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Gear Requirements for Hi-Sync (HS)

Lesson 11 from: Advanced Lighting for Adventure Photography

Michael Clark

Gear Requirements for Hi-Sync (HS)

Lesson 11 from: Advanced Lighting for Adventure Photography

Michael Clark

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Lesson Info

11. Gear Requirements for Hi-Sync (HS)

Next Lesson: Flash Exposure


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Evolution with Lighting


Why Use Artificial Lighting?


Pre-Production and Pre-Visualizing


Equipment: Overview of the Gear


Equipment: Selecting the Right Gear


Strobes vs. Speedlights


Lighting 101: Flash Sync Speeds


Lesson Info

Gear Requirements for Hi-Sync (HS)

So gear requirements for hi-sync. I don't want to make this the full on Elinchrom show as it might sound like right now but they do have it optimized better than anybody else in my experience right now. Broncolor I think within the last year just came out with their HS system I know on the Siros battery powered units and on the Siros plug in units it works really well. Somebody that's using Broncolor please write in and tell us if you've experimented with this. From what I've talked to, a few of my friends that shoot Broncolor, it only works well at the top two power settings. So it's not optimized throughout the entire, because it's the same flash that you would normally use for normal sync speeds. And it's the same flash that, I think the Siros go down to 119th thousand of a second flash duration at their lowest power setting so you know once you get into those faster flash durations hi-sync or HS is not gonna work. Because you just can't time it. So that's why it works best at the t...

