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Odd flash "problem" with G5s and FL-50

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by scott, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    I recently got a really good deal on a used FL-50 (non-R version) and demoted my Zeikos flash to the macro rig. The FL-50 is clearly sturdier and works great.

    However, lately I've noticed that (unlike using the built-in flash or the Zeikos) my G5s will almost never force the shutter speed down to 1/160 when I turn the FL-50 on.

    Typical situation: I'm photographing wildlife with the G5 and 100-300, at shutter speeds as high as I can get them; say the camera's in S mode at 1/500. The light changes, and I decide to use the FL-50 and Better Beamer. I switch the flash on, and the shutter speeds stays at 1/500, rather than defaulting down to 1/160 as it has with every other flash I've used.

    Am I doing something wrong? Is my FL-50 messed up? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Are you using FP-TTL mode (aka high-speed sync)? This is actually a feature. :biggrin: I bought an FL-50 so I could use it with my G3 at shutter speeds faster than 1/160s.
     
  3. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    Well, I guess I dunno. :) I thought 1/160 was the maximum possible; didn't realize that a particular flash could change that. What's the fastest speed you've been able to achieve?

    [Edit]: Well, yes, apparently I was, but I didn't know what "FP" meant and was ignoring it. I see that there's a TTL non-FP mode, and in that mode the camera *does* set itself to 1/160. I'm still trying to understand if FP is a good idea for wildlife.
     
  4. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    FP mode actually ouputs several flashes at once to achieve the higher sync, downside is that the output (range) is reduced (greatly depending on shutter speed).
     
  5. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks--that makes sense. But I'm not sure how much use the FP mode is to me in that case, since I most often use flash either for birds (need high output for distance) or for macro shots (need high output to overcome close-focus light loss).

    But I definitely appreciate the help from both of you--knowing when to avoid this mode (most of the time) should help a lot. Also, it's nice to know my flash isn't broken. :) (Operator error again....)
     
  6. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    And for the last unanswered question.
    The body's maximum: 1/4000s.

    The basic power loss in using high-speed sync is around two stops, so you really only want to use it in certain situations. It's most commonly used by portrait photographers if they want to underexpose the ambient to get a darker background, but still achieve a thin DoF with a wider aperture setting.

    For example:

    7173687546_a437abc854_c.

    This shot of a ranunculus was taken at the Carlsbad Flower Fields. I wanted to underexpose the ambient by about 2 stops, so the sky would be that darker blue, then use flash to fill in the flower. But this is San Diego. And it was a bright sunny day, so with my iso down at 200, and keeping to my 1/160s sync speed (I was using manual radio triggers that can't communicate the HSS signalling), I had to go to f/16 to get the sky that blue. If I'd had HSS capability, I could've shot in the non-diffraction limited aperture range or gotten shallow DoF (I was using the 20/1.7). This is why I got an FL-50. :)
     
  7. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    Nice picture! And thanks for all the help with this. It sounds like I won't use this mode very much, but it's good to know what it's for and how to fix my problem.

    Also--I just found another FL-50 for cheap and snagged it, so now I can have one as my main macro flash, too.