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Ikelite TTL/DS125 issue solved!


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#1 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 09:50 PM

Ever since I had my D70 upgreaded to TTL I have had a mysterious issue: Every once in a while I could not get the camera to fire when the strobes were turned on. You press the shutter and nothing happens. It would never do it topside or in pool tests. I sent it back to Ikelite and they couldn't find it.

Here it is: Its possible for the battery power on the primary strobe (the one without the red band) to be so low that it won't fire but the aiming light is still on. If the primay strobe power is this low--even if the secondary has power, the camera will not shoot a picture, even without strobe flash. If you turn off the strobes, it will fire.

This is fine. I don't consider it a defect. Just be aware of it. It was frustrating to troubleshoot while on a dive.

UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.

Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85


#2 vannar

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 01:09 AM

Here it is: Its possible for the battery power on the primary strobe (the one without the red band) to be so low that it won't fire but the aiming light is still on.


I guess this is due to the fact that the TTL converter is powered from the strobe?

#3 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:48 AM

I guess this is due to the fact that the TTL converter is powered from the strobe?



Well I don't think that's the issue. If it was I think it would have been easier to solve. In my case the TTL control lights were still functioning normally. I could change to manual or TTL strobe power, adjust FEC etc with no problems. The camera just seemed to be locked up and would not focus or fire. I spent most of the dive restarting the camera and strobes to try to clear it.

Apparently there was just enough battery power to power the aiming light and the TTL converter. Switching to TEST it showed no more power. On land, hooking up the secondary strobe (which had some power left) to the primary end of the sync cord fixed everything. I re-charged the battery and I was in business. Simple problem but frustrating because I would have expected the camera to fire anyway regardless if the strobes were firing. Now that I know it its fine.

I just wanted to share this so others wouldn't have to go through the troubleshooting game.

Edited by UWphotoNewbie, 27 November 2006 - 09:50 AM.

UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.

Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85


#4 LChan

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 11:12 AM

i have had the same problem with my D200/Ikelite housingTTL/ dual DS125.
except my batteries were charged up.
I was told by Ryan at Reef Photo that Ikelite had a problem with the exposure meter turning off and causing this problem. i set the meter to never turn off and I havent had the problem since.
I sent the housing back to Ikelite, and they were not able to fix the problem.

give that a try.
Nikon D200 - Subal housing - 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 17-35mm, 60mm, 105mmVR - Dual Ikelite DS-125 - ULCS arms.
Canon SD550 - Canon housing (pocket videocam)

Larry Chan -- My Webpage

#5 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 01:31 PM

Yeah I heard about that issue.

Funny thing is there are actually 2 contradictory problems related to the meter.

1) if you don't set the camera to turn off the meter in the minimum duration, you can't switch from TTL to manual until the meter turns off.

2) for some versions of the circuitry, when the meter turns off the camera locks up.

Look at: http://www.ikelite.c...s/rexdshoe.html I had problem 1. I thought my problem was problem #2 so I sent it in and they said I have the updated circuitry. When this happened on a dive I set the meter off to 30 minutes (D70 doesn't have an option to never turn off the meter). I turned off the strobes and took a picture (to make sure the meter was on) then turned them on. That didn't help. Only after diving did I realize the problem was with strobe power. Fortunately it kept doing it when I got back to the hotel room. Once I switched strobes to one with a fresher battery it worked.

What happens to your housing when the primary strobe is low?

Also, the thought just occurred to me that the reason the primary strobe always dies first is because its powering the TTL convertor. I wounder how much power it takes?

Edited by UWphotoNewbie, 27 November 2006 - 01:33 PM.

UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.

Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85


#6 markdhanlon

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:13 PM

I have had this same sort of issue with my camera/strobes. I have a canon 350D with Ikelite housing and DS-125.

When the battery power of the strobe gets low, I can't change the TTL settings (increasing or decreasing strobe power), change the strobe to manual and it would not turn on the ready light. However, if I turned the strobe dial to "test", it would light up all three LEDs. If I turned the strobe off and on again, I could change the TTL settings, but not once I took a photo. I sent it to Ikelite, but the could not reproduce it.

It's fine now that I know what the problem is.
Sincerely,
Mark Hanlon


Canon 350D, Ike Housing, dual DS-125, 10-17mm FE, 60mm macro.

#7 LChan

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:17 PM

I don't have a problem with the housing even when the strobe power is low.

i usually take my camera down with a full charge on each of my strobes on every dive, so i don't know if one strobe wil die faster or not. It would make sense, since the camera is not powering the TTL, the strobe would have to.
Nikon D200 - Subal housing - 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 17-35mm, 60mm, 105mmVR - Dual Ikelite DS-125 - ULCS arms.
Canon SD550 - Canon housing (pocket videocam)

Larry Chan -- My Webpage

#8 scorpio_fish

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:32 AM

I had the same issue with D200 housing. Camera would not fire when strobes turned on. It turned out to be the alignment of the connector to the hot shoe.

