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Subject: "Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync." Previous topic | Next topic
Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Wed 04-Feb-09 08:34 PM
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"Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."


US
          

I have several SB800s and I have an SB900 on order. I would like to use these as fill flash during the day with a 400 to 600 mm telephoto. I see from the manual that I can engage a high speed sync function on my D2X and D3 that allows me to shoot above 1/250. However, the manual does not say how fast I can go.

1) What is the maximum sync speed I can use on the SB800 and SB900?
2) Is this the same for the D2X and D3?
3) Does the i-TTL still work with the high speed sync in operation?

Because I have several of the strobes I was considering banking them up to increse the reach. I see from the manual that the CLS system allows me to shoot using one as the commander and the others as slaves.

4) Can I shoot multiple strobes using the high speed sync using a bank of strobes with the CLS system?
5) Will this work with i-TTL?
6) Can I run the commander attached with an SC28 off camera shoe in high speed sync mode using a bank of strobes.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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HBB Moderator
04th Feb 2009
1
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Curtis_S
04th Feb 2009
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05th Feb 2009
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nl
05th Feb 2009
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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberWed 04-Feb-09 10:56 PM
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#1. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 04-Feb-09 10:59 PM by HBB

Phoenix, US
          

Curtis:

First, the FP funcion is good for very short ranges. For example: At an ISO of 800, shutter speed of 1/2000 second and an aperture of F/8.0, the maximum range of the on-camera SB800 is 3.1 feet. At F/4.0 and 1/1000 second, the maximum range is 8.8 feet.

To answer your specific questions.

1) I can fire an SB800 on a D2X in FP mode at all shutter speeds up to and including 1/8000 second.

2) I do not have a D3, but suspect it will also work at maximum shutter speed.

3) TTL appears to work. The range of the SB800 at 1/8000 second is less than two feet at ISO of 100. If I am within two feet, I do not get the underexposure flashing on the SB800. If I exceed two feet it I get the underexposure flashing.

4) I can sync a remote SB800 at 1/8000 second in FP mode. The on-camera SB800 is in master mode and the remote SB800 is in remote mode. The remote appears to be firing in FP mode as well, because its range is also very short, less than two feet at ISO of 100.

5) Hard to tell if TTL is working as the distances are so short and the emitted light is so dim.

6) You should be able to run the commander off camera with an SC28 cord, which is merely a hot shoe extension. It worked with my SC29 cord.

With your long glass, you don't have a prayer of getting the speedlights to reach as far as I think you want to reach. If possible, place your group of speedlights near the subject and use pocket wizards to trigger them. You will be limited to the max sync speed of your camera, which is the fastest speed at which the entire sensor area is exposed to the light. At faster speeds, a moving slit is used and the sensor is never completely exposed. The FP mode works by firing the flash many times while the moving slit traverses the sensor. As a result, it must fire at greatly reduced power.

My D2X bodies can sync 1/250 sec. I don't know about the D3. Unless your subjects are in very bright ambient illumination, the speedlights firing at about 1/1000 second at full power become the shutter.

Hope this helps a bit. Sorry for the rambling answer.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Go here for a list of membership upgrade benefits.

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Wed 04-Feb-09 11:48 PM
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#3. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Thank you for the benefit of your expertise. This clears up a large gap in my understanding of how the high speed sync works. I originally thought Nikon must have come up with a completely different shutter design other than the focal plane as I couldn't understand why I wouldn't just see an exposed slit. Now I understand it is firing multiple times and the faster the shutter, the more firing it must do. The downside you are pointing out is that the energy of the strobe must now be spent many times over a short distance rather than allowing for one large burst for long distance.

My assumption now is the only way to get significant range on the strobes is to use them at or below 1/250. Unfortunately for a big tele, that is very slow; VR or not. Night shooting may work as the exposure would be from the strobe duration and not the shutter; but anything during the day for fill lighting will not work unless I'm working below 1/250.

I won't be able to set strobes out in advance to work with remote triggers as I won't know where the subjects are going to be unless I'm setting up around a nest.

I would still like to be able to add some fill for birding but I'm not sure this is possible now.

