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Thread: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

  1. #1
    gardenersassistant
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    Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    I am thinking of getting a G3.

    I sometimes use diffused or reflected flash for macros. When this is for fill-in purposes the shutter speed may well be above 1/160 sec, which is I believe the G-series flash sync speed.

    Above 1/160 sec, in Av mode, with a Panasonic or compatible flash, will the system automatically switch to HSS mode and (if it has sufficient power) still provide the right (TTL-metered) flash output for the scene?

    Above 1/160 sec, in Manual mode, with a Panasonic or compatible flash, does the system automatically switch to HSS mode? If so, does it (if it has sufficient power) adjust the flash output to produce the same amount of light as it was set for in non-HSS mode? (Why I ask is that when my Canon camera and flash are both in Manual mode, when the shutter speed goes beyond the sync speed the flash switches to HSS mode, but the output drops considerably and I have to manually adjust the output to get it back (if the flash has enough power) to the non-HSS output level.)

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    I am thinking of getting a G3.

    I sometimes use diffused or reflected flash for macros. When this is for fill-in purposes the shutter speed may well be above 1/160 sec, which is I believe the G-series flash sync speed. ...
    With an appropriate* Olympus- or Panasonic-dedicated flash unit, you can operate in "FP" mode using either manual power settings or with auto-TTL metering in order to achieve the extended range of flash sync exposure times. "HSS" = "FP" in Olympus and Panasonic flash nomenclature.

    You have to set the flash to the appropriate mode, the camera does not automatically switch the flash unit's operating mode. Once set in FP operating mode, either manual or automatic, you have to observe the FP mode power outputs rather than the standard mode power outputs throughout the range of use.

    * Not all Olympus and Panasonic dedicated flash units support all FP operational modes. The Olympus FL36(R) and FL50(R) do, as do the Panasonic siblings (FL360 and FL500); some of the dedicated Metz units do too. Check per the flash unit you wish to use.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 6th June 2011 at 08:59.

  3. #3
    gardenersassistant
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Thanks Godfrey, that is very helpful.

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    This is all true and everything but it implies you have to spend the big bucks for some pretty crappy flash units. The FL500 for example is like $500 for a $150 flash unit spec-wise. Yeah, Panasonic again - draining the blood out of us while not delivering the goods! Heh!

    Aren't there remotes that can trigger a flash (or groups of flashes) and the shutter at the same time? I thought there were anyway and for like $50 or so. That way the camera will not even know there is a flash involved at all. Of course it means you have have to set up everything manually - but it also means you can use 3 or 4 $10 used flashes in fill mode at any shutter speed you like.

    Anyone know for sure?

    If this doesn't work WTH, we can always go back to this:



    Or even improvise a little:


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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Isn't there a problem with the flash only exposing part of the frame when going above the sync speed? Do you just work around that, or am I missing something?

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    Isn't there a problem with the flash only exposing part of the frame when going above the sync speed? Do you just work around that, or am I missing something?
    This is the point of the 'high-speed-sync' mode available with a camera-dedicated flash unit: the burn-time of the flash tube is extended to cover the focal plane travel time for the appropriately matched camera shutters, thereby working around the X-sync limitations of focal plane shutters. This long burn time is the behavior of "FP" (focal plane) flash bulbs in the past, which is why Olympus (and Panasonic) chose to name this mode "FP" on their flash units.

    Olympus and Panasonic flash units ... the FL36/FL50 models and siblings from Panasonic in particular ... are very well made, high quality units. Prices seem to vary a bit region to region, sometimes the Oly price is lower than the Pana price and vice versa. Some of the Metz units with Olympus/Panasonic dedication also offer the feature at a lower price per GN and are also good units, but overall I've been disappointed with the Metz flash unit controls: they seem excessively fiddly.

    There are other vendors offering cheaper flash units that support the Olympus/Panasonic dedication, but not all of them include controls that allow full exploitation of the FP mode. Cheap flash units are like other piece of camera equipment: you get what you pay for.

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Well, maybe... but all you get is automation. There is no difference (in light quality or ignition) between a $10 used flash rated at GN 40 and a $500 one with the same rating. In fact some of the used $10 flashes are by far superior for manual work. There's a good quote at the page I yanked those images from:


    "I guess that’s why so much flash units are for sale on eBay, forums and websites. You wind up with hundreds of other peoples failed flash ideas and the truth is most any light can work if you understand the mechanics of lighting."
    - http://www.aljacobs.com/flash-units-...re_coming.html

  8. #8
    gardenersassistant
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    EDIT: Crossed messages! Thanks for all the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    This is all true and everything but it implies you have to spend the big bucks for some pretty crappy flash units. The FL500 for example is like $500 for a $150 flash unit spec-wise. Yeah, Panasonic again - draining the blood out of us while not delivering the goods! Heh!
    I was thinking of the Metz AF-2, which is about 3/4 the price of an FL500, but still expensive though, especially as I have a perfectly good Canon 430exii which was not cheap! The thought has struck me that (a) I don't use flash all that often, as I much prefer to use available light for the close-ups which are most of what I do, and (b) it turns out that I am getting quite used to setting the flash manually as the 430exii doesn't work in TTL mode on my SX10is with the camera in Manual mode, which is what I almost always use.

