Seeing the light on high-speed sync

When Joe McNally speaks, I listen. I like his style, and he knows his … stuff. (Hi Mom!)

When he wrote about figuring out high-speed sync, I was intrigued. It’s something I’ve tried to get my camera/flash to do before, but at 1/400th and higher the shutter mirror partially blocks the sensor, creating a black border on one side. Besides that, my AlienBees CyberSync remote triggers only sync up to 1/250th anyway, so I’m pretty much out of luck here. Right?

I followed his link, but this time I noticed the part about this only works with TTL. OK, remote triggers are out. What about that flash cable I’ve got?

Set the D300 to “Auto FP High-Speed Sync”, set the flash in TTL mode, and start at 1/250th. Fine. 1/320th – fine. 1/400th – fine. 1/500th – fine (no black lines yet). etc. etc. etc. 1/2000th – fine.

Hmmm. (scratching my head) Well, what do you know? It works!

What about CLS? It works too! The only difference is the reduced output when using CLS. I had to go up 3 stops on the flash power in CLS mode @ 1/2000th to get the same brightness I had at 1/250th.

I know I tried CLS before, not sure why I thought it didn’t work. The CyberSync remote triggers won’t go that high, but I can use an ND filter to knock the light down 2 or 3 stops.

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3 comments on “Seeing the light on high-speed sync

  1. Jason says:

    Wow, I only understood like one half of that… what’s “Auto FP High speed Sync”? Is that only available on Nikons? What do you think of the CyberSync remote triggers?

  2. Kevin says:

    Hi Jason,Yeah, that Auto FP whatnot is the Nikon high speed sync system, much like the Canon stuff. I thought since the articles Joe McNally linked to were Canon-specific, and he didn’t go into any detail, that I would record and report the specific steps I took to do it with my Nikon.The CyberSync triggers seem to be on par with the Elinchrom Skyport system. The distance is all I’d ever need – 300 feet ++, and the price beats Skyports and is 1/3 the cost of PocketWizards. If I were a pro, doing lots of flash photography, I’d spring for the PocketWizards, but for low cost radio triggers these are really good.

  3. Hello Kevin,This is an interesting article but I had to read it several times as I’m just starting to learn the CLS system. As it has always been for me I had to get my manual, my camera and flash out to play around until I figured out what you were talking about. I did not know we could take our shutter speed that high.As a side note, I was raised the in the Loveland/Fort Collins area and presently rent my condo in Fort Collins while my work has me living in Columbus, Ohio. I do miss the mountains.

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