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DIY LED trigger flash


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#21 slowhands

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:00 AM

Yes it is true that the 7D has a built in flash and that is often the best way to use it, BUT the original poster was looking for a way to fire the flash manually not using the strobe at full power. If you use the built in strobe, even at 1/128 power it still will send out pulses to focus that will shoot off your external strobes. A small LED that fired even for 50 ms would allow you to get manual FO control of your strobes without waiting for the internal strobe to recycle or for the internal strobe to trigger the external strobes to send out a focus pulse
Bill


It is possible to do this. If you just want a manual trigger and will use your strobe in manual, that's very simple. If you want to try to do DSTTL, it is more expensive. How much would people be willing to pay for such a device?

#22 elanarchist

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:58 AM

I'm looking for this too. I have a G10 with a fried internal flash controller but the hot shoe still works. All I want to do is to trigger my strobe in manual and it doesn't have to be pretty. I've searched but all that I've found are the 10bar hot shoe plug http://10kphoto.com/...products_id=386 or http://scubasymphony...products_id=727 but those are just the hot shoe plug.. Please advise.. Thanks

#23 zee

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 08:02 AM

I've been looking at making a trigger for my Inons, and came upon this thread... I don't care about TTL, as all my strobe and shooting settings are manual - I just want a trigger, and I don't want the camera flash used to trigger it, simply because I want max battery time, and with the flash down, it may be possible to sync to faster than 1/250...

Anyway, I was thinking about building up a circuit, and came upon this...

For $35, it may just work (with a little minor tweaking). I'm looking at getting it to fit in a Nauticam housing, though I only just got my 7D, and the housing will be a little while away yet... I'm trying to find dimensions, but by the looks of it, it may just fit in the area that the pop up flash uses - though a little modding may be needed, an dI still need to test if the IR will actually trigger my Inons or not...

Z...

Edited by zee, 30 April 2011 - 08:24 AM.


#24 oskar

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 05:44 AM

I finally got around making a prototype hot shoe optical trigger that fits my Sea & sea DX-G1 housing.

* A single 1ms flash pulse is provided by the camera in all modes - this means no eTTL. Only a single flash, no pre flashes. This is fine for me as I set the YS110 in "Manual2" and adjust power on the flash directly.
* On land, I got a hit rate of 10/10

I'll get back with more details as soon as I have verified results in water too.

The DX-G1 is painfully slow when handling raw-files, so I don't seem to shorten the time between shots. But the camera battery should last much longer, and I don't need to ducttape the housing to prevent back-scatter from the internal flash. It will be interesting to see if the hit rate of the YS110 gets better.

Cheers
/O

#25 Benthichi

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:11 AM

I'm very interested in this idea...I'm waiting for the 5D MKIII to arrive, and don't want to switch to electrical connections. Looking forward to the update!

I finally got around making a prototype hot shoe optical trigger that fits my Sea & sea DX-G1 housing.

* A single 1ms flash pulse is provided by the camera in all modes - this means no eTTL. Only a single flash, no pre flashes. This is fine for me as I set the YS110 in "Manual2" and adjust power on the flash directly.
* On land, I got a hit rate of 10/10

I'll get back with more details as soon as I have verified results in water too.

The DX-G1 is painfully slow when handling raw-files, so I don't seem to shorten the time between shots. But the camera battery should last much longer, and I don't need to ducttape the housing to prevent back-scatter from the internal flash. It will be interesting to see if the hit rate of the YS110 gets better.

Cheers
/O


Edited by Benthichi, 29 May 2011 - 12:12 AM.


#26 oskar

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 12:30 PM

I will report as soon as I get wet with the camera, which hasn't happened yet...

I'm very interested in this idea...I'm waiting for the 5D MKIII to arrive, and don't want to switch to electrical connections. Looking forward to the update!



#27 oskar

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:00 PM

I will report as soon as I get wet with the camera, which hasn't happened yet...


Finally tried it. Seems to work well after one dive (50 exposures, 2 failed, attributed to YS110 recycle time).

The trigger light source is a 5mw red laser module that is fixed in the hot shoe exactly match the fibre. It is powered by a lithium "button" battery and is switched by a FET from the camera signal. The battery should last for thousands of exposures.

The camera itself is still slow in writing the RAW files, but I think the recycle time was a tad quicker anyway, and no problem with backscatter from the internal flash.

