Sych Speeds faster than 1/500 of a second with D70

Started Apr 2, 2004 | Discussions
SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: Sych Speeds faster than 1/500 of a second with D70

I was trying to figure out how to use this mode. My son has a D70s
and between he and I, we were unable to find anything in either
manual to tell us how to access this feature.

lol.... Reminds me of when I brought home my SB-800. I also tried for a while to see how to get it to enable the SB-800's FP sync mode since I didn't see anything in the manuals explicitly stating the incompatibility.

The D70 does not support the FP sync mode of the SB-800.

I believe the D50 does not as well -- but not very certain.

The D200 and the D80 do/will support FP sync.

Steve

lexygirl New Member • Posts: 17
Re: Sych Speeds faster than 1/500 of a second with D70

Looking strongly at purchasing a D200 but wasn't making any quick moves to do so before a great deal of research. I really need this feature and wasn't pruchasing anything until I found a compatible camera in my price range.

Do you know if this feature is completely accessable WITHOUT the tape modification...for sure?????

lexygirl

SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: Sych Speeds faster than 1/500 of a second with D70

You won't need any tape modification for the D200 to do FP sync. The D200 comes directly with the support for FP sync.

FP sync is a special way of driving the flash unit so that it can be used at shutter speeds higher than the normal sync speed. This is done to deal with fact that the shutter curtain for speeds greater than 1/250s on the D200 (mechanical shutter) forms a narrow slit as it crosses the sensor. So the entire frame would not be illuminated by a standard single burst of flash. So a series of very rapid but small bursts are output.

However FP sync comes at the cost of greatly reduced flash output. I understand the output is at least an eighth that of normal flash. So it can't be used to illuminate things nearly as far away. That represents 3 full stops. Look at table on page 31 of SB-800 manual. At normal sync, ISO 100, f/2.8 and 35mm zoom head position the max range is 44 ft. At FP sync you are down to at least 16 ft and maybe less. I think the effective output is reduced even further as shutter speed goes up.

The D70 has an electronic shutter combined with a mechanical shutter which allows it to sync to a flash at higher speeds than those bodies that contain only mechanical shutters like the D200 and D80. This is where the tape trick comes in on the D70. It can actually sync at much higher speeds than 1/500s as the OP has demonstrated. Although I'm sure there are potential flash loss effects at speeds above 1/1000s for the SB-800. That happens to be its flash duration at full output. (see page 122 of SB-800 manual). At 1/128 power the flash duration is only 1/41600s.

If the tape trick were to allow one to set the shutter speed above 1/250s on the D200, operating the flash would result in a partially exposed frame unlike on the D70.

BTW: The OP could have gotten the same shot by just using the flash at 1/128 output and a normal sync speed as long as there is little or no ambient light contibuting to the exposure. At 1/41600s the flash freezes the water.

The D200 Users Manual may have some detailed info on FP operation. You should be able to download the manual from NikonUSA web site to do futher research.

What exactly do you intend to use the camera for that requires these special shutter and flash speed combinations?

Steve

lexygirl wrote:

Looking strongly at purchasing a D200 but wasn't making any quick
moves to do so before a great deal of research. I really need this
feature and wasn't pruchasing anything until I found a compatible
camera in my price range.

Do you know if this feature is completely accessable WITHOUT the
tape modification...for sure?????

lexygirl

lexygirl New Member • Posts: 17
Re: Sych Speeds faster than 1/500 of a second with D70

I would like to shoot Hummingbirds.

I thought a faster shutter speed would help me to do this. Most of the time I have to set the camera on Aperture mode but the camera sits outside on a tall tripod. I can get fairly close to the birds, but most of the photos I take are very dark. Thus needing a flash. I own an SB-800.

I looked into the D70s but am unhappy with ISO of 200 being the lowest. I liked the D200 because its lowest ISO is 100. Both camera's are faster than the one I am currently using. I generally try to shoot the Hummers with ISO 400 but the grain is just horrible. Especially when I crop the image.

I have mostly Nikon glass so thought I would entertain getting a Nikon camera.

The D200 is a sweet camera. I held it in my hand last week and it feels great in my hands. I liked several of it's fetures which have all been discussed on this forum.

I read about the FP feature in my SB-28 Manual. It sounded like a neat feature, but with your explaination, maybe not so great.

