Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Slave strobes, off camera


  • Please log in to reply
58 replies to this topic

#21 Andy Morrison

Andy Morrison

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Location:Trenton, Michigan

Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:11 AM

This is a great thread as using slaves is something I want to try on our wrecks here in the Great Lakes. Would a Nikonos SB-105 make a decent slave unit? You can find them pretty cheap it seems. I'm also going to head into our studio and start looking at background light stands to see if I could use something like that underwater. I have Bogen Magic Arms but don't think it'd be cool to clamp a strobe to a 150 year old wooden wreck. :-) I'll be interested to hear how the Gorilla Pod works.

#22 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:55 PM

Thanks for posting the setup, Tom. That is fascinating. It really makes it look like the sun is shining and gives the image tremendous depth. Very cool. Shows how much work goes into your images. I am mightly jealous of your strobe collection too. I only have 2 strobes less than a decade old. Makes me realise I need to invest in some lighting. The Seacam 150 (Kurt Amsler edition, of course) is such a nice strobe.

Alex



Thanks Alex, trying to make the lighting look more natural has been one of my objectives. There are too few sunny summer days here. :blush:

Ten years ago, and less as well, I was using Ike SS200's as my main strobe. Have done a lot of adjustment since going digital. The D2X is the newest camera that I use under water. A bigger strobe is a partial compensation over upgrading. ;)

What is a Kurt Amsler edition?

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#23 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:05 AM

What is a Kurt Amsler edition?


Although Harald designs and builds all the Seacam products, Kurt provides the photographic input to their whole range. The Seacam Seaflash 150 was really his baby, his perfect strobe. There is an edition of the strobe called the Kurt Amsler edition (which is the fully manual version - and has Kurt's signature on the side). I chatted with Kurt recently for my "A Conversation With" series and one thing we spoke about his work with Seacam and the detailed input his photographic experience has into their products. That interview will be out at the end of the year, it is a great read/listen.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#24 oskar

oskar

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 343 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stockholm

Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:04 AM

Thank you all for sharing your experience with remote slave strobes. I have been planning to try some creative lighting as well.

If I get you right you typically use long (electrical) cable for triggering the primary slave, and if there are several secondary slaves, they are triggered optically off the primary, right?

I am looking to try to remotely trigger the flash optically (I plan to use a YS110 strobe initially), so I would be great to hear your experiences from different brands of slave sensors.


So far I have considered the Heinrichsweikamp [1] slave strobe addition. Bu also, a mate into cave photography recommended Firefly [2]. I have been in contact with Firefly and they can make a variant of their slave sensor sensitive to visible light at about the same cost as their ordinary surface model (the attenuation of IR in water is too high)

What sort of range have people here achieved with optical sensors? And have anyone tried really long optical fibers for triggering?


Cheers
OS

[1] http://www.heinrichs...p.net/#/en/rsu/
[2] http://www.fireflyel...nfo.htm#BF1SPEC

#25 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:21 AM

It is great to see lots of interest in this/these techniques. I think in the good old days we used to do much more off camera strobing - because of small Nikonos cameras (easy to shoot with one hand) and the fact that strobe arms were crap. So you hand held your strobe for most shots, which led to lots of more unusual images.

I took this nurse shark when I was 17 (a couple of years ago, then). Nik V + 15mm + SB102 (hand held):
Posted Image

@ Oskar,

For me I tend to use on camera strobes on normal cables as the trigger. Then I have a dedicated trigger strobe off camera. Partly because the german made Heinrichs RSU does not work with my german made strobes. But this also means that you can set up the off camera trigger strobe to set the others off and then positioning the main off camera strobe or strobes more freely. The off camera trigger strobe is the one connected the RSU.

I have tried both Heinrichs and Firefly in underwater testing. The Heinrichs one is designed for underwater use. The Firefly ones are not waterproof. Also the Heinrichs has connectors that will plug straight into you existing strobe cables (assuming you are not using fibre optics). I am not sure how you would trigger fibre optic strobes remotely?. However, the Firefly units do seem more resistant to ambient light levels than the RSU (although the UW tests were with an old design Firefly). I hope to soon test (when they are waterproofed and have UW strobe connectors) two different systems made by Firefly. When I have I will post my results and share my recommendations here.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#26 Balrog

Balrog

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Poole UK

Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:07 AM

....I am not sure how you would trigger fibre optic strobes remotely? ...