    So perhaps I could just use the 430exii on a G3, with the camera in Manual mode, and the flash in its own manual mode. Being in (camera) Manual mode I would know to switch (the flash) to HSS/FP mode beyond 1/160 sec. I wonder if the camera and flash would communicate enough - exposure start and exposure finish presumably - for even manual HSS/FP to work?

    I would lose TTL flash in Av mode though. I don't use that very often, but when I do ..... Grrr, it's all so complicated and difficult to get my head around with so many pluses and minuses for each option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    Aren't there remotes that can trigger a flash (or groups of flashes) and the shutter at the same time? I thought there were anyway and for like $50 or so. That way the camera will not even know there is a flash involved at all. Of course it means you have have to set up everything manually - but it also means you can use 3 or 4 $10 used flashes in fill mode at any shutter speed you like.

    Anyone know for sure?
    Given my particular working methods (long story) I'm not sure how practical it would be for my macro work, which is all done "in the wild". Still, it's an interesting alternative that I hadn't thought of. Would this work faster than 1/160 sec though? I thought the problem there was that at shutter speeds faster than a camera's sync speed the shutter is never fully open, the second curtain starting out before the first curtain finishes - and so with the flash being almost instantaneous, not all of the image gets flash illumination. And hence FP/HSS mode, where the flash is doing "microbursts" all the while the shutter is open.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    @ gardenersassistant ::

    - Canon EX400 series flash units are designed to work with controls on the Canon bodies and do not offer any automation or control settings when used with non-Canon bodies. When used on anything else, you'll get nothing but a full-output pop at the time the shutter signals the flash and will have no high-speed-sync mode. I once had the EX420 when I worked with Canon equipment and sold it when I found it unreliable and difficult to use for anything that wasn't Canon.

    - Inexpensive flash units abound. The quality differences aren't so much on the quality or amount of the light they produce but on their build quality, durability, and how controllable they are. Ones with cheap components don't last in heavy use, ones with good components do. Inexpensive ones cut corners on features too.

    The Metz dedicated-series flash units work pretty well for what they offer (pick the right one and you get FP mode in both auto TTL and manual operation, etc) and are well built. The only issues I've seen are the often fiddly control interface (if you can work with it, who cares? :-) and the fact that the reflectors aren't shaped for FourThirds format (their reflectors are shaped for 2:3 format cameras, so while they have a higher guide number for price over the Olympus/Panasonic models, they effectively lose some of that power through the wrong coverage pattern, although if you're using them with diffusers and bounce equipment this is mostly irrelevant).

    If your need is for relatively light duty use, almost anything will suffice as long as it supports the relevant FP mode for Auto TTL and manual operation. And anything will suffice if you don't care about FP mode, but it seemed that was one of your primary interests.

    I use less expensive, simpler flash units often as I most often use manual flash setups, but I use Olympus FL-36 and FL-50 units whenever I need to do anything that needs FP mode operation. They're very good flash units and are built to last.

  10. #10
    gardenersassistant
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Thanks again Godfrey. Very helpful info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Canon EX400 series flash units are designed to work with controls on the Canon bodies and do not offer any automation or control settings when used with non-Canon bodies. When used on anything else, you'll get nothing but a full-output pop at the time the shutter signals the flash and will have no high-speed-sync mode.
    No high-speed sync - no good then for what I want. Oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The Metz dedicated-series flash units work pretty well for what they offer (pick the right one and you get FP mode in both auto TTL and manual operation, etc) and are well built. The only issues I've seen are the often fiddly control interface (if you can work with it, who cares? :-) and the fact that the reflectors aren't shaped for FourThirds format (their reflectors are shaped for 2:3 format cameras, so while they have a higher guide number for price over the Olympus/Panasonic models, they effectively lose some of that power through the wrong coverage pattern, although if you're using them with diffusers and bounce equipment this is mostly irrelevant).
    Yes, diffusing or bounce almost all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    And anything will suffice if you don't care about FP mode, but it seemed that was one of your primary interests.
    Indeed so. Essential if I go down the Four Thirds route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I use less expensive, simpler flash units often as I most often use manual flash setups, but I use Olympus FL-36 and FL-50 units whenever I need to do anything that needs FP mode operation. They're very good flash units and are built to last.
    That's useful to know. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    EDIT: Looks like Godfrey answered most of it while I was messing about. Here's what I wrote anyway tho:


    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    EDIT: Crossed messages! Thanks for all the input.

