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06-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
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Why is my shutter speed stuck at 1/60?

I have noticed that my shutter speed is stuck at 1/60 whenever I pop up the camera flash.

When I close it, it starts to float depending on where I am pointing it, But it comes up it stays at 1/60.

I am shooting in AV mode.

06-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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Normal. You set the aperture and ISO. The camera sets the shutter speed, and adjusts flash output accordingly.
06-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Isn't flash sync speed usually 1/180, or is it different for different models?

But basically, you can't have the shutter go too fast with flash or the flash won't be illuminating the scene at the right moment that the shutter is open. Also the shutter isn't just magically "open" or "closed" -- it is sliding across the frame. So with flash it has to go slow enough that it is completely open when the flash fires. With off-camera flashes there are high-speed sync modes (which actually use very fast multiple flashes), but not for simple on camera flash.

In a dark scene the shutter speed is effectively the duration of the flash -- much faster than 1/60th. If you took the same picture at 1/4 shutter and it was dark, it would look the same as the 1/60 version because the light was still only there for that flash. Make sense?

Last edited by vonBaloney; 06-02-2012 at 12:04 PM.
06-02-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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From my reply ( #8) in an old thread (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/170163-k-x-flash-s...-question.html)

QuoteQuote:
In Av mode, the camera sets a shutter speed (in my experience) for flash that is partially based on the focal length used. In a dark scene, the K100D in combination with DA55-300 uses roughly 1/FL (1/60 @55mm, 1/125 @ 100mm, 1/180s @ 150mm). In a brighter scene the same combo uses 1/180s regardless of focal length, possibly attempting 'fill-in flash'.

K5 with FA31Ltd or DFA100WR is more conservative and uses 1 / (2 * FL) in a dark scene; not tested in a bright scene.


06-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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Second curtain mode for the flash also slows it down to that speed i believe.
06-03-2012, 11:08 AM   #6
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Sorry I have to say that I dont really understand the explanations above.

I thought the basic idea of flash is to increase your shutter speed.
06-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Sorry I have to say that I dont really understand the explanations above.

I thought the basic idea of flash is to increase your shutter speed.
Let's say you are in a completely dark room. The flash is providing all the light. So the EFFECTIVE shutter speed is only the duration of that short burst of light, which is faster than 1/60th of second. Even if the shutter is open for 30 seconds, only that split-second where the flash is flashing matters. So all cameras have a "shutter sync speed", which apparently from the above answers varies a bit also with focal length etc. But it is generally going to be between 1/60 and 1/180 (on Pentaxs, it is up to 1/250 on Nikons). The same thing has been true of all SLRs for decades now.

So, there is such a thing as "high-speed sync" which will allow faster shutter speeds, but that is only for sophisticated setups and expensive off-camera flash units. Not likely you need that.

EDIT: Here's something to read: http://digital-photography-school.com/understand-flash-sync-speed-so-you-don...ur-photo-shoot

Scroll to the pictures at bottom to find out what happens when you shoot faster than the sync speed.
06-03-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
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The problem is the duration of the flash.
It's around 1/100000 of a second so that means it needs to expose the whole sesnor in that time.

The problem is we use a shutter with DSLR, i can explain how that works but it's already written down so i dont need to.
Focal-plane shutter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


So basically you've 2 shutters and a leading and trailing one.
When the first one starts to move the exposure is started and the moment the second shutter start to follow the exposure, so the time/distance between the two shutters is the shutter speed.

Now since the flash exposure is so short the sensor needs to be completely exposed so the first shutter needs to be fully down and the second shutter still needs to start moving, and this happen with Pentax DSLR at 1/180 of a second


Now for the rest whats being said here.
vonBaloney - high speed sync mode, special mode the flash strobes instead of flash so you can use higher shutter speed but the flash exposure is longer.
sterretje - the camera keeps continue metering like normal and simply add the flash more as an after thought
anvh - trailing shutter, instead that the flash flash at when the first shutter is down, the flash flashes when the second/trailing shutter start to move down to finish the exposure, you get a different lighting effect then.

06-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #9
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Here's my summary:

The flash doesn't change the shutter speed - it makes the shutter speed (mostly) irrelevant. In a completely dark room, you could leave the shutter open all day long and not get a picture. The flash only illuminates the room for tiny fraction of a second, but it provides all the light you need during that tiny fraction of a second. As long as the shutter is at least as long as the flash - and it *always* is - then it doesn't matter how long you leave the shutter open after that. Your subject already got all the illumination it was gong to get during that tiny fraction of second the flash was on.

So, why bother leaving the shutter open longer? It's so the ambient light in the room has a chance to illuminate the *background* a little. Too fast a shutter and you get a brightly lit subject against a black background. Leave the shutter open longer and your subject remains lit by the flash only so it is just as sharp as if you used a faster shutter, but you have a chance of seeing detail in the background.

If that doesn't help, I'd suggest visiting a library to find a book on photography, or Googling the subject, to find a longer more detailed explanation with sample images and so forth.
06-03-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
I have noticed that my shutter speed is stuck at 1/60 whenever I pop up the camera flash.

