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ikelite ttl - strobes on full power - very dark shots

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Got a wierd problem here. FYI Running a D70 in Ikelite TTL with 1 - 2 DS 125's.

 

If I shoot with the strobe on TTL mode - perfect exposure.

 

If i dial the strobe back to Full power - I get an extremely dark shot, 95% of the time it's just totally black unless I have some other bright light source nearby (like a LCD monitor). If I dial it back to 1/2 - i'll get what I would normally expect for 1/2 power, and so on for 1/4 and 1/8 as well. So it's only happening on "FULL"

 

I've tried increasing the exposure time to see if its firing too slow and i'm getting the same problem, so I guess it's firing too soon.

 

I've tried it with just one strobe and a single TTL cable and dual strobes and dual TTL cable.

 

Any ideas on what could be causing this?

 

One thing i've noticed is that the TTL module inside the housing still has it's TTL LED on, rather than the manual LED on. Not sure if that's right?

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I have no idea but it reminds me of a problem of pre-flash config. If the ttl system is still in ttl mode, it will fire a low power preflash followed very fast by the "real" fire. If the strobe is in FULL setting, it will dump a full fire for the preflash not having enough time to reload for the "real" fire then giving you very little or no light. That´s why, IMHO, if you set it 1/2 it still has power to deliver after the preflash. You should try to config the ttl board in manual so no preflash is shot... Hope it helps!!

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On the bottom of the base plate / iTTL tray there is a selector switch DS125 or DS50. For two strobes this should be set to DS-50. Don't know if this is the problem but might be work checking whilst sat on the Sofa.

 

Cheers,

Richard B.

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I have no idea but it reminds me of a problem of pre-flash config. If the ttl system is still in ttl mode, it will fire a low power preflash followed very fast by the "real" fire. If the strobe is in FULL setting, it will dump a full fire for the preflash not having enough time to reload for the "real" fire then giving you very little or no light. That´s why, IMHO, if you set it 1/2 it still has power to deliver after the preflash. You should try to config the ttl board in manual so no preflash is shot... Hope it helps!!

 

Cheers - How would I go about that?

 

On the bottom of the base plate / iTTL tray there is a selector switch DS125 or DS50. For two strobes this should be set to DS-50. Don't know if this is the problem but might be work checking whilst sat on the Sofa.

 

Cheers,

Richard B.

 

Thanks - tried this but no difference :)

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Yes, the problem is that when you have the housing set to TTL the strobe fires on the pre-flash instead of the real-flash. To shoot with your DS-strobes in manual, you must set TTL circuitry in the the housing to manual mode. (press both TTL buttons at the same for 5 seconds) you can then control the power manually via the buttons on the housing (you still want the knob on the strobe set to TTL).

 

There is no need to ever move the knob on the strobe out of TTL when used on ikelite housings. The knob is there for non-Ikelite housings.

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Where did you get the information that (2) DS-125 strobes means you should change the TTL switch to DS-50 setting?

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Yes, the problem is that when you have the housing set to TTL the strobe fires on the pre-flash instead of the real-flash. To shoot with your DS-strobes in manual, you must set TTL circuitry in the the housing to manual mode. (press both TTL buttons at the same for 5 seconds) you can then control the power manually via the buttons on the housing (you still want the knob on the strobe set to TTL).

 

There is no need to ever move the knob on the strobe out of TTL when used on ikelite housings. The knob is there for non-Ikelite housings.

 

Success! thank you! :)

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Where did you get the information that (2) DS-125 strobes means you should change the TTL switch to DS-50 setting?

 

I Just happened to read the manual yesterday (not really a coincidence as I read it every night before bed time, give me sweet dreams :) ). The manual says you should set the TTL switch to DS50 if you are using a DS50 plus DS125 combination. For two DS125s the switch should be set to DS125 as one would expect. Does anyone know if setting the switch to DS50 with a DS50/DS125 combo affects the performance of the DS125? Ike, what is this switch doing?

 

Bart

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Where did you get the information that (2) DS-125 strobes means you should change the TTL switch to DS-50 setting?

 

Ok, now that you've got this far, you can get more advanced. Ignore this if you are happy with both strobes having the same power.

 

Technically I lied when I said you can never take the strobe off of TTL mode. When the housing is set to Manual take one of the strobes and set the power via the knob on the strobe. Now you control one strobe via the knob and the other via the buttons on the housing. This will let you have different power level on each strobe. Again, you must have the housing set to manual to do this.

 

You could controll both strobes via the knobs on the strobes when the housing is set to manual, but you have more control when you use the housing so it is best to use the housing controls when ever possible.

