like a flash machine


The X100 saga continues with the testing of various flash scenarios. Not content to be a pretty stellar image quality and ISO performer this camera also does superhero duty in the flash syncing department: yes, it really does sync at up to 1/1000s. Get up? Oh yeah, get on up.


Here are some sample shots. The first one is lit with a straight up SB-900 - no diffusion at all, hence the very hard shadow on the white seamless. The speedlight was mounted in the X100 hotshoe with the camera flash set to External Flash ON.  ISO200 at f11 1/250s. Obviously I have the flash set to manual mode, no TTL.

On-camera SB-900

In the second picture I’m using an Elinchrom Skyport, again mounted in the hot shoe. This time I’m triggering a single BX500ri in a basic Portalite softbox. But I’m syncing at 1/1000s. Can’t do that with my D300. We’re not talking power sucking Hi Speed sync here but honest to goodness native flash syncing. ISO 200 at f8, camera set to External Flash (ON Commander).

1/1000s with Skyport

The third picture is also shot at 1/1000s, but back with the SB-900 (again mounted on-camera but aiming to camera left). ISO 200 at f16.

frozen stiff

Btw the third and second pictures are RAW conversions from Silkypix that I then post-processed in Aperture 3. Not a fan of Silkypix (at all) but looking at both the JPEG and RAW converted TIFF files of the same picture makes it clear how much potential this camera holds. Obviously you then lose the film simulations settings… But that's the give and take. It's always a compromise.

Still impressed. And my poor D300 is getting lonely.


P.S. How strange does it feel to have an SB-900 on top of an X100? Well, look at the last picture and try to imagine it in your hands. I had to hold the flash as well as the camera (!).

X100 mounted with SB-900 | yes, the flash IS bigger than the camera.