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Author Topic: Leaf shutter and flash sync questions  (Read 2739 times)
larkis
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« on: November 01, 2012, 09:53:28 AM »
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I was wondering what makes typical DSLR's unable to sync at more than 1/250th of a second vs systems like the hasselblad or phase ? What makes those other systems have the ability to do this ? Is it the leaf shutter lenses ? And if so, what is it about the leaf shutter that enables this ? If the technology exists to enable this, why can't it be put into something like a D800 body ?
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 11:31:03 AM »
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Say your dSLR has a native sync speed of 1/125th then at any speed higher than 1/125th the camera is in fact exposing for 1/125th of a second, but is doing so with a slit only a fraction of the height of the frame, such that any part within the frame sees light for less time. At 1/1000th of a second for instance the slit is only 1/4th the height of the sensor.

If you need further illustration you can google around for "focal plane shutter" and "flash sync" and I'm sure you'll turn up dozens of illustrations and videos.

You can use a flash sync system like Canon's HSS or Nikons' equivalent which turns the flash from a single-flash into a defacto continuous light source. This allows you to sync even at 1/8000th, but at the cost of losing a lot of light compared to the standard maximum for that flash using traditional flash sync. Likewise there are systems that allow you to use studio strobes with very slow/long flash durations that will last throughout the total transit time of the shutter, thereby dragging the flash along the entire transit of the slit. This likewise loses power as a ratio of [stated shutter speed / actual transit time] as compared to a strobe with normal flash duration which fits within a standard exposure. It also creates an uneven distribution of light across the frame since strobes fire in a pulse which starts at nothing, ramps up to the peak output, and the falls back down; though for many strobe/shutter-speed combinations the extent of unevenness can be made to be negligible.

A Leaf shutter lens usually has a slower maximum shutter speed, but because of the radial/rotational manner in which the blades of the shutter open and close the entire frame is exposed at once no matter what speed it's set to. The Phase One and Leaf backs employ an additional trick of sensor timing and electronics to extend the max sync speed to 1/1600th from a mechanical 1/800th.

Leaf Shutter Lenses are a pretty niche market and always have been. For people who need them there are really very few alternatives that don't involve major compromises (e.g. shooting through several stops of ND filter on a dSLR or having to have several times the number of lights to make a HSS-or-similar sync option work). For people who don't need them there are very few advantages and obvious disadvantages (leaf shutters add weight, complexity-i.e.-cost, and size to any given lens design). The best system (in my highly biased opinion) is one like the Phase One DF platform which allows for both Leaf Shutter lenses and standard Focal Plane lenses.

I suspect the reason Canon/Nikon have not pursued it is the very high cost of developing an entire system of new lenses vs. the return for their market. Developing an entire lens lineup for the small % of the market that love/need/want leaf shutter lenses probably does not make sense for them. Especially when there are entrenched players in that market that already have leaf shutter lenses as well as a greater focus on the feature sets (very high res, very fast tethering, large sensors, waist level viewfinders, compatibility with tech/view cameras) most likely to be desired by those in the market for leaf shutter lenses.

At some point it's very likely that most pro cameras will have "global shutters" whereby the sensor itself simply flickers on and off for whatever desired length and thereby can sync without any physical shutter at all. However I predict (only an informed guess mind you) that this will be 3-5 years from now. You can already see the implications on some smaller point and shoot systems (the sensors for which this is much easier to implement). 
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 11:33:16 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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FredBGG
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 11:32:33 AM »
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See this thread for the ways to achieve high speed sync with DSLRs and MF leaf shutter lenses.

With the right technique you can actually achieve much higher flash syn speeds with a 35mm DSLR even with studio type strobes.
You just need more flash power to start with due to the "scan" nature of high shutter speeds with a 35mm DSLR.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=71679.0

Pentax, Nikon, Sigma and Canon are looking into leaf shutter lenses.

Leica makes an adapter to make Hasselblad leaf shutters lenses work on the S2
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 11:39:09 AM by FredBGG » Logged
Bernd B.
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 11:35:18 AM »
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I was wondering what makes typical DSLR's unable to sync at more than 1/250th of a second vs systems like the hasselblad or phase ? What makes those other systems have the ability to do this ? Is it the leaf shutter lenses ? And if so, what is it about the leaf shutter that enables this ? If the technology exists to enable this, why can't it be put into something like a D800 body ?

A leaf shutter workes completely different from a focal plane shutter:

It has to be integrated in every lens and thus limits the maximum aperture.

It makes the lens bigger, heavier and more expensive. Also service cost ist higher.

The speed is limited compared to a focal plane shutter (1/500 with classic compur, 1/800 with Hasselblad H and 1/1600 with Phase One).

IMHO it is not possible to combine a leaf shutter with a fast motordrive.

Bernd
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yaya
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 12:18:42 PM »
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A leaf shutter workes completely different from a focal plane shutter:

It has to be integrated in every lens and thus limits the maximum aperture.

It makes the lens bigger, heavier and more expensive. Also service cost ist higher.

The speed is limited compared to a focal plane shutter (1/500 with classic compur, 1/800 with Hasselblad H and 1/1600 with Phase One).

IMHO it is not possible to combine a leaf shutter with a fast motordrive.

Bernd

Some lenses such as the Rollei PQS series can go to 1/1,000 AND keep a very high frame rate (higher than any other MF system) if used on the Hy6/ AFi body. I have a video that demonstrates it...

In general leaf shutters also generate less vibration compared to focal plane shutters.

