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DanielD

Sea&Sea YS-D2 TTL Problem with new J Version

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Hey folks,

I have a rather weird problem with my 2 YS-D2 flashes. I had the old (black) YS-D2 edition (1 flash) before an using it in TTL mode on my Nikon D750 without any problems. Since I heard the old version was prone to dying out of a sudden and had a chance to get two YS-D2 japan version in a bundle for a very good price, I decided to sell my old YS-D2 and upgrade (version and number wise :D). I test fired them at the surface before the first dive and everything seemed fine. Below water I checked a few times that they fired and so they did. However, all the pictures ended up looking like there never was any flash used. Finding that odd, I started a few more test at home and quickly found out, that the flash is apparently triggering way to early (possibly reacting to the cameras TTL preflash). I don't really get, why a NEW version of the flash should not be properly supporting the TTL mode of my camera, while an OLD version of the flash did so perfectly. I can't think of any setting I might have changed on the camera, that would have such an effect. I already tried the different settings for the flash and also change a few things on the camera, but to no effect. The only thing that currently works, is using th flash in manual mode. Did anyone has had this problem and might have some insight? I'm fresh out of ideas how to proceed.

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The first thing to check particularly on S&S flashes because their slave sensor is not that strong is that you have good quality fibre optic cables.  Specifically multi core cables.  Lower quality cables will trigger the flash just fine but TTL won't work properly.  This issue has been reported many times and the most common cause is the cables.

Which brand of cable are you using?  Assume you are using the built in flash to trigger?

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Hey Chris,

Thanks for your quick reply. You are correct I'm using the internal flash for triggering and have 2 INON multicore cables with Sea&Sea to Nauticam adapters for connection. It worked great with the old version of the YS-D2. I'll do a test tomorrow and hold the fiber port of the YS-D2 directly to the Nauticam port and see if that changes anything. Any other reason why this might fail? In case the cable is the problem, would an external LED flash trigger change anything?

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An LED trigger probably wouldn't help as there's a lot more light coming from a strobe than an LED trigger.

Are they both new cables - can you try the old cable if they are?  The INON cables are normally good, but they can get damaged.

I'm assuming your using the right mode on your flash for TTL and checked all the normal things like ensuring red-eye reduction is off for example.

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I have seen this happen a lot. In every case, it was the settings on the flash. S&S strobes don't like wrong settings. The fact they are flashing indicates all connections/cables are okay leaving the strobe heads as the problem. Check your manual and do not go from memory. Also, try one strobe at a time. Shoot into a mirror when testing. Perfect sync is a washed out pic.

Lastly your bulkhead should have two optic cable ports. Connect each strobe to a port; makes for better results. Remember we are talking the speed of light!

Good luck.

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The sea and sea strobe need a customise setting for TTL to work that depends on the camera however nikon is the factory default

There is a note to use the small grommet (whatever that means) and then wires of their own brand

 

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11 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

An LED trigger probably wouldn't help as there's a lot more light coming from a strobe than an LED trigger.

I was afraid of that. On the other side it saves me from spending another 400€ :D.

11 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

Are they both new cables - can you try the old cable if they are?  The INON cables are normally good, but they can get damaged.

The cables are practically new. I have 3 of them and tested already with 2. The second and third one is even shorter than the first one. I can test the third one, but I'm guessing the result will be the same. Doesn't hurt to try though. The first cable is exactly the same I used with the old flash, which was working fine.

11 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I'm assuming your using the right mode on your flash for TTL and checked all the normal things like ensuring red-eye reduction is off for example.

Out of desperation I cycled through every flash setting I could find in the camera. Barely any change. Only the "slow" setting changed the lighting a tiny bit. But thats due to shutter sync not due to the flash firing correctly. I also cycled through all the settings on the flash, although the manual does say to use the A setting (factory default).

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1 hour ago, bill1946 said:

I have seen this happen a lot. In every case, it was the settings on the flash. S&S strobes don't like wrong settings.

Already cycled through all the settings the manual describes. No change at all.

1 hour ago, bill1946 said:

Also, try one strobe at a time. Shoot into a mirror when testing. Perfect sync is a washed out pic.

