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Archive 2012 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?
  
 
safcraft
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


Can someone tell me ( if ever possible) how to achieve a higher shutter speed than 1/160 with strobes ?

I am using a Canon 5D and these 3x 180W strobes:
http://www.linkdelight.com/DLK3Q3QA-540w-Studio-Strobe-Light-Kit-3x180w-w/-Light-Carrying-Bag.html

If i go higher than 1/200 my camera does not sync and the image is half black - normal.

I have to use high f-stops to gather fewer light, which kills DOF.
Or use a 3 stop ND which makes focusing very hard...

I am newb on strobing so excuse my ignorance.
Cheers



Jul 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Tete
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


5d sync speed has always been terrible. I know I'm going to get hammered her but honestly when I had a 5dmk2 before I switched, I was always maxing out at 160. at 200 al almost certainly got a curtain in there.

Shoot with plenty of ambient light and use your strobes to overpower whats out there. The ND filter will help.

NIkons in my experience has been better with higher syncs. Most of them go to 250 pretty easy and often higher especially if you are using CLS. I know it doesn't sound like much but every little bit helps.

I'm probably not the best resource for this but thought I would respond since no one else had.



Jul 15, 2012 at 12:23 AM
swoop
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


It's a thing called max sync speed. Most DSLR's vary from 1/125 to 1/250. I think Leica's can go to 1/60. I forget the max sync speed of the 5D mk2 but I think it's 1/180. You could be reaching either the max sync speed of your camera or your wireless triggers. The only way to get a faster sync speed is with medium format cameras that use a leaf shutter. They can reach around 1/500. But like I said this is a limitation that is camera dependent and it not only varies by brand as the previous poster mentioned but it varies model to model.


Jul 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM
hondageek
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


What are you trying to shoot that requires a higher sync speed?

Are you shooting outdoors? It sounds like you are trying to shoot outdoors with a wide aperture. That's tough do do with any camera as shutter speeds get really high.



Jul 15, 2012 at 12:49 AM
hugowolf
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


safcraft wrote:
Can someone tell me ( if ever possible) how to achieve a higher shutter speed than 1/160 with strobes ?

Yes, with dedicated shoe mounted strobes 1/200s is definitely possible. With studio flashes, it really depends on how you are triggering them.

With a sync cable there should be no problem reaching the max sync speed. With a sync cable to one light and the others triggered optically, there should also be no problem reaching the max sync speed. (It is difficult to do better than the speed of light). With a shoe mounted flash in manual mode and the studio lights set for optical triggering there should be no problem either.

I can see the need for radio remote control of light output, but I have never understood the current trend for radio triggering of all the lights, unless you are working with bright sunlight.

If you insist on radio triggering the lights, then you need a transmitter with a short latency (short average lag or time delay). The Profoto Air Remote and Profoto Air Sync have two modes, normal at 465 s and fast at 200 s. In normal, with the 5Ds terrible shutter mechanism I can get sync reliably at 1/125s. In fast mode I have no problem reaching 1/200s every time. The Buff Cyber Commander also has a fast mode, I think at 250 s, and should be capable of triggering at max sync. Some of the better Chinese triggers should be quite capable too.


I am using a Canon 5D and these 3x 180W strobes:
http://www.linkdelight.com/DLK3Q3QA-540w-Studio-Strobe-Light-Kit-3x180w-w/-Light-Carrying-Bag.html

Well, you need either lights with a wider power range or better radio triggers, or both.



If i go higher than 1/200 my camera does not sync and the image is half black - normal.

I have to use high f-stops to gather fewer light, which kills DOF.
Or use a 3 stop ND which makes focusing very hard...

Smaller apertures give you more depth of field, not less.

Brian A



Jul 15, 2012 at 01:26 AM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


Tete wrote:
5d sync speed has always been terrible.


