December 11, 2017, 02:35:11 PM

Author Topic: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite  (Read 3487 times)

niels123

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Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« on: November 13, 2017, 03:40:45 PM »
Since there's quite some photography knowledge here, I like to give it a go in the hope someone has a clever answer to my problem  ;D

I have the StackShot Macro Rail and have recently bought a Sony a6300 next to my canon gear, just because it has silent mode so I can do lots of extreem macro without shutter wear.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to use flash as well and I own 4x 600EX-RT. Problem is: Sony doesn't support silent mode with flash trigger by the camera itself. I tested and if you do silent exposure while pressing the red test button on the flash itself you get proper exposure over the entire frame.

I have heardly any electronic knowledge, but what I would like to have is a setup where the stackshot controller itself triggers both camera and flash from the trigger port of that controller. The shutter lag requires a delay, which I have no idea how to manage that in a safe way since I don't want to kill my camera and/or flash. A radio trigger that supports a delay would be a welcome solution, but I have no idea if that exists.

Suggestions / ideas welcome :)

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Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« on: November 13, 2017, 03:40:45 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 07:46:24 PM »
I doubt that the shutter lag is nearly consistent enough to be able to adjust the triggering of a electronic flash precisely, the delay is probably slightly different depending on camera settings.

This is a good example of purchasing a product based on specification sheets or DXO scores, you have to dig down to your exact application (if you can), and see if its supported.  I've been there and done that, wasted a lot of $$$ buying something that would not work as I wanted.

The logic of a silent shutter is to be stealthy, and, since a flash would nullify that usage, its probably considered not worth the money to implement.

It is possible to design and build a delay circuit, but if you are not a electronics person, you might not want to try.

If you want to try, you can set this unit to delay triggering a camera or flash.  The issue may be finding the right cables for what you plan to do.  The trigger can be initiated from the Stackshot, and it will delay triggering the flash, shutter, or whatever you connect it to in 1 MS intervals.

 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140342-REG/hahnel_hl_capturpro_capture_pro_module_with.html

I think that you may be chasing a solution and spending a lot with poor results.  Turning off the silent shutter may be easier and more reliable.  Use of continuous lighting is another option.

wjauch

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 10:38:50 PM »
Pocketwizard had a technique they called hypersync for permitting flash use above the usual about 1/200 sec sync speed. It relied as far as I know on timing the trigger so that a relative long duration flash was triggered  to fire first, then shutter would expose for say 1/1000 sec while flash was firing. AFAIK the delay could be adjusted. Here is some info, more on hypersync near the end.
http://www.pocketwizard.com/inspirations/technology/hypersync_fpsync/

SecureGSM

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 11:28:28 PM »
Flash synchronisation delay can be achieved with Godox X1T-s trigger. C.Fn settings:

C.Fn 00 - set from 0 to 19.9ms in 100us steps. It works. You need a Godox compatible radio receiver, flash of monolight though. Godox receivers (i.e. X1R-S) are very inexpensive.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 11:50:05 PM by SecureGSM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 12:05:54 AM »
Flash synchronisation delay can be achieved with Godox X1T-s trigger. C.Fn settings:

C.Fn 00 - set from 0 to 19.9ms in 100us steps. It works. You need a Godox compatible radio receiver, flash of monolight though. Godox receivers (i.e. X1R-S) are very inexpensive.

The question is how much delay.  Presumably, focusing is done first, then the shutter closed, in which case there is a approx 20ms delay.  Beyond that, shutter delay gets very large.

A 19.9 ms delay might not quite make it, marginal at best.

There are some shutter lag measurement test results here, the tolerance is unknown, but I'd expect it to be in the neighborhood of +/- 25%.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/sony-a6300/sony-a6300A6.HTM

SecureGSM

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 02:17:13 AM »
You are correct of course.  If 20ms is not plenty enough, then I wouldn’t even waste time setting it all up. It only proves that Canon system turns out to be far superior and mature than the Sony currents offerings.

niels123

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 04:31:56 AM »
I should have bene a bit more specific.

We are talking about dedicated extreme macro setups where there are literally no moving parts: a microscope objective in front of a raynox tube lens which is directly in front of the sensor. Everything is done by moving the entire camera-lens-microscope objective combination which is mounted on a high-precision auomated rail with stepper motor to move the setup.

