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Hacking your high speed sync

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  • #1287
    caradoc
    Participant

    It’s occasionally annoyed me that while I’ve got a lot of flash power, I can’t always get the effect that I want because the max sync speed on my D80 is 1/200.

    So I can either stick at 1/200, or use Nikon’s proprietary FP Sync to go faster than that.

    But using FP Sync means treating the strobe as a hot light, and the faster the shutter, the less light I really get.

    As it turns out, if you’ve got a DSLR with a flash that both supports high speed sync mode *and* has a PC sync port on it, you can use it to trigger bigger strobes (think studio strobes) and still not get the “black bars” effect that you normally get when you exceed the max sync speed.

    I’ve gotten some feedback from Canon users – the process appears to work for them, too.

    This little trick means that you should be able to sync up to the flash duration of your strobes. My ABR-800 has a flash duration of 1/2000 at full power, so that’s where I can sync now.

    So – why is this useful?

    If you want to take a photograph outdoors, and use your shutter speed to drop the ambient while bringing the subject back up to “exposed” in your image, it’s useful.

    Since I’ve proved that it works, I have some upcoming shots in mind to do exactly this.

    #16097
    schnee
    Participant

    That’s pretty interesting – it sounds like you set the DSLR to high-speed sync and then trigger the flash via the PC connector? Something like that?

    #16098
    caradoc
    Participant

    Yes. You stick the flash on the camera, enable your particular brand of high-speed sync, and trigger your other strobes from the PC connector on that flash.

    It even works with Pocket Wizards – an acquaintance of mine has done it with remote Vivitar flashes on Pocket Wizards from a Nikon D200 with an SB-800 on-camera, triggering a Pocket Wizard from the PC port.

    #16099
    schnee
    Participant

    Ah.. so you have a dedicated flash on the shoe that supports high-speed sync. Presumably, you can either (a) incorporate its output or (b) flag it out. And trigger the other strobes via the PC port.

    That’s nifty.

    #16100
    caradoc
    Participant

    Correct. I’ve simply been aiming the one on the camera straight up at 1/128th power.

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