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A7RIII: Reliably triggering YS-D2(J) optically

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Long story short, I'm upgrading my rig from a TG-5 and trying to decide between the A6500 and the A7R III. One thing that has given me pause about making the leap to the A7R is the lack of onboard flash and strobe triggering. I intend on using either camera in a Nauticam housing and (due primarily to the lack of availability of the Z330s) running a pair of YS-D2J strobes. For several reasons, I would prefer to stick with optical strobe firing if at all possible.

 

I know Nauticam makes an LED trigger than they (now) say will trigger both the YS-D2 and YS-D2J (see https://www.nauticam.com/collections/flash-triggering/products/mini-flash-trigger-for-sony-compatible-with-na-a7-a7ii-a9). However, every other place on the internet stresses that this flash trigger will NOT reliably fire the YS-D2(J). Does anyone have any first hand experience this? Was a change made to the flash trigger recently to resolve the earlier issues with these strobes?

 

I assume that most folks shooting A7 series in Nauticam housings are triggering via sync cord. Any feedback on this? Am I being to stubborn trying to stay with FO and obsessing over nothing?

Edited by CZS

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Turtle has a Sony trigger listed on their website and believe Backscatter can supply. you might want to make specific inquiries about that device?

 

Are Z-330 still hard to get? I've seen a shop in Australia advertising stock. https://www.facebook.com/MacroMode.com.au/photos/a.1977327989215894/2252909691657721/?type=3&theater

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I use a Sony a9 in a Nauticam using with both S&S YS-250s and YS-D2Js. From the beginning, I have only used FO with the Nauticam flash trigger. Never had a strobe not fire.

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The older YS-D2 has some issues and although S&S won't admit it, they fixed the weak triggering on the D2J model, at least that's what we've figured out.

 

The YS-D2J can be reliably fired using the Nauticam trigger. But yoiu do need to use high-quality sync cords. We've actually found the Sea & Sea cords to be the best ones to use.

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Turtle has a Sony trigger listed on their website and believe Backscatter can supply. you might want to make specific inquiries about that device?

 

Are Z-330 still hard to get? I've seen a shop in Australia advertising stock. https://www.facebook.com/MacroMode.com.au/photos/a.1977327989215894/2252909691657721/?type=3&theater

 

I'll call Backscatter and see what kind of feedback they can provide on the Turtle. The last time I spoke to them, while they didn't mention the Turtle specifically, they did say the TTL on the Sony A7/9 series was still pretty problematic and to plan on going manual. Regarding the Z330's, maybe they aren't as tough to find anymore. That would definitely be my preference on strobes anyway, so I'll see what I can find here in the States.

 

I use a Sony a9 in a Nauticam using with both S&S YS-250s and YS-D2Js. From the beginning, I have only used FO with the Nauticam flash trigger. Never had a strobe not fire.

 

That's reassuring news, thank you. Perhaps it was just the non-J S&S's that had the trouble firing?

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The older YS-D2 has some issues and although S&S won't admit it, they fixed the weak triggering on the D2J model, at least that's what we've figured out.

 

The YS-D2J can be reliably fired using the Nauticam trigger. But yoiu do need to use high-quality sync cords. We've actually found the Sea & Sea cords to be the best ones to use.

 

 

That's fantastic news then. Honestly I'd still probably pick up the Z330s if I can find them, since I haven't heard any issues whatsoever triggering them, but it sounds like I won't need to worry if I end up going with the D2Js. I'm not familiar with the Nauticam style FO bulkheads, but are the S&S cords compatible out of the box or do they require modification to use?

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I use a Nauticam NA D-500 with the Nauticam flash trigger and it faithfully triggers my two Sea&Sea YS-D2J strobes, using home made Toslink fiber optic cables.

 

For details on how to make your own cables,and also Nauticam adapters, please see

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=60564,

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Just to add to this: I've just been muck diving for several days with YS-D2s and the Sony flash trigger on an A7rIII, using the Nauticam optical cables. Had no problems with them at all – they worked just as well as the sync cords I'd been using previously.

 

Best,

Simon.

 

 

Long story short, I'm upgrading my rig from a TG-5 and trying to decide between the A6500 and the A7R III. One thing that has given me pause about making the leap to the A7R is the lack of onboard flash and strobe triggering. I intend on using either camera in a Nauticam housing and (due primarily to the lack of availability of the Z330s) running a pair of YS-D2J strobes. For several reasons, I would prefer to stick with optical strobe firing if at all possible.