In terms of the delay: I really really do not care about miliseconds because I have the setup in a somewhat darker room where ambient light will have zero influence on the image, even with exposure times of > 1 second. So I will just use an exposure time long enough to match the flash with its delay and if that is a 1 second exposure (it should be doable to trigger the flash somewhere in that 1 second period with a set delay) I am very very happy  ;D

For part of my shots I use continuous lighting and for parts I like to be able to use flash in silent mode. I take so many pictures that I'm tired of shutter wear: my plan is to stack most of my colletion in the next years, which will likely involve millions of shots, if not more. The sole reason I bought the Sony a6300 is its silent mode and even if I can't manage to get "silent flash", I already gained a lot because often I can use continuous lighting since the setup is in principal not moving. I'm saying in principal because vibrations at high magnifications are quite nasty: if I shoot at 50x and the neighbours close a door, I can see it on my live view. Even with my setup on a thick, heavy metal plate with special sorbotane shock absorbers underneath.

Edit: for me, the only good reason to try using an exposure time of 1/10th of a second (compared to 1s) is getting slightly less pattern (long exposure) noise, although I doubt that the difference between 1/10 and 1s at iso 100 will be relevant, if even visible.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 04:39:26 AM by niels123 »

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 04:31:56 AM »

Steve Balcombe

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 05:08:10 AM »
I looked at the A6000/A6300 as a possible move from an old 60D specifically for macro. Lack of flash compatibility was a major reason why I didn't go ahead. However I'm pretty much committed to a portable Canon setup for use in the field - in your case, with the big investment you've made in the setup and the huge amount of time it will be used, switching to a flash which is properly compatible with your Sony camera would surely make sense.


niels123

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 05:16:35 AM »
I looked at the A6000/A6300 as a possible move from an old 60D specifically for macro. Lack of flash compatibility was a major reason why I didn't go ahead. However I'm pretty much committed to a portable Canon setup for use in the field - in your case, with the big investment you've made in the setup and the huge amount of time it will be used, switching to a flash which is properly compatible with your Sony camera would surely make sense.

Switching to a Sony flash doesn't make it compatible with silent mode  :-\
In addition: The a6300 will be the only Sony product I have. I won't buy a single Sony lens, flash, etc. I have a 1D X, 5D III, 4 x 600EX-RT and a dozen EF lenses so for the rest I stick to my lovely Canon gear. Also: I hate the operation and feel of that a6300 but I love the silent mode. Since I only use it tethered and hardly touch the buttons on the camera, I don't care about how it feels in my hand.

Also: I don't need TTL or anything like that. Everything will be on full manual mode and with a simple radiotrigger I will always be able to trigger the Canon flash in Manual mode with the sony in nonsilent-mode and a radiotrigger (as a last resort)

SecureGSM

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 05:59:08 AM »
Niels123,

It sounds that the flash syncronisation delay may work for you. Just a couple of observations if I may:

1. As far as I understood, your setting is extremely sensitive to parasitic vibrations. In that case, the actual flash duration may play an important role in reduction of camera shake  typically, flash duration at full power is about 1/300s give or take. At 1/256 of full power flash duration is much, mich shorter and is in order of 1/10000s

You want your speedlights to fire at 1/256 of full power to eliminate camera shake completely. See how you go with this. If your Canon 600 speedlites are not powerful enough ( I doubt this is the case though), then there are similar sized and considerably more powerful pocketable flashes available. I.e. Godox ad360 II (approx. x6 more powerful than canon 600 each).
2. Godox radio triggers able to trigger off camera Godox radio flash units regardless of their system.
I.e. Godox XT1-C trigger is fully compatible with Godox radio flashes and monolights for Canon, Sony, Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic.

This may work for you really well as you use multiple camera systems and will be able to use your Godox flash system off camera regardless of the camera system your have the radi trigger connected to.
More over, you will be able to switch camera systems in between shots and utilise your setup without the need to readjust the setting.
And finally, Godox system is very reliable, inexpensive and available in USA as Adorama Flashpoint line of product. Well supported and extremely inexpensive. 4 x flash units in Canon 600 ex size and a radio trigger cost around  US$400 all total.   If a shorter flash duration required, I would  consider ad360 II or ad200 units instead.
i hope it helps.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 06:48:08 AM by SecureGSM »

niels123

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 08:51:43 AM »


Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure if the godox trigger can forward a pulse with a delay. In the setup I desire, the camera is not communicating with any flash and my stackshot controller does everything: move the rail, fire the camera and with a delay fire the flash.

