OK, so I set the Nikon camera to the recommended studio setting of 1/125 sec, f/8, 100 ISO, and, using Pocketwizards, set off an off camera flash fitted with an umbrella.
Ouch. So what happened here?
The shutter curtain happened; that’s what. It got in the way; the shutter was not fully open when the photo was taken.
But surely 1/125 is slower than the 1/200 that is possible with this Nikon camera?
Well: in this case once the signal traversed the combination Camera—Pocketwizards—Flash, it was clearly not enough. There is a delay in that path, a delay that is significantly great compared to the flash time. I.e. the camera said “Flash: Fire Now!”; and the flash took its time so that by the time it fired, the shutter was already half closed again.
The solution? Use a slower shutter speed. 1/60 gives us this:
We could also have used a faster path. Perhaps different Pocketwizards, or a cable, or a different flash, or even a different camera would have helped.
Tip: check what your critical shutter speed is, if you use off-camera flash (and you should). make a note of it, and always stay well below it.
Notes: Honl Photo special modifier deal coming for readers of www.speedlighter.ca. Also, a Vistek special Speedlighter Kit is in the making. And on March 30, I am a guest presenter on TWIP, Frederick Van Johnson’s excellent This Week in Photo podcast. Things happen fast: Stay tuned!