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Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-09-2008, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is there a general rule or am I just not good at finding the specs on what the max shutter speed I can use while shooting with Strobes? I know my wireless transmitter max shutter spped/sync is 250 but if I use the direct wire connection can I go higher than 250 and have the lights still in sync wiht the shutter? I have two Alien bee 400's and haven't really ventured outside with them yet but wanted to try shooting at f2.8 and I know in the daylight I'll need a high shutter speed to be able to use that. Will that be possible as long as I use the sync cord? Sorry for all the questions but this light stuff is very new to me. I had always only shot outdoors using available light only....
Thanks in advance for your help!
Sean
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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-09-2008, 01:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should find information about your camera's max synch speed in the camera user manual.
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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-09-2008, 10:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think that you're going to find that 250th of a second is probably about as fast as most DSLR are able to sync these days. I have a Nikon D70 which goes up to 1/500 of a second, but my newer D300 only goes up to 1/250th.

It has to do with focal plane shutters and the fact that they don't open completely at the faster speeds, they just form a small slit as they go across the sensor (or film). In other words they sort of cheat to get the 1/8000th of a second type speeds.

You may try using a dark neutral density filter to knock the light levels down, as that will allow you to shoot with a slower speed and still have a wide aperture.


PTL,
Lee
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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-09-2008, 11:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Most dSLRs now days will say they have a sync speed of 1/250th, but with most strobes you should set the sync speed to 1 stop less (or 1/125th in this case). If you shoot faster than the sync speed, part of the photo will be black. So that means when shooting outdoors in bright daylight you have a challenge. Often you meet this my using a fstop like f16 or f22 which then allows you to expose for the ambient light using the shutter speed at the chosen ftop. But you can make use of shade to help you. Let's say you put your model in heavy shade. You find the exposure without flash to be 1/125th at f5.6 (for example). You decide to use flash to light your subject. You set the flash and test it and find that you need f11 for the a good exposure. But you want the background to be properly lit by the ambient light. You now meter the ambient light at f11 to see what shutter speed you need. It will be less than 1/125th in this example, so you're okay. Suppose you want to shoot at f5.6. Well in this example you can, because the shutter speed for the ambient light at 5.6 was 1/125th which is your top sync speed. So you dial the flash down to give you a 5.6 fstop on the subject.
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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-10-2008, 02:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd find a test subject, like a friend or signicant other to do test shots on at different speeds, that's a sure way to find out. Myself, I shoot inbetween 1/60th and 1/250th of a second, but that's with a camera mounted strobe on location, not in a studio.

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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-10-2008, 07:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Strobist just had a post about this. He was able to synch cameras up to 1/8000th.....believe it or not.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2008/01...high-sync.html
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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-10-2008, 09:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been shootin @ 125 indoors but was hopin that if i went outdoors with the lights could go higher to keep at 2.8 but guess not. That's what I was afraid of but was hopin I was just missin somehting. Thanks for the info guys! I just prefer 2.8 but will have to get over it I guess lol.
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Re: Max shutter speed w/strobes?
Old 01-10-2008, 07:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What about a neutral density filter over the lens if the 2.8 is what you are looking for. What shutter speed are you needing to get to to get to 2.8?
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