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Archive 2010 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras
  
 
systemlayers
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p.1 #1 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


Quick question since I know it'd be faster than trying to research it myself.
Is the 1D the only canon SLR with a 1/500 flash sync speed?
Does that make the rest of the 1D series 1/250? And every other canon camera 1/250 and lower?
Is there any way to work around this limitation?


I would like to capture bug takeoffs with flash and 1/200 is not quite enough for many situations.



Jun 10, 2010 at 05:16 AM
M Vers
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p.1 #2 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


The 1DIII has a 1/300 sync speed when shooting manually without high speed sync. The 1DsIII and the 7D have a 1/250 sync and cameras like the 5D/5DII have a 1/200 sync. That said, photographing insects taking off is extremely tricky. Not only are you dealing with limited DOF but also with key timing to capture the subject at the exact moment before takeoff; acceleration is simply too fast to track manually without a custom rig, at least for the most part (luck applies). That said, I think you're better off working on your timing than worrying about shutter speeds.







Jun 10, 2010 at 06:36 AM
wickerprints
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p.1 #3 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


To photograph very fast events, you should use a slow shutter speed and low flash power, in essence relying on the strobe to provide the exposure rather than the shutter. This requires very low ambient light levels.


Jun 10, 2010 at 07:18 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #4 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


Because you are talking close range, the high speed focal plane sync that most Canon flash units provide will allow you to easily go to any shutter speed above the normal sync limit, including very high shutter speeds, usually all the way to the 1/8000th of a second that many bodies provide. I believe that both of the Canon macro flash units also support high speed focal plane sync.

That said, your best approach may be to use standard sync and overpower the ambient light with a flash, using it as the way to freeze the action. You want plenty of depth of field, and you want to overpower ambient, so I would think you would want moderate flash power to try to work at f 16 or so. Also consider second curtain sync to give a more natural look to shots where the ambient light is going to cause motion blur.

Do insects respond to a flash and tend to fly away when one occurs? I do not know if they respond, or how fast they respond, but if they do, you may be able to use the pre flash that Canon flash units make for exposure evaluation in the E-TTL mode as the "trigger" to make them move, and then use the main flash that is slightly later to catch them in the act of taking off. Trailing curtain time delay may also help with an "adjustable" delay from the pre flash, depending on if the light is low enough to use a somewhat longer shutter duration. The flash would then freeze the main motion at the end of the shutter opening period, and the trailing curtain effect would likely show the blur motion that is lighted by ambient in the time just before the main flash exposure event.



Jun 10, 2010 at 01:29 PM
mbellot
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p.1 #5 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


M Vers wrote:
The 1DIII has a 1/300 sync speed when shooting manually without high speed sync. The 1DsIII and the 7D have a 1/250 sync and cameras like the 5D/5DII have a 1/200 sync.


And the original 1D was 1/500 if I remember correctly.

Four super fast megapixels.



Jun 10, 2010 at 02:31 PM
M Vers
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p.1 #6 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


mbellot wrote:
And the original 1D was 1/500 if I remember correctly.

Four super fast megapixels.


Yep, that is correct.



Jun 10, 2010 at 02:36 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #7 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


mbellot wrote:
And the original 1D was 1/500 if I remember correctly.

Four super fast megapixels.

If I recall correctly it was as a result of the ccd sensor and its operation vs cmos.



Jun 10, 2010 at 07:07 PM
systemlayers
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p.1 #8 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


Roland W wrote:
Do insects respond to a flash and tend to fly away when one occurs? I do not know if they respond, or how fast they respond, but if they do, you may be able to use the pre flash that Canon flash units make for exposure evaluation in the E-TTL mode as the "trigger" to make them move, and then use the main flash that is slightly later to catch them in the act of taking off. Trailing curtain time delay may also help with an "adjustable" delay from the pre flash, depending on if the light is low
...Show more
Thanks a lot for the helpful post. Some insects respond to flash while others don't seem to notice at all. One jumping spider loves to jump out at me everytime i photograph him. A wasp today did not have a CARE in the world that i was photographing him. I waited for 15 minutes to try and capture a takeoff and even nudged him with my finger! What a sloth. It's a crapshoot with insects often.

I'm going to have to learn a lot more about flash me thinks



Jun 10, 2010 at 10:41 PM
systemlayers
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p.1 #9 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


If i were patient enough (which I am) would it advisable to setup some continuous lighting strobes and shoot without a flash? I've always wondered if it were possible to use continuous lighting on subjects.
I would love to have a 1D3 someday and maybe with 10fps i could get more than one frame of a ladybird for example taking off?