Thanks again for your help

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberThu 05-Feb-09 01:35 AM
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#5. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 3


Phoenix, US
          

Curtis:

Once you get your SB900, take a look at the table on page D-22 of the instruction manual. Zoomed out to 200 mm, at an ISO of 100, the guide number is 183.7 (in feet) at full power (M1/1). At an aperture of F/4.0, this gives you a range of about 46 feet. A pair of SB900s in tandem will get you to about 64 feet, while four SB900s will get you to 96 feet.

If you want to shoot at higher ISO, the numbers get better. With a single SB900 and an ISO of 400 and F/4.0, the guide number becomes 367.4 (in feet). At F/4.0, this gives you a range of 91.85 feet.

Play with the nubmers in the table and see what works.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Go here for a list of membership upgrade benefits.

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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nl Basic MemberThu 05-Feb-09 02:58 AM
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#6. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 5


West Hartford, US
          

1) Auto-FP flash is available in the CLS system for the remote flashes (page 60 in my pdf of the SB800 manual).

2) iTTL does operate for remote flashes in Auto-FP mode (same page).

3) It does seem unlikely that you will get enough power in Auto-FP mode at very fast shutter speeds to generate fill at a reasonable distance. Some things you could try, though: a) zoom the flash to the narrowest angle of illumination (105 mm for the SB800 to direct the beam in as narrow a path aiming forward as possible (you can narrow the beam even further to a 200mm lens coverage for the SB900, plus use the illuminatinon area settings); b) bank together multiple flashes to combine their power output; c) try something like the Better Beamer which is designed to increase the "throw" of camera-mounted strobes.

Good luck!
nl

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Thu 05-Feb-09 05:55 AM
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#7. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 5


US
          



>If you want to shoot at higher ISO, the numbers get better.
>With a single SB900 and an ISO of 400 and F/4.0, the guide
>number becomes 367.4 (in feet). At F/4.0, this gives you a
>range of 91.85 feet.

Hal,

Thanks for doing the math. From the test results I have seen on the D3 I can go to ISO 1600 with almost no noticable impact on image quality and arguably I could go to 3200 with minimal impact. Given I want to use the flash as a fill to add some color and contrast in back lighting situations (happens frequently with birds) a bank of 3 should be more than adequate to get light on the subject at 100 feet.

The problem I'm trying to figure out is how to shoot a sharp shot with a 600mm lens at 1/250. I'm sure I can achieve good results with the VR on provide the subject is perfectly still and there is no wind, etc. etc. But the odds are not good from a pramatic perspective to achieve razor sharp images.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 05-Feb-09 01:40 PM
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#8. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 7


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>
>
>>If you want to shoot at higher ISO, the numbers get
>better.
>>With a single SB900 and an ISO of 400 and F/4.0, the
>guide
>>number becomes 367.4 (in feet). At F/4.0, this gives you
>a
>>range of 91.85 feet.
>
>Hal,
>
>Thanks for doing the math. From the test results I have seen
>on the D3 I can go to ISO 1600 with almost no noticable impact
>on image quality and arguably I could go to 3200 with minimal
>impact. Given I want to use the flash as a fill to add some
>color and contrast in back lighting situations (happens
>frequently with birds) a bank of 3 should be more than
>adequate to get light on the subject at 100 feet.
>
>The problem I'm trying to figure out is how to shoot a sharp
>shot with a 600mm lens at 1/250. I'm sure I can achieve good
>results with the VR on provide the subject is perfectly still
>and there is no wind, etc. etc. But the odds are not good
>from a pramatic perspective to achieve razor sharp images.
>
>

It is important to remember that when using the Guide Numbers to determine maximum range, you are assuming the flash will be providing light for a full exposure. The effective range is much farther when all you need is a bit of fill.

For a long lens, I would go ahead and use the shutter speed you need to avoid camera motion blur, set the flash to TTL FP mode and try it. Of course it will indicate underexposure, but it may provide enough fill to help.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Thu 05-Feb-09 02:39 PM
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#9. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

Russ

Assuming I had to go to 1/500 on a 600 mm to freeze the subject that would cause about 50% of the frame to be covered by the shutter curtains at the time of exposure would it not? Even for fill flash it seems that would ruin the shot.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 05-Feb-09 02:42 PM
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#10. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 9


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Assuming I had to go to 1/500 on a 600 mm to freeze the
>subject that would cause about 50% of the frame to be covered
>by the shutter curtains at the time of exposure would it not?
>Even for fill flash it seems that would ruin the shot.

No, in FP mode the flash stays ON over the full shutter sync time of 1/250th sec (or 1/320th for the D300).

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Thu 05-Feb-09 05:33 PM
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#12. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

>>Assuming I had to go to 1/500 on a 600 mm to freeze the
>>subject that would cause about 50% of the frame to be
>covered
>>by the shutter curtains at the time of exposure would it
>not?
>>Even for fill flash it seems that would ruin the shot.
>
>No, in FP mode the flash stays ON over the full shutter sync
>time of 1/250th sec (or 1/320th for the D300).
>
From earlier threads in this post it appears that if I use FP mode I am limited to about 10 feet of range which is not very pratcial for a big telephoto. I had made the leap that in order to gain range on the strobe I would have to use it at or below 1/250th and not in FP mode. Better beamers would get me more range but the shutter speed is too reliably achieve sharp shots.

I'm still debating what to do but my orginal plan of banking multiple strobes in FP sound like it just won't have enough range. Thinking out loud if I did two strobes I might get to 15 feet, 4 strobes maybe to 20 and 8 strobes maybe to 30 feet. I'm not sure it is technically feasible to bank 8 strobes and get them to work correctly. Putting better beamers on all of them and using it as fill flash might get me to 50 feet which would be the minimum working distance but it still doesn't sound very practical.

I would be willing to make the financial investment if I knew of a practical approach that works for getting fill flash and fast shutter speeds at 100'.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 05-Feb-09 08:21 PM
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#13. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 12


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>From earlier threads in this post it appears that if I use FP
>mode I am limited to about 10 feet of range which is not very
>pratcial for a big telephoto. I had made the leap that in
>order to gain range on the strobe I would have to use it at or
>below 1/250th and not in FP mode. Better beamers would get me
>more range but the shutter speed is too reliably achieve
>sharp shots.

As I mentioned, all the previous comments that you referenced were assuming the flash was providing total subject illumination (or filling to match background brightness as in the case of TTL-BL).

But, to repeat, if you are only trying to get a slight amount of fill, FP will work out to much greater distances. I have been able to get some noticeable fill, without a Better Beamer, out to about 50 feet using FP mode on an SB800. The flash will beep, telling you that it underexposed, but the fill will be there, and as long as there is enough ambient to do most of the exposure, it will help a lot.

>I'm still debating what to do but my orginal plan of banking
>multiple strobes in FP sound like it just won't have enough
>range. Thinking out loud if I did two strobes I might get to
>15 feet, 4 strobes maybe to 20 and 8 strobes maybe to 30 feet.
> I'm not sure it is technically feasible to bank 8 strobes and
>get them to work correctly. Putting better beamers on all of
>them and using it as fill flash might get me to 50 feet which
>would be the minimum working distance but it still doesn't
>sound very practical.
>
>I would be willing to make the financial investment if I knew
>of a practical approach that works for getting fill flash and
>fast shutter speeds at 100'.

I see no reason that banking multiple SB800's wouldn't get you out to 100 feet for subtle fill.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 04-Feb-09 11:04 PM
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#2. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Curtis,

>1) What is the maximum sync speed I can use on the SB800 and
>SB900?

1/8000th sec.

>2) Is this the same for the D2X and D3?

Yes!

>3) Does the i-TTL still work with the high speed sync in
>operation?

Yes! SB-800 manual page 60.

>Because I have several of the strobes I was considering
>banking them up to increse the reach. I see from the manual
>that the CLS system allows me to shoot using one as the
>commander and the others as slaves.

Yes! SB-800 manual page 60.

>4) Can I shoot multiple strobes using the high speed sync
>using a bank of strobes with the CLS system?