D200 still sounds good to me, however. Just a little concerned about the grain factor.

lexygirl

jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,246
Sych Speeds SB600?

Hi,

Great idea and images. Does anyone know if it also works with the SB600 (and I assume if it did that as above with the D70/SB800 no damage would occur)?

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Bob Walters Senior Member • Posts: 2,039
You won't like FP flash for hummingbirds

Unfortunately FP flash and a high shutter speed is unlikely to make for good hummingbird shots because the resultant flash power is so low.

Rather than try freezing the fast wing beat with high shutter speeds, the experts generally do it with short flash duration. If you have enough flash power to overwhelm any background illumination, you'll be able to stop high speed movement easily even using relatively slow shutter speeds. Fortunately plenty of flash power is available at a great deal less cost than purchasing a new camera capable of flash sync at high shutter speeds.

Check out this link for some good info on setting up for shooting hummingbirds.

http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=78279

There's lots of good info around here too if you do a search on hummingbirds.

Bob
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Motordrive Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Impressive!

spiny wrote:

What I'm doing right now is to cover up the contacts on the camera
with a bit of cello tape. Then scrape off the tape when I want to
use the flash normally. Then put on another piece of tape again
when ... So I have roll of tape and a pair of scissors in my bag
now. (Is there a better way?)

I'd avoid the tape due to adhesive residue. If you're going to use tape, I'd recommend 3M's blue masking tape:

http://www3.3m.com/catalog/us/en001/home_leisure/-/node_RZ4KHSHMJMbe/root_GST1T4S9TCgv/vroot_GSHCV1ZFXKge/gvel_2FBP6JP2X5gl/theme_us_homeleisure_3_0/command_LongDescOutlinkHandler/output_html

It's supposed to be able to go 2 weeks without leaving residue. I've seen this tape at Home Depot and my local Walmart, so it should be fairly easy to find.

Another solution: Take a little peice of plastic or thin cardboard. Plastic from a "blister pack" ought to do nicely. Cut it into a fat T. Make the narrow portion as wide as the flash shoe, and the wide part a little more so. Trim the length of the narrow part to cover just those first two contacts. The big one in the middle is the important one :-). make the wide portion of the T big enough so you can easily grab it with your fingers, but not so big it pokes you when you put your camera up to your face. Slip in the T between the flash and camera when you don't want the two to communicate with each other (such as for this technique), then pull the T out when you want to resume normal flash communications with the camera.

Thanks again for the tip, oldpear.

Ditto!

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SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
See this thread

Hummingbirds!...

Then you'll definitely want to check out Keith Rankin's thread on his set up. His photos of hummingbirds are absolutely awesome!!

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=18956906&page=1

Steve

lexygirl wrote:

I would like to shoot Hummingbirds.
I thought a faster shutter speed would help me to do this. Most of
the time I have to set the camera on Aperture mode but the camera
sits outside on a tall tripod. I can get fairly close to the
birds, but most of the photos I take are very dark. Thus needing a
flash. I own an SB-800.

I looked into the D70s but am unhappy with ISO of 200 being the
lowest. I liked the D200 because its lowest ISO is 100. Both
camera's are faster than the one I am currently using. I generally
try to shoot the Hummers with ISO 400 but the grain is just
horrible. Especially when I crop the image.

I have mostly Nikon glass so thought I would entertain getting a
Nikon camera.

The D200 is a sweet camera. I held it in my hand last week and it
feels great in my hands. I liked several of it's fetures which
have all been discussed on this forum.

I read about the FP feature in my SB-28 Manual. It sounded like a
neat feature, but with your explaination, maybe not so great.

D200 still sounds good to me, however. Just a little concerned
about the grain factor.

lexygirl

SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Forgot to add

You are going to definitely be in close, so FP sync may be useful as a fill. In which case you're using the shutter to stop action and the wings will be blurred to the extent depending on the speed. That may be desired.

If you use the flash to stop the action then I'd think fp sync doesn't help. In fact, you might see a strobe effect in the wings as the short bursts of light illuminate the successive portions of the frame.

Anyway I'm just speculating here and there's nothing I can tell you that won't be in Keith's posts.

Steve

bmoorhouse New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Sych Speeds faster than 1/500 of a second with D70

Wow, that is an amazing shot. I understand the concept behind total darkness and using the flash duration as the shutter time, but how do you time it so perfectly? Or is it just trial and error?

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