please help - sync speed, wrong settings, just stupid??....

Started May 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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please help - sync speed, wrong settings, just stupid??....
May 2, 2012

Firstly, my sincerest apologies if I am just being really really dense here (perfectly possible!) but i'm going round in circles and can't pinpoint my mistakes to learn from them. This is a long one to ensure I give you all the detail...

I am lucky enough to have been bought 2 Bowens 500R moonlights with radio trigger & own a Nikon D90. Granted, a studio lighting course may be on the cards but please humour me.. (I got them when I did as they were on a great offer so although I hadn't done much of camera lighting before, wanted to get them when i had the opportunity, and to try things out).

I was asked to take some indoor shots (as the British weather is so terribly lousy at present!). they had a clean white wall which was great to bounce the light off etc but I categorically failed to be able to operate the lights.

I had had a play around at home before the shoot (I'm not THAT stupid to not even try them beforehand!) and things all seemed to work fine (although this was all still life set ups), but fell apart on location.

I have been on one studio evening where we were shown the basics so I replicated the settings used on that night (as very similar setting), which were 1/125 shutter speed, F11 & low ISO

I can be honest enough to say I was completely out of my depth but luckily it wasn't something I was charging big money for - just someone that wanted me to take some shots after being happy with what I did for them last year.

So, I got the lights set up and tested that the remote trigger worked - check. However, when I shot in Manual there was a great big black bar across the bottom of the screen. I believe this to be something to do with the sync speed between camera and lights but i've done so much reading up, I'm getting in a muddle.

When I changed the camera to Aperture Priority, although no black bar, no matter what I set the ISO and aperture to, the shutter speed was extremely slow (maybe half a second or so), which was obviously completely unworkable! In the end, I had to try and work without the lights at all and used my SB-900 instead which didn't seem to have the same issues. (However, issue 2 - even when the beep would indicate focus, it would not let me depress the shutter release to take the photo on many many occasions. Any ideas on that one or is that just down to needing to have it in AF-C?

ANY help on the above would be MASSIVELY appreciated as I'm really struggling. I'm assuming it's mainly down to sync speeds but again, I'm getting in a muddle as I understand you can go to sync speed up to 1/200 on D90 but the menu only seems to show 'shutter speed' up to 1/60. Is this something different altogether? How do I set the 1/200 speed?

I'll leave it there for now

thank you!!!!!!!!

Nikon D90
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