to get the system that you are most comfortable with. Check out their web site at for more information.

If I were constructing my own studio-type lighting fixtures and I wanted to shoot with daylight film, what kind of light would I want? Halogen?... In other words, what kind of light do hot shoe mounted flash units use? How about the circular Ring Lights? 

...............thanks, Phil :)

Camera mounted flash units and ring lights use a daylight balanced light source. For studio set ups you can use these lights for some applications. For larger and more complex set ups you can also use photo floods (hot lights) or you can get studio strobes. I recommend studio strobes for studio use.

Strobes are daylight balanced and have a modeling light to help you correctly place the lights. They also allow you to shoot with a lot of control over the aperture you can use. Strobes, however, can be expensive.

A decent starter set could cost you a couple hundred dollars. Daylight balanced photo floods are another less expensive option. The bulbs only last 6-8 hours of use and can get extremely hot. You do have to be very careful when using these types of lights so you don't get burned by them.

To see more information about the difference between the floods and strobes, please refer to our article on portrait lighting in our June issue.


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I'm searching for a good source of information on TTL flash




















There is a company that's been working on a drop in digital adapter for SLRs




























I recommend studio strobes




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