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Thread: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

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    yobenny's Avatar
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    Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Can anyone tell me if there is a way to circumnavigate this cameras settings for shutter speed in manual?

    When I attach an sb flash it automatically reduces shutter speed to 1/200 and I dont want that.

    I want it manual all the way, dont decide for me what is enough light..

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Hello, not sure if this will help you or not, but the reason it's doing that is because that is the fastest shutter speed your camera can sync to the flash. Any faster than that, and there's no point in using the flash, you'll just be capturing ambient light.

    Not sure exactly how it works with Nikon, but on a Canon you have to choose HSS - high speed sync, on the flash and you can select your shutter speed manually. This works by changing the way the Canon Speedlite fires. This only works in ETTL however.

    Without HSS, just remember that aperture controls flash light, and shutter speed controls ambient light.
    Last edited by Andrew76; 25th September 2012 at 03:20 PM.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    I don't know about the D3200, because it does have a reduced feature set. When you put a flash on the hot shoe, the camera automatically selects the maximum shutter speed that your camera can get a flash image with, and on the D90 and D800 (which I own), you can pick any shutter speed below that. THe D800 has HSS capabilites, while the D90 does not, so you would have to check your manual to see if that feature is available.

    In cameras that do not have the HSS option, the maximum shutter speed is determined by the shutter design. Your shutter has two blades. When you press the shutter, the lower blade opens and the exposure starts and then the top blade closes and the exposure is finished. This is what happens at all speeds up to the maximum synch speed. Once you pass that, the operation of your shutter changes slightly. The top blade starts travelling before the bottom blade has reached the bottom position. This means if your flash were to fire, only part of your image would be exposed because the light burst is so short that the slit left open by the two traveling blades would be the only part of the sensor that would be exposed, This is why you cannot override max synch speed with a flash mounted on your camera.

    HSS gets around that by firing continuous pulses of light in synchronization with the position of the shutter slit.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    High Speed Synch is possible with the D90 - don't know about the D3*** series though.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    High Speed Synch is possible with the D90 - don't know about the D3*** series though.
    I just checked my D90 manual, No mention of HSS in it. Synch speed is an unremarkable 1/60s. I certainly don't see it in any of the menu settings. Front and rear curtain, for sure and it has a "strobe" mode that is definitely not HSS.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Can anyone tell me if there is a way to circumnavigate this cameras settings for shutter speed in manual?

    When I attach an sb flash it automatically reduces shutter speed to 1/200 and I dont want that.

    I want it manual all the way, dont decide for me what is enough light..

    It is a limitation of the entry level cameras.
    A dumb flash trigger would let you use higher shutter speeds, but as others have said your camera won't sync higher than 1/200th.
    If you are wanting to use flash in brighter ambient settings, or larger apertures, you can use an ND filter to knock down the light until your shutter is under 1/200.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by Myk View Post
    It is a limitation of the entry level cameras
    Just to clarify, is this a Nikon issue?? I've never had any issues synching flash with any of the 3 Canon models I've tried - and that would include an XSi (450D), which would be considered very entry level, and about 5 model years old.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Not sure about the Canon's; I know that none of the D3000,3100,3200, or 5000,5100 models support HSS.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    According to the Nikon D3200 specification sheet, your camera can work in the following flash modes:

    Flash mode Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with redeye
    reduction, fill-flash, red-eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye
    reduction, rear-curtain with slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off


    Flash can be synchronized at 1/200th sec and slower.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    As far as I know, the D40 has been the only entry-level Nikon with a reasonably high sync-speed (1/500)

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Thanks for all the information, so I guess I have found a camera limitation in three weeks that I dont like and apparently isnt a restraint in higher priced cameras. Another bottomless pit.....
    In the mean time, what about constant light? Is there any source that is good at all outdoors?

    I've been working with hummers and 1/200 is not gonna get it and it's all in the shade.......