Cheers
/O

#28 shashinsya

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:55 AM

Finally tried it. Seems to work well after one dive (50 exposures, 2 failed, attributed to YS110 recycle time).

The trigger light source is a 5mw red laser module that is fixed in the hot shoe exactly match the fibre. It is powered by a lithium "button" battery and is switched by a FET from the camera signal. The battery should last for thousands of exposures.

The camera itself is still slow in writing the RAW files, but I think the recycle time was a tad quicker anyway, and no problem with backscatter from the internal flash.

Cheers
/O



Hi,
I am new here as I stumble upon your post looking how to build an LED flash trigger for my INON strobe.
Do you mind sharing the circuit diagram of the trigger you build and which specific component did you use (FET etc)? I am really interested to know.
Would really appreciate if you don't mind posting some picture of it too. Thanks.

#29 rtrski

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:37 AM

Also very interested. I've been considering going a slightly different route: using the camera flash, turned down to minimum using the menu settings, but as I likely won't be able to 'raise' the flash in the housing (Ike) I'd have to modify the camera itself somehow (disable the catch so the camera thinks the flash is extended when it's not, bore a hole in the top of the pop-up flash to get some light leakage, something) to allow that to happen.

The advantage of modding the camera flash to use it in a non-extended position is that Inon strobes can mimic it for sTTL. The disadvantages are much more numerous (still using camera battery even if turned down, voiding warranty on camera, hosing it up for land use, etc. etc.).

I really wish Ike offered the option to purchase their SLR housings without the built-in TTL circuitry and sync connector...even if all you 'saved' was a hundred off the US$1500 list. But I understand they have a design philosophy...and of course would prefer to 'nudge' consumers to bundle Ike strobe purchases with housing purchases. But since strobe purchases tend to be further between on a per-customer basis (they much more easily jump ship from camera upgrade to camera upgrade, while a housing doesn't) I don't really know how much additional sales that philosophy gains them.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#30 Jesper64

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:24 AM

Also very interested. I've been considering going a slightly different route: using the camera flash, turned down to minimum using the menu settings, but as I likely won't be able to 'raise' the flash in the housing (Ike) I'd have to modify the camera itself somehow (disable the catch so the camera thinks the flash is extended when it's not, bore a hole in the top of the pop-up flash to get some light leakage, something) to allow that to happen.


What camera do you have? Is it a Nikon? This guy has posted on how to get the Nikon flash to work without popping up fully.

#31 rtrski

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:10 PM

Check my sig. Sony SLT-alpha55.

I already know from testing that setting the camera in "auto" mode and taking a picture that "needs" flash will get the flash to pop up, so I can deploy it inside the housing.

But if it's not popped up fully, it may not flash. Experimenting by holding it down, I think it will still flash held down as much as 30-40% of its 'max' deployed height. Looking at pics of the Ike housing online, it *appears* to be way oversized for the (rather small) a55 body, so as long as I don't have the sync circuitry hotshoe plug in place, there *might* be room. Keyword: might.

I appreciate the Nikon link, though...it's hard to imagine the Sony circuit being much different, the question is just how accessible it is.

The Sony's got a couple of removable covers near the flash region base that let you access hex bolts which adjust autofocus by fine-tuning the translucent mirror angle (see: http://forums.dprevi...ocus-adjustment ). I can tell removing these two covers that near the 'left' cover (when facing the front of the camera) is where the microswitch that senses flash extension is located. I can barely see a couple of metal contacts down there, right 'next' to the region that the small hex cover exposes. But actually getting *to* them requires further disassembly that I've so far been too chickens**t to do.

So right now my plan is test the camera with the flash as extended as possible in the Ike housing...and hope. If that doesn't work...I've got to think hard about attempting to 'mod' the body (which will be a problem, as the Sony menus don't let you force flash "off" when it's extended in most shooting modes...they assume if you want it off, you close it) thus making it more or less useless topside. Or...I go with Ike strobes with TTL using the included electrical connection, or I go Inon for the lower weight/packing size like my current desire, but am forced to shoot with lighting in manual.

I'm really hoping "door number one" works without further body violation. :dance:

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#32 bvanant

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:03 PM

I've been looking at making a trigger for my Inons, and came upon this thread... I don't care about TTL, as all my strobe and shooting settings are manual - I just want a trigger, and I don't want the camera flash used to trigger it, simply because I want max battery time, and with the flash down, it may be possible to sync to faster than 1/250...

