I was struggling with using flash on my mirrorless cameras. When using flash on non-TTL (through the lens) cameras my usual camera settings are:

  • set the exposure to manual
  • set the aperture to 5.6 (though this sometimes changes)
  • set the ISO to 200
  • set the shutter speed to 1/125 of a second (though this depends somewhat on flash sync speed for the camera)

I then set the flash to auto mode and set the flash aperture and ISO to match what is set on the camera.

The problem with this is that on mirrorless cameras the EVF is set to preview the exposure by default, so the EVF typically shows as nearly black with these settings. After much messing around I finally figured out the solution–turn off the EVF exposure preview. On my Leica SL that setting is called Exposure Preview, and it is possible to turn it so that the preview is only active in all modes except manual. Voilà–flash now works perfectly.

I’ve been taking photos for 45 years, mirrorless for 8 or 10, and I’m just now figuring this out, so I guess a) I don’t use a lot of flash, and b) this isn’t easy to find with a simple online search.

February 21, 2024