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Honestly, I hate to disappoint you, but there's not even a constant light option that makes a good 'indoor' alternative to flash. Some may contest that, but there just isn't enough power provided by constant lighting.
    Last edited by Andrew76; 26th September 2012 at 11:00 PM.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Without HSS, just remember that aperture controls flash light, and shutter speed controls ambient light.
    People often say this - and I know what they're getting it - but it's still a source of confusion as the aperture attenuates both the ambient and flash light. The saying is really only valid is one can / is changing the shutterspeed to compensate for changes in aperture as far as ambient light is concerned ... which is a bit different to being able to change the shutterspeed pretty much with impunity when it comes to the flash component of the light (assuming non-HSS of course).

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Hmmmm
    I'm new at this but I don't know about that statement, I have a 12volt Q-beam that will fry an egg @ 3 feet, don't know how many lumens but maybe I will try to bounce it and see what happens.

    This one has 600 lumens and is self contained, what about that? CLICK HERE

    This one has glare free 3,000,000 candle power what about that? CLICKHERE

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Thanks for all the information, so I guess I have found a camera limitation in three weeks that I dont like and apparently isnt a restraint in higher priced cameras. Another bottomless pit.....
    In the mean time, what about constant light? Is there any source that is good at all outdoors?

    I've been working with hummers and 1/200 is not gonna get it and it's all in the shade.......
    Hi Benny,

    With hummingbirds - if you're trying to freeze them in flight - then the results you're going to get is going to depend on the ratio of ambient to flash light. Although the camera may have a max shutterspeed of 1/200th, if there is only a little ambient light getting in at that speed (perhaps due to a stopped-down aperture) then all of the illumination will be from the flash ... and the flash "does it's thing" in around 1/1000th of a second ... so it's like having 1/1000th of a second shutterspeed.

    That's the concept anyway - in practice, flash durations vary depending on the power (the less the output the faster the pulse completes). What I would do is ...

    - Go manual - 1/200th @ base ISO @ whatever aperture gives a very under-exposed image of the area with no flash being used, and then

    - Use flash at those same settings to capture the bird (at a level sufficient to get a good exposure).

    It may or may not work ... photography is all about managing limitations, and often money comes into it (eg a Canon 1D X with 16 flashes all in HSS mode is doing to do a better job than a Nikon 3200 with a single flash ... then again, you'll have more $$$ left to buy beers at the end of the day!).

    Hope this helps!

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Thanks for all the information, so I guess I have found a camera limitation in three weeks that I dont like and apparently isnt a restraint in higher priced cameras. Another bottomless pit.....
    In the mean time, what about constant light? Is there any source that is good at all outdoors?

    I've been working with hummers and 1/200 is not gonna get it and it's all in the shade.......
    The higher priced cameras do have a constraint as well; while they may have a higher synch speed (my D90 is 1/60 and my D800 synchs at 1/250 sec, if HSS is not used). This is actually less of a limitation than you think. The maximum pulse length on your SB700 is around 1/1000 sec and gets even faster than that as the power level reduces.

    You should still be able to get a reasonable shot, but it may take a bit of trial and error to set up. What you want to do is minimize the impact of ambient light on your exposure, so shooting at your synch speed and stopped right down to a fairly high f-stop number and as low an ISO setting that you can get means that you are minimizing the amoutn of ambient light that hits your sensor. Adding the flash and using TTL or if this does not work, manual flash settings means that you should be able to get an exposure based on the flash duration.

    Every camera has its limitations; but there are potentially some creative work arounds if you understand how the equipment works.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Hmmmm
    I'm new at this but I don't know about that statement, I have a 12volt Q-beam that will fry an egg @ 3 feet, don't know how many lumens but maybe I will try to bounce it and see what happens.

    This one has 600 lumens and is self contained, what about that? CLICK HERE

    This one has glare free 3,000,000 candle power what about that? CLICKHERE
    If you can concentrate it on a small area then it may help, but I've tried to shoot portraiture with 4x 500W halogens ... and only had marginal results. As a comparison, the lighting in my studio is 8 x 40W flourescents for a total of 320w - the peak power from the studio strobes is in the region of 6 MILLION watts, which is why we leave the studio overhead lights on when we're shooting - they don't contribute anything to the exposure (but are still fine for us to see with).