Doing just that. The flash is completly dark on all but the manually flashed pictures. It fires way to early (I can actually see the flash through the finder).

1 hour ago, bill1946 said:

Lastly your bulkhead should have two optic cable ports. Connect each strobe to a port; makes for better results. Remember we are talking the speed of light!

Doing that of course. Two flashes, two ports, two cables. Both same result.

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53 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

There is a note to use the small grommet (whatever that means) and then wires of their own brand

I don't have an original Sea&Sea cable. But with the old YS-D2 the results were perfectly fine. The grommet is a small hook that holds the cable into place. I forgot to use it once with the old flash and the cable slipped out :rolleyes:. The all should use nauticam or inon screw on ports. Way more secure.

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47 minutes ago, DanielD said:

I don't have an original Sea&Sea cable. But with the old YS-D2 the results were perfectly fine. The grommet is a small hook that holds the cable into place. I forgot to use it once with the old flash and the cable slipped out :rolleyes:. The all should use nauticam or inon screw on ports. Way more secure.

Interestingly also UWT TTL converter is declared NOT to work with the J version. I have no idea why but may be worth sending Pavel a message

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Just did the Holding-Flash-against-Flashport test. Same effect. Flash fires, but WAY to early. On the pictures the flash is completely dark.So it is definitely not the cable.

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Posted (edited)

If the mirror test shows no flash then it is only firing on pre flash.  Page E-28 of the manual has instructions for setting custom mode of the flashes.  "A" is the factory default and what is needed for Nikon.  But you said that you got a good deal - does this mean you got them second hand?  They may have been set to a different mode previously?  The fact that both flashes are behaving the same means it is likely to be something like this rather than a flash fault or cable problem.

I would suggest going through the process to set "A" mode.

Edited by ChrisRoss

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4 minutes ago, ChrisRoss said:

Page E-28 of the manual has instructions for setting custom mode of the flashes.

I know. it was set to factory default when I got it from the seller (second hand). I also tried all the other modes. Didn't change a thing unfortunately.

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Some sound advice here. I'm more suspicious of the settings in camera and flash. Do two more tests before tossing!

1. Test strobes another camera set up. Brand irrelevant. Works? Eliminate strobes.

2. Test camera with other strobes. Works? Camera okay.

Good luck.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, bill1946 said:

Some sound advice here. I'm more suspicious of the settings in camera and flash. Do two more tests before tossing!

1. Test strobes another camera set up. Brand irrelevant. Works? Eliminate strobes.

2. Test camera with other strobes. Works? Camera okay. 

Well a friend of mine will bring his camera tomorrow, so I can test both strobes. But since both behave the same way, I doubt it is really a defect. More likely a firmware thing on the new strobes.

Concering another strobe on the camera, I don't know anyone in my vicinity that does UW photgraphy and owns a fiber triggered strobe :(.

One last thing I will try this evening also: I just saw that there is a firmware update for my camera available. Since both strobes are pretty new (from last year) maybe they where designed to work with some new iTTL protocols from Nikon (yes yes grabbing at straws here :rolleyes:).

P.S. Unfortunately the original selling company wasn't very helpful either. They suggested for 80€ to test the setup for me. No other comments or suggestions.

AFAIK Sea&Sea has no direkt support for european buyers correct? Pretty lame actually.

Edited by DanielD

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How did you do the reset to the factory settings?

I would try to do the "Customize Mode" again to set the strobe to "Mode A", just to be sure that the strobe ist set to this mode.

Where are you located in Germany?

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If the strobes work fine in manual mode (as you suggest) then there would seem to be only one possibility and that is the strobe is not seeing the TTL setting meaning that it is not running TTL at all. The S&S compatibility site doesn't show the d750 but all of the Nikon cameras need to be in A mode (as pointed out above). There is supposedly a strobe firmware update available but not sure how to get that done.

Bill

 

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11 minutes ago, ChrisH80 said:

How did you do the reset to the factory settings?

I would try to do the "Customize Mode" again to set the strobe to "Mode A", just to be sure that the strobe ist set to this mode.

Where are you located in Germany?

I cycled through all the modes one by one and in the end set it back to Mode A again. Just to be sure, I did that procedure even twice. Couldn't see any noticable difference.

I live close to Hamburg.

