22 votes

Why doesn't a shutter speed of ¹⁄₂₅₀th freeze motion when a flash of that duration does?

I just read that a normal flash illuminates a scene within a 1/250th of a second. (A flash would keep the scene illuminated for a 1/250th of a second, right? In general, that's wrong. Flash ...
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  • 8,334
20 votes

Why are flash pulses so short?

That is a true statement, but it misses the big point. (As the shutter would see it), it would simply become continuous light, like any incandescent light bulb (always On for the full shutter ...
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20 votes
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Why are flash pulses so short?

Why? Fundamentally, it's because of the way flashes work. Flashtubes generate light by discharging a capacitor through a xenon-filled tube. The resulting electric arc produces bright white light. But ...
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18 votes

Why are my pictures showing a dark band on one edge?

The shutter speed now is 250 From what I can tell from the Google, the Nikon D3100 has a flash sync speed of 1/200. So, you're setting your shutter speed too fast and the curtain is already starting ...
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12 votes
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Are there any electric flashes that will work at shutter speeds like ¹⁄₁₀₀₀th of a second?

That camera with 1/60 sync (and says ASA) must be at least 40 years old. :) More modern cameras commonly allow 1/200 second shutter with flash. But this limitation (of not allowing flash with 1/...
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10 votes

How can I use flash with large apertures?

Your camera is limiting your shutter speed to the 60D's maximum sync speed. If you were to use a faster shutter speed, you'd have black bars at the top and/or bottom of the frame, because the shutter ...
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9 votes
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Why is flash sync speed much slower than flash duration?

Cameras that have a mechanical focal-plane shutter have two curtains, a front and a rear. For longer exposures, the front curtain opens and starts the exposure, then the rear curtain closes to end the ...
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  • 1,157
7 votes
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Is there no crossover point where shutter speed overtakes flash duration?

Yes. What you're envisioning is something that's actually used by some TTL-capable radio triggers to allow faster shutter speeds with manual flashes and studio strobes: it's called tail-sync (aka "...
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7 votes

Why are flash pulses so short?

Others have addressed the technical side of why strobe flashes are extremely fast. There are alternative photo lighting technologies which do exactly what you say. This answer addresses the pros and ...
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  • 187
6 votes

Why doesn't a shutter speed of ¹⁄₂₅₀th freeze motion when a flash of that duration does?

I just read that a normal flash illuminates a scene within a 1/250th of a second. (A flash would keep the scene illuminated for a 1/250th of a second, right? Sort of, depending on the specifics of ...
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6 votes
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What does an unexposed band on your image mean?

The issue is your shutter speed in combination with the fact that the YN-560 models are all manual-only flashes. See: Why is my camera limited to a shutter speed of 1/250th when the flash is up? ...
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6 votes
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Why don't we have Manual flashes with High Speed Sync?

The problem that is solved via high speed sync has nothing to do with the power of the flash and everything to do with the curtain transit time of the camera. Above a camera's sync speed the second ...
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5 votes

1/250 flash sync useful with a 180 mm lens?

If you are using the flash as the main source of light, it won't matter, since the flash pulse is usually much, much faster than the sync speed. Details below, but if you're primarily lighting with ...
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5 votes
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Dark zone appearing on pictures when using an external flash

At 1/250, you are trying to exceed the x-sync speed of the 6D (which is 1/180, as you have found), which explains the black bar. Don't forget that on the 450D, as a crop-sensor camera, the shutter ...
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5 votes

Are there any electric flashes that will work at shutter speeds like ¹⁄₁₀₀₀th of a second?

Is there an electronic flash that I can connect to my camera's FP sync port and be able to use at around any shutter speed? The problem isn't the flash, it's the shutter. At exposure durations ...
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  • 31.2k
5 votes

Why are flash pulses so short?

If the flash were to light up before the shutter opens and turn off after the shutter closes, there would never be flash sync problems. There would also be lower efficiency as some of the light ...
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  • 168k
5 votes

What are the physical limits that determine a camera's flash sync speed?

Before electronic flash became the norm, we used flash bulbs. These were a one-time use bottle of sunlight. Typically they consisted of a glass envelope filled with oxygen. The bulb contained a ...
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  • 36.3k
4 votes

Why don't we have Manual flashes with High Speed Sync?

Godox has several lines of flashes (everything from speed lights to studio strobes) that are manual with HSS. The challenge is HSS requires the trigger interface with the cameras proprietary flash ...
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4 votes
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Underexposed image with Canon 5D III and flash

You see the curtain of your camera: nice, no? If you want to avoid that with mark III , use a shutter speed lower than 1/200s You could use high flash speed sync, but I am quite sure that your ...
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4 votes

Why is my camera limited to a shutter speed of 1/250th when the flash is up?

Most dSLRS use focal plane shutters with two curtains. The first curtain "opens" the shutter, and the second one "closes" it. The size of the gap between the two shutters determines the shutter speed....
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4 votes

Why are flash pulses so short?

Started out as a comment to Caleb's nice answer and accidentally turned into answer... To start a (glowing) discharge high voltage is needed (called breakdown voltage). When the vacuum is broken down ...
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3 votes
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What is Hi-Sync flash and how does it differ from HSS?

The article HS or HSS? What is the Difference? talks about the difference between High speed sync, HyperSync, and Hi-Sync, and explains the difference more clearly than I can here, so go read it. ...
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3 votes

Multiple flashes synced differently

The camera could trigger some external timer (StopShot for example), which could then trigger whatever sequence it wanted, whenever it wanted, with whatever timing you program into it. But using only ...
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  • 12.5k
3 votes

How can I use flash with large apertures?

Here are some options: Find some shade If there's too much light for your style you need a location with less light :-) in mid-day sunlight you may need something pretty big to block enough light ...
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  • 20.5k
3 votes

What are the physical limits that determine a camera's flash sync speed?

What are the physical limits that determine a camera's flash sync speed? The distance the shutter curtains must travel. This can be as far as 36mm for horizontal travel shutters, such as those found ...
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  • 168k
3 votes

Is there a technical reason for modern on-camera flashes' flash duration?

There could be a difference in which duration is being reported, T.1 vs T.5; T.1 is typically ~ 2-3x longer... typically T.5 time is reported. It's also likely that the differences are due to bulb/...
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3 votes
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Why can't HSS mode be automatically turned on for shutter speeds faster than the max speed sync?

Is this a conscious decision that manufacturers have made not to include such feature, so that photographers can be aware of the HSS flash power limitations? In my opinion, yes, I think this is why ...
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2 votes

Which cameras can sync at faster than 1/250?

The fixed lens Fuji X cameras (X10, X20, X30 and X100[s,t]) are all equipped with leaf shutters (and built in ND filters too!) and can sync to the maximum shutter speed (1/1000s or 1/2000s depending ...
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  • 1,663
2 votes

Black bar covering bottom half of images, with or without flash

Your shutter may be going bad. Needs to go back to the factory. Does this happen when you use flash? If so, that would simply be a sync problem. Use a slower shutter speed.
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  • 413

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