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TTL flash trigger for M43 Panasonic/Olympus cameras?


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#1 Pseudonym

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 03:58 AM

Hi guys,

 

As the subject suggests, I'm looking for an optical flash trigger for my Panasonic GH2 (Nauticam housing).

 

I could just get this basic one:

http://www.bluewater...l-flash-trigger

 

Technically, that's designed for the GH4, but there's not much to it, so I presume it would also work on the GH2. I'll check this before purchase obviously, but any opinions would be welcome.

 

However, that model doesn't support TTL, which would be a nice feature to have. Does anyone know if such a product exists? An optical TTL flash trigger for M43 Panasonic (or Olympus) cameras?

 

Cheers.



#2 tamas970

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 04:20 AM

Subscribed to the topic! Although I'd stick to manual mode with my gx80, because of its slow default sync speed.



#3 bvanant

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 02:18 PM

I don't think anyone has a TTL flash trigger for the u4/3 cameras and it is not clear that the Nauticam trigger will fit in your housing, check this carefully.  Getting an LED to drive TTL is not terribly simple for optically triggered strobes. As you know typically TTL is obtained by the internal strobe sending out a weak signal then measuring the resulting intensity then sending out the true strobe signal.  Neither Olympus nor anyone else has published the inner workings of their TTL (except in some difficult to understand patents) so this is tricky.

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#4 Pseudonym

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 03:43 AM

Thanks Bill.

 

To be honest, I probably don't need TTL... I've managed without it thus far. I just saw that Nauticam had a TTL flash trigger for Canon (http://www.bluewater...l-trigger-canon) and wondered if a similar thing existed for the M43 cameras.

 

It looks to me as if the GH2 should have enough room inside the housing for the GH4 flash trigger, but I haven't been able to find any specs with the trigger's dimensions. Here's a comparison of the GH2 to GH3 flash (and the GH4 appears to be much the same as the GH3):

gh2+vs+gh3+front+flashes.jpg

 

 

Anyway, I've taken a bunch of photos of the space inside my housing, and will ask the shop to confirm whether this trigger will work or not.



#5 chinschino

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 04:38 AM

Theres one designed for EM5 Mark II & EM1 made by nauticam :)

http://www.bluewater...trigger-olympus

#6 chinschino

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 04:38 AM

Theres one designed for EM5 Mark II & EM1 made by nauticam :)

http://www.bluewater...trigger-olympus

#7 Draq

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 11:04 AM

I am hoping that Nauticam will offer one of the UW Technics TTL flash triggers for an E-M1 II housing once they get that going.



#8 makar0n

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:44 AM

Thanks Bill.

 

To be honest, I probably don't need TTL... I've managed without it thus far. I just saw that Nauticam had a TTL flash trigger for Canon (http://www.bluewater...l-trigger-canon) and wondered if a similar thing existed for the M43 cameras.

 

It looks to me as if the GH2 should have enough room inside the housing for the GH4 flash trigger, but I haven't been able to find any specs with the trigger's dimensions. Here's a comparison of the GH2 to GH3 flash (and the GH4 appears to be much the same as the GH3):

gh2+vs+gh3+front+flashes.jpg

 

 

Anyway, I've taken a bunch of photos of the space inside my housing, and will ask the shop to confirm whether this trigger will work or not.

 

hmm any luck ? :)

As i am in the same boat..have GH2 and would love the optical trigger but officially it only fits GH4 :S



#9 dreifish

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 03:31 AM

I have the Nauticam GH4 flash trigger left over from my previous GH4 rig. If anyone is interested in purchasing one second hand :)



#10 makar0n

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 10:38 AM

I have the Nauticam GH4 flash trigger left over from my previous GH4 rig. If anyone is interested in purchasing one second hand :)

 

question is if it fits...unless you have that GH4 rig to go with it?  ;)



#11 Pseudonym

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 01:19 AM

 

hmm any luck ? :)

As i am in the same boat..have GH2 and would love the optical trigger but officially it only fits GH4 :S

I'm just waiting to hear back from Nauticam now. I'll post up the reply when I get it.

 

 

I have the Nauticam GH4 flash trigger left over from my previous GH4 rig. If anyone is interested in purchasing one second hand :)

I'm very keen. If the price is right, I could even be tempted to take it even if Nauticam say it won't fit, and then just hope I can modify it. Hmm... I'll send you a PM.



#12 makar0n

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 12:47 PM

hmm...found and interesting topic...turns out somebody already makes something that might fit :)

 

http://wetpixel.com/...ic=44632&page=1

 

My next thing to try if the Nauticam trigger won't fit GH2 housing..



#13 Pseudonym

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 08:14 PM

I have the Nauticam GH4 flash trigger left over from my previous GH4 rig. If anyone is interested in purchasing one second hand 

Hey Andrei, I've sent you a PM.  :) Is it possible to get the measurements for this?


Edited by Pseudonym, 29 October 2016 - 08:15 PM.


#14 makar0n

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 02:57 PM

well got the Nauticam mini flash trigger (thanks Andrei :) )...and well...it does not fit GH2 housing :s

There are 3 main problems:

-it is too long - one cannot insert it fully into the hot shoe

-back is too big - existing camera strobe switch at the back of the housing won't fit

-LEDs are too low - below the fiber holes (at least appears so...not tested yet as waiting for batteries)

 

Well but not all is lost...trigger is very easy to dismount and it is basically made of three parts connected - hotshoe, battery compartment and LED board...so what I am thinking is either of two things:

-plug it without any trigger housing, just the pieces, perhaps tape/glue inside the housing

-create a new "box" for trigger itself...either using some paper stuff or perhaps 3D print ?

