How to trigger a studio flash with MF cameras

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by RachelT, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. RachelT

    RachelT TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hi,
    New around here so "hello" folks!
    I really want to use my studio flash (strobes) with my MF cameras. My experiments so far resulted in blank film, so not good!
    Inspite of doing a lot of Google research, I can't find the information on how EXACTLY to trigger the flash and what I have found is mind-bogglingly (is that a word?!) confusing! And the camera instruction manuals contain surprisingly little/no info on using the cameras with studio flash.
    I have a:
    Mamiya RZ ProII
    Pentax 67II and a
    Hasselblad 501CM
    that I'm trying to figure out.
    I use 2 x Elinchrom D-Lites.
    What equipment do I need (PC sync cords/triggers) and where do they go? Lens, body, etc?
    Any advice would be amazing!
    Thanks. R


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    40,008
    Likes Received:
    15,005
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well...I spent about 20-some years using a GOOD PC connector cord, the kind made by Paramount Cords, to connect all of my cameras (35mm, 120 rollfilm, 4x5) to my Speedotron power pack, a direct PC-to-Flash connection.

    First off, you MUST have the shutter set to an X-synch setting for electronic flash, and NOT to an M-synch or FP-synch setting. On the Pentax 67II, the X-synch speed is slooooooooow. Is it 1/30 second? I cannot recall, but if you are at really fast speeds with a focal plane shutter, the entire image can be black! Totally black! BIG focal plane shutters move fairly slowly, and have low X-synch speeds, like 1/30 second, so, if you've been shooting at say 1/125 you'd have an issue.

    M-synch is for common flashbulbs of the 1940's, 50's, and 60's and 70's. FP synch is for big, long-burning FP type flashbulbs.

    Older shutters often had X and M synch; you must be on X-synch to get proper X-synch. The Hasselblad with its leaf shutter lenses should be able to synch at all shutter speeds with a leaf shutter lens.

    "Some" lenses have the PC-synch terminal on the lens. On most other MF cameras, the PC terminal is on the body. Basically, one plugs the PC cord inmto the PC terminal, and connects the other end to the monolight flash or the power pack, and the connection is set. The photog sets the X-synch setting to X, not M, not FP, and you ought to be good to go.


    I am old enough that I reflexively spell "synch" the old way, not sync, the new way.

    To check the synch, open the back of the unloaded film camera, point the camera at a white wall with the lens set to maximum aperture, and fire the shutter: if the synch is good, you'll see a big, round hole of light. This test allows you to verify flash synch, without needing to see developed film.

    If using a trigger, use the trigger to set off the Main flash unit, and use the built-in optical slave of the D-light to trigger the secondary or "slave" flash unit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. SoulfulRecover

    SoulfulRecover Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    520
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For the RZ67, the cord goes to the lens and there is no sync speed as its a leaf shutter.

    I use a wireless trigger from Paul C. Buff for my lights but Im not sure they'll work on something other than their own brands. You could try Pocket Wizards but they are not cheap
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. RachelT

    RachelT TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thank you so much to you both!

    So if I've understood this correctly...
    For the Mamiya RZ67, I would plug a PC cable (like this http://www.wexphotographic.com/elinchrom-5m-syncro-cable-pc-to-35mm-jack-1004476/#ProductInfo) into the X on the lens and the other end into the flash unit. But, if I decided to use a flash trigger, I would put it on the hot-shoe but then I need to link the trigger to the lens with a small cable since the shutter on this camera is in the lens. Is that correct?

    I've also read that although technically the RZ can trigger at 1/400th, it doesn't always work too well and it's better to stick to speeds around 1/125th (something to do with the capability of the studio flash possibly, rather than the camera?). Any thoughts?

    On the Pentax 67II, the X-synch speed is slooooooooow. Is it 1/30 second?
    Yes! It turns out that it is 1/30th - I might leave this camera until last for flash photography!

    I don't think we can get the Paul Buff triggers here in the UK. From what I've read though, an old trigger could be a good thing. Apparently if your flashes/triggers are a bit power-feisty, they can damage these older cameras. Do you think that's true?

    Many thanks again :)
     
  5. SoulfulRecover

    SoulfulRecover Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    520
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    I've never run a PC cord on my RZ but I believe that is the correct one. See if you can find a for sure answer though.

    I have my trigger plugged into the hot shoe and that's it. No cable to the lens. I've shot at 1/400th plenty of times and never had an issue. If it's not at 400 its probably at 250th.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1

Share This Page