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Cheap Manual Speedlights
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 923

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter M. Macdonald wrote:
Deanimator

Canon cameras do not trigger flashes in live view. This is not particularly well explained in some of the model manuals. This is a real shame, as this would be a winning combination for many people on here.

If the flashes are working correctly when live view is not in use, they are working correctly.

Maywatt,

I am currently using some ancient Vivitar 283s, which seem to be fairly consistent from flash to flash. However, the trigger voltage on some of them is absurdly high, something like 330 volts. So I trigger them with photo-electric slaves which are designed to withstand their trigger voltage. I trip these by means of a very low power flash from a Canon 550 EX on manual and dialled down to its minimum power. But it would be nice for people to have access to low cost modern manual flashes which have a large range of power adjustment. As you are no doubt aware, modern flashes have a 6 volt trigger, so as not to fry the electronics in digital cameras. Not like the robust electrics in my beloved Olympus OM 2.

Peter


Peter,

I suspect those older manual flashes used better energy storage capacitors than the cheaper ones today, ones that don't change much with internal temperature and have a low and stable ESR.

One thing I've done to help with the flash/strobe output variation is to "precondition" by firing many 100s of full power outputs before using when they were new and firing quite a few full power flashes before each use. It was the "preconditioning" that melted one of my brand new speed light lenses, because the overheat thermal sensor failed. These were never intended for the abuse I routinely put them through, so can't blame the speed light.

Yes 330V would certainly cause problems with our DSLRs!! Probably get a nasty shock too!!

Cheers,

Mike
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Deanimator



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter M. Macdonald wrote:
Deanimator

Canon cameras do not trigger flashes in live view. This is not particularly well explained in some of the model manuals.

Actually, they do.

Look at my spider images here. Most were take with my T4i and my Sigma flash on a ttl cable in live view.

It is unquestionably possible. The question is whether it's possible with those triggers and flashes and triggers.
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point is, they "come out" of live view if you put a flash on, in that they cycle the mirror. In that sense, they aren't in Live View.
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Peter M. Macdonald



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 158
Location: Berwickshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course you are right about live view. Was having a silly moment thinking about live view with silent first curtain shutter.

Can you fire the flashes if the camera is tethered to a computer through EOS Utility?
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5760
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Point is, they "come out" of live view if you put a flash on, in that they cycle the mirror. In that sense, they aren't in Live View.


Depends on the camera model.

With all Canon cameras when using the "electronic-first-shutter-curtain" (default on "Rebel" models, user selection on midrange and higher models), there is no electronic flash sync signal given. But if a Canon, or Canon dedicated flash is attached, the Camera will detect that and revert to using the fully mechanical shutter. This happens pretty quickly and some people are not even aware of what's going on. The mirror will cycle on the Rebel models (T2I, T3, T3i, T4.....) but the mirror does not cycle on the "xxD" or higher models. (They have a separate motor to control the mirror mechanism, so in essence they behave much like many mirrorless camera models in that scenario).
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter M. Macdonald wrote:
I am currently using some ancient Vivitar 283s, which seem to be fairly consistent from flash to flash. However, the trigger voltage on some of them is absurdly high, something like 330 volts. So I trigger them with photo-electric slaves which are designed to withstand their trigger voltage. I trip these by means of a very low power flash from a Canon 550 EX on manual and dialled down to its minimum power.
Peter

Peter check out t6his old post:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9090

The parts for a trigger voltage reduction circuit are dirt cheap and it is easy to make. (But optical slave work great too!)

If you haven't seen it also check out this old post:
http://www.krebsmicro.com/VIV283/index.html

Some time ago I did a test using a flash meter. I had a Vivitar 283, Canon and Nikon speedlights (top end models of that time) and a YongNuo. I was testing for shot-to-shot consistency at various power reduction levels. The flashmeter read out in 1/10 stops. The old Vivitar 283 was the best of the lot, with essentially no variation in intensity between shots.
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles,

These old Vivitar 283 are very interesting devices, thanks for showing. Did you note the flash exposure time and how this behaved when you reduced the power output level?

I've noted in some of the cheap strobes I've dissembled that some don't use Photo Discharge specific energy storage caps, just standard aluminum electrolytics. The Photo Specific Discharge types have a very low ESR for very high current bursts, standard electrolytics usually don't. The 3 Neewer strobes I had explode had the standard electrolytics, which I replaced with Photo Specific types. I suspect these Vivitar 283 use some version of the Photo Specific type capacitors.

The resistor must be part of the energy storage voltage feedback system, thus controlling the energy storage cap voltage, following the E= 1/2(C*V^2) relationship.

