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RX100 - strobe recycle time


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#1 oskar

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:51 AM

Great discussions on the RX100-housings going on now. I thought I put this in a separate thread but it's aimed at you guys who already got some experience on RX100 in nauticam and recsea housings.

How do you find the internal strobe recycle time when used as trigger for external strobes?

The bluwaterphotostore review mentioned that it was clearly slow, but got better when used with the Sea & Sea strobe SY-D01.

This sounds very strange to me, but i guess this could be true if used in TTL mode.

Can you confirm that experience, and how is it when used in manual mode?


Cheers
/O


PS: It would have been such an easy tiny little firmware fix to add a low level strobe mode to only do a minimal power flash (Like the Olympus ZX1 does at 1/64th of the power)

#2 Interceptor121

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:37 PM

There is another thread on sb from chile from what I can see the rx100 doesn't work well with strobes in manual as there is no manual flash mode (pity)

#3 SPP

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

Gents,

I am not into UW photography much at all but I have Inon Z240 just in case I want to take photo.
So if my test method is wrong, my apology.

A favor for you Oskar, I took the trouble to test specifically for you.

Parameter :
Camera in MANUAL MODE, 1/160sec, F5.6.
Focus mode made manual for faster allowed shots for this test.
Object/target is static
Inon Z240 in sTTL mode. If I go FULL POWER on Z240, I will go blind !!! doing this test. Anyway I am testing RX100 and not the strobe. Battery is fresh in Inon.

Possible delay/cycle RX100 could give to user for flash operation :
AA. Preview setting, how many seconds ?
BB. Focus mode
CC. Battery not fully charged
DD. Setting of RX100 flash. I set to FILL flash


121, you have the RX100, its odd that you believe what people say in SB without testing it ?? Just fire the camera with flash and that's it, without or without external strobe it makes no difference since RX100 strobe is what we want to test.
If a user has a crappy external strobe and get delay, too bad.

Come on, I am not an UW photographer but I use my logic a lot.
How can a master strobe called RX100, which can not communicate with external strobe ( slave ) and can only fire thru fibre optic as a command to trigger a slave/external strobe, get delayed by an external strobe ? The only way the delay occurred is because user/tester did not see flash fired from the small FO window of the housing and only looking at external strobe behavior and assumed RX100 did not fire. So when a faster recycling external/slave strobe being used and user/tester felt that the delay is reduced, it is then assumed the problem lies with the master strobe aka RX100. Hello ??? Fiber optic triggering is a one way command to external strobe, there is no handshake, no verification whatsoever an external strobe could instruct back to master strobe to alter the behavior or performance of the master strobe.


Video : To see the real live test. 48 seconds. Only 48 MB. My boss would want me to prove it , if he is the one asking the strobe re-cycle question ha ha ha.
https://rapidshare.c...n Z240 test.mp4


Photos of photo files, for those with slow band-with for video download.


The average is approx 1.548 seconds per cycle. 48 seconds divided by 31 cycles. 31 is used and not 32 because the count down starts with 1st firing recharge cycle which is not part of the total 48 seconds test duration.

If under 2 seconds is slow for a baby sized camera, I probably am more UW photo dummy than I thought. I thought 2-3 seconds recycle is decent for baby sized camera with no capability to reduce flash power like Oly EM-5.

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Enjoy...............
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Attached Images

  • First Flash. File no 713 time 4-39- 12seconds.JPG
  • Last Flash. File no 744 time 4-39- 59seconds.  Total flash fired is 32 cycles  in 48 seconds.JPG


#4 Interceptor121

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:21 PM

For what concerns the recycle time the camera on its own is one thing but when you attach an external TTL strobe depending on the Guide number the internal flash will turn off quicker --- this is why the recycle time improves

So if you have a strobe that is not powerful the internal flash will stay on longer and end up dumping lots of energy and needing more to recharge

If you have a monster strobe, your Z240 is very good, the power will be such that in no time the internal strobe will say enough turn off, and take less to recharge

The other question of the OP is around using the strobe in manual mode as the RX100 has TTL also in manual mode (advantage but also disadvantage) non TTL strobe can give strange results,
in those cases it would be better to use the internal flash in manual minimum setting and then turn the power on the strobe knob to set power however the RX100 does not offer a manual flash mode so this mode can create problems with a non TTL strobe

Edited by Interceptor121, 16 November 2012 - 03:22 PM.

