1/8000th of a second using Hi-sync. Not using HSS, or using fast flash duration heads at X-Sync. But a perfectly consistent un-graduated exposure all the way across the shutters path at 1/8000th of a second. To those who aren't photographers, you're probably saying, "Well Whoop-de-doo. What ever that means." But if you're a photographer, and you know anything about Hi-sync or Hyper sync, I bet you're wondering, "Well how do you get such a consistent exposure right across the shutter path?" I know I was asking that question myself for more than the last 3 years. Ever since I picked up a Pair of Pocket wizard TT5's and wirelessly connected my Nikon to my Ranger RX pack with the S head. But still for more than 3 years i struggled with some serious banding or hot graduation on the lower quarter to third of the frame. Especially at higher shutter speeds. A year or so later the purchase of a Quadra pack with S heads reduced the degree of variation in the exposure across the graduation. And later still, adding a HS specific ELB head improved that again. But I was still not getting even exposures across the frame. It always meant a work around. No matter what I was shooting.
Shooting ski action or mountain biking I could sometimes control where the light fell in the frame and prevent it from spilling in to or falling on elements within the frame that were in that hot band. Or sometimes even doing the opposite. Painting the flash light only in to the hot band, by turning the camera upside down and letting the skier or athlete be the only object in that part of the sky that could possibly reflect any of the light emitted from the flash head. But, these are all work arounds. Until now. I now have assembled a special combination of flash heads and packs that give perfect even exposure of flash light right across the frame, at speeds right up to 1/8000th of a second. This changes the game altogether. I can mix flash light with full sun ambient any where i want in to the frame without having to compromise the composition or my lighting.
For those of you who don't believe my claims, or doubt that It's possible to get even flash exposure across the frame at 1/8000th. Go ahead, down load this image and check the metadata. I understand, it doesn't prove that I haven't graded out the graduation at the bottom, but you'll have to believe me. That is, until I go and shoot a test like this out side with a mix of ambient and flash, with elements that are lit by sun on one side and flash on the other, that advance from the background to the foreground, and also extend all the way up the frame crossing right across through the shutter path. That stuff can't be corrected in post. Short of hours of fastidious retouching. Depending on the amount of detail in the shot. This is the advantage of the flash pack and head combinations that I have assembled. I can now let my imagination run wild with putting flash lighting any where i want in the frame, right up to 1/8000th of a Sec, with no limitations. I mean none. Bring it on.
Oh, and did i mention power? With these head/pack combos. of which i have three. I can achieve T22 at 1/8000th shutter speed with 200 ISO with just one of these lights positioned at 20 feet from the subject using a maxi light reflector. That's crazy. Let me give you an example of how crazy that is. This shot below of the sun was shot at 1/8000th of a second, T22, at 200ISO. Just to give you some reference.
I've done some proof of concept tests, and that's all they are. Just proof of the ability to shoot at high shutter speeds with fast moving subjects like water splash and light the subject, product, or splash with large flash strobes from a practical distance. These are not speed lights using HSS. No, these are elinchrom strobes. So you have the full range of elinchrom light modifiers to use. And power to burn. The heads could be placed up to 10 meters away from the subject and still achieve the shooting stop on the subject as was achieved in these tests. Please no judging my lighting with this image. It was windy, and I did this set up outside my studio all on my own in less than 1 hour. But with that much fully controllable light, and perfectly even exposure across the shutter path, the possibilities are endless.
test shot at 1/2000 second shutter speed, using Hi-Sync. Although you can't see on this screen resolution copy, the water splash is not quite completely frozen at 1/2000th of a second.
Test shot at 1/2000 second shutter speed, using Hi-Sync. Again, the water splash is not quite completely frozen at 1/2000th of a second, but it is pretty darn close. .
1/4000 of a second shutter speed however, gets a perfectly crisp frozen action on the water splash.
And again here, but without coloured water, the 1/4000 of a second shutter speed gets a perfectly crisp frozen action on the water splash. And the soft flash source to the right rear is lighting the water. But you can still see the real world reflected and refracted in the frozen water.