Nikon N80 Syncs at 1/60 rather than 1/125

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Larry R Harrison Jr, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. I just received my Nikon N80 last week, delirious happy about that as I
    mentioned before. But one thing has popped up which no review of the camera
    ever mentioned to me, and it's shocking--it INSISTS on x-syncing at 1/60
    second rather than the 1/125 second it's capable of. Why?

    Okay, it would be easy enough to use shutter priority rather than aperture
    priority (the mode I tend to prefer for flash shooting) or programmed
    exposure. But the N80, despite the fact it doesn't have "embedded modes" for
    the most part like the N55, 65 and 75 do, it nonetheless does have one in
    particular. Switch to manual mode, and you lose 3D Matrix TTL flash and get
    regular TTL flash instead. So I pay a penalty in trying to get the highest
    X-sync speed possible.

    Especially if I do fill-flash outdoors, this is highly unfortunate. I'd
    heard many mention the 1/125 second X-sync being slow by modern standards
    for fill-flash. But 1/60th? How low can you go?


    Larry R Harrison Jr, Aug 26, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Alan Browne Guest

    This depends, of course, on the desired effect(s). If one wants to
    minimize overall blur in the image (ambient/background) then a faster
    shutter speed is of course desired. Likewise to minimize the effect of
    mismatched lighting (tungsten/flouro) If one wants to blur or
    increase ambient then slower speeds are required....etc...
    Contracdicting yourself v. 1 above. You just lost a stop of ambient
    background/fill at 1/125.

    It would probably be more useful to talk about slow sync than quibble
    over the difference between 1/60 and 1/125.

    (in any case, real SLR's synch at up to 1/300).
    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Larry R Harrison Jr

    T P Guest

    People whose cameras only synch at 1/60 could not possibly realise
    just what an excellent feature a 1/250 sec fastest synch speed is.

    Perhaps the most fortunate people of all are those with cameras with
    leaf shutters that synch to 1/500 sec - and sometimes faster. Adding
    a small amount of fill flash then becomes a trivial task in almost all
    ambient light.

    In the modern 35mm world, 1/300 sec is about the fastest you can get,
    but 1/250 sec is common and worth every penny extra (over the cost of
    lesser gear) if you use flash more than just occasionally.
    T P, Aug 26, 2003
  4. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Slow synch is not a "feature" but a problem. Furthermore any camera that
    will synch at 1/120th will synch at 1/60th too - and 1/30th and 1/15th etc.
    The faster the synch the less ambient light, the less worry about
    blur, and the less worry about weird colour caused by light bulbs. One of
    the reasons for the use of expensive leaf shutter lenses in professional
    photography is the fast shutter synch available with them.
    You may prefer to use old, crippled cameras, but that does not make
    them better than modern equipment.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    New email - Contact on the Menyou page.
    Tony Spadaro, Aug 26, 2003
  5. etc.

    Agreed, but a problem with a cost. Actually, the F80's synch speed is 1/90
    sec., not 1/60 - that's not good, but it's not as bad as the poster thought.
    I have several cameras (one made in 1994, believe it or not) that synch at
    1/30. I also have three that synch at 1/250, one at 1/125 and one at 1/500.

    Jim MacKenzie, Aug 26, 2003
  6. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Tony Spadaro, Aug 27, 2003
  7. Don't laugh - Fed 5c. Latest and, err, greatest (okay, far from that) of
    the former Soviet and now Ukrainian factory in Kharkov. I've gotten on a
    Russian & Ukrainian camera habit lately and have acquired a bunch of the
    Feds and Zorkis (which were made in suburban Moscow). All of them have a
    1/30 synch speed, even the most recent. I believe Fed stopped making
    cameras in about 1996, but Zorki's manufacturer still lives on making
    Zenits. Some of these cameras are surprisingly good, and none are
    expensive. The last two I bought cost me $30 US each including airmail
    shipping from Russia, with a lens.

    Jim MacKenzie, Aug 27, 2003
  8. These cameras have always piqued my interest. I understand there are huge,
    let us say, variations in quality control with the bodies. Any recommended
    vendors for them?

    Mike Lipphardt, Aug 27, 2003
  9. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Tony Spadaro, Aug 27, 2003
  10. I've bought most of mine from eBay and to be honest, of the four that I've
    actually laid hands on (two more I recently bought are still in transit),
    only one was good out of the box (and it's still good, although it needed a
    minor repair on the shutter dial that I was able to do myself - just a screw
    tightening). I bought that camera from His
    prices are pretty fair (though higher than they were then) but the camera
    was in terrific condition.

    A viable alternative is to just take your chances on eBay and budget to get
    the camera professionally serviced, if it needs it. There is a fellow named
    Oleg ( that repairs these cameras very well
    at very fair prices, even considering the cost of shipping to Russia. The
    three earlier mentioned cameras are in transit to him and I've gotten a ton
    of good references from trustworthy people on the russiancamera mailing

    You might want to join our list if you're interested in learning more.

    The cameras I'd recommend for a newbie to these cameras would be the Fed 2
    (doesn't have slow shutter speeds, but it's probably the best value in the
    Fed line, very well made and solid), Fed 3 (either version, the a looks
    cooler but the b is cheaper and more common) or the Zorki 4 or 4K (the 4 has
    a winding knob which I find feels more appropriate with an RF camera (!) ...
    the 4K has a winding lever). Fed 5 series bodies are cheap and plentiful on
    the net, and have wonderful lenses, but they are probably the worst of the
    Russian and Ukrainian bodies to use. By all means buy one later for fun,
    but I wouldn't recommend it as your first camera.

    Jim MacKenzie, Aug 27, 2003
  11. It works but it leaks light. :) It's en route to Russia for repairs. In
    retrospect it's better to buy 1950s to early 1970s Russian and Ukrainian
    cameras, as evidenced by my rock-solid 1977 Zorki 4K, my Fed 2 (which needs
    a shutter overhaul, but it is fifty years old; it winds like a Leica, no
    joke) and my on-the-way new purchases, Fed 3a and 3b (probably the best
    compromise of features and reliability).

    Jim MacKenzie, Aug 27, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.