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Thread: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

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    645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Seduced by the 1/1600th flash sync of the new Phase One 645DF, leaf shutter lenses and p40+ back, I bit the bullet and picked mine up yesterday.

    And to my surprise, I can only make it sync properly at 1/400th or below. At that speed, all is good. Above it, it's not.

    I'm using Elinchrom Ranger Quadras. I have tried both the A head and S-head (A has shorter duration), and both Elinchrom Skyport triggers and Pocket Wizards, and the same result.

    If I take the fast A "Action" head, and plug it into the B socket (only one third power but faster ie shorter flash duration) then it will sync at up to 1/800th with significant loss of power. And having lots of power to overpower the sun is precisely why you want high speed flash sync in the first place! This makes it useless outdoors.

    I've searched Phase forums and this one to see if anyone else has had the same problems...

    Phase One forum says someone else has the same as me when using Profoto flash.The Phase One anser says suggests the flash duration on what it calls "cheaper"! flashes can be too long!

    So I tried it with a Nikon SB800, which obviously has a short duration, and there's no joy with that either. Same result... well, it sort of syncs at 500th only if you have the flash on full power, but is pretty dark. In reality it's 400th or below.

    Please, please someone tell me am I a total fool and am doing something wrong and just need to change a setting! I have read the user manual twice and can't seem to see what I'm doing wrong. Help!

    I really hope this isn't an 18,000 Euro mistake!

    Yes, I have emailed Phase...

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Hi Adam,

    I think Pocket Wizards sync at a max of 1/500s. Not sure about the Skyports.

    Have you tried a hard connection?

    David

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Ah... some more testing. I may have been a little reactionary!

    It will sync at 1/800th (but not a jot above) if you use the Quadras at or near full power only... out of the A socket too (slow one but lots of power) on both A and S heads. A is twice as bright as S...

    But here's a strange thing...

    If I set the camera to 1/800th at f14 (which is what a flash meter says it should be)... then open right up to 1/800th at f2.8... the picture only gets about a tenth of a stop brighter...

    Can anyone shed any light on this?

    How can 1/800th give the same exposure at 2.8 as it does at f14? When the power of the fllash is constant... (Virtualy no ambient to consider..)

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Just had an email from Phase support, also suggesting I try with a hard wire connection...
    And it works, sync up to 1600th from A or S heads at decent power.

    But as 99% of working pros I know use PWs or other wireless to trigger flashes, this is absolutely awful.

    And how do I trigger multiple packs? Get miles of sync cables and splitters and tape them on the floor or dig a trench outdoors to hide them? 18,000 Euros I spent yesterday to get a flash that syncs outdoors at fast speeds... and it's unuseable for what I want it for. Bloody marvellous.

    One step forward: fast flash sync. One massive leap back!

    So... does Hassleblad work like this too? Can you only sync above 400th if you use a hard wire?

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    I just checked the Pocket Wizard site and if you use the Multimax remotes, there is a FAST mode specially for leaf shutter lenses which is supposed to sync up to 1/1000th sec.

    So I tried it and it does work... to a point. Flash power is reduced... but like before, if I set 1/800th at f14, then change to f2.8, the pictures look virtually identical. maybe half a stop difference.

    Any ideas what's occuring here?


    EDITED MYSELF: And all of a sudden, it now DOES make a difference what aperture you set.... although not as much as it should ie the difference between f2.8 and f22 isn't that much.. certainly not five stops.


    Edit again/.. and now it DOES make a huge difference...

    Anyone seem to think I may have a faulty lens? Or have I got some dodgy custom setting thing going on?
    Last edited by adamduckworth; 13th January 2010 at 12:21.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Check that the aperture isn't sticking. I have this problem with one of my lenses, and sometimes I don't notice, much to my later chagrin.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    I just checked the Pocket Wizard site and if you use the Multimax remotes, there is a FAST mode specially for leaf shutter lenses which is supposed to sync up to 1/1000th sec.

    So I tried it and it does work... to a point. Flash power is reduced... but like before, if I set 1/800th at f14, then change to f2.8, the pictures look virtually identical. maybe half a stop difference.

    Any ideas what's occuring here?


    EDITED MYSELF: And all of a sudden, it now DOES make a difference what aperture you set.... although not as much as it should ie the difference between f2.8 and f22 isn't that much.. certainly not five stops.


    Edit again/.. and now it DOES make a huge difference...

    Anyone seem to think I may have a faulty lens? Or have I got some dodgy custom setting thing going on?

    Adam:

    You might try a reset of Custom Functions just to (potentially) eliminate that possibility. Set to CF, then press and hold the +/- button for 5 seconds.


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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    I reset the back, then tried again.

    So... if you use Pw Plus Iis or Elinchrom Skyport, it only syncs to 400th.

    If you use Multimax custom set to FAST, it works OK to about 800th... but the flash is about a stop less than if it's hard wired.

    It does work at speeds up to 1600th, but at that the flash is about five stops less powerful than if it's hard wired.... so that's pretty useless then really!

    Phase One support says they are collating a database of what speeds work with which flashes and radio remotes.

    Oh yes, my Elinchrom A heads (faster) give about a stop more power when used with the DF compared to the S heads (even though they both put out the exact same actual power)

    I've calmed down a bit now!

    Perhaps the aperture was sticking or something... at one point the back beeped and the lens made a noise and all seems well now. Hope it's cos it was brand new!

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    I reset the back, then tried again.

    So... if you use Pw Plus Iis or Elinchrom Skyport, it only syncs to 400th.

    If you use Multimax custom set to FAST, it works OK to about 800th... but the flash is about a stop less than if it's hard wired.

    It does work at speeds up to 1600th, but at that the flash is about five stops less powerful than if it's hard wired.... so that's pretty useless then really!
    The 1/1600th sync speed (only with P65+ and P40+) requires a firmware/hardware update of the digital back at Phase One. Exact timing/availability of that update is not available as they are just now rolling out the leaf shutter lenses.

    That's why you're seeing strange results at 1/1600th.

    Doug

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Thanks Doug! Shame they didn't tell me that when I picked it up at the shop yesterday!

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    You might have more luck with a Pro Air...

    http://www.profoto.com/products/prof...ces/air-remote

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    I thought the Skyports went to 1/1000th. I actually have the this same setup except I don't have a LS lens yet to try. YET
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Hi Guy... nice review by the way. There's no way I'd use a MF camera for that but all the best to you!

    Skyports do indeed claim 1/1000th sync but on the DF is definitley only 400th...Not a jot of light gets throuhg at 1/500th, even using the fastest A head Quadras and max power.

    I'm at the SWPP Convention in London tomorrow and the main man from Pocket Wizard is there (the designer, apparently! Over from USA) and I've arranged to meet him (I may be doing some Beta tests on new Pocket Wizard Flex and Mini for Nikon). Also a Phase One fella is there too so I'll rant... I mean talk.. to him.

    As for the firmware update, as my back was ordered and delivered brand new from Phase I believe it has the latest firmware as with a hard wire, it will sync at 1/1600th... but at 2000th nothing.

    I can't believe I've owned the camera a full day and the only pics I've taken with it are shots of my curtains in the dining room as I play with flash triggers and flash guns!
    Last edited by adamduckworth; 14th January 2010 at 15:33.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Please note that Paul C Buff CyberSync triggers will sync at 1/4000. They use a different band from what PocketWizards do that makes them faster but have less range. You can use CyberSync in repeating mode to get the range of PW but then you loose sync speed and it is only 1/2500 or something like that. Of course for what your doing I doubt you need extended range.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    will this work?
    put a very small flash on your 645DF shoe. Point it away from your subject such that it's light does not influence your set up. Use the photocell on your power pack to trigger the strobes when the small flash goes off. Will this now sync at 1/1600s ?

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Henry, this might work in studio (but there you don't need the fast shutter), but not outside... Radio transmitters always will need some time to trigger (they send a code that must be identified by the receiver), though with the 2,4GHz-system I would have expected no problems there.

    Obviously a firmware-extension would be needed: Phase/Mamiya should add the possibility to adjust the time lag from firering the flash to opening the shutter. Adding a millisecond or two might make it...

    Good to know about that - I think about going the step to MF, so when I rent one for a test I also will check this point

    Andreas

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    I have never experienced problems that I can recall with high speed and Skyport.

    I use my skyports, with either the Quadra's or the RX's or even with SB800's & SB80DX's quite often at 1/800th and without any problems.

