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Pocket Wizard Hypersync Improves

The latest update to Pocket Wizard Hypersync greatly improves performance.

By Tom Bol | May 24, 2013

I have been a big fan of Pocket Wizard's Hypersync ever since it came out.  In a nutshell, this utility allows shooting at faster sync speeds than the standard 1/250 with strobe packs.  Hypersync recalibrates the shutter/flash burst timing, allowing for much faster sync speeds.  Performance depends on the camera and flash system used.  Why would you want a faster sync speed?  Imagine wanting to shoot flash on a portrait using your new 1.4 lens in the middle of the day.  At ISO 100 in midday sun you wil need a shutter speed of 1/2000 or faster to get the right amibient light exposure.  Another scenario is using fill flash on fast moving subjects.  Both your flash and the amibient light are contributing to the exposure.  If I shoot a mountain biker racing past at 1/250, he is going to be blurry with ghosting from the flash.  But if I use Hypersync and shoot at 1/4000, he will be tack sharp.

I'm an Elinchrom flash user, and performance with the new (beta at this point) software in my Mini TT1, Flex TT5 and ST4s is remarkable.  The biggest change is you now have a choice to set Hypersync for 'reduced clipping' or 'highest energy'.  If you are shooting against white seamless, then you may choose the 'reduced clipping' option to minimize the dark band in your image from your shutter curtain blocking the sensor during fast sync speeds.  But for my shooting it is all about the power, so I set my untis for 'highest energy'.  Did it make a difference? In a huge way!  I was able to shoot my D4 and D800 at 1/8000 and have plenty of light from my Ranger pack illuminating my subject.  The update also helps Elinchrom Quadra performance.  I saw significant increases in flash power using Hypersync.  Take the image above as an example.  This shot was done using a Quadra and a 53" octa light bank.  My settings were 1/1000, F2.2 at ISO 100.  In the past I would have had to have my Quadra close to full power to get this shot.  But for this image the Quadra was set to about 1/4 power.  I'm excited to shoot some long distance action shots using my Rangers, the new bump in performance will be a significant improvement.  The new 'beta' update should become the new standard update in a few weeks.  If you can't wait, you can go to the Pocket Wizard website and download the beta version today.

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Comments

JamesEsq: | May, 31, 2013

Tom, good article. I shoot with a similar setup but on Canon. A question though, does the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger not have built in high speed flash up to 5700sec on port A. How does the use of the wizards improve on this. My wizards have been sitting on the cupboard since I brought the Elins. Love to understand the difference please.

Tom Bol: | June, 04, 2013

Hello!  Good question, I hear from a lot of people asking similar questions.  The only way to get really fast shutter sync speeds is using Pocket Wizard Hypersync, which requires their transmitters such as the FlexTT5, their is no built in hypersync on either the Elinchrom Ranger or Quadra.  I think you might be referring to the flash head duration…the ‘A’ heads have a very fast flash duration (1/6000) depending on the outlet used and their power setting.  Flash duration will freeze action if it is the only source illuminating the subject.  But if both available light and flash duration are illuminating the subject, this is where Hypersync and a fast shutter sync speed will freeze action (or allow fast shutter speeds to use wide open apertures).  Hope this helps!

fablecrab: | June, 24, 2013

Hello,

Thank you very much for your article. I’m using the combination of a Nikon D800 + Pocketwizard mini TT1, TT5, ST4 + Elinchrom RX 600 and I’m trying to get good result with hypersync. Unfortunately I don’t have as good results (even with the last update) as you I think that the problem is coming from my configuration in the Pocketwizard utility.

So would you accept to share the settings you have in the utility on the hypersync tab when using hypersync with Elinchrom lights?

Thanks, best regards

Fabien Nissels
www.fnissels.ch

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