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Archive 2012 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes
  
 
pepperman
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p.1 #1 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


Is there a way/setting that will allow me to fire my 580 EXII rapidly while firing it remotely. I am trying to shoot some splash shots.
I am using a 1D MkIV, an ST-E2, and I have multple 580 flashes.
When I fire the camera in a burst mode the flash only hits about every 6th shot. What do I need to do in order to get the flash to fire in a more rapid fashion?
Thanks in Advance for any and all help!
Peace & Blessings,
Stuart




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    95mm    f/5.6    1/250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 31, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Allynb
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p.1 #2 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


Have you tried using high speed sync on the 580's ?


Dec 31, 2012 at 09:11 PM
pepperman
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p.1 #3 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


Thanks Allynb, I have never had much luck with that, I think that I must be doing something wrong and have not been able to figure that out.


Dec 31, 2012 at 10:03 PM
stempsons
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p.1 #4 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


have you enabled cfn 6?

http://shimworld.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/speedlite-580ex-ii-custom-functions.pdf



Dec 31, 2012 at 10:20 PM
pepperman
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p.1 #5 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


stempsons, Thanks, I will try that but I am not sure if that will work if the camera is in the Slave mode. ........... off to try it!!!


Dec 31, 2012 at 11:31 PM
pepperman
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p.1 #6 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


Thanks for all of the input so far! I am starting to figure this out!




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    95mm    f/6.3    1/320s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    105mm    f/5.6    1/500s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 01, 2013 at 04:30 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #7 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


pepperman wrote:
...When I fire the camera in a burst mode the flash only hits about every 6th shot. What do I need to do in order to get the flash to fire in a more rapid fashion?


You need to use as wide an aperture and as high an ISO setting as possible so you can use really low flash power to get the shortest recycle time. Also, an external battery pack will help if you set the flash to use only the pack for recycling. (You still need internal batteries to run the electronics.)



Jan 01, 2013 at 06:47 AM
 

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novicesnapper
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p.1 #8 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


BrianO wrote:
You need to use as wide an aperture and as high an ISO setting as possible so you can use really low flash power to get the shortest recycle time. Also, an external battery pack will help if you set the flash to use only the pack for recycling. (You still need internal batteries to run the electronics.)


Yep, Brian hit it. The lower the power, the faster the recycle. If this is just a one time project, use triggers and borrow another flash to double them X2. Then you can drastically drop the power level on each, to allow faster recycle time. HSS, is hard on batteries, it may get you that one shot due to extending strobing length, but will not get you faster recycle time. Also, HSS, causes the strobe to drop power, something like 1/2 drop by default, compared to a full regular flash at say 1/200.

Also make sure you use a strobe that has overheat protection, some of the older speedlites don't have this, thus they affectionatelly become known as "smokers". Once the magic smoke is gone, well it's costly.



Jan 01, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Eyeball
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p.1 #9 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


The specs on the 580 shows a minimum re-cycle of 1/10 of a second. If you're running the 1D4 at a full 10fps burst then I would say you are at the absolute limit. In addition to what Brian suggested, you may want to turn down the burst rate on the 1D4 if you haven't already. You will get a more coarse sequence of shots but you may end up with more keepers.

Another thing that might help if you aren't doing it already is to try manually setting your flashes at the lowest setting possible that will still give you adequate illumination for the scene. Eliminating the ETTL pre-flash may help your re-cycle a bit.

I don't do this type of shot enough to be sure but I always wonder if signalling delay from the ST-E2 can also come into play for these extreme scenarios and whether it might be best to use hard-wired flashes for best results.

CFN6 won't work when the camera is in continuous/burst mode and would probably result in underexposures anyway.

I don't see any need to HSS in this scenario at all. HSS is useful in limited form for addressing problems arising from ambient light when you need to use a higher shutter speed than normal flash sync speed. In this case, you don't have any ambient light and you have nothing to gain by increasing the shutter speed. The flash duration in your scenario will already be faster than the fastest shutter speed if you have the flash close enough and set low enough. By the way, I happened across the following page that you might find interesting. The photographer did his own tests to see what the approximate flash durations were for different power settings.

http://www.photosbykev.com/wordpress/2008/07/12/canon-580ex-flash-duration/




Jan 01, 2013 at 06:27 PM
DougVaughn
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p.1 #10 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


I like these shots a lot. Didn't realize it could be done with a speedlite. Great work.


