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Rear Curtain Sync Flash

Andy47

Albuquerque, US
37 posts

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Andy47 Registered since 20th Aug 2011
Wed 01-Aug-12 01:05 AM

Dear Nikonians--need your expert advice.

The concept is a picture of someone taking the last step down a dimly lit spiral staircase, so that there is motion but the figure is sharp at the bottom step. I have set my D90 to Manual mode and Rear curtain sync and exposure based on ambient light. I'm using an off camera SB700 in commander mode (it fires just fine). My problem is that the figure remains ghostly. I've tried overexposing--really ghostly!--and underexposing--a bit more evident--but I haven't found a setting that makes the figure sharp at the end of the step.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

Andy



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Bluewaterhooker0

Tampa, US
107 posts

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#1. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 0

Bluewaterhooker0 Registered since 31st Jan 2009
Wed 01-Aug-12 07:06 AM

Samples of your attempts would help a lot.

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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
6200 posts

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#2. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Wed 01-Aug-12 03:18 PM

As Jerry points out, some examples would be helpful.

My first thought is to lessen the power of the flash so that the flash duration is shorter.

Next might be to get the model to move a little slower.

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

aolander

Nevis, US
3647 posts

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#3. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 0

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006
Wed 01-Aug-12 06:57 PM | edited Wed 01-Aug-12 06:59 PM by aolander

Since you have to expose for ambient light, ghosting is going to be evident even during the flash exposure. Under expose the ambient as much as you can, and like Joseph mentioned, have the subject move slower.

Alan

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blw

Richmond, US
27471 posts

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#4. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Wed 01-Aug-12 11:03 PM

And what mode is the flash in? TTL or TTL-BL? TTL-BL will have a very minimal effect if the ambient exposure is close to metered. I guess so will TTL, too...

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Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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Andy47

Albuquerque, US
37 posts

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#5. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 4

Andy47 Registered since 20th Aug 2011
Fri 03-Aug-12 02:48 AM

Thank you all.

I'm thinking the exposure for the ambient light is one issue because in my test shots the room was very well light while the model (me) was ghostly; Also, the zoom on the speedlight is the other issue--it has to be reading the model only, and not the rest of the room if in TTL; or, I could use manual. I deleted my first tests in disgust but hope to have time to try again tomorrow. Thanks again.

Andy

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MEMcD

US
28720 posts

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#6. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 5

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 06-Aug-12 09:30 AM

Hi Andy,

How did your test work out?
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

avm247

Rancho Cordova, US
18708 posts

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#7. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 0

avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Charter Member
Mon 06-Aug-12 04:37 PM

When I tried this back in my film days, I used Slow and Rear Sync on my SB28 and set the camera to 1-2 seconds and set aperture of like f/5.6. and bracketed my exposures.

Can you post examples of what your getting?
Anthony

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The important things in life are simple; the simple things are hard.

Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
6045 posts

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#8. "RE: Rear Curtain Sync Flash" | In response to Reply # 0

Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter Member
Wed 22-Aug-12 08:23 PM

>Dear Nikonians--need your expert advice.
>
>The concept is a picture of someone taking the last step down
>a dimly lit spiral staircase, so that there is motion but the
>figure is sharp at the bottom step. I have set my D90 to
>Manual mode and Rear curtain sync and exposure based on
>ambient light. I'm using an off camera SB700 in commander mode
>(it fires just fine). My problem is that the figure remains
>ghostly. I've tried overexposing--really ghostly!--and
>underexposing--a bit more evident--but I haven't found a
>setting that makes the figure sharp at the end of the step.

When there is motion in a flash picture the flash will stop the motion. However, if the ambient is bright, there will be a second image on top of the flash frozen image, and depending on the shutter speed, that ambient contribution may show the motion blur.

The only way to stop this blur is to eliminate the ambient portion of the exposure. So, the first step is to turn OFF the flash and shoot a picture using the shutter speed and aperture you want to use with the flash ON. This will show you how much ambient contribution you are getting. You want this to be very dark to eliminate the ambient.

To eliminate the ambient, you have to increase the shutter speed and you also may have to select a smaller aperture (high numbered f/ stop).

This is all best done with the camera in Manual mode, so you can adjust the shutter and aperture to whatever you want.

Also, make sure the flash is in Regular TTL and NOT in TTL-BL mode. TTL-BL mode is for adding fill flash to an ambient exposure, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do.

Then, when you get a totally dark ambient exposure, turn ON the flash and let it provide all the light for the exposure. Then, the motion will be stopped.

However, if the ambient is bright, there may not be any settings that will eliminate the ambient exposure. Then, the only solution is to turn OFF the flash and shoot the picture using the ambient light at a high shutter speed to stop the motion.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

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