Flash Sync speed problems with Elinchrom BXRI/Speed EL
/forum/topic/1143069/0



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

Shooting with Canon 5d MK II i'm getting a dark area on the bottom of the exposure at 1/200th of a second with the light and the transmitter in standard sync mode.

According to the manual I can use standard mode up to 1/200 but it doesn't seem to work with my configuration. If I drop down to 1/160 it works fine. I haven't tried switching to speed mode on the light and the transmitter mainly because I read that the battery life is much worse in speed mode.

Anyone else have this issue?

[edit]

Manual apparently has a misprint in it. On page 5 of the Skyport Speed EL it says normal mode can synchronize up to 1/200 s but in the quick guide it says 1/160 s.



Steve Wylie
Registered: Feb 13, 2007
Total Posts: 1246
Country: United States

5Ds have always sync'd best at 1/160. I don't have the Mark II, but I never go past 1/160 on my 5D classic.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

supposedly the 5d mk ii syncs at 1/200th. It works fine at 1/200 with a phottix strato ii and alien bees but the batteries have to be fresh on the phottix or else the same issue occurs.

Anyway, I'll switch back to 1/160th. Not a huge deal I guess.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

Manual apparently has a misprint in it. On page 5 of the Skyport Speed EL it says normal mode can synchronize up to 1/200 s but in the quick guide it says 1/160 s.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8552
Country: United States

jzucker wrote: supposedly the 5d mk ii syncs at 1/200th. It works fine at 1/200 with a phottix strato ii and alien bees but the batteries have to be fresh on the phottix or else the same issue occurs.

Yeah, one can sometimes get the 5D and 5D Mark II to sync at 1/200 with other than Speedlites, but it's not a sure thing, which is why Canon leans to the conservative side in the user guides. A direct-connect flash gun can usually do it, but a monolight may not be able to due to the flash curve, and any unit fired with radio remotes may not be able to due to propagation delay.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

1/30 or 1/60 might be with really old flash units. Even with my 12 year old photogenic lights, I could sync with the 5d mk ii at 1/200 with a sync cord. It's the transmitter/receiver that cause the problem. The polling rate and transmit/receive time cause the issues in my case. I'm pretty sure I can sync properly at 1/200 in "speed" mode on my transmitters. I think the basic problem is that in "standard" sync mode with my transmitter, it actually works up to 1/160 of a sec as indicated in the quick guide and the 1/200 notation in the beginning of the manual seems to be a typo.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8552
Country: United States

jzucker wrote: ...It's the transmitter/receiver that cause the problem. The polling rate and transmit/receive time cause the issues in my case.

Yep, as I stated above.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

BrianO wrote:
jzucker wrote: ...It's the transmitter/receiver that cause the problem. The polling rate and transmit/receive time cause the issues in my case.

Yep, as I stated above.


in the case of the elinchrom, the receiver/transmitter have a standard and a speed mode. In the speed mode, the flash can sync at much higher speeds. However, in the fast mode, the transmitter/reciever and are constantly negotiating which runs down the battery faster on the transmitter.



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8552
Country: United States

jzucker wrote: ...in the case of the elinchrom, the receiver/transmitter have a standard and a speed mode.

Yep, some of them do. (Used 'em for a while now.) You have to weigh your needs and balance the pros and cons. If you need to sync at high speeds, then going through batteries faster may be the trade off.



hugowolf
Registered: Nov 11, 2011
Total Posts: 591
Country: United States

If you do a search of this forum and the Lighting forum on DPReview you will see the problem has been discussed often.

The Elinchrom Skyport latency is quite high. I think I have heard mention that the Skyport may be as slow as 1.2 ms in fast mode. Even in fast mode it is much longer than the Phottix. For comparison the Buff CyberCommander has a latency of 250 s and the Profoto Air Remote is even faster at only 200 s.

The 5D (I, II, and III) shutters are particularly poor is this regard, and I have never managed to reliably sync faster than 1/160s with Skyports.

Brian A



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

thanks brian a



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

Incidentally, i found on my phottix strato ii that the first 100 shots or so on a freshly charged set of AAA batteries sync fine at 1/200 but after that it gets a bit iffy. I had to change the batteries at least once per longer session in order to stay at 1/200 without a sync issue.

Does anyone know if the MK III is any better in this regard?



hugowolf
Registered: Nov 11, 2011
Total Posts: 591
Country: United States

jzucker wrote:
Does anyone know if the MK III is any better in this regard?

Yes, the shutter timing is no better than the Mk I. With the Profoto Air in regular mode, 465 s latency, I usually shoot at 1/125 s with the Mk III. I have absolutely no problems shooting at the max sync speed in Profoto Air fast mode.

Brian A



hugowolf
Registered: Nov 11, 2011
Total Posts: 591
Country: United States

and as others have mentioned, the drain on the batteries at a high polling rate is large. The Air Remote in fast mode will not last through a two day shoot without a change of batteries. At the regular speed, the batteries will last for weeks.

Brian A



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2537
Country: United States

Brian, I've got the original batteries in my skyport and they've lasted for over 2 months so far, thousands of exposures. This is in standard mode of course. I heard that the newer skyport speed el remote is more efficient in terms of power utilization but that also may account for the increased latency.