It's not terrible. It's the way things have been since the invention of the camera. We are lucky these days because we can even get this high with sync speeds. It's studio photography 101

Tete wrote:
NIkons in my experience has been better with higher syncs. Most of them go to 250 pretty easy and often higher especially if you are using CLS. I know it doesn't sound like much but every little bit helps.


and the same is true when using Canon's ETTL. Nikon's is called ITTL. I could be wrong but I believe Olympus was the first to implement this many years ago with their flashes (not studio lights).

In any case you are in an area that has various degrees of success. You may or may not be able to sync a little higher with those lights depending on what you use to trigger them. But as already asked, where and what are you shooting is the first question that needs to be answered.



Jul 15, 2012 at 06:44 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


If you read the section about manual flash in your camera's manual you will find Canon tells you not to expect external flashes other than it's speedlights to sync at the rated limit of 1/200th for all the reasons stated above by others.

All gear has specified physical limits. With a focal plane shutter the time it takes the first shutter curtain to open completely caused the sync. limit. You press shutter, the camera waits about 1/300th sec. until the first curtain is clear of the sensor then fires the flash. If there is any latency between the time the "fire" signal is sent by the camera to when the flash actually fires it goes off as the second curtain is closing producing the black shaded bar on the long dimension of the frame.

The solutions include: 1) slow the indicated shutter speed (which delays the closing of the second curtain), 2) get the latency out of the external flash system; or 3) buy a pro body with a higher 1/500th sync speed, or alternately a crop sensor than the shutter can clear faster (1/250th vs. 1/200).



Jul 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Tete
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


cgardner wrote:
If you read the section about manual flash in your camera's manual you will find Canon tells you not to expect external flashes other than it's speedlights to sync at the rated limit of 1/200th for all the reasons stated above by others.

All gear has specified physical limits. With a focal plane shutter the time it takes the first shutter curtain to open completely caused the sync. limit. You press shutter, the camera waits about 1/300th sec. until the first curtain is clear of the sensor then fires the flash. If there is any latency between the time the
...Show more


READ THIS AGAIN - also to note in my experience with the 5D i could not get the better side of 1/200. 160 is your most consistent option. Some people work fine with this but there is a higher probability of motion blur for anything with action.



Jul 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM
phuang3
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


Instead of pro body, why not try a variable ND filter? Most vari-ND filter goes from ND2 to ND 400. ND2 should be ok for you to focus. This is probably the cheapest solution I could think of.


Jul 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM
hondageek
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


Let's figure out what he's shooting first. If he's using the strobes in-studio as I suspect he is, then he doesn't really need to sync higher to stop action. He just needs to stay well above ambient.


Jul 16, 2012 at 03:44 AM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


safcraft wrote:
...I am using a Canon 5D...If i go higher than 1/200 my camera does not sync...


Yes, as mentioned above by others, 1/200 is the sync limit on the 5D. In fact, when using other than Speedlites, often anything above 1/160 won't sync.

Are you shooting indoors or outdoors?

safcraft wrote:
... I am newb on strobing...


In case you're not clear on how sync speed works, here is a video with a vary good explaination:

http://www.pocketwizard.com/inspirations/tutorials/pocketwizard_controltl_optimiz/

It's a promotional video for Pocket Wizard, and mainly relates to Speedlites, but at the beginning there is a sync speed tutorial.

By the way, here's what Canon says about the 5D's sync speed:









Jul 16, 2012 at 05:50 AM
safcraft
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


Thank you all for the answers, let me clarify some points.

I am using the strobes in studio and photographing kids / newborns. I do not need higher than 1/160 to stop action because no kid has runnaway yet

I want to use large apertures like f1.6 to get a small DOF and good bokeh on the background.
Natural light is very limited, small window.

I can only obtain this using a 3 stop ND and it makes focusing a pain (try and error WF).
Also i don't have a screw -in filter so i am using my 100mm LEE .9GND, holding it manually which makest it even harder. I also tried my Hitech filter to find that it causes a magenta cast in these lighting !!!
This makes me wonder which screw-in filte should i buy for my 50mm?

I am using ISO 50 so can't get less sensitivity than that.
Strobes are on minimum power (although i wish i could put them higher to kill the remaining shadows)

I can vouch for the 1/160 the maximum speed on the 5D. At 1/200 i get some curtain shadowing already.



