Hypersync Pocketwizard MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 on Studio Lights?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by rob_h|5, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Has anyone used the Pocketwizard MiniTT1 and Flex TT5 combo at 1/8000 hypersync speeds on studio strobe lights? I know they work well with Canon (E-TTL II) and Nikon (i-TTL CLS) Speedlights high speed sync / FP modes and can easily achieve 1/8000 sync but I have heard about the Flex TT5 (receiver) connected to monolights in hypersync mode with MiniTT1 (transmitter). I shoot with the Bowens / Calumet monolights with the PWIIs and I would love to sync above its current max of only 1/250 sync speed. I have read that this was possible. Anyone use this combo on monolights or power packs studio lights?
  2. The high speed pulsed flash you need for high speed sync is a function of the flash unit, not the wireless units. I't not going to happen with standard studio flashes. :(
  3. Bob, that is exactly what I thought too, that it was only limited to Canon/Nikon Speedlights in HSS/FP mode to achieve 1/8000 sync until I read photographers using the PW MiniTT1 and Flex TT5 in HyperSync mode adjusting the "HyperSync Offset" in the PW Utility. BTW this Bowens/Calumet 750R monolight has a flash duration is 1/650 sec, is it possible to at least get 1/650 if one "tweaks" with the sync timing in PW Utility HyperSync mode? I am aware of all the normal limitations of sync speed with focal plane shutter and leaf shutter cameras but I am hoping for any trick or possible work around to achieve a higher than normal sync speed with the camera (1/250 in my case) and studio lights.
  4. From Pocketwizard on HyperSync mode:
    "With a MiniTT1 Transmitter or FlexTT5 Transceiver on-camera, PocketWizard's HyperSync technology allows you to fine-tune the timing of your flash to achieve the maximum possible sync speed of your equipment, which could be as fast as 1/8000th of a second. Remote flashes can be attached to any receiving PocketWizard radio, including studio strobes with PocketWizard radios built-in. HyperSync requires some experimentation to find the maximum potential of your camera and flash combination. You can adjust HyperSync settings with the PocketWizard Utility."
  5. I have not used PW TT5 or MiniTT1, so stop reading this, as this is only information from advertising, and does not reflect real usage of PW TT5.
    Nikon's best DSLR have 1/250 mechanical quaranteed fastest shutter sync, but some of them were found to work faster, e.g. 1/320 typica, or even 1/400 at full frame coverage, at full power of the flash single blast, and no stroboscopic flashing or electrionic flash light duration extenstion gimmick, ... that was also depending on the flash quality.
    .. and now I guess, or what I read advertised, the PW TT5 allows to adjust exactly the start of lighting to tailor more precisely the shutter curtain travel start event, and possibly explore this fature even more. This is perhapps the essence of what is called by PW as HyperSync, and utilizes the longer duration flash light trailing fall-down edge of light. This would work well if PW could in some way compensate lower intensity of light at the falling light edge.
    At faster shutter speeds the TT5 seems to just utilizes the Nikon FP technology that is part of some Nikon CLS compatible flashes, but not present in most studio flashes.
    Unless PW recognizes flash brand/model and stops Hypersync mode?, the flash sync starting time adjustment possibly could be adjusted for any electronic flash?, and possibly speed up the sync to a bit faster than the max mechanical sync speed, e.g. I would guess you could possibly achieve 1/320 or even 1/400 with D3 or D300 cameras and fast electronic flashes, but you would not get much faster sync without the FP or HSS operation of the electronics that you flash must have.
    If anyone knows ? if the HyperSync flash start time can be adjusted by PW TT5 for any electronic flash?, then this could possibly have impact on use of studio flashes that do not have built-in electronics to support the FP or HSS.
  6. "Rob H , Jan 24, 2011; 02:25 a.m." - your quoted long fragment from PW web site is a bit taken out of context, and does not state that the speed 1/8000 is only possible with FP or HSS flashes.
    Also PW does not tell you in your quote that fast speed, perhaps faster than 1/ 400 or 1/500 is achieved by the electronics built into the FP and HSS flashes, and HyperSync just switches mode to FP or HSS, and really has nothing else to do with that speed.