    If you're needed fast shutterspeeds or narrow apertures then you need LOTS of light - and that means strobes in most cases.

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    What you want to do is minimize the impact of ambient light on your exposure ...
    Old news Manfred

    (ha ha, beat you to it!)

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Here is my take on Nikon vs Canon cameras (which is really what we have been talking about)...

    If you choose one of the top line cameras, IMO, it doesn't really matter which flavor you choose. The top line Nikons and top line Canons are pretty well that - TOP LINE CAMERAS and have pretty well all the bells and whistles needed.

    However, if you choose one of the more basic models, there are some things which Canon includes and which Nikon excludes.

    The three shot Auto Exposure Bracketing when in burst mode is one thing. All Canon DSLR cameras (I have used Canon cameras as old as the D60 and 10D as well as Digital Rebel series cameras as old as the 350D) have the capability to shoot three shots with AEB and then stop. This is a darn handy feature because AEB is not simply a crutch to be used by potographers who are not competent with their cameras. Some Nikon entry level cameras do not have that capability.

    Apparently some of the basic Nikon cameras cannot work with High Speed Sync. This is a serious lack (far more serious to me than the lack of three shot AEB burst) because I use fill flash in a great percetage of my outdoor shooting - specially for shots of people. The Canon non-HSS sync speed is 1/250 second. If I did not have the advantage of HSS, I would need to keep my shutter speed at or below 1/250 second which would restrict my f/stop.

    Finally, any Canon Rebel series camera and any Canon camera subsequent to 10D (including 20D and onward) will work with any Canon autofocus lens...

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    Re: Nikon 3200 shutter speed controls

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    Can anyone tell me if there is a way to circumnavigate this cameras settings for shutter speed in manual?

    When I attach an sb flash it automatically reduces shutter speed to 1/200 and I dont want that.

    I want it manual all the way, dont decide for me what is enough light..
    For hummingbirds, it doesn't matter that you don't have AutoFP High Speed Sync.

    First, some technical clarifications. The D3200 has a maximum sync speed of 1/200s. It is a function of Nikon cameras to not allow the selection of shutter speeds faster than the sync speed when flash is being used. (As an aside, the Nikon D90 also has a maximum flash sync of 1/200s. The D90 also supports AutoFP High Speed Sync, as stated on page 270 of the D90 manual.)

    If you are trying to use flash to freeze hummingbirds, well, that's a tricky thing. AutoFP doesn't work for this task. The purpose of AutoFP is to allow the use of fill flash with large apertures in bright daylight.

    Also, fast shutter speeds of 1/4000s won't help either. Once again, those really fast shutter speeds are there to allow large apertures to be used in daylight. Regardless of how fast you set the shutter speed, the shutter on a D3200 still requires at least 1/250s to complete the exposure. That's much slower than the 1/4000s that you set, but that's simply how a focal-plane shutter works.

    AutoFP turns the flash into a continuous light source, and that means that you'll get the same distortion of the bird's wings at fast shutter speeds that you'd get without flash.

    People who are into hummers will set up a bank of flash units very close to the feeder. All units will be set to their lowest power setting. This is because the flash duration depends on the power setting. A typical flash will have a full-power flash duration of 1/800s, but will also have a 1/64 power flash duration of 1/25,000s or even faster. And that's the trick to freezing the wings...having several flash units fire at their shortest duration. The short duration freezes the wings, and multiple units give you the light you need for the exposure.

    The lowest ISO for a D3200 is ISO 100. The light level in open shade is about 11-12 EV(100). You should be able to shoot at 1/200s and f/11, which is three stops below correct exposure for ambient light. You didn't say which flash you have, but an SB-600 set at 1/64 power and 85mm zoom can be placed about 1 1/2 feet from the expected location of the hummer. You need a way to remotely fire the flash with a wired/flash/radio setup. Using two flash units will allow you to shoot at f/16 and suppress ambient light even further.

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