You can get a 20metre coil of solid core fibre optic cable for about 1 per metre.
http://www.rapidonli.../29413/kw/fibre
http://www.rapidonli...ecs/58-0710.pdf
Might be a better solution than electrical cables.

#27 rbailey

rbailey

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dubai

Posted 15 November 2009 - 07:26 PM

Hi All,

I thought I post a few shots of my barstadiezed gorilapod.
(Sorry Alex just seen your questions.)
It uses a small gorilapod which is glued into a section of arm, which then has a plastic clamp bolted through the joint and a length of bungey and dog snap clip attached.
This size gorilapod is a bit small on land but underwater gravity is offset by bouyancy so seems okay, but if I was going it again I'd get bigger gorilapod.

1- Strobe facing right, slave facing left.
2- Strobe facing left, slave facing right.
3- Clipped on, normally use on wrecks (but this time dining room chair).
4- Tied on, using the attached lenght of bungey for bigger items.
4- Just the pod without strobe,

Any questions please shout.

Cheers,
Richard B.

Attached Images

  • Strobe_Gorilapod___Low_Res___2.jpg
  • Strobe_Gorilapod___Low_Res___1.jpg
  • Strobe_Gorilapod___Low_Res___3.jpg
  • Strobe_Gorilapod___Low_Res___4.jpg
  • Strobe_Gorilapod___Low_Res___5.jpg

Camera : Canon 350 D. (8MP, D-SLR, APS-C.)
Housing : Ikelite eTTL hosuing.
Ports : 6" Dome, 8" Dome and Flat port and selection of extenstions.
Lenses : Sigma 10-20mm, 17-70mm Macro, 105mm Macro (with +4 diopter).
Stobes : 2 x Ikelite DS 125.
Arms : Ikelite, 18 inch quick release (LHS) and 8"+6" standard (LHS).
AND a Yellow Box Of Delights to breath from undewater and loads of other really fun stuff.


Check out ther results at :-

http://www.images-underwater.net/



#28 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 16 November 2009 - 12:51 AM

It uses a small gorilapod which is glued into a section of arm, which then has a plastic clamp bolted through the joint and a length of bungey and dog snap clip attached.
This size gorilapod is a bit small on land but underwater gravity is offset by bouyancy so seems okay, but if I was going it again I'd get bigger gorilapod.


Thanks Richard.

I'll report back on how my larger gorillapods work with my (quite heavy) Subtronics on them.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#29 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:27 PM

Although Harald designs and builds all the Seacam products, Kurt provides the photographic input to their whole range. The Seacam Seaflash 150 was really his baby, his perfect strobe. There is an edition of the strobe called the Kurt Amsler edition (which is the fully manual version - and has Kurt's signature on the side). I chatted with Kurt recently for my "A Conversation With" series and one thing we spoke about his work with Seacam and the detailed input his photographic experience has into their products. That interview will be out at the end of the year, it is a great read/listen.

Alex

His input into Seaflash150 really shows. I hope that by foregoing automation the fully manual edition will be a bit less expensive! However, I do hope they retain the digital display - this really sets this strobe apart from other makes. The warning that the battery is towards the end is quite useful as well. I have used as many as three battery packs on a single shoot (200 - 300 shots/pack) so having this warning helps with 'battery management.'

Here is another slave example. The SF150 was used in iTTL mode on this day. The S&S250 was there to provide fill flash for the shadow cast by the submerged branch. The spawning pocket is directly under this branch - next to the flat rock that is lying horizontally.

You might the A-frame use of the strobe arms amusing. This was to balance the strobe as well as hold the weight. Using only one arm makes the load on the end of the polecam unbalanced and tippy. As well, I was using the 10.5mm lens and wanted the main strobe in the center.

Attached Images

  • _DSC8231.jpg

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#30 adamhanlon

adamhanlon

    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 1768 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:22 PM

Tom,

I've just "found" your galleries on Flickr. What amazing images. It is fascinating to see the lengths you have gone to to get them in this thread as well.

I assume you have identified the spawning sites prior to setting up! Is the remote/polecam set up to minimize interference, or does your presence stop them from spawning?

As you have probably seen from my images, we have a lot of very tame trout. Although they come from a farmed source, I witnessed one spawning a couple of years ago-unfortunately without a camera. The fish seemed completely unworried about my presence-this may be because they are so habituated?