When I close it, it starts to float depending on where I am pointing it, But it comes up it stays at 1/60.

I am shooting in AV mode.
What focal length are you using? If you use a DA, FA or F lens that communicates the focal length, the camera will set the sync speed about 2 times the focal length. So if you are getting 1/60 most likely you are using a lens at around 30mm.
06-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
What focal length are you using? If you use a DA, FA or F lens that communicates the focal length, the camera will set the sync speed about 2 times the focal length. So if you are getting 1/60 most likely you are using a lens at around 30mm.

Its a 50 F. And from the comments above it sounds about right that it is at 1/60. Though I am yet to completely understand. But I will just have to accept it.
06-03-2012, 10:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Let's say you are in a completely dark room. The flash is providing all the light. So the EFFECTIVE shutter speed is only the duration of that short burst of light, which is faster than 1/60th of second. Even if the shutter is open for 30 seconds, only that split-second where the flash is flashing matters. So all cameras have a "shutter sync speed", which apparently from the above answers varies a bit also with focal length etc. But it is generally going to be between 1/60 and 1/180 (on Pentaxs, it is up to 1/250 on Nikons). The same thing has been true of all SLRs for decades now.

So, there is such a thing as "high-speed sync" which will allow faster shutter speeds, but that is only for sophisticated setups and expensive off-camera flash units. Not likely you need that.

EDIT: Here's something to read: Understand Flash Sync Speed so You Don’t Sink Your Photo Shoot

Scroll to the pictures at bottom to find out what happens when you shoot faster than the sync speed.
Something to read at work on my coffee break. Thanks
06-03-2012, 10:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
The problem is the duration of the flash.
It's around 1/100000 of a second so that means it needs to expose the whole sesnor in that time.

The problem is we use a shutter with DSLR, i can explain how that works but it's already written down so i dont need to.
Focal-plane shutter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


So basically you've 2 shutters and a leading and trailing one.
When the first one starts to move the exposure is started and the moment the second shutter start to follow the exposure, so the time/distance between the two shutters is the shutter speed.

Now since the flash exposure is so short the sensor needs to be completely exposed so the first shutter needs to be fully down and the second shutter still needs to start moving, and this happen with Pentax DSLR at 1/180 of a second


Now for the rest whats being said here.
vonBaloney - high speed sync mode, special mode the flash strobes instead of flash so you can use higher shutter speed but the flash exposure is longer.
sterretje - the camera keeps continue metering like normal and simply add the flash more as an after thought
anvh - trailing shutter, instead that the flash flash at when the first shutter is down, the flash flashes when the second/trailing shutter start to move down to finish the exposure, you get a different lighting effect then.
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Here's my summary:

The flash doesn't change the shutter speed - it makes the shutter speed (mostly) irrelevant. In a completely dark room, you could leave the shutter open all day long and not get a picture. The flash only illuminates the room for tiny fraction of a second, but it provides all the light you need during that tiny fraction of a second. As long as the shutter is at least as long as the flash - and it *always* is - then it doesn't matter how long you leave the shutter open after that. Your subject already got all the illumination it was gong to get during that tiny fraction of second the flash was on.

So, why bother leaving the shutter open longer? It's so the ambient light in the room has a chance to illuminate the *background* a little. Too fast a shutter and you get a brightly lit subject against a black background. Leave the shutter open longer and your subject remains lit by the flash only so it is just as sharp as if you used a faster shutter, but you have a chance of seeing detail in the background.

If that doesn't help, I'd suggest visiting a library to find a book on photography, or Googling the subject, to find a longer more detailed explanation with sample images and so forth.

Thanks for the explanation I think I am getting some understanding.

But if using a 50-F gives me 1/60, then its difficult shooting people moving. I have blur in a lot of my pictures due to the 1/60.

Interestingly yesterday after reading some of the answers I turned the dial to Tv and got shutter speeds to 1/180.

What does this mean? Av, Tv, and Flash?
06-03-2012, 10:41 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Thanks for the explanation I think I am getting some understanding.

But if using a 50-F gives me 1/60, then its difficult shooting people moving. I have blur in a lot of my pictures due to the 1/60.

Interestingly yesterday after reading some of the answers I turned the dial to Tv and got shutter speeds to 1/180.

What does this mean? Av, Tv, and Flash?
not to be taken in the wrong way but I suggest that you give your camera manual a read. As you read it test the functions and see what they do.

It will give you a lot of understanding of the camera functions, and for the msot part is pretty straight forward.
06-03-2012, 11:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
sterretje - the camera keeps continue metering like normal and simply add the flash more as an after thought
Yep, that is a nice explanation. But my explanantion was why the shutter speed does not change.

QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
But if using a 50-F gives me 1/60, then its difficult shooting people moving. I have blur in a lot of my pictures due to the 1/60.
Use M mode on the camera. Set the aperture and ISO so that there is sufficient reach to properly expose the subject (the formula can be found in the camera manual as well as in the manual of external flashes). Set the shutter speed to 1/125 or 1/180s depending on needs / effect required. Do NOT use auto-ISO.
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