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Finally got around the high speed sync problem! ...at least for now

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by perpetualjon, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. perpetualjon

    perpetualjon Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2013
    Southern California
    So I actually started in u4/3 photography shooting video. But I found that I loved shooting stills way more but all my lighting was continuous. I liked the fact that WYSIWYG with that sort of thing and it kept the guessing (more like the actual work of setting a good exposure) out of a shot. But as I got more into portrait photography, I realized that my ISO was very high normally, the depth of field was extremely narrow, and the detail just didn't look as clean as pro photos I was seeing. Eventually I realized that it was a result of shooting effectively in "low light conditions". So I struck out and bought a used 600W monolight and a 47" octagon softbox for it. That's when I realized 2 problems: 1) My lenses and camera are actually pretty good in low light but no so good in bright light, 2) The used monolight power adjustment is broken and can only shoot at full power! I brought my aperture down as small as it could go (like f22) but found out that this causes a fuzziness in the image. When I tried to compensate for this with a high shutter speed I hit the wall that you all know of -I was stuck!

    Finally it dawned on me how to compensate for the massive amount of light I was getting through the lens: use my ND filter!! I set up a test in my living room, monolight and softbox up and to the side, my GH3 on a tripod at eye level with a remote trigger, and stood facing the camera. I'm using the Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens set manually at f9, an ISO of 125, and a shutter speed of 1/125 (I might have gotten away with the next step faster in shutter speed but never got around to it). I still had to bring my ND filter down quite a bit for the best exposure (but not all the way at least). Here is the result:


    This is precisely the type of photo I've been trying to get for about a year now. I like the Rembrandt lighting in a portrait but have just not had a satisfactory result using continuous lighting (and after some reading about it I understand why). I have to say, I truly know the value of a flash now! In my developing of the image in Lightroom, this was by far the least amount of sharpening and noise reduction I've ever experienced -there's so much detail and clarity I've never enjoyed having before! I'm sold on flash photography. Thanks everyone for helping me get here!
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  2. perpetualjon

    perpetualjon Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2013
    Southern California
    On a side note, I know this is really just a hack and the proper thing to eventually do is get a better quality monolight and a good remote that can do high speed sync but at least for now I'm in business and can start shooting portraits the way I've always wanted. Here's a couple shots I got using the same setup a day later:


    • Like Like x 1
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