All the best

Adam

Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
Editor-wetpixel
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook


#31 NWDiver

NWDiver

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1274 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle

Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:03 AM

Alex and Co...


Given your set up with the remotes how much light/flash do they need to fire? In the photos back lighting the glass fish or in the wreck with the steering wheel could you have the strobe even more out of view and get them to fire? I am thinking if you still wanted to use your on camera strobes to softly light something in foreground but have something lit farther back in the shot.

#32 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:39 AM

Tom,

I've just "found" your galleries on Flickr. What amazing images. It is fascinating to see the lengths you have gone to to get them in this thread as well.

I assume you have identified the spawning sites prior to setting up! Is the remote/polecam set up to minimize interference, or does your presence stop them from spawning?

As you have probably seen from my images, we have a lot of very tame trout. Although they come from a farmed source, I witnessed one spawning a couple of years ago-unfortunately without a camera. The fish seemed completely unworried about my presence-this may be because they are so habituated?

All the best

Adam


Thanks Adam! You have some great salmonid shots as well! :)

Actually, I got a few shots in with my second camera first. I was scoping out the stream for coho salmon (at this time they were just entering the spawning stream) after having done an available light shoot polecaming nearby with the D2H and 20/1.8 Sigma and all but stepped on the Dollies. I quickly changed my plans from shooting spawning sockeye salmon a few 100m upstream to spending the rest of the daylight hours (it was just about mid-day when I started!) shooting this pair with this set up.

My polecam set up did not interfere with spawning; I got in over 1200 shots with just the D2X set up! From redd construction to spawning to redd cover up. I even got in a very weird sequence. The digging action by the female attracted a pair of male sockeye salmon to get closer. One attempted to get the female to spawn by quivering next to her several times - this was after she had already spawned so it was to no avail.

It is hard to stop salmonids from spawning once they are into it. It is uncommon to see the actual spawning because it takes place in just seconds. I was pretty luck with the Dollies as there was just this pair so no fighting among males. They got on with it pretty quickly. I spent three days shooting one coho salmon pair before getting a shot of them spawning in November.

Edited by Tom_Kline, 28 December 2009 - 07:43 AM.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#33 DanBolt

DanBolt

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:17 AM

Hello All,

This is a great thread & I thought I'd join in because I'm the diver in the with/without strobe shots of Alex's and watching the master at work has provided me with the inspiration to try & think of how to trigger my YS-110a's off-camera.

I've just spent a couple of days searching the web & have come up with a really cheap supplier of fibre-optic cable similar to that which Sea & Sea use in their over-priced L-type sync cables. I've got 20m of the stuff for 35 ;) uk.farnell.com

I've also ordered the necessary bits n bobs to make connecting to the housing/strobe a synch. I'm awaiting delivery at the moment but hope to report back soon. There's some large rockpools near where I live & I want to do some evening-time long exposure 50/50 shots with the pool lit with a number of remote strobes.

Of course, this could all fall flat if there isn't enough light transmission to trigger the strobes!

Alex, if you're interesting in coming down to have a play just let me know.

Cheers all,

Dan

#34 improv

improv

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 28 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nashville

Posted 05 January 2010 - 06:41 PM

Wow, this is a great thread! I stumbled onto it because I'm trying to figure out a way to fire my topland strobes from my u/w ikelite housing. I have a DS-51 strobe currently, but want to introduce some strobe from the surface for some u/w pool photos that I'm taking. Ideally, I would just put an expensive Y connector on the bulkhead with one cable going to the DS-51 and the other going to the surface where I could eventually get it to terminate in an 1/8" mini or 1/4" audio cable....which I would in turn connect to my studio strobes that would be securely placed on the pool deck. This would hopefully provide a little fill light in my rather dark-ish pool that I'm shooting in. This should be simple matter (in my limited electronics worldview) to fashion a connector that would adapt the ikelite cable to an audio cable right? Is the ikelite connector proprietary? That seems like the only drawback.

I love what Alex has done with the u/w wreck photos, most excellent! Tom, you have quite a rig there with your polecam. This seems like a reasonable approach, having my main light fire a slave that in turn fires my topland slaves....but it would be cool if I could save a few $$ on the intermediary slave by just getting a cable.

Anyone have any ideas on this?

Thanks for the inspiring photography guys!


Cheers!

