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12-03-2007, 08:46 AM   #1
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HSS with a non P-TTL Flash off camera?

Hi All

I was wondering if there is a way to use a nikon SB-28 (or other non-PTTL) flash at 1/500-1/1000 off camera. Thank you in advance.

12-03-2007, 09:25 AM   #2
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You're profile says you have a K100D. With that camera, as far as I can tell, you are stuck with 1/160.

But, I've been thinking about it and have wondered you could use a ND filter to bring the overall light amount down until a 1/160 becomes an acceptable shutter speed? Am I missing something or would this work?
12-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Romoman Quote
You're profile says you have a K100D. With that camera, as far as I can tell, you are stuck with 1/160.

But, I've been thinking about it and have wondered you could use a ND filter to bring the overall light amount down until a 1/160 becomes an acceptable shutter speed? Am I missing something or would this work?
Thank you for the advice, I think that it might work for fill flash outdoors but I was thinking in freeze high speed motions.
12-03-2007, 12:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Romoman Quote
You're profile says you have a K100D. With that camera, as far as I can tell, you are stuck with 1/160.

But, I've been thinking about it and have wondered you could use a ND filter to bring the overall light amount down until a 1/160 becomes an acceptable shutter speed? Am I missing something or would this work?
The problem with reducing the ambient with an ND filter is you are also reducing the power of the SB28. So in bright daylight (roughly 1/125 @ f16) that SB28 is gonna have a hard time lighting the subject effectively in any situation other than very close proximity. And don't even think of using a light modifier because it'll suck all your light away.

12-03-2007, 12:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
Hi All

I was wondering if there is a way to use a nikon SB-28 (or other non-PTTL) flash at 1/500-1/1000 off camera. Thank you in advance.
Gruoso,

If you don't need to fill the entire frame with light, you might consider reading the Strobist's Hacking your Sync Speed article. I've tried it a couple times at home with some success.

Strobist: Hacking Your Camera's Sync Speed, Pt. 2
12-03-2007, 12:37 PM   #6
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alinla - How did you trigger the flash to fire? I can do high speed with the flash on the camera, but with a Cactus trigger it won't fire after 160th. Did you figure out a way to get the flash to fire after 160th?
12-03-2007, 12:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by alinla Quote
Gruoso,

If you don't need to fill the entire frame with light, you might consider reading the Strobist's Hacking your Sync Speed article. I've tried it a couple times at home with some success.

Strobist: Hacking Your Camera's Sync Speed, Pt. 2
Thank you very much, that was something similar to what I was looking for. Right now I need those speeds for shooting objects not too far away from the camera-flash so I dont think that I would have any problem with the lost of power. Plus, I have several speedlights so I might play with them to have different effects. I will read it with attention to see if I am loosing something but it looks good so far.

Thank you very much

BTW, good stuff in that site I wonder how I missed that
12-03-2007, 01:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alinla Quote
The problem with reducing the ambient with an ND filter is you are also reducing the power of the SB28. So in bright daylight (roughly 1/125 @ f16) that SB28 is gonna have a hard time lighting the subject effectively in any situation other than very close proximity. And don't even think of using a light modifier because it'll suck all your light away.
Good point. I've been thinking about this and completely overlooked that in my first thoughts. But, when you read the info by David on Strobist, he shoots at 1/4 to half power in many of the shots when he's overpowering the sun. Even with a ND filter and the flash on 3/4 to full power, you have the same relative light ratios, right? It just lets you do it with the slower sync speed.

Also, I'd like to hear how you get a faster off camera sync speed. I can only get 1/160th.

12-03-2007, 01:22 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
I was thinking in freeze high speed motions.
My understanding is that HSS is primarily used as fill light in very bright situations. HSS doesn't actually help freeze action.

A solid burst of flash is very fast already, and even tho your shutter might be open longer, unless there's lots of light, your image should be well frozen.

See this article as it goes into what I'm talking about a bit more: High Speed Shutter vs. Ordinary Flash Sync
12-03-2007, 01:24 PM   #10
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I have also found this trick for freezing actionDIY - High Speed Photography at Home | DIYPhotography.net. I read something similar some time ago but the problem is to find a reliable trigger to sync the action and the flash.
12-04-2007, 12:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Romoman Quote
alinla - How did you trigger the flash to fire? I can do high speed with the flash on the camera, but with a Cactus trigger it won't fire after 160th. Did you figure out a way to get the flash to fire after 160th?
Most radio wireless triggers have a max sync speed of 1/180 or so. So you have to go optical (Two AF540's on HSS for example) or wired to go faster and get full sync.

What I suggested was partial sync where part of the shutter covers the effects of the flash. Of course that means that some of the frame is exposed to flash. Not a perfect solution but it can work to some degree. It should work with the built in flash or hotshoe flash in manual mode. Its been a while so maybe it won't work with the built in unit.
12-04-2007, 12:54 AM   #12
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I think I read that hotshoe flashes fire at like 1/10,000 second. So the flash is plenty fast.

The problem is generally the shutter. Its difficult to construct a shutter that's fast enough to be completely out of the way of the entire frame while the flash moves at 1/10,000 sec. Not to mention very expensive since the shutter must also be very durable.

I think the radio trigger companies know this so they don't need to create something faster than the shutters sync speed.
12-04-2007, 06:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AVANT Quote
My understanding is that HSS is primarily used as fill light in very bright situations. HSS doesn't actually help freeze action.

A solid burst of flash is very fast already, and even tho your shutter might be open longer, unless there's lots of light, your image should be well frozen.

See this article as it goes into what I'm talking about a bit more: High Speed Shutter vs. Ordinary Flash Sync
Definitively I need to read/practice more about "strobism" Thank you very much for the link, I will do some experiments as soon as I can.
12-05-2007, 12:12 PM   #14
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Correction to earlier statement

QuoteOriginally posted by alinla Quote
I think I read that hotshoe flashes fire at like 1/10,000 second. So the flash is plenty fast.

The problem is generally the shutter. Its difficult to construct a shutter that's fast enough to be completely out of the way of the entire frame while the flash moves at 1/10,000 sec. Not to mention very expensive since the shutter must also be very durable.

I think the radio trigger companies know this so they don't need to create something faster than the shutters sync speed.
I guess hotshoe flashes are capable of 1/10,000 but they are normally around 1/1,000. From the website: Hummingbird Photography Guide Part 1 - High Speed Flash - Ralph Paonessa Photography Workshops & Photo Tours


"At full power, a typical hotshoe flash has a duration of about 1/750 to 1/1,000 s, which is too slow for our needs. However, today's variable power flashes have a key feature that we can exploit: as you decrease the power, the flash duration also decreases, roughly in line with the power.

For example, my Canon Speedlites have a duration of about 1/750 s at full and half power, and then the duration decreases by roughly half every time you reduce the power by one f/stop. The result is about 1/6,000 s at 1/16 power, and 1/10,000 s at 1/32 power. That's plenty of stopping ability—albeit at the cost of reduced light output. (But we can compensate for that by using several flashes and moving them closer to the subject.)"

Copyright © 1997-2007 Ralph Paonessa Photography. All rights reserved.
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