View Full Version : Question about x-sync

4-Jan-2015, 14:13
Finally want to dip my toes into flash on film.
I'm just a sucker for cinematic lighting and I find it really hard to do with available light.

I've got some equipment already here:
A stand, a shoot-through umbrella, an umbrella bracket, a Nikon SB600 and some very cheap radio triggers.

My idea is to take my Fuji X100 as a digital polaroid to get my exposure right and switch then to film.

The SB600 speed light doesn't have an x-sync port.

What I see online are pc-sync ports that can be attached to speed lights and/or cameras.

Is x-sync and pc-sync the same thing?
If yes, could I use 2 pc-sync ports to put one on the speed light and one on the fuji x100, then unplug the cable and connect it to the mechanical shutter of the film cameras?

The film cameras have a synchro compur or a copal shutter. Each with x-sync.

Thanks for having a look!


4-Jan-2015, 14:26
PC is the fitting for the cord, performing the same function as a hot foot/shoe: providing electrical connections. X is the timing. Virtually every modern camera has X sync, because no one uses flashbulbs anymore. Flashbulbs required about 20/1000 advance firing before the shutter opened, for them to get going. Electronic flash fires immediately, and needs no advance triggering. If you have an old shutter with X or M settings, tape the lever so it never moves off X! (How do I know this?)

What you need to do is put your receivers on the flashes, and the shoe you don't have that I gave the link to in this thread, http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?119093 (the one with the cord hanging off in my link--dont get mixed up as he did, and buy the wrong shoe!) is the way to do that IF your receivers don't already have their own hot shoes (many do) but do have a PC plug on them. Then you plug the transmitter into the digital camera (probably slip it into the camera's hot shoe---does it have one?) for tests, and move it over to the film camera for the real thing, on film. The transmitter should have both a hot foot for the digital camera and a short cord for the film camera's PC fitting, so you can easily switch it back and forth by leaving the cord hanging on the shutter and just moving the transmitter back and forth.

What you want to do is completely doable, and that's how I have my studio set up.

6-Jan-2015, 04:29
Once again, thanks so much Michael!
I'm still puzzled about this whole circuitry and mechanical cameras.
Is the transmitter providing the current? Going through the hot shoe via pc into the shutter and the shutter shorts the circuit?

6-Jan-2015, 06:05
The transmitter has a battery. The camera is just a switch, in this case, that closes the contacts on the transmitter (instead of directly on the flash) when the shutter is wide open. This causes the transmitter to put out a pulse, which the receiver picks up. The receiver has a battery, also, and it functions like the camera--simply as a switch. It closes the contacts that fire the flash, and the flash fires.

The most important thing you need to know is that all of this takes a small amount of real time, not happening instantaneously. Even if your camera has a sync speed of, say, 1/250, that probably won't give enough time for all the radio stuff to happen. You will need to use a lower speed on the camera to give the radio signal time to get where it's going. I usually use 1/100, which is enough to cut out ambient light that isn't the flash, but still allows time for everything to happen. The instructions for the remotes will have suggestions in that regard. The usual symptom of too high a speed may be, depending on your camera, a black band across one side of the picture