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Nikon D2X strange behavior

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A friend of mine is having some really strange problems with his Nikon D2X. Here's what is going on:

 

System is a D2X in Subal housing, with hotshoe pin taped up as recommended for use with strobes, and both YS-350 and YS-90DX strobes. When the strobes are connected to the housing topside, everything works fine. But when underwater -- even a few inches -- the system will only record some of all of the images taken, if the strobes are turned on, i.e. he takes 5, and between 0-5 are written to the card.

 

Underwater, if the strobes are turned off, all of the images are written properly.

 

Above water, all images are written to the card, even when strobes are used.

 

The problem is reproduceable with two separate D2x cameras.

 

Sounds impossible, no? I'm totally stumped. I thought the most likely explanation could be the pressure on the housing pushing in some random button, even in only a few inches of water. What else could it be?

 

He's going to try another strobe to isolate the problem, but in the meantime, I thought I'd unleash the problem on the greater community here. :blink:

"The problem is that when the cameras are inside the housings

and strobes are attached, pictures are recorded only intermittently when the

system is underwater (even when only a few inches underwater). The same

configuration works flawlessly when not in water. Very strange indeed!

 

"D2x inside Subal Housings, Sea & Sea strobes - YS-350s and YS-90DXs, Sandisk

1 gig cards (I have Lexar 2 gig cards, but wasn't using them today when this

happened). I had a Nikon 12-24mm lens on one camera and a Nikon 10.5mm lens

on the other. "

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I don't understand the need to tape up the hotshoe pins. As far as I know the Subal ND2 housing has two sockets between the camera and the flash connector, one with three (for manual flashes) and the other with five (TTL) pins. If you connect to the flash via the three pin connector, there is no need for tape on the hotshoe.

 

Now, I remember that Alex said in one of his previous posts that he had a similar problem with his (non Sea&Sea) strobes. I will search for it and post if I find it.

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Did he swap out the cords and test at all (one can never have too many cords)? I have had similar problems with film cameras - not writing to cards of course was not the problem (probably just a symptom in this case too) - but no go on the strobe when UW but worked topside. I assumed there was a short or break due to water - either to conduction or pressure on a weak wire. I was able to fix the cords by re-doing the connection to the strobe in the case of MK150s, which had this problem.

Tom

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You're right -- there is no need to tape up hotshoe pins if the right cord or hotshoe connector are used.

 

I am unfamiliar with now the Subal works, so I don't know what they do by default.

 

I remember Alex saying he had an issue with the strobes, but I don't remember what it was! I'll go back and look for the thread, too. Will ask if he has swapped out cords...

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I found the old thread, from Alex, where he describes the same problem, and his fix. But I think this guy already tried taping up all the contacts except for ground and the center. In any case, it doesn't account for the topside problem. I have'nt actually SEEN the problem myself, though, so I haven't been able to verify that it wasn't just happenstance.

 

Ike is betting on hotshoe polarity reversal. So, we have (at least) two possibilities for a fix.

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7791

I had a strange uunderwater flash issue with my D2X - which I have now solved. And I thought others might find my experience useful.

 

My Subal D2X housing has two flash wiring options. One with 5 pins connected (iTTL) and one with 3 pins connected (manual with flash ready light).

 

When I attached my Subtronics with the 3 pins I had a strange problem. The strobes and camera would always fire. But the camera would sometimes not write trhe image to card. This problem was intermittant. I did quick tests with a Sea and Sea YS90DX and an Inon Z220 and did not have the same problem (although this may have been due to the intermittant nature of the problem).

 

The way I solved it for the Subtrponics was to only connect 2 pins (the Trigger and Ground) and since then the system has been 100% reliable.

 

Anyway I thought that others might benefit from this.

 

Alex

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It is the UW-topside dichotomy of function that is the puzzler (re. cartalk) - reminded me of past (way past) experience.

Tom

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Eric-

 

I would email Rand McMeins at greenwaterimages.com...he is using d2x in subal housing..not sure what his strobe setup is ....he may be in PNG....

 

M.

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I am using 2 x Inon Z220 with a Y lead from the housing socket setup as manual and a SB800 from the other socket setup as iTTL (not at the same time :blink: )

 

No problems and I have taken over 1000 images.

 

regards

ron

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I have had similar problems w my D70 / Subal rig. When I get underwater I cannot review photos - I can set the camera up for an immediate review of the last shot I took, but the "play" button will not work. Get it topside, no problem. I have the exact same experience with the "menu" button.

 

Wierd. Any ideas?

 

Brad

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I have also seen the problem in which not all iamges are written but with my setup this happens whether or not I connect the stobes through the bulkhead connnectors or directly.

 

On further investigation I discovered that if

 

- I take a burst of images then all but the first are written

- The first image after powering on the strobe (YS300 or YS120) is always written

- If I wait more than 30 seconds between firing then the second image is not written.

