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Problems shooting with a tethered Nikon D810

 
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svalley



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 272
Location: Albany, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Problems shooting with a tethered Nikon D810 Reply with quote

I have been working through the usual issues that seem to be common when setting up a new stacked imaging system. The latest problem has me stumped. The camera (D810) spontaneously looses connection to the computer in a completely unpredictable manner.

I am using ControlMyNikon 5.3 Standard as my tethering software and I am on my third USB cable (6 foot USB 3.0 A to Micro B). I have customized the camera end of the cable with little springs and hooks to make it more secure and immobile.

My preferred shooting method is RAW with the files transferred to the computer for processing. I can switch to collecting the files on the memory card but this will add another step to the already tedious file handling sequence. I still need to have the camera tethered while framing the shots and setting the start and end points of the stack. Also, if something does go wrong during the stack there is no obvious way to detect it on the computer screen.

I am using a StackShot controlled be Zerene and Mitutoyo objectives mounted on a 200mm Micro-Nikkor.

Has anyone else experienced these kinds of connectivity issues with the Nikon D810? Any ideas for solutions?

Thanks, Steve
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"You can't build a time machine without weird optics"
Steve Valley - Albany, Oregon
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 797
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... not that this helps you but I went through 3 USB cables before I received a good one. Totally frustrating.

-JW:
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Chris S.
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 2850
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,

A distant possibility, but I'll ask: Have you tried formatting the memory card(s) inside your camera? I once went through a period of frustrating connectivity issues with a couple of Nikon bodies and both ControlMyNikon and Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 tethering applications. What made these issues go away was formatting the cards in these bodies. (Despite the fact that I was saving images not to these cards, but to the computer.)

Prior to formatting, the cards both bodies had a significant number of images on them. My sense is that the process Nikon uses in having a computer recognize a camera body involves some level of paging through all images on the card; if there are a lot of images, this takes considerable time. During this time, tethering is unresponsive. And once recognized, camera bodies seem to become unrecognized from time to time, and start paging through the files on the card once again.

Good luck!

--Chris S.
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svalley



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 272
Location: Albany, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris S.

Thanks for the suggestion. I do format the card before every set.

I may have solved the problem, we will see. I was plugged into a USB 3.0 socket on the computer and just to see what would happen I plugged into a USB 2.0 socket and it has stayed connected for a couple hours, through 3 sets of stacks. This is odd though because it worked fine for several hundred stacks on the USB 3.0 before this problem showed up.

Computers, I love them except when I hate them!

For my next set of tricks, I am going to try over-clocking the computer to see if I can speed up stack processing. This computer was built to run over-clocked so this should help.

I had high hopes for ControlMyNikon, but it seems to be pretty glitchy. At best I would only rate it at 2 stars out of 5.

Steve
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Steve Valley - Albany, Oregon
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Macro Photog



Joined: 13 Dec 2014
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Problems shooting with a tethered Nikon D810 Reply with quote

Hi, I have a D810 and experienced the same issue. Several suggestions.
1.) I don't know anything about Control My Nikon. I am using Camera Control Pro 2.24.0. I went through a couple of programs (even third party) before I achieved a stable setup, though in the end I think my issue was primarily 2/3 below.

2. I have a cable that claims to amplify the USB signal. My rig is much farther away than 6 feet. I don't know if it actually amplifies or it is better shielded (see #3) but it works. I am able to run USB 3.0.

3. My setup is extremely sensitive to AC noise. If my cables even lay across an AC line I sometimes have issues. I've suspended my cables about 12" from any AC lines they may cross. Of course you may be able to make them run parallel but again far apart.

4. If you are running Windows 10 (actually almost any version of Windows) you can run it in a Compatibility Mode. I'm not exactly sure what this does except run it with older drivers and possibly in some sort of protected mode but my system was more stable with it. To do this go to your program icon and right click. Chose "Troubleshoot Compatibility".

I hope this helps although if you are not bothered by transfer speed changing to USB 2.0 should solve the issue. I ran it for awhile and was rock solid for me but be aware AC noise issues could still make it unstable.
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svalley



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 272
Location: Albany, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macro Photog, thanks for the info. I didn't even think about the possibility of interference from AC.

Quote:
2. I have a cable that claims to amplify the USB signal. My rig is much farther away than 6 feet. I don't know if it actually amplifies or it is better shielded (see #3) but it works. I am able to run USB 3.0.


The odd thing is that I was able to use a 15ft cable connected to USB 3.0 without any problems for a couple months. Now my new 6ft USB 3.0 cable seems to be working fine connected to a USB 2.0 socket. I don't really need any higher speed between the camera and computer.

USB 3.0 seems to work fine for all other applications. I am still using Windows 7 and I am happy with it.

Steve
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Steve Valley - Albany, Oregon
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Macro Photog



Joined: 13 Dec 2014
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its great you've found a solution. The shorter cable coupled with the slower data transfer will likely provide a robust solution. While I use 3.0 I find little practical difference between 2.0 and 3.0.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 367
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

svalley wrote:
Chris S.

Thanks for the suggestion. I do format the card before every set.

I may have solved the problem, we will see. I was plugged into a USB 3.0 socket on the computer and just to see what would happen I plugged into a USB 2.0 socket and it has stayed connected for a couple hours, through 3 sets of stacks. This is odd though because it worked fine for several hundred stacks on the USB 3.0 before this problem showed up.

Switching to USB 2 was going to be my suggestion to you.

I do IT for a living, and USB 3.0 can be problematic, especially with older devices, and devices which just don't seem to like it. Most times when I have a user who has problems with USB devices, I have them move their device to a different 2.0 port and it works.
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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 12
Location: TN

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been going through the same issue with Controlmynikon and a D800e with Stackshot. I went through the cable swapping, SD and CF cards in and out, formatted, computer only, CF only, with battery and with AC converter. This was using RAW format and the disconnects were random. From one slice to as many as 28 or so. I have no idea why, but the problem went away using a battery grip and the AC converter. Using all the exact same setup, my D810 works flawlessly without the battery grip and with battery or AC converter.

I would love to hear any suggestions as to why the D800e will work with the battery grip but not without it. My guess is something to do with voltage but have no clue what.
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