Flash posessed???
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Old 04-01-2013   #1
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Question Flash posessed???

My Vivitar Series 1 Flash has intermittent problems. Ideas please?

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Old 04-01-2013   #2
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

Dori, my first "guess" would be that it might be synchronization problem. Just a guess mind you. Do you have another flash, or can you borrow one and try taking the same picture with it on your hot shoe?

You note that it is "intermittent". What camera and lens combination were you using with this picture? If you are using a DSLR, then is this something that only occurs with a certain lens?

Hope this helps a bit. Do you have any other information that might help us help you?

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Old 04-01-2013   #3
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

Nikon D5000, 35mm prime. This has also happened with my 18-55 kit lens.

I got a couple like the shot I posted. Turned everything off and it worked well.
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Old 04-01-2013   #4
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

OK, stupid me time. I poked around and found that a fast shutter can cause this?
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Old 04-01-2013   #5
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

Possibly.. looks like your shutter speed is too fast for the duration of the flash?

I can't find any exif, so I don't really know.
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Old 04-01-2013   #6
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

Flashes/triggers can also go bonkers with low batteries or bad contacts.. so fresh batteries along with a good eraser scrub for the contacts is suggested many times.
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Old 04-01-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksgal View Post
Possibly.. looks like your shutter speed is too fast for the duration of the flash?

I can't find any exif, so I don't really know.
Odd, I have no idea how it got stripped...
ISO 250
F 2.8
1/1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksgal View Post
Flashes/triggers can also go bonkers with low batteries or bad contacts.. so fresh batteries along with a good eraser scrub for the contacts is suggested many times.

I feel like a complete idiot!
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Old 04-01-2013   #8
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

Oh don't.. you never know that fresh batteries will solve the problem. but at least it is an easy fix when that is the trouble.

Usually, you can't do a flash- 1/1000 of a shutter speed unless the flash has High Speed Sync or FP for nikons.. and this is usually available on newer flashes.. not old vivitars.. I'll go look that up.

Well, series 1 doesn't narrow it down enough for me.. got a model number? But you can look up the specs as well, need to see HSS for a canon flash unit to synch above a 1/250th shutter speed for crop cameras.
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Old 04-01-2013   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mira View Post
Odd, I have no idea how it got stripped...
ISO 250
F 2.8
1/1000

A normal flash gun, like your Vivitar needs to be fired, when the shutter opens fully, so that the flash light can illuminate the complete sensor at once. At shorter exposure times, the shutter will open only partially to a slit, that travels over the sensor. This means, that at any given time during the exposure, only a part of the sensor will be exposed (it is the same with film). Thus a flash fired, with such a short exposure time, will only illuminate that part of the sensor, which lies below the open shutter slit.

This is the basic trick, how mechanical shutters can reach 1/1000s, 1/2000s and even shorter exposure times. They just narrow the slit and let that travel over the sensor surface.

Usually the X-sync time is marked on a camera and will be the shortest exposure time, where the full sensor is exposed at one time. Most cameras reach between 1/125s and 1/250s. Anything shorter will cause the bright strip of light and leave the rest of the image underexposed.

Only electronic shutters are able to reach even shorter flash sync times, but the Nikon D70 was the only DSLR which made use of an electronic shutter, as far as I am aware off.

The camera makers have found a shortcut to this problem, by creating High Speed Synching. That works by firing many flashes in rapid succession, thus illuminating all the positions of the shutter's slit, while travelling over the sensor surface. This is a great technique for fill-flash, but ofcourse the flash will be comparetively low-output, when firing thus fast.

Ben

P.S.: My description is only valid for focal plane shutters, which are used in our DSLRs. Leaf shutters, as usually build into the lenses of some medium and all large format cameras can reach 1/500s synch time, because they work very differently. Just to get the complete picture.

Last edited by Ben_V; 04-01-2013 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: typos...
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Old 04-01-2013   #10
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Default Re: Flash posessed???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_V View Post
A normal flash gun, like your Vivitar needs to be fired, when the shutter opens fully, so that the flash light can illuminate the complete sensor at once. At shorter exposure times, the shutter will open only partially to a slit, that travels over the sensor. This means, that at any given time during the expsoure, only a part of the sensor will be exposed (it is the same with film). Thus a flash fired, with such a short expsoure time, will only illuminate that part of the sensor, which lies below the open shutter slit.

This is the basic trick, how mechanical shutters can reach 1/1000s, 1/2000s and even shorter expsoure times. They just narrow the slit and let that travel over the senor surface.

Usually the X-sync time is marked on a camera and will be the shortest exposure time, where the full sensor is exposed at one time. Most cameras reach between 1/125s and 1/250s. Anything shorter will cause the bright strip of light and leave the rest of the image underexposed.

Only electronic shutters are able to reach even shorter flash sync times, but the Nikon D70 was the only DSLR which made use of an electronic shutter, as far as I am aware off.

The camera makers have found a short cut to this problem, by creating High Speed Synching. That works by firing many flashes in rapid succession, thus illuminating all the positions of the shutter's slit, while travelling over the sensor surface. This is a great technique for fill-flash, but ofcourse the flash will be comparetively low-output, when firing thus fast.

Ben
Thank you so much Ben!!!!!


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