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Why did Nikon revert to antiquated flash sync technology??


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#1 justshootit

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 11:39 PM

We've been hearing a lot about high-speed flash sync technologies like FP Sync, HSS, Hyper-Sync, and Hi-Sync.  What we don't hear much about is electronic shutter technology.  Well Nikon had this all figured out years ago and never really publicized it.  The D1x, D70/s, and D50 can sync up to 1/500th second using DTTL (D1x) and iTTL (D70, D50).
 
The really unpublicized part of this is that when you move away from TTL, these cameras can sync up to their maximum shutter speed - at least the D1x can.  I know the others can sync faster than their maximum TTL sync speeds.  I ran a PC cable between the PC ports on the D1x and an SB-26 flash.  I was able to sync with no shutter banding at 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000, and, wait for it, 1/16000 sec.  Yes you read that right - one sixteen thousandth of a second.  This is ten times faster than the sync speed that PhaseOne brags about with their leaf shutter lenses (that being 1/1600th sec).
 
The shutters on these cameras aren't anything special.  In order to get higher shutter speeds, the shutter opens and stays open while the computer samples from the sensor for the duration of the selected "shutter speed."  Therefore the exposure is controlled by the sampling interval and not the physical shutter blades, so even at very high shutter speeds, there is no risk that the shutter curtains will block the sensor for part of the shot.  Thus all the low power problems that you have with HSS, and the exposure gradations you get with hyper-sync and such technologies aren't a problem with an electronic shutter because you are using the flash full out and not sweeping the shutter curtains across the sensor while the flash is firing.
 
At 1/16000th sec, I had to use four flashes - the SB-26, an SB-16, and a pair of SB-800s.  At this shutter speed, the light from the flashes was acting as a constant light source, and the sampling interval was so short that one flash didn't give enough light to correctly expose the shot.
 
Note that portrait and sports pros that want to light subjects outdoors often use HSS and Hyper-sync/Hi-sync technology to freeze action and to allow them to control the DOF or the background intensity, or both.  Dylan Patrick uses this to allow him to shoot portraits at f/2.8 outdoors on a sunny day and thereby blur the background; Peter Hurley uses it to control the exposure of the background when lighting a subject outdoors.
 
This 15-year-old technology removes the disadvantages of HSS and Hyper-Sync and allows us to do high shutter speed flash with any regular studio lights or flashes.  Why Nikon discontinued this technology is a complete mystery to me, and I seriously doubt we will see it return unless we start haranguing the camera manufacturers about it.  Note to Sony, Pentax and Olympus - want to get a leg up on the big two in the portraiture and sports arenas? Develop this technology while Nikon and Canon sit on their hands.
 
Want to know more about this?  See this link.
 
The results are in order at 1/2000th, 1/4000th, 1/8000th, and 1/16000th second.
 
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Edited by justshootit, 18 December 2016 - 09:35 AM.

Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#2 Art

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 09:25 PM

Great read and very informative. Thanks for sharing!
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#3 justshootit

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 09:45 PM

Thanks, Art. I just have to wonder why we're messing with all these compromises -- HSS, etc. -- when Nikon had this problem solved 15 years ago.

Edited by justshootit, 18 December 2016 - 09:46 PM.

Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#4 james23p

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:27 PM

Excellent read thought provoking.

Jim

God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!



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Nikkor 24-85G ED AF-S VR, 70-300G ED AF-S VR, 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D, 50 1.8 AF-D

Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

MF Nikkor's 50 f2 Ai, 500 f4 ED Ai-P.

 

MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

 



Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#5 justshootit

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 01:20 AM

Thanks Jim. Time for us HSS users to start insisting that the manufacturers bring this feature back.
Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#6 Art

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 09:02 PM

Kodak invented digital cameras and ....
Didn't think their customers wanted it!

Nikon is not above their own unique brand of stupidity!
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#7 james23p

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    Right Jazz! :D

Posted 20 December 2016 - 12:30 AM

Kodak invented digital cameras and ....
Didn't think their customers wanted it!

Nikon is not above their own unique brand of stupidity!


How very true Art.

Jim

God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!



Nikon P900 Nikon P330

F100 w MB-15, N80, FM3a, FE2(Black and Silver) and EM.

Nikkor 24-85G ED AF-S VR, 70-300G ED AF-S VR, 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D, 50 1.8 AF-D

Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

MF Nikkor's 50 f2 Ai, 500 f4 ED Ai-P.

 

MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

 



Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#8 justshootit

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 09:44 PM

If Nikon thought that pro shooters wanted to backpeddle from 1/500th sec shutter sync to 1/200th, they really are going batty. Sometimes I wonder if the lighting companies bought stock in Nikon and buried the technology so they could get a competitive edge by offering their own solutions to the sync issue, as inferior as those solutions may be.

Think about it. With a D1x or D70/50, which are relics by today's standards, you could buy three (maybe even four) Paul C. Buff White Lightning 1320WS heads, the associated batteries and the remote trigger system for about the same price as one Profoto B1 head with their TTL remote, and a couple extra batteries. You'd have over double the power in each head that you'd have with the Profoto B1s, and you'd have full flash power available rather than being stuck with the low power mode you're forced to use with the B1's HSS mode. Plus, unlike the B1s, you can plug the WL units into 120v outlets if you're in the studio.