Jun 10, 2010 at 10:45 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #10 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


this might be totally wrong but:
I would have thought that continuous lights would result in too slow a shutter speed or if they were bright enough for a fast enough SS then you would surley just incinerate the insect from the heat of the lights.
as was mentioned above the pop from the flash will be way faster than the even the fastest shutter speed so I would have thought that using a slower speed and low ambient light and getting the flash to fire as the thing jumped would get a better result . good luck with the timing of the flash though. Although timing the shutter would be equally as hard.

And I doubt you would want to use ETTL or any master/slave setup like canons due to the pre flash pulses , as I would think that would set the insect off.

This may be totally wrong but I think I read somewher that Nikon's guns (or one of them) has a very fast 'pop' (faster than any of the canon's 'pops')
and also that the the old D70s is still quite sort after becuase like the 1D it has an almost limitless sync (upto the fastest SS)



Jun 10, 2010 at 11:28 PM
 

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systemlayers
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p.1 #11 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


Well flourescent/LED doesn't give off much heat?
But yeah not a likely very good solution.
I'll experiment with above suggestions and consider finding a cheap bgn 1D to play with.



Jun 10, 2010 at 11:50 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #12 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


systemlayers wrote:
If i were patient enough (which I am) would it advisable to setup some continuous lighting strobes and shoot without a flash? I've always wondered if it were possible to use continuous lighting on subjects.
I would love to have a 1D3 someday and maybe with 10fps i could get more than one frame of a ladybird for example taking off?


I think you're better off to use strobe. As mentioned, if you can control the environment to some degree and overpower the ambient light with the flash, the very short flash duration when a hot shoe flash is set to low power will freeze a moving object more cleanly than a fast shutter speed. If you research strobe pioneers like Edgerton http://edgerton-digital-collections.org/galleries/iconic you'll see that a proper strobe set up is capable of freezing the motion of very high speed objects, such as bullets, something you'd never achieve with a fast shutter speed.

10 fps might seem fast, but for fast moving objects it's not. There's lots of time between frames for things to happen... You'd probably want a few hundred fps to get good sequences... maybe something to try with the cheap digital cameras with high fps capability (from Casio?).



Jun 10, 2010 at 11:51 PM
systemlayers
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p.1 #13 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


I've been looking at Casios lineup yes and am very interested in a Casio EX-F1 but I'm wondering if i should wait for photokina as it's been around a while. If i get a good price on it used i'd pick it up though.
It has a front filter thread but even with a good quality closeup lens I don't think it would fair that well.
I wish someone would release a DSLR with a very high fps rate, or Canon a dslr with video of at least 120fps (even 120@ 420p would be great) but I doubt either will ever happen.



Jun 11, 2010 at 12:51 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #14 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


Normal 1/250th sync can stop the action with flash, but to cancel out the ambient you'd need to stop down the lens and/or use ND filters. f/11 would yield a normally exposed background at ISO 100, and you'd want -3 to -4 stops less to cancel the ambient (f/32 - f/45). Beyond the smallest aperture of your lens you could add ND filters to cut the ambient. For example to get the same exposure as 1/250th at f/45 (-4 stops) you could shoot at f/22 (-2 stops) and add a .60 (4x) ND filter to cut the light another two stops. With the most of the ambient canceled the flash would freeze the action. Combined with 2nd curtain sync to put any ambient blur trail behind the critter it should provide results with just enough blur to convey movement. A bit of controlled blur is a good thing IMHO; totally freezing motion makes the subjects look like they are dead and mounted on pins.

The other strategy to try would be high speed sync. High Speed Sync isn't designed to stop action, rather to allow using flash in bright ambient conditions at wider apertures such as to blur a distracting background in a human portrait by shooting at f/2.8 or f/4. The flash pulses at about 40,000 Hz as the narrow shutter slit passes over the sensor, and to the camera it appears to be a continuous source akin to a fluorescent lamp which cycles with house current. The difference vs single burst flash is that shutter speed does affect exposure. In ETTL mode the flash will automatically increase power to compensate as the indicated speed decreases and shutter slit gets smaller (the curtains always travel at the same speed). If using the flash in M mode, you'd need to manually increase power as indicated speed decreases.