Jul 16, 2012 at 11:21 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


You could cut the power of the lights with ND gel over / inside the modifiers.

ND gel is available in 4' rolls from lighting suppliers. Filmmakers use it to cover windows when shooting interiors to balance the light intensity.

See:
0.60 ND (2-stops): http://www.filmtools.com/31-lee-r210.html
0.90 ND (3-stops): http://www.filmtools.com/31-lee-r211.html



Jul 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM
cwebster
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


You can get ND gel at theatrical supply stores also. I made 1-stop, 2-stop, and 3-stop gels to manage the light levels in my very small studio.

Rosco is a popular brand. http://www.rosco.com/us/index.cfm
Check their Where to Buy link.



<Chas>



Jul 16, 2012 at 03:53 PM
hondageek
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


To the original post: raising your shutter speed wouldn't affect the exposure from the strobes anyway. It would only affect the ambient light in the exposure.


Jul 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
hugowolf
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


hondageek wrote:
To the original post: raising your shutter speed wouldn't affect the exposure from the strobes anyway. It would only affect the ambient light in the exposure.

+1 to that, and

If you want a more blurred background, try moving your subjects further from it.

And apart from using ND film on the lights, you could use larger softboxes, which would do several desirable things. It would lower the light intensity by spreading it over a larger area, and it would allow you to move the lights further from the subject while retaining the wrapping effect of the smaller softboxes placed closer and also lower the light on your subject.

Brian A



Jul 16, 2012 at 04:12 PM
ScooberJake
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


safcraft wrote:
Strobes are on minimum power (although i wish i could put them higher to kill the remaining shadows)




If you have problems with shadows then you have issues with light source size and placement. Increasing the power of your lights will only deepen the shadows.

Also, you say "natural light is very limited." If so, why do you need such a fast shutter speed? Forget the strobes for a second, if there is little natural light then you should be able to use fairly large apertures without going to super fast shutter speeds. You need to get the ambient where you want it before you add the strobes. If the natural light is just a single window, then cut the light from that window (curtains) until you get the ambient where you want it, maybe a stop or two underexposed, at your desired aperture, ISO, and sync speed.

Once you have that under control, then you can look into the strobe issues. If you are using very large apertures, then you may have a problem with strobes that won't go low enough (power-wise, not height). So one solution is to buy better strobes. But before you do that, there are other solutions. ND gels mentioned above can help. Are you using a softbox or maybe an umbrella? One option is to bounce the strobes off the back wall/ceiling. Use the room as your modifier. This will lower the intensity of the light source and also move it further from your subjects. You can still get a source that is large compared to your subject if you blast a whole wall with light. The point is that you still get nice, soft light but at lower brightness on your subjects.


Edited on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:40 PM · View previous versions



Jul 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM
unknown_photog
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


@safcraft adding more power to the strobes will not get rid of your shadows.

You have three options:

1. Get filters for your lights to stop down the power (this is more efficient than an ND because you won't have the focusing issues/color shifts)

2. Put your light as far back as you can (this is limited to the space you have)

3. Use less powerful lights like speedlights, or lights that can power down as much as possible, like the Paul C. Buff Einsteins.

Hope that helps!



Jul 18, 2012 at 04:37 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sync strobe at faster than 1/160 ?


ScooberJake wrote:
One option is to bounce the strobes off the back wall/ceiling. Use the room as your modifier. This will lower the intensity of the light source and also move it further from your subjects. You can still get a source that is large compared to your subject if you blast a whole wall with light. The point is that you still get nice, soft light but at lower brightness on your subjects.


+1

It will be necessary to raise strobe output to compensate for the additional distance the light will be traveling before it reaches its subject ... but more power is obviously available to work with in the presented scenario.

Works well if you have relatively neutral walls that don't impart too much of a cast ... as long as it is soft/fill that you were trying to do with a particular light anyway.



Jul 18, 2012 at 05:25 PM





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