    I was thinking of the Metz AF-2, which is about 3/4 the price of an FL500, but still expensive though, especially as I have a perfectly good Canon 430exii which was not cheap! The thought has struck me that (a) I don't use flash all that often, as I much prefer to use available light for the close-ups which are most of what I do, and (b) it turns out that I am getting quite used to setting the flash manually as the 430exii doesn't work in TTL mode on my SX10is with the camera in Manual mode, which is what I almost always use.

    So perhaps I could just use the 430exii on a G3, with the camera in Manual mode, and the flash in its own manual mode. Being in (camera) Manual mode I would know to switch (the flash) to HSS/FP mode beyond 1/160 sec. I wonder if the camera and flash would communicate enough - exposure start and exposure finish presumably - for even manual HSS/FP to work?
    I dunno specifically (others might) but I guess it will fire fine. I have a buttload of National PE-3550 and PE-3057 units I got locally for $5 each (untested - but they all worked fine) and the GH1 can use them np at all. The PE-3057 has it's own fill-mode sensor that exposes beautifully (bounced or direct) if the camera is set appropriately. The trouble is with the GH1 that as soon as the camera thinks there is a strobe attached the shutter speed is limited (in all modes) to 1/160. So, assuming the the G3 is similar, if you want faster speeds than the sync limit (I think) you have to get the camera and flash to fire simultaneously without the camera knowing that a flash is being used. The only way I can think of is to buy one of those $50 Hong Kong remotes that are able to fire the shutter and also slaved (remote) flash(s).

    I would lose TTL flash in Av mode though. I don't use that very often, but when I do ..... Grrr, it's all so complicated and difficult to get my head around with so many pluses and minuses for each option.
    I dunno, while these particular flash guns do have a light sensor and a built-in auto mode, and are actually geared for film cameras so should be mostly too bright I can usually just shoot without too much thought or effort using the guide on the back. I shoot only manual lenses anyway so I'm not losing much without the automation. I still get plenty of aperture leeway even with that very restrictive Xs ~ 1/160s. Here's some I just took right now just for fun:


    Auto: 1/30, Bounce 0, f/11


    Auto: 1/30, Bounce 45, f/8


    Auto: 1/30, Bounce 75, f/4


    Given my particular working methods (long story) I'm not sure how practical it would be for my macro work, which is all done "in the wild". Still, it's an interesting alternative that I hadn't thought of. Would this work faster than 1/160 sec though? I thought the problem there was that at shutter speeds faster than a camera's sync speed the shutter is never fully open, the second curtain starting out before the first curtain finishes - and so with the flash being almost instantaneous, not all of the image gets flash illumination. And hence FP/HSS mode, where the flash is doing "microbursts" all the while the shutter is open.
    Macro in the wild, sounds like a diffuser situation. Same things apply. But again if you want higher than max-sync on a Panasonic M4/3 I think yo have to trigger the flash and camera separately or pay Panasonic's lunar based prices.

    Also Godfrey did a good job of explaining things I thought. Flashes can and do burn longer than "instantaneous" - up to about 1/2 a second. The problem is just telling your camera that you're not so stupid as to expect the flash and the SS to be the same and all metered for you and stuff. Most other camera manufactures allow access to the FP mode in the camera body. Panasonic, in an effort to sell more flashes I am sure, puts access to that mode in the flash itself. So either you need to fool the camera into thinking there is no flash or pay thru the nose.
    Last edited by Tesselator; 6th June 2011 at 13:24.

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    gardenersassistant
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    EDIT: Looks like Godfrey answered most of it while I was messing about. Here's what I wrote anyway tho:
    Thanks for taking the time on this. More interesting info for me to mull over. I take the point about the possibilities of less expensive flash units, but for my needs (e.g. out in the wild, diffusion and/or reflection, needing to get above 1/160, some need for auto TTL) I suspect I'm going to end up paying up to Panasonic, Olympus or Metz.

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    I'm looking into cheap ones right now. I need to compile a list of model numbers and maker names and then do searches for FP capabilities. I have a few already for the searching but I want an exhaustive list so I'm still looking up models that say they at leat have TTL and are Panasonic M4/3 compatible. Here's what I have so far:

    Nissin Speedlite Di 466 FT-W White $159

    Nissin Speedlite Di 466 FT - Black $139

    Vivitar DF-293 $109

    Vivitar 285HV $100

    Sunset "Zeikos" ZE-SB1000 $125


    Interestingly enough I could buy all 5 of the above (most of which have a better spec than the Fl500) for about the same price as just one Panasonic FL500 unit... LOL!

    There's the Panasonic DMW-FL360 for $220 which says it's "FP emission capable" but it's terribly low spec with no swivel, no bounce card, crappy case, and a GN of only 36 (meaning probably not powerful enough to be used with most diffusers and/or softbox products). And it's made by Panasonic so it's twice as much as all the others and probably doesn't have an honorable Warrantee!

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    ...So, assuming the the G3 is similar, if you want faster speeds than the sync limit (I think) you have to get the camera and flash to fire simultaneously without the camera knowing that a flash is being used. The only way I can think of is to buy one of those $50 Hong Kong remotes that are able to fire the shutter and also slaved (remote) flash(s).
    ....
    This does nothing to extend flash tube burn time.

    ... Flashes can and do burn longer than "instantaneous" - up to about 1/2 a second. The problem is just telling your camera that you're not so stupid as to expect the flash and the SS to be the same and all metered for you and stuff. Most other camera manufactures allow access to the FP mode in the camera body. Panasonic, in an effort to sell more flashes I am sure, puts access to that mode in the flash itself. So either you need to fool the camera into thinking there is no flash or pay thru the nose.
    Modern flash units capable of variable burn time for exposure adjustment generally burn somewhere between 1/8000 and 1/150 second, about two orders of magnitude shorter burn than 1/2 second. A vertically traveling focal plane shutter crossing a 14mm gate nominally takes 8-10 milliseconds if X-sync is set to 1/160 second .. that keeps accelerative loadings on the shutter curtains down in the 8-10g range and reduces costs enormously. So 80/1000 = 8/100 = ... let's call it 1/15 second minimum burn time needed to synch the traveling slit at shutter times over X-sync ... again roughly an order of magnitude longer burn than conventional flash units can burn the tube, not counting any additional timing needs.

    FP mode on dedicated flash units, whether the control switching is done in the body or in the flash, require the flash to be put into a different output mode in order to sustain a longer, lower intensity burn for the required time. And for optimized output, that burn has to be carefully synched to the actual shutter speed in use to maximize power and minimize flash unit heating (overheating will destroy the flash unit prematurely).

    You can't get something for nothing. Cheap flash units not designed to permit long burn times or support the precise timing required are not useful for fast focal plane shutter synchronization. It has nothing to do with Panasonic wanting to milk every last dollar out of you ... it has to do with the technology required to do the job and how much it costs.

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Doesn't this have the exact same tubes in it? It can strobe a GN of about 30 for hours and hours and some have full one second burn times. Those are $10 each - new. Magic high cost technology? Gee that sounds like marketing!

    Yes, my "about 1/2 a second" was a slight exaggeration - but only slight. I haven't owned a whole lot of on-camera type flash units since digital cameras started out but of the 30 or 40 for film ones I have 5 or 6 of those models can burn for a very long time - I dunno maybe 1/5s. The others are tiny little pop flashes with GNs of about 10 - 20 worth about $1 each these days and I wouldn't expect them to do anything but pop. Still, they all work in HSS mode on other camera systems. 1/1000s is 1/1000s - it seems only to make sense that if a flash can burn longer than that it can be used at 1/1000 shutter speeds - unless the camera is prohibiting it in firmware like the Panasonics. And why would that be other than to sell "special magic" flash units? It looks even more obvious to me when one considers that the Panasonic units are feature stripped and a half. Half the product for twice the price, that sounds just like a monopoly-minded company to me.

    So I think I've shown that the technology is dirt cheap and other systems are already doing it. How is it that Panasonic isn't if it's indeed not actually about milking us?

    Additionally I ask that if indeed a flash works in HSS mode on some other camera system and it's only Panasonic's firmware which prevents the user from setting a SS higher than 1/160 when a flash is attached then why won't a remote trigger which triggers both the camera's shutter and also a flash unit (not attached to the camera) work - assuming the two trigger events are close enough?
    Last edited by Tesselator; 6th June 2011 at 20:19.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    You obviously dont understand anything about focal plane shutters, flash unit technology and how it works. I'm not your tutor.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 6th June 2011 at 22:11.

  17. #17
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    I'm looking into cheap ones right now. I need to compile a list of model numbers and maker names and then do searches for FP capabilities. I have a few already for the searching but I want an exhaustive list so I'm still looking up models that say they at leat have TTL and are Panasonic M4/3 compatible. Here's what I have so far:

    Nissin Speedlite Di 466 FT-W White $159

    Nissin Speedlite Di 466 FT - Black $139

    Vivitar DF-293 $109

    Vivitar 285HV $100

    Sunset "Zeikos" ZE-SB1000 $125
    Thanks for the links.

    The Nissin looks very interesting for the price. However, it is not FP-capable (it seems, reading the user guide and from statements on other forums).

    The Vivitar site doesn't show a MFT version of the DF-293, but it does have an Olympus version. I can't find a manual for this, but the stated flash duration range of 1/500 to 1/30000 implies that it is not FP-capable (e.g. it could not cover an exposure of 1/200).

    I can't find a manual for the Zeikos SB1000, but the Amazon link gives the flash duration range as 1/1000 to 1/20000, implying that it is not FP-capable.

    From looking at the manual, it seems that the Vivitar 385HV is not FP-capable and does not swivel laterally, which I need for reflected flash operations.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    [CENTER]
    thanks mate, I'm showing this to my wife ... I am so off the hook for having too many lenses ;-)

    ps nice equatorial mount too BTW

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    worthwhile reading:

    http://webs.lanset.com/rcochran/flash/hss.html

    and I thought my memory served me well from my recollection of OM brochures (when I had an OM-1 and wished for a 4ti

    In 1986, the Olympus OM-4T (Japan) introduced a system that could synchronize a specially dedicated accessory Olympus F280 Full Synchro electronic flash to pulse its light at a 20 kilohertz rate for up to 40 ms, to illuminate its horizontal FP shutter's slit as it crossed the entire film gate – in effect, simulating long-burn FP flashbulbs – allowing flash exposure at shutter speeds as fast as 1/2000 sec.

  20. #20
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Worthwhile indeed. Very informative. And very clearly written too. Thanks.

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    worthwhile reading:

    http://webs.lanset.com/rcochran/flash/hss.html

    and I thought my memory served me well from my recollection of OM brochures (when I had an OM-1 and wished for a 4ti

    In 1986, the Olympus OM-4T (Japan) introduced a system that could synchronize a specially dedicated accessory Olympus F280 Full Synchro electronic flash to pulse its light at a 20 kilohertz rate for up to 40 ms, to illuminate its horizontal FP shutter's slit as it crossed the entire film gate – in effect, simulating long-burn FP flashbulbs – allowing flash exposure at shutter speeds as fast as 1/2000 sec.
    Yup, Olympus had lots of firsts. That's basically how FP still works today too. With M4/3 sensors that's not really needed tho. AFAIK all M4/3 sensors have both a mechanical FP shutter and an electronic shutter. Although the first I noticed it being used besides for video, was in the GH2's new 40 FPS burst mode of full sized stills.



    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    thanks mate, I'm showing this to my wife ... I am so off the hook for having too many lenses ;-)

    ps nice equatorial mount too BTW
    What, you're not past the 100 mark yet? Hurry up man!

    Hhehe, thanks for the kind words too.
    Last edited by Tesselator; 7th June 2011 at 05:36.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    The metz 50 works pretty well with my GH2 and i can easily go to HSS mode for shorter shutter times. I use a bounce diffuser on it all the time.

  23. #23
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    The metz 50 works pretty well with my GH2 and i can easily go to HSS mode for shorter shutter times. I use a bounce diffuser on it all the time.
    I have the Metz 58 AF-2 in mind, so this is reassuring. Thanks.

    Am I right in thinking that you have to manually change the flash to HSS mode rather than the camera automatically switching the flash to HSS mode above the sync speed?

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    In the case of the metz 50... yes that is correct. I have a Metz 54 and adapter for the Panasonic but it will not do HSS.

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    I have the Metz 58 AF-2 in mind, so this is reassuring. Thanks.

    Am I right in thinking that you have to manually change the flash to HSS mode rather than the camera automatically switching the flash to HSS mode above the sync speed?

  25. #25
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    In the case of the metz 50... yes that is correct. I have a Metz 54 and adapter for the Panasonic but it will not do HSS.
    Thanks.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    Given my particular working methods (long story) I'm not sure how practical it would be for my macro work, which is all done "in the wild".
    You can do just fine with 1/160 and a manual flash for field macro work if that's your main purpose. I do it all the time. I use a Nikon SB-80DX, and I manually set the power anywhere from 1/4 to 1/1 depending on the surrounding lighting. I also use various diffusers, which is critical for macro work. Sure I'd love to have something like 1/250, but to get that and keep the very useful articulating LCD I'd have to shell out $1700 for an E-5.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

  27. #27
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    You can do just fine with 1/160 and a manual flash for field macro work if that's your main purpose. I do it all the time. I use a Nikon SB-80DX, and I manually set the power anywhere from 1/4 to 1/1 depending on the surrounding lighting. I also use various diffusers, which is critical for macro work. Sure I'd love to have something like 1/250, but to get that and keep the very useful articulating LCD I'd have to shell out $1700 for an E-5.
    I may have misunderstood (in which case I'm happily open to correction), but ...

    It is the issue of whether HSS/FP flash is available that is in my mind here, rather than whether I can use manual flash or not. With my current camera in Manual mode I do manually set the flash power of the external flash unit (because auto-TTL flash exposure won't work with my camera in Manual mode - it does work in Av mode). I use reflectors or diffusers, and use ordinary flash mode below sync speed and HSS/FP mode above sync speed. The amount of manually set flash that I use varies between the minimum available of 1/64 up to the maximum of 1/1.

    I am thinking of two rather distinct uses of flash. One is where light levels are too low to be able to use available light successfully (I strongly prefer available light, and often work with extremely high failure rates because of this). In such cases flash becomes my main light source and as described above I use manually set power when the camera is in Manual mode, and auto-TTL flash exposure when using Av mode.

    The other use is in bright light, where I want to use fill flash to even up the lighting, for example to illuminate dark shadows such as the underside of insects or out-of-the-sun petals/petal surfaces on an otherwise sun-illuminated flower. Now, the sync speed on my camera is 1/250, the minimum ISO is 80 and the minimum aperture is f/8 (it is a small sensor bridge camera). Even with the minimum ISO and minimum aperture, on a sunny day the shutter speed may need to be above 1/250 to avoid blown highlights. This is the circumstance for which I am thinking of needing HSS/FP flash.

    I haven't thought this through, but it struck me recently that perhaps getting a set of ND filters might be a way round this, so as to bring the "baseline" exposure (to avoid blown highlights) within the sync speed. Given the use of an ND filter, would more flash power be needed to obtain the light balancing? Can't get my head around that. But in any case I wouldn't have the big power drop from using HSS, which would balance things out. Don't know which of those two effects might be the stronger. As HSS/FP flash power is (I believe) proportional to shutter speed I suppose the answer to that might vary with shutter speed.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    You can work around all the situations you described above with fill flash and diffusers, or even a shade if you the sun is really too bright. The diffuser I use acts both as a diffuser and as shade, so I don't worry about bright sunlight. To me it sounds like you're over-thinking/over-complicating the equation with the HSS/FP flash for what you're trying to do. I'd use HSS/FP for stopping motion in a controlled environment personally, not for field macro using available lighting.

    Like you said, if you run into a situation where you really can't control the brightness of the environment with anything you can bring with you in the field, then I suppose you'll want to think about an ND filter set. That's a lot easier than fiddling with HSS/FP flash for this situation.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    I'm looking into cheap ones right now. I need to compile a list of model numbers and maker names and then do searches for FP capabilities. I have a few already for the searching but I want an exhaustive list so I'm still looking up models that say they at leat have TTL and are Panasonic M4/3 compatible. Here's what I have so far:

    Vivitar 285HV $100
    How is the 285HV FP compatible? While it'll fire, AFAIK you can't put the camera in FP mode with the 285HV. I'd love to know!
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    How is the 285HV FP compatible? While it'll fire, AFAIK you can't put the camera in FP mode with the 285HV. I'd love to know!
    It isn't. It's a simple hot-shoe auto flash without FP burn capabilities.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    It isn't. It's a simple hot-shoe auto flash without FP burn capabilities.
    Didn't think so - thanks!. I love the two units I have, but haven't been using them much since I got the SB-80DX. Same output, but a lot more flexible.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    You can work around all the situations you described above with fill flash and diffusers, or even a shade if you the sun is really too bright. The diffuser I use acts both as a diffuser and as shade, so I don't worry about bright sunlight. To me it sounds like you're over-thinking/over-complicating the equation with the HSS/FP flash for what you're trying to do. I'd use HSS/FP for stopping motion in a controlled environment personally, not for field macro using available lighting.

    Like you said, if you run into a situation where you really can't control the brightness of the environment with anything you can bring with you in the field, then I suppose you'll want to think about an ND filter set. That's a lot easier than fiddling with HSS/FP flash for this situation.
    Thanks for the input. I need to experiment some more. And I really must get round to buying a ND set and also a second plamp so I have more flexibility, e.g. to use one card as a reflector (of sunlight or flash), and one as a shade. I've been meaning to do that for a while.

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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    The other use is in bright light, where I want to use fill flash to even up the lighting, for example to illuminate dark shadows such as the underside of insects or out-of-the-sun petals/petal surfaces on an otherwise sun-illuminated flower. Now, the sync speed on my camera is 1/250, the minimum ISO is 80 and the minimum aperture is f/8 (it is a small sensor bridge camera). Even with the minimum ISO and minimum aperture, on a sunny day the shutter speed may need to be above 1/250 to avoid blown highlights. This is the circumstance for which I am thinking of needing HSS/FP flash.
    exactly a problem I have faced. My best recent example was a wedding I did for a while ago. If I wanted to use more shallow DoF and not be 50 meters away with a telephoto I just couldn't balance flash required shutters with DoF preferred apertures.

    Just a quick glance at the "sunny 16 rule" would reveal that l with 100ISO I"m needing around f11 or perhaps f8.

    This is where I find 4/3 a limiting tool, as the DoF of f8 is so deep that I really DO need that telephoto to get anything other than shots that look like I took them with a compact ... (which I guess I am really)

    I ended up using 35mm negative and lenses like 100mm f2.8 and 200 f4, just so that I could use shallow apertures. I picked 100ISO (which looks quite good in neg, perhaps equal to my G1 at 400) and even bring up the exposure a stop or so (getting more shadow) without worrying much about highlight blowouts.

    As a benefit I got to use faster shutters making hand held less tricky.

    I haven't thought this through, but it struck me recently that perhaps getting a set of ND filters might be a way round this, so as to bring the
    which of course impacts on your flash and you find yourself needing a higher GN flash for the same job ... "giveth with the right and taketh away with the left"

    "baseline" exposure (to avoid blown highlights) within the sync speed. Given the use of an ND filter, would more flash power be needed to obtain the light balancing?
    yes ...

    Can't get my head around that. But in any case I wouldn't have the big power drop from using HSS, which would balance things out. Don't know which of those two effects might be the stronger. As HSS/FP flash power is (I believe) proportional to shutter speed I suppose the answer to that might vary with shutter speed.
    well Guide Number is (as you may recall) dependent on F stop chosen, distance (of course) and field of view. I add this last one as people often forget this thinking that flashes that zoom (as many do now) quote their GN at the 100mm end of things and work by focusing the light. The do not give 40GN at 50mm or 28mm. I seem to recall that the old Oly F280 covered 28mm angle of view, so with a tele adaptor would actually be much more powerful.

    this however doesn't address the other issues.

    Fundamentally (due to the short duration of the flash) the only mitigating factor in exposure (in the balance with ambient light) is the aperture and any ND filters, shutter being longer does not effect exposure (and shorter just cuts off part of the focal plane.

    Essentially its why I think there remains a need for the simple 6x6 Hassleblad with its 500th of a sec flash sync. You get more shallow DoF, because of the larger format and be able to balance outdoor lighting (like weddings) while giving pleasing renderings. Where a focal plane shutter may need [email protected] the iris shutters allow you to set something like [email protected] which on the 6x6 is a nice rendering.

    :-)

  34. #34
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    exactly a problem I have faced.....
    Interesting solution!

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    ...which of course impacts on your flash and you find yourself needing a higher GN flash for the same job ... "giveth with the right and taketh away with the left"
    That's a pity, because in some circumstances my flash (Canon 430EXII) is already only just powerful enough, given what HSS + reflection/diffusion can reduce it to. Given that I'm thinking of switching brand of camera, a new Canon (or compatible) flash is not a runner just now. Makes the Metz 58 AF-2 look like it wouldn't be overkill if/when I move to Panasonic.

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Essentially its why I think there remains a need for the simple 6x6 Hassleblad with its 500th of a sec flash sync. You get more shallow DoF, because of the larger format and be able to balance outdoor lighting (like weddings) while giving pleasing renderings. Where a focal plane shutter may need [email protected] the iris shutters allow you to set something like [email protected] which on the 6x6 is a nice rendering
    Very interesting. This touches on another option (at the opposite end of the spectrum) that I have been pondering - but I may need to run for cover after explaining what it is.

    I keep wondering about the FZ100, and its possible replacement with a similar camera using the new 1/2.33 chip that Panasonic have scheduled for mass production in December.

    Now I know, I know, FZ100, terrible IQ, smeary, noise in a clear blue sky at ISO 100 etc etc. And yet, for my purposes, it seems to have some distinct advantages, one of which is an iris shutter - flash sync at all speeds.