op two power settings. And if I'm wrong on that please correct me if somebody from Broncolor is watching please correct me. I know the move, it will work on the move as well but you have to send it back to Broncolor to have them switch some stuff on it. But they make great gear, it's great to see them in the game. They've even got the 2.2 transmitter that helps it work. And I don't know the specifics of how it works in terms of setting up the transmitter it's not too difficult from what I've seen online. So it's great to see somebody else in the game. Elinchrom it works with quite a few of their different units. There's the older quadras, that if you still have those you can just get the HS head and it works great. It works with their pro heads as well not quite as well as the HS. This all has to do with flash durations it's all about getting a really low, slow flash duration which is the complete opposite way of doing lighting. Like three, four years ago you were always looking for that fast flash duration. Now we're gonna stop the motion with our shutter speed not with the flash. And stopping the motion with the shutter speed is way more effective than stopping the motion with a flash because we all know if you shoot at eight thousandth of a second whatever we're photographing that's moving is frozen. And even now some of the cameras, like the Panasonics and the Sonys, or the Olympus can shoot at like 32 thousandth of a second. I don't know if hi-sync or HS will work with that but that would be pretty exciting if it did. But let's talk about, we talked about, for me the 400 and the 1200 which is not available yet and I have to ship this one back here in a few days and it's gonna be a very sad day when I have to ship it back for a month or two until I get mine. Are my main go-to lights. Modifiers we already talked about to some degree. This is that one I was talking about that this is the one I showed you here on set that's you know, so big. This is the other one that's like a giant salad bowl. It's like having the sun out on location with you. And you can use any and everything you want. As you'll see in the portraits we're shooting with hi-sync with strip boxes, with big softboxes, and there's no reflectors in sight. So it's just a matter of what you want to do with your lighting in terms of old school lighting techniques of modifying the light as it comes out of the flash head versus what your shooting and how far the subject is away. It's specific for each camera on the trigger. And I think Elinchrom, I mean I just talk about the Elinchrom because that's what I know. I know setting up the Broncolor there's specifics for each camera as well for Nikon and Canon and I think they have a trigger for Sony as well. So you have to buy the right brand of trigger for your flashheads. So if you have the Broncolor Siros you need that RFS 2.2 trigger made for your Nikon or Canon camera or whichever camera you have. I know Elinchrom makes it, the Skyport Plus HS which is their hi-sync trigger for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, and I think Panasonic, and I think they've even announced that they're coming out for one with Fuji, I'm not sure about that. But, so on the Nikons it happens in the camera. for most other camera brands it happens on the trigger setting it up for HS. So in Nikon, and I'll show you here on the trigger you go into the camera it's in the custom settings menu which is the pencil. And it's typically in the Es for the custom. They're all like A, B, C, D, E, F, and it's like A1, A2, A3 and on this DA10 it's E1 and it's basically you're looking for a flash sync speed. And you want to set it on the Nikons to 250th of a second auto FP, or 320th auto FP if it has it on your camera. Most Nikons won't have the 320th auto FP. And basically when you do that you just put the Skyport on top of the camera, this is for Nikon only, remember. And anytime you raise your shutter speed above that 250th of a second it automatically goes into HS. So it's very simple for the Nikons. So here you see this is my D4, this is the flash trigger. Once you see this HS right here show up on the trigger itself there are the actual strobes that are engaged with this, you know you're in hi-sync mode. Any questions about the Nikon? Has anybody tried this? No, okay? So I know, I realize one thing in this workshop, it's so specific about the gear. And that's unfortunate for a lot of people but it's also just the way it is. So there's no getting over that if you're trying this. I'm sure every company under the sun's gonna be doing this within the next five years because this is the way of the future but, go ahead. With the Elinchrom trigger will that work with other speedlights or flashes? It will not. It only works with Elinchrom strobes as far as I know. I mean, it may, but I haven't tried it. I'm pretty sure it's specific to the speedlight, to the Elinchrom strobes. But like I was saying, if you have Broncolor you buy the Broncolor. Currently Pro Photo does not have, they have the HSS system, so not the hi-sync system. So you can't do it on Pro Photo. You might be able to do it with the Pocket Wizards on some of the Pro Photos like the B4. It has a pretty fast flash duration at full power though so I don't know if it's possible on the B but maybe some of the older, like the Pro Photo 7B had a slower flash duration at full power you might be able to just put the hyper sync Pocket Wizard setup on that and do hyper sync with that. So it all comes down to testing what you have and seeing if it's possible. I know it's possible with this and I know it's possible with the Broncolor because they've optimized it for that to some degree. I did want to jump in earlier you had said if somebody's out there that uses Broncolor to do this type of work let us know. So of course everyone out there on the internet, there's somebody who knows something. I was hoping, that's great. So John said, "I use HS with Broncolor Siros L800. I have shot at 4000th of a second with my D750. So you can use the top sixth power output." Top six, okay. He said very easy to set up with the RFS 2.2 transmitter. Sweet, so they have optimized it to a certain degree which is pretty good, that's great to hear. So thank you for that John. Broncolor Siros looks awesome. And that's key because as you'll see in these shoots you know, how much want to darken or lighten your background is not based on your shutter speed anymore because you change the shutter speed you're changing how big or small a slice of light you're taking out of that flash. So now you've just increased the number of variables in your photography and when I go through how to set up the exposure I'll explain how you figure that out because right now I can see my own eyes and all of your eyes like, that's like having five balls in the air juggling trying to figure out the flash exposure, and it kind of feels like that the first time you do it. But it's not rocket science, trust me. So for Canon it's a little different. So I don't have the trigger with me but you do it all on the trigger. There is a button on the far right side of the trigger and let me actually show you here. You would push this button, this is already in the custom menu. You'd push this button which is the setup button when you're on the normal screen. It gets you into this menu and then you push the up or down buttons until you get to sync mode. And then once you get to sync mode you push the center button and rotate the dial until you see HS, there's only two things that pop up so it's not that hard. And then you click exit. And then your transmitter is in HS mode. So let me go back to this slide. That's it, so it's all on the transmitter. And there is, this information is on Elinchrom's website. I think it's the same for the Broncolor strobes. Correct me wrong, John was that his name? If I'm wrong. I think you just select it on the Broncolor RFS 2.2 transmitter just like this. And I think you do the same for Nikon. I'm not 100% sure but it's something close to that. It's not that difficult. So the other thing is with Canon cameras, so here's another little fly in the ointment. As if you needed one more. With Nikon I've never had to adjust the transmitters timing built into, this was in the Pocket Wizard controlled TL system as well, there was a way to shift where it was taking that slice of light from. In the Elinchrom transmitters there's something called over drive sync it shows up as ODS in the menu. And you basically, it's in that same menu system. I think I have a slide of it here. It allows you to shift where you're taking the slice of light from. So why would you need this? So it depends on how your shutter mechanism works in your camera, the timing, how long it takes for your shutter to engage, if there's any shutter lag with your shutter release when you push to take the picture. So I think for Canon cameras, see how it allows you to fine tune where you're taking that curve out. So basically you're adjusting how many milliseconds delay there is between when you push the shutter and when the flash goes off. And just to show you more distinctly here. So engaging the hi-sync is this next level up because there's a whole list of stuff that you're going up and down through. So it's the next one down, ODS setup. And you just click in there and rotate the dial til you get to whatever milliseconds you want. So this is where it requires some testing. For Nikon cameras I've never seen a Nikon camera I've had to change it at all. It was pretty good right out of the camera it seems like it's optimized for Nikon cameras because somehow their shutter mechanism is working I don't know if it's quicker or however it's working, it's working really well. For Canon cameras it seems to be like between 2.0 and 2.5 are the best setting to optimize it that we did find out with Aaron's camera on the 1DX Mark 2 at zero was great. So test out your camera. And I talked to a few Sony users as well and they said like 0.2 milliseconds helped it just a little bit. So it just depends on your camera. If not, like, don't freak out. It's all good. You just gotta play around with it, just like the hyper sync. I still call these experimental even though they're like, things that manufacturers are putting in there because it's, you still got to experiment and figure out how this works and get it to work first, which is kind of the critical part. And then from there you can tweak it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Reference Guide
Chapter 2: ABCs of Lighting by Michael Clark
Advanced Lighting Keynote PDF - Day 1
Advanced Lighting Keynote PDF - Day 2

Ratings and Reviews

norah levine

This is a course that I could watch repeatedly and be able to learn something new each time. Michael is a truly an expert in his field and is so generous with his knowledge. This course really breaks down the process of adventure photography, but it's more than that. I don't think you need to even be an adventure sports photographer to get tons out of this course. Michael is really good at breaking down some very complicated technology. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student

Great course that combines the technical aspects of shooting with light in different situations, with the art of making a great image of athletes. Michael is a great teacher and I'm sure his lessons will continue to help guide over and over again!

Jeph DeLorme

Great class with dozens of tips, ideas and lighting strategies for tough outdoor lighting challenges. Advanced class taught in a way that allows even a beginner to get a handle on lighting tough situations. The location videos provide real life examples that make this class a definite must have for my Creative Live collection. Thank you Michael Clark and Creative Live! Jeph DeLorme

Student Work