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Unread 11-05-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 617
I think the value of 1/250 v.s. 1/200 sync speed depends on the conditions you want to shoot in. If you want to push your limits and lighting in harsher conditions, it means a lot. It's pretty easy to make up that 1/3 stop loss in many other ways (as mentioned in OP).

However, in sticky situations, 1/3 stop more power is the key to the success of a particular lighting setup. I'll often use all of the following together to achieve a good sync speed:
1. 9 stops of ND filters
2. Double flashes up
3. Use a more direct/efficient diffuser or no diffuser
4. Use FP sync (up to say 1/400th)
5. Crank all my flashes to 1/2 or 1/1 power
6. Move the flashes closer
7. Use ISO 50
8. Close aperture down a little (say F2->F3.2 or F2.8->F4)

This makes shooting in bright light pretty reasonable and flexible. Each technique gives a stop or so advantage in really crazy light, it all adds up. I suppose you REALLY have to want a light setup to work to use 5+ techniques to get sync, heh.

Regardless of the system you choose work with, I encourage manual camera settings and manual flash settings all the time. You'll get more consistent results and have more creative flexibility. It's no small challenge, but worth it. Save the money and skip TTL.

If you can buy into a system which lets you control flash output on the fly remotely, it'll help facilitate your learning and shooting speed. Some good ones are the AC3 for PW, Nikon CLS, or trainable (free) assistant flash holders.

Each system has its caveats. I'm absolutely convinced you can use any system to get sick photos, as long as you can figure out where your system performs well and when it starts to break down.
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