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Andrej Oblak

Nauticam optical flash trigger & Nikon D500 shutter speed limiter

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Hey

I noticed that when I connect an optical flash trigger, which comes builtin in the Nauticam's NA-D500 housing, to my camera, shutter speed doesn't doesn't stop at the set value (I have "e1. Flash sync speed" set to 1/250) but the camera lets me choose speeds higher than 1/250s. Is this a normal behavior or is there any additional setting which I need to turn on, for the shutter speed limiter to work properly with the optical flash trigger? It's a bit inconvenient now, because when I shoot macro, I always shoot at the upper limit of the flash sync speed, but sometimes I accidentally bump it to 1/400 or 1/500 and usually notice that too late, so some images have a black strip on the bottom border of an image.

I found a workaround, where I've mapped "Shuter spd & aperture lock" to my Fn1 button, so when I set the desired shutter speed, I just lock it with Fn1 + rear command dial. It works ok, but if I want to change the shutter speed, I need to unlock it first, which is not optimal if I need to react quickly.

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For the D800 which I am most familiar with, I believe the flash sync speed setting only affects A and P modes.  Ken Rockwell says so too.  It will still let you set shutter speed in S and M modes.  Maybe someone else knows a workaround to solve your problem.  I know the pain of finding black bars across images after a dive.

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The problem will be that the camera does not recognise the trigger as a flash so sees no reason to apply the limit.  Unless there is a setting where the trigger is recognised as a flash it seems like locking the shutter speed might be the best solution.

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18 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

The problem will be that the camera does not recognise the trigger as a flash so sees no reason to apply the limit.

You're right, I checked the EXIF data from the last few photos and in all of them it says "Flash did not fire" (even though it did). It's interesting though that the camera lets you change flash settings (rear / front curtain sync, compensation, etc.) if the flash is not detected. Well I guess I'll just stick to locking it manually. At least I'm able to select 1/320s that way, otherwise camera would force me to use 1/250s max.

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Posted (edited)

Factory preinstalled is just a manual trigger board. It does not have a communication with camera. It fires when camera shorts X and GND contacts, nothing more. If you need a communication protocol via HotShoe, speed limiting etc, you have to change it to TTL board (on the same mount holes).

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov

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32 minutes ago, Pavel Kolpakov said:

Factory preinstalled is just a manual trigger board. It does not have a communication with camera. It fires when camera shorts X and GND contacts, nothing more. If you need a communication protocol via HotShoe, speed limiting etc, you have to change it to TTL board (on the same mount holes).

Thanks Pavel - does this mean it will cause camera to automatically limit to 1/250?

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

Thanks Pavel - does this mean it will cause camera to automatically limit to 1/250?

 

Hi Chris,

Yes, if TTL protocol works via HotShoe, camera has possibility for automatic limitation 1/250.

This case, If user sets camera menu "Sync Speed" to 1/250 (without "FP"), camera means mono flash type only, and also sends this info to TTL Converter, and it processes this command too.  Don't forget that TTL Converter rotary switch must be set at any position 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9, which are purposed for classic underwater strobes (Inon, Sea&Sea, Ikelite, Subtronic etc.), TTL Converter confirms that such strobe model uses a mono flash type only, it means sync speed must be limited 1/250.  Camera limits shutter speed 1/250 this case automatically, casual TTL mono flash works.

But if user set TTL board rotary switch to position "7", it means "Retra Pro" strobe usage, there will be available also FP (HSS) high shutter speeds. This case shutter speeds are available up to 1/8000 (using 30 khz pulsation FP (HSS) flash type). Flash control system goes from mono flash type (at speeds up to 1/250) to FP flash type (speeds 1/250 ....1/8000) automatically when necessary. Another words, when FP flash type is necessary according the camera opinion, it sets automatically mono or HSS flash type in system. This feature is purposed for Retra strobes usage.

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov

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4 hours ago, Pavel Kolpakov said:

Hi Chris,

Yes, if TTL protocol works via HotShoe, camera has possibility for automatic limitation 1/250.

This case, If user sets camera menu "Sync Speed" to 1/250 (without "FP"), camera means mono flash type only, and also sends this info to TTL Converter, and it processes this command too.  Don't forget that TTL Converter rotary switch must be set at any position 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9, which are purposed for classic underwater strobes (Inon, Sea&Sea, Ikelite, Subtronic etc.), TTL Converter confirms that such strobe model uses a mono flash type only, it means sync speed must be limited 1/250.  Camera limits shutter speed 1/250 this case automatically, casual TTL mono flash works.

But if user set TTL board rotary switch to position "7", it means "Retra Pro" strobe usage, there will be available also FP (HSS) high shutter speeds. This case shutter speeds are available up to 1/8000 (using 30 khz pulsation FP (HSS) flash type). Flash control system goes from mono flash type (at speeds up to 1/250) to FP flash type (speeds 1/250 ....1/8000) automatically when necessary. Another words, when FP flash type is necessary according the camera opinion, it sets automatically mono or HSS flash type in system. This feature is purposed for Retra strobes usage.

Thanks Pavel!

 

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Chris, for what's it worth, I'm using one of the TTL HSS capable boards with Retra strobes, Nikon D500, Subal housing. Works like a charm on FP with sync speeds above 1/250. I've been up to 1/2000. No problem.

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On 8/6/2021 at 7:56 AM, Pavel Kolpakov said:

Factory preinstalled is just a manual trigger board. It does not have a communication with camera. It fires when camera shorts X and GND contacts, nothing more. If you need a communication protocol via HotShoe, speed limiting etc, you have to change it to TTL board (on the same mount holes).

Thanks, Pavel, for the explanation! I think I'll just stick to manual board for now & manual locking of shutter speed

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