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Hi and welcome back.

I recently ran a workshop with Milford Photo and Mac Group showcasing the versatility of the new Pocket Wizard Flex system.

One of the things I really wanted to show was the use of High Speed Sync for small flashes and Hypersync for strobe lighting.

The new Pocket Wizard System really lets you take your photography to the next level by allowing you to work in all kinds of lighting situations that were not possible before.

High Speed Sync is based on flash photography.  It allows you to use a shutter speed faster than your camera’s rated maximum synchronization speed, which is usually in the area of 1/200 or 1/250.  This is great for overpowering the sun or darkening a room to get rid of all the ambient light.

You have to remember though that High Speed Sync changes the flash output.  You no longer get a full blast of light, you get a series of pulses that start just before your exposure and end just after.  Because the shutter moves so quickly, High Speed Sync actually tricks the camera into thinking there is more light than not.  So if you have your flash set to 1/1 or full power, the pulses drop the power by 2 stops, so effective output is now 1/4.  This is important to note as you’ll need to review images, adjust aperture to 2.8 or 4, and then maybe even raise ISO.

But the effect is worth it:

Nikon D3, SB900, Creative Light 24×36 Softbox

Exposure: 1/2000 @ f/2.8, ISO 800

For strobe lighting, the effect is called Hypersync, and it is literally the same.  You preset what is called the Hypersync Offset in the Pocket Wizard Firmware  so in effect the triggering system is working like High Speed Sync; that is, it tricks the strobe into giving more light than it wants to.  The strobe fires before the exposure and lasts till after the exposure to effectively light the subject with very, very fast shutter speeds.

Nikon D3, Profoto 300 WS Compact, White Beauty Dish

Exposure: 1/1000 @ f/4, ISO 200

This is how you set the Hypersync Offset.

Go to the Pocket Wizard Firmware, click on the Hypersync/HSS tab, then click on Manual Offset, and then draw the slider to the left.  I did a Google search on it and found various settings to get started.  You will need to test your strobe and camera combination.  Set your Pocket Wizard Flex to an initial setting, test your strobe as far as you can with shutter speed before a black shutter line appears, then reset the offset if needed.

I set my Flex TT1 and all three of my TT5’s this way and get fabulous results with high shutter speeds.

That’s it.  It will take a bit of time to get it set, but it is totally worth it.