To test this, turn everything on. Fire camera. Nothing happens (no shutter release). Carefully slide connector off hot shoe very slowly. At some point, the camera (and strobes) will fire.

I sent the unit back to Ikelite to fix. Although I could get the strobes to fire, it was not in TTL mode.
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#9 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:15 AM

I think this is the line of reasoning Ikelite was on when I sent the housing back before the trip. They replace the hotshoe connector. Some of the hotshoe connectors were slightly different and caused problems because they were not pushed all the way in. Thanks for the post. This is always a good thing to check.

This was not my problem. I always do a thorough test of the housing before I get on the boat. I test fire the camera and strobes and give it a quick bath in the pool to make sure nothing is leaking. In my case it worked fine for one complete dive. The minute I got in the water for the second dive it would not shoot. The trouble was, the first dive was a very shallow sea lion frenzy and I shot over 200 shots. So I wasn't too bummed about it. Perhaps my batteries are getting old and I need a second set of batteries.

Just to be aware of the issue. In the film days 250 flashes seemed like a lot. In the digital era its not that many anymore.

UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.

Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85


#10 ikelite

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:37 AM

Explanation from their electrical engineer:

If someone is shooting with dual strobes and want to power the system down, they should turn both strobes off. The secondary strobe is sending a small amount of current through the green wire and trying to power up the microcontroller but cannot provide full current, so that can result in erroneous operation. The only solution is to turn both strobes off. There is simply not enough room in the housing to provide extra circuitry to prevent this from happening. The housing was not intended to be used with the secondary strobe on with the primary strobe off.

I have run both Canon and Nikon TTLs on very low (virtually dead) batteries and never had the camera lock up due to the low battery. In those cases I was using a single strobe. So it does seem to be an issue of dual strobes, with the secondary powered up without the primary being powered up, or with the primary having a dead battery.

The person with the D200 freezing up may have an issue with an older chip, where the freeze up would happen when the meter turns off. They may have sent their housing in before we knew what the root cause of that problem. Our camera would not ever freeze up, and it wasn't until Karl Dietz sent his camera in that we were able to duplicate the condition.

#11 ChrisJ

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:29 AM

I had this frustrating experience also in Hawaii. At that time I also had the d70s housed in Ike, with dual ds125s. On my second dive also camera would not fire, I was troubleshooting most of the dive. I finally gave up and turned everything off. But I decided to try once again and behold, my primary had a noticeable weaker light, so I turned it off and shot the secondary on manual the rest of the dive with no problems.
Nikon D3, 17-35mm f/2.8, 35-70mm f/2.8, 50mm 1.8, 70-300mm VR

#12 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 11:30 AM

Ahha! Chris Thanks for the tip. That's one combination I did not try. You did this with an iTTL housing? When you say you used it on manual did you set the strobe to manual? Or does the TTL module power up?

The housing was not intended to be used with the secondary strobe on with the primary strobe off.


Maybe it works this way anyway? I don't consider this a defect. I just wasn't looking for this problem and so I spent the entire dive troubleshooting. Now that I know the issue it is better. That's why I raise it here.

Thanks for the explanation and help Ikelite!

UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.

Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85


#13 ChrisJ

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:29 PM

Ahha! Chris Thanks for the tip. That's one combination I did not try. You did this with an iTTL housing? When you say you used it on manual did you set the strobe to manual? Or does the TTL module power up?
Maybe it works this way anyway? I don't consider this a defect. I just wasn't looking for this problem and so I spent the entire dive troubleshooting. Now that I know the issue it is better. That's why I raise it here.

Thanks for the explanation and help Ikelite!


I had the iTTL Housing, turned the dial to manual and used the strobe on 1/2 power most of the time.
Nikon D3, 17-35mm f/2.8, 35-70mm f/2.8, 50mm 1.8, 70-300mm VR

#14 dhaas

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 05:01 AM

To Mark Hanlon,

Your Canon and DS125 strobe adjustment problem was likely more the camera's light meter circuit hadn't finished "timing out" if you tried to change TTL or manual settings right after taking a shot. You can't change this on your camera. I think it's something like the light meter stays on 6 seconds after the last "tap" of the shutter button.

Details over at www.DigitalDiver.net in the archives articles.

Hope this helps.

dhaas
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David Haas
www.haasimages.com

#15 markdhanlon

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 11:35 AM

Thanks David. I'll try waiting a little longer to see if that solves the problem the next time it pops up.

It just seemed strange that I didn't seem to have the problem once I put a fresh battery in the strobe.
Sincerely,
Mark Hanlon


Canon 350D, Ike Housing, dual DS-125, 10-17mm FE, 60mm macro.

#16 ikelite

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 08:54 PM

http://www.ikelite.c...s/rexdshoe.html