Sebastian Kienle as photographed by Donald Miralle, 1/500th, f/4.5. ©Donald Miralle.
HyperSync® is one of the most revolutionary features for flash photography since the flash bulb. It’s also the least known or understood concept in flash photography despite it being four years since it was first introduced.
Simply put, HyperSync is a feature in our ControlTL® radios that lets you use shutter speeds above the normal x-sync limitations when using studio flash. It is very dependent on the camera and flash models being used but with the right combination of gear you can use shutter speeds all the way to 1/8000th of a second with studio flash!
How is this possible? The ControlTL radios with this feature (MiniTT1, FlexTT5, PowerST4, PowerMC2) are able to advance the timing of the flash triggering so at speeds above x-sync you’re still getting light from the flash to expose the sensor. Normally, if you tried to go above your camera’s x-sync speed with a flash, you would get “clipping” or a black bar across your image. That part of the sensor missed being exposed by the flash because it was exposed prior to the flash firing.
© 2012 Tom Bol
We don’t know what possessed photographer Tom Bol to give his speedlights the cement shoe treatment and sink them to the bottom of a river, but we do know that experimentation is always a good excuse to do something just a little bit crazy.
He starts out by giving the speedlights just a taste of what awaits them, by putting them in ziplock bags and placing them in the bow, stern, and middle of the kayak that his wife, Cree, paddles out into the middle of the river. “In order for these flashes to fire,” he writes, “I used PocketWizard FlexTT5’s as receivers on all the SB900s. The radio signal triggers flashes in the boat, no line of sight needed.” Using an AC3 ZoneController, Tom sets all the flashes to group A and fires away. The result is a glowing, yellow kayak.
Photographer and educator Tom Bol has a great post on his blog regarding syncing his Elinchrom Quadra at 1/2500. Bol used PocketWizard FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 radio triggers with a Quadra head, shooting a Nikon D300S with a 14-24mm f/2.8 lens.
This highly informative post is not to be missed, particularly if you’re an Elinchrom user. Bol goes into detail not only how he achieved his sample shots, but the science of what’s going on, and how to avoid unwanted results. He also details the handiness of using the PocketWizard AC3 Zone Controller to set the output on an Elinchrom Ranger.
Be sure you don’t miss this informative post if you’re interested in high speed sync without clipping. Don’t forget to check out the great imagery Bol is capturing when not educating shooters on how to do the same by visiting his site.
Tom Bol has published a story at ProPhoto Coalition on syncing an Elinchrom Ranger with a PocketWizard MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 and the PocketWizard PowerST4. Using this setup enabled him to shoot synced flash shots as speeds from 1/2500 to 1/8000 of a second. Those kinds of speeds enable you to completely freeze any motion you’re likely to encounter at a sporting event.
Bol recommends using the slower “S” head instead of the faster “A” head, stating the slower head with longer flash duration allows faster sync speeds. He shot the above photo with a Nikon D300s at 1/2500, f/7.1 at ISO 200. Here’s a handy chart breaking down the compatibility of the PowerST4 and Elinchrom flash units.
Be sure to check out Bol’s full article for complete details. It’s a great read and promises more dramatic photos to come using this marriage of gear.