 

Well or the third option...order the trigger from the other topic :D

Either way, will be away for a while hence this will have to wait but planning to try (once tested with batteries in that the strobes react to the trigger) the 3D print option...perhaps scan the existing "box", then modify i.e. shorten, raise the LEDs and cut the back so the strobe latch fits in....That's the idea at least...dunno, as never did any 3D printing :D



#15 Pseudonym

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 06:10 PM

Looks like our flash triggers arrived at much the same time, Makar0n. And yeah... I ran into the same issues as you.

 

There's also another problem you may potentially hit - you need a top-notch fibre optic cable in order to trigger the strobes (at least for Sea&Sea YS-D1 strobes). I believe it has to be a 613-core cable in order to transit enough light from the trigger's LEDs. My old cables worked with the GH2 camera flash, but were not good enough for the trigger.

 

 

Like you, I took the trigger apart. I found the solution was to fit the circuit board in sideways. Here's how:

 

1) Replace the wires to the hotshoe and LED board with longer ones, so you've got more room to work. (I also replaced the LEDs with more powerful ones, but that still wasn't enough to make up for shitty fibre cables.)

 

2) Carve out a block of polystyrene to fit the space in the housing. Slice in half so you've got a top and bottom to sandwich the LEDs between. The thickness of the top slice is important to ensure the LEDs sit at the right height to meet the fibre optic cables. Carve little notches in the polystyrene for the LEDs and LED board. Fit back together into one block.

 

3) Wrap it all up with duct tape so it looks professional (well, kinda... :P) and doesn't shed polystyrene bits everywhere. The main circuit board tucks neatly underneath.

 

4) Insulate the bottom battery with a small rubber band or bike inner tube (a road bike tyre works well) so the sides can't touch the battery contact - you only want the top battery to touch.

 

5) I used the little plastic cap from my battery packaging to hold the two batteries in a stack with the metal contact running up the side.

 

6) Use a larger rubber band or inner tube (I recommend a mountain bike) to go around everything and hold it all in place.

 

It may take a couple of attempts to get the right dimensions of polystyrene block, but once you've found it, it should just wedge itself in place and sit firmly with no tape or glue required.

 

I got this working just before I went to the Solomons for a week. It works like a dream - I love it. With the fast strobe recycle times, I was able to get shots that would have been impossible previously.

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#16 Pseudonym

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 06:14 PM

Do you think this voids my warranty?  :P



#17 dreifish

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:14 AM

Hahaha, quite creative solution there, Pseudonym! 

 

With the GH5 apparently forgoing the built-in flash, I'm thinking the value of the GH4 flash trigger just went up. Perhaps I should've kept mine :D



#18 Pseudonym

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 01:55 PM

With the GH5 apparently forgoing the built-in flash, I'm thinking the value of the GH4 flash trigger just went up. Perhaps I should've kept mine :D

True! (And what a silly decision that was by Panasonic.)

 

You'd hope that Nauticam would design their GH5 housing with enough room to take the GH4 trigger. Surely they would...



#19 ScubaBob

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 06:42 PM

My guess is built in trigger on the NA-GH5.


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#20 makar0n

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:58 AM

Looks like our flash triggers arrived at much the same time, Makar0n. And yeah... I ran into the same issues as you.

 

There's also another problem you may potentially hit - you need a top-notch fibre optic cable in order to trigger the strobes (at least for Sea&Sea YS-D1 strobes). I believe it has to be a 613-core cable in order to transit enough light from the trigger's LEDs. My old cables worked with the GH2 camera flash, but were not good enough for the trigger.

 

 

Like you, I took the trigger apart. I found the solution was to fit the circuit board in sideways. Here's how:

 

1) Replace the wires to the hotshoe and LED board with longer ones, so you've got more room to work. (I also replaced the LEDs with more powerful ones, but that still wasn't enough to make up for shitty fibre cables.)

 

2) Carve out a block of polystyrene to fit the space in the housing. Slice in half so you've got a top and bottom to sandwich the LEDs between. The thickness of the top slice is important to ensure the LEDs sit at the right height to meet the fibre optic cables. Carve little notches in the polystyrene for the LEDs and LED board. Fit back together into one block.

 

3) Wrap it all up with duct tape so it looks professional (well, kinda... :P) and doesn't shed polystyrene bits everywhere. The main circuit board tucks neatly underneath.

 

4) Insulate the bottom battery with a small rubber band or bike inner tube (a road bike tyre works well) so the sides can't touch the battery contact - you only want the top battery to touch.

 

5) I used the little plastic cap from my battery packaging to hold the two batteries in a stack with the metal contact running up the side.

 

6) Use a larger rubber band or inner tube (I recommend a mountain bike) to go around everything and hold it all in place.

 

It may take a couple of attempts to get the right dimensions of polystyrene block, but once you've found it, it should just wedge itself in place and sit firmly with no tape or glue required.

 

I got this working just before I went to the Solomons for a week. It works like a dream - I love it. With the fast strobe recycle times, I was able to get shots that would have been impossible previously.

 

 

hah awesome work :)

Think will go with your design...3d printing looks tad too expensive considering all the prototypes needed and me having to run back and forth between the printing cafe and home...

 

hmm regarding the fiber optic cable..which one are you using now ? got iDive ones and they work fine with built in flash but dunno about the trigger


My guess is built in trigger on the NA-GH5.


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and my money is on Nauti releasing some extra trigger with TTL that will cost $$$

or ramping price of the housing way up if built in...they are turning into an Apple of an underwater world :D