2nd curtain sync with a Canon 5D

aka “Merlin’s Rockstar Flash” aka rear curtain flash aka 2nd curtain flash

  1. Hit Menu
  2. Scroll down to custom functions, hit select
  3. Change custom function #15 from a 0 to a 1 to enable 2nd curtain flash
  4. Hook up a flash (if using a 550/580EX, change setting on your flash to enable 2nd curtain, if using a 420/430EX camera controls it)
  5. Change shooting to Tv mode, slow down the shutter speed to 1/30th a second or slower (it won’t work at faster shutter speeds)
  6. Take photo, flash should fire at the start of your photo and again at the end, producing a cool effect of half blurry with some sharpness captured by the flash.

(I’m writing this down because it took an hour of researching down ratholes to find it and I keep forgetting the entire process)

Published by mathowie

I build internet stuff.

5 replies on “2nd curtain sync with a Canon 5D”

  1. Hmmm…I think Merlin’s Rockstar Flash isn’t actually rear curtain flash. When he showed his camera to me, he was turning on a setting on his camera that said simply “slow sync” flash — most point and shoots don’t give you the granularity of front vs. rear curtain sync — so we can’t be certain if the flash fired at the beginning or the end of the exposure. To me it looks like it was front curtain + long exposure.
    Slow sync = camera uses a long shutter speed with the flash, can be used with front curtain or rear curtain
    Rear curtain = flash is fired only at the end of the exposure, works best with moving objects who leave behind motion trails


  2. Here’s something I noticed with the Canon 350d and a 430EX flash: second curtain works fine with the flash on-camera in all shutter speed settings, but if you take your flash off-camera (with PocketWizards or cheap triggers) it will only fire second curtain if you use the bulb setting, meaning you need to manually count seconds to get it right.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: