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Hello! I am interested in doing some remote strobe work but I haven't been able to find a way to trigger my strobes remotely. I have read reviews on the Triggerfish and Seacam remote triggers, but they don't seem to be available for purchase. I use Sea&Sea YS-D1 or YS-D2 strobes. Ideally, I would like an optical trigger that will plug into the bulkhead using a sync cable. A fiber optic cable would work as well, but either solution would have to mate with my Sea&Sea strobes.

 

I am not opposed to purchasing a dedicated strobe for this purpose, as I have heard that the INON Z240's have an optical sensor, but also that they might fire unexpectedly or not at all, depending on how light reaches the sensor.

 

Is there a remote strobe solution out there? Does anyone have one they are no longer using for sale? Any other ideas? (BTW, I'm not interested in using continuous light, such as video lights unless it is my last and only hope.)

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I saw this company has it... It's not listed in their website... But certainly seen it on their Facebook page today... U can write them an email...

http://www.fun-in.com.tw

They have a few location in Asia. Probably that is your biggest cost...

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Hey Brook,

 

The optical sensors on strobes are designed to trigger when in close proximity to another strobe and not as a remote sensor.

 

To my knowledge the only way to use fiber optic to trigger remotely would be to use a long cable linking the two strobes.

 

Adam

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Hey Brook,

 

The optical sensors on strobes are designed to trigger when in close proximity to another strobe and not as a remote sensor.

 

To my knowledge the only way to use fiber optic to trigger remotely would be to use a long cable linking the two strobes.

 

Adam

I've seen a Z-240 used off-camera as a remote slave.
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Hi Brook,

 

maybe this the thingy you are looking for? :

 

http://www.heinrichsweikamp.com/?id=43

(In the upper right corner you can switch between German and English)

 

You still will need your main strobe to trigger the remote one! (If you do not want that you will need a very long cable...) The remote strobe will have a cable to which the RSU is connected, The RSU needs to face your main strobe whereas the remote strobe can face any direction and/or can be hidden.

 

The triggerfish is/was a non-commercial DIY-solution. No idea about Seacam, but you could contact them.

 

Greetings,

Jock

Edited by Jock

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I agree with the above comments and believe we are firmly in the DIY world. This is not a common objective. So easily available commercial solutions generally do not exist. You either are in the big effort or big money world.

 

The key questions to ask the OP are:

- what type of remote strobe effects do you want?

- what is my current strobe(s) capable of?

 

The simplest remote setup is to use the optical slave sensor on a strobe you already own. No cost. No effort. Just plunk your strobe down over there and make sure it faces you...This has some major effects limitations as the remote strobe needs to "see" the flash from your main strobe. In your case the SY-D1 & D2 are very very poor candidates. Their slave sensor is located on the bottom of the body. This is a a design feature that really only works with a fibre cable (it is designed to prevent false triggers).

 

If the effects you desire can be achieved from a direct facing optically triggered strobe, then I suggest you purchase a suitable used strobe. Target cost for me would be less than $200us. An old YS90xxx or Inon should do. Note that you can not do most backlight effects with this trivial solution.

 

if you want to use your current strobes: how long of a fibre cable can you find? I found a 25 foot TOS link cable on Amazon. About $15? You may be able to find longer. It would require a bit of custom Dremel grinding to prepare the ends. About 10 minutes grinding on each end... Similarly you could utilize a long wired sync cable if your housing / camera supports wired sync. Some serious DIY will be required for the wired cable,

 

As the OP indicated the "perfect" solution is to utilize a wired remote optical trigger on a "long enough" wired sync cable. This type of trigger utilizes a standard Nikonos wired connection to the strobe (unless you have an Ikelite trigger / strobe) and provides an optical sensor that needs to be positioned so that it can be triggered by the main flash. The bonus is that you are free to position and orient the strobe any way you like. If you can DIY then you may be able to find either a Nikonos or an ikelte remote trigger on ebay for under $30. They are fairly rare, a handful every year...

 

The Nikonos trigger is very easy to disassemble... I have no knowledge of the Ikelite ones..

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I mispoke. You should be looing for a wired trigger with a standard sea and sea strobe connection. The nikonos connector is a camera side thing.

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You are all entirely correct. The slave sensor will fire the strobe at distance. My apologies for getting this wrong. However, in order to do so, their must be direct line of sight between the triggering strobe and the remote, which means that it is in shot.

 

Not only does this mean that you have to remove the strobe in post (unless it is part of the creative effect) , and you tend to get some really hot lighting close to the strobe.

 

The advantage of a wired remote is that the strobe can be "hidden" and still triggered.

 

Apologies again.

 

Adam

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Didn't AlexM did some remote strobe shots on the Thistlegorm a couple of years ago? I seem to remember seeing shots of his with the inside of the trucks in the ship's hold being light.

 

The fibre optic link sounds a good solution although presumably a bit of work would be needed to stop the cable floating around into the image. Is there a realistic limit on the length? I'm guessing 10-15m wouldn't be an issue.

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I dont know what remote slaves Alex uses, but the ikelite ones are quite sensitive. Also possible to use an extension cord to increase the distance. I picked 2 old ones up on ebay . Played around on one dive last year. The regular little bit of cord is about 50-60 cm (2 foot), but you can use an extension. Only works with ikelite strobes though.

 

19634166709_92126a53f4_z.jpg20150606-IMG_8890 by Gerard Wijnsma, on Flickr

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Triggerfish are very available - I just had some turn up today. Try emailing Hedwig at triggerfish@telenet.be to order. There is also a Facebook page.

 

I use mine on the end of sync cords on my inon Z240s. I have seen them work well with a variety of strobes and Hedwig will be able to tell you if yours are on the list.

 

The Heinrich-Weikamp RSUs will also work but they are better in dark places and usually fail completely with too much sunlight.

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The triggerfish has 2 versions: one with internal battery and another without internal battery.

 

The first is the newer version and allows to trigger sea and sea strobes. Inon strobes can be triggered by both versions.

 

BR

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I use a combination of Triggerfish and the Inon optical sensor for remote lighting in my cave diving photography. I think it's working well.

 

You're welcome to take a look at my results and judge for yourself. I'm currently shooting in caves in Mexico.

 

http://www.inspiredtodive.com/photo-blog

Edited by Alison Perkins

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I have also wanted to try some remote slave lighting. I pulled out an old Nikonos 105 (brand new sort of since they were replaceing them for free) fired up with fresh batteries and am amazed at how optically sensitive it is in slave mode. This is through air and with diffusser on, fireing at 25' easily with 105 at 90deg from camera flash. Anyone used the 105 for this? Limitations UW?

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I've used the 105s as off camera strobes. They were fine, just not as bright as my Z240s. I didn't use the on board sensor as they had Heinrich Weikamp RSUs attached to them at the time. I particularly liked the test function - I wish modern strobes had this available.

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The limitations on using any "on board" slave sensor is that it will typically have to be in line of sight with the triggering strobe.

 

This means that you will (a) see the strobe in the image and (b) you will get the harsh light that is output close to the strobe itself.

 

By using a remote sensor on a cable, it allows the strobe to be placed "out of shot" and the light to be directed/shielded in order to use the softer light that is further away from the strobe itself.

 

I used the Triggerfish with the YS-D1 and it was fine.

 

All the best

 

Adam

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"The limitations on using any "on board" slave sensor is that it will typically have to be in line of sight with the triggering strobe."

Understood, while testing around the house I put it in obstructed areas and found that it fired but of course it was getting light bounce off walls etc. that's not gonna happen UW. Going to take it along to Bonaire next week and give it a try. Will report back.

 

Steve

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