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oldschoolphotographer

Can old strobes work with digital cameras?

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I am in the process of "possibly" switching to a housed DSLR from my Nikonos-V's. The real concern for me is the cost of having to buy new strobes. I have a SB-105 and an Ikelite Substrobe 400 that obviously will not automatically sync with the digital camera format. I was "told" by Ikelite that the strobes will not work and that I would have to buy new strobes. Does anyone know if this is true or not, and if there is an adapter that will allow these strobs to sync TTL? I have seen mention online of a digital strobe adapter made by Heinrich-Weinkamp? Does anyone have one of these? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

Edited by oldschoolphotographer

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I still have some SB105s. I run them manually having wired a sync socket up to connect into the camera's PC flash socket (not all cameras have PC flash sockets though). Be aware that some strobes won't operate via the hotshoe and some old strobes use a high voltage which can damage digital cameras but there are ways to avoid this. If you give further details such as camera and housing model that would help provide more detailed info.

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I still have some SB105s. I run them manually having wired a sync socket up to connect into the camera's PC flash socket (not all cameras have PC flash sockets though). Be aware that some strobes won't operate via the hotshoe and some old strobes use a high voltage which can damage digital cameras but there are ways to avoid this. If you give further details such as camera and housing model that would help provide more detailed info.

 

 

Thanks Paul, I am considering going to a Nikon D5000 in an Ikelite housing. I do not think that my sync cords will match up with the Ikelite housing, and I am very uneducated regarding the whole digital realm of underwater photography. Any help you can provide is appreciated.

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Ikelite has a cord that will allow Nikonos strobes to be connected to their housing (it for manual only) it's part # 4116.31 for a single cord or 4116.32 for the dual cord.

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I am in the process of "possibly" switching to a housed DSLR from my Nikonos-V's. The real concern for me is the cost of having to buy new strobes. I have a SB-105 and an Ikelite Substrobe 400 that obviously will not automatically sync with the digital camera format. I was "told" by Ikelite that the strobes will not work and that I would have to buy new strobes. Does anyone know if this is true or not, and if there is an adapter that will allow these strobs to sync TTL? I have seen mention online of a digital strobe adapter made by Heinrich-Weinkamp? Does anyone have one of these? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

 

When I first converted from my Nikonos V, I purchased a Heinrichs Weikamp converter/bulkhead so that I could continue using my Nikonos SB-105 strobe in TTL with the Nikonos sync cord. It worked great most of the time but tended to give over-exposures on close up shots unless I dialed in significant negative bias on the camera strobe setting. The Heinrichs website at the time said that the Nikonos SB-105 slow shutoff speed made this an issue for the strobe. I also had an AquaFlash strobe which the Heinrichs website said was not compatible with the converters because of its very slow response times. The Heinrichs company was great at responding to questions and even gave my converter a free upgrade when I was thinking of changing cameras. I purchased the bulkhead from Reef Photo and think that they still sell them although the price has probably increased. I no longer use mine since I have purchased a Inon Z-240 and get TTL via a fiber optic connection which I like much better than the wire connection (I tried using the 105 and Z-240 together for a while but decided that I didn't like the bulk and went back to a single strobe).

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oldschoolphotographer,

be advised the the IKELITE housing may not allow the D5000 internal strobe to open (fully) and disable so perfectly the (future) use of optical triggered slave strobes.

So you need to use a strobe connected electrically.

 

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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oldschoolphotographer,

be advised the the IKELITE housing may not allow the D5000 internal strobe to open (fully) and disable so perfectly the (future) use of optical triggered slave strobes.

So you need to use a strobe connected electrically.

 

Chris

 

The Nikonos SB-105 must be fired electrically and can not be fired by fiber optics so that is not an option if he is going to use that strobe.

 

And you are correct that the Ikelite housings are designed to not allow camera pop up flashes to be opened enough to fire. Some Canon cameras (my unhoused 450D, as example) only have to be open about 1/8 inch for the flash to to fire. Ikelite has told me that they put a Canon 450D in their housing and it would open enough to fire. However, you still have to DIY your own fiber optic attachment since Ikelite doesn't have an attachment available. I have heard that the Nikon cameras flashes have to be popped up all the way to fire. If this is true, then the Ikelite housings will not allow them to fire.

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I use an ikelite substrobe 400 on camera with my Canon 5DII. The old cable plugs straight into the Nikonos bulkhead on the Aquatica housing. I did need to use the 5pin cable instead of the 3pin cable though. However, I run the 5DII on full manual control and don't use TTL. I wasn't expecting this to work, but I just plugged it in and off we went. If you're not going to use your substrobe 400, I'd be interested in buying it off you...

 

I've also used some SB105s as off camera strobes with the HW slave sensors to great success. Not sure about using them on camera.

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I use an ikelite substrobe 400 on camera with my Canon 5DII. The old cable plugs straight into the Nikonos bulkhead on the Aquatica housing. I did need to use the 5pin cable instead of the 3pin cable though. However, I run the 5DII on full manual control and don't use TTL. I wasn't expecting this to work, but I just plugged it in and off we went. If you're not going to use your substrobe 400, I'd be interested in buying it off you...

 

I've also used some SB105s as off camera strobes with the HW slave sensors to great success. Not sure about using them on camera.

 

 

Thank you so much for the information... it is very helpful! I think what am going to do is rent a full digital camera/strobe package on my next trip to Bonaire in August to see if I like the more compact digital systems. If I do then I may not go to an Ikelite system with DSLR at all. If I don't go that route then I will consider your offer to buy the Substrobe 400, it is in excellent condition and works very well. Although, I have no clue what the value of a strobe like that is now? Thanks again... Mark

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If I don't go that route then I will consider your offer to buy the Substrobe 400, it is in excellent condition and works very well. Although, I have no clue what the value of a strobe like that is now? Thanks again... Mark

In today's dollars, I think they're priceless!

 

Despite being really large and heavy out of the water, the substrobes produce a cr*pload of light. Great as long as you don't intend to fly with them. My concern is that the ikelite website says that they no longer make replacement flash tubes for these models. Once the tube is gone, that's the end of it.

 

Good luck with trialling your rental equipment.

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The Nikonos SB-105 must be fired electrically and can not be fired by fiber optics so that is not an option if he is going to use that strobe.

 

I guess I will stop firing my SB-105 optically then. I have used the sea & sea L fiber optic cord with the SB diffuser and drilled a hole over the slave sensor. hold in place with silicon or duct tap. I am using the Nikon D7000 and rear curtain flash synch. I am looking for fiber optic adapters for point and shoot camera that fires Sea & Sea strobes. I figure I can put the camera end over the SB-105 sensor and the strobe end into the housing.

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