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Got my Cybersyncs, have an issue...

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by fiveoboy01, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. fiveoboy01


    Jan 30, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I didn't have a lot of time to mess around, as I had to head to work.

    Quickly set up an umbrella and SB900 just to test out the Cybersyncs, which work perfectly... But the bottom 1/3 to 1/4 of the frame is black, as if the flash isn't synching properly with the shutter actuation. Something like 1/800 and F2 on the 50/1.4 and slowing the shutter to 1/500 or 1/600 results in a black photo. Flash is set on Manual at 1/32 power. Most of the image was properly exposed except for the bottom.

    I know I know, RTFM but I'm at work and didn't bring it with me. Only thing I can gather is that I forgot to change the mode in the camera from TTL to Manual - this is a D60.

    Anything obvious I'm doing wrong here?
  2. fjgindy


    Jan 21, 2007
    Your Cybersyncs are working fine. The max. sync speed on your D60 tops out at 1/200. Set your camera and flash to manual and your shutter speed at 1/200 or less and your problems will disappear.

    The camera is limiting you to the 1/200 shutter speed.
  3. actionshooter


    Aug 26, 2008
    ^+1. With some cameras (D3, D700, D300(?)) you can set them for a higher sync (FP), but you lose flash power.
  4. D300, D3, D700 synch at 1/250.

    You can only synch above 1/250 if you are using proprietary systems such as CLS which basically trick the flast to 'stay on' for the entirety of the frame. It is true though that if you synch on those cameras with the 'trick' method that you lose significant power with faster than 1/250

    Most modern digital SLR's synch around 1/200 or 1/250 which is the fastest speed in which the shutter curtains have a fully open frame and not a slit.

    The only digital SLR's that can 'truely synch' faster than 1/250 are D40, 50, 70 because they have a hybrid electronic shutter. You can synch WITHOUT any 'trick' methods at any shutter speeds on those cameras and cameras with Leaf shutters.

    The problem you have with the black bar is very common with people experimenting with off camera lighting for the first time, discovering your limitations. I solved this by buying a D50 to be able to flash synch at 1/3200 using cybersynchs as well. Cyber synchs have a 1/4000th second delay. Which if you flash using 1/4000th you will miss the entirely of the flash itself.

    You regain the power you miss in the delay by using wires instead of wireless for your strobes. Shooting super high shutterspeeds with strobes can be VERY cool.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2009
  5. fiveoboy01


    Jan 30, 2009
    Madison, WI
    As I was thinking about it the synch speed crossed my mind... But I'm still very new at this, so thanks...

    I remember something in the SB900 manual about a High Speed/FP synch setting, but from what you guys are saying it's useless with my D60. I was wanting to setup one or two speedlights on stands for some night action stuff, r/c car racing and tractor pulls, I assume the flash will freeze the motion well enough at 1/200 that this wouldn't be an issue?

    I gather from what's posted, that the only way to a higher synch speed is via TTL?
  6. SB-900 can use High Speed/FP synch as Nikon calls it on cameras that support it. I don't know off hand if D60 does but I know my D50 does not but D200, and D300 do.

    As far as freezing, always remember that flash is almost instantaneous. Anything that the light from the flash touches will most likely freeze. Flash duration can be as fast as 1/10,0000th or as slow as (I forgot slowest duration on sb-900) but you get the point. Having a long shutter will effect the less as long as your flash power and duration are enough to light your subject and fast enough to freeze what is moving.

    If you are shooting at sunset or night 1/200 is more than enough room for what you may be trying to do. But if you are using a slower shutter speed like 1/30 and using flash to light an object moving right to left for instance you may what to remember to set your flash for rear curtain synch.

    Having a camera that supports Auto FP Synch or whatever it's called does NOT limit you to TTL or on camera only. You can use faster shutter speeds if your camera supports it with off camera flash in manual mode as well.
  7. As far as I've read, you need a compatible trigger (the new PWs, or CLS for instance-) care to share the settings that'll work- I have an SB-800, D3x and Cybersyncs and I don't see any way to tell my SB800 what shutter speed it needs to FP sync with in manual mode- put it on a cable and it'll FP Synch, but put it on a Cybersync receiver and it doesn't seem to...

  8. I'm not familiar with a D3x. But on cameras that have a built in flash OR cameras using more than one properiety flash (Sb-800/900) the on camera sb-800/900 OR built in flash (D200/300 and maybe D90 not sure) can be set to fire the off camera flash in M mode but still in Auto FP synch. Basically, stick a Sb-800/900 on your camera and set it to Master and the off camera 600/800/900 to remote. Set the on camera flash to 'blank' and the off camera group 1 flash to 'M' and set the power level. You are right though, use non proprietary means like cybersynchs (which I friggin love) and you are shooting Manual only without any Auto FP

    You are right about the new PWs though. However, the PWs of triggering super high shutter speed is very similar to the propriety methods used by Nikon and others to obtain this feat. It's basically having the flash either stay 'on' for the entirety of the frame or, repeating the flash as many times as necessary so the slit in the shutter as it travels across the frame lights the entire frame and doesn't have any black bars. This 'trick' uses excess power from the strobes and is MUCH less efficient than having a true fast synch method i.e. leaf shutter. But for dslrs our closest to leaf shutter is the older D40/50/70 etc. But if you are using high power strobes and have plenty of power to spare and want to make use of that beautiful D3x use the PWs.

    Quality wise, for strobist shots during the day using those higher shutter speeds I stick with my D50. Really hard to tell the difference between D50 and higher cameras. Using my S5 Pro is another story.

    But with a monster MP camera like yours, I simply cannot make any good reason to use a D50 over a D3x. =D
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