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Camera firing intermittently with StackShot

 
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rftripp



Joined: 12 Oct 2014
Posts: 5
Location: San Antonio, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:38 pm    Post subject: Camera firing intermittently with StackShot Reply with quote

I have spent the last three days exchanging emails with StackShot tech. support. Their conclusion: "We've never seen this happen."

My configuration (everything in manual mode): Nikon D600; remote and/or tethered hookup with Speedlight SB700; Lens Nikkor 105mm macro; memory card SanDisk Extreme 32 GB, 45 MB/s

Problem: With or without flash (cordless remote/on-camera, built-in flash only/off-camera tethered), the camera will fail to fire (skip shots) during a series (number of programmed steps will result in same, but generally I've been testing this with 60 step/1 pic per step in Auto- mode). I have taken over 900 images in this configuration. Note that the shutter indicator light on the Stackshot console continues to read each 'step' as if the camera has fired, even when the camera has not fired. I've also traded emails with Rik Littlefield of Zerene Stacker, who has tired his best to be helpful, but to no avail. I don't believe the problem is with StackShot at this point but with the D600. I have run series with the Speedlight at 1/1 (highest) and 1/128 (lowest) settings, which makes on difference in the results. I plan to write Nikon but I'm not hopeful.
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7254
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt we'll think of anything Rik hasn't Sad

Set lens and camera to manual focus
Try without the flash (lack of "ready" signal due to poor contacts can mean a camera won't fire)

Slow it all down - longer time gaps.
Photograph a clock face which has a second hand..

See if one thing stops the problem occuring.

Ummm...


Oh, and welcome to the forum, pity it was bad news which brought you here! Rolling Eyes
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4000
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried the camera without flash?

If the system doesn't fail without flash the issue must be related with the camera-flash comunication, maybe the flash hoverheathing preventing system acting badly (at full power it overheats much more quickly of course)...
...but I'm sure that you've already discussed it with Rik
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 964

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same on an older Pentax K7 body - it was liveview being on. With liveview off the issue disappeared.
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rftripp



Joined: 12 Oct 2014
Posts: 5
Location: San Antonio, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Thanks, Chris Reply with quote

I've done all that (manual mode...which I always shoot macro in), and gone through several timing changes with StackShot tech. support. I don't think my contacts are dirty, but I'll check. The problem occurs with and without flash, both on and off camera, remote or tethered. It's strange, but there is a pattern. Just one example: programmed 60 steps will give me 42 images at the end of the run (BOTH with and without flash). One series of 42 steps resulted in 72 images! (which happened only once). Ghost in the machine. Anyway, I'm going to focus less on the Stackshot (which I really don't think is the problem) and play around with my camera settings.
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rftripp



Joined: 12 Oct 2014
Posts: 5
Location: San Antonio, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I don't recall doing a run without LiveView. I'll try that.
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rftripp



Joined: 12 Oct 2014
Posts: 5
Location: San Antonio, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tethering the flash with LiveView off worked!!!! (60 steps)

Remote flash with LiveView off: still had the problem.

So, at least with the D600, I'll work tethered without LiveView.

Thanks so much.
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 2848
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rftripp, I'll second the welcome to the forum! Glad you've found something that appears to work, under certain circumstances. At the moment, it sounds as if you had been laboring under at least two problems at once, and have identified one of them.

I'm not sure what you mean by "tethered flash." For clarity, when folks at this forum discuss "shooting tethered," they usually mean that the camera is "tethered" to a computer, and is being remotely controlled by software on the computer, such as ControlMyNikon or Nikon Control Pro 2.

It sounds as if you're referring to having the flash connected to the camera by wire, rather than by some wireless approach. And you're still seeing the problem with "remote flash"--by this, do you mean CLS, optical slave, radio triggers, or something else?

I do my studio stacking tethered using ControlMyNikon. In this regime, the StackShot will not fire my Nikon D7100 or D700 bodies at all in Liveview. I'm sure this is due to the camera's design, not a failure on the part of the StackShot. So I compose, light, and set the begin and end points of the stack using live view, then turn live view off to run the stack.

One thing to remember is that not only must the lens be set to manual focus, but the camera body must be, as well. Otherwise, the camera will refuse to fire if it "thinks" the image is not in focus. I believe Nikon puts in this feature for the sole purpose of frustrating us.

Cheers--and may your improved luck continue.

--Chris
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rftripp



Joined: 12 Oct 2014
Posts: 5
Location: San Antonio, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, thanks. As I mentioned in my original post, I was shooting in manual, my flash was in manual, and of course my lens. Anyway. I think the problem is solved in shutting off LiveView. Thanks again.

Do I need need to terminate this thread? I don't see a way to do this.
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rftripp wrote:
Yes, thanks. As I mentioned in my original post, I was shooting in manual, my flash was in manual, and of course my lens. Anyway. I think the problem is solved in shutting off LiveView. Thanks again.

Do I need need to terminate this thread? I don't see a way to do this.


We don't terminate threads here.

I did see where you said you were shooting in manual. Many who do this are not at first aware of the need for both the lens and the camera body to be set to manual focus to avoid intermittent refusal of the camera to fire--it's a common mistake.

And you did indicate that the problem continues in live view with remote flash? That should not occur. Many of us use flash trigger it wirelessly.

--Chris
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 964

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent, glad to help. Enjoy!
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18244
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
I doubt we'll think of anything Rik hasn't Sad

Oh ye of little faith!

In fact I did not think of a possible flash-ready problem, and I didn't think of the issue with manual focus lens but auto focus body.

The more heads the better! Very Happy

--Rik
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 983

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran into a similar issue with missing exposures and things getting out of sync (move, wait, MUP, wait, raise front shutter curtain, wait, trigger strobes and close rear curtain, wait, move, and so on).

I tried many things, some mentioned here and some others not. One very interesting issue is the time it takes the D800 to create a TIFF image, apparently nearly 6~7 seconds with fast memory cards. The CF cards seem slightly faster than the SD cards even though they are the same speed, capacity and vendor. Using RAW formate takes about 1/2 the time, and JPEG is much quicker.

What was happening is the D800 memory buffer was filling up slowly as my cycle time from one image to the next was around 6~9 seconds. The time between trigger front curtain and the next trigger front curtain was slightly shorter than the TIFF cycle time. This caused the D800 memory buffer to fill up slowly and then overflow which will cause the camera to not respond to the trigger commands which is two on the D800, first is MUP then front curtain. This caused the sequence to get messed up and some images were blurred, then it would happen again and camera might not respond. Eventually the sequence would get back in proper order and the buffer would fill up again and things would repeat.

Sometimes a few of the images were slightly blurred, other times more so and many times the camera simply ignored the exposure trigger. I first noticed this when the correct number of individual images was not what I had programmed, and some of the images were blurred.

Took some time to trace this down with the help of some folks on here.

Hope this helps,

Mike
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austrokiwi1



Joined: 14 Sep 2014
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sony A7r has the same memory buffering problem. I have programmed a really long pause between shots...but I must get a faster memory card!!!
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Cameras' Sony A7rII, OLympus OMD-EM10II
Macro lenses: Printing nikkor 105mm, Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G, Schneider Kreuznach Makro Iris 50mm , 2.8, Schnieder Kreuznach APO Componon HM 40mm F2.8 , Mamiya 645 120mm F4 Macro ( used with mirex tilt shift adapter), Olympus 135mm 4.5 bellows lens, Oly 80mm bellows lens, Olympus 60mm F2.8
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