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Longer strobe cables


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#1 errbrr

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:28 AM

As a lot of my cave diving buddies move from backmount to sidemount, I'm being forced to move from off-camera strobes mounted between twin tanks (cable to sensor over the shoulder) to hand held. If the sensor is held in the other hand so the strobe-holding hand can be hidden behind the body, the cable is visible stretched out in the middle.

I have standard Sea&Sea cables which comfortably only stretch to a bit over a metre (3ft). I'm looking for someone selling cables that are comfortable 2m (6ft) long, so I can wrap my buddies up in them. Does anyone know if (and by whom) these are being sold?

Thanks,
Liz

#2 operam

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:39 AM

10bar seems to produce 2m sync cables (I assume you are looking for fiber optic?). You can get them from Jack Connick's online store, for instance:

Sea & Sea/Oly F/O Sync Cord

EDIT: Never mind, didn't see the longer thread title.

Edited by operam, 07 February 2012 - 11:15 AM.

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#3 bvanant

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:36 AM

As a lot of my cave diving buddies move from backmount to sidemount, I'm being forced to move from off-camera strobes mounted between twin tanks (cable to sensor over the shoulder) to hand held. If the sensor is held in the other hand so the strobe-holding hand can be hidden behind the body, the cable is visible stretched out in the middle.

I have standard Sea&Sea cables which comfortably only stretch to a bit over a metre (3ft). I'm looking for someone selling cables that are comfortable 2m (6ft) long, so I can wrap my buddies up in them. Does anyone know if (and by whom) these are being sold?

Thanks,
Liz

Liz:
Subtronic (subtronic.de) will or used to at least, make 4 meter long cables (not FO from your subject) with whatever ends you want. But it will cost you.
Ikelite might make them but I don't know if they do the s&S ends.
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#4 errbrr

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm looking for an electrical sync cord from an Inon Z240 to a nikonos bulkhead. This is what I have/need (except longer!): http://www.opticaloc...rd/prod_32.html

Ikelite doesn't seem to do these connectors, given their products don't use them. Subtronic state they do special cables, but I can't see any shots of the Inon connector on their site. Failing getting a commercial one, is there anywhere I can buy loose connectors and get them made up myself?

Alternatively, an optical remote strobe trigger would be great....

#5 bvanant

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

Thanks for the info. I'm looking for an electrical sync cord from an Inon Z240 to a nikonos bulkhead. This is what I have/need (except longer!): http://www.opticaloc...rd/prod_32.html

Ikelite doesn't seem to do these connectors, given their products don't use them. Subtronic state they do special cables, but I can't see any shots of the Inon connector on their site. Failing getting a commercial one, is there anywhere I can buy loose connectors and get them made up myself?

Alternatively, an optical remote strobe trigger would be great....

Call or write subtronic, don't just rely on their website, they make all kinds of cables. The Inon connector isn't really an Inon connector it is a Sea and Sea connector.
As for optical triggers, there are a couple of options. Ikelite makes one, and triggerfish@telenet.be makes one that works well with any strobe that takes Nikonos.

Bill

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#6 errbrr

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

Yes, I have three triggerfish (and another one at the bottom of a cave somewhere...) As with the ikelite and HW remote sensor triggers they require an electrical sync cable. Fibre optic cables appear to come in a few more varieties, but as yet I haven't seen a remote sensor that will work off these.

Another thought occurred to me, which was does anyone make adaptors to allow joining two cables together? I'll send subtronic an email about both.

#7 davichin

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:51 AM

I have a nikonos cable extender made by subtronic. It is just a noncoiled cord with a male nikonos connector on one side (to the housing) and female nikonos connector on the other (where you would plug your standard sea&sea cable). I am sure subtronic would make it to any reasonable length (I think mine is four feet or so that, when coupled with any standard cable, reaches seven or so feet...).
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#8 bvanant

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:53 PM

Yes, I have three triggerfish (and another one at the bottom of a cave somewhere...) As with the ikelite and HW remote sensor triggers they require an electrical sync cable. Fibre optic cables appear to come in a few more varieties, but as yet I haven't seen a remote sensor that will work off these.

Another thought occurred to me, which was does anyone make adaptors to allow joining two cables together? I'll send subtronic an email about both.

I am not sure what you mean by "work off of those". Is the problem that you don't have line of sight?
In any case, getting fiber optic cable miles long is no problem, hooking it up to the strobe is no problem but getting the light from the camera, is that the problem?
Bill

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#9 errbrr

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

A cable extender would definitely work, but if I'm getting cables made up with a Nikonos male plug on one end, I might as well get a Sea&Sea plug on the other end and save myself the cost of an extra sync cord. I'm trying to standardise my strobes to the inons so I will hopefully only own strobes that take the Sea&Sea plug.

For remote sensors, I currently use a triggerfish. This attaches to the end of the sync cord, and is powered by the strobe batteries. When it detects a flash, it sends an electrical signal to the attached strobe and fires it. The inbuilt optical sensor on the inons can also be used for this, but it's inflexible because it's stuck to the strobe (if you hide the strobe behind someone/something, you also hide the sensor). My understanding is that catching a flash from a distant camera and funnelling enough of it down a fibre optic cable to hit the inbuilt optical sensor is tricky and hasn't been done yet. The other option is to put a sensor on the end of a fibre optic cable, which would generate a flash (instead of an electrical signal) and send that to the attached strobe to trigger it. However, you can't pull power along a fibre optic cable, so the sensor in this case would need to be self powered with it's own battery. I'm not aware that sensors like this have been built yet either.

