Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Canon 600EX


Hello all. I wanted to know if there is a way to turn down the brightness of the flash. Say if I am in a dark setting and I just want a little bit of light to fill in the subject.


Also what  does the setting that change the flashes 50mm to 100mm do?  That's not the power level is it?


Also if you have a diffuser on the flash is it still better to take the diffuser off and bounce the flash instead?


Ok ok thanks. I got to work on it.

If you do, I guarantee that it will all become second nature soon enough.  It just takes playing with it, and being thoroughly confused by it, a few times and eventually it starts to just make sense.  Suddenly instead of having one more thing to worry about, you have one more thing to help you get the results you want.  Flash photography is a wonderful thing.

@Kolourl3lind wrote:

Yes I kind of have a grip on the the 3 wisemen but 4th old guy seems to bring all the boos that makes the other 3 act weird. Thanks for the link. I will study up.

Lol.  Well put.


The 4th guy is a bit of an odditity, because he's affected by 2 of the 3, whereas the 3 are independent of each other.


I recommend trying to shoot in full manual for a little bit.  Ettl flash provides a terrific learning opportunity since it pretty much takes care of the exposure for you.  If you’re in a darkened venue, or just a ‘romantically lit’ room, set your camera to full manual, open up the aperture as far as you’re comfortable with, set your shutter speed to 1/focal length (e.g. for a 100 mm lens use 1/100), and bump up the ISO until you’re about 2 stops under exposed.  Then put your flash on, turn on eTTL, and start firing away using the flash to light the subjects.  If you have a 50mm lens use that, as it’ll give you a lot of room to bump up the shutter speed and observe the change to the ratio between flash and ambient light.  I think that understanding this relationship has a lot to do with understanding how to use flash (well).

You need to "drag the shutter". When you use a flash you get a light "fall off" behavior. The light follows the "inverse square law" -- which means that as the distance from the light increases by the square root of 2 (you can round that to just 1.4 to keep it simple) the illumination from the light will be cut in half.

For example... if you use flash to photograph someone 7' away, then something 10' away will have half the light. Something 14' away will have 1/4 the light. Something 20' away will have 1/8th the light.

The net effect is that you see your subject illuminated by flash, but everything behind quickly falls to darkness.

HOWEVER... when you take a shot with flash, there is also the available light in the room -- it's weak, so it hardly competes with flash. But if you leave the shutter open longer, you'll get more ambient light to fill in. You will NOT have to worry about over-exposing your subject because the flash itself is extremely brief.

Use manual with a low focal ratio and slow the shutter speed down... perhaps 1/60th... perhaps even slower (but if you go very slow you'll need a very steady camera or a tripod).

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Yes I agree. For my last shoot I had to go down to 1/30 on the shutter to get decent pictures that were true to the subject and setting. Hoever, because this was a rock concert, the subjects were moving to fast. The pictures came out blurry. It looks like I have to find some compromise between flash and shutter. Something got to give for either one.  I hopping if I upgrade to a full frame I can get some better results. But I just have to practice what you guys have beem suggesting.


Most of my photography has been in low light settings. What a way to start things off right?

For concerts I shoot with available light and don't worry about color balance. I use spot metering and meter a subject's facial skin. I typically use Av mode (I do not attempt to shoot manual when lighting is changing moment by moment due to the light show) and if the camera uses evaluative metering then set exposure compensation to -1 (otherwise it will tend to below out highlights while trying to bring the black backgrounds up to a dark gray - which you don't want anyway.)
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


Controlling flash output is done on the back of the flash or on the camera menu under External Speedlight control > Flash function settings. You really must read the both manual for your 600EX and the manual for your camera. Have the flash on-camera as you do so.

click here to view the gallery