I'm with Doug on what he says about Canon/ Nikon not interested in this kind of technology

Yair
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FredBGG
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 12:22:00 PM »
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I suspect the reason Canon/Nikon have not pursued it is the very high cost of developing an entire system of new lenses vs. the return for their market. Developing an entire lens lineup for the small % of the market that love/need/want leaf shutter lenses probably does not make sense for them.  

I suspect the reason Canon/Nikon have not pursued it is the very high cost of developing an entire system of new lenses vs. the return for their market. Developing an entire lens lineup for the small % of the market that love/need/want leaf shutter lenses probably does not make sense for them.

Actually several lenses could very easily be made with LEAF shutters due to the image stabilization designs.
IS designs require a small floating element. This element could be replaced with a LS shutter.

Another way to go is digital shutter like Nikon had on the 70s that could achieve high speed flash sync with no mechanical shutter limitations.
Nikon could make a special edition camera sort of like they did with the D800E.
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yaya
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 12:38:11 PM »
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Actually several lenses could very easily be made with LEAF shutters due to the image stabilization designs.
IS designs require a small floating element. This element could be replaced with a LS shutter.

Well first you need someone who can design and make such a shutter...and there aren't many around as you (may) know...
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FredBGG
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 05:16:06 PM »
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Well first you need someone who can design and make such a shutter...and there aren't many around as you (may) know...

Nidec-Copal make shutters for camera manufacturers. I'm also sure that Canon and Nikon would have no problem making
leaf shutters. Fuji makes leaf shutters and already manufactures for other camera brands.

Leaf shutters are not rocket science.... they have been around for ever.

However I think that they are more likely to introduce and electronic sensor based high speed shutter.
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yaya
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 05:34:48 PM »
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Fuji makes leaf shutters and already manufactures for other camera brands.
Is this based on public info?

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Stefan.Steib
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 05:43:43 PM »
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To get an idea how HSS on Blade shutters works here is a very good link
http://www.scantips.com/lights/flashbasics2b.html

Leafshutters are complicated and expensive. The number of makers has actually shrunk to a handfull, in reality probably
1 (Copal) or 2 (+Prontor(aka zeiss) still making some for industrial and OEM usage).
It is already in sight that Copal may stop making the shutters which is of course a horror scenario for Rodenstock and Schneider, thus they had to try making their own.
With mixed efforts, the Rodenstock (Sinar) solution is stuck at 1/125 sec. The Schneider shutter is even slower.
DHW has showed an ultrafast size 0 Leaf shutter with a 1/1000 sec on the 2012 Photokina see here
http://www.photoscala.de/Artikel/photokina-2012-Rolleiflex-Hy6-Mod2-Rolleiflex-FX-N-Electronic-Shutter.

But then I tell: Itīs all timed for the usage of the CCDīs. As soon as there will be a Global Shutter CMOS available (they are already used for scientific cameras like Andorīs with smaller resolution but ultrahigh framerates) mechanical shutters are dead.

Copal knows this and they are preparing to shut down the leaf shutters. They earn a lot more now for Blade shutters they make for the camera industry.

And thatīs the rest of the story.

regards
Stefan

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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 06:25:39 PM »
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But then I tell: Itīs all timed for the usage of the CCDīs. As soon as there will be a Global Shutter CMOS available (they are already used for scientific cameras like Andorīs with smaller resolution but ultrahigh framerates) mechanical shutters are dead.

Copal knows this and they are preparing to shut down the leaf shutters. They earn a lot more now for Blade shutters they make for the camera industry.

And thatīs the rest of the story.

by the same logic Copal is preparing to shut down the blade shutters also (they are too mechanical)...

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FredBGG
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 06:58:38 PM »
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Is this based on public info?



x100 leaf shutter:

Quote
(P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000* sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000* sec. Bulb (max.60min.)
* 1/4000sec at F8 or smaller apeture, 1/1000 sec at F2
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Stefan.Steib
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 07:47:18 PM »
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>>>>>by the same logic Copal is preparing to shut down the blade shutters also (they are too mechanical)... <<<<<

Thatīs correct, but right now they  probably make 100 or more times more Bladeshutters.
Last year they have already nearly doubled the prices for the classic leaf shutters and everyone in the business knows they can cancel this any day completely.
Nidec Copal is only 4,4% of Nidecs portfolio, the turnaround is shrinking , they had a hard time during the Thailand flooding.

http://www.nidec.co.jp/english/news/indexdata_e/2012/0424-001.pdf

On the Nidec-copal.com site you will see that the leaf shutters are only a very small part of this portfolio. Most of the stuff they build is large volume
electronical managed devices. Their focus is quite clearly for the new products, the old shutter line does not fit very well to the actual techologies they use.

So the countdown ticks.

regards
Stefan

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ondebanks
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 08:02:03 PM »
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So what happened to Seiko? They made the leaf shutters for Mamiya, Bronica etc. from the 1950s to the 1990s. Are they no longer making any?

Some company - I don't know which - is still making very large (65mm and 90mm aperture) leaf shutters for large-format astronomical CCD cameras, like the FLI Proline series. This very low res pic and this animated gif of the 65mm versionare the only images I could find of their shutters.

Ray
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Stefan.Steib
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2012, 08:45:11 PM »
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http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Hattori
merged into Seiko precision inc.
http://www.seiko-p.co.jp/E/devices/dsc/index.html
still making shutters but not for MF or large format.

regards
Stefan
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 09:41:38 PM »
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x100 leaf shutter:

Quote
(P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000* sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000* sec. Bulb (max.60min.)
* 1/4000sec at F8 or smaller apeture, 1/1000 sec at F2

does not mean the shutter is made by Fuji, right ?
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