Question About Flash Sync Speed For SLR's

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by James Edward, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I currently own a Minolta XG-M camera, circa 1982. I love everything about it, with one exception- a flash sync of 1/60 of a second.

    I have found fill flash outdoors taking my pictures to the next level in a consistent fashion, but it is difficult to use with the current sync speed.

    Alas, I have looked into several new cameras-
    Canon's Elan 7/7e, Minolta's Maxxum 7, and Pentax's MZ-S.
    ALL of these and several others state that with their dedicated high speed flashes, they can sync at up to 1/4000 sec.

    Does anyone know how this works? I'm looking for ease of use; I don't want to have to fumble with menus or push a button 5 times to activate this feature. Does anyone know how automated this is? Do I just put the flash on the shoe, turn it on and away we go?

    If anyone has a camera with this feature, please let me know how it is implemented... Thanks!!!
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 7, 1999
    Messages:
    2,921
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    110
    As long as you use a dedicated flash you should be fine.

    IF you use an off brand it should tell you at which speed it will sync.

    I'm a Maxxim 5 fan, but I still have a couple of OLD 35mm cameras sitting around(x570,x700).

    B
     
  3. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've always understood synch speed to be a "measure of performance". The faster the camera's communication link to the flash, the faster a shutter speed you'll be able to use in flash modes yet get the light you need on your subject during exposure.(naturally, the flash must be up to the task as well)
    If you were to try shooting with a shutter speed quicker than the synch capability, your flash would get triggered too late.
     
  4. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    James,

    I'm not sure where you're getting that info, but according to the various websites, the sync speed of those cameras are:

    Maxxum 7 - 1/200 (all speeds in "HSS mode", which means you have to use their upper end flashes)
    Elan 7 - 1/125
    Penax - 1/180

    Even the Nikon F5 only syncs to 1/250. The sync speed is the fastest the flash can fire completely while the shutter is open (versus shutter closing partially before flash has finished). If you know the sync speed, you can then shoot in either aperture or shutter priority, making sure not to have a shutter speed of greater than the sync speed. If you want it to be automatic, all you have to do is turn on the flash, put the camera in automatic program mode and it will not set the shutter speed to faster than the sync speed.
     
  5. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tom,
    Those speeds you quote are for the camera's built in flash. I'm referring to the maximum shutter speed with one of the manufacturer's dedicated high speed flash units. From Minolta's site on the Maxxum 5:

    Flash-sync speed: 1/125 second or slower

    With shutter speeds faster than 1/125 second, camera automatically switches to high-speed sync (HSS)*. * available with Program Flash 5400HS, 5600HS(D), and 3600HS(D)
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2000
    Messages:
    4,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You'll have to check your manual, and the manual of any external flash you intend to use, to be sure!

    My Canon G3 (digital camera) can sync at 1/500 I think, if I use an external flash like a Canon 420EX Speedlight. But, I have to be in Manual or Program mode to do it, if I remember correctly.
     
  7. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  8. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 1998
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    James, have a look arround for a used YashicaMat 124G or similar TLR. They use a leaf shutter that allows you to sync the flash to any spped the shutter supports (typically 1/500). this allows a LOT of creative explorations with the flash.

    The step up to Medium Format film is also very nice. Tack sharp images, and nice enlargments.
     
  9. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2000
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Interesting thought Lance... I actually inherited a Rolleiflex TLR and have not used it yet, figuring that the shutter speeds and internals would be messed up due to its age(it is circa 1950). I guess I should just buy some film and the adapter I need for the flash- not much expenditure for the potential reward. Chalk it up to laziness.
     
  10. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 1998
    Messages:
    726
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    James, bring it into a good shop and have them check it out. Befor I got my Sunpak, I often used my Rebel's flash with the Yashica. Didn't work as fill, due to the flash firing at full power, but it sure was nice to sync at any speed!

    Check out Photo.net for tips and tricks.
     
  11. Paul M.Kuziel

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My recomendation is to check out www.photo.net This site can answer any question you have. The flash sync question has been covered there many times over. My Nikon F-100 can sync 1/250 and can high speed sync in manual mode way way higher. Here is a good thread discussing flash sync.




    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=001Atn
     

Share This Page