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11-22-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Can I sync above 1/180th with off camera flashes

Hi:

I know this topic has come up quite a bit, but I have been unable to find the particular threads that address my issue. If you can point me to them that would be great.

I shoot in my home studio with off camera flashes a la Strobist.com. My two Metz 58 flashes (and a Vivitar 383) are set to manual, my K20d is in manual, and I use CyberSync triggers.

Can I trigger the flash above 180th, either in High Speed Sync mode, or another mode.? From the camera manual, it appears that I have to use the PTTL flashes in High Speed Sync, with the flashes attached. Is this true? That, essentially, the camera will not trigger a flash signal unless a PTTL flash is attached (in High Speed Sync mode)?

Thanx so much.

Gregg

11-22-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
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You need to use HSS PTTL with your Metz 58s, one on your camera, in order to get wireless HSS. Otherwise, in full manual mode, you are limited to 1/180th as neither the hot shoe nor the X-sync socket will be triggered at higher shutter speeds. So you can't even cheat the flash like you can on other camera systems.
11-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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You will have to use Pentax flashes that offer high sync or a 3rd party that offer high sync mode "on the flash". But, be warned, in order to do this, the flash will fire with a "Low" output level..(determined by the flash not you).
11-22-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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Krypticide and Arbib:

Thank you for the replies, but they both seem inconsistent with one another or am I missing something?

I understand the HSS will lower the output, but I get the sense from Krypticide (and from other places I have read) that going above 1/180 will cause the flash not to be triggered (unless HSS with a flash attached--but even if I did that I could only control my other off camera flashes via infrared, not my CyberSyncs, right?). Or could I tether my transmitter (one flash attached to the camera, but via a hot shoe adapter and then plug, via a wire, another hot shoe adapter into that--with the transmitter sitting on this extra hot shoe adapter--boy, that even just sounds too complicated.

So, there really is no way to even, as you said "cheat the flash?"

I just find this frustrating because even though I tend to do most of my work in the studio, I like doing fitness photography or even fashion photography with some movement and would like to be able to go above 1/180. I guess I could keep the room very dark and "freeze the action, but then it would be hard to focus--unless I pre-focused and shot at a higher f ratio. That could be ok to do once in a while, but this all seems kind of like a Rube Goldberg fix. Or isn't that how e Pentax users do things anyway?

Any other ideas?

Thanx again.

Gregg

11-22-2009, 05:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawjbm Quote
Krypticide and Arbib:

Thank you for the replies, but they both seem inconsistent with one another or am I missing something?

I understand the HSS will lower the output, but I get the sense from Krypticide (and from other places I have read) that going above 1/180 will cause the flash not to be triggered (unless HSS with a flash attached--but even if I did that I could only control my other off camera flashes via infrared, not my CyberSyncs, right?). Or could I tether my transmitter (one flash attached to the camera, but via a hot shoe adapter and then plug, via a wire, another hot shoe adapter into that--with the transmitter sitting on this extra hot shoe adapter--boy, that even just sounds too complicated.

So, there really is no way to even, as you said "cheat the flash?"

I just find this frustrating because even though I tend to do most of my work in the studio, I like doing fitness photography or even fashion photography with some movement and would like to be able to go above 1/180. I guess I could keep the room very dark and "freeze the action, but then it would be hard to focus--unless I pre-focused and shot at a higher f ratio. That could be ok to do once in a while, but this all seems kind of like a Rube Goldberg fix. Or isn't that how e Pentax users do things anyway?

Any other ideas?

Thanx again.

Gregg
What the HHS does is make the flash last longer so the whole frame is exposed. At 1/180s, the 2nd curtain does not start until the 1st curtain is clear of the frame opening. (just like the old 1/6os for cloth curtains). So, what happens is that at speeds higher than 1/180s actually form a slit that travels across the film/sensor plane. Thus any standard flash duration used at higher than the sync speed will only expose a "portion" of the film/sensor plane. So, with HSS enabled, you can use a higher shutter speed, since the flash duration is longer, resulting in the whole film/senor plane being exposed with the flash.

