High Speed Sync A Canon 7D for $15 bucks
Ok here goes. Ever since I switched from Olympus one of the things I missed most was the ability to high speed sync any flash at any shutter speed. The Canon 7D works way different than the Olympus, you need to use a special wireless trigger, a radio popper, a mini tt1, or a Photix Oden and all of them suffer from one thing or another. The Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 was touted as the best solution for wireless HSS so this was the unit I purchased. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. Not only does it cost $200 bucks, you must buy a flex tt5 to be able to use an off camera speed light in HSS mode. That will cost you another $200 give or take a few bucks. So you are in for $400 and you get the ability to HSS a speed light.
Well I dont care about TTL as a matter of fact TTL sucks. The camera is stupid, I want full control over the light. I use light meters and TTL will take control based on the in camera light meter. Getting consistent results with TTL is hit or miss and impossible with studio lights. Not to mention HSS does not exist with studio lights.
So lets talk a little bout HyperSync; fancy word from Mac Group (the owners of Pocket Wizard) for the HSS tail sync hack. What they do is use a Mini TT1 to allow you to use shutter speeds above the camera native sync speed. Here is the catch, you have to have a speed light or studio light that has a flash duration that falls within the timing adjustment of the Mini TT1. So if your studio strobes duration is too fast you wont be able to get to 1/8000th with out banding.
So when you get the Mini TT1 you will upgrade the firmware and this will give you a download link to the software that lets you control the timings of when the actual RF trigger signal will take place. The idea is to let the Mini TT1 read the preflash signal from a Canon camera and use that information to lock in a timing routine and trigger the transmitter at the offset you have set in the firmware. You must have the Mini TT1 connected via a usb cable in order to make adjustments to various features of which timings and sub timings are one.
In the firmware for the Mini TT1, there is a full auto mode where the camera switches from HSS to Hypersync, or you can check a box to override HSS (Canon High speed sync) and use only Hyper Sync (Pocket wizard micro second adjustable timer). You have the ability to control C1 or C2 (channels 1 and 2). In theory it is a great idea; you can use C1 for speed light settings and C2 for studio strobes. In practice it just doesn’t work with all flashes. They do not mention this until you get to advanced tech at MAC group. The speed of sync you can achieve using the TT1′s Hypersync is limited to your studio strobes flash duration. This is just a fact of life. They will tell you all sorts of things, but when you ask them how to get your studio strobes to sync at 1/8000th, they will tell you it is not possible with all strobes.
This is not what they say in the literature, not what they say in the videos. Mark Wallace Talks about HyperSync at the PocketWizard website here this TT1 and says at :22 seconds , you can use a camera mounted TT1 to sync a studio strobe at 1/500th and higher. What 1/500th? I want to be able to sync my shutter at any speed including 1/8000th. I want full control over ambient. So, you pay $200 for a micro second timer that you have to adjust, over and over, based on changes of the flash power. That sucks! I have figured out how to so the same thing that I did with my Olympus, for my Canon. That is to say I can sync a Canon 7D at 1/8000th with Zero Banding. It doesn’t matter if I use a studio strobe or a speed light. I have tested studio packs and speedlights from Canon, Nikon, Vivatar, Minolta, Speedotron, Novatron and they all work exactly the same, No Banding at any speed.
My Mini TT1 is going back. If you have the extra money to burn and want to to play with TTL flash, that is fine, buy 3 580exII for $450 a pop, and 3 Flex tt5′s for $220 each and a Mini TT1 foe $200. You will also need adapters for various strobes like the $129 PowerST4 Receiver that enables remote power control of Elinchrom RX flashes, or the The $70 AC9 AlienBees Adapter that has to be paired with a FlexTT5 for AlienBees strobes. Oh, and the $100 PowerMC2 for AB Einstein flashes…almost forgot that. Then you have the $70 AC3 Zone controller, that I must admit, is cool to adjust the power of each light from the camera, but you need a TT1 and Flex TT5 to make it work. So lets add up the cost of a 3 light setup using Canon flashes and the Control TL technology from Pocketwizard. Parts needed 1-tt1, 3-tt5′s, 1-ac3, and 3-580exII’s a total of $2280. That is ridiculousness!!! I can show how to Sync your flash at any shutter speed for $15 bucks (provided you have a flash that will put a canon camera in HSS mode)
Also, some infomation from the PocketWizard site says “Canon Speedlite models 580EX and 580EX II, and especially the 430EX (not the 430EX II), emit RF interference that can substantially reduce the effective operating range of many radio slaves, including the FlexTT5…placing the FlexTT5 above the flash by 18” or more… improves reception dramatically.” They sell shields, both soft and hard. They say it is Canon’s fault based on tube placment, shielding, ect. PocketWizard discusses the limitation of certain lenses to stop down completely without banding the image. For details, look at the chart on page four of Preliminary Research Report on Canon 580EX II Flash Failures
By Jim Clark & Tim Ambrose, Research and Development LPA Design” LPA is who makes Pocketwizard. They point the finger at Canon but still replace peoples expensive gear.
In the video, below, I will show you how to HyperSync, HighSpeed Sync, Or SyncHack your Canon 7D, at any shutter speed, for $14 bucks. Well, it’s $15 bucks if you order your little slave from me. Mine come with a little suction cup than will stick to the front of any speed light. Flash Zebra is $16.00 plus shipping and no suction cup. They don have the exact slave I have; their’s is a little different. They have a great company and I have bought a lot of things from them, however, my slaves come direct from Sonia, in India, so I have a limited supply of these. I bought a case of them for testing and this one was the one that worked the best.
First I want to say sorry for the crappy video, it’s long and embarrassing. The content will teach you, but the actual production sucks! I was at home, bored, in the middle of the night, when I made this. Feel free to tell me how bad it sucks, I already know
Watch the video in HD