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Thread: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

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    1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Hi,

    The newly announced Pentax 645Z has a FSS of 1/125, what does this mean to most DMF users who shoot flash in the studio?

    While I understand the following:
    1) Shutter speed controls Ambient light the sensor receives, and 1/125 may limit how dark the Ambient gets!
    2) Strobe flash duration is more important than shutter speed in freezing subjects, when not using Leaf shutters but the focal plane shutter.

    What does this mean to the Studio Lighting photographers out there, and the work flow you have been used to? I know it will be harder to judge for those used to Leaf shutter lenses, but please feel free to chime in!

    Thanks
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    You're absolutely right that the majority of the benifit of a leaf shutter lens comes when shooting in purposefully-mixed light, like on-location, outdoors, or in a daylite studio. In a studio setting the issues that arise from a limited sync speed will more often be noticed by studio shooters shooting motion (e.g. dancers leaping) or shooting longer lenses hand held or shooting wide open than those who shoot only static subject matter or shorter lenses or only at f/11.

    There is a very handy rule of thumb for determining how much the ambient light matters in a given situation. Turn off the strobes and take a picture.

    If there is any meaningful illumination of the subject then the ambient light matters.

    For instance if you're shooting with dim modeling lights in a dark studio at 1/125th at f/11 at ISO100 and you turn off the strobe and take a picture then you'll get a near-black frame. In such a situation there will be no meaningful difference of using 1/125th vs a faster shutter speed like 1/500th.

    If on the other hand you're shooting in a daylite studio, or with bright modeling lights, or a light source is inside the frame, and you're using f/2.8 then you might well notice a meaningful exposure with the strobe off. This doesn't necessarily mean there is an issue, but it can create the following challenges:
    - it's hard to produce consistent color when the ratio of light from the modeling/ambient light vs the strobe is changing. If producing a single editorial image this is probably not significant, but if shooting for a catalog or shooting several images meant to be presented together it can get tricky
    - if the ambient-only exposure isn't sharp (e.g. you're using a 210mm lens hand held at 1/125th) then you'll have a mixture of sharp (from the strobe exposure) and unsharp (from the ambient). Again, not necessarily a deal breaker, and you may even like the look it produces. But if you don't like the look it can be a real annoyance.

    Generally speaking solutions for issues arising from having a poor sync speed include:
    - darkening your working environment (e.g. turning down your modeling lights, or blackening out window light)
    - using a higher-number aperture (e.g. f/8 instead of f/2.8)
    - adding an ND filter to the lens and then increasing the amount of strobe power to compensate

    Each of those workarounds has some drawbacks, but can work in some/many situations.

    Higher speed sync is most useful in my opinion because you don't have to think about it. You can change the shutter speed and aperture to (more or less) whatever combination you want and it will "just work" without need for workarounds and without large restrictions (obviously there are small restrictions like using strobes with sufficiently short enough flash duration that you're not clipping the strobe with your shutter speed, and you have to use either a sync cable or a wireless transmitter with a fast enough transmission speed to work at high speeds).
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Thank you Doug for your detailed explanation!

    Please let me add another question to the mix: (Warning: it may be a tireless one already!)

    The Pentax 645Z has 14-bit raw files vs say the Hasselblad H5D having 16-bit files, and the A7R having I believe 12-bit files. Some online articles in the past from tests have shown better shadow details (less so in highlights but depends on the manufacturer bias of the full spectrum) with higher bit files, say 14 vs 12. From experience is there enough of a difference?
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    I have shot in a studio off and on for a long time. I have never found 1/125 with strobes to be a limit. I have also used a Pentax 645D in the studio. Really nice camera.


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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Thank you Doug for your detailed explanation!

    Please let me add another question to the mix: (Warning: it may be a tireless one already!)

