flash sync 1/200 , a problem for fill in sunlight?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by qveda, May 30, 2009.

  1. qveda macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    I've been shooting landscapes lately, but not with a flash. I've wondered about using one for fill. It seems that you'd often want 1/500 or faster - especially if it is breezy and you want to freeze the motion of tall grass, trees, etc. but many cameras only offer 1/200, or 1/250.

    Any suggestions, tips, on using flash for fill during daytime?
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    high-speed shutter sync. i dunno how it works for Nikon, but with Canon you need to use the off-shoe cord (OC-3?) or infrared transmitter (ST-E2), or any other method that preserves ETTL. certain studio lights can flash for less than 1/1000, if you wanna bother with that.
  3. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2008
    I don't know what camera you have so i can't advise you further. I know most DSLRs have it these days, i believe good compact cameras do too, and a midrange/high end flash should support it. Look for that in your camera manual/flash manual for further instructions.
  4. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    I'm thinking about this to help me decide on my next camera. I'm considering the 1Ds Mk II, 5D Mk II, and D700. Can't go wrong with any of them, so I am looking at the "smaller things" that might help me tip the scale.
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    hi-speed sync is a function on the flash, not the camera.
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Note that if you switch to high-speed sync (up to 1/4000 s for Nikons with their better flashes, I believe), the flash is much weaker (true for any make and model). That's why medium format bodies often have a different type of shutter which is slower but allows using the flash at all shutter speeds.

    The flash (non-)issues isn't going to tip your scales. I'd rather try the cameras (rent them) if I were you. Plus, the cameras as rather different: resolution vs. speed/better noise.
  7. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2008
    all of them have high speed sync, you should instead look at the canon vs nikon differences eg lens selection to decide which one to buy.

    nope, you set the sync speed on the camera, so it has to support it.
  8. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    There is no oncamera flash that is going to be filling in trees and grass on landscape photos. You need serious light output if you're going to be competing with the sun and your shutter speeds are already that high at ISO100 or 50.

    That means likely strobes or at least multiple speedlights.

    Check out the new units from pocketwizard, that will allow higher speed sync than standard flash.
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    no. any given camera has a maximum sync speed. most of the time, it's 1/200 or 1/250. if you want faster, your flash must support high-speed shutter sync. the shutter curtains can only travel so fast.
  10. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    The high speed sync mode on canon flashes (and I assume others as well) strobes the flash a number of times. The camera sets the max sync speed where it can fire the flash while the curtains are open, above that speed, the strobed flash is used. The flash strobes for some period of time (say 1/100th) of a second instead of the usual flash duration of 1/1000th of a second). The camera shutter is tripped during this extended flash period and doesn't need to line up exactly. The high speed sync mode extends recycle time and reduces battery life. You can also melt your flash lens if you are really cranking off shots (not typical shooting and may require an external battery).

    If you want to freeze a landscape size scene with a flash, I don't even know if studio strobes come large enough. You are talking about one hell of a lot of light over a huge area in very little time.
  11. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2008
    of course the flash has to support it, i'm saying that some cameras don't allow you to choose high speed sync even when you attach a compatible flash.
  12. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Which cameras?
  13. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2008
    i don't know every camera of course, but let me give the nikon d70 as an example, it doesn't support HSS.

    check the spec sheet before you buy.

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