Problem with my D50?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by fotogenik, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Would you say I have an issue with my D50?

    I was shooting some test shots in the studio the other night, playing with aperture and shutter speed for a given amount of lighting.

    I found that my camera when shooting at 180th shuttersoeed and below (1/60th, 140th....) produced an acceptable image for a given amount of light. If I switch the shutter speed to 1/100th, 1/125th or higher..... I found my image came back completely black (as if the shutter fired but the aperture did not open.

    The lens I was using at the time was the Nikkor 50mm 1.8. I am pretty sure this lens stays closed completely until the shutter fires and it then opens the aperture to the required amount during the exposure and closes it again when the shutter closes.

    I beleive this indicates a problem with my d50 but wanted to check with you guys and see what you thought.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is just an issue of synch speed. Every camera with a focal plane shutter has a maximum. The shutter is two curtains that follow each other across the frame. At slower speeds there is point where both curtains are out of the way and the full frame is available to be exposed. That's when you want the the flash to fire. At higher speeds, the second curtain begins moving across the frame before the first one has finished creating a moving slit across the frame. So you need to shoot at the maximum synch speed or slower.

    The maximum for the D50 is 1/125. A higher shutter speed will begin cutting off the frame, as you discovered. This isn't specific to the D50. Every camera with a focal plane shutter has the same issue. The maximum synch speed varies based on the design of the shutter, but they all have a maximum. Only leaf shuttered lenses can synch at any shutter speed.

    Remember that with flash photography, it is the duration of the flash that determines the length of time for the exposure, not the shutter speed. My strobes might be as slow as 1/125 second when fired at full power. Honestly I don't know. I never have to crank them up that far. Usually we're dealing with a fraction of 1/1000 th.
     
  3. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Thanks very much for your reply. I understand flash synch speed. I have actually used this camera and these flashes before at 1/4000th shutter speed and gotten acceptable images (in my early days when I actually did not understand sync speed).

    However, the D50 max synch speed is actually 1/500th of a second, and as I stated above I have shot at 1/4000th of a second and gotten images before. I do not believe this is a sync issue.

    I had another thought that possibly it is a lens issue, when i leave work in a few minutes and get home I am going to run my test using another lens to rule that out as well.

    Still looking for answers.
     
  4. midget patrol

    midget patrol TPF Noob!

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    When you're looking through the viewfinder, the aperture is wide open, all the way at 1.8. When you hit the shutter, it closes down to whatever you have it set for. The D50 doesn't have a DOF preview button to show that, unfortunately. So it's probably not the lens. Unless it's closing down way too far.
     
  5. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Interesting, dunno why the heck I did not think of that. Got my camera here at work with me tonite so gonna try some test shots to see if I can isolate the issue some more. will post images shortly
     
  6. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Intersting again, I cannot seem to get the problem to re-occur now....hmmmm more troubleshooting is warranted.
     
  7. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    My bet is that the light just wasn't strong enough. To test, set your camera on Aperture Priority locked to f/1.8 and see what shutter speed it reccomends. If you go more than 2-3 stops or so past that with the shutter speed, the camera won't be able to get enough light to make any image.
     
  8. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Gonna have to test it some more when I get home. Don't think it was an issue of not enough light since I had two Alien Bee B800's firing at full power in a 12x15 studio

    How does one shoot aperture priority with studio strobes. The meter can't meter light that sin't there yet. I always have to shoot in manual mode, Aperture priority always blows out because it meters before the shutter fires (which is when the strobes trip)
     
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Oh, so this was with Studio Lights? Lack of lighting shouldn't be an issue then. Wasn't aware of that fact.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One doesn't. There is no mechanism for shortening the flash duration from the camera. One uses a hand held flash meter or trial and error.
     
  11. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    I finally figured it out. Low battery in the receiver of my wireless flash trigger system. replaced the two double a batts and all is well.
     

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