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  1. #1
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    Question Radio trigger/D50 problem!

    Ok, I've tried to figure this out on my own, but am out of ideas.
    This happens randomly, no rhyme or reason, on about every other shoot I do.

    I have a D50, and when I am shooting, everything will be going fine for 10, 30, or more frames, then, out of the blue, when I press the shutter, absolutely nothing is recorded on the frame. The hotshoe trigger trips the strobes...they go off fine. It's not the sync speed, since it's happened at 1/100, and at all different speeds/apertures. I am shooting all manual. It always happens when the subject (usually a dog) has just given me the best pose...I shoot, the flash goes off, everyone gets all happy. But I've not gotten the shot.

    To me it seems like a problem between the electronics of the camera/trigger. I've used two different brands of trigger, they both do it. It will happen 2 or 3 frames in a row... I then do some things to try to get it to work...turn the camera off/on again, trip the strobes from the trigger itself, etc. It always starts working again, but I have NO IDEA WHY.
    I am losing good shots, and it's frustrating. Again, the strobes always go off, at the same time I press the shutter, but nothing is recorded. What is going on??



  2. #2
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    So you camera does take a picture but its just black? or does it produce a new file at all? If everything looks and sounds right have you tried changing to a different memory card, maybe its taking the photo but not recording to the card.

    Also It seems odd that this would be related to radio triggers or flash, have you had this problem while using only ambient light and no flash?

  3. #3
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    Cheap triggers, poor quality control, lag in setting off the flash and you miss the shot. It'll just be some set of conditions that cause the processors in the trigger to delay just for a split second and everything goes screwy.

    Programming something that is required to be time critical is an artform, not something that I'd trust with chinese clone companies. I take it you are not using PocketWizards?
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  4. #4
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    Also It seems odd that this would be related to radio triggers or flash, have you had this problem while using only ambient light and no flash?
    Nope, it's ONLY when using flash w/ these triggers...

    Cheap triggers, poor quality control, lag in setting off the flash and you miss the shot. It'll just be some set of conditions that cause the processors in the trigger to delay just for a split second and everything goes screwy.

    Programming something that is required to be time critical is an artform, not something that I'd trust with chinese clone companies. I take it you are not using PocketWizards?
    No, you nailed it. Not Pocketwizards. It sounds like you've seen or heard this happening before. I did suspect it had to be the quality of the triggers. It's the only thing I haven't ruled out.

  5. #5
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    ...
    Last edited by bjorkfiend; 05-28-2009 at 08:36 AM.

  6. #6
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    I see talk of triggers not firing, poor or low quality triggers blamed... but I see no talk of brand of flashes, brand of trigger or method used.

    First... likely the easiest and most obvious reason... the time set as the stand-by mode on the flash. Most are set to fall into stand-by mode after a fixed amount of time. This causes the flash to work all the time, then once you change position, repose the subject, walk back to the camera, press the shutter and... nothing. All the other following activations suddenly work fine. What is your time-out setting for stand-by mode? It should be infinite.

    Trigger: A constant topic over on the strobist forum, but cheap doesn't have to mean poor reliability or short distance. Yes, I use Pocket Wizard II's when doing weddings, they are without doubt the best in the industry. When you do not want to worry about that end of it, the PW's are simply the best.

    That said, to date I have modified at least 30 triggers (3 of which are mine) and about 80 receivers (9 of which are mine) of the Gadget Infinity Cactus V2s variety and have consistently seen ranges over 300 feet outdoors. I've tested my own initially and hit 358+ feet consistently and in the time that I have had them, touched over 3000 pictures *without a single misfire*. This performance is consistent with everyone that modifies their setup in the same manner I did. Not bad for a $29.95 setup. See how I modded the setup HERE. They really do trigger over 350 feet:






    But the bottom line is I would not trust an event like a wedding to anything less than a Pocket Wizard.

    Finally, radio interference. For some reason, Canon deemed it "ok" for their flashes to leak interference like crazy. Some units, like the 580EX II, are so bad that any receiver/trigger used will reduce your range unless you use a RadioPopper transmitter/receiver becuase they are using a frequency far off from the range the Canon flash leaks radio interference in. Though the RP is good, the one thing that I hate about it is that you must have an on camera flash and the RP unit on top of it, making the whole package terribly more heavier than it needs be using other technologies and that plus the things are big and ugly as sin is why I passed on them.

    Anyways, if you want TONS of info on triggering technologies, go to the flickr strobist group and do a search. There is literally enough info there to keep you reading for weeks on this subject. Highly recommended.



  7. #7
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    But the bottom line is I would not trust an event like a wedding to anything less than a Pocket Wizard.
    Jerry, you hit this one right on the nail. Yes, cheap knock-offs will work 90 percent or 95 percent or maybe even 98 percent of the time. But, there is a reason PWs are the industry standard.

  8. #8
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    I have gotten some funky results when the transmitter battery was low. Changed them out and the problems went away. The cactus triggers use the same battery as many car lock remotes so they are easy to find at auto parts stores or radio shack.

 

 

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