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clernix

Question on strobe power and Syncing with Camera D7100 YS 250 Strobes

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I just got back from a trip to Coz with the rig that I put together. Nauticam housing Dual YS 250 strobes triggered through fiber optic cables. I really struggled with the strobes. My first quesiton: I should set the camera to manual and not TTL correct. I am asking this but I am pretty sure on this one.

 

Second is it possible that the strobes could some how not put out full power? Both fire just fine but they didn't seem to put out any power. If I was just a small distance off the reef I got almost no lighting. I was using 1/125 and F8 a lot not a really fast shudder speed or small apature. I adjusted the strobes and had to crank them all the way up.

 

I called a Sea and Sea rep and of course they want me to send them in but I was hoping to get some insight from the group. If the strobes are firing can it be said that the issue is not with the strobes?

 

Also the person I bought them from shot them TTL I shot them with fiber optic cable.

 

Another question if you had the option of shooting TTL or using a vacuum pump system to seal the rig which would you choose?

 

I appreciate any help.

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Hi! Look at this thread for some more info on TTL: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=55762

 

An important thing to note: If your strobes are set to TTL with optical connections make sure the strobes are not expecting a pre-flash. Nikon DSLRs don't do pre-flash, and this can be very problematic with similar outcomes on INON strobes.

 

As for 'Another question if you had the option of shooting TTL or using a vacuum pump system to seal the rig which would you choose?': That's a strange question. But I'll answer it with 'vacuum system all the way' because nothing beats the feeling of 'my camera's safe' in my opinion. :)

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Hey clernix

 

I switched to using fibre optic connections to my (Inon) strobes a couple of years ago - having previously used them with Sea&Sea cables.

 

My housing supplier warned me that I would get a lower strobe output using the Nikon built-in camera flash (on a D800) to activate the strobes than I got from "wired" connections activated through the hot shoe.

 

His explanation was to do with the Guide Number of the built-in flash; and the solution, if it was a problem, was to increase the ISO setting.

 

I can't say I've really noticed a problem - certainly not for macro - but it might be a bit for wide-angle if I forget to switch the strobes off TTL.

 

On the vacuum v TTL issue, it's a bit comparing apples n'oranges. Ideally have both. But if you have to chose, I'd go with Fabian's view and get the vacuum system. Manual shooting with strobes is not that difficult although you might miss that once in a life-time macro shot. But, like Fabian, I like to see that little green light winking merrily at me from a Vivid Leak Sentinel.

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The question on the vacuum pump vs TTL is due to the fact that the Nauticam housing only has one opening to either put in a hot shoe cable of a vacuum pump. At least that I am aware of if there is another option I would LOVE to hear it. Having both the vacuum seal and TTL would really make my day.

 

Could either of you confirm this statement. If the strobes are firing then they are pretty much in good shape. Is it possible for a strobe to fire weaker than it should out of some technical issue? I am trying to save myself sending in my strobes due to my inexperience with the DSL system.

 

Shooting micro 4/3 was so much easier! But I have to admit when it did work I got a couple great shots.

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There must be a setting not set quite right. One simple test, put the camera in the housing, hook up the sync cable and with the strobe pointed at the lens of your camera you should be able to tell. Set correctly you should get a completely blown out image, if not there is a sync issue. Either some setting on the strobe not quite right or in the camera. I have not had the 250's but but have had the 110's and now the D1's have had these problems and it's usually a setting on the strobe got switched inadvertently.

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On the vacuum valve vs. 5-pin Nikonos cable bulkhead question: I just checked, and it looks like the NA-D7100 only has one option bulkhead, while the NA-D7200 has 3 of them. So yeah, sounds like you're limited to either or.

Edited by coinee

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First, you need to confirm your camera´s flash is in manual (strength is not really important as long as it is able to make the strobes fire).

Second, the strobes have a slave controller that should be in the ON position.

 

Try the equipment at home and check at different powers. Sometimes, when the camera is NOT in manual mode, the cameras iTTL preflash make the strobe fire, not having enough time/residual charge to reload for the proper strobe fire.

 

Good luck!

Edited by davichin

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Hi Clernix,

 

Nauticam has a bulkheads that allows both strobe connection and vacuum with the same opening in your housing

 

Look at: http://www.nauticamusa.com/news/?category=Vacuum+Check

 

Or you can drill and tap a new bulkhead opening in your housing

 

Also as mentioned prior, make sure the strobes are not on preflash and note that strobes flashes are not effective at illuminating beyond 5 feet in salt water.

 

Elmer

Edited by eyu

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First off thanks everyone for all your help. It looks like it was a setting issue. I just spoke with Reef Photo and they were very helpful. They confirmed the link in Coinee's post. I assumed I had to set the camera to manual for the internal strobe and set the strobes to slave. The rep stated to set the internal strobe to TTL and the strobes to TTL.

 

 

Honestly I still don't get why that wouldn't work. The internal strobe fires and the slave fires. I pretty much had them set the way Davichin posted.

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Sounds like time for testing. First at home in a dark room then at the pool. You do not want another unsatisfactory trip experience. You thought your old settings would work. Now you have new settings you think will work. Time for proof in action.

TTL is nice for macro but manual is sometimes better. Wide angle is often better in manual. You want to know how to set up your system both ways and have the demonstrated proof before you head out on a trip.

 

You can test your rig in a dark room, large enough to need full power then get close to things where you need less power. Both in TTL and manual. You should have settings that work for both. Once mastered, to the pool to demonstrate it underwater.

That is what I did when I was first setting up my rig.

 

Just a thought...

Edited by diver dave1

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Very good advice Diver Dave. It's a rainy weekend this week. Sounds like a really good project!

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Ok at this point all I see is spots. The strobes fire in manual. They don't fire when set to ttl, If I understand the manual that setting can only be used when using a hardwired 5 pin cable or converter. The strobes also fire in the slave position one and two which is for one pre-flash or two.

 

Hi Rodd,

"Your strobes (connected via fiber optic and in TTL mode) will mimic the output from your camera's flash. This includes the output of the pre-flash!

So when your camera pre-flashes, your strobes do so too. The camera then interprets the amount of light it "thinks" is needed to light the scene and sets the flash output - which is then mimicked again by your strobes.

Does that help?"

Adam

This post was on a linked forum page. If I understand correctly then I can shoot in the ttl setting on my camera by setting my strobe to either one or two and my strobe will match the power of the output of my camera flash?

I don't understand how a light single can be matched but i guess technology is wonderful.

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