2nd curtain question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sodak, May 2, 2009.

  1. Sodak

    Sodak TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to Vegas next week :D

    I want to take pics of the people I'm with out on the Strip/Freemont street.

    I've never tried playing with the 2nd curtain yet, but it's my understanding that you can use the longer exposure to get more of the lights, along with the motion of the traffic and then the flash fires at the very end to freeze the subject. Am I right here?

    I'll be taking: XS, 18-55 IS, 50mm 1.8, and maybe the 75-300- though I don't know what for, along with my new Vivitar DF400MZ. I've been playing around a tad with it and it seems to work fine in ETTL.

    Any good suggestions for night shots in Vegas?
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The XS has rear curtain sync? I didn't think it did.
     
  3. Sodak

    Sodak TPF Noob!

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    Yep. It's in the menu. I made sure and double checked before I posed the question. :)
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's the basic idea...but you may need a lot of guess & test to get the settings just right for the light you have and the look you are going for. Have fun with it.
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    No, and maybe...

    No because, technically, 2nd curtain sync, in and of itself, does nothing to increase the amount of ambient light that contributes to the exposure. It changes when that ambient exposure occurs relative to the flash component. The reason for the option is to choose whether any of the ambient blur occurs before (behind a moving light) or after (ahead of a moving light) the flash exposure. 2nd curtain sync generally creates a more natural or normal look when the ambiently lit components move.

    Maybe because some camera manufacturers simplify their flash options, bundling 2nd Curtain Sync with a Slow Sync option and not providing a separate Slow Sync option in addition. A Slow Sync option (names vary) causes the camera to attempt a full fill flash balance even when the shutter speed necessary is too slow to hand hold. The common "standard" flash action in modern cameras is to attempt some degree of fill flash but to stop at some handholdable minimum shutter speed (~1/30th to 1/60th), relying solely on the flash in darker situations.

    If your camera doesn't have a separate Slow Sync option you need to use 2nd Curtain Sync to accomplish what you want. If it does, using Slow Sync or 2nd Curtain Sync will produce identical images provided noting in the image moves during the exposure. The only difference will be which way a moving object will blur relative to the flash portion of the image.
     

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