I have only the most basic understanding of flash sync. My D3200 is limited to 1/200 or slower. Now why can't I go faster? Does the flash take that long to fire? I figure this sync speed is only limited in some auto mode, going manual should allow faster shutter speeds. I am not real hung up over going faster because it seems lately all my shooting has been in the 1/50 th range. I'm just curious as to the whys and limits. Would the nikon book linked above be a good resource for a flash newb?
#1. "RE: Flash sync or not?" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
John, there are several reasons for a limited flash sync, and it may or may not matter for the type of photography you do.
First some basics: a flash photograph is really two exposures - one for ambient light and another for the flash exposure. Flash sync is when the sensor (or film emulsion) and the flash and ambient light can be recorded. Typically a camera's sync speed is determined by the how fast the camera's first and second curtains travel, leaving the sensor or film emulsion exposed to light.
Under "normal" circumstances a sync of 1/60s is fine for most indoor flash pics. Out door, you may want a faster sync speed of 1/125s or 1/250s. Typically this is the fastest sync speed most cameras can sync the exposure. This allows for the ambient light to be recorded as well as the flash burst Faster than this and the first and second shutters are a small slit travelling across the sensor/film emulsion area and the flash burst will not record evenly in the frame.
High speed sync is available on higher end camera bodies and speedlights. With high speed sync, the speedlight will actually fire a series of flash bursts to coincide with the shutter slit that exposes the sensor/film emulsion. Typically, however, the flash range will be shorter due to the need to charge the capacitor.
Normally, sync takes place with the shutter's first curtain, meaning that as the first curtain is open, the flash burst goes off, then the second curtain closes the shutter. Rear sync times the flash burst to go off before the second curtain closes. Slow sync removes the lower limit (typically 1/60s) and will sync with the first curtain. Slow Rear sync will again, remove the lower limit of the and sync the flash burst before the second curtain closes.
When would you use rear sync? Say following a car moving forward outside. If you sync at the first curtain (normal sync), the flash will illuminate the subject (car) at the beginning of the frame and the car would continue moving forward and the tail lights will be recorded through the car, giving the appearance that the car was in reverse. With rear sync, the shutter goes up, ambient light records the tail lights moving across the frame, flash burst illuminates the car at the end of the exposure and the second curtain ends the exposure, rendering the image how we typically perceive that to take place.
#3. "RE: Flash sync or not?" In response to Reply # 2
Rancho Cordova, US
Glad it helped, John, if a little. I am by no means a flash expert, there are far more qualified persons here. What I printed is a basic understanding of how flash works, as you experiment with the Nikon flash system, you'll hit road blocks or wonder how something works or the logic behind it...don't hesitate to ask a question when that happens.
#4. "RE: Flash sync or not?" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 27-Nov-12 01:16 PM by Arkayem
Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
>I have only the most basic understanding of flash sync. My >D3200 is limited to 1/200 or slower. Now why can't I go >faster? Does the flash take that long to fire? I figure this >sync speed is only limited in some auto mode, going manual >should allow faster shutter speeds. I am not real hung up over >going faster because it seems lately all my shooting has been >in the 1/50 th range. I'm just curious as to the whys and >limits. Would the nikon book linked above be a good resource >for a flash newb?
#5. "RE: Flash sync or not?" In response to Reply # 4 Tue 27-Nov-12 01:26 PM by John Bertotti
Will do! Thanks for the link! I have asked Mrs.Claus for the Nikon CLS book linked above as well! Thanks Bertotti!
I have been reading a lot and listening to comments on this board. I started my flash journey in this post and he first angel pic I posted was actually exactly what I was trying for! I did a series of shots of thy angel to learn the way the shutter and aperture would interact with the flash in ttlbl. I just bookmarked your blog thanks.
If any of you are interested here is the post I made with some learning shots. Sorry if I'm being pushy I'm just having a ball with flash. I had no idea how much fun it would be. I figured it would be a nice tool not a new passion.
#6. "RE: Flash sync or not?" In response to Reply # 0
The maximum sync speed of a camera is the fastest shutter speed that allowes the front shutter curtain to fully open before the rear curtain starts closing. As you noted the D3200 has a maximum sync speed of 1/200th sec. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!