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5 minutes ago, bvanant said:

If the strobes work fine in manual mode (as you suggest) then there would seem to be only one possibility and that is the strobe is not seeing the TTL setting meaning that it is not running TTL at all. The S&S compatibility site doesn't show the d750 but all of the Nikon cameras need to be in A mode (as pointed out above). There is supposedly a strobe firmware update available but not sure how to get that done.

It is showing a green TTL light after firing the strobe, which according to the manual suggests a successfull TTL execution. Not sure how reliable that is tough.

I wonder how a firmware update would work. Via the fiber port? Through the sync cable connection?

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44 minutes ago, DanielD said:

It is showing a green TTL light after firing the strobe, which according to the manual suggests a successfull TTL execution. Not sure how reliable that is tough.

I wonder how a firmware update would work. Via the fiber port? Through the sync cable connection?

If the light is green it means the camera has sent a succesful start stop signal. What is probably happening is that the camera is not reading the exposure correctly try aiming the strobe at the subject to ensure the light bounces back into the lens

 

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1 minute ago, Interceptor121 said:

If the light is green it means the camera has sent a succesful start stop signal. What is probably happening is that the camera is not reading the exposure correctly try aiming the strobe at the subject to ensure the light bounces back into the lens

Thats what I did in my first tests (and actually also what I did under water naturally :D). The strobes fire and the green light comes up, but the picture looks as if there where no strobes at all. Dark as a pit. Sea and Sea themselfs recommend makeing a picture of either the strobe or a mirror to see if the strobes are working correctly.

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If the strobes has green it means it is getting what is expected I would look into the flash settings for red eye preflashes and other settings that may compromise the strobes

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1 hour ago, Interceptor121 said:

If the strobes has green it means it is getting what is expected I would look into the flash settings for red eye preflashes and other settings that may compromise the strobes

That is so weird. As you can imagine, I've turned my camera inside out already. Basically check and rechecked all the settings at least 5 times and even experimented with settings that I'm pretty damn sure can't be the reason. But you know.. one tries everything. But wanting to be throughout I just now checked again both strobes with all available flash modes on the camera.The only combination that works is the Pre-Flash ignoring manual mode on the strobe and normal TTL mode on the camera or TTL mode on the strobe and manual mode on the camera (in which case of course there is also no green light on the strobe). Quite frankly I'm at a loss what could possibly be wrong.

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HUH? IF the strobe is in manual and the camera is in TTL it should not work consistently. Does it work with camera in manual and strobe in manual (your discussion suggests not and that is very weird).

Bill

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Posted (edited)

To make sure I don't brabble nonsense or misinterpreted some of the result I just retested. Here is what I got:

  • Camera: TTL Strobe: TTL => Flashes, LED green but dark picture
  • Camera: Manual Strobe: TTL => Flashes, LED not green and picture is completely white
  • Camera: TTL Strobe: Manual (ignore Pre-Flash Mode) => Flashes, LED not green and picture is completely white
  • Camera: Manual Strobe: Manual (ignore Pre-Flash Mode) => No Flash, dark picture
  • Camera: Manual Strobe Manual (manual Mode) => Flashes, LED not green and picture is completely white

To clear up what I mean regarding the strobes modes:

  • Manual (ignore Pre-Flash Mode): The first and yellow glowing setting.
  • Manual (manual Mode): The second and green glowing setting.
  • TTL: Obviously the third and blue glowing TTL Mode setting.

The fact that in manual/manual (ignore preflash) mode nothing is happening makes sense. The strobe thinks the flash from the camera is the preflash and ignores it. And that manual/manual (manual Mode) is working also makes sense.. its the most basic way to use the strobe. That TTL/manual (ignore preflash) works is also quite sensible since the preflash of the camera is just ignored. The other two are more of a mystery. manual/TTL should not work at all, because the strobe should think the manually triggered flash is the preflash. It does however not show the green light.. so the strobe apparently realizes that the flash is not a preflash at all. Hence the TTL mode does indeed recognize the preflash as you said. Why then it is triggering instead of waiting for the main flash remains a mystery to me.

P.S. Camera firmware update did (as was to be expected) not resolve the issue :(.

Edited by DanielD

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