Yes! SB-800 manual page 60.

>5) Will this work with i-TTL?

Yes! SB-800 manual page 60.

>6) Can I run the commander attached with an SC28 off camera
>shoe in high speed sync mode using a bank of strobes.

Yes!

Be aware that the range is severly reduced using High Speed Sync mode.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Wed 04-Feb-09 11:58 PM
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#4. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Marty,

>
>Be aware that the range is severly reduced using High Speed
>Sync mode.
>Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
>
Thanks for the reply, I think your last point is the significant one. I want to use the strobes as fill light when birding but this requires me to be out 100 ft or so. I was hoping that banking strobes would provide enough light to enable this but it sounds like to use the high speed shutter sync. my range is about 10 feet max. To gain range I would have to use the strobes at 1/250 which is probably too slow to get good sharp images with the tele.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Thu 05-Feb-09 04:14 PM
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#11. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 4
Thu 05-Feb-09 04:23 PM by gkaiseril

Chicago, US
          

Have you looked at a flash extender like the Better Beamer Flash Extenders?

Reviews: Moose Peterson, Luminous Landscape, and Strobist.

Since you are dealing with wildlife, you might try the Swarovski Wildlife Photography for information from others with a wildlife interest.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Thu 05-Feb-09 10:25 PM
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#14. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 11


US
          

>Have you looked at a flash extender like the
>Better Beamer Flash
>Extenders>?

George

Thank you for the links and the reply. I already own a Better Beamer but for an older flash I have (DX28 I think) and I found it to work very well with a little fiddling to get the lens and flash aligned.

However I am limited to 1/250 of a second shutter speed and I was hoping to use the Beamer and the FP high speed sync. mode on the SB800 along with the CLS feature to bank up several of the flashes in order to increase the shutter speed and range.

What I now understand is that the range in FP mode is so limited that it would not work for my intended use. If I shoot below 1/250 it is likely that the SB800 with a Beamer would be my best bet but the slow shutter speed would still limiting factor to achieving really sharp images.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 06-Feb-09 01:50 AM
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#15. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 14
Fri 06-Feb-09 07:14 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>However I am limited to 1/250 of a second shutter speed and I
>was hoping to use the Beamer and the FP high speed sync. mode
>on the SB800 along with the CLS feature to bank up several of
>the flashes in order to increase the shutter speed and range.
>
>
>What I now understand is that the range in FP mode is so
>limited that it would not work for my intended use. If I
>shoot below 1/250 it is likely that the SB800 with a Beamer
>would be my best bet but the slow shutter speed would still
>limiting factor to achieving really sharp images.

Let me add one more point about FP Mode.

If you use FP mode, and you shoot at 1/250th, you will still get regular sync. If you increase the shutter to 1/500th (ie, 1 stop faster), you will go into FP mode, and the flash will lose about 1 stop of power plus another stop due to inefficiencies in the FP mode (tail extending beyond the frame, etc).

But if you increase from 1/250th to 1/500th, you also have to open up the aperture to stay at the same exposure. Opening the aperture also recovers that lost stop from the flash.

So, the end result is that FP mode is not as weak as you might think. Overall, you only lose about a stop of power due to being in FP mode.

If you have ever shot with traditional flash bulbs, which burn for the whole shutter actuation period, you'll recognize that the FP mode on the SB-800 is very similar, and all the things you were able to do with flash bulbs, you can do with FP mode.

The end result is that if you can open up to f/4 or so, and use 1/500th in FP flash mode, you'll get quite a bit of flash power to use as fill.

Of course, if you have to go up to 1/1000 or higher, then you'll be depending on your flash as primary light on the subject, and the SB-800 will not have much distance for that task.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Fri 06-Feb-09 04:54 PM
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#16. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 15


US
          

Russ

The analogy to flash bulbs helps me paint a much better mental picture of this. I was in 8th grade when my mom puchased a Vivitar 293 for me to replace the flash bulbs and I just couldn't believe how well it worked; right down to the 1/30,000 S flash duration. Now it appears that is the weakness of FP high speed synch .

