Pushing the limits of the Nikon D800 flash sync speed

Nikon-D800-flash-sync-speed

Nikon technical specs for the D800 flash sync speed are: up to 1/250 sec, synchronizes with shutter at 1/320s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320s). A reader did some testing and sent me his findings on pushing the D800 flash sync limits - you can basically use the D800 with 1/400 sec flash sync with 90% coverage of the image field:

I tried out how far you could push the flash sync on the D800, since I know the D200 could almost get away with 1/320 with about 85% coverage. What I found was fantastic, I am attaching jpegs straight from the camera as evidence. I have tested is FX, DX and 1.2 crop modes:

Specs:

  • Nikon D800
  • 17-35mm f/2.8 lens (not that it matters)
  • Yong Nuo YN460-II flash at lowest duration (1/64 power). With a longer duration like 1/1 you will get even more information but it will be faded into the black part of these pictures, so this is the worst case scenario.

Findings:

Sync times with 100% coverage of image:

  • FX: 1/320
  • DX: 1/500
  • 1.2 crop: 1/400

Sync times with 90% coverage of image (still very usable for fill flash, etc):

  • FX: 1/400
  • DX: 1/640
  • 1.2 crop: 1/500

FX test images

FX-320sec

FX 1/320 sec

FX-400sec

FX 1/400 sec

FX-500sec

FX 1/500 sec

FX-640sec

FX 1/640 sec

DX test images

DX-400sec

DX 1/400 sec

DX-500sec

DX 1/500sec

DX-640sec

DX 1/640 sec

DX-800sec

DX 1/800 sec

1.2x crop test images

Crop-320sec

Crop 1/320 sec

Crop-400sec

Crop 1/400 sec

Crop-500sec

Crop 1/500 sec

Crop-640sec

Crop 1/640 sec

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