    On the Quadra's there is no difference when I use the A or B port. I have never experienced problems that I can recall in that area either.

    To be exact, you really need the Quadra's to be useful at 1/800th outside since you 'only' have 400w/s max from 1 head. Together with 1 to 2 stops more sync and 1 stop lower ISO it is just enough to compensate compared to my more powerful Ranger.

    BTW, the whole Quadra system fits perfectly in those rectangular Hasselblad cases (1 unit, 2 batteries, cables, Head & reflector)

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Love my Quadra a lot . I have a very small Lowe Pro shoulder bag it fits into and off i go.

    This is the reason i bought one was for weight and compact but also to shoot at high sync speeds outside with the ability to use less power than the Ranger. I just need the LS lenses now but the whole idea here makes a load of sense. I pick up 2.5 stops of aperture just getting to 1/800 or there about. That is a huge advantage.

    I also use the Skyports and just to get to 1/1000 would be fine with me until the unit gets updated
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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Just tried the camera in the studio with Elinchrom studio lights and fastest sync is 1/320th with Skyports. So your 1/1000th is highly unrealistic, Guy!

    I have no idea how Dustbak gets sync at 1/1000th... it's the delay in encoding then decoding the signal from thewireless transmitter that won't let it sync this high, claim both PW and ELinchrom. I met with Pocket Wizard people and ELinchrom people at the weekend, you see.

    PW are going to look into it closely (and weren't even aware of the 1/1600th flash sync with the P40+).

    And Elinchrom had a secret new product with them... and my pal is testing it for them right now on p40+/ Phase DF.
    More news soon!

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    My studio is completely on Pocket Wizards, so the possibility to flash synch at the P40+/P65+ max of 1/1600 is not possible, and currently limited to 1/500. Paul Buff's Cyber Synch claims the ability to synch up to 1/2500. They are relatively cheap---so I just bought a set. We should be able to test them out on the P65+ in February when Dave Gallagher brings out a 645DF and Schneider 80mm LS for Capture Integration in Carmel.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    Just tried the camera in the studio with Elinchrom studio lights and fastest sync is 1/320th with Skyports. So your 1/1000th is highly unrealistic, Guy!

    I have no idea how Dustbak gets sync at 1/1000th... it's the delay in encoding then decoding the signal from thewireless transmitter that won't let it sync this high, claim both PW and ELinchrom. I met with Pocket Wizard people and ELinchrom people at the weekend, you see.

    PW are going to look into it closely (and weren't even aware of the 1/1600th flash sync with the P40+).

    And Elinchrom had a secret new product with them... and my pal is testing it for them right now on p40+/ Phase DF.
    More news soon!
    Read my text in which I never claimed 1/1000th. I can get to 1/800th which is the max my lenses can get to.

    Not sure what those people tell you, I can only tell you it works for me without problems.

    Just to show it is possible I have placed a screenshot from a raw file in Phocus. Look in the lower right corner to see at what shutter speed this image has been taken. It says 1/800. This image was done with the skyport on the Quadra and 2 SB800's with universal receivers.

    http://www.pepperanddust.com/images/skyport.jpg

    This is just one image, I have a lot more taken at shutter speeds in the /1500th & 1/800th range. It actually works so smoothly I never even gave it a thought it would not work.
    Last edited by Dustbak; 20th January 2010 at 11:08.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    Just tried the camera in the studio with Elinchrom studio lights and fastest sync is 1/320th with Skyports. So your 1/1000th is highly unrealistic, Guy!

    I have no idea how Dustbak gets sync at 1/1000th... it's the delay in encoding then decoding the signal from thewireless transmitter that won't let it sync this high, claim both PW and ELinchrom. I met with Pocket Wizard people and ELinchrom people at the weekend, you see.

    PW are going to look into it closely (and weren't even aware of the 1/1600th flash sync with the P40+).

    And Elinchrom had a secret new product with them... and my pal is testing it for them right now on p40+/ Phase DF.
    More news soon!