    The Pentax 645Z has 14-bit raw files vs say the Hasselblad H5D having 16-bit files, and the A7R having I believe 12-bit files. Some online articles in the past from tests have shown better shadow details (less so in highlights but depends on the manufacturer bias of the full spectrum) with higher bit files, say 14 vs 12. From experience is there enough of a difference?
    The Phase cameras have 16-bit AD converters, but the sensors are still 14-bit. The same for Hasselblad. That is just a marketing gimmick. I also shoot with a p25+, which I believe Phase states is a 16-bit camera. There is not difference between my 645D and p25+ in regards to dynamic range, except the 645D has more.

    I also shoot with an RX-1 which does similar things as the a7r to the RAW files. If there is a loss of data from 14-bit in my files, I have yet to see it.
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    I would not get caught up on tech-specs like bit-depth. Instead I would get your hands on both systems and shoot in some challenging situations which fit within your likely use, and then put them through a post-processing and output workflow relevant to your needs/style and see how the end results (and workflow) compare.

    I would (from my very biased perspective) say that P1 has historically shown it can get the best results from a given sensor when multiple companies used a particular sensor, especially when using Capture One to process the files. The sensor is just part of the long and complex image quality chain.

    Some links in the image quality chain:
    Lens hood (or other method of reducing flare) > Lens coating > Lens elements > Aperture blade design > internal body coating > Anti aliasing filter (or lack thereof) > IR filter spectral cutoff location and sharpness of cutoff > microlens > sensor type > sensor read-out speed and method > heatsinking > A/D converter* > Black Calibration > debayering/detail/color algorithms > noise reduction (based on black calibration file) > color profiling > noise reduction (based on image data) > sharpening

    *may be incorporated into the sensor itself in some designs
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The Phase cameras have 16-bit AD converters, but the sensors are still 14-bit. The same for Hasselblad. That is just a marketing gimmick. I also shoot with a p25+, which I believe Phase states is a 16-bit camera. There is not difference between my 645D and p25+ in regards to dynamic range, except the 645D has more.
    Of relevance: the 22mp sensor in the P25+ was released in 2003, making it 11 years old. In my opinion if you compare an H25 or P25+ (which used the same sensor) to a 5DIII (at low iso, for short exposures) it will more than hold it's own.
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    perhaps it's irrelevant in the "digital age"
    but leaf shutters are not very consistent .. and actually give differing exposures with different Apertures ..

    (more 'swings and round-a-bouts)

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Of relevance: the 22mp sensor in the P25+ was released in 2003, making it 11 years old. In my opinion if you compare an H25 or P25+ (which used the same sensor) to a 5DIII (at low iso, for short exposures) it will more than hold it's own.
    The p25+ is a great back. I have nothing but good things to say about it. I love the images that come off it. But it is not a 16-bit back.
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Doug has given a pretty good explanation of sync speeds.

    The best insight he mentioned is that "with higher sync speeds you do not have to think about it, it just works".

    For the most part, 1/125 sync works in a studio that is dark and you are stopping down a fair amount. My studio is not dark in the day-time even when I black out the windows, so in some cases it can be an issue at 1/125 sync speed. When I shot chrome wheels for a car company, and was using a Contax 645, I usually had to work at night.

    For me, high sync speeds are a "must have" and have been for quite some time now. I previously used mostly Hasselblad H in studio, which were somewhat limiting for other work where I may have wanted to shoot a wider aperture in very bright ambient conditions, but only had a top shutter speed of 1/800.

    With the dual shutter cameras like P1 and Leica S, that restriction has gone away. High leaf-shutter sync speeds when needed … flip a switch … and high focal plane shutter speeds to 1/4000 when they are needed.

    It is outdoors where leaf-shutter sync speeds really come into play. The ability to knock down bright backgrounds while balancing the light on the subject is invaluable.

    I use Profoto lighting with AIR radio … the with the AIR Transceiver set to transmit, you can set it in "Speed Mode" by pressing the mode button for 7 seconds … then the 1/1000 of the Leica S, or 1/1600 of P1 is possible.

    In a darkened studio, stopped down, I wouldn't worry to much about 1/125 sync.

    - Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The Phase cameras have 16-bit AD converters, but the sensors are still 14-bit. The same for Hasselblad. That is just a marketing gimmick. I also shoot with a p25+, which I believe Phase states is a 16-bit camera. There is not difference between my 645D and p25+ in regards to dynamic range, except the 645D has more.