  7. Great tutorial link given by David.
    It explains in particular:
    "By default, a transmitting MiniTT1 Transmitter or FlexTT5 Transceiver transitions to High Speed Sync Mode at 1/400th. When this happens, Standard triggers are no longer sent and HyperSync timings will not take effect"
    So, after the Flex TT5 transitions to HSS mode, (or FP mode), HHS or FP flashes and camera are needed, since "HyperSync timings will not take effect"
    So, expecting much faster shutter sync , up to 1/8000 sec sync from HyperSync requires flashes/cameras with HSS or FP capabilities. Something that studio flashes perhaps do not have yet, but some of them have built-in radio triggering that is not the same as commanding.
    We must understand the flash techologies and not give in to advertising hype...or better ask the vendor and hope they will tell you what you need to know.
  8. Technically, this should be possible. Flash duration on most studio systems is generally longer than 1/250th, so the trick would be to get the shutter to actuate after the flash fires. Optimally, firing when the flash power is near its zenith.
    It would almost seem that very high speed shutters speeds would be ideal, as they could fire off at the zenith and you would not see a light build or drop off around the output curve (bell curve as it builds and drops off). If you have a leaf shutter camera, you will recognize this issue by the fact that most studio systems will give the most light at about 1/160-1/200 and below. Above that and you start to see the light output drop--sperture must be opened to get same amount of light.
    So, if there is a delay/advance timer in the system that can be changed, then the possibility to have it work for studio flash is certainly present.
  9. duplicate post, deleted.
  10. You can sync at speeds higher than your camera's standard sync speed with studio type lights uisng the PocketWizard ControlTL system. I know as I have done it.
    How much above your camera's sync speed will basically depend primarily upon the flash duration of the light in question at the energy level you choose. The shorter the flash duration (whether you measure it using the t0.1 or t0.5 standard) the less "hyper sync" range you'll have. Be aware that the higher the shutter speed you set the less light from the flash's pulse will be recorded. I don't know of any studio type flashj that has a long enough flash duration to get you anywhere near usability with a 1/8000th second shutter speed. The 2400 watt-second Profoto Acute2 pack at full power with a single standard Acute/D4 head has a flash duration of around 1/70th second (measured using the t0.1 standard -- in other words the flash duration measured while the light is at or above 10% of maximum brightness. The more ubiquitous t0.5 measurement only measure flash duration when it is at or above 50% of maximum).
    Flash duration on most studio systems is generally longer than 1/250th...​
    A few years ago I tested a lot of makes (Elinchrom, Profoto, Broncolor, Dynalite, Speddotron Blackline, and Paul C Buff Zeus ) and models of studio type flash systems, pack and head systems not monolights and witthhe exception ofthe 2400 w-s Acute 2 at full power, all were closer to 1/300th or higher measured at t0.1 with a Broncolor FCC meter.
    The attached portrait was shot at 1/2500th @ f/4, ISO 100 with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. The light from the left side (his right0 was supplied by a Profoto Acute 6B and the one fro mthe right from a Canon 580 EX II. Both were triggered by a ControlTL system (MiniTT1 on Camera, FlexTT5 receivers on flashes
  11. I've got the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 and use them with studio strobes. To piggyback on what Ellis says...
    When you are shooting above the sync speed of your camera, the shutter is a "moving slit" rather than open/closing all at once. The shutter still moves across the frame at roughly the sync speed, so regardless of whether you are shooting at 1/500 or 1/8000 the duration of the exposure is the same, just done with a narrower shutter slit.
    Because the duration of the exposure is constant, but you are not exposing the entire scene at the same time, you need a flash with a SLOW duration that will be firing the entire time that the shutter is moving across the scene. A fast duration flash would finish firing before the shutter slit had moved across the sensor and would leave part of the image unexposed.
    If your flash duration is slow enough that it lasts longer than the sync speed of your camera (like Ellis's example above) you should be able to shoot at any shutter speed you want up to the max speed of your camera. Note that Ellis is using a 1.3 crop camera with a faster shutter sync speed (ie faster moving shutter). If you were to use a FF camera you might need a flash with a slower duration.
    However, what this does is essentially convert flash into a continuous light source. You are only capturing a moving slice of the flash as it is firing, so the faster the shutter speed the less of that light you will capture. This means that you don't have the ability to change the ratio of flash to ambient by increasing your shutter speed. Most people are interested in doing this so that they can "overpower the sun" but using hypersync like this doesn't accomplish that purpose. It only allows you to shoot with a wider aperture, similar to how an ND filter works.
  12. duplicate post, deleted
  13. A fuller sample. The first exposure was at 1/300th second, the upper right at 1/3200 second, and the lower one at 1/2500th second. In the upper right one, the 580 EX II was turned off via the AC3 module .