    I am only going by what Elinchrom quotes in there PDF. I don't have a LS to test it yet

    EL-Skyport
    EL-Skyport Transmitter 19351
    This module controls basic functions of an Elinchrom RX unit to which a Transceiver RX 19353 is attached. To control all RX functions the USB Transceiver RX 19354 and the latest EL Skyport software is required, which also offers additional features such as “strobing”.
    The Transmitter synchronises remote flash units, when each is fitted with either a “Universal” (fitting all flash brands) or the RX Transceiver (fitting Style RX, Digital RX and Ranger RX units). The RX Transceiver also provides control over the power and
    i
    modelling lamp of all Elinchrom RX flash units, directly from the Skyport Transmi
    Features
    t
    t
    .
    .
    +/- Buttons to change flash power settings of RX units and to switch modelling lamp on/off, without using a computer.
    Action freezing sync speed of up to 1/1000 s.
    Studio operating range is about 50 m and 120 m outdoors.
    Includes Hotshoe with Sync socket.
    Test button for manual flash trigger.
    Interference free operation with 40 bit security.
    Switch to select 8 frequency channels - for example between separate working areas.
    Switch to select 4 workgroups - adjusting and synchronising individual units or groups.
    Long life Lithium Battery providing 50.000 flashes or approximately 3 months lifetime.
    The “All” switch controls all units in Workgroup 1-4.
    The moveable antenna optimises reception and working distance.


    http://www.elinchrom.com/data/downlo...skyport_en.pdf
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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Ah, I see, , Dustbak's pictures were actually on a Hassleblad, not a Phase One DF/ LS, P40+ combo. Hassleblad obviously has this nailed.. Phase Not.

    Interesting to see how it works on that but not on Phase,. I have now tested it on Quadra A head, S head, both A and B port, Nikon SB800, Nikon SB900, Canon 580 Mk2, full-size Ranger AS packs and Elinchrom 600RX with both Pocket Wizard Plus II, Pocket Wizard Multimax and Skyport - both built-in (Quadra) and plug in (RX) and Universal.

    All with the same result.
    Waiting for Pocket Wiz and Skyport and Phase tech support...

    It would be good to know if Cyber Sybc things work, though... or Profoto Air things...

    Maybe we'll have an answer/ solution one day!

    Adam

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Adam have you checked the DF custom functions . Just wondering if something is not on or set wrong. Obviously first thing comes to mind is second curtain but that is not the default either. Also I think the P40+ needs 4.8 firmware. Something just does not sound right. Have you tried using a hardwire sync.

    Ooop's my bad you did have success hardwired. I'm baffled
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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Yes, I use a Hasselblad or according to some people, a Hassleblad

    To me, it seems a problem with the body/back combination. Unless there is a difference in the communication between an US and an European version of the Elinchrom and PW.

    I have always been told there is a difference in communication between those with PW (mainly frequencies). I cannot really imagine the way of communication and encryption being much different causing the US versions to be a lot slower.

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Hi all,

    this is my first posting here, I was reading since a longer while from time to time and got registered today because of this thread.

    Allow me a short introduction of myself, it fits the thread I hope. Located in Munich, Germany and NYC I am shooting all around the world. In analog times with Contax/Zeiss later in the digital age with Nikon, I switched over to Canon (because of the full frame 5D, after this and still 1 Ds Mark III), got some 39MP-Hasselblad experience but eventually ended up with Phase One (first P45+ now P65+ since 09/2009). I do love MF and rarely I grab my 1 Ds for fast things only...

    I got my DF with the 80mm LS lens on 15th of December (they told me it was the first one in Germany maybe Europe?) and was thinking about "the flash radio sync speed problem" since some months ago. Asking my dealer and P1 in Denmark (before I got the DF) if there is a custom funktion which can help to put a delay of some 1/1000 s or so, they all answered no, it isn't.

    I was concerned because of an easy calculation: Shooting on location (me often at beaches in the Caribbean with a lot of sun needing a lot of flash power...) means 2/1000 s delay time for the PW II to trigger my Profoto flashes. At 1/1600 shutter time, there is a time window of 1/8000 for the flash only. The AcuteB 600 R's shortest flash duration is 1/6800 s. I was afraid that the rest of the light ends up on illuminating the closed aperture...

    Coming back from the States and the Caribbean some days ago I can tell that I did not have any problems up to 1/1600. I don't know why, but it simply works...