My strobes are usually attached to my models in caves, so running a fibre optic cable from me (with the camera) to them (with the strobe) is not an option. The triggerfish and sync cord combo works great...I just need a longer cable. I was really hoping there would be one available commercially...

#10 Undertow

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

Whilst i'm not yet a cave diver, the prospect of a 2m long cable wrapping around a diver's body sounds quite sketchy to me. Also when that means that one hand holds a strobe and another a slave sensor - did i get that right? Even if both are mounted to a divers hand/arm that sounds like way too much task loading for a cave divers hands.

Did your cave diving buddies agree to this??

Are they not using a black plate & wing for sidemount? Can you not mount the slave strobe directly to their backplate? Or would that mess with their physical profile too much? Granted with any air in the the BC, the wings will float up and probably take up the same additional vertical profile a back plate mounted strobe would.

I'm just thinking as I write here, but i really don't like the idea of a diver wtih a strobe/sensor in both hands and wrapped up in a cable. Especially when they ahve to manage a canister lilght (with its own cable), gas supply with multiple regs & hoses, and often a reel too....

There's got to be a better solution, at the very least try mounting the slave sensor to the shoulder of the arm that's holding the strobe so the rig isn't taking up both hands with a cable running all over the place.....
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#11 errbrr

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:59 PM

The idea is not to kill your models...not after I spent so much time training them in which way to point the strobe.

There are a few options for placement of model strobes. For backmount divers, between the tanks is ideal and easy as long as the cave roof is not too low. Strobes can also be placed on the back of sidemount divers on the harness (no solid backplate, I use an Armadillo, others use a Nomad, Razor or a homemade setup) but sidemounters tend to object to this. It also stops them/you travelling through smaller areas on the way to take photos. Backmounted strobes are limiting in the kind of shots you can take. Most strobes will be triggered by a flash at their face, so you can't take pictures from behind the modelling diver because it sets the strobe off straight into the camera.

So, if not backmounted, then where? Handheld is great and gives the best flexibility. The drawbacks are that your model can point the light anywhere, including at you, and completely destroy the picture. Training required! As you pointed out above, it also takes up one hand. I'm currently designing a goodman-handle type device for my z240s that will allow them to be mounted on the opposite hand to the primary light. This will hopefully let photo models do things like put in line without having to clip off the strobe. Clipped off strobes usually end up pointing the wrong direction...

I sometimes tape the sensor to the back of the strobe, which reduces the amount of fiddling for the model but means the strobe must be visible in every shot to fire - no magical hidden lights. If I can get my hands on some longer cables, I intend to experiment with running the cable from the strobe hand to the sensor hand by going up each arm and across the shoulders (under the harness). The sensor will then be held with (and possibly attached to) the primary light lighthead. The triggerfish don't seem to have any problems with being right next to a steady light source.

We'll also be carrying shears that will cut the cable, but with it flat to the body it would be a struggle to entangle in anything. I also doubt this would be a setup I would use where there were nasty restrictions or a chance of tank removal being required. As usual, both strobe and sensor can be clipped off out of the way by the model. If it all goes pear shaped, all the camera gear and anything else superfluous to requirements is staying in the cave until I feel like coming back to get it.

Safety first...but I still need a 2m sync cord.

Check out this album for the advantages of handheld strobes: http://lizrogersphot.../mccavity-cave/ In particular, these two photos wouldn't have been possible any other way:
http://lizrogersphot...99/stalactites/
http://lizrogersphot...3/water-levels/

#12 davichin

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:51 AM

A cable extender would definitely work, but if I'm getting cables made up with a Nikonos male plug on one end, I might as well get a Sea&Sea plug on the other end and save myself the cost of an extra sync cord. I'm trying to standardise my strobes to the inons so I will hopefully only own strobes that take the Sea&Sea plug.


But you said you already had the sync cord and, with two males, you could never put two extenders together or a Y cable at the end to connect two strobes with just one extender etc... up to you.

Edited by davichin, 12 February 2012 - 03:54 AM.

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#13 jans

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

As a lot of my cave diving buddies move from backmount to sidemount, I'm being forced to move from off-camera strobes mounted between twin tanks (cable to sensor over the shoulder) to hand held. If the sensor is held in the other hand so the strobe-holding hand can be hidden behind the body, the cable is visible stretched out in the middle.

I have standard Sea&Sea cables which comfortably only stretch to a bit over a metre (3ft). I'm looking for someone selling cables that are comfortable 2m (6ft) long, so I can wrap my buddies up in them. Does anyone know if (and by whom) these are being sold?

Thanks,
Liz

I have two nikonos cables (4 and 5 meter) male/female for sale. If I understand this right you can connect your Sea&Sea cable Nikonos end to the female extension cable end and the extension male end ti the housing.

Edited by jans, 17 April 2012 - 11:57 AM.