Edit: Would be interesting to see how the energy storage voltage varied with the resistance. Do you know what the full output voltage is, or how much energy storage capacitance these Vivitars have?

Cheers,

Mike


Last edited by mawyatt on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was the T4i I was referring to.
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

The main 283 capacitor is listed as " "Capacitor electro 1100Fm 330V SM".

Someone like yourself could probably answer most of their questions by looking over this repair/parts PDF:
http://krebsmicro.com/283manual/283.pdf
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Deanimator



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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
ChrisR wrote:
Point is, they "come out" of live view if you put a flash on, in that they cycle the mirror. In that sense, they aren't in Live View.


Depends on the camera model.

With all Canon cameras when using the "electronic-first-shutter-curtain" (default on "Rebel" models, user selection on midrange and higher models), there is no electronic flash sync signal given. But if a Canon, or Canon dedicated flash is attached, the Camera will detect that and revert to using the fully mechanical shutter. This happens pretty quickly and some people are not even aware of what's going on. The mirror will cycle on the Rebel models (T2I, T3, T3i, T4.....) but the mirror does not cycle on the "xxD" or higher models. (They have a separate motor to control the mirror mechanism, so in essence they behave much like many mirrorless camera models in that scenario).

Does this mean that I need a ttl compatible trigger?
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does this mean that I need a ttl compatible trigger?
To me it means you don't use Live View - it drains the battery, heats the sensor (>> "hot" red pixels) and if you're on your rig, doesn't gain you anything.


I use the camera on manual, so turn the mode dial to an adjacent auto mode to get the LCD bright enough to see something in LV (ie out of Simulation mode),
then turn off LV and click to Manual for the stack. Then any flash/trigger is OK.
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Chris R
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Deanimator



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Quote:
Does this mean that I need a ttl compatible trigger?
To me it means you don't use Live View - it drains the battery, heats the sensor (>> "hot" red pixels) and if you're on your rig, doesn't gain you anything.


I use the camera on manual, so turn the mode dial to an adjacent auto mode to get the LCD bright enough to see something in LV (ie out of Simulation mode),
then turn off LV and click to Manual for the stack. Then any flash/trigger is OK.

That sounds like it would work for wemacro when it's set up but not DSLR controller.
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
Mike,

The main 283 capacitor is listed as " "Capacitor electro 1100Fm 330V SM".

Someone like yourself could probably answer most of their questions by looking over this repair/parts PDF:
http://krebsmicro.com/283manual/283.pdf


Charles,

1150uF at 330V produces ~60WS which is right on for a speed light. Really nice manual, you don't find these today!!

I took a quick look at the design and it appears the output power control is by way of shutting the ionization tube current off before it's depleted the energy storage capacitor. This is tricky to do since a SCR is used and not IGBT (they didn't have IGBT back then!!). Don't want to divert this thread so if you or others are interested we should start another thread.

Cheers,

Mike
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 923

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deanimator wrote:
ChrisR wrote:
Quote:
Does this mean that I need a ttl compatible trigger?
To me it means you don't use Live View - it drains the battery, heats the sensor (>> "hot" red pixels) and if you're on your rig, doesn't gain you anything.


I use the camera on manual, so turn the mode dial to an adjacent auto mode to get the LCD bright enough to see something in LV (ie out of Simulation mode),
then turn off LV and click to Manual for the stack. Then any flash/trigger is OK.

That sounds like it would work for wemacro when it's set up but not DSLR controller.


On my Nikon the Wemacro controller issues a trigger command thru the external control port 10 pin connector. This is the same port that you connect a remote trigger switch to. So the Wemacro is just acting like a switch closure from the remote controller push button.

Cheers,

Mike
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 328
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mawyatt wrote:
Deanimator wrote:
ChrisR wrote:
Quote:
Does this mean that I need a ttl compatible trigger?
To me it means you don't use Live View - it drains the battery, heats the sensor (>> "hot" red pixels) and if you're on your rig, doesn't gain you anything.


I use the camera on manual, so turn the mode dial to an adjacent auto mode to get the LCD bright enough to see something in LV (ie out of Simulation mode),
then turn off LV and click to Manual for the stack. Then any flash/trigger is OK.

That sounds like it would work for wemacro when it's set up but not DSLR controller.


On my Nikon the Wemacro controller issues a trigger command thru the external control port 10 pin connector. This is the same port that you connect a remote trigger switch to. So the Wemacro is just acting like a switch closure from the remote controller push button.

Cheers,

Mike

I was trying g to use DSLR Controller until I got my wemacro set up this weekend.
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