Half-black photos on faster shutter speeds

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Ragtimer, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Ragtimer

    Ragtimer Guest

    We're using a Nikon N65 with a number of different flash setups,
    whether with a Sunpak 4000AF or using two studio flashes with
    umbrellas, or some other combinations, and whenever we take a shot
    using manual shutter speeds of 1/125 or faster half of the photo is
    black. If we use identical setups, using 1/60 or 1/125, the faster
    speed has this happen ... on up to 1/500 or whatever.

    We also had this very same thing happen using an N60, so we don't
    think it's a camera defect.

    Any ideas??

    Ragtimer, Aug 11, 2003
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  2. Ragtimer

    David Guest

    David, Aug 12, 2003
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  3. Ragtimer

    Ragtimer Guest

    Interesting, and thanks for the help!

    We're trying now to find the manual to the flash, but I remember that
    one of the switches is for 1st or 2nd curtain sync. It's been left on
    1st curtain sync since we bought the thing. I wonder.

    The only reason we're messing with the faster shutter speeds is
    experimenting with the different shutter speed/aperture combinations.

    Any recommendations and/or info on how the flash curtain sync should
    be set?

    Thanks again!!
    Ragtimer, Aug 12, 2003
  4. Ragtimer

    David Guest

    David, Aug 12, 2003
  5. DOH!
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 12, 2003
  6. Ragtimer

    Kevin Backs Guest

    Most likely, the user manual mentions a flash synchronization speed -
    probably 1/90 or 1/60 for external non-Nikon flashes.

    Cameras that have focal plane shutters (pretty much any SLR, such as
    your Nikons) have a maximum flash synchronization speed (it is
    typically between 1/60th and 1/125th of a second).

    The way that the shuuter woks on these cameras is that the entire fram
    is not all exposed quite at the same time....

    the secquence:

    1) press shutter button
    2) mirror flips up & lens stops down
    3) first shutter curtain is released, starting exposure
    4) flash fires (typically for 1/1000th sec or less
    5) second shutter curtain is released after the select exposure time
    (say 1/125)

    If, on your camera, as would be typical, it takes the first curtain
    1/60 second to travel all the way across the frame then the whole
    frame will be exposed before the second shutter curtain is released --
    ONLY -- if the shutter speed is 1/60th sec or slower.

    With a faster shutter speed, the second curtain will be released
    before the first one is done its trip across the frame. -- If your
    synch speed is 1/60 and you are using 1/125, you should get almost
    exactly 1/2 of your frame exposed and 1/2 black. Try a shutter speed
    of 1/250 and it should be 1/4 exposed and 3/4 black, etc.

    There would appear to be nothing qrong with either your flash or your

    Some newer cameras with specially dedicated flashes (usually only
    top-of-the-line flashes from the camera manufacturer) can synchronize
    at any shutter speed.
    Kevin Backs, Aug 12, 2003
  7. Ragtimer

    Brian Guest

    When i was born, my mother tells me, I was absolutely no good with a camera
    wahtsoever, apparently I couldn't even hold one, but over the years, thanks
    to self learning, input from others and a college course I am taking, I
    have learned quite a lot about photography and how it all works. I don't
    suppose I will ever learn everything , but the more I learn the better my
    photographs get.

    I have been told that, I was not alone, that it appears that every single
    person ever born and ever to be born , knows sod all about photography from
    birth and must learn through some means, either self teaching, or from an
    educational establishment, or from help provided by those who have already
    learned about photography.

    Your input, I am sure, will provide them with all the knowledge they will
    ever need to improve their techniques.

    hope THIS helps

    Brian, Aug 12, 2003
  8. When i was born, my mother tells me, I was absolutely no good with a camera
    The original poster obviously has a problem with too fast of a speed
    with a focal plane shutter. If they had read the manual that came with
    their camera they'd have been aware of that.
    Randall Ainsworth, Aug 12, 2003
  9. Ragtimer

    Slingblade Guest

    Yes, a very good idea. You're taking flash shots at speeds FASTER
    than your shutter sync. I don't know what shutter sync is on a Nikon
    N65, but if you're achieving good results at 1/60th, but everything
    higher has "half black" then I'd take a wild stab that 1/60th is flash

    You can shoot at speeds such as 1/30th, 1/15th, 1/8th, etc. which are
    SLOWER than your flash sync speed...while using your flash, but not

    Most older SLR's had 1/60th as flash sync. Some pro models used
    1/90th, and some of the Nikons of the late 80's, early 90's had up to
    1/250th for flash sync, as did other makes.
    Slingblade, Aug 12, 2003
  10. Ragtimer

    Brian Guest

    Then don't you think it would have been more helpful to tell him that and
    explain why?, or was "DOH!!" some kind of shorthand for all that?

    If they had read the manual that came with
    The Bastard, Have him taken outside and shot immediately...

    Hugs and Kisses
    Brian, Aug 12, 2003
  11. Ragtimer

    David Guest

    from the page you mention, it says....

    The Nikon F65's flash though diminutive is size , has a guide no. of 12 .
    Flash Synchronization is at 1/90 sec . The built in Flash supports Front and
    Rear Curtain Sync .

    from the nikon webpage at

    Flash sync mode: X Sync 1/90 sec., Front Curtain (normal) Sync, Slow Sync,
    Rear Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction w/Slow Sync, Flash Cancel

    David, Aug 18, 2003
  12. Ragtimer

    Snowman Guest

    In the Technical Specifications at
    http://www.jjmehta.com/products/nikonf65.html does say 1/125, but as you
    say, if you follow through some links it does take you to a page with says
    1/90 - confusing!

    My F60, automatically goes to 1/125 when I pop up the flash, and the manual
    confirms that speed (as do the pictures it takes!).

    Snowman, Aug 18, 2003
  13. Ragtimer

    Snowman Guest

    It looks like they also downgraded the built-in flash on the N/F65 - the
    N/F60 has a guide number of 15.

    Snowman, Aug 18, 2003
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