Wednesday, May 25, 2011


    I have really been hoping to use the "hypersync" feature of the PocketWizard Power ST4 with the Elinchrom Ranger for some of our shots, but it doesn't work as I had hoped (according to all the hype anyways). Not like the sync speed of Speedlights and the Flex TT5, which by the way we use frequently right up to 1/8000 sec with no problem at all. Except for the lack of power. Thats where the Ranger comes into play.  

    After trying in vane to get 1/8000th sec sync speed to give usable results using the Ranger (I had been trying to figure it out with a photog in Seattle who has the same setup), I finally settled on the fact that, using the "A" head, it is just not possible, unless you have a camera with an electronic shutter (Nikon D70, Nikon D300s, Canon 1D-ancient!) .  I've been talking with a photog in the UK who is shooting with the "S" head, 5D markII, 50mm f1.2l and syncing clear up to 1/8000. You can check out his post on sync speeds here

    However, I was able to achieve usable sync speeds using the "A" head of 1/320 and 1/500 using the Power ST4 on the Ranger. I was going to post a shot at 1/1000 just to show the results, but suffice it to say that it's not usable in my opinion.  Anyhow, enough talking. Except one more thing- I did throw some speedlights into the mix too.

This shot was taken at 1/500th of a second. If you look at the right side of the frame you can see some shading happening from the camera shutter. It's less noticeable on the sky and more noticeable on the foreground. But 1/500 sec on a full frame camera using a Elinchrom strobe is pretty awesome!

Shot at 1/320 sec- you can still see the banding on the right side of the frame in the foreground, although it is much narrower than at 1/500.

Yup, you guessed it- 1/300 sec sync.  Those are four Canon speedlights firing at full power, zoomed to 70mm, about four feet away. If you look at the rim light they are creating on Kenya, you can see they are only lighting from her arms up. They have to throw a tighter beam of light to even be usable in direct sun. The Ranger was about seven feet away and had power to spare and it was throwing a MUCH larger spread of light using a white wide angle reflector....

The light is a little hot in this one- the ambient changed because of a cloud and I didn't adjust the Ranger's power for it in this shot. The Speedlights didn't even fire here- they hadn't recharged yet.  The AA batteries just can't keep up with full power firing, which makes the Canons kind of a let down compared to the Ranger RX- which is why we have some new battery packs on the way for them (: Can't wait to try those out!

1/320 sync, Ranger RX camera right, Canon Speedlights camera left at 90deg to me.

Here is my disclaimer- this is not the way things are, just my opinion, so take for what it is. With some cropping I believe that 1/500th sec sync speeds are very usable with the Ranger RX and A head combo. Some day I hope to get an S head so we can sync even faster and maybe shoot wide open during the middle of the day. If anybody has any questions about this, feel free to post them below.

Southern Oregon and Medford Photographer

1 comment:

  1. I love the look you are getting with this setup! Thanks for posting this.



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