EDIT 09/02/2015: New or changed content in purple (at end of article)
Everything you need to know
Size & Balance
Problem on first use!
Swivel & Tilt
One feature "missing" is the locking mechanism that prevents head movement. Now I know plenty of photographers who would require such a lock because they use heavy accessories on their flash heads but I don't. Personally, i love the fact that there is no locking mechanism because now raising and rotating the head is made that much quicker and simpler.
You can select the power by rotating the Power dial : 1/256﹣1/128 – 1/64 – 1/32 – 1/16 – 1/8 – 1/4 – 1/2 – 1/1 (Full) power.
TTL flash power comp. is provided in 9 steps by half Ev increments for -2.0, -1.5, -1.0, -0.5, 0, +0.5, +1.0, +1.5 and +2.0 Ev.
Video light mode
Sf & Sd modes
For X-T1 users a quick and easy off-camera flash setup is to use the supplied EF-X8 on-camera while in Commander mode. Then place the i40 in position either with a tripod or hand held and set it up in SF mode. It helps to have the slave sensor from the i40 pointed towards the on-camera flash (EF-X8). This easy setup will help for more interesting portrait lighting. The SF mode on the i40 and the Commander mode on the X-T1 are also advised for when using studio strobes or other manual flash units.
The TTL convenience
TTL at high ISO's
High Speed sync
To activate it you need do turn the flash to manual mode and then press the "TEST" button (NOT the ON/OFF button) for 3 seconds until the small dial's LED starts blinking slowly. It works with the X-T1 all the way up to 1/4000sec as long as you haven't set the Electronic shutter option. I hear from others that it also works with the X-Pro1 and X-E2.
Be aware that HSS is distance limited due to the fact that it can't be used at full power. Power is usually divided by a factor of 4 or 8 (not sure what the factor is with the i40) so multiple pulses can be achieved within one exposure. As mentioned, this is not TTL so you have to manually get the fill in exposure you desire. This is pretty easy in most cases as you just adjust the shutter or aperture. You could also adjust the flash distance since this will play an important role as well.
Flash exposure compensation
- Bounce card locking mechanism seems a bit on the loose side
- Would have preferred a much tighter compensation dial or maybe a center lock button.
- Can't judge for now, but hope the tilt and swivel mechanism stands up to harsh pro use
- Wish there was some illumination on the dials for easy use in the dark
- An audible beep for flash ready would have been nice
- A battery indicator
Menu setup notes
Shooting Menu (Red)
ISO AUTO SETTING> I have noticed that TTL flash exposure is not constant nor correct when using high ISO settings. So for this reason I recommend restricting your ISO choice under 800 ISO whether in Auto ISO or not.
DYNAMIC RANGE> Since on camera flash flattens the lighting to the subject, I don't see the need for this option being set to anything other than 100%
WHITE BALANCE> The Kelvin value for the Nissin i40 flash is 5600K. If you are planning on shooting an event with flash it may be a good idea to set your WB to 5600K - this way the main subject in all your flash lit photos will have the correct color regardless of environment lighting.
FLASH MODE> Plenty of choices here. Select between FORCED FLASH, SLOW SYNCRO, 2ND CURTAIN, COMMANDER and SUPPRESSED FLASH. For flash shooters who regularly use flash, the FORCED FLASH setting will most likely appeal to you. If you will be using the supplied EF-X8 or another flash on camera as a commander to trigger other i40 flashes off camera, then select COMMANDER. If you want to express movement in your flash photos, select a slow shutter speed and use either SLOW SYNCRO or 2ND CURTAIN.
FLASH COMPENSATION> So far the Nissin i40 is proving to be in most cases about 1 stop more powerful than what I would like. Instead of every time setting a -1 EV compensation on the flash itself, I prefer to have this setting set in camera and use the A setting on the flash instead of TTL.
RED EYE REMOVAL> If you are finding that you are getting too many red eye's then you may want to try this easy fix from Fuji. This is only for JPEG shooters - it has no effect on RAW.
SHUTTER TYPE>MECHANICAL: If you are a heavy flash / strobe user the Mechanical option should be you default choice.
INTERLOCK SPOT AE & FOCUS AREA> Select ON to have the spot metering sensor tag along the AF area position so whatever you focus on is also your spot metering sample! Not very flash relevant, but after testing this with the i40, I thought I would pass on my findings that it works for flash exposure as well.
SETUP MENU (BLUE)
SCREEN SETUP>PREVIEW EXP. WB IN MANUAL MODE> If you are going to shoot with flash /strobes you will want to set this to Off. This setting can be assigned to a Fn button for convenience.
SCREEN SETUP>DISP. CUSTOM SETTING> FLASH> Obviously, if you are using the flash a lot, you will want to turn this option to ON.