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Microflash to fire optical strobes without using camera's flash


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#1 blueglass

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:35 PM

Hi,
I have made this tiny flash that allows firing optical strobes without using the camera's flash, avoiding the annoying camera delay caused by the internal flash recycling when shooting fast action, even at 1/128 power.
It can be turned on and off inside the Nauticam D7000 housing using the flash down lever, so it's easy to turn off both strobes from the housing to shoot ambient light or to make PRE-white balance.

Posted Image

You can get an idea of how it works in this video (in Spanish, but you can hear the shooting speed)



I'll be testing it next week with white sharks, where I hope to find some action that needs fast shooting.
Carlos Villoch
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#2 DerekB

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:39 PM

Looking forward to hearing how it works! I just adapted my surf housing to fire F/O slaves. I might en up needing something like this

#3 cor

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 11:45 AM

I haven't used my D7000 much yet, but is the delay on 1/128th generally more than the recycle time of your UW strobes?
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#4 bvanant

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:23 PM

I haven't used my D7000 much yet, but is the delay on 1/128th generally more than the recycle time of your UW strobes?

Certainly not on the 7D. In ttl mode I wait a bit sometimes for the camera. In manual at 1/128 power I wait only for the Inon/S&S.
Bill

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#5 tdpriest

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 02:59 AM

... is the delay on 1/128th generally more than the recycle time of your UW strobes?


But that's not as much fun as building your own gadget!

Tim

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#6 bvanant

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:51 AM

But that's not as much fun as building your own gadget!

Tim

:B):

I would love to build one if I could get hold of a circuit diagram that makes sense to a chemist's brain.
Bill

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#7 cor

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 02:08 AM

Im interested in the answer though. I have a D7000 and am wondering if at 1/128th power you'll ever have a problem where your main strobes are ready but your D7000 isnt. Otherwise I see no reason to have such a gadget, even though I agree making gadgets is cool :B): It only makes sense in manual (Non-ttl) mode anyways, and in manual mode 1/128th is all you need.
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#8 Drew

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 05:06 AM

Actually something like this would be awesome for the people who need high fps with strobes. Zillion has something similar.
My Hartenberger 250 strobes can easily hit 10 fps at 1/32 power (it recycles from 1/64 in 0.06 sec). With fast action stuff like baitballs, it'd be awesome to have something like this, especially if it can sync at higher shutter speed than X-sync.
With the new cameras hitting 12fps, this would be a nice addition to non-hardwired strobe firing.

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#9 blueglass

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:36 AM

I haven't used my D7000 much yet, but is the delay on 1/128th generally more than the recycle time of your UW strobes?


If you wat a few seconds between shots you will never noticed any delay, but try to shoot 5-6 photos with about once second interval and you will notice that the camera stops working for a loooong time. You can see it in the video link I posted, in which the camera is set to 1/128.

If you shoot the underwater strobes at full and you wait for them to recycle totally (about 1.5 sec) you will not feel any delays.
But when shooting fastt action with powered down strobes the delay can last for 10-15 seconds

With this thingie i can shoot 6 fps continuously with Inon S2000 strobes set at -2.

Used with the D7000 you can use 1/400 and you barely see the second curtain at the bottom of the frame. If you go faster than that you will see it very clearly and you would have to pay attention in composition not to place anything you want flash on at the bottom of the frame.

More in few days when I come back foam Guadalupe....
Carlos Villoch
www.magicsea.com www.villoch.com
Itīs better down there...

#10 blueglass

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:38 AM

If you wait a few seconds between shots you will never notice any delay, but try to shoot 5-6 photos with less than one second interval and you will notice that the camera stops working for a loooong time. You can see it in the video link I posted, in which the camera is set to 1/128 flash power.

If you shoot the underwater strobes at full and you wait for them to recycle totally (about 1.5 sec) you will not feel any delays.
But when shooting fast action with powered down strobes the camera delay can last for 10-15 seconds

With this thingie I can shoot 6 fps continuously with Inon S2000 strobes set at -2.

With the D7000 you can use 1/400 and you barely see the second curtain at the bottom of the frame. If you go faster than that you will see it very clearly and you would have to pay attention to composition not to place anything you want flash on at the bottom of the frame.

More in few days when I come back foam Guadalupe....


Carlos Villoch
www.magicsea.com www.villoch.com
Itīs better down there...

#11 JohnLiddiard

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:09 AM

Build the circuit into a replacement for a cable bulkhead socket. That way you can convert a housing that does not have room for popup flash or any optical sockets to use fibreoptics instead of cables. Does it also mimic digital TTL? Or just manual?
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#12 cor

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:17 PM

I see what you're saying. Same thing on my D7000. After about 10 shots at 1/128th it's very slow to recharge. Very cool solution. Would you share your design? Should be quite simple to make. I may have to look into doing this as well.
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#13 davichin

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:14 PM

This is also a great idea for those weird people :) that buy cameras without flash like the 5DmkII... :D Now, all those will be able to shoot strobes optically...
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#14 cor

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:30 PM

You still need a way to get the light outside the housing.
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#15 davichin

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:40 PM

There are many connectors that allow for that... Hugy or Nauticam come to mind, but for sure there are more... :)
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#16 rtrski

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:47 AM

You still need a way to get the light outside the housing.


Well, unless you have an Ikelite housing. Then you just have to shield it so that the microflash doesn't generate backscatter in the frame. The new 1/4-20 top-mount threading position on the DSLR housing upgrade is the perfect place to mount a simple block of some sort that accepts your fiberoptics, assuming the microflash is located inside the housing beneath it.

If I could get my Sony a55 flash to fire inside the housing (it won't - it raises, but not enough) I was just going to drill a couple holes in a small chunk of black UHMW plastic (one for a bolt, one for each fiberoptic cable) and go with that as my sync coupling. But I'm also kind of partial to keeping TTL as an option, so I would want a tiny microflash that gives the right TTL-ready signal and can mimic the camera's preflash-flash-quench so that say Inon strobes could mimic it. If it's just a matter of getting triggering...I may as well just use the Ike circuitry and connector since it's there.

And outside of Ikelite, coming up with a 'bulkhead' with a small clear window is still far less worriesome than a true electrical penetration, since once you get it sealed right it's sealed, and fiberoptics don't care if they're "wet" in operation unlike an electrical cable on the outside.

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...


#17 davichin

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:15 AM

You just need a hollow nikonos connector (if you have the old broken pins one just take out the electronics) and this piece good for two optical cords (only one is fitted in the pic):

Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image
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#18 cor

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:18 AM

Cool!
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#19 Jesper64

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:22 AM

You just need a hollow nikonos connector (if you have the old broken pins one just take out the electronics) and this piece good for two optical cords (only one is fitted in the pic):


Looks interesting. So that Hugyfot adapter will mount in the place of any Nikonos Sync cable on a bulkhead with a waterproof seal?
What's the length of the adapter from the second o-ring (where it hits the bulk head) to the end of it? ie how much would it protrude into the housing?

#20 davichin

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:42 AM

Looks interesting. So that Hugyfot adapter will mount in the place of any Nikonos Sync cable on a bulkhead with a waterproof seal?
What's the length of the adapter from the second o-ring (where it hits the bulk head) to the end of it? ie how much would it protrude into the housing?


I think it will fit/screw in any nikonos bulkhead (just like any nikonos cord will fit in any nikonos bulkhead) with a double waterproof seal (the nikonos typical seal plus one more o-ring on the top). As for the length, I will have to measure it but you can get an idea from the third picture, around 3mm or so (equal or less than the electronic cables)...
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