    These were shot in the middle of the day in Austin Texas last summer with full sunshine illuminating the clouds and sky.
  14. It is also worth noting that with many high power flash systems the lower power you set the pack or monolight to, the longer the flash duration gets. The notable exception to this in monolights is the Paul C. Buff Einstein 640. In pack & head systems, the Broncolor Grafit and Scoro systems.
  15. all were closer to 1/300th or higher measured at t0.1 with a Broncolor FCC meter.​
    Ellis, I guess I don't understand this post as you say above that the ProPhoto was at 1/70th of a second whereas reading the quote, one would expect it to be 1/300th or even 1/500th or faster. My own tests, with the Broncolor, gave me 1/60th with my Speedo Packs (4800ws) and the White Lightenings were in the same ballpark--are we saying the same thing but interpreting differently--t0.1 should give longer times, not shorter as well.
  16. Assuming Elliot's pictures were exposed by a single flash blast from each flash, what Ellis demonstrated, was that his flashes light duration was longer than the time needed for the narrow slot, (or "moving slit" as Sheldon says), to travel across vertical direction of the smaller crop 1.3 sensor. The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV has 1/300 sec mechanical sync speed, so the flashes light durations perhaps were as long or longer.
    With PW TT5 ability to adjust the sync time event value, more precise use of the timing is possible. PW recommends to shot 2 or more test shots while adjusting the HyperSync value to the camera shutter and flash duration. The "learning" stage for the TT5 possibly will make this adjustable easier for other cameras and flashes?.
    As Sheldon says, use of faster shutter produces less flash light, as shown on Ellis pictures, taken with a single flash blast (I assume).
    For contrast, the HSS, or FP modes compensate flash outpput for different shutter speed, making it an automatic exposure, and the same lighting is possible at any shutter speed, withing the HSS or FP reduced range of operation.
    While in single blast slow flash a lot of flash trailing edge light is used, the HSS or FP electronic flash duration time expansion provides new flash blast at full brightness at every consecutive and adjucent flash blast in the extended duration sequence.
  17. At full power the 2400 w-s Profoto Acute 2 witha single standard head produces a very long flash , right at 1/70th of a second. Lower the energy level and the flash duration shortens dramatically.
    Just about everything else I have tested and that did not include packs with maximum energy levels above 3200 w-s with the exception of a 3200 w-s Broncolor Grafit A4) , was right around 1/300th second at full power.
    Also which Broncolor head and pack were you using?
  18. Ellis, are you asking that of me? I was just saying that I used the same Broncolor meter you used to do my own tests. I did my tests maybe 10 years ago when I was looking at some related issues and testing other lighting systems. I don't remember the exact settings where I got the 1/60th of a second, however, I do remember it was with a 4800w/s pack and one 4800w/s head on the Speedo. I also remember that I paid much more attention to the t.1 figure as that is where you get issues with freezing an image.
  19. Ellis - thanks for sharing this, very interesting! You have shown how to use the PW HyperSync mode using a long flash duration, a nice trick indeed! With my Bowens/Calumet 750R monolight, the fastest flash duration is a slow 1/650 sec at full power. Your Profotos work in a opposite manner with flash durations. From what I read, every strobe light flash duration is different depending on the manufacturer and model electonics in the studio light, adjusting either up/down with power setting to adjust the flash duration . I assume with my monolight model that if I power down I can achieve very slow flash durations below the camera sync speed? I am not sure if I can get to 1/70 sec slow flash duration as your Profoto Acute 2 but I should get below the camera sync speed of 1/250 sec correct?
    The ONLY other way to use high speed sync of say 1/8000 sec with strobe lights is by using Canon/Nikon speedlights as a radio/optical "trigger" in HSS/FP mode. But that is different from PW's HyperSync. With the PW MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 HyperSync mode it seems the most "sync boost" you can get from Canon cameras are 1/500 sec sync speed and that's only certain Canon cameras/strobe light combos as mentioned in this chart below, better than 1/250 sec at least!
    Pocketwizard HyperSync Speed Chart (Canon only)
  20. Ellis - on flash duration how do I find out what the slowest flash duration is on the Bowens / Calumet 750R monolight? Bowens only list the fastest duration on their monolights 1/2300 sec on some models. Mine is the slower 1/650 sec model but since I am going for slow duration how slow can I get the flash duration at the lowest power setting? Can I do this with just the PW MiniTT1 and the PW Radio card (in the monolight) or do I need the PW FlexTT5 also?
