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  1. #1
    drakedgar is offline I'm new here!
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    Default 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. #2
    i speak in math's Avatar
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    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.
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    inkista's Avatar
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    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.
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    drakedgar is offline I'm new here!
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    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" ?

  5. #5
    i speak in math's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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    inkista's Avatar
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    Quote 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 at 11:45 PM.
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    drakedgar is offline I'm new here!
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    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.
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    drakedgar is offline I'm new here!
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    I was using ISO 100 :/

    I really hope the ND filter will solve all my problems

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    Quote 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?
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