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Nicool

Inon Z240 cannot "see" red light signal from Nauticam LED flash trigger?

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Hello Wetpixel!

 

Initially I posted my question on this thread but it would probably deserve a dedicated discussion.

 

My setup:

  • Two Inon Z240 Type IV strobes, setup to be triggered via fiber optic cables (cables attached, working on previous Nauticam DSLR housing).
  • Shooting fully in Manual mode, strobe outputs controlled manually via the strob knobs (not using TTL).
  • Nikon D500 camera, in Nauticam housing. Because D500 doesn't have internal flash, Nauticam's new external flash triggering system is used, and connected to the D500 via a hot shoe. See here under section "External Flash Triggering" - i am NOT using the optional TTL circuitry, just the baseline one, which works in manual mode only.

 

The problem:

Inons don't fire :(

My investigations so far:

  • I am pretty sure the Inons are setup properly (i've switched from TTL shooting to Manual a while ago), and in fact i have been switching the fiber optics from the D500 housing to the D300s housing which i still have, and with the D300s Nauticam housing both strobes fire properly. So clearly the communication between NA-D500 housing and the Inons is not right.
  • I made sure the NA-D500 emits a light signal: i unplugged the fiber optics and looked through the 2 "windows" and, surprise, they both emit a (strong) red light. So i confirmed the housing produces some light.
  • Now i checked on the other end of the fiber optic cables (strobe side), and i do see the red light properly coming through the optical cable, so for me the fiber optic cables are fine - anyways they work perfectly with NA-D300s housing (triggered by the D300s' internal flash.

My theories/open question so far:

  • is it normal that the Nauticam LED flash triggering system emits red light? As far as i know LEDs consume fewer power when emitting white/blueish light.
  • are Inon Z240 type 4 strobes supposed to work with a red light when using fiber optics as a trigger? I would be surprised that this very popular strobe model isn't compatible with the new Nauticam LED flash triggering system, but i just don't know.

 

Can anybody help me figure out why it is not working, and how to fix this?

I believe the NA-D5 housing uses the exact same strobe triggering system, so maybe some D5 shooters could advice?

 

Some would say RTFM, but in fact the NA-D500 manual is still being written, that's one of the funny aspects of being a very early adopter :)

 

cheers

Nicolas

 

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Is the lower right button on the Z240 in the ‘IN’ position?

 

I tested the housing with my Type 4 Z240s before it went to you and it was fully functional, can you check the button on the strobe?

 

A

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Is the lower right button on the Z240 in the ‘IN’ position?

 

I tested the housing with my Type 4 Z240s before it went to you and it was fully functional, can you check the button on the strobe?

 

A

Hi Alex,

 

Thanks for your reply, it's good to know you had it functioning on your side, then i know the housing is allright. Now i hope my strobe and fiber optics are as well.

 

Yes that button is "stuck in" (doesn't wobble), anyways it works fine if i plug the fiber optic to the NA-D300s housing.

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Can you post photos of the optical cables, and a photo of exactly how you have the dials on the back of the strobe set?

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  • is it normal that the Nauticam LED flash triggering system emits red light? As far as i know LEDs consume fewer power when emitting white/blueish light.

are Inon Z240 type 4 strobes supposed to work with a red light when using fiber optics as a trigger? I would be surprised that this very popular strobe model isn't compatible with the new Nauticam LED flash triggering system, but i just don't know.

Red and Infrared light are very effective for Z-240 optical input. I can confirm this fact.

Check your Z-240 settings (post the photo as Ryan asked). Also, change batteries in trigger, may be one of batteries is weak.

 

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov

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Thanks very much both for your help!

 

Can you post photos of the optical cables, and a photo of exactly how you have the dials on the back of the strobe set?

Sure, please find already photos of the 2 strobes' back:

post-22194-0-47369600-1464465519_thumb.jpg

post-22194-0-83727300-1464465528_thumb.jpg

In fact i've made 1 videos which shows how i am testing the strobes, on both the NA-D500 housing where it doesn't work, and on the NA-D300s housing where it works. There may be something i am doing wrong, if you can spot it great :)

I have also made another video which shows that the red signal does travel through the fiber optics.

 

I am currently uploading these on youtube, but will post the links as soon as it's done (i guess in 10-15mins).

Red and Infrared light are very effective for Z-240 optical input. I can confirm this fact.

Check your Z-240 settings (post the photo as Ryan asked). Also, change batteries in trigger, may be one of batteries is weak.

Good to know for the red light :)

Unfortunately i don't have spare CR2032 batteries handy, but i am using the new ones provided with the housing. Anyways if everything else fails i'll get spares on Monday.

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and here are the links to the videos:

 

the first one where i test strobe triggering on both housings (video is commented - i explain what i am doing):

 

the second one where i show that red light signal does travel through the fiber optics (a little attenuated maybe)?

 

regards

Nicolas

 

 

Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

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Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for the info, it is very helpful. The strobe settings look right, assuming the ACC magnets are down.