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Ok, the OP didn't say anything about a DS-50 in the mix, so Richard's original post was confusing. With (2) DS-125 there is no reason to change the switch as I suspected.

Edited by bandit

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Technically I lied when I said you can never take the strobe off of TTL mode. When the housing is set to Manual take one of the strobes and set the power via the knob on the strobe. Now you control one strobe via the knob and the other via the buttons on the housing. This will let you have different power level on each strobe. Again, you must have the housing set to manual to do this.

 

You could controll both strobes via the knobs on the strobes when the housing is set to manual, but you have more control when you use the housing so it is best to use the housing controls when ever possible.

 

With the D200 & 2 * DS125 all hell broke loose when I tried this William. As soon as the control's on either of the flash units was taken out of 'TTL' the camera tended to lock up and refuse to fire.

 

The camera seemed to be waiting for the flash to confirm that it was charged ( when it was ).

 

My only fix so far for the manual control of 2 strobes on my setup was to cut a pieces of thin mylar shim and interpose that in the hot shoe connection leaving only the central 'fire' pin exposed - yea I tried electrical tape but that was useless the pins cut through and the camera's intelligence again came to life.

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Hope it's ok to off topic a little bit. I have a Nikon D70s and is shopping for my first dslr housing

 

Does it make more sense to use an Ikelite housing with Ikelite DS125 strobe together over say a

Subal or Nexus housing given this manual and TTL feature availability ?

 

Thanks!

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Hope it's ok to off topic a little bit. I have a Nikon D70s and is shopping for my first dslr housing

 

Does it make more sense to use an Ikelite housing with Ikelite DS125 strobe together over say a

Subal or Nexus housing given this manual and TTL feature availability ?

 

Thanks!

 

The TTL vs Manual strobe debate is nearly as inflammatory as Cannon Vs Nikon !

 

Many who have got to grips with manual tend to want to stick with it - this can be accommodated in a number of ways up to and including removal of pins from a hotshoe connection.

 

I am not sure how many vendors of housing offer a manual and TTL in the way that the Ike housing does - if you have only 1 strobe then the manual on the Ike housing works fine - with two it still works though I had a problem when I tried to drive one strobe at a different output to the other.

 

Personally I would not let this decide my housing choice.

 

FWIW I have had two Ike housings and found them to be excellent value for money.

 

Paul C

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I think that the manufacturers are slowliy closing the TTL issue. I predict that soon everyone will have the option of TTL on their housings and this will be a non-issue. Some will still use manual as they always have.

 

The Ikelite TTL works great. Its easy to use and right on the housing where you want it. The DS strobes are the best out there. I think you have an excellent system. Take excellent photos and don't look back.

 

Ikelite is by no means the only choice for TTL. If you really like the luxury of the high-end custom housings and have the money to pay for these systems then there are ways to get TTL in these as well. There are adapters available that you can add to most housings to get TTL. Sea and Sea has a new strobe out that does dTTL for Canon, iTTL should not be far behind. But this strobe is tiny. Larger iTTl strobes are definately in the future IMHO. If money is no object Subtronic offers iTTL strobes compatable with most housing using the ittl conversion circuitry (offered in some housings) built in.

 

Manual and TTL have worked well for me. Strobe position seems to me more important than either.

To me the real revolution is in Flash Exposure Compensation with TTL. This is like semi auto that allows you to calibrate TTL for quick chan ges between subjects and allows you to get what you want on the first or second try.

 

Some of the aluminum housings with glass domes and subtronic strobes look amazing. Bit I've got over $10K invested in my Ikelite D70 system for both topside and UW as it is. If you think that's enough to spend on this hobby, then I'd stick with Ikelite. The service from Ikelite is top class, TTL or manual is easy and the housings are as functional as the premium ones.

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Thank you PRC & UWPhotoNewbie!

 

Given I have the D70S and a pair of Ikelite DS125 manual EV (currently using C5050 in a PT-015), I think leaning toward Ikelite because of it's cost and TTL. I love the ergonomic of the Subal housing and the glass dome but the whole package adds up to double the Ikelite. To me, I am not at the professional level to spend more then $5K on just underwater housing setup. It seems Ikelite is the senisble solution.

 

Thanks!

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I honestly don't think that you will be disappointed with the Ike, I have owned the D70 and now the D200 ike housings.

 

If cash is an issue consider looking around for a second user housing, there are a lot of idiots ( like me ) who have bought into say a new D200 and have sold on their D70 kit, I sold mine to a guy in Canada from this list.

 

Many users only put a couple of weeks use per year on their gear - which makes it effectively 'as new' on the secondhand market.

 

Paul C

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