Fast shutter speeds with strobes…..

I get this question a lot so a little post about it:

“Frank can I sync up to 1/8000 with xxxxx on Elinchrom (or any other brand)”

Marie fotoflits ELC Maart 8 2014 (35 of 56)-Edit
1. No you can’t and it will never happen.
Simple reason 1/8000 is the shutter speed and even if it was possible with a mirror less/leafshutter lens the flash duration is not 1/8000 so even with the new ELC you would be “stuck” at app 1/5000 and that’s not even true because there is a raise of the strobe so think more about 1/3000-1/4000 without loss of power.

2. No you can’t.
I know PW is doing a so called hyper sync but this will often only work with the slow strobes, like D-lites, S heads etc. and yes you can sync much higher but you will loose some output, but they are pretty unique with that feature and it has a lot of “things” that you have to make sure off, like camera brand, strobes, settings etc.


3. In short.
the limitation is NOT the strobes, it’s the camera and the way it operates. In the camera there is a shutter curtain which travels across the sensor, this is the black bar you see when shooting too fast.

Most cameras will have an X-sync of 1/125 to 1/160 and sometimes 1/200. The 1/250 you often see are with system strobes, there is always a certain delay between firing the strobe via a trigger in comparison to a system that “talks” to the strobe and receives info back.


Do you need it?
Well outside it’s awesome to work with higher sync speeds (I use a MF camera with leaf shutter lens for it), in the studio it’s 100% unnecessary, the motion is frozen by the flash duration and not by the shutter speed.
So the next time you’re shooting and you’re seeing that black bar, it’s normal, it’s supposed to happen, if you invest in the PW system make 100% sure it works with your strobes and camera, if you own fast strobes (short flash duration) the chance is it will not do what you want.

Loes December 21 2013-203-Edit