Well I spent the day using the auto settings on 2 flashes I have. I've had an opportunity to test out a lot with a digital camera that has an external flash link. This way - it speeds up my experience - no waiting for film to be developed and no running out of money. Tho i always do that too.
Thyristor Flash. This is a standard auto flash sort of thing. It fires and turns itself off when it senses a cirtain amount of light bounced back to its sensor. The only trouble i can imagine is that it doens't know the tones of the subjects in front of it. I think i might have to learn to adjust the appeture up and down to compensate for lighter or darker primary tones in the composition basically. The flash thinks everything is a grey card.
It works really well tho... this auto flash thing.
The technology that has replaced it is TTL (through the lens). This one replaces the on flash sensor with an in camera sensor directly measuring the film plane.
But the older style is cheaper - and pretty good. You can kinda learn how these flashes act and compensate and get a good exposure.
One cool thing about these onflash sensors - or ttl alike, is that you can angle the flash up or straight - and as long as the sensor is pointed towards the subject, the sensor will control the flash to compensate for the subject light.
There are 2 power settings in auto mode on the flash units i have.- they are 2 stops apart. One is configured for f2 and one is for f4 at iso100. you can use f 2.8 as well. But i like having two settings because some subjects dont need as much keying as others.
So I use the flash as a fill sometimes. To do this - i use the more sensitive setting. The more senstive the sensor is, the less light it will allow the flash to throw out.
Or - i can slightly adjust the fstop to a higher number to lower the flash energy through my camera lens. Either way works - i just learned all this today - i took about 300 shots messing with this feature.
I have to try the accent lighting now with the sensitive f2.0 setting now.
ok tried it for a couple hours.
Problem - the auto sensors get thrown off by multiple flashes.
back to the drawing board.