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Posted (edited)

I have two TTL converters for the Nauticam D850 and they are horrible. 90 percent are way under exposed. I am shooting all manual now on my macro work. They are essentially costly, useless electronics. In the most basic, close up, nudibranch simple shots one can do, the TTL fails miserably, significantly under exposes. Someone has to call out Nauticam for this. In my opinion they are selling an inferior product. When you compare the converter to my old system, a Nauticam D7100 system with fiber optic, nearly 90 percent accurate exposure. Granted the D7100 is using the cameras TTL system, but you would think that the engineers at Nauticam, who I consider very good at what they do, would have done more field testing before launching the board. Where I bought my housing, they could not get the first circuit board to function with TTL. They had to order another one, which worked topside. But until you actually put this in the field, underwater, will you recognize its inferiority for such a high end system.

 

Really disappointed.

 

Here is one image where TTL would not properly light the subject. Simple, easy. Ended up using manual. Strobes pointed close within 8-12 inches and directly at the subject. Could not have had easier situations for the TTL to function properly.

 

Will post some additional examples in a bit after my dive of images that the ttl would not work...well not in any case has the ttl actually worked.

 

Joe

post-1513-0-59522000-1561246610_thumb.jpeg

Edited by Kelpfish

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As it turns out TTL is not all that. At the end of the day after using Ikelite TTL for years and then going manual for many more, I would not bother with TTL if I had it to do again. And TTL is really hapless for wide angle.

 

I know you said the TTL tended to under expose, but the manually shot Mantis Shimp above looks over exposed to me. I'd pull that down in post editing and perhaps darken up the foreground sand and the sponge a bit to make the shrimp pop out from the background a bit more.

 

Jealous about the Eggs! I've never been so lucky to see one carrying an egg mass like that! Cool find and capture.

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Dave,

 

Agree about TTL. I shot manual for most of my 40 years diving. There are some cases where TTL is valuable. My point is only that with a premium system should come reliability. I am actually in Indonesia now and just finished up two dives since this post. The mantis was a quick edit and I will really wait until I am on my big monitor at home before serious editing. Nonetheless, appreciate the feedback.

 

Joe

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It may well be that the TTL module is not working properly, but there are many links in the chain. The Camera itself is responsible for Determining how long the flash should run for based upon the preflash metering no matter that is triggering the flashes. This seems to me at any rat to be the big reason that TTL and wide angle don't mix. Then the TTL converter needs to be setup so that it syncs properly with the camera and the flash - some modules have settings that need to be changed with different external flashes. Next the fibre optic cable needs to be of high quality. It seems that TTL is more demanding of high quality cables and some external flashes are more sensitive to this than others, for example INON have a reputation for a very sensitive slave sensor while S&S are a bit fussier about getting a strong enough signal.

 

It sounds odd that the system works on land - by this I assume you mean it can meter a scene correctly by TTL exposure. To me you need to come up with a reason why the flash metering changes when the system is UW - it shoudn't change anything. If it meters properly on land for a similar scene, then it's either something going wrong when the fibres get wet or the camera is not handling the metering properly for some reason, I can't think of any other causes??

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Posted (edited)

Chris,

 

I am talking about simple macro work. The mantis example was because the thing was maybe six to eight inches, clean water, calm and a perfect setup for macro. I just shot a small gobie on whip coral. Perhaps 1 inch....just a few minutes ago. There was no reason the TTL should not have exposed that correctly. For shits and giggles I am going to use a different set of fiber optic cables. Camera is on manual, generally f16 to f25 when shooting very close .....within 3-4 inches. Below is another shot I could not get TTL to work, so went manual. Always under exposes by several stops. Agree, there might be something more to this.

post-1513-0-84005400-1561277190_thumb.jpeg

Edited by Kelpfish

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Yes, I know all that but the camera has to work out the correct exposure and the TTL sytem has to interpret that exposure and convey it to the strobes and if you were going to ask for it to be fixed would likely need to go through some steps to show all that is in order. Logically you would think if anything that this one might over expose trying to compensate for the black BG.

 

Assume you have double checked the mode dial is set to your external flash type on the TTL board? Interestingly enough the manual states that you shouldn't expect it to work in air! The other thing I would check if you haven't done so already is to see if the system responds at all to flash exp compensation if it doesn't it may point to a synchronization problem. It appears you can only dial in one step of + compensation from the camera so maybe you could dial in + comp on camera and strobe and see if it is noticeably brighter than zero compensation.

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Yes, I know all that but the camera has to work out the correct exposure and the TTL sytem has to interpret that exposure and convey it to the strobes and if you were going to ask for it to be fixed would likely need to go through some steps to show all that is in order. Logically you would think if anything that this one might over expose trying to compensate for the black BG.

 

Assume you have double checked the mode dial is set to your external flash type on the TTL board? Interestingly enough the manual states that you shouldn't expect it to work in air! The other thing I would check if you haven't done so already is to see if the system responds at all to flash exp compensation if it doesn't it may point to a synchronization problem. It appears you can only dial in one step of + compensation from the camera so maybe you could dial in + comp on camera and strobe and see if it is noticeably brighter than zero compensation.

Right. It does respond to flash compensation. I am out diving in an hour or so and will do some more testing. Three of 13 dive days left, then back to the states.

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I agree particularly the Mantis should be a trivial exercise, the whole image is filled by subject and flash illuminated BG. Clearly something is not right. BTW which flash are you using?

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I also had an issue with my nauticam ttl underexposing, it worked perfectly on my d500 but when I switched it to the z7 if failed miserably. always massive underexposure. I contacted nauticam and was told it was an older model ttl converter and only the newer model would work on the z7, Have not tried the newer model as yet. Older model had switches newer one has a dial that is set specific to the strobes.

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Hey Joe,

 

Haven't seen you in a while.

 

Hope you're having a better experience over there after a few days. When I moved to the D7100/7200 the initial TTL wasn't so good but it was worked out. I think it's getting harder and harder for 3rd party companies to manage the the electronic setup. The obvious ask is then just don't claim that you've integrated when you haven't.

Enjoy the rest of your trip over there and good shooting.

 

 

Jon B

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I had the same problem of inconsistency with my TTL converter and a D850 ... after investigation, it was the batteries that were faulty : even if you bought the TTL converter new, batteries may have been produced a long time ago.
Even if they seem to work properly, they have not enought power to impulse the right amount into the LED.
Since I replaced the batteries by two Duracel 2032, my TTL converter has been working realy well.
Be careful to the "best before" indicated on the package of the batteries.

 

:uwphotog:

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Posted (edited)

I have been using Ikelite 161 strobes on TTL combined with the Ikelite digital converter for the past year and a half with my Nikon D850 in a Nauticam housing and have gotten consistently good exposures with all lenses from the Nikon 8-15mm fisheye to the 105mm Micro-nikkor. The one place where there seems to be some problems is when I am shooting very close subjects and that may be due to the pre-flash not hitting the subject the same as final flash. Those close shots are frequently a bit dark which I correct by adding flash compensation in the + direction. Over the last week I've been shooting the big cuttlefish spawning aggregation at Point Lowly in South Australia in 12C & 13C water temps and every thing has worked as consistently well as when I was in Bali the month before. If you are shooting pictures with ambient light adding to the flash, then you need to turn the flash comp in the minus direction so that the combination of flash plus ambient light doesn't cause overexposure. The combination works so well and so consistently that I say my camera has a Phd - it says to me "push here dummy", meaning push on the trigger!

 

Fred

Edited by divegypsy

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