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Outside fill flash without Auto FP ( Flash Sync speed greater than 1/200)

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  • Outside fill flash without Auto FP ( Flash Sync speed greater than 1/200)

    Hi everyone,

    I been reading this forum for a while and just started doing photography not so long ago, and I must say I really enjoy this website/forum.

    My problem is:

    I have a Nikon D5100 with the Nikon SB-700 flash. I must say I love that combo for indoor pictures.
    But...last weekend I decided to take some portraits outdoors, and I had planned to use the flash for "fill light" just like I use it indoors.

    The issue was that I could not sync the flash with speeds higher than 1/200.

    I was using the Nikon 35 mm 1.8f lens for taking pictures and I wanted to have a nice bokeh in the background but I had to increase the aperture up to f18 so the pictures would be properly exposed. So no bokeh .


    My question is:

    What do you guys recomend to do in my case?

    I have been reading about ND filters, but I also read that won't help me that much for portraits.

    Also does someone know if there is a manual mode on the flash (or any other flash) that enables me to take pictures using a higher sync speed, that I may have missed?

    I really don't want to buy a new camera just because of that :/.

    Any help is apreciated,
    -Ed

  • #2
    You are limited to 1/200 because that is the sync speed of most nikon shutters. That is the minimum amount of time the entire sensor is exposed. Anything faster, and you will get flash banding where part of the sensor is still covered by the shutter curtain so the flash doesn't register there.

    I don't know about the features of the SB700 but I suspect is has the option of high speed sync or HSS. In this mode, it sends a wave of flash pulses at a lower power instead of one quick flash. This allows the entire sensor to be exposed even at shutter speeds above 1/200. Read through the manual to find how to enable HSS mode.

    If you are wanting to shoot at f/1.8 outside, you might want to consider a ND filter. This will cut the amount of light coming into the camera and let you get your shutter down to 1/200 @ f/1.8. This will actually give you slightly more power from your flash than using HSS.
    My Portfolio | My 500px | My Photo Blog | My Picasa Albums
    K-5, Q, K20D, Pentax DA 15mm f/4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, DA 55-300mm, DA 18-55mm WR, Vivitar Auto-Extension Tubes, Metz 50 af-1, Yongnuo YN-560ii, Cactus v5

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    • #3
      Ummm... why are you without Auto FP? Are you going off-camera with radio triggers? Or are you using the flash on-camera? If you're on camera, just go into FP mode (high-speed sync), and you should be able to sync above your max. sync speed (1/200s).

      If you're using manual triggers, though, you can't do this, and you'll have to go with ND filters (not sure why someone would say it's not good for portraits. I've seen a lot of Strobist portraits using them). It's why TTL radio triggers are so exciting and cost a bomb. Thin DoF with fill-flash outside is the one type of shooting that requires high-speed sync.
      I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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      • #4
        Thanks guys for your replies.

        I guess the problem lies in that my camera (d5100) doesn't support high speed sync

        So I guess my only option is getting an ND filter.

        btw which ND filter do you guys recommend to get a sunny 16f (properly exposure) down to "sunny 4f" ?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by drakedgar View Post
          Thanks guys for your replies.

          I guess the problem lies in that my camera (d5100) doesn't support high speed sync

          So I guess my only option is getting an ND filter.

          btw which ND filter do you guys recommend to get a sunny 16f (properly exposure) down to "sunny 4f" ?
          typical CaNikon crap...taking out essential functions for entry level cameras that don't increase cost. Once again, shows that they are in it for the money and not the photographers.
          My Portfolio | My 500px | My Photo Blog | My Picasa Albums
          K-5, Q, K20D, Pentax DA 15mm f/4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, DA 55-300mm, DA 18-55mm WR, Vivitar Auto-Extension Tubes, Metz 50 af-1, Yongnuo YN-560ii, Cactus v5

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          • #6
            Originally posted by i speak in math View Post
            typical CaNikon crap....
            Err.. I'm afraid this one's just Nikon. On the Canon side, even the lowly T3 does HSS, which is why I asked why the OP didn't have FP mode. I'm super-surprised. (And yes, the T3 also has a DoF preview button and does true mirror lock-up and doesn't need a focus motor . Its main missing features vs. the T3i are mostly hardware things that would affect cost (wireless remote sensor, flip-out LCD, external mic jack etc.). The only deliberate crippling, imo, is the flash master in the pop-up, and given how high up the chain you typically have to go on that with every other manufacturer, it's understandable.