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#5 SPP

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

Hi 121,

As I said I am not into UW photography much.

What I gather from Oskar post is :

How do you find the internal strobe recycle time when used as trigger for external strobes?
1.548 seconds average I get, with setting as FILL flash. Inon set in sTTL mode.


I do not understand this statement of yours 121......
The other question of the OP is around using the strobe in manual mode as the RX100 has TTL also in manual mode (advantage but also disadvantage) non TTL strobe can give strange results, in those cases it would be better to use the internal flash in manual minimum setting and then turn the power on the strobe knob to set power however the RX100 does not offer a manual flash mode so this mode can create problems with a non TTL strobe

Since RX100 has no hot shoe for data transfer to external strobe nor the setting of its internal flash has any menu called TTL, what TTL data output are you talking about from RX100 ? I am sure its metering of exposure either in ambient light or flash assisted is thru the lens aka TTL ( what else will it use ?? ) , but how the true TTL data can be transferred to an external strobe ?? How ?
When one speak of TTL for a strobe, it is TTL data for the strobe from the camera being the subject, hence you confused me with your statement which implies RX100 has TTL data to pass on to a strobe.


As far as my limited knowledge on strobes allows me, the true TTL of a camera body which can communicate with an extrenal strobe, must be transferred electrically by hard electrical wire and those using Fiber Optic are simulated TTL by the strobe itself. Inon sTTL is not a true TTL but intelligent it is YES and to use that intelligence , we must set the camera for pre-flash function. That is what Inon literature stated.

Hot shoe connection from camera to external strobe, without a strobe able to read or understand each and every proprietary TTL data from the camera, will be a simple ON trigger only. Like a dummy trigger. Inon Z240 can read Nikonos TTL, the film type. I do not know if it is any different TTL for Nikon digital camera of today.
http://www.inon.jp/p...e/z240/top.html


Inon Z240 does not have electrical TTL data converter capability aside from that Nikonos TTL film type Inon Japan mentioned. I know my friend told me that, if using Sea&Sea electrical cable to Inon using Canon 5DMK3, it is merely a dummy trigger just to fire the Inon Z240 and no Canon's specific TTL data can be forwarded to Inon Z240.

I know Ike has TTL converter and Sea&Sea too and these are true TTL, allowing camera body and strobe do speak to each other sending exposure data, at least this is my understanding of a true TTL. How accurate each brand so called TTL converter is, I don't know, I don't own any and will never buy any in the day of age of Z240 being so intelligent.

http://www.ikelite.c...tl_adapter.html
http://www.uwphotogr.../ttl-converters


So if Oskar is asking how fast an RX100 can generate a flash for a signal to trigger an external strobe, whatever brand is the strobe used and whatever the mode used on the external strobe..............the answer lies with what external strobe he uses, it got nothing to do with RX100 being slow as 1.5ish seconds per cycle is not slow. Again as I said, RX100 is the master strobe, it can not be effected by whatever slave/external strobe used if we are talking of RX100 own internal flash recycle speed based on the fact that we can choose the fastest RX100 flash recycle mode. I don't know if FILL flash is actually fastest or not. I so happen to test it with FILL flash because my logic tells me it is most likely the fastest for flash recycle speed based on RX100 menu of :
AUTO, FILL , SLOW & REAR


So if Oskar is sort of confused............

The bluwaterphotostore review mentioned that it was clearly slow, but got better when used with the Sea & Sea strobe SY-D01.

This sounds very strange to me, but i guess this could be true if used in TTL mode.



.......... I too will be confused reading such review as there is no logic to it if we are discussing RX100 internal strobe.
No suprise Oskar started the post in the 1st place, he need to verify the logic or truth of that information.
.

#6 Lwang

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

I presume the review was using the YS-D1 in DS-TTL or slave TTL. Otherwise, if one is using it in manual mode, there would be no reason to buy new strobes since that technology hasn't changed for a long long time.