    I also shoot with an RX-1 which does similar things as the a7r to the RAW files. If there is a loss of data from 14-bit in my files, I have yet to see it.

    The employment of 16 bit AD converters is valid and legitimate. The marketing of the digital back as "16 bit" without any real details would be where the vagaries and the "gimmick" might present themselves.


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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Any guessing if the 645Z can use High speed Sync successfully and upto what shutter speeds?
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Hi,

    The newly announced Pentax 645Z has a FSS of 1/125, what does this mean to most DMF users who shoot flash in the studio?

    While I understand the following:
    1) Shutter speed controls Ambient light the sensor receives, and 1/125 may limit how dark the Ambient gets!
    2) Strobe flash duration is more important than shutter speed in freezing subjects, when not using Leaf shutters but the focal plane shutter.

    What does this mean to the Studio Lighting photographers out there, and the work flow you have been used to? I know it will be harder to judge for those used to Leaf shutter lenses, but please feel free to chime in!

    Thanks
    Po
    The Pentax 6x7's have a flash Sync Speed of 1/30 sec. which is terrible but they were successfully used in the studio for years by a lot of accomplished photographers.

    Yes, there were 90mm and a 165mm leaf shutter lenses available but they were somewhat clunky to use.

    Of course the Pentax was really unsuitable for mixed light work (available light and flash) and even in the studio one had to be careful with modeling lights when using faster film (even iso 160! film) and larger (numerically lower) apertures. Yes, even f8 could be a problem.

    Of course 1/125 sec is not that bad in the studio and for available light work outside without flash it is a non issue obviously.

    But It really limits your options when mixing flash and daylight like it was explained in the previous posts. I for one really like having the option of using a wide aperture outdoors with flash. In fact a lot of times I am at f2.8 and have to use 1/500 sec even with iso 50.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    While i am applauding and supporting whole leaf shutter discussion - there is nothing that stops you from shooting f2.8 in bright sun with flash - just use ND and real flash

    1/125 in studio is fine, i am shooting that all the time with AFD bodies
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    While i am applauding and supporting whole leaf shutter discussion - there is nothing that stops you from shooting f2.8 in bright sun with flash - just use ND and real flash
    Yes, exactly what ND's are for. The price of one LS lens will buy you some very nice battery flash power that will open up much wider opportunities and creative techniques.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    While i am applauding and supporting whole leaf shutter discussion - there is nothing that stops you from shooting f2.8 in bright sun with flash - just use ND and real flash
    That's exactly right. I noted the use of ND filters as one of the (several) workarounds to not having leaf shutter lenses.

    But it comes with the obvious drawback that if you wish to shoot using the viewfinder your view is now dimmer. This is especially problematic on dSLRs which already have (compared to medium format) dim/small viewfinders. To get the effect of 1/250th sync from a 1/125th-limited body only requires 1 stop ND filter, but to achieve the same look at native 1/1600th sync would require 3.5 stops of filtration, which is quite strong. A strong ND filter can also wreak havoc on some autofocus systems.

    If you're comfortable shooting in live view (and your camera supports shooting from live view in an elegant way) then using strong ND filters may not significantly effect your workflow, and may be a great option for you. If you prefer to look through an optical viewfinder then the cost of a strong ND filter may be far too high.

    Clearly this option is with little downside if you're only needing to shift the effective sync speed by a stop, or maybe two, but drops off in utility depending on how far you want to go.

    In fact the technique can be used even WITH leaf shutter lenses. A 2 stop ND filter in front of a Phase One kit would yield an effective sync speed of 1/6400th with standard strobe units, allowing you to shoot near night-level light even wide open at noon, without having to bring a huge quantity of strobes (maybe two B1 would suffice).

    Another option is to use the flash systems which change from flash to effectively-continuous sources of light, which allows some crazy fast sync speeds. But the cost in that case is the drastic drop in effective power output of the flash, often requiring several flashes to be combined just to get a normal amount of effective output back.