MP

#35 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:07 PM

This seems like a reasonable approach, having my main light fire a slave that in turn fires my topland slaves....but it would be cool if I could save a few $$ on the intermediary slave by just getting a cable.

Anyone have any ideas on this?



An important consideration is that the slave sensor is a able to see the triggering strobe, that ambient does not interfere.

Make sure your topside strobes do not get wet!

Expect to do some trial and error while adjusting strobe positions - at least we are not burning film! Rather than chimp I move around the set-up so that I can see the slaves themselves going off - so I may need to do a series of test fires to check all the strobes from various angles (depends on the set up).

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#36 improv

improv

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 28 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nashville

Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:56 AM

Again, I would prefer to forgo the intermediary slave strobe and directly fire the topland strobes from my housing, has anyone had any luck with an adapter cable for such things? I know of one gentleman who created his own cable by embedding an optical slave in an epoxy resin that was tethered to his studio strobes....this just seems like something that is wide open for leaks and failure and possible damage to humans and property for me. I'd rather have the simple option of a cable that will do the trick, and more reliably than a slave. The subjects I photograph are constantly on the move and I'm just concerned with the slaves firing reliably. My topside strobes would be very safely attached with safety tethers before proceeding.

MP

I guess my other simple albeit more expensive option is to just get the extension cables that will go to an u/w slave that is mounted topside. Does anyone have any experience with connecting multiple Ikelite extension cables?

MP

#37 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Winter Park, Fl

Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:51 AM

Again, I would prefer to forgo the intermediary slave strobe and directly fire the topland strobes from my housing, has anyone had any luck with an adapter cable for such things? I know of one gentleman who created his own cable by embedding an optical slave in an epoxy resin that was tethered to his studio strobes....this just seems like something that is wide open for leaks and failure and possible damage to humans and property for me. I'd rather have the simple option of a cable that will do the trick, and more reliably than a slave. The subjects I photograph are constantly on the move and I'm just concerned with the slaves firing reliably. My topside strobes would be very safely attached with safety tethers before proceeding.

MP

I guess my other simple albeit more expensive option is to just get the extension cables that will go to an u/w slave that is mounted topside. Does anyone have any experience with connecting multiple Ikelite extension cables?

MP

I do not find slaves to work predictably when trying to trigger from above to below or visa versa. Especially in bright sunlight.
I use Nikonos extended cables 15-25' for my pool work. I'm sure they can be made for Ikelite. Contact Ryan at Reef Photo.
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#38 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:03 AM

I agree cable is the most reliable solution. But it can be very impractical in some shooting situations.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#39 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:29 PM

I do not find slaves to work predictably when trying to trigger from above to below or visa versa. Especially in bright sunlight.
I use Nikonos extended cables 15-25' for my pool work. I'm sure they can be made for Ikelite. Contact Ryan at Reef Photo.



Not surprising to hear that the Floridian sun is problematic. I shaded the slave strobe for a few hours during the shoot shown in post #29 by draping my parka on a tree that was to the left of the set up. The sun peaked out for just a little bit that day. I had been using the parka as ground cover since I began the shoot in the prone position trying not to be visible to the fish. There was roadway behind me, no trees so I was quite visible against the sky.

I have some of those Ike extensions. They have Ike connectors, opposite sexed ends so they can be added together. Ike at one time and may still make a PC to Ike strobe cord. This is for using Ike strobes on topside cameras. One could make a DIY one that went the other way by sacrificing an Ike strobe to bulkhead cord (preferably one that is already no good such as one with bent NV pins). Cut off the camera end plug and solder on the appropriate cord to your topside strobes. You will also need an Ike to whatever bulkhead your housing is set up with cord for the other end.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#40 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:42 PM

I agree cable is the most reliable solution. But it can be very impractical in some shooting situations.

Alex


This is an understatement. It can be quite an effort to keep cords out of the picture, especially when using a fisheye lens. Just dealing with the remote release cord is challenging enough. I try to keep tension on the cord or if possible raise it out of the water. This is why the cord is hanging from a tree in post#13 of this thread http://wetpixel.com/...topic=33824&hl=
I recall having to find and grab the release out of the near freezing water after it had drifted downstream while I was adjusting the housing position.

I have used ankle weights threaded through an overhand knot in the cord to keep them in place as well.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Canon EOS-1Ds MkII and MkIII and Nikon D1X, D2X, D2H cameras. Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 180mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 150D and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/