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What's with the 1/200 sec flash sync speed?

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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"RE: What's with the 1/200 sec flash sync speed?"

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sat 15-Sep-12 06:44 AM

Hi Anthony
Using ISO to reduce the required sync speed does not help because the ration of ambient to flash pulse does not change, and a slower shutter speed increases motion blur on moving subjects. So those wishing to use wide apertures, with moving subjects either need a lot more power or a higher sync speed. This is more of a factor when trying to fill sun exposed scenes. What can be done? If close, increase shutter speed to reduce ambient and use FP Sync but that is not effective at a distance, the Guide Number reduces a lot. Use more power, like multiple speed lights as slaves closer to the subject(what I do usually) if motion blur is an issue. Or use ND filters to lower total combined ambient plus flash light to give the option of your sync speed limit or wider apertures for more isolation.
FP sync works well if close and it allows a lot of flexibility, albeit at lower flash efficiency. In the studio where you have control of ambient, slow sync speeds are rarely an issue, backgrounds can be as black as you wish so the whole issue of 1/3 - 2/3 stop increase in ambient to flash contribution mostly comes into play with moving subjects in brighter ambient scenes. It is not an issue for me but doing modeling shoots at the beach sure would impact a photographer. At the beach a CPL also is effective in allowing wider apertures but you need to experiment a little.
So, overall, a sync speed of 1/200 is not a big deal to anyone who does not routinely need faster shutter speeds and know why for a particular mix of ambient and flash. Doing manual small strobe shoots for highest subject isolation and overruling ambient for artistic intent or those wishing to freeze moderately fast movement, this subject becomes more of an issue. The rest of us......don't worry about it;>)
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

This is a hot, active topic! What's with the 1/200 sec flash sync speed? [View all] , BR , Thu 13-Sep-12 10:34 PM
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