 

I know Nauticam makes an LED trigger than they (now) say will trigger both the YS-D2 and YS-D2J (see https://www.nauticam.com/collections/flash-triggering/products/mini-flash-trigger-for-sony-compatible-with-na-a7-a7ii-a9). However, every other place on the internet stresses that this flash trigger will NOT reliably fire the YS-D2(J). Does anyone have any first hand experience this? Was a change made to the flash trigger recently to resolve the earlier issues with these strobes?

 

I assume that most folks shooting A7 series in Nauticam housings are triggering via sync cord. Any feedback on this? Am I being to stubborn trying to stay with FO and obsessing over nothing?

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Simon,

 

That's fantastic news, glad to hear it. I've referred to the A7rIII guide/review on your website several times, so I was familiar with the issues you were experiencing with the flash trigger and the non-"J" YS-D2's. My setup is virtually identical to yours, so your review has proved to be a great resource (kudos on the great site, BTW) in researching the potential issues to be avoided. Very interested to see your update to the page...

 

Given that I'm shooting a virtually identical setup, a question if you wouldn't mind: When shooting with the 8-15mm fisheye with the 100mm dome, how many Jumbo Stix are your using to balance the rig? I assume you're set up to be slightly negatively buoyant? I picked up one package of the Jumbo's, but it sounds like I may need another...

 

Just to add to this: I've just been muck diving for several days with YS-D2s and the Sony flash trigger on an A7rIII, using the Nauticam optical cables. Had no problems with them at all – they worked just as well as the sync cords I'd been using previously.

 

Best,

Simon.

 

 

Edited by CZS
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Oh thanks very much! I'm preparing a substantial update to that post – it was spiralling out of control a bit, so I'm doing separate macro settings / wide angle settings posts, then will update the actual review itself. Feel free to shoot me any questions directly in the interim (simonjpierce@gmail.com).

 

With regards to to the Stx floats, I'm using 8 in total at the moment. It's still slightly negative overall, but I don't notice it. I want a couple of longer 12 inch arms for big fish schools etc, so I'm picking up a pair of Ultralight float arms next week while I'm on a quick trip to the UK too.

 

One caveat with the optical cords – I did have one very friendly mola on Nusa Penida that swam right up to me while I was firing madly. Reviewing the shots later, I realised the strobes had fallen out of sync after a few shots, which was quite frustrating! Same batteries + power settings on the strobes etc. Not an issue I've run into again, but I'm keeping an eye on it. Might be that I use the electrical sync cords when I'm expecting fast action if that happens in the future.

 

Best,

Simon.

 

 

 

 

Simon,

 

That's fantastic news, glad to hear it. I've referred to the A7rIII guide/review on your website several times, so I was familiar with the issues you were experiencing with the flash trigger and the non-"J" YS-D2's. My setup is virtually identical to yours, so your review has proved to be a great resource (kudos on the great site, BTW) in researching the potential issues to be avoided. Very interested to see your update to the page...

 

Given that I'm shooting a virtually identical setup, a question if you wouldn't mind: When shooting with the 8-15mm fisheye with the 100mm dome, how many Jumbo Stix are your using to balance the rig? I assume you're set up to be slightly negatively buoyant? I picked up one package of the Jumbo's, but it sounds like I may need another...

 

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Oh thanks very much! I'm preparing a substantial update to that post – it was spiralling out of control a bit, so I'm doing separate macro settings / wide angle settings posts, then will update the actual review itself. Feel free to shoot me any questions directly in the interim (simonjpierce@gmail.com).

 

With regards to to the Stx floats, I'm using 8 in total at the moment. It's still slightly negative overall, but I don't notice it. I want a couple of longer 12 inch arms for big fish schools etc, so I'm picking up a pair of Ultralight float arms next week while I'm on a quick trip to the UK too.

 

One caveat with the optical cords – I did have one very friendly mola on Nusa Penida that swam right up to me while I was firing madly. Reviewing the shots later, I realised the strobes had fallen out of sync after a few shots, which was quite frustrating! Same batteries + power settings on the strobes etc. Not an issue I've run into again, but I'm keeping an eye on it. Might be that I use the electrical sync cords when I'm expecting fast action if that happens in the future.

 

Best,

Simon.

 

Thanks Simon. I've gone ahead and ordered an additional package of Stix just in case...

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