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T.Reid

Optical Strobe setup Help!

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Hey everyone,

 

I currently own a Sony a7 mk ii in an ikelite housing. I'm looking at purchasing some strobes and realise that at this point and time ikelite housings only support the usage of sync cables with the bulkhead installed in the ikelite housing. I'm wondering if my idea below will work or if it's totally flawed ?

 

I'm looking to purchase two I-Dive Symbiosis S2 strobe / video lights reason being is I'm getting extremely good prices for these through my local supplier, 2 of the units for basically the price of one ikelite strobe.

 

The I-Dive symbiosis S2's however are optical strobes and my housing is not however I feel like I may be able to set it up the allow me to use these strobes....

 

I'm thinking of installing a hot shoe extension cable to allow me to mount a led or small micro flash somewhere inside of the ikelite housing like this one below:

512vsH6sVRL._SY355_.jpg

installing a small led or flash to the end of this mounted somewhere in the ikelite housing, now the new ikelite housings are not all fully clear but the back door is and preferably it'd be best to not have a flash firing off towards your face when diving so thinking if I removed one of the top bulk heads there's 3 i potentially could use to mount this and have the flash / leds directly under it or towards it as needed...

 

3504-photo-a5f4f5cfbb3ca8c487afeec45b5f7

 

basically this is all an optical port is on nauticam/aquatica housings right ? what potentially could go wrong with a setup like this ? another option would be using an optical block to mount the strobes cables to like below

 

knowledgebase-article20_7.jpg

 

potentially i may need to make and internal blacked out hood / bay for the flash to be in to stop any scatter from going around inside the housing and potentially bouncing off the dome port into the lens however i feel like this could be an easy fix..

 

feel free to shoot down my stupidity with this setup as I'm totally new to strobe setups this will be my first... I understand I wont be getting any TTL but for the price I'm paying for the strobes/video lights and the fact I'll be force manually learning strobes I don't see this as a big issue.

 

many thanks,

 

Trent Reid

Edited by T.Reid

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still not even one reply :aggressive: ? surely someone has basic optical strobe knowledge that could lend me some! I'm hoping to pick the strobes up in a few days when I'm visiting the mainland and this will be the only chance I have for a few months so hoping someone can chime in.....

Edited by T.Reid

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Hey Trent

 

I suspect this is a case of Suck It and See. You may well be able to get it to work - or not!

 

I'd have thought the cost relatively low so that'd suggest it's worth a go if switching to a more traditional setup is not, understandably, an option for you.

 

I'm sure others will chip-in as there is some amazing knowledge among the WP crowd. It may not be within your time frame though.

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Thanks for the reply TimG, yeah the overall cost to get those part's to give it a shot will be pretty cheap its just the fact of buying the lights and if it doesn't only having video lights! I've never owned optical run strobes so I'm wondering how sensitive they'll be to capturing the correct amount of light or flash thats required to make them operate correctly.

 

Hopefully someone else chimes in shortly cheers!

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Thanks for the reply TimG, yeah the overall cost to get those part's to give it a shot will be pretty cheap its just the fact of buying the lights and if it doesn't only having video lights! I've never owned optical run strobes so I'm wondering how sensitive they'll be to capturing the correct amount of light or flash thats required to make them operate correctly.

 

Hopefully someone else chimes in shortly cheers!

Since you are asking questions, it tends to indicate that your chances of success will be slim. At best you maybe able to achieve manual strobe triggering (no ttl) by working with the X contact.

 

If you skim through the forums here you will find lots of people having issues with triggering strobes via "hot shoe leds" (both commercial and DIY products).

 

This thread may have some interesting background info? http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40398&do=findComment&comment=278235

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Cafefull... the bulkheads from Brand to Brand tend to be different.

If I am not wrong, the plastic piece on the fiber cable end is from Hugyfot. It is not a bulkhead. It goes into a proper bulkhead ("hollow") to face the internal flash on the hugyfot housings. I do not know if the hugyfot bulkhead is ok on the holes of the ikelite bulkheads. Most probably not, as ikelite is from US and uses imperial metrics and Hugyfot is from Belgium and uses metric measures....

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Cafefull... the bulkheads from Brand to Brand tend to be different.

If I am not wrong, the plastic piece on the fiber cable end is from Hugyfot. It is not a bulkhead. It goes into a proper bulkhead ("hollow") to face the internal flash on the hugyfot housings. I do not know if the hugyfot bulkhead is ok on the holes of the ikelite bulkheads. Most probably not, as ikelite is from US and uses imperial metrics and Hugyfot is from Belgium and uses metric measures....

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Cafefull... the bulkheads from Brand to Brand tend to be different.

