I have continued to work with the Pocket Wizard Flex Mini TT1 and ST4 with my Elinchrom Ranger (see last post). Here’s the good news. After more experimentation, I can sync my D3 at 1/1000 at full power. And even at 1/1250 I get minimal flash fall off and clipping. 1/1250 will freeze most subjects I shoot, and is a huge improvement over the 1/200 sync speed I had before. And I still can shoot at any shutter speed I want on my D300s (including 1/8000!). The skier in the super pipe was shot at 1/2500, F7.1, ISO 100 with the Ranger at full power from about 20 feet away, camera was a D300s.
Here is some useful data for anyone using the Hypersync utility and calibrating their Nikon D3 or D300s with a Ranger. I have found the best results setting the Hypersync adjustment tab to minus 2000. This seems to be the right setting to get the best sync speeds using a Ranger and Freelite ‘S’ head. I have found no difference shooting RAW images at 12bit or 14bit, they both give similar results. Since the Ranger has its fastest flash duration at full power, I also experimented lowering the flash power (therefore slowing the flash duration) and trying to get faster sync speeds. I saw a little improvement, but not a much. To keep things simple, I start at full power and lower the speed if the output is to much on the subject.
One important note. Shooting full power on a Ranger (1100 watts) gives you great shooting distances using high speed sync. The skier is about 20 feet away from my flash, and I am using a standard reflector. If I put on a sports reflector (which projects flash even further), I’m sure I could shoot 30 feet or more away at my subject at 1/2500. I also have room to open up my aperture and increase distance even further.
I have used both the standard Ranger and the Ranger RX Speed and gotten similar results.
The bottom line is I will use my Skyport system for normal shooting, and use the Pocket Wizard Flex TT1 when I need to freeze action. High speed sync is here to stay with the Elinchrom Rangers.
Tech: Nikon D300s, 24-70mm, ISO 100, 1/2500 at F7.1, one Ranger shot at full power, standard reflector. Pocket Wizard Flex Mini1 and ST4 receiver used for strobe.