    Nearly all photographic problems can be solved any number of ways. Each way will have upsides and downsides (including cost). A great photographer can take a great photo in nearly any situation. But when one can eliminate an artificial technical limitation, it (IMO) naturally opens creative options. No one would choose to have their sync speed limited, so we are only arguing about the relative value of a higher sync speed vs the relative cost of achieving it by various methods (ND filters, working in darker environments, pseudo-continuos light sources, LS lenses etc).
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    All very valid information Doug but not exactly a good enough reason for us to all go out and spend £35,000 GBP on a Phase One system over the Pentax. In the context of the original question, 1/125th second flash sync should prove quite adequate on the new Pentax, especially for studio work.

    1/125th second sync also means the type of strobe equipment needs to be much less exotic and affordable. More Senso or Acute rather than Scoro or Pro8a levels of investment.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    All very valid information Doug but not exactly a good enough reason for us to all go out and spend £35,000 GBP on a Phase One system over the Pentax. In the context of the original question, 1/125th second flash sync should prove quite adequate on the new Pentax, especially for studio work.

    1/125th second sync also means the type of strobe equipment needs to be much less exotic and affordable. More Senso or Acute rather than Scoro or Pro8a levels of investment.
    I understand the first sentence, at least the part about 1/125 being okay for studio use (as long as the studio is relatively dark to avoid mixed color temps from ambient contamination at a slow shutter speed). Many focal plane 645s are limited to 1/125 sync. (Contax 645, Mamiya 645, Pentax 645) and have worked just fine in many, if not most studio situations since most studios ARE dark.

    Not sure I agree that 1/125 is optimal for outdoor work even if using ND filters. Maximum 1/125 shutter is the constant, and depending on the ambient mix, longer MF lenses can introduce subject blur when working spontaneously mobile and handheld, or even on a mono-pod in the heat of shooting.

    Also, if, like me, you work mobile outdoors with a strobe as key and a TTL speed-light in the hot shoe for fill, strong NDs diminish the effectiveness of the weaker speed-light to keep up with more powerful strobes (depending on distance to subject).

    However, I DO understand that all the above is dependent on individual needs, situations, and expectations. We either pay-to-play, or do a work around and accept some limitations.

    What I do not understand is the last sentence.

    What does 1/125 sync verses 1/1000 sync have to do with the cost of the lighting? Just curious, because I do not have Scoro or Pro8B level lighting, and use higher sync speeds with less exotic Acute, Hensel, and Elinchrom gear … but freely admit I may be missing something

    Enlighten me, please.

    - Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    What I do not understand is the last sentence.

    What does 1/125 sync verses 1/1000 sync have to do with the cost of the lighting? Just curious, because I do not have Scoro or Pro8B level lighting, and use higher sync speeds with less exotic Acute, Hensel, and Elinchrom gear … but freely admit I may be missing something

    Enlighten me, please.
    Less costly lighting as in the Senso and Acute do not have as good flash durations as the more expensive equipment, just compare the t.01 specs. If you shoot at 1/1600th second sync speed with the vast majority of strobe equipment the portion of flash intensity (flash burn) you are exposing the sensor to is massively reduced (2 or 3 stops). .

    If you are talking over powering the sun etc where a fast flash sync is usually used for then you are dealing with 2 or 3 stops less power from your strobe equipment which could have an effect on the shoot (work around again). Meter up at 1/125th second and then decide you want 1/1600th sec for a night time feel and its not just a case of factoring the exposure. The more expensive packs have very fast t.01 times in comparison so shooting at these high sync speeds is not so much a concern.

    As you said, we pay-to-play with MFD so just saying you can sync a Phase system at 1/1600th second is not quite as clear cut as it appears unless you're prepared to pay-to-play again with the strobes equipment also.

    Non of this really matters though as the OP is asking about 1/125th sync sped in a studio which will work just fine.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    According to specs. the Pentax 645z will shoot @1/4000th using strobes with HSS.The Paul Buff E640 strobe has one of the shortest durations of any light. This light is usually the choice for liquid photography where freezing action is key. You do not need leaf shutter lenses for high sync anymore.