Anyway, I was thinking about building up a circuit, and came upon this... What is this? Thanks
Bill


For $35, it may just work (with a little minor tweaking). I'm looking at getting it to fit in a Nauticam housing, though I only just got my 7D, and the housing will be a little while away yet... I'm trying to find dimensions, but by the looks of it, it may just fit in the area that the pop up flash uses - though a little modding may be needed, an dI still need to test if the IR will actually trigger my Inons or not...

Z...


Bill
Canon 7d, Nauticam, Lots of glass, Olympus OMD-EM5, Nauticam, 60 macro, 45 macro, 8 mm fisheye, Inon, S&S, Athena Strobes plus lots of fiddly bits.
www.blueviews.net


#33 rtrski

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:48 AM

Check my sig. Sony SLT-alpha55.

I already know from testing that setting the camera in "auto" mode and taking a picture that "needs" flash will get the flash to pop up, so I can deploy it inside the housing.

But if it's not popped up fully, it may not flash. Experimenting by holding it down, I think it will still flash held down as much as 30-40% of its 'max' deployed height. Looking at pics of the Ike housing online, it *appears* to be way oversized for the (rather small) a55 body, so as long as I don't have the sync circuitry hotshoe plug in place, there *might* be room. Keyword: might.

I appreciate the Nikon link, though...it's hard to imagine the Sony circuit being much different, the question is just how accessible it is.

The Sony's got a couple of removable covers near the flash region base that let you access hex bolts which adjust autofocus by fine-tuning the translucent mirror angle (see: http://forums.dprevi...ocus-adjustment ). I can tell removing these two covers that near the 'left' cover (when facing the front of the camera) is where the microswitch that senses flash extension is located. I can barely see a couple of metal contacts down there, right 'next' to the region that the small hex cover exposes. But actually getting *to* them requires further disassembly that I've so far been too chickens**t to do.

So right now my plan is test the camera with the flash as extended as possible in the Ike housing...and hope. If that doesn't work...I've got to think hard about attempting to 'mod' the body (which will be a problem, as the Sony menus don't let you force flash "off" when it's extended in most shooting modes...they assume if you want it off, you close it) thus making it more or less useless topside. Or...I go with Ike strobes with TTL using the included electrical connection, or I go Inon for the lower weight/packing size like my current desire, but am forced to shoot with lighting in manual.

I'm really hoping "door number one" works without further body violation. :)


Well, I've confirmed the flash won't come up enough to fire inside the Ike housing. So now I'm considering cutting the front 'strut' of the internal flash (see: http://forums.dprevi...ocus-adjustment ) so that the bottom portion of it can freely rotate all the way into the "deployed" position even if the rest of the flash isn't really 100% raised. I think that will permit it to fire while still somewhat depressed. (The little microswitch that can 'tell' if the flash is up seems to be buried down near where the front strut hits the camera.) If I bag and tape the camera to protect it from dust the cut shouldn't take but a couple of minutes with the right dremel tip, and hopefully won't be subjecting it to too much vibration or anything.

Cutting means I can't ever "deploy" the flash correctly again (no front strut means it's not supported right). But I should still be able to 'lower' the flash by tucking the stub of the strut in manually and then closing it down. Since I have an external flash for above-water use anyway I almost never use the built-in, so that part doesn't bother me. Resale also isn't a huge issue - guess I could always send it for a repair if I really wanted to resell.

So far all the discussion (aside from my hijacking) still seems centered on coming up with a micro trigger flash only, not an actual mini-TTL-controlled flash for the Inons to mimic. The only other idea I've got to go optical and permit TTL slaving is to buy a really cheap-arse flash (there are some for like $40 for sony, $25ish used if you watch eBay, Guide # of 20 or so), eviscerate it, use a couple small button batteries instead of the 2 AAA's to get the right voltage, although nowhere near the same total capacity, and see if I can't get the bits all shoved in where I can use it. I *think* with the flash set on TTL control from the camera you can also use "flash EC" to drop the power down to minimum.

Am I crazy to go all this way just to try and optically trigger but also keep TTL as an option, in an Ike housing? The obvious easy substitute is to just go with one Inon that's electrically triggered (use the built-in Ike circuitry and port), and set the 2nd one to the TTL mimicry, so I only have to control 1 strobe in manual most of the time (but I keep the ability to set them independently if I choose to).

Edited by rtrski, 02 September 2011 - 06:51 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...