Alright, now my Flashgun's acting up. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dubious Drewski, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    So I'm in the middle of shooting (just practice, there's no model here today, thankfully!) When suddenly, my flashgun stops firing in optical wireless mode. It's been working fine up until now. I didn't change a thing, didn't touch it up on its tripod - it just stopped responding.

    I put fresh batteries in, I checked that I was still on channel 1 on both camera and flash, I have everything in full manual, gun on wireless slave mode. I moved it right up to my camera to factor out lost line-of-sight. I even mounted it on my camera again and it does still fire just fine, so the bulb's not toast.

    Can anyone think of anything I might have forgotten to check?
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes... call and ask for a young priest and an old priest. Have them sprinkle holy water on your bulbs and chant in latin as you are firing it over and over. If they blow up, the setup was possessed and you need to purchase new ones after they blow up.

    ... but seriously, check the obvious. If you are using peanut triggers, make sure that they are pointed towards you and that the wire is well connected. If they are integrated, make sure that where you were standing at was line of sight, but even then, if you are using a camera where the manual flash was set too low it may not have been set high enough, pump up the strngth of the on camera flash a notch so that the opticals have enough info to trigger.

    I've gone so far as to once tape a piece of paper an inch away from my on-camera flash so that it doesn't add to the picture, but shoots towards the sides to better assure that the strobes (which were behind me) triggered properly.

    Also, were you giving the strobes enough time to recover? Often after a few fast shots, the strobes may need an extra second or 2 to charge the CAP to what it needs to fire.
     
  3. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Heh.

    Anyway, there are no peanuts, just the 540, which is integrated. And like I said, I did check that line of sight wasn't an issue when I took the 540 and brought it right up to my camera. It definately can't miss that. As for having the onboard affect the picture, the K10 has the option of making the onboard flash fire and trigger slaves, but not illuminate the photo, so that's what I'm doing. Maybe your camera can do that too!

    As for needing an extra 2 seconds to recover, I definately gave it that - nothing.


    But you're close. It turns out it needed a good 20 minute break. I fired it up back on channel 1 and it started working again. Anybody have any idea why the hell this would happen? I can't have this happening during a shoot. This 540 is the only thing that can trigger my strobes.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Kinda sorta. The built-in flash on a D200 is adjustable from 1/1 (full power) down to 1/128th (no real addition to a picture). I know that if I go more than 15 feet away from the strobes or get in front of the umbrells (where my back is to them and the "trigger flash" is pointing the wrong way), it may not trigger. I just up the power to 1/64th and I can trigger them successfully then.

    I can also slap on the SB-800, point it backwards and use that to trigger the strobes if I will be consistantly in front of, or way to the sides if the strobes w/umbrellas.

    So it was your "540" (on camera flash/trigger), that was not working and not the strobes? I presume that you saw it flash, but it did not set off the studio strobes properly? Only thing that I can thnk of in that area is that your 540 overheated or had low charged batteries.

    I don't think it "needed a rest", but who knows. :)

    After re-reading your post for the 3rd time, I can think of one other thing to test out and thats to set the camera to fire the flash but without TTL activated (manual mode. if you can?). Just power down the flash to it's minimum adjustable strength and try it out that way to see if it happens again in this mode.

    I betcha it will solve the issue and this problem won't happen again (just a feeling).
     
  5. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Hmph. That might solve it - if I could use my onbaord flash in manual mode. As far as I know, I can't.
     

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