    Also, you can boost the cameras ISO for more control of ambient. Faster shutter speeds allow for better hand held photos.
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    All very valid information Doug but not exactly a good enough reason for us to all go out and spend £35,000 GBP on a Phase One system over the Pentax. In the context of the original question, 1/125th second flash sync should prove quite adequate on the new Pentax, especially for studio work.

    1/125th second sync also means the type of strobe equipment needs to be much less exotic and affordable. More Senso or Acute rather than Scoro or Pro8a levels of investment.
    Everyone's needs and budget will be different.

    Though notably faster-than-125 sync doesn't remotely require a £35k entry price.

    A new Leaf Credo kit is $13,995 for 1/1600th sync and a Phase One h20 on a Hassy 500 would provide 1/500th sync for under $2k - far less than the Pentax (with obvious other disadvantages like having no LCD!).

    My point is only that everyone's needs are different. If you shoot only stopped down in a dim studio then flash sync isn't even worth a single dollar. If you might benefit from a higher sync speed it's still only one of many things to consider, including price.

    ---

    Separately, how does faster sync *require* better flash units? When using entry-level strobes you simply opt not to go to the max available shutter speed. It will still work fine at 1/250th and usually even 1/500th - yielding more flexibility than a hard 1/125th limit (which as described in this thread will be very useful in some situations and entirely irrelevant in others). Also there are a LOT of cheap options for fast duration strobes. In my case the overwhelming majority of my my use of fast flash sync comes in the form of adding a small amount of fill when shooting outdoors at weddings where I'm using a Canon 580 speedlight which is a (comparatively) very inexpensive flash unit. You don't think about that unit as providing a lot of light until you're able to shoot with it outdoors at ISO200 at f/2.8 by virtue of a leaf shutter allowing setting shutter speed to 1/1600th without effecting the flash exposure. At my last wedding I also brought profoto B1 heads. These aren't cheap, but they are battery powered and powerful and are nowhere near the cost of a profoto d4 or pro-pack.
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Yes, but the Hasselbald 500 does not shoot HD video or go to 200,000+ISO, nor does the Credo with the outdated DF camera. The Pentax @1/1600th in HSS will do just fine with power output. If strobe duration is more important then you should look at the Paul Buff's Einstein 640.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    A new Leaf Credo kit is $13,995 for 1/1600th sync and a Phase One h20 on a Hassy 500 would provide 1/500th sync for under $2k - far less than the Pentax (with obvious other disadvantages like having no LCD!)
    Considering the OP is asking about the new CMOS chipped Pentax those comparisons are pretty irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Separately, how does faster sync *require* better flash units?
    To get the full advertised 1/1600sec sync without limitation you need better specified, which normally means costly flash equipment. If I have a studio full of studio packs I'm not going to be swapping to Canon speedlites. I'm imagine most existing studio packs over 5 years old will not offer compatability with the high sync speeds over 1/250th sec without some form of trade off.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Nothing alters the fact that you are stuck with 1/125 top sync speed. Okay for some. Not okay for others.

    When working in bright ambient, over-coming the sun, and/or back-lit subjects, it is more lighting power one needs, not less. Shutter speed knocks down the ambient exposure, and a fair amount of lighting is then needed to light the subject in balance … which HSS is almost always too weak to do. NDs do not mitigate use of 1/125 with longer MF lenses and potential motion blur.

    So, when outdoors in bright ambient requiring some decent level of lighting power, comparing the PCB Einstein to something like a D1, the t 0.1 durations are the same at full power. But, practically speaking both work just fine for most anything up to really fast subject motion. I've yet to run into an issue working with a Profoto Acute 600B L @ 1/1000 sync.

    BTW the Einstein's are nice, and an excellent choice for many applications, but most certainly are not NOT the fastest duration strobe of ANY as mentioned … the Hensel Speed Max has the shortest @ t.0.1 duration of 1/66,660, and does it a minimum power setting that is higher than the Einstein's … it can also do 31 pops per second, and has a flash tube rated to 40,000,000 pops … so it is built for continuous duty on an industrial scale, if that's what is called for. If not, then just rent something.