Your comments of light loss and f stops plus using the flash in a fill capacity at 1/500s gives me some hope I can at least try this and see how it works. I have multiple CLS strobes with FP synch now so it won't cost that much to experiment but the bracket systems from RRS or Kirk are more expensive than I would have estimated earlier. I also have some fast glass at the medium telephoto range such as the 200mm f2.0 which may be a more workable range and speed for this approach.

I have been searching everywhere but I can't seem to find guide numbers to help me do exposure calculations based on ISO, shutter speed and distances for FP mode. Your reference point of losing approximately two stops at 1/500 is a tremendous help. I assumed Nikon would provide this kind of information but I still haven't found it yet.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 06-Feb-09 06:18 PM
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#17. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 16
Fri 06-Feb-09 07:16 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I have been searching everywhere but I can't seem to find
>guide numbers to help me do exposure calculations based on
>ISO, shutter speed and distances for FP mode. Your reference
>point of losing approximately two stops at 1/500 is a
>tremendous help. I assumed Nikon would provide this kind of
>information but I still haven't found it yet.

I haven't found it either. My comments are only from my own experience.

If the flash were 100% efficient, there would be zero change in overall illumination between regular sync and FP sync. Whether the flash fires for 1/1000th sec or 1/250th sec, it still converts the charge on the capacitor to lumens of light, and theoretically the amount would be identical. Then, the only loss would be due to the shutter chopping off the flash (like it used to do with the flash bulb), which you recover by opening the aperture.

However, it turns out that when the flash fires at full power (normal sync) it's efficiency is slightly higher. Plus, some of the tail in FP mode is lost because the flash actually fires considerably longer than 1/250th. These things cause the approximate one stop loss due to being in FP mode.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Fri 06-Feb-09 07:09 PM
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#18. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 17


US
          

Russ

By the way, I have been going through your on-line tutorial blogs one at a time and they are fantastic. These should be required reading for eveyone at Nikon on how to create clear, concise and useful user's guides. Thank you for all you do.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 06-Feb-09 07:14 PM
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#19. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 18


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Russ
>
>By the way, I have been going through your on-line tutorial
>blogs one at a time and they are fantastic. These should be
>required reading for eveyone at Nikon on how to create clear,
>concise and useful user's guides. Thank you for all you do.

Thanks for the kind feedback! I enjoy helping people learn this stuff.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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emachuca Registered since 25th Sep 2002Sat 07-Feb-09 05:06 PM
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#20. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 14


Merida, MX
          

I have a question, or doubt. Isn't it one of the flash usage features to freeze movement due to the high speed of the flash's light burst? Either your movement (hands) or your subject's.

My guess is that with the flash synced to 1/250, even with a long lens, the image will be sharp due to the flash freezing movement; good exposure would be a different problem.

I haven't run into your application of long lenses and flash, so, I might be absolutely wrong about what I think should work.


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Curtis_S Registered since 04th Jan 2005Sat 07-Feb-09 05:17 PM
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#21. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 20


US
          

>I have a question, or doubt. Isn't it one of the flash usage
>features to freeze movement due to the high speed of the
>flash's light burst? Either your movement (hands) or your
>subject's.

That is correct if the flash is your only or primary light source. The flash duration would then become the shutter and the exposure would be 1/1080 or faster. In the case of using a flash as fill light you are only trying to fill in shadows and bring out a little more color and contrast. The primary light comes from the ambient light and therefore is subject to the constraints of the situation. In the case of trying to shoot through a telephoto one is trying to freeze the motion of the subject through say f4.0 with high magnification. VR will aid greatly to freeze the camera shake but not the subject motion making 1/250 a very limiting constraint for sharp shots.

Curtis S

Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.~ Mark Twain

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSat 07-Feb-09 06:29 PM
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#22. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 20


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I have a question, or doubt. Isn't it one of the flash usage
>features to freeze movement due to the high speed of the
>flash's light burst? Either your movement (hands) or your
>subject's.

The flash will freeze movement in Regular Sync mode, when the duration of the flash is at most 1/1000.

