Cameras forum


HELP, half of my photo is black??

by BrandiCarballo / February 5, 2014 3:59 AM PST

I am having a problem with my Canon 5D mark ii, I am taking some indoor food photos with off camera flashes and half of my photo (the bottom half) is black, as if it is obstructed. I don't know if my shutter release isn't opening all the way. Here is the weird part, if I go stand in my window and take a picture of the house across the street it is fine. But taking a photo indoors, half the photo is black. The exposure on the other half is perfect, with a very definitive line. I changed lenses and have the same problem with both lenses (both Canons, one 70-200mm and the other 50mm). It doesn't matter what angle I shoot at or how close I am to the subject, even if I point it at the backdrop I still get this problem. I have moved my flashes around, the entire area is well lit. I also have an overhead light, this is not a shadow. I have no idea what's wrong or how to fix it. Please help, if you have any ideas I would really appreciate it.


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All Answers

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My guess is the mirror is not swinging all the way.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 5, 2014 4:12 AM PST

I don't have this 5D but another t3i and I might try the video output to some HDTV to see if this shows up there. I won't duplicate the fine manual on that but if this happened to me I suspect the mirror isn't swinging fully and given how more light can change a lens' iris diaphragm I can visualize how this could happen. Such repair is best left to Canon.

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Focal-plane shutter
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 5, 2014 6:28 AM PST

That camera uses a Focal-plane shutter and it sounds as if you are using a shutter speed that Is too fast. for flash.
There is a maximum shutter speed for flash. If you exceed that speed you get exactly what you describe.

I don't know the maximum shutter speed for your camera, but I have a Canon 20D and it is 1/250th second.
The most common speed is 1/60th of a second.

You can read about it in your User Manual or here is a link that covers the subject:


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You got it - thank you!
by BrandiCarballo / February 5, 2014 11:05 AM PST
In reply to: Focal-plane shutter

Yes, this was my problem, thank you!

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