    - Marc
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Re - the use of ND filters to help balance flash and bright ambient lighting - effectively boosting the flash sync speed limits.

    sorry , i just don't understand how that works (or could be made to work)
    The ND filter goes on the lens - it will cut ambient And flash power . Equally.
    I simply don't understand how this can change the equation...

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Thanks for all the input, I guess my next question would be, what strobes will offer HSS with the Pentax?

    Also the Hensel Speed max seems really interesting, but the price less so, I wonder if the monolight will work well with other strobes in the mix?
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    You'll note Marc, I said the Einstein 640 is ONE of the fastest .
    The Hensel at almost $5000 and is only 400 w/s, is not a bargain either.
    Also, please explain how HSS is weaker than leaf shutters
    Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 27th April 2014 at 10:46.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by kapil Syal View Post
    Re - the use of ND filters to help balance flash and bright ambient lighting - effectively boosting the flash sync speed limits.

    sorry , i just don't understand how that works (or could be made to work)
    The ND filter goes on the lens - it will cut ambient And flash power . Equally.
    I simply don't understand how this can change the equation...
    ND cuts the strength of the sun and you up the power of the flash.
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Thanks for all the input, I guess my next question would be, what strobes will offer HSS with the Pentax
    Never used HSS but the new Profoto B1 is supposed to be getting HSS support this year but not sure how camera specific it will be and when it will arrive?

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Thanks for all the input, I guess my next question would be, what strobes will offer HSS with the Pentax?

    Also the Hensel Speed max seems really interesting, but the price less so, I wonder if the monolight will work well with other strobes in the mix?
    That mono-light was mentioned in context of frequent production studio use and need … for which it is "over-built" to handle, thus the price. You get what you pay for. Otherwise, if you have the occasional need for really fast flash durations, my suggestion is to just rent.

    Most any light will work with others. I mix Hensel, Profoto and Elinchrom all the time. The only issue may be one of modifier mount … although I use Elinchrom modifiers on Profoto a lot because Elinchrom makes an EL to Profoto adapter.

    - Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Never used HSS but the new Profoto B1 is supposed to be getting HSS support this year but not sure how camera specific it will be and when it will arrive?
    I have read this, but I think (I may be wrong), the HSS will only be applicable to the Canon?
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    That mono-light was mentioned in context of frequent production studio use and need … for which it is "over-built" to handle, thus the price. You get what you pay for. Otherwise, if you have the occasional need for really fast flash durations, my suggestion is to just rent.

    Most any light will work with others. I mix Hensel, Profoto and Elinchrom all the time. The only issue may be one of modifier mount … although I use Elinchrom modifiers on Profoto a lot because Elinchrom makes an EL to Profoto adapter.

    - Marc
    I never knew Hensel made such a fast Monolight, so I was interested in learning about it, thank you!

    Do you know what the built in radio is compatible with?
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by kapil Syal View Post
    Re - the use of ND filters to help balance flash and bright ambient lighting - effectively boosting the flash sync speed limits.

    sorry , i just don't understand how that works (or could be made to work)
    The ND filter goes on the lens - it will cut ambient And flash power . Equally.
    I simply don't understand how this can change the equation...
    You are right. NDs cut both, effectively increasing the need for strobe power.

    The difference in using high speed shutter sync is that it cuts exposure of the ambient while having little to no effect on flash exposure because the flash duration is almost always faster than the shutter speed.

    However, when using high shutter sync, it is important to read up on the t1 durations for any given strobe to see what the durations are for various power levels. For example, a Profoto D1 mono is about t1 of 1/800 at full power, so exceeding that with the shutter speed just clips the light.