    Also the specs on your Profoto Acute2 2400 power pack is rated at 1/320 sec @ max power. How are you getting the 1/70 sec? To get the t.1 don't you divide the t.5 number by 3? In your case I think it would give you 1/107 sec correct?
    It seems the reason why studio lights flash duration vary from model to model on power setting, depends on which way the capacitor is charged. Some studio lights have their fastest flash duration at full power (Bowens studio lights) and some have the slowest flash duration at full power (Profoto, Speedlights & other portable flash) Article on flash duration from Wikipedia:
    "The flash duration is typically described with two numbers: t.5 is the time to discharge to 0.5 (50%) power remaining, t.1 is to 0.1 (10%) power remaining[2] (t.3 of course, would be to 30%). For instance, t.5 can be 1/1200 sec whereas t.1 can be 1/450 sec for the same flash at the same intensity. For a small flash controlling intensity by time, the t.5 and t.1 numbers decrease as the intensity decreases. On flash units controlling intensity by capacitor charge, the t.5 and t.1 numbers increase as the intensity decreases (i.e. takes longer for the capacitor to discharge to that point). These times become important if a person wants to freeze action with the flash (as in sports)."
  21. Flashes with constant capacitor operating voltage, power is controlled by use of a thyristor circuit, that just cuts out the avalanche of current flow and makes the light duration shorter. This method is mostly used for smaller flashes, and shoe type. Even though there are thyristors capable of controlling thousands of Amperes of current flow, it gets expensive and big for very large flashes, that require larger heat dissipation and cooling.
    Flashes that can vary capacitor operating voltage can just simpy apply lower voltage, and the flash light duration will get longer. With voltage drop, the discharge time will get longer, but not as dramatic change as with the use of thyristor semiconductor device. Super high voltage capacitor ( e.g. 2 kVDC and higher) flashes were designed for very short duration flashes. Most popular consumer shoe mount flashes use about 330 VDC.
    Then flashes with multiple banks of capacitors can use each bank separately, or combined together to get more power, and duration of light will chance as appropriate.
    Then there are flashes that combine all the above mentioned methods, and generalized statement could leand to confusion. So, in each case flash duration should be listed by the manufacturer.
  22. A similar trick can be done much more cheaply by combining a Radio Popper Jrx unit mounted on an St-e2, or any HSS
    enabled controller flash, and any Px receiver.
  23. Thanks Scott, great trick here, I will check into Radio Poppers, I hear a lot of great things from both the Radio Poppers and the Pocketwizard MiniTT1 & FlexTT5. Thank you everyone... great tricks here on the latest radio triggering systems with studio lights.
  24. I was trying out my MiniTT1 with some Dynalites the other day and got to 1/400 on my Nikon D7000. You do have to set everything right because when I first started I was unable to get a clean 1/250 with the Mini. When I switched out to my MultiMax it was fine at 1/250th. In the utility (v1.35) under the Configuration tab you must uncheck the ControlTL Transmit box. Then under the sync timing tab check the box for "High Speed Sync (HSS/FP) Disable Mode". That will get the sync working at 1/250th. To get to 1/400 you must set the camera to sync at 1/250 FP mode. After that its trial and error to get as fast as possible. I set the HyperSync offset to -175 and that worked great on my Dynalite MP1000 with a short duration head connected. When I switched to a long duration combo I was unable to get a clean 1/400th. I ran out of time testing so I'll need to continue trying different offsets. The light was being reduced with the long duration combo vs. the short duration. This makes sense as the shutter is treating the long duration like ambient
  25. Ellis - on flash duration how do I find out what the slowest flash duration is on the Bowens / Calumet 750R monolight?
    Most likely the longest flash duration will be at the lowest power setting. However this will also mean you won't have a lot of light to work with once you go above your camera's x-sync shutter speed as the hyper speed sync feature of the only uses a slice out of what is now a smaller pie.
    Also the specs on your Profoto Acute2 2400 power pack is rated at 1/320 sec @ max power. How are you getting the 1/70 sec?
    I measured it with a Broncolor FCC meter to pin down why I was getting so much motion blur with the Acute 2 2400 at 2400 w-s with a single head.
    To get the t.1 don't you divide the t.5 number by 3? In your case I think it would give you 1/107 sec correct?
    Here's where it gets interesting: how were the measurements made? What tools were used to measure the flash duration with? Both Profoto and I could both be right yet using different tools. Rob Galbraith, Paul C. Buff, and myself have had a three way conversation about differences in photo receptor sensitivities used for measuring flash duration. In any case there is not a lot of difference between 1/107 and 1/70th second flash duration -- both are really long for flash duration.