            As for ND filters:

            f/16 -> f/11 -> f/8 -> f/5.6 -> f/4

            So, you need a four-stop ND filter. Make sure you read the descriptions on ND filters before buying, because the numerical rating changes with the manufacturer. ND4 may only mean two stops, because the ND is given by "darkening factor" (i.e., four times darker is two stops darker).
            Last edited by inkista; 02-22-2012, 11:45 PM.
            I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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            • #7
              Thanks for the explanation,

              I just bought this Amazon.com: Zykkor 52mm Fader ND Adjustable from ND2 to ND400 Neutral Density Pro Optical Glass Filter (ND2, ND4, ND8, ND16, ND32, up to ND400): Electronics

              Let's hope it has good quality

              Anyways thanks again.

              Comment


              • #8
                I didn't notice of ISO. What ISO are you using. Grant it you may get only 1 stop depending on the shooting ISO and the camera's lowest ISO.
                I take pictures because the voices in my head tell me to!

                Flickr Photostream,
                My DPS Profile
                Olympus E-M1,
                Zuiko ED 7-14mm f4.0, Zuiko 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II, Zuiko 35mm f3.5 1:1 Macro, Zuiko ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6, Zuiko ED 70-300mm f4.0-5.6, EC-14 1.4x Teleconverter Lens

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                • #9
                  I was using ISO 100 :/

                  I really hope the ND filter will solve all my problems

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by inkista View Post
                    Err.. I'm afraid this one's just Nikon.
                    Doesn't Canon skimp on the spot metering as well? And in body auto focus motors?
                    My Portfolio | My 500px | My Photo Blog | My Picasa Albums
                    K-5, Q, K20D, Pentax DA 15mm f/4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, DA 55-300mm, DA 18-55mm WR, Vivitar Auto-Extension Tubes, Metz 50 af-1, Yongnuo YN-560ii, Cactus v5

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drakedgar View Post
                      I was using ISO 100 :/

                      I really hope the ND filter will solve all my problems
                      Id be interested on how the nd filters work out! Let us know!
                      I take pictures because the voices in my head tell me to!

                      Flickr Photostream,
                      My DPS Profile
                      Olympus E-M1,
                      Zuiko ED 7-14mm f4.0, Zuiko 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II, Zuiko 35mm f3.5 1:1 Macro, Zuiko ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6, Zuiko ED 70-300mm f4.0-5.6, EC-14 1.4x Teleconverter Lens

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                      • #12
                        STAND CLOSER.. flash will be more effective

                        ND filters to allow you to open up on Aperture.
                        http://www.flashpointphotography.co.nz/
                        D300s | D7000 | D80 | 17-50f/2.8 | 50-150f/2.8 | 24-70f/2.8 | 10-20 f/3.5 | SB910 | SB900 | SB600 | SB28 PhottixStratos

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by i speak in math View Post
                          Doesn't Canon skimp on the spot metering as well? And in body auto focus motors?
                          No spot metering in the T3, but it's there in the T3i.

                          As for in-body focus motors, hell, even the 1-series cameras don't have them. The EOS mount system places all focus motors in the lenses, not the bodies.
                          I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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                          • #14
                            Uh.... this is just me, but given that the high-end-quality vari-ND filter costs $400, not so sure a $20 job is gonna be a great variable ND filter--it's probably just two linear polarizers mounted together. Watch for a color cast. Chances are good that filter won't be quite as color neutral as you'd like an ND to be, but then, maybe I'm wrong. I've never used one.
                            I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jerome.oneil View Post
                              Id be interested on how the nd filters work out! Let us know!
                              4 stop ND result f2.8
                              Paul & Christie Small
                              Scott
                              Nikon D700, D300, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, 105mm f2.8, 28-75 f2.8, 35-70 f2.8, 80-200 f2.8

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