However, in FP Sync mode the flash duration is 1/250th (or slightly longer) and it will not freeze motion. When in FP Sync mode, you increase the shutter to freeze motion, but as you raise the shutter, you also decrease flash power, so it is a trade-off. That's why I said that FP Sync mode will really only provide a bit of fill. It will probably not be powerful enough to provide primary illumination of the subject from over a few feet.

>My guess is that with the flash synced to 1/250, even with a
>long lens, the image will be sharp due to the flash freezing
>movement; good exposure would be a different problem.

If the shutter is at 1/250th, the the flash will be in Regular Sync mode, and the duration will be 1/1000th sec worst case. The problem is that the ambient will also be contributing to the exposure, so you will often get ghosting where the flash freezes one image and there is a second blurred image superimposed from the ambient light.

>I haven't run into your application of long lenses and flash,
>so, I might be absolutely wrong about what I think should
>work.

Regular Flash Sync will freeze motion and eliminate the ghosting only when it is the overwhelmingly dominant light on the subject. With a long telephoto lens in the daytime, I doubt that the flash can be dominant for more than 20 feet or so of distance during daylight. At night the flash might be able to be dominant over a long distance, but focusing would be very difficult. I think the OP was talking only about shooting fill in daylight.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008Sat 14-Feb-09 06:51 PM
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#23. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 2


Lincoln, US
          

Marty,

Would you mind if I asked a question along these lines? I am new and now taking a Digital Photo class at my local Jr. College.

I shoot now with a D80 and 18-200 lens. If I buy either a SB800 or SB900, could I use either of them to capture/freeze say a ball being dropped into a bowl/bucket of milk and capture the droplets of milk, if I set the flash speed to be at 1/1000 or above?


Many thanks for your help.

Jim

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSat 14-Feb-09 09:56 PM
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#24. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 23
Sat 14-Feb-09 09:56 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Marty,
>
>Would you mind if I asked a question along these lines? I am
>new and now taking a Digital Photo class at my local Jr.
>College.
>
>I shoot now with a D80 and 18-200 lens. If I buy either a
>SB800 or SB900, could I use either of them to capture/freeze
>say a ball being dropped into a bowl/bucket of milk and
>capture the droplets of milk, if I set the flash speed to be
>at 1/1000 or above?

I'm not Marty, but I thought I'd answer this anyway.

Yes, the SB-800 or 900 can be used to freeze the motion of splashed droplets, but I would probably not use FP mode to do it.

I would dim the ambient light and overpower it with the flash in regular sync mode. Then, since you will be close to the droplets, the flash duration will be very short; probably 1/5000th sec or even shorter. That will freeze just about anything.

To be sure you will overpower the ambient, you simply select a shutter speed and aperture combination that will render a black image if you shoot without the flash. A typical combination for normal indoor night ambient is 1/160th and f/5.6.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008Sat 14-Feb-09 10:01 PM
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#25. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 24


Lincoln, US
          

Russ,
Thanks very much for your reply. So in effect, the 1/5000th of the flash in sync mode would be acting as the shutter to freeze? I'm a newbie, so I want to understand correctly.

Thanks again,

Jim

Jim

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 15-Feb-09 12:11 AM
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#26. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 25


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Russ,
>Thanks very much for your reply. So in effect, the 1/5000th of
>the flash in sync mode would be acting as the shutter to
>freeze? I'm a newbie, so I want to understand correctly.
>
>Thanks again,
>
>Jim

Yes, when you use the flash in regular sync mode, the flash is exremely fast, so all you have to do to stop action is make sure the ambient light doesn't contribute to the exposure, by setting the shutter and aperture as Imentioned before.

The flash will automatically be in regular sync mode whenever your shutter speed is less than 1/250th.

Russ
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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hamjam Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Oct 2008Sun 15-Feb-09 02:26 AM
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#27. "RE: Technical questions on using High Speed Flash Sync."
In response to Reply # 26


Lincoln, US
          

Ok, great, I thought I was understanding correctly, but just wanted to make sure.

Many thanks for your helpfulness..

Jim

Jim

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