- If I disconnect all but two wires (leaving trigger and ground) then my strobe works consistently and all images all written

-A stobe (Subtronic Alpha) that works with the D1X and D7O with the ready pin connected fails to work at all with the D2X unless I remove the ready wire.

 

Because I want to sometimes use an SB800 in a housing in iTTL mode with a manual strobe as a fill and sometimes 2 strobes in manual, I have ordered cords with just two wires. I can therefore leave the hot shoe and wiring in the housing with all 5 wires and by changing the cords I can support the configurations I like.

 

Jeremy Brookfield

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I had similar problem with the housing I made and using a Ikelite type control.

It seems that the shutter button was slightly being depressed and it caused all types of strange problems, it was a easy fix. Check out your idea that one of the controls might be pressing on something ?

 

Marc

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The above discussion reveals at least three different types of failure - mechanic (such as sticky buttons, controls), logic (software or firmware), and electronic (such cable connectivity or shorts).

Tom

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We have resolved the problem with this housing. I removed all pins from the shoe except for synch and ground and the problem disappeared. Truly bizarre, we would immerse the setup in a few inches of water and it would not write to the card. Removed the pins from the shoe and it worked perfect.

 

Thanks Alex for posting this originally.

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Where can I find a diagram of the hot shoe so I know which pins need to be removed and which should stay?

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I had a very similar problem with my D100 Nexus system when it was new. I finally cleaned the hotshoe contacts on both camera and housing (used a pencil eraser), and it has worked perfectly since.

 

Cp

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Where can I find a diagram of the hot shoe so I know which pins need to be removed and which should stay?

Ike's site: http://ikelite.com/web_pages/sync_cord_d1x.html

 

But people here are saying that the additional two pins on the bottom need to be taped up as well.

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Thanks for the info, my Subal housing is still in the custom at the airport, whenever I get it, I will try it out with my Ikelite DS125 strobe and see if I might have similar problem.

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Thanks for the info, my Subal housing is still in the custom at the airport, whenever I get it, I will try it out with my Ikelite DS125 strobe and see if I might have similar problem.

 

If it doesn't work you can always buy the digital sync cord from Ikelite (#4104.31), which only has two wires, ground and trigger. I think this is a better solution than messing with the wiring in the housing or taping up contacts, but it only works for those who have Ikelite strobes.

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I already have a nikonos to 2 Ikelite strobes sync cord but can't remember if it is the 4104.32 or 4104.62 that I was using with my D70 and Sea and Sea housing. At the time I just told me Ikelite dealer to get me one of those y-sync cord. May be I got lucky and got the right sync cord already :-)

Unfortunately there is no part number listed on the sync cord that I could find.

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FYI, It's the ready light pin that's causing these problems. I first started seeing erratic behavior with the Aquatica D70 housings and isolated the problem to the Ready light pin. I've since been removing this pin from D70 housings.

 

I am not taping over the pins I'm actually removing them from the shoe connector. Leaving only the center synch contact and the ground contact.

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The Seacam I use has pins that you can pluck out of the hotshoe. It is my opinion that Canon cameras with 5-pin bulkheads should be shipped pre-stripped of extra pins. Canon E-TTL uses 6-pins, so if the housing has 5-pin bulkheads, the only way any strobe is going to work is if you only use ground and center (fire). Any manufacturer who ships a Canon housing with a full hotshoe and 5-pin bulkheads is asking for support issues.

 

But I suppose that it is a harder decision in the Nikon camp, with their 5-pin iTTL. Subal should probably print something and include it with their housings. Or, y'all could buy it from the people who support Wetpixel, since by now, everyone should know how to solve the problem. :blink:

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The problem is one of letting cameras and flashes talk to each other too much. Personally I prefer to stop them chatting and make them do what I want.

 

I had this problem when I first got my Subal. When connected to my subtronic strobes it would sometimes write to card and occassionally not! I solved the problem very quickly by cutting the green wire from mty hotshoe. Sounds drastic - but I know that I will only ever use the manual strobes so no problem!

 

Interesting before cutting the wire I tried the D2X with Inon and Sea And Sea YS90DX strobes and never had the problem.

 

Anyway since then I have shot 7500 underwater pictures without a single problem.

 

Alex

 

Sorry for not contributing earlier - but I have been away.

post-713-1116142524_thumb.jpg

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7500 pictures with D2X already??? I gotta dive more...

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Yeah, I have to say I am glad to be home for a couple of months now - that was the final trip for that project. Far too much running around of late.

 

D2X totals of downloaded pictures:

Red Sea (March) - 1436

Cayman (April) - 3225

Maldives (May) - 3508

 

Which actually comes to over 8000. Bloody hell! One or two have even come out!

 

Alex

 

p.s. Congrats to Luiz on taking the plunge with this camera

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