Question about flash sync

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Baaaark, May 30, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    If a camera has a 1/200 flash sync, does that change whenever you buy a hotshoe flash, or is it the same no matter what flash you use?

    If its built into the camera no matter what flash (like I think), does this mean that the D-40s 1/500 is a really big deal? Like if you are doing portrait photography (senior photos, babies, models, etc.), this would be a HUGE asset to have over a camera that only has 1/200 flash sync?

    I don't really know. Without ever having had a DSLR, I don't really know what instances would require that high of a flash sync. I do know I'm a big fan of good lighting, though.
     
  2. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    If the camera has a 1/200th flash sync speed, any external flash that is not the on-board flash will only expose a shot properly up until that shutter speed. Set your shutter faster and you get a black bar across your image. I'm only familiar with Nikon products, but they allow you to use a high speed sync with Nikon flashes. I don't remember the speed right off hand but it is much faster than 1/200.

    A high speed flash sync would be necessary when you want to stop down your exposure and don't want to change your DOF. For example, if your shot's ambient light at 1/200th is too bright for f5.6, but you want to drop the ambient and not sacrifice the DOF, a high sync speed for the flash would enable you to drop the exposure without changing aperture (assuming it's shot at the lowest ISO possible). I'm guessing there are much more applications for high speed syncing, but this is the only one I wish I could use (doesn't work with my Nikon and Vivitars).
     
  3. johnbergsing

    johnbergsing TPF Noob!

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    What's I'd do to have a camera with a 1/500 sync speed! Anyway ...

    It's pretty simple. The higher the sync speed, the wider range of of shooting conditions you can operate in. That 1/500th is a full f/stop higher than my camera's 1/250th! Imagine the possibilities...
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For cameras with focal plane ['slot in curtain'] shutters, the [maximum] flash sync speed of a camera is that shutter speed at which the entire film or sensor area is exposed at the same instant. At any higher speed, only a part of the film or sensor is exposed at any one instant by the 'slot' in the moving curtain. At any slower speed, the film or sensor is fully exposed for longer and longer periods of time.

    For cameras with leaf shutters, the shutter is fully open at one instant for any chosen shutter speed.

    Unless the subject of a picture is in total darkness, there will be some light from it which reaches the film or sensor beside that of the flash unit. If the subject is moving, it can result in a 'ghost' image. For that reason, it's general practice to use the highest permitted shutter speed when using a flash unit.

    It makes no difference if the flash is built-in, on a hot shoe or used with an extension cord. The maximum speed remains the same.
     
  5. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    I love my D40s 1/500 sync, it is very handy when using fill flash outdoors on a bright day. Even more handy is the D40s dumb flash sync, if you use a non-dedicated flash it will sync at any speed, I have used flash at 1/1600 and above several times.
     
  6. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    what is a "dumb flash sync?"
     
  7. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    If you use a non-dedicated flash, for example, any old Vivitar, the camera does not recognise it but the flash will still fire. Because the D40 uses an electronically shuttered CCD, you can sync at any speed up to 1/4000.

    It works with wireless triggers too, so you can use whatever shutter speed you like.
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Without using the high speed sync, will it causing any issue when the shutter is faster than 1/500 s with Nikon D40 with the flash? i.e. shadow / partially darken photo.

    I thought it will, but I do not know too much about the electronically shuttered CCD as you mentioned.
     
  9. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    D40 FTW? Amazing feature for their entry level DSLR.
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I found something like this in flickr

    someone said "If you're using a D50 you can (1/4000 sync speed with off camera flash FTW)"


    So .. looks like it is possible. But just don't know much about the details.
     
  11. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

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    It's not something they advertise, but it's the same for all CCD Nikons, D40, D50, D60, D80, D200 and I don't know what else.

    One thing I will say is to check the trigger voltage of any flash you want to use, some older flashes may destroy your camera, the D40 and D60 can take trigger voltages up to 250V, I do not know about any of the other Nikon range. You can check the trigger voltage of various flashes here: Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

    Check the Exif on this photo, Manual, 1/4000, F16, according to the Exif the flash did not fire, but that is because it was a Promaster flash the camera could not "see".

    Ignore the dust, I had just installed three new ceilings in the house and hadn't finished cleaning up - plaster dust gets EVERYWHERE!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You do not need a D70s to get 1/500th sync speeds or higher, there are several ways. One way is High Speed Focal Plane flash. Another is to trick the camera into using high-speed FP flash with flashes that support long blasts of light.

    A lot depends on the light source used and the camera. I have recently bought a studio strobe that I can sync to the D200 or D700 to *anything* between 1/250th, which is my basic sync speed to 1/8000th of a second and the light source doesn't have to even be a Nikon CLS aware flash, but near anything.

    Look at my blog entry about this that proves that it is possible.

    The EXIF on this shot below is with a D700, a camera with a 1/2,000th shutter speed, and that I can see the light from a non-Nikon 110 volt studio strobe. Complete EXIF info HERE:

    [​IMG]

    BTW, the light source is my Photogenic 2500DR studio head with the power set to it's LOWEST setting of 31W/s.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2009

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