As for the fiber optic trigger not being a 2 way communicating system, it is a feedback communicating system, where the pre-flash of the internal flash, communicated to the external strobe, which lights up the imaging sensor of the camera where it calculates how long to light up its internal flash for proper exposure. The camera does not even know that it is triggering a slave strobe. It thinks it is getting all of its flash lighting from its internal flash.

Recycle time with the YS-D1 could still be slow if your subject is far away/f-stop small/ISO low where it requires the YS-D1 to shoot in full power in DS-TTL mode. For the DS-TTL to shoot off in 1/500 sec burst (or whatever its max duration is), your internal flash has to shoot off its internal flash at that duration, which only occurs in max flash power, and in those situations, your camera will likely recycle for 7 seconds or so.

#7 SPP

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:22 AM

Interesting Lwang, many thanks.

Your explanation on the feed back style of fiber optic based TTL is also what my senior friends explained to me. They been amazed at Inon Z240 sTTL intelligence for close up shots, where they been using manual on other strobes of theirs for a long time previous to Inon Z240.
For wide angle, sure they used manual all the way.
They said 9 out of 10 Inon Z240 for close up or macro is a hit and that is awesome for shy critters.

I will try my RX100 using 1/500 sec at F8, Manual mode, FILL flash and see how slow it will be.
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#8 Lwang

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

SSP,

If you want to do max recycle time test, all you have to do is cover the external strobe's face with your hand and everything set to TTL when testing (in a relatively dark setting I guess). So when the pre-flashes goes off, the camera does not see any of the pre-flash coming back, thus it thinks it will have to give off a strong blast.

When I first moved to shooting with with a digital P&S around 10 yrs ago, I was surprised that things like emulation of the camera's TTL capability via fiber optics cable were not avaiable on external strobes. The best they had were manual strobes with pre-flash cancellation with top end strobes. I kind of asked around back then here:

http://www.scubaboar...al-cameras.html

So I gave up on shooting with external strobe for many many years and instead opted with playing with shooting with internal flash whiel optimizing ISO/shutter speed, or just alot of white balancing.

After a long while, I realized more and more digital P&S cameras in the camera buckets had strobe attached to it, and thought it might be time to get back in the game. This is when I realized it is not the same world anymore. Although most of those strobes in those buckets were of the type with the light sensor on the strobe head (so 1970's in the camera world), I did realize some had really advanced almost to the level I really wanted with the Inon's sTTL and Sea&Sea's DS-TTL.

Inon's sTTL and Sea&Sea's DS-TTL were hailed as a breakthrough when they came out since the idea is real easy. Utilize an optical trigger to fire off the external strobe, but in reality, I guess was much harder, given the way the energy and light released over time by the external strobe's capacitor can't have its own profile (as in eletrical triggered TTL where the camera knows it is getting light from an external unit). The sTTL and DS-TTL has to emulate the pre-flash and main flash's lighting profile of as many cameras as possible, otherwise the exposure would be off some of the time. Emulating energy release with capacitor dumps was not as easy as it seemed.

I am still waiting for sensor or flash shutoff for TTL w/o pre-flash though. Maybe that will come in another 10 years?

#9 Interceptor121

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:48 AM

Lwang is correct
What we are talking about here is DS-TTL digital slave ttl
This mechanism follows the camera own auto flash mode to start and stop the strobe
The rx100 has a pathetic 7.2 flash recycle time using the internal strobe at full power for a medium exposure at 1/60
Now what Scott was saying that if you have a monster strobe ya-ds1 or inon z240 the high guide number makes the camera ttl content quickly the internal flash doesn't fully discharge and you can recycle in 1.5 seconds which is what SPP is experiencing
A strobe with less than gn20 will be received as less powerful from the camera and the internal strobe will go at full power for longer increasing the recycle time
I have the YS-01 and the rx100 although ibsidnt use them together I can give it a go to check
This strobe is the companion on a canon s95 that has a 6 second flash recycle time but I have never seem the camera not ready to shoot within 2 seconds

#10 SPP

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:59 AM

Thanks Lwang and to Oskar too.
I never actually test my Inon z240 much till this post comes around.

I went to Mr Google and I found this :
http://www.reefphoto.com/kb.php?id=7
One of the best Inon Z240 101. Since z240 user manual is totally crap.