If I am not wrong, the plastic piece on the fiber cable end is from Hugyfot. It is not a bulkhead. It goes into a proper bulkhead ("hollow") to face the internal flash on the hugyfot housings. I do not know if the hugyfot bulkhead is ok on the holes of the ikelite bulkheads. Most probably not, as ikelite is from US and uses imperial metrics and Hugyfot is from Belgium and uses metric measures....

 

I'm thinking the thread side will be an issue but possibly can have the hole re-drilled so long as its larger then the size I've currently got not smaller otherwise I'll go with the other option of gluing a optical port block on the back clear door and addressing the issue that way...

 

Since you are asking questions, it tends to indicate that your chances of success will be slim. At best you maybe able to achieve manual strobe triggering (no ttl) by working with the X contact.

 

If you skim through the forums here you will find lots of people having issues with triggering strobes via "hot shoe leds" (both commercial and DIY products).

 

This thread may have some interesting background info? http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40398&do=findComment&comment=278235

 

How is one to learn without asking questions :) the more you learn the higher chances of success! I'm just after manual strobe triggering as that's what I prefer to learn at the moment plus the strobes do have a form of learning which you can adjust on the strobe not as good as TTL but have heard it functions quite well.

 

This is why I'm thinking if hot shoe leds seem a bit of a hassle I may just use an actual hot shoe flash which is the same as a pop up flash that should get the job done but obviously more of a battery drain however my battery's last a full dive even filming and I've got several which I change after every dive anyway....

 

thanks for the reply though and have read that forum post too!

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I'm thinking the thread side will be an issue but possibly can have the hole re-drilled so long as its larger then the size I've currently got not smaller otherwise I'll go with the other option of gluing a optical port block on the back clear door and addressing the issue that way...

 

You will have fewer issues with the glue on block idea. No hole in the housing is key. No hole, no water leak is possible.

 

The simplest solution I have found is to scavenge a portion of the barrel of a ball point pen. You may have to try a bunch of pens to find one of the right ID - I had best results with pens whose body tapered towards the end as that provides many different IDs. Just cut a cross section at the appropriate point.

 

But to explain more: pbalves was trying to convey above that bulkhead connectors can generally be separated into 2 parts:

a) bulkhead connector external sleeve - this makes a waterproof seal to the housing, generally via an inside and outside piece that thread together through a thin housing wall or via a single piece that threads into a very thick threaded housing wall. It also provides a waterproof screw on cap of some sort that your sync cable mates to. This is all mechanical. There are several different designs. I only have experience with the nikonos stuff.

b) bulkhead internal connector - this replaceable assembly fits inside the external sleeve and carries the electrical connectors - which can be different for different needs (5 pin nikonos, 6 pin S&S canon, 5 pin Ikelite etc...) - not water proof, often delicate - this is what gets flooded.

 

The image of the "optical port" you showed above replaces the internal electrical connector with a "light tube" thingy. Hence it will only fit inside the bulkhead connector that it was designed for.

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How is one to learn without asking questions :) the more you learn the higher chances of success! I'm just after manual strobe triggering as that's what I prefer to learn at the moment plus the strobes do have a form of learning which you can adjust on the strobe not as good as TTL but have heard it functions quite well.

 

This is why I'm thinking if hot shoe leds seem a bit of a hassle I may just use an actual hot shoe flash which is the same as a pop up flash that should get the job done but obviously more of a battery drain however my battery's last a full dive even filming and I've got several which I change after every dive anyway....

 

thanks for the reply though and have read that forum post too!

Ask away. That is how we all learn.

 

The next hurdle you will encounter is having a camera and a strobe that agree on how to be optically triggered. Here are a few more threads that help to illustrate that life is not as simple as we would hope:

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=58755

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=60078

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59132

 

The last thread is a great read as it discusses some of the challenges that the commercial product providers are currently facing.

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Thanks again for the replys, will read those forum posts been reading along with people on Hedwigs mini led setup for the hot shoe and trying to find someone who still makes them as a led correctly positioned seems to be the way to go and a less messy of a setup....

 

I was even thinking of having the whole bulk head replaced with the correct one needed to install that optical tube thingy there for being able to position it where needed but the glue on block seems easier and if this all really doesn't work that well removing it is simple...

 

I know I can buy the parts needed to setup an internal flash practically anywhere in the housing, making it an led one is a different story....

 

I've stumbled across this and its nearly worth the purchase if it works correctly since the price I'm getting on the strobes is so darn cheap! but it's a lot to fork out for something I could try DIY like the led's people have made for a lot cheaper!

 

http://trt-electronics.com/#features

 

I even found this that could be super handy if used with something like hedwigs setup to run it ? only issue is finding out what port / thread size it is.... or could I not buy my own acrylic nut that fits the ikelite thread and size to fit this and partly drill it out which looks like what they've done ?

 

http://trt-electronics.com/product/led-window-house-without-built-window/

Edited by T.Reid

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