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jskotte

R5 and Nauticam TTL trigger and Inon z240 problems

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I recently upgraded my old Canon 7D setup to a Canon R5. I really enjoy using the new camera and the Nauticam housing, but I have problems with my two Inon z240 type 4 strobes.

With my Canon 7D, I used the internal pop-up flash and fiber optic cables to trigger the strobes. I mostly used TTL, which I found worked very well with this setup and just dealing in the +/- exposure on the strobes. I use inon fiber optic cables.

Since TTL worked quite well for me with the 7D,  I thought it would be nice to still have that option with my new R5 setup, so I bought a Nauticam TTL flash trigger for Canon to trigger the strobes,

But when I try shooting anything in TTL mode with the R5, I’m getting pretty underexposed images. The z240s are set to STTL, and the other dial to B (also tried increasing the strobe power by turning it counter clockwise) . The pre-flash button is in the out position. (I also tried the in position by that underexposes even more). It’s about 2-3 stops underexposed if using f16, but if I switch to f2.8, then they look somewhat better.

Anyway, I got a little tired of fiddling around in the TTL mode, so I decided to try out using manual mode instead for the strobes.  That sort of works, up to about 25% power (right dial between 11 and 8). If I move it to 11 (50% power), or set the flash to full then I get basically no flash output. (pre-flash button is in the in position). I tried the strobes again on my 7D and they are able to fire at high output in TTL mode, so the flash part is working fine. I googled around for this problem and found several old post describing corroded magnets in the pre-flash switch, which seem to precisely describe my problem in manual mode. (I can also mention that full dumb does actually not work on the 7D, I just never discovered until now).  The strobes are 8 and 6 years old.

https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/48381-misbehaving-inon-strobe/
https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/43696-z240-manual-problem/

So I have a couple of questions:

Is there a TTL trigger that works well with the R5 and z240 strobes? Or does anybody have any suggestions on how to get the Nauticam one to work properly?

Second question: If I bought a manual only flash trigger, would that allow my z240s to work properly in manual mode without the fix for the magnets?

I could also try to fix the strobes, but I’m not exactly sure how to. I’m afraid of opening up the button and then not being able to close it properly again and then having no working strobes.  I have tried sending the links to the forum posts to the shop where I bought the Inons, to see if they could fix them, but that didn’t seem like the case.

Lastly, I could also buy new strobes, but I would rather not spend the money of those at the moment, if I can get the Inons to work again.

Thanks in advance if anybody can offer any advice or insights :)

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It sounds like your new Nauticam TTL trigger is defective or improperly mounted. I would take it, with the housing and strobes, to the dealer to correct or replace it. Or write directly to Nauticam, see what they suggest, or ask for a replacement trigger.

As for the Z240 TTL magnets, any dealer should be able to replace them in a few minutes, as the button is simply unscrewed, magnet replaced and button screwed back in, if I remember correctly. . 

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Thanks a lot for your input.

I'll order the spare magnet button and talk to Nauticam about the trigger.

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Just moved post into lighting - might get different people looking at it. 

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Thinking about the issue sounds like the magnet might be the problem.  The standard trouble shooting steps for fibre optic strobes is shoot into a mirror to see if the strobe is syncing properly.  Next is to try activating the strobes holding them up to the trigger to check for cable problems.  Normally INON strobes don't have much problem with picking up the trigger signal but TTL is generally more sensitive to getting enough light through for it to work properly.

On replacing the buttons I believe they don't just screw out, rather you need to insert a pin through the holes with the button pressed in to lock the cap and body together and then they can be unscrewed.  I found a thread on this a long time ago but can't find it again now.

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Thanks for moving it and sorry I placed it in the wrong position. Right after my post I saw the other headline and thought that would have been better.

I have actually done test shots standing in my bathroom shooting in front of the mirror :)  That is how I determined that the flash will work in manual up to about 25% power. If I go higher than that I get a tiny flash that can barely be seen in the mirror or nothing at all. I don't think the fiber optic cables are the problem as they work fine on my 7D TTL setup and also work fine for manual low output as well.

And thanks for looking for the old thread about changing the button. I think I found it and I'll have a go at it when the new buttons arrives.

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I tested TTL of Canon R5 few months ago. TTL protocol is the same as in other Canons of course, but TTL module inside R5 camera has significantly different profile (ttl-curve) than other Canons, and also some other problems. It can cause potential problems of compatibility ....

Few months ago UWTechnics even developed a special ttl-curve for TTL-Converter firmware, - specially for R5 camera support.

 

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov

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Thanks for letting me know about this Pavel. This probably explains why I can't get the Nauticam TTL trigger to work consistently.

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This is how to remove the magnet, from a 2019 post:

"On the Inon Z240, D2000 and D180 (and probably other Inon's), the push button assemblies for the light and TTL, located on the strobe's back,  unscrew from it for access to the magnets, without having to open the strobe case.

"Push the button in (don't turn it) and push a wire or a pin through the holes on the site to fix it. Than turn out the whole thing anticlockwise. This is by the way also the method to open the light switch button."

wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/43696-z240-manual-problem/       

Best of luck!

 

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_DSC1622_resize.JPG.f8fa9477f3805b3fe78118ffc9f807bb.JPG

Edited December 23, 2019 by Kraken de Mabini"

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Thanks a lot. Looking forward to trying this when the new magnet button arrives.

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New magnets arrived. I removed a magnet button from one of the strobes, and it was clearly corroded, the magnet was in 2 pieces. I inserted the new magnet button tried test shots again with magnet button pressed down and z240 in manual mode. I could still only get it to fire at around 25% power in manual. If I went higher, the no flash was the result in the image, and the flash clearly fired before the shutter was open.

Then I tried to leave the magnet button in the up position, and now suddenly my flash can fire a full dump in manual mode. I repeated test with my other flash and had the same result.

I'm pretty puzzled about this result as everything I have read indicates that z240 work in manual mode with magnet button down where flash should ignore pre-flash.

When using my old setup with the 7D  in TTL mode, I had the magnet switched pressed down. But back then I didn't think about it, as I probably didn't know how it should be, I was just happy because it worked.

So anyways, I'm happy that both my z240s seem to work on manual now with full power, but still somewhat puzzled how the magnet switch seems to be opposite than what I read about it. (Or maybe I just misunderstood everything). One more thing to note: TTL mode also works better for the R5 with the magnet switch in the out position.

 

About the TTL trigger from Nauticam, I receieved a reply from Nauticam where they said that their TTL trigger is a rebuild Canon flash, so difference for R5 should not matter.

Edited by jskotte

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