Sunday, February 28, 2010

Part 2: Photography with Imre Episode 14 - Flashes Part 2: Sync Speed

I have to say that I'm quite happy with Episode 14; new look, much better sound quality too. And indeed, Thank You to all of you wonderful viewers! It's quite the sight to see over 10,000 total upload views and I certainly hope I'll one day see over 100,000.

Now this video was essentially done in two parts, starting with a demonstration of flash sync speed. I would like to add that if you're using a camera/flash combo that works well together (e.i. the two devices are compatible and can "talk" to each other; generally the same manufacturer) then you may find that the equipment puts limits on what you can do. I must admit that I was a bit surprised to find that I could not set my Olympus E-3 above 1/250th of a sec shutter speed with the FL-50 flash attached. To get that "bad" photo in the video with the shutter (second curtain) partially covering the sensor, I resorted to using my dad's old manual flash hooked up to the camera via PC cable. Only then could I push the shutter speed beyond the sync speed. So with the right gear you usually don't have to worry about the sync speed, unless of course you're using a manual flash or studio strobes; in those cases knowing your sync speed is of high importance.

As for the second part of the video that dealt with FP mode, I'll start off by saying that not all cameras and flashes are capable of doing this. So if for whatever reason(s) you require such a feature, ensure you do your research before potentially getting stuck with equipment that doesn't do the job.

And as I mentioned in the video, if you want to find out more about the FP mode then do check out the links below; especially the second one. Like the author said, the FL-50 flash in particular does more or less have a very steady light output in FP mode. The high speed video clips I shot also confirm this; as far as I'm concerned no noticeable flicker or strobing is present. After playing with those clips frame by frame, the pre-flash takes approximately 1/1,200 of a second to complete (because of the rolling electronic shutter in my high speed camera, only 2 frames have light from the flash on them, but only partially on each frame), and the actual large "FP" flash lasted a whopping 12 frames. Time wise, this translates into a burst of light about 1/100th of a second long! This seems to indicate that for shutter speeds above the sync speed, the flash starts firing just before the shutter opens and keeps firing up to or even a little bit after the shutter has closed. Cool stuff!

Anyway, I certainly hope you'll join me for the next episode where I show off some of the features most flashes can do and how you can use them, especially the first and second curtain modes.

So please do subscribe and check me out on Facebook (become a Fan too) so you can stay up-to-date with my doings. TTYL!

Web Resources

http://dptnt.com/2007/10/flash-sync-speed/
http://olyflyer.blogspot.com/2008/08/high-speed-synchronization-super-fp.html
http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/flashfaq.htm
http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#fp

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