Flash Sync

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by fotogenik, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    I have a question regarding flash sync speed. (Yeah mr obvious, looks at the thread subject line)

    When using monlights for studio photography I have read that my camera's fastest sync speed is 1/500. I assume this means I can only use 1/500 shutterspeed or slower in order to sync my flashes and get the correct exposure.

    When I first got my flashes I was shooting at max shutter speed (1/4000) and max light power on the main and the pics where coming out very acceptable. Now I have lowered my flash power setting and lowered my shutter speed to 1/500 and I feel everything is AFU.

    Any insight on this anyone can offer would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I say screw it...do what works. If you're working with leaf-shutter lenses, there's absolutely no reason you can't or shouldn't sync at any speed, really. BTW, could you post a pic of one of the bad 1/500 shots? Are you sure it's not something with the aperture or ISO settings?
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Exposure is exposure really. As long as your flashes kick out enough whompf to expose the subject, the shutter speed is, to some extent, irrelevant. Generally, the faster shutter speeds may give some timing issues - the shutter may not get out the way fast enough, but this is obviously not a problem for you with that rig.

    So, as Max says, just leave it with what works. FWIW, I reckon that the faster the better with studio shots.

    Rob
     
  4. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That seem backwards to me, I would think 1/500 is the slowest for flash to uniformly light the subject.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    First of all you don't say what camera you are using - digital or film.
    This can make a considerable difference.
    Secondly, Rob is correct - with the addendum that with flash, shutter speed doesn't matter at all to the exposure*. However, if you use a faster shutter speed than the flash can synch with then you will experience problems.
    The power output of flash is controlled by the duration of the flash. At full power the duration of the light-burst of the flash is much longer than the duration at lower power.
    For example:
    Full power duration = 1/5,000 sec.
    Half power = 1/10,000 sec.
    The light output is the same but it's on for less time.



    *Doing still life with large format in the studio I never used the shutter at all except to lock it open when doing an exposure. The flash and aperture were the only methods of control.
     
  6. mal

    mal TPF Noob!

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    Would you mind explaining this a bit more? I'm interested.
     
  7. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Equipment being used is in my signature :D

    Digital NIkon D50

    Thanks,
     

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