Hard to argue with that.
Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#9 justshootit

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 08:55 PM

From what I'm reading, the CCD sensors can handle electronic flash sync where the CMOS sensors can't.  I think I'm going to pick up a D70s body somewhere.


Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#10 LightMeter

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:23 PM

I know I'm late to post in this thread, but my D40 also does the "poor man's" high speed sync also like the D50, D70, and D1. That's why I'll NEVER sell it-keep it till it dies. Here;s a Youtube video I did to demonstrate that.

 

 


Edited by LightMeter, 06 February 2017 - 09:24 PM.

Bill

Still shooting DX digital and don't plan on going full frame.

D7100, red D5300, IR converted D300,  D40, D70s, Olympus C-5060 P&S from 2003, and a few 35mm film bodies

 

"I support capital punishment. Everyone in the capital should be punished".---Fred Sanford(Redd Foxx)


#11 justshootit

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:01 PM

Thanks for the post. This is one of the coolest features on any Nikon body. I'm itching to put it into practice this summer. I thought I remembered that In order to do this, there needed to be no contact between the smaller contacts on the flash and the corresponding. Contacts on the camera. Did you find this to be false?? Looks that way from your video.

Edited by justshootit, 06 February 2017 - 10:07 PM.

Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#12 LightMeter

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 03:19 AM

Thanks for the post. This is one of the coolest features on any Nikon body. I'm itching to put it into practice this summer. I thought I remembered that In order to do this, there needed to be no contact between the smaller contacts on the flash and the corresponding. Contacts on the camera. Did you find this to be false?? Looks that way from your video.

On the D40 and D50, as long as you use an older(pre iTTL)flash that the camera doesn't recognize, it will work. I don't know about the D70 and D1-never owned those. I am using the SB-80DX.


Edited by LightMeter, 07 February 2017 - 03:19 AM.

Bill

Still shooting DX digital and don't plan on going full frame.

D7100, red D5300, IR converted D300,  D40, D70s, Olympus C-5060 P&S from 2003, and a few 35mm film bodies

 

"I support capital punishment. Everyone in the capital should be punished".---Fred Sanford(Redd Foxx)


#13 justshootit

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 10:29 PM

On the D40 and D50, as long as you use an older(pre iTTL)flash that the camera doesn't recognize, it will work. I don't know about the D70 and D1-never owned those. I am using the SB-80DX.

 

That makes perfect sense.  My now defunct D70 would not do anything with the SB-26 except fire it - no zoom, no sending the film speed to the flash, nothing.  I suspect it had the same kind of flash logic as the D40.  The D1x, on the other hand, being a $6000, high-end pro body in 2001, has the logic to use all the features of the flash except TTL - it will zoom the flash, send the film speed, etc.  The D1x will max out at 1/500th sec with the SB-26 attached - same as with the DX flashes or the SB-600/800.


Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#14 LightMeter

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 02:35 AM

 

That makes perfect sense.  My now defunct D70 would not do anything with the SB-26 except fire it - no zoom, no sending the film speed to the flash, nothing.  I suspect it had the same kind of flash logic as the D40.  The D1x, on the other hand, being a $6000, high-end pro body in 2001, has the logic to use all the features of the flash except TTL - it will zoom the flash, send the film speed, etc.  The D1x will max out at 1/500th sec with the SB-26 attached - same as with the DX flashes or the SB-600/800.

On the D1x you can use a flash on the camera and get the high speed sync. Just put thin electrical tape over all of the flash contacts except the center one-I've done that before.


Bill

Still shooting DX digital and don't plan on going full frame.

D7100, red D5300, IR converted D300,  D40, D70s, Olympus C-5060 P&S from 2003, and a few 35mm film bodies

 

"I support capital punishment. Everyone in the capital should be punished".---Fred Sanford(Redd Foxx)


#15 justshootit

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 10:17 PM

Easier to use an SC-28 cable and a stroboframe, no??
Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#16 justshootit

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 09:21 PM

Just a follow-on to this.  I did a little more testing on the D1x and found that with the highest power FP High Speed Sync engaged on the SB-26, I'd get a fairly dim shot at f/4 and 1/4000 sec.  When I removed the flash from the camera and did the same test with a PC cable between the camera and the flash, I blew out the same scene with the flash at full power.  I had to reduce the flash power to 1/32 to get about the same exposure that I got with FP-HSS.  That's a 5-stop increase and that could make this combo very useful for shooting in midday sun.  I'll have to try this in open sunlight (it was raining like crazy here today) with an umbrella on the flash to see how useful it really is in this situation.  I'd still like to get a Flashpoint Xplore 600 or Dynalite B6 one of these days (the Profoto B1 at $2200 is just too rich for my blood), but in the meantime, a couple of SB800s behind an umbrella and hooked to a D1X, D70, D50, or D40 with a dumb trigger might just do the trick for me.

 

Just a side note - I'd love to get a couple of Phottix Indra lights (they have a 500WS and a 360WS model), but the color shift problems they've been having have scared me off a little.  I'm in an email conversation with Phottix to see if they have a firmware update to fix this, but thus far, I'm not convinced that they have.  If I hear anything earth shattering on this, I'll post.


Edited by justshootit, 28 May 2017 - 09:28 PM.

Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...




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