Even at 1/8000th there may be blur in a fast moving object due to the characteristics of a focal plane shutter. With a FP shutter the curtains move at a constant speed a bit above the x-sync speed. The x-sync limit is dictated by the time the first shutter takes to clear the sensor entirely so it is probably in the range of 1/400th sec. Exposure is regulated by the gap between the two curtains. As indicated speed decreases the latency between the time the first curtain starts and the second follows also decreases until at 1/8000th there is a very narrow slit traveling at the relatively slow rate of 1/400th sec. vertically up across the sensor. If there is a object moving quickly in the direction opposite the curtain travel (i..e., horizontally in landscape mode) it will get distorted by the movement of the shutter slit. For example if a straight rod was moving rapidly across the frame it would wind up looking slightly curved in the photo. Early SLRs like my Nikon F had a 1/60th sync because the shutter curtains moved across the long dimension of the 35m frame which made this curtain slit distortion very obvious.

If you use dual flash note there are pre-flash command pulses in both ETTL and M mode. In ETTL mode there is a separate pre-flash for each flash group in addition to the command signals. In M mode there are fewer of them because there's no metering, but the master must still tell the slave what mode to operate in at what power level and when to fire. Second curtain sync is disabled in Master/Slave mode but HHS works in both ETTL and M mode.






Jun 11, 2010 at 12:49 PM
Matt_B
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p.1 #15 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


systemlayers wrote:
I'm going to have to learn a lot more about flash me thinks


Your best place to start would be Strobist, an amazing resource, the guy started a movement.

Have a look at
Lighting 101

Best,



Jun 11, 2010 at 02:44 PM
zeddik
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p.1 #16 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


You are all quite wrong about the sync speed of the 1D classic..

Yes, when you put a Canon TTL flash on the camera hotshoe, it will sync at 1/500, but this is NOT the limit..

Because of the CCD-sensor, it will actually sync at any shutter-speed if you use a PC-cord. That being said, I can't really make it go beyond 1/3200 when using my Nikon SB-26, but that should be plenty anyways

I took this picture using a Westcott Apollo 28" softbox with a SB-26 on 1/1 power inside. PC-cable to the 1D Classic that had a shutter speed of 1/3200 (it is taken in direct sunlight), and a Samyang 85mm on f/ 2.8 I think.. With a 1D and a flash synced via cable, you should be able to get at least 1/3200..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeddik/4688572033/

I can even get 1/640 wirelessly with my Yongnuo eBay triggers.. That's kinda awesome!



Jun 11, 2010 at 10:27 PM
systemlayers
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p.1 #17 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


Yes i've been starting to read the strobist.. great great resource.
Flash is the next step in me improving my photography.
Interesting note on the yongnuo ebay triggers I have a few in the mail! I've heard great things.
I am using the MT-24EX dual flash triggers.

Pretty alt setup Zeddik - I love my Samyang 85! I wonder if I should get a 1D classic..



Jun 11, 2010 at 11:18 PM
bsteels
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p.1 #18 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


I generally agree with the comments here that you might want to look at flash setup and technique, vice worrying about synch speeds. Synch is important if you are worried about shooting close to ambient where the synch speed will limit (or not!) your motion blur, but for high-speed insect photography you are starting to talk about dedicated high-speed flash setups, and custom triggering devices. And if you really want to synch with a faster shutter you will need an external shutter mechanism to do it with daytime ambient lighting. It's a lot of fun, and I highly recommend it!

External shutter:






My own feeble attempt:






It's a fun niche to start working into, but it takes a lot of patience and effort to get any results. I have a lot of respect for the photos I see of this type of stuff due to the time commitment.

In addition to Strobist, (which is excellent) if you like this stuff, try to check out some of Stephen Dalton's books (available at many libraries), and have a look at some of these links:

Michael Durham's stuff is amazing:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonwild/

Frans can build anything from scratch! Now doing 3D high-speed insects!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoopa_hs/

Linden can build anything as well...!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/13084997@N03/

Martin Waugh's water droplet work is phenomenal too:
http://www.liquidsculpture.com/

...all this probably beyond the scope of your original question, but oh well...



Jun 12, 2010 at 03:19 AM
systemlayers
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p.1 #19 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


I've seen Frans stuff it's amazing if somewhat mechanical looking..
I guess i'd have to go to engineering school for those kinds of setups though :P
Loving what i see in that Michael Durhams photostream.
Maybe one day I'll get there.
It's good to know some of the paths I can take as I get better though.



Jun 12, 2010 at 03:47 AM
abam
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p.1 #20 · Fastest Flash Synch Speed Canon Cameras


the guy started a movement, and he uses it at times to harass people and companies - whatever you may think of them. (i am not referring to his actions against a particular spammer, although i did find his "i'll sick my drones on you" threats in that case unfortunate bordering on insulting to his readers.)

there are other very helpful lighting sites that don't act like their readership is a group of goonies which can be moved to satisfy the publisher's will.



Jun 12, 2010 at 04:54 AM
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