  26. With my Bowens/Calumet 750R monolight, the fastest flash duration is a slow 1/650 sec at full power.​
    Are you sure about that? if you are just going by the specs it could actually be the reverse.
    Ellis, I guess I don't understand this post as you say above that the ProPhoto was at 1/70th of a second whereas reading the quote, one would expect it to be 1/300th or even 1/500th or faster.​
    Even Profoto says that according to their measurements, at full powe wit ha single head, the Acute 2 2400 w-s pack t0.1 is around 1/100 ( they list the t0.5 for that set up as 1/320th @ http://www.profoto.com/products/generators/acute/acute2-2400
  27. With my Bowens/Calumet 750R monolight, the fastest flash duration is a slow 1/650 sec at full power.
    Are you sure about that? if you are just going by the specs it could actually be the reverse.
    Most likely the longest flash duration will be at the lowest power setting. However this will also mean you won't have a lot of light to work with once you go above your camera's x-sync shutter speed as the hyper speed sync feature of the only uses a slice out of what is now a smaller pie.​
    Ellis, thanks for answering all my questions. As with fastest flash duration unfortunately 1/650 is the fastest duration @ full power for the Bowens/Calumet 750R. I wish I were wrong but Bowens only lists the fastest duration at full power for their monolights. As I mentioned before there are other models the monolights go as high as 1/2300 sec or higher flash duration @ max power.
    Peter I think you stumbled upon the mystery as to why hypersync works with some studio lights and not with others which has to do with the electronics of the studio light. Basically you and I need a studio light (monolight or power pack) that has a slow flash duration at max power like Ellis's Profoto studio lights. It may work better in low light or total darkness with the hypersync but at that point you might as well sync at regular camera speeds and just use the flash at the fastest duration at max power with these certain monolights another trick used in high speed flash photography. My Bowens lights has a slow flash duration only at the lowest power setting. As Ellis mentioned with this trick since you are only getting "a slice of the pie" and because you are using the flash as a continuous light source you need a studio light with a slow flash duration and at maximum power.

  28. Peter - which Dynalite model do you have? The flash duration listed on the new Dynalite monolights is actually shorter as you power down much like the Profotos. But the slowest flash duration is at still only 1/675 sec. I don't know if its a slow enough flash duration though to use the PW hypersync trick.
    Dynalite Uni400JR
    1/675 sec @ Full Power
    1/1100 sec @ 1/2 Power:
    1/1800 sec @ 1/4 Power-
    1/2200 sec @ 1/8 Power AC
  29. For the fast flash duration it was a M2000wi set at 250ws with a custom 4040 studio head that is fitted with a bi-tube from the sport head. That flash duration is around 1/6000 t.5. For the slow duration I used a new MP1600 with the switches set at 1600 and the variator set at the lowest (lowest voltage) with a extra head cable. That duration should be very close to the Profoto Acute24 if not slower.
  30. Peter - I wasn't sure which studio light you were using, monolight or studio pack. The Dynalite MP1600 studio pack is a brand new model and I couldn't find any flash duration specs on it because its a new studio light. But I agree you should get very slow flash durations @ max power close to the Profoto Acute24. Since I use Bowens lights, I am unable to perform this hypersync trick very well at least outdoors in daylight since my slow slowest durations are at min power. I believe I am out of luck but I will test it. Let us know how your results turn out with your new Dynalite studio packs. Also another note about color balance since you are using only part of the flash you have to time the flash with the PW Hypersync at its zenith or reach their peak of flash illumination to get the proper color balance, sort of like the old school slow burn flash bulbs and delayed syncs ( M,S, F syncs) found on the old-school cameras!
  31. Ok, I did some more testing with my Nikon D7000 and the Pocketwizard MiniTTl. First I was able to measure the flash duration of the Dynalite MP1600 with the variator turned all the way down to get the slowest flash duration. To make it even slower I added a 35' cable to the SH2000 Studio Head. The end result was 1/220 using t .5. I needed to add a lot of delay to the Mini (currently set at 900) but I'm getting a very clean 1/500th. It appears the output did not go down as I expected. I made one exposure at f5.6 1/250 and then another at f4.0 1/500th and the one at f4.0 looks overexposed. I'm going to repeat the tests tomorrow and see if I can push it a little further. Color looked the same but I need to double check the settings on the camera.

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