I even played all the way to 1/2000 sec shutter speed......he he he. Indeed Inon Z240 intelligence is mind blowing. Stupid me, I kept thingking of shutter sych speed limitation which applies to my D800 because it has real shutter blades and RX100 doesn't have shutter blades ha ha ha.

I took various close up subjects of 50ish cm, a few subjects with various color and reflectivity on a sofa with sand color fabric. Camera directly on top, microscope style..........I use center weighted and multi mode metering. I shot many different positions of the RX100 metering target box in respect to subject's position, some I aim half background of sofa fabric ( light color ) and some half of object in target box ( dark black RX100 no 2 ) to create AE confusion.........bloody hell, now I know why the said sTTL of Inon is really intelligent. It is as good as RX100 own AE with flash............amazing.

I also test 40cm away object 10 cm tall, on a bed where the bed has a dark wooden headrest 2 meters away on its end.
I was hoping to create distance and AE confusion ( the bed sheet, white with blue stripe light color ). Testing of center weighted and multi metering mode , SPOT metering I did not test. Camera flat as low as possible on bed, this way the bed sheet being the flat horizon and light color , all the way from near to far will/may/should confuse the AE. The Inon was spot on !! I guess the feedback to RX100 was spot on. From RX100 video camera section behavior I have learned, RX100 center weighted metering, if in video......... is rather small, more like spot but not that small. Once I placed target box of RX100 a bit high as to get 30% on the 40cm away object and 70% on 2 meter away dark bed headrest, the RX100 and Inon decided to take the dark headrest as AE parameter............great !!

I did test RX100 without Inon, set to 1/2000sec F11 in MANUAL to get darkest image and shot a 4 meter away subject, it is dark for sure as flash can't keep up at that distance and exposure, the result of 7.5 seconds flash recycle it is not, it is 5 seconds with fully charged battery. Auto focus play an effect here , so I went to manual focus and repeated firing away once I acquire good focus.

Indeed exciting to see how we can pull off faster RX100 flash recycle with the assistance of that Inon mode called Advance Cancel Circuit even at 1/2000sec F11.

So RX100 user if they use Inon Z240, it will be super fast flash recycle for macro or close up if the Inon is set properly even though RX100 at 1,2000 sec F11 for a 40cm away subject, assuming there is a need for such fast shutter speed. The black-out is nice on this kind of shutter speed though. I did not test REAR or SLOW, I only use FILL flash mode of the RX100.

I did read more on Sea & Sea new baby D1 too. Poor soul, user are getting overheating when used on land repeating shots during test. Good thing the Inon did not overheat at all. I did so much test I can tell the various intensity of the sound of the flash firing between low and high power ha ha ha, it made a loud "blub" sound from the capacitor discharge in FULL power.

I recalled, I used to dismantle external Vivitar strobe to get its high voltage output when I was 14, to "shock" my friend ha ha ha, no Taser gun back then. Its much less shocking than my car beefed up ignition's coil output which could made me "soft" for a minute.

This strobe test is fun man.....Thanks again Lwang.
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#11 davephdv

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

Interesting discussion. I have used the Rx100 strobe to fire optical fiber strobes in manual mode. The camera's strobe has a slow recycle time.

As mentioned above, it can be improved a lot by turning the RX100's strobe to it's lowest power setting.
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#12 Lwang

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

SPP,

interesting results. Although I don't know if the Inon is doing any brainwork here. It is more or less like a giant optical repeater. If your camera has really bad TTL metering, then even with a Z240/sTTL or YS-D1 and its latests DS-TTL, it will not improve your picture (maybe it would, by allowing bounce/indirect lighting capability, but that is another topic).

Shooting at 1/2000 sec would allow the background to stay dark in your picture, but then it limits your camera's max flash duration to 1/2000 sec (maybe its max duration is already less than 1/2000 sec). I don't know what the max duration of strobes like the Z240 or YS-D1 are, but I remember some of my big land strobe had a duration of 1/500 sec. The main point is that the advertised GN of the strobes might be limited by how long the max flash duration is on your camera. If you got a little toy one that has a max flash duration of 1/8000 sec, and another camera that has max flash duration of 1/1000 sec. When you hook up the Z240 to either of them, the setup with the latter camera could power the Z240 to 2 stops brighter. This is one of those spec that is mentioned in camera's built in flash or external UW strobes, so there is no definitive answer.