Jan 02, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Allynb
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p.1 #11 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


Looking good. Pepperman
allan



Jan 03, 2013 at 04:48 AM
dmward
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p.1 #12 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


What stops the action is the flash from the speedlite. If the room is sufficiently dark you can slow the shutter down to below 1/100 without a problem.

As mentioned, its important to get an exposure set that will let the speedlite recycle and fire along with the burst.

Probably below 1/4 power. And a battery pack is important to keep recycle to minimum.



Jan 04, 2013 at 05:11 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #13 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


dmward wrote:
What stops the action is the flash from the speedlite.


+1

Speedlite power is controlled by modulating flash duration. The lower the power the shorter the burst. At 1/128 manual power setting a 580EX has a duration of about 1/50,000 sec. short enough to freeze bursting ballons and slow moving bullets.

Stop action with a speedlite is tyically done with one short burst during a below sync shutter speed exposure with the photographer taking the shot at the "decisive moment" vs. "spray and pray" at 6 fps.

Because the shutter must be kept below sync speed to fire a single burst while the sensor is fully exposed the ambient light needs to be eliminated by shooting in a dark room to prevent any ambient blur trails. The flash can be fired with the test button at the peak of the action or with an optical gate / sound activated trigger. For example for your shot you might use an optical gate that causes the falling strawberry to trigger the flashes. The gates have "dwell" adjustments to set the delay between passing the gate and the flash firing. You can find optical gate and sound activated triggers by Googling stop action photography.

Stop action sequences such as a person walking are taken with a very long shutter speed, one as long as it takes to cross the frame, and a series of very short flashes. This can be done on a Canon speedlight using the Multi mode with fires the flash at regular intervals. Again a very dark space is needed to eliminate ambient blur.

Keeping shutter speed below the sync limit is an important factor because above the limit the two shutter curtains form a moving slit. Regardless of indicated shutter speed the focal plane shutter curtains take about 1/300th sec. to cross the sensor during the exposure. What you have at an indicated exposure of 1/8000th is a very narrow slit moving across the short dimension of the frame at 1/300th sec. The sync limit is based on how long it takes the first curtain to open and completely expose the sensor.

That's not to say High Speed FP sync (HHS) will not work, it's just not the best tool for the job. It was designed for overcoming the sync limit in situations like shooting outdoors in backlight of the sun using wide apertures for shallow DOF, not stopping action. Sunny 16 at ISO 100, adjusted for a 1/200th sync limit requires an aperture of f/8 to avoid blown sunlit highlights. HHS allows the shutter to be set faster and aperture wider. It works by starting pulsing the flash at about 1/40,000 Hz just before the first curtain shutter opens. It continues pulsing as the slit formed by the curtains pass over the sensor as described above. Only a narrow band of the frame is exposed with each pulse, but combined they produce even flash illumination over the entire frame.

The problem with respect to stopping action in HSS mode is the fact the shutter slit is a moving narrow slit. If the object in the photo is moving in the same direction as the shutter curtain travel it will not be sharp in the photo, similar to a finish line photo at a horse race which are created with a slit shutter moving at the same speed and direction as the horses.

So if shooting rapid exposure sequences with the camera shutter triggering the flash for each frame you'd want the shutter speed at or below sync limit so the flash does not go into HHS mode. Kill the ambient by shooting in a nearly totally dark room. Set the flash the flash set at the lowest power to keep the flash durations short. That in turn will require keeping the flashes closer to the subject than you might normally.

The manual power setting will provide an indication of how many flashes you can expect. 1/4 power tells the flash to fire at 1/4 of its max. capacity so you can expect 3-4 pulses at most betore the capacitors are emptied. At 1/16 power you should get 12-15 bursts, and so on.

Using the multiple flashes with Canon optical wireless triggering might be a problem. Even in M mode the master sends a visible command pulse as the shutter opens to tell the slave to fire. Remember it must wait for the first curtain to full open to fire the flashes. In most situations that command pulse just adds a bit of light to the overall exposure and isn't noticed in the photo. But when trying to stop action you may see two frozen images; a faint on from the command burst "ghosting" the main exposure burst. The workaround is to use sync cords (with hotshoe adapters) or radio triggers for all the lights to eliminate the command pulses.









Jan 04, 2013 at 01:19 PM
pepperman
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p.1 #14 · Help With Canon Flashes for Splashes


WOW!! THANK YOU! That is a lot to digest but I will be excited to try this!


Jan 04, 2013 at 02:49 PM





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