D90 flash sync speed

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by john_ashby|2, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. I've been using my D90 with studio strobe at a shutter speed of 1/160th very sucessfully. At a recent shoot it accidently got changed to 1/200th and I didn't notice until I'd shot about 150 exposures that way.
    The pictures are 1/200th have about 1/3rd of the frame obliterated by the shutter curtain, it's very obviously shot beyond the maximum sync speed, but the specs of my camera say it will do 1/200th. Did Nikon exagerate their specs or is something off about my camera?
    I'm using Broncolor G4's triggered with a pocket wizard.
    Thanks for any insights you can give. It's not a huge problem if I can't go past 1/160th in the studio, but obviously, shooting outdoors with flash I need the fastest speed I can get.
  2. If you were to put one of Nikon's speedlights on the camera, and tried at 1/200th, you'd find it working. It may also work if you were to try a sync cable, instead of radio triggers.

    As fantastic as the PWs are (you will have to pry mine from my cold, dead hands), there is of course some latency inherent in the transmitter feeling the contact closure on the camera, deciding what to do about it, turning on the transmitter, sending the signal, having it sensed and parsed by the reciever, and having the receiver in turn close the circuit that the strobe needs to see closed in order to fire .. and then the strobe needs to fire.

    For what it's worth, I routinely shoot using PWs on my D200 and D300 at 1/200th (generally triggering various PC Buff lights), and never run into the rear curtain. But the those cameras have a natural 1/250th synch, compared to the D90's 1/200th.
  3. I have the cowboy studio triggers and have not had any issues @ 1/200th
  4. Stuipd question though, is why didn't you notice the rear curtain issue long before a 150 shots or so? I had a problem last week where I forgot to change the exporsure compesnation and really blew out some outdoor shots after shooting indoors.. Crap happens but indoors with a strobe and you didn't notice it?
  5. Richard, if you are going to make fun of someone for making a mistake (or 150), you ought to balance that with offering some advice to the guy's problem. Without that, your comment just makes you sound like an involuntary spasmodic muscular movement due to reflex action.
    John, sorry R nor I can offer any help. Best of luck!
  6. There can be many factors but first you need to understand what maximum sync speed is.
    The maximum flash sync speed is the fastest shutter speed at which the entire image sensor can be illuminated by flash pulse.
    Ideally the first curtain should open instantly and the flash fires immediately after the first curtain is open. However that's not what happens with real world camera and flash. The first curtain takes time to open, then there might be a delay between the 1st curtain fully open to the time flash fires.

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