I am not versed in the Pentax HHS protocols, So, I don't know if you can trigger a slave flash that has the HSS enabled by a Shoe mounted flash with HSS enabled, and they all work together at the HSS mode. Sorry.
11-22-2009, 07:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawjbm Quote
that going above 1/180 will cause the flash not to be triggered
...
fitness photography or even fashion photography with some movement and would like to be able to go above 1/180.
Pentax doesn't fire the flash signal faster than 1/180 shutter unlike some other brands when you can do a hack and crop off the black band.
Freezing motion in studio photography is not done w/ the shutter. Set your shutter speed to 1/15sec and point your flash at a ceiling/household fan and try taking a picture
11-22-2009, 09:01 PM   #7
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Thanx again

Kenyee:

You had mentioned this to me before several months ago. Of course, I have not tried it--but are you saying that a 1/15 exposure will give me the same "freeze" as a 1/180 or 1/250?

For example, If I have a model jump rope, jump up and do a split, whip her hair to one side quickly, etc., the faster the shutter speed, assuming focus, the finer the details I'll get in the moving parts (hair, arms, legs, etc.), no?

Gregg
11-22-2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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Yes, there is some frustration with 1/180th vs 1/250th that you usually see with Canikon. It's only like 1/3 or 1/2 stop, but for motion it can make a difference.

In the studio, you're pretty much killing the ambient anyway, so even with a long shutter speed you tend to be at f/8-f/16 and ISO 100, so your shutter speed can be quite long.

11-22-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Kenyee's point is a good one. It is the duration of the flash, not the shutter speed that freezes the motion. This assumes that your camera settings not allowing any ambient light to affect the resulting exposure.

Let's say the flash burst lasts 1/1000th of a second, and your shutter is set to 1/180th of a second. If, your 1/180th second shutter, f-stop, and ISO produce a purely black image with no flash, then the image you get with the flash will be what was illuminated for the 1/1000th of a second that the flash was active.
11-23-2009, 03:40 AM   #10
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Thanx all

Hi:

Thanx again for your replies.

I think I understand Kenyee's suggestion and Slowpoke's, as well. If I keep the studio lit such that at 1/180 I get a black image then the flash, even at 1/180, will freeze the action. It can be hard to focus sometimes with the K20d, especially if there is movement, in that kind of light. Not impossible, just difficult. I figured that was my only choice.

I appreciate everyone's help and simply will make the best of it.

Thanx again.

Gregg
11-23-2009, 05:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by krypticide Quote
You need to use HSS PTTL with your Metz 58s, one on your camera, in order to get wireless HSS.
This is not possible with Metz 58s, Metz even confirms this. The 58 has no option to fire as commander in HSS to another off-camera flash. A 58 will however function as slave off-camera in HSS, but you will need a Pentax 540 as the commander. And unfortunately even though Metz is aware of this they apparently do not intend to correct this.
11-23-2009, 07:03 AM   #12
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Two Sigma EF 530 DG Super would do it. One on the hot shoe as commander and the other one as slave. The one on the hot shoe could also be used to be part of the lighting, or just controller.
11-23-2009, 08:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawjbm Quote
You had mentioned this to me before several months ago. Of course, I have not tried it
??? Still??? LOL
Shutter speed isn't a big deal provided your flash is decent...
12-02-2009, 08:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawjbm Quote
Kenyee:

You had mentioned this to me before several months ago. Of course, I have not tried it--but are you saying that a 1/15 exposure will give me the same "freeze" as a 1/180 or 1/250?

For example, If I have a model jump rope, jump up and do a split, whip her hair to one side quickly, etc., the faster the shutter speed, assuming focus, the finer the details I'll get in the moving parts (hair, arms, legs, etc.), no?

Gregg

SHUTTER SPEED IS (for the most part) NOT RELEVANT FOR STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY

Sorry for shouting. Get the idea of using shutter speed to stop motion in a studio environment out of your head for good.

Please try the "fan" experiment to reinforce the idea that the FLASH will freeze almost all motion assuming the ambient exposure (shutter speed+ISO+f/stop) is more or less darkness.
12-04-2009, 12:12 AM   #15
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I do not think he wants to really use HSS. He just wants his camera to sync at higher speed and the answer is it will not. Some cameras do allow a shot to be taken above the sync speed if you chose to do this but there will be a fairly large section of the frame that will be very dark. I guess you knew this. Pentax has elected to not allow any override or cheat of this shutter sync limitation that all cameras have.

As people have said, motion in a studio will be frozen effectively with much slower shutter speeds IF there is no ambient light adding into the shot from some other source. This is because the flash duration itself is rather fast. Much faster than the shutter.
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