Continuous shutter/flash question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tom beard, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    Using a Nikon D-90, set on continuous shutter release for shooting sports (such as gymnastics or figure skating), so you can pick the frame at the 'peak of action'; and you are shooting indoors with bad light and need a flash, does Nikon make a flash that will sync with continuous shutter release mode (4.5fps)? I'm thinking of the SB 600 and looked in the manual, but can't seem to find anything. Would a SB 800 or 900 do it? Hopefully, the 600 will and I just missed it. Also, if you are close enough, would the built in flash sync? From everything I've read on the Forum, they're useless.

    Thanks as always, Tom Beard
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think you are referring to cycle rate (how many times a second the flash will fire) vice 'sync' (at what shutter speed the flash will synchronize. Assuming that, then the answer is no. About the best cycle time you can expect with an external battery pack on a 800/900 is 1.5 seconds.
     
  3. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    SB-600 will do continuous flash, it's actually an in camera setting.

    The camera flash however will not.
     
  4. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    You are, as they say, S.O.L. The problem is the time necessary for the flash to recycle. The flash can fire repeatedly at a rate to keep up with your D90 but only if the flash power were reduced to the point of being useless.
     
  6. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all! I had a hunch I'm SOL. I just wanted to check with the Masters! TB
     
  7. sha.chanel

    sha.chanel TPF Noob!

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    Built in Flash and continuous shots don't mix. The time for your flash to regenerate is slower than your shutter cycle. I suggest that you get a good angle and better lighting so you won't have to resort to using flash. Sometimes flash ruins the depth and true lighting of your shot.
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    You'd be hard pressed to find a gymnastics meet that allowed flash anyway.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It doesn't take a lot of light to for shooting indoors if you setup right.
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    I believe you are thinking about high speed flash sync. It's a feature that pulses the flash, rather than firing it in one burst.
    This allows you to use any shutter speed with flash, not just the max sync speed or slower.
    I don't think it will work for continuous multiple exposures though....which is what the OP is asking about.

    Also, when using this feature, your working range is severely limited and the batteries will drain a lot faster.
     
  11. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    Mike, I'm talking about continuous exposure.

    It's an in camera setting on my D300, which will allow my to fire the strobe with the shutter for about 6 frames at 1/16th power. I use it for skate photography all the time.
     
  12. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    That's a drive mode. A continuous exposure sounds more like bulb mode. o_O

    Anyway, you're not SOL, but life is made much easier with a more powerful flash and a camera that lets you go up to those purdy high ISOs. I can easily shoot with high-speed continuous drive on my 7D with a 580EXII. You should note, however, that if you use ETTL or iTTL, it will slow-down the camera because the it needs time to calculate the flash exposure, as well as fire the pre-flash.

    What will happen is that if you fire the flash a whole lot, it will run-down the capacitors. If the flash is fired at around 1/8 or 1/16, this won't be a practical concern (at 1/8 power and ISO 1000, a 580EXII reports that proper exposure falls around 13m, hence why high ISOs are so useful for high-speed flash shooting). The flash won't however, be totally useless, as Plato puts it.

    To further correct the inaccuracies above, only the recycle time of the flash at 1/1 power would be too slow to fire successive frames. Bring it below 1/2 and the capacitors will draw power from the batteries while providing power to the flash bulb for each firing, in essence creating a buffer between the higher-resistance batteries and the flash bulb. Eventually, the capacitors will run out of sufficient power to fire the flash, but as I said, once you get to around 1/16, this really isn't a practical concern at all, and flash units like the 550EX, 580EXII, SB-800, and SB-900 can all provide quite a bit of power at 1/16, as long as you boost the ISO and open your aperture sufficiently.

    However, since you're creating a stroboscopic effect with your flash unit, in all likelihood anyone you're shooting will not appreciate what you're doing. If you must use flash at a sporting event, and are allowed to do so by the organizers, it would be better to work on your timing.
     

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