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DIY Fiber Optic Top Mount for Ikelite Housing


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#1 rtrski

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 08:03 AM

Well I finally got the project fully done and there's a photo log of sorts up at Flickr. Probably easiest to view as slideshow - hit pause right at the beginning, hit the "show info" button top right to get the descriptions superposed on the images, and then click thru at your leisure at the bottom.

http://www.flickr.co...933420885/show/

Ignoring the microflash (which I'll document in another set soon), I spent all of $25 to make this fiberoptic cable (and there's a lot left over since I bought 10' of the cable). Parts used are a 1/4-20 bolt, rubber flat gasket, a small chunk of plastic, some 2-part plastic fusion glue, a couple grades of automotive and normal sandpaper, a tiny piece of 1/8" ID (after heating) heatshrink tubing, and the plug that came with the z240 strobe in the first place.

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...


#2 Panda

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:20 PM

Excellent. Very interested in the micro flash too.

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#3 Deep6

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:46 PM

Excellent. Very interested in the micro flash too.

Out standing :B): Being a cheap bastard, I can appreciate reducing cost. The micro flash is very intriguing. What is the max. flash sync. with this unit?

Bob

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#4 rtrski

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:53 PM

Out standing :B): Being a cheap bastard, I can appreciate reducing cost. The micro flash is very intriguing. What is the max. flash sync. with this unit?

Bob

Hope this works, posting from phone. Link to LED flash details is here: http://wetpixel.com/...t...st&p=294508 ... I've only tested it up to 1/160th, because that's my max sync on my camera. But there's no reason to think it wouldn't work faster... The actual sync signal to the hotshoe is more on the order of a few millizecs, since the non MOSFET circuit wouldn't work. Escape is shooting Nikon so can probably confirm 1/250th at least

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...


#5 rtrski

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

Oh, since I just recently got a question about this, I should confess: it broke the first dive I tried to use it. Got the rather 'friable' 3mm fiber up against the arm clamp, and when I went to rotate the little dumbell-shaped handle...I got it tangled and 'snap'.

Now I know why the commercial fibers are so 'skinny' and soft. Paid about $6 for a cheap S/PDIF cable - will rebuild sometime when I have a chance and try again. The triggering part worked fine, just my personally made "cable" was a shatterfest.

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...


#6 oskar

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:46 AM

Great! I'm thinking about getting an Ikelite housing but the prosepct of changeing strobes is prohibiting, so I would like to do this too.

I use S/PDIF cables today too. Works great only needs some carving to fit a S&S YS110 strobe in one end, and in the trigger end I actually use a standard S/PDIF connector with the electronics shaved off

Now I know why the commercial fibers are so 'skinny' and soft. Paid about $6 for a cheap S/PDIF cable - will rebuild sometime when I have a chance and try again. The triggering part worked fine, just my personally made "cable" was a shatterfest.



#7 rtrski

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 12:12 PM

I'm actually seriously considering buying one of the newer 'home user' 3D printers that print using ABS plastic filament, to custom make a lot of little plasticky parts...including a nicer f.o. holder at the Ike housing end and strobe end, snoots, maybe a nice guide for a bunch of lightpipes for a ringflash type setup, improved grips, etc etc.

I'm also still seriously considering (now that it's well out of warranty) trying to Frankenstein the camera itself to no longer know the flash is 'down' so I can fire it inside the Ike housing. I'd lose the refresh speed I can get with a top mount LED miniflash, but regain TTL mimickry from the Inon strobes.

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...


#8 raphaelgatti

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:43 AM

Hi rtski,

 

Did you polish the fiber by yourself? What did you use?

I´m building my own cable, but facing some problems when trying to trigger the Camera´s Flash.

 

Thanks



#9 rtrski

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:18 AM

The 3mm dia fiber was easy enough to polish just using some very fine (automotive) grade sandpaper - I think it was 600 or 800 grit.  "Lick" the paper first or use a drop or two of water as a lubricant.

 

I still haven't rebuilt with S/PDIF cable - after I broke the first try and went back to electrically cabled for one strobe (optical for the other), I started to wonder why I went to all the effort just to avoid the electronic cable which worked fine.  And since then I also went back and bought a small Ikelite strobe (DS51) so I can use it in TTL mode atop the ball mount and let both Inons trigger optically off it for a 3-strobe solution (and to deal with the unrelated 'viewfinder' issue I have with the SLT-A55*).

 

Anyway back to the S/PDIF - that fiber might be so small it would be tough to polish, might need to push it thru a small hole in a block of some sort to help hold it orthogonal to the paper to do so.  Or if you can use the connector end it should already have a kind of 'lens' attached.  I was going to 3d print a mating socket for the cable end at the housing side, and then only cut off the cable for the sensor side.

 

 

[* If you're curious, the first generation of Sony SLT's (A33 and A55) had a pretty painful limitation for underwater use that only became apparent to me after my purchase.  The electronic viewfinder trys to be 'helpful' by giving you a what you see is what you get view based on settings.  Unfortunately, with manually-synced strobes (either fiberoptic coupled using my microflash, since I can't open the onboard flash inside the housing, or Inons cabled to the Ikelite socket which can only fire as manual sync) the camera thinks ISO400, f8-11, 1/160th second in typical underwater lighting is pretty dark, so the viewfinder "helpfully" goes BLACK and you can't see to frame.  Using the little DS51 lets me electronically connect using TTL so the camera knows the strobe is there and the viewfinder is nice and bright, accordingly.  This bug got fixed in all the later SLT models (A65, A77, etc.) by adding the ability to turn 'off' the "setting effect" so the viewfinder remains somewhat linked to actual ambient light levels regardless of exposure settings.  But no firmware update for me...]


Edited by rtrski, 27 January 2014 - 10:27 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...