I know I can (with some adapters) hook a (cheap) intervalometer normally used for time lapses to my flash pc sync port and have it fire every x seconds, so it is 'in sync' with the camera that is operated by the stackshot. Problem is that it is incredibly difficult to get and keep them in sync all the time for a stack of a 1000 frames.

So a radiotrigger that allows a delay will work if it has some jack or pc sync input port that I can hook up to the Stackshot RCA port (there are cheap adapter cables available). The radiotrigger then gets the signal from the stackshot and forwards it with a delay to the receiver that is on the hotshoe of my flash. Also firing in HSS is not really an option because it increases the time of the flash and thus the heat generated, quickly resulting in overheated flash units during long stacks.

niels123

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 08:56:36 AM »
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140342-REG/hahnel_hl_capturpro_capture_pro_module_with.html

I watched some youtube video's and don't really understand how it will work in my case. My post above describes the setup in a bit more detail and I'm curious how/if it will work, because if it does: it's a very good solution for me.

I have to get the flash fired when the camera is doing an exposure and the camera is triggered by the StackShot controller. Yes, getting 1/160e second in sync with flash will be at least very challenging, if not impossible. Fortunately, almost any exposure time will be fine, although I like to keep it under 1 second, and if possible, under 0.3-0.5 second.

In fact, the fluorescent daylight bulbs that I use 'flicker', resulting in banding when the exposure time is shorter than about 1/30e of a second. In reality, I have exposure times in the order of 0.5-1 seconds, which works fine and doesn't give motion blur for magnifications up to 10x. The higher magnifications (>20x) are more problematic because amplification of vibrations as well as exposure times increase rapidly.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 08:59:58 AM by niels123 »

niels123

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 09:07:52 AM »
Unfortunately, I know very little about electricity. However, I did phone a general electronics shop in my city and they suggested to have a look at the Velleman VM206 universal timer. I contacted Cognisys (manufacturer of the StackShot) and they said that they took a quick look at the manual and think that it should work.

However, it does work with a relay, which not as nice as a fully electronic device with no moving parts.

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 09:07:52 AM »

SecureGSM

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 11:45:38 AM »
Niels123,

Yes, Godox X1T radio trigger comes with 2.5mm PC Sync Port:

Transmitter PC Sync Port – Input & Output

Therefore you can trigger the Godox trigger via PC Sync cable as you suggested.
I see this being a viable solution to what you are trying to achieve.
You can configure the PC Sync port to work in input or output mode.
Input mode is what you are after though.

niels123

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 12:07:35 PM »
Niels123,

Yes, Godox X1T radio trigger comes with 2.5mm PC Sync Port:

Transmitter PC Sync Port – Input & Output

Therefore you can trigger the Godox trigger via PC Sync cable as you suggested.
I see this being a viable solution to what you are trying to achieve.
You can configure the PC Sync port to work in input or output mode.
Input mode is what you are after though.

SecureGSM,

Thanks for your reply! Sounds great  :D Just to be sure, I like some extra confirmation.

Is this the transmitter you are referring to, available for Nikon, Sony and Canon?

I live in The Netherlands and I also found transmitter + receiver combo on a very large Dutch camera (web)store and on Amazon.co.uk.

The Sony receiver will probably not fit the hotshoe of the Canon 600 EX-RT because Sony uses a 'weird' hotshoe so I assume I will need a Canon transmitter + Canon receiver? The transmitter then connects to the RCA port of the StackShot and the Canon receiver to the hotshoe of my speedlite. Is this correct? Can I then program a delay onto the transmitter that is connected to the StackShot? Is there an option in the menu where you can choose a time in seconds or miliseconds for the delay? I'm asking because I don't see how you would normally use this so I'm surprised this function is available on these transmitters.

Update: I found the manual as a pdf. On the last page is a table with technical data. In the table is listed:
Synchronization delay set: Yes (0~10ms,use 100us as the unit). The section of the manual in which this Synchronization delay is discussed states that a number from 1 to 100 (in us) can be set. My best educated guess is that us means μs (microseconds). Obviously, 100 microseconds equals 0.1 miliseconds, a delay so short it doesn't make sense  :-X

Niels
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 01:47:15 PM by niels123 »

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Re: Delay a pulse to fire a speedlite
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 12:07:35 PM »