    (I've got some other probs temporarily like the leaf shutter staying closed or a lost FW connection to the MacBook, but this is another thread's topic...).

    Regards,
    Kai

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Welcome Kai, and thanks for this information -- it sounds promising!
    Jack
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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Can I ask you guys who are mor experienced:

    I've been using Pocket Wizard Plus so I should be limited to 1/250s?? What if I bought a Multimax transmitter and trigger my Plus receivers. Will I get better sync speeds? How about the new TTL transmitters?

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Welcome Kai, and thanks for this information -- it sounds promising!
    Thank you Jack!

    I will add an example here. It is an unretouched low quality JPG out of Capture One. It did not see Photoshop or anything else. The model was in the shadow (created by a big Sunswatter which you don't see here, held by two people).



    The flash light came from the upper right corner (beauty dish; powered by a Profoto AcuteB 600R triggered via Pocketwizard II). In the IIQ file one can see the dish being reflected in her right eye...

    1/1600
    2.8
    80 mm LS

    I find the exposure pretty well-balanced. In the final retouched picture it was a little brighter.

    If I oversaw something please let me know. I am happy with the result (of course in better image quality).

    Kai

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Thanks, Kai! Now I'm really curious....because I'd rather use PWs....

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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    OK, here's my latest findings. I have now tried with Canon Mini and Flex Pocket Wizards at the suggestion of Pocket Wizard (who don't have the camera yet). I have only tried them with Elinchrom Quadra lights in both the fast and slow modes, both A and S head.

    The Flex and Mini TTl give no advantages on a Phase One 645DF with leaf lenses, in fact they are worse/ slower than Multimax or Plus IIs. I know as I've spent days playing with all the combinations in a bid to get my Phase DF/ leaf lens/ P40+ back to sync wirelessly at high speed.

    Yes, it has the latest firmware so works perfectly and syncs at up to 1/1600th if you hard wire.

    With normal Skyport or Plus II, it syncs perfectly up to 1/400th. After that, if you use Multimax set to "Fast" it syncs up to 1/800th but you lose about a stop of light.

    If you use the Canon Mini and Flex, you have to use the latest firmware and select "standard" triggering mode (or else it knows it's not on a Canon camera and refuses to fire). This standard triggering mode eliminates all the adjustable sync timing they have and puts them back to just like standard Plus IIs. In fact, worse than that. They only sync up to 1/320th at that.

    I have been in contact with Pocket Wizard (the owner emailed me in fact) and I know the boss of Elinchrom who are also working on something, but nothing will sync a DF at higher than 1/400th wirelessly properly yet. Neither sounded optimistic.

    The Cybersyncs are virtually the same delay as PW Multimax on Fast, but the Profoto is marginally faster.... but not by very much at all. This info came from Jim Clark of Pocket Wizard so I haven't tested it. But he knows his stuff and the eact timing delays of all his own and rival manufacturers as he's tested them.

    Hope that helps
    Adam
    Last edited by adamduckworth; 28th January 2010 at 04:29.
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  32. #32
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: 645 DF flash sync... only 1/400th sec?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamduckworth View Post
    OK, here's my latest findings. I have now tried with Canon Mini and Flex Pocket Wizards at the suggestion of Pocket Wizard (who don't have the camera yet). .... (emph added)

    After that, if you use Multimax set to "Fast" it syncs up to 1/800th but you lose about a stop of light. ....

    The Cybersyncs are virtually the same delay as PW Multimax on Fast, but the Profoto is marginally faster.... but not by very much at all. This info came from Jim Clark of Pocket Wizard so I haven't tested it. But he knows his stuff and the eact timing delays of all his own and rival manufacturers as he's tested them.

    Adam
    I do love Pocket Wizard, but find it hard to believe a manufacturer handing out advice on the camera without having tested it out themselves.

    The Multimax and PW II transceivers have different capabilities, and my read is that the Multimax is what Kai (above) actually used in setting a delay on the tranmitter. The Cybersync and PW have different flash synch capabilities---and different price points! I won't be leaving PWs, but if Cybersynch can provide a reliable and inexpensive option to wireless flash synch up to 1/1600, it will be a small investment that paid off well.

    I'm still waiting for my 645DF to come in, but we should be able to test out flash synch capabilities at CI in Carmel in a few weeks...

    ken

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