I use to have one of those static remover for records (zerostat) when I was a kid, and I can zap people unspspectly. It use to also wreak havoc on electronic equipment, thus I would play pranks on people playing those arcade games and I would just point it at a metal bolt or nut and pull the trigger. The game would go nuts, sometimes reset and other times the screen would flip upside down, they would flip out, not knowing what was happening and have to continue while the screen is completely distorted.

#13 SPP

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:32 AM

He he he, you too are a prankster...I like it !!
I did not know there is such anti-static gun. I saw they have A-S brush too.
http://www.2spi.com/...o/antistat.html

Do you think this A-S gun and brush can help me make my housing more dust free ?... I mean the sealing area where the o-ring is.
I currently use UV lamp to spot fine contamination from cloth and sometime our dried skin !!!
UV lamp is sooooooo good to use.

Anyway, here is the video of a test I did again for Inon TTL response to RX100 metering system.
The only different method this test is compared to previous, the RX100 is raised this time for the bed shots and not flat or on level with that fake strawberry cake. I also can not use my 2nd RX100 as black target, so idive video Pro4 is used instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xv9vL0Q5pWE

.
.
Who knows some may find it useful. Center weighted average is used for metering. No EV compensation on INON. No external focus assist light used. RX100 no 1 is in housing. The one outside is my 2nd RX100.

As my Boss always put it "Show me, don't just speak about it".... ha ha ha
.

Edited by SPP, 21 November 2012 - 10:33 AM.


#14 oskar

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

Good you guys sorted out the issues while i was away for a few days ;-)

So how do you lower RX100 strobe power? Do you dial down the fash exposure compensation i suppose, how low can you make it and what's the recycle time then?

Cheers
/O

Interesting discussion. I have used the Rx100 strobe to fire optical fiber strobes in manual mode. The camera's strobe has a slow recycle time.

As mentioned above, it can be improved a lot by turning the RX100's strobe to it's lowest power setting.



#15 Lwang

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

Do you think this A-S gun and brush can help me make my housing more dust free ?... I mean the sealing area where the o-ring is.
I currently use UV lamp to spot fine contamination from cloth and sometime our dried skin !!!
UV lamp is sooooooo good to use.


There were brushes that had p01iu^^ at the base of the brush, which constantly shoots out alpha rays, which attaches to excess electrons and neutralizes static on whatever particles they are on.

So how do you lower RX100 strobe power? Do you dial down the fash exposure compensation i suppose, how low can you make it and what's the recycle time then?

In optical TTL mode, one possibly to lower camera's internal flash power is to dial the flash exposure compensation on the camera and dial up exposure compensation on the strobe, so at the end, they balance each outher out. Although not all external strobes has that feature.

Edited by Lwang, 24 November 2012 - 01:40 PM.


#16 oskar

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:01 AM

This also could work with my manual mode with pre-flash cancellation on my S&S YS110 strobes.

But maybe not, I think the camera "compensates" if the flash is completely obscured.

Anyone of you with a RX100. What's your strobe rcyle time if you just dial down flash exposure comp to minimum and take a series of photos with your hand covering the flash?

In optical TTL mode, one possibly to lower camera's internal flash power is to dial the flash exposure compensation on the camera and dial up exposure compensation on the strobe, so at the end, they balance each outher out. Although not all external strobes has that feature.



#17 davephdv

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:26 PM

Good you guys sorted out the issues while i was away for a few days ;-)

So how do you lower RX100 strobe power? Do you dial down the fash exposure compensation i suppose, how low can you make it and what's the recycle time then?

Cheers
/O


Yes, flash compensation, 3rd page of the shooting menu.
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#18 kmcbrid2

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

Yes, flash compensation, 3rd page of the shooting menu.

do dail down the comp to -2.0 so you can increase the camera flash recycle time?

#19 davephdv

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

do dail down the comp to -2.0 so you can increase the camera flash recycle time?


I do dial it down to -2. It clearly decrease the cameras strobe recycle time.
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#20 Interceptor121

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

I am not sure that reducing the flash exposure compensation is the right solution as that will also have an effect on the external DS TTL

Have you tried various Fev settings for the same close focus wide angle subject to compare results?

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