 

I don't see photos of the fiber optic cables, from the second video it doesn't look like they are genuine Nauticam cables. PN 26211 should be used here. Four different strobes were tested today in my office, and they are all firing.

 

If you can test the proper cables that would be a good next step.

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Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for the info, it is very helpful. The strobe settings look right, assuming the ACC magnets are down.

 

I don't see photos of the fiber optic cables, from the second video it doesn't look like they are genuine Nauticam cables. PN 26211 should be used here. Four different strobes were tested today in my office, and they are all firing.

 

If you can test the proper cables that would be a good next step.

Thanks Ryan for your feedbacks :)

 

Indeed my fiber optic cables are not Nauticam's, i've bought them in 2011, and i am not exactly sure whether they are Inon's, or another brand.

 

I agree testing with another brand like Nauticam's would be the logical next step, i'll see for this with my local dealer.

But for sake of argument, is anybody aware of manufacturing/quality differences between Nauticam, Inon, or some less known brands for fiber optic cables?

 

I naively thought that any fiber optic cable is good as long as it transmits light, and has the right diameter so that you can mount the right attachment plugs (to fit your particular strobes and housings).

 

In my second video you can see the red light signal does go through the cables, so just for my understanding, could it be that it's too much "attenuated" due to poor quality of my fiber optic cable (which is still good enough for traditional on-camera flash triggering)?

 

I am wondering this, because if it's just a matter of attenuation factor through the whole chain, then faulty piece might also be my two Inons, not being as sensitive as other inons (lemons)?

 

Anyways, i'll see with my dealer to test Nauticam fiber optics (he told me he successfully tested on his side with Inons too, by the way), and will report my findings also here for other people wondering.

 

cheers

Nicolas

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Nicolas:

Different fibers have very different transmission characteristics. If you disconnect the fiber from the strobe and trigger the camera do you see a bright flash? If you don't then new cables are appropriate. Inon strobes have the most sensitive sensors (especially compared to say S&S). I mostly make my own fiber cables but getting correct Nauticam fibers will help sort out the issues.

 

Bill

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Indeed my fiber optic cables are not Nauticam's, i've bought them in 2011, and i am not exactly sure whether they are Inon's, or another brand.

Looking your video, i can suppose that cables are not Inon, but another brand. Such cables can work with D300 pop-up flash, cause the flash power is huge. But for LED triggering better use Nauticam or Sea&Sea fiber cables, they have small losses in the core.

Also, if you plan to install Optical TTL board to D500 housing, better use only original Nauticam cables.

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov
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Nicolas:

Different fibers have very different transmission characteristics. If you disconnect the fiber from the strobe and trigger the camera do you see a bright flash? If you don't then new cables are appropriate. Inon strobes have the most sensitive sensors (especially compared to say S&S). I mostly make my own fiber cables but getting correct Nauticam fibers will help sort out the issues.

 

Bill

Hi Bill,

yes i an see the light going through the cable and arriving on strobe end (see my second video link above).

Although it might not be bright enough indeed, in which case the Nauticam cables could be the solution.

 

Looking your video, i can suppose that cables are not Inon, but another brand. Such cables can work with D300 pop-up flash, cause the flash power is huge. But for LED triggering better use Nauticam or Sea&Sea fiber cables, they have small losses in the core.

Also, if you plan to install Optical TTL board to D500 housing, better use only original Nauticam cables.

Thanks both for confirming that fiber optics from different brands do have significant performances differences, then it make more sense to my why switching may solve my issue.

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hi all,

 

I have received my 2 new Nauticam fiber optic cables, and i can confirm they worked like a charm in triggering my strobes from the new Nauticam system!

Comparing them to my previous un-branded fiber optic cables, i can definitely acknowledge that the quality is much higher. At least this is my perception when holiding them.

In fact, i also had an opportunity to try a friend's Inon fiber optic, which also worked well, though it feels a tad less robus than the nauticam one.

 

So quality of the cable matters when using the new Nauticam LED triggering system, but i guess that's what it takes to sustain 50 000 flashes with just two CR2032 batteries. I am very happy with this setup, which i will try in water tomorrow.

 

I would like to thank all of you guys who provided advice in this thread, and also in particular my dealer, Alex Tattersall from Nauticam.co.uk, and his partner for the french market Frederic Bourau (Nauticamfr.com): they have been very helpful in getting me the housing quickly, and very supportive in investigating and fixing the fiber optic issue.

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I think its the new multi core fiber.. I koe some brands that has it already..

 

I seen the non multi core and the multi core ones.. And yes.. The multi core ones works with the red light...

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I think its the new multi core fiber.. I koe some brands that has it already..

That fiber cable Nauticam #26211 is single core. The core quality is high.

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov

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Hi there!

I'm not sure if is correct or not.

Maybe the receive light was not that sensitive or maybe is the leaked problem.

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I don't think that there is a big difference between single and multi-core fibers if the NA is the same. High NA is the key to good triggering.

Bill

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