Help with flash setup, taking nice pictures

Started Dec 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 24,154
Re: Help with flash setup, taking nice pictures

Sailor Blue wrote:

olyflyer wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

The sync speed is 1/200 sec. for your camera. Give yourself a safety margin to take care of any delay in the optical slaves of the White Lighting and set the shutter to 1/160sec. or 1/125sec.

The dealay of optical slaves is normally not measurable because it is practically zero. The only ones which have delays are the ones which handle TTL pre-flashes as well and those should not be used, or should be switched off.

Studio strobes and even some hot-shoe flash units take a small amount of time to fire after the trigger signal is received so not all of them will actually sync at the camera sync speed. RF triggers can also cause a greater delay than built-in optical slaves.

My studio strobes will normally sync at my camera's 1/250sec sync speed but perhaps once in a hundred shots they will miss slightly. When I use my Nissin Di866 Pro at full power ON CAMERA it will not sync above 1/160sec but works at 1/250sec at 1/2 or lower power. I normally use 1/200sec my studio strobes or 1/160sec with my hot-shoe flash so that they will sync properly.

There is no reason not to use a 1/3 or 2/3 stop lower shutter speed than the camera's sync speed and it provides a safety factor.

Optical slaves have delays of the nanosecond magnitude, unless they are part of a microprocessor interrupt chain, in which case the delay could in theory be a few microseconds. In any case, if it is more than that then I'd try to find another trigger. Of course, optical slave triggers can have different kind of built in delays, but this should be clearly stated in their manual. How sensitive they are may vary also, so of course, optical slave triggers don't always offer 100% reliability, which can only be offered with wires, and even those can have some contact issues occasionally.

Radio triggers are also very fast, and normally can trigger up to about 1/500s, but there may be variations, so it is a good idea to read the specs.

When using flashes the whole chain must be examined, from the camera to the flash. The sync speed of the camera can be too high if the flash or the trigger does not support it, but there is no general need to go below the sync speed unless there is a reason for that.

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