A number of readers have been asking about my experience with the updated Hypersync utility and performance. In earlier posts I recommended setting the tab bar to -1900. This is no longer necessary with the new utility, although you still have this option if you choose Manual Hypersync in the utility. Based on some brief testing, I think around -1300 or -1400 is where I would get the best performance. The new software automates much of this process with similar results to the previous Hypersync utility software. I use the ‘Hypersync Only’ option, and set the flash duration to ”10-SLOW” to match the slower duration ‘S’ Elinchrom heads I use. Make sure to set the ST4 to ‘S-Head’ too. The image above was taken at 1/8000, F4 at ISO 100 using a Nikon D300s and Elinchrom Ranger pack set at around 900 watts. I had minimal flash clipping even at 1/8000, which was easily cropped out. Results will vary depending on your camera system, flash system, and flash head duration.
I am finding I use higher sync speeds for creative apertures and moody lighting as much as I use it for freezing the action. The shot above is a good example. I was photographing a climber the other day at around noon, bright overhead light. This shot shows what a normal shot would look like. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a guy bouldering on a sunny afternoon.
But then add an overhead strobe, darken the background and use a wide open aperture like F4 and things really change. Without Hypersync and the ability to shoot very fast shutter speeds with flash, this image couldn’t have happened. In the final shot above I took out the overhead light. A 20 degree grid was used to reduce the light spilling onto the rock. Speaking of grids, I just shot another assignment for Light It magazine the other day, and grids saved the day. We shot a basketball player indoors using strip banks on the sides. To control the spill on the gym floor, we used Lighttools 40 degree grids. If you need a grid for your softbox, check these guys out.
I’ll be speaking at Pictureline in Salt Lake City on Nov. 17 talking more high speed sync technique, stop in if you can!