    - Marc
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Hi, regarding the 645Z I'm only concerned about synchro-sunlight with posing subjects as I would not use this rig other than for glamour portraits and possibly weddings.
    As far as I undestand, for over-powering the sun matching subject exposure with background, at 1/125th seems possible with powerful studio strobes with long power cords or powered from batteries. Correct or far from reality?
    For accomplishing this, how will the Einstein E640 could help? I have regular 640w AB's.
    In the probable case that I wanted to turn noon into an afternoon or evening, what else sort of trick could work with the Z?
    Thanks for your answers everyone.
    Eduardo

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    According to specs. the Pentax 645z will shoot @1/4000th using strobes with HSS.The Paul Buff E640 strobe has one of the shortest durations of any light. This light is usually the choice for liquid photography where freezing action is key. You do not need leaf shutter lenses for high sync anymore.

    Also, you can boost the cameras ISO for more control of ambient. Faster shutter speeds allow for better hand held photos.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    I never knew Hensel made such a fast Monolight, so I was interested in learning about it, thank you!

    Do you know what the built in radio is compatible with?
    This specific strobe comes equipped with Hensel's Strobe Wizard which allows remote adjustment at the camera. It syncs up to 1/250 with focal plane shutter cameras (/125 with 645 MF cameras), and to 1/500 with leaf-shutter cameras.

    I've been interested in this light for some time now, but am waiting in hopes they will incorporate Profoto AIR like Hensel has done with most of their other recent lighting. My Hensel Porty 1200L has both Strobe Wizard and Profoto AIR receivers built-in … so I can trigger a mix of Hensel and Profoto lights with one transmitter that provides remote adjustments.

    Hope this helps,

    -Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post

    Also, please explain how HSS is weaker than leaf shutters
    Focal plane shutters expose the sensor as a narrow slit when the sync speed is exceeded. HSS divides the flash output into a series of individual pulses (stroboscopic effect) as that shutter slit moves over the sensor. Multiple weaker bursts to evenly expose the whole frame adds up to less flash exposure over-all.

    A leaf shutter captures the same level of flash output in one exposure over the whole frame.

    Taking the nonsense out of Flash sync and High Speed Flash sync. | Shooting Phase One


    - Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...


    So, when outdoors in bright ambient requiring some decent level of lighting power, comparing the PCB Einstein to something like a D1, the t 0.1 durations are the same at full power.
    -fotografz

    That's true, but as soon as you reduce power for either light, the Einstein 640's duration is dramatically shorter, thus better for speed. The d1's shortest duration is 1/1070, and the Einstein E640 is 1/13,514. The E640 is also considerably lighter too. Profoto doesn't publish t 0.1 for the D1's, at least I can't find it.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post

    So, when outdoors in bright ambient requiring some decent level of lighting power, comparing the PCB Einstein to something like a D1, the t 0.1 durations are the same at full power.
    -fotografz

    That's true, but as soon as you reduce power for either light, the Einstein 640's duration is dramatically shorter, thus better for speed. The d1's shortest duration is 1/1070, and the Einstein E640 is 1/13,514. The E640 is also considerably lighter too. Profoto doesn't publish t 0.1 for the D1's, at least I can't find it.
    Also true. PCB publishes the t1 durations for Profoto D1 and a few other mono-light comparisons, and I trust they are correct. FYI, the Einstein t.1 at full power is 1/588 in action or color mode, and fastest @ 1/8000 in color mode (which I'd select to avoid color shifts in Action mode at lower power levels)

    In most cases these really fast durations are useful only in a darkened studio because the light output is extremely low … like 2.5W/s for the Einstein.

    However, the context wasn't about flash duration in a blacked out studio, it was about delivering the higher amount of light needed to work in bright ambient. For all practical purposes, even at full power, either strobe would be barely enough to do that job given use of modifier and/or distance to subject … not to mention keeping the ISO as close to base for the highest image quality… which is usually the point of using MFD in the first place.

    Rule of Thumb says 1200W/s is usually needed when the sun is really bright, at the daytime beach, or the sun is actually in the frame … so, were I to use a mono-head in such conditions with a focal plane shutter camera, I'd bring the D1/1000, not the D1/500.