    Another advantage is that its adaptor would hold my achromats at a constant distance from the subject as I zoom in and out to change the magnification/framing. That was how it was with my previous camera, a Canon S3, and it is definitely advantageous given the sensitivity of achromats to the distance to the subject.

    10 fps would increase the options for stacking for noise reduction/detail enhancement/dof extension.

    And RAW, which I don't have currently, would be nice too.

    Oh, and a 1.7x teleconverter would take the reach out to 1020 mm in 35mm equivalent terms. I might even capture some birds.

    And it would be much less expensive than a G3 rig would be (especially if I went the whole hog with the G3 and included the 45mm and 100-300mm). I am not kind to equipment, and clumsy to boot. I drop things. Potential replacement costs do figure in my equation.

    The G3 would obviously give me options of deeper cropping, but then again I tend to compose in-camera quite close to the final result, so that isn't as much of an advantage for me as you might think.

    But back to the IQ issue. Surely this rules out a small sensor camera? Well, I'm used to handling poor quality originals, for example when using ISO 200 on the SX10is in poor-ish light, which I do quite often. But careful PP is giving me results that print to my satisfaction at A4, and the local wildlife trust happily used a (ISO 100, good light) 16" x 12" print along with A4's at a recent event, and there was apparently good feedback about the pictures.

    There is obviously a huge difference in native IQ terms between the G3 and the FZ100, even if/when that is replaced with a better sensor. But, it's a horses for courses thing, and a complicated set of factors to juggle. Just now, as for many months, indecision rules.

    (Oh dear, I hope I haven't started a religious war with this.)

  35. #35
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    Interesting solution!
    sort of retro wasn't it :-)

    It enabled me to get stuff like this:


    which contained enlargement detail like this:

    [QUOTE]click for 100%

    The visible grain softened in printing, but left plenty of detail in the whites and shallow DoF (needed to obscure background) while not needing to stand back too far.

    That's a pity, because in some circumstances my flash (Canon 430EXII) is already only just powerful enough, given what HSS + reflection/diffusion can reduce it to. Given that I'm thinking of switching brand of camera, a new Canon (or compatible) flash is not a runner just now. Makes the Metz 58 AF-2 look like it wouldn't be overkill if/when I move to Panasonic.
    used to use Canon, moved to Metz some time ago. Don't discount "Auto Flash" which is non TTL. The 45 is 45 at 28mm, and makes for a fantastic bounce flash if you have white ceilings.

    Now I know, I know, FZ100, terrible IQ, smeary, noise in a clear blue sky at ISO 100 etc etc. And yet, for my purposes, it seems to have some distinct advantages, one of which is an iris shutter - flash sync at all speeds.
    gear is equipment, its intended to enable you to produce your creative vision, if a bit of gear does that better than another bit of gear then use it because its better. Noone would argue that a chainsaw cuts wood faster and more powerfully than a coping saw ... but I still use both for different reasons.

    I wouldn't use a coping saw for this : http://youtu.be/mU412nELtdI

    :-)

  36. #36
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    The visible grain softened in printing, but left plenty of detail in the whites and shallow DoF (needed to obscure background) while not needing to stand back too far.
    Good result.

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Don't discount "Auto Flash" which is non TTL.
    Having been concentrating on HSS/FP, I hadn't really noticed Auto Flash. I just looked again at the Metz 58 AF-2 manual. This is new to me, and I see what you mean. That would definitely be another tool in the kitbag.

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    gear is equipment, its intended to enable you to produce your creative vision, if a bit of gear does that better than another bit of gear then use it because its better.
    True, and reassuring to hear you say that. I am mindful though that there are some folk for whom "good" and "better" seem to be absolute terms (as in an unqualified "Large sensor good, small sensor rubbish"), rather than being relative to a particular set of aims/objectives/constraints/preferences etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Noone would argue that a chainsaw cuts wood faster and more powerfully than a coping saw ... but I still use both for different reasons.

    I wouldn't use a coping saw for this : http://youtu.be/mU412nELtdI

    :-)
    LOL! Quite so.

  37. #37
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Using flash above synch speed on G-series

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenersassistant View Post
    Good result.
    thanks :-)


    Having been concentrating on HSS/FP, I hadn't really noticed Auto Flash. I just looked again at the Metz 58 AF-2 manual. This is new to me, and I see what you mean. That would definitely be another tool in the kitbag.
    definately. You can use TTL wireless adaptors to trigger them from your camera (cheap as chips these days for a basic one) and leave one setup where you want.

    try reading this for an example of how well this works on even a digicam like my coolpix 5000 ...

    none of this however gets you away from the issues associated with the shutter limits of focal plane shutters or the use of ND filters to bring ambient light levels down.

    but it is handy on many occasions.

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