    RE: weight: Personally, I'm not a fan of mono-lights for outdoor location work … at least not mobile location work, because all of them are too big and top heavy, especially on the end of an assistant held mobile boom arm. Profoto 600B lithium, Broncolor Move, Elinchrom, etc. battery-pack/head kits are better solutions IMO because the heads are small, and the pack can be used as ballast to help anchor a stationary stand.

    The exception to that may be the new self contained Profoto B1, but only IF I shot Canon and wanted TTL control of the strobe.

    Most of these modern strobe solutions work just fine in a vast majority of applications. Wedding and event shooters may have more need for certain performance characteristics because they do not always have control of when or even where they may have to take a portrait or group photo. It's also a nice option for certain creative use of lighting or changing lighting conditions.

    - Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    I'd be curious if the new Pentax 645z will work with Hypersync so you can use the full power flash of the E640. The tiny vagabond mini battery and the E640 is actually much smaller and lighter than the AcuteB2 Air for portable use, but i think for the OP's use of flash sync for now, would be to use ND filters and a combo of higher ISO. The Pentax is supposed to be very good at higher ISO's, so even at 800 iso with an ND should yield good results.

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    HyperSync is PocketWizard Control TL tied, so unless someone gives them a Pentax 645Z for testing and enough user base to back it up, I don't think we will see it! I presented them a question recently about the Sony A7R, with it's 1/160, but the problem was with their propriety hot shoe tied to Sony's way....so while possible, it's not happening soon!

    I have been in contact with PW over the years and they have helped me reach 1/8000th sec with no clipping on my Canon and Nikon! Trick was their beta firmware and S-heads from Elinchrom.

    HSS is also tied to the flash also, so I was thinking how it is achieved with DMF and Profoto gear?

    Yes, ND is definitely an option! Unfortunately my other option is a use my RZ ProII system and get a digital back for it since I already have a small collection of lenses, but that's another topic altogether!
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    ok - once again my head is spinning ..
    re: "" but i think for the OP's use of flash sync for now, would be to use ND filters and a combo of higher ISO. The Pentax is supposed to be very good at higher ISO's, so even at 800 iso with an ND should yield good results.""

    why would one use ND And higher ISO ??
    i thot the whole point of ND was to effectively Reduce ISO ..

    (and this when i just learnt that using ND in flash/ambient combinations is for people with huge flash power ..)

    love the learning experience of this forum. god bless

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    HSS is also tied to the flash also, so I was thinking how it is achieved with DMF and Profoto gear?
    As I understand it:

    Up to 1/1600 Sync, using Schneider Leaf-Shutter lenses, DF+ body and the Phase One grip.

    Profoto AIR features a proprietary triggering system that allows higher sync speeds … as long as the shutter speed doesn't exceed the t0.1 duration of the strobe at any given setting.

    - Marc

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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    As I understand it:

    Up to 1/1600 Sync, using Schneider Leaf-Shutter lenses, DF+ body and the Phase One grip.

    Profoto AIR features a proprietary triggering system that allows higher sync speeds … as long as the shutter speed doesn't exceed the t0.1 duration of the strobe at any given setting.

    - Marc
    Marc, is this for all cameras?
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    Re: 1/125 Flash Sync Speed...

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Marc, is this for all cameras?
    Profoto AIR can be used on any camera with a hot-shoe, or can be connected to the camera via the PC flash outlet on any camera that has one.

    While the sync speed can go very high when set to the Speed Mode, it still depends on the camera's maximum sync speed.

    Focal plane shutter 35mm DSLR cameras are generally limited to 1/180, 1/200 or 1/250 sync. Focal Plane MFD 645 to 1/125 maximum sync.

    Cameras using Leaf Shutter lenses have a faster maximum sync speed. Usually this was 1/400 or 1/500, and most radio transmitters like Pocket Wizard could achieve that.

    The AIR radio topped that, and higher sync speeds were possible with leaf shutter lenses able to go higher … like with the H camera to 1/800 sync, Leica S with CS lenses to 1/1000, and up to 1/1600 with specific P1 cameras/LS lenses.

    - Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 28th April 2014 at 22:43.
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