November 28, 2014, 03:44:51 PM

Author Topic: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?  (Read 14415 times)

gbchriste

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 10:34:29 PM »
The setup also will require second curtain synch, which I've never used before. 
And, so You posted a subject title that is picked up by search engines, and now spread all over the internet based on your expert finding?

Not sure I understand your point. I don't have an "expert finding". I have a shot that I'm not familiar with in mind that I need to execute that, based on immediately available info, may require second curtain sync with a manual, off-camera flash setup.  I may discover between now and then that I don't need second curtain sync. But if it turns out I do, I'd like to be able to accomplish that without going through the logistics of putting a flash on the camera just to access the second curtain sync menu.  My specific question was whether anyone else was aware if mounting the flash was actually a requirement to access the second curtain sync menu without first mounting a Canon flash on the camera. 

BTW, I am a software engineer by training and trade and from a software engineering and man-machine interface design view point, it seems utterly ridiculous and short sighted to design the menu system with such an obvious limitation in it, if in deed this is the case.  And that IS an expert (i.e. me) finding.
The point is simple, you are calling it a design flaw, when the flaw is perhaps lack of experience.
Perhaps asking why it is not possible would be a good title, but declaring a design flaw?? 
Since you are a software engineer, and hopefully, a good one, doesn'y it annoy you when someone who has never used your software before suddenly declares a design flaw, rather than asking how it was designed to work?
If they want to do something else with your software, that might be of value to them, but was not part of the design, it the software buggy?

More often than not, when I have an annoyed user, it's because the user has some insight in to how the software should operate, based on their knowledge and experience with the application domain, that I didn't have and didn't take in to account when designing the software.  Usually I didn't ask the right questions or probe deeply enough in to their requirements, and the optimal working of the function in question seems so obvious to them that they didn't think it required mentioning. 

The design makes absolutely no sense, at least to me.  You can't put the camera in to second curtain sync without attaching a Canon flash.  So it would seem that Canon's intent is that function should not be operative unless the flash is in fact attached.  But I have already proven via trials that once the second curtain sync is set, I can turn off the camera, remove the flash, connect the flash off camera to a "dumb" radio trigger that has no communication with the camera, turn everything back on, and have the second curtain sync operate as envisioned.   So if it was Canon's intent that this feature only operate in tandem with a Canon flash, why doesn't it default back to first curtain sync when the flash is removed from the Camera?

I am a good software engineer.  At some point there was a design discussion over what text to put on the LCD menu that informs the user they can't access that menu because there is no compatible flash attached (that's what it does). I hope that if I'd been in the design loop I would a question along the lines of, "Hey, what if someone wants to use that function with a non-Canon flash, like maybe Elinchroms or Bowens?"

not jumping on you dude, just saying that it was answered... the triggers just dont do it! it's not the camera that syncs, it sends a signal to the flash to flash twice. I think that's an Electrical Engineers realm tho. I could be wrong tho. :-)

Actually, I sort of get what drove the design decision, although I don't agree with it.  The "Flash Function Settings" menu includes five features - Manual vs ETTL, Zoom, Exposure Compensation (ETTL only), Power (Manual only), and curtain synch.

All of those except curtain synch obviously require some intelligent communication between the camera and flash and so it makes sense that you wouldn't present those to the user in the absence of a compatible flash.  But the last one - curtain sync - doesn't require any intelligent communication between the camera and the flash. The only thing required to make that work is to send the firing signal to the hot shoe or sync cable at the right time, either just after opening the first curtain or just before closing the second curtain.

So it's possible that the designers just found it more convenient to keep that last option together with the others to avoid having to make more space in the menu system.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 10:34:29 PM »

dmills

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 10:40:08 PM »
This isn't so much related to the 5d3, as just a workaround to the shot you're wanting. The point of the second curtain is to fire right before the shutter closes. Since this is a long-exposure shot that you're wanting to stage, and it will be in bulb mode, you know when the shutter is going to close. You could always just manually fire your flashes right before you end the exposure.
Photos | 5D3 | 60D | GoPro Hero3 | 8-15 | 10-22 | 24 1.4 II | 24-105 | 85 1.2 II | 70-200 2.8 IS II | x2 III | 600EX-RT x2 + ST-E3 | lighting accessories, umbrellas, etc

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2259
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2012, 12:40:20 AM »
Actually, I sort of get what drove the design decision, although I don't agree with it.  The "Flash Function Settings" menu includes five features - Manual vs ETTL, Zoom, Exposure Compensation (ETTL only), Power (Manual only), and curtain synch.

All of those except curtain synch obviously require some intelligent communication between the camera and flash and so it makes sense that you wouldn't present those to the user in the absence of a compatible flash.  But the last one - curtain sync - doesn't require any intelligent communication between the camera and the flash. The only thing required to make that work is to send the firing signal to the hot shoe or sync cable at the right time, either just after opening the first curtain or just before closing the second curtain.

So it's possible that the designers just found it more convenient to keep that last option together with the others to avoid having to make more space in the menu system.
I agree. Second curtain synch is a function of the camera and not the flash. It should have been in the camera menu and not in the flash menu that is not displayed when flash is not detected.

I think they took a shortcut.

TrumpetPower!

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2012, 01:26:49 AM »
I haven't yet needed anything other than first-curtain flash with the 5DIII so I haven't gone looking for it. But I couldn't quite believe that the only way to get to it was by attaching a Canon-branded flash...so I just pulled out my 5DIII, and, sure enough, no way to set first- or second-curtain flash.

This is a bug, plain and simple -- and one that Canon really should fix in the next firmware release. As others have mentioned, first- or second-curtain flash isn't some sort of exotic function that requires special communication with a proprietary flash, it's something basic that dates back to the earliest days of electronic flash and works just fine with even the dumbest possible of PC or hotshoe flashes. If I didn't already own a 580 and thus have a workaround available, I'd be really pissed to learn about this.

b&

kaihp

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2012, 02:04:03 AM »
This is a bug, plain and simple -- and one that Canon really should fix in the next firmware release.
+1

Either not in the requirements, or not designed right.

BumpyMunky

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 37
  • I wonder what this button does...
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2012, 02:16:01 AM »

One of the things she's asked for are some special effects shot with sparklers, like this:

http://www.sparklersonline.com/blog/www-sparklersonline-com-3/wedding-sparkler-photo-tutorial/

Reading through that tutorial, the shot calls for second curtain sync.  And I am familiar enough with flash photography to understand why that is the preferred technique.

I don't think you actually need 2nd curtain for these shots.   Second curtain prevents things like tail-light streaks from going through cars when doing long exposure w/flash of moving cars (or of any movement where direction is important), but for the sparkler thing, when the flash happens isn't that important as long as you know when it will flash.

Both pictures in that article actually appear to be done first curtain to me.   Otherwise, (with the first one) they'd need to have written the word backwards to be at the front when the (2nd curtain) flash fired (or use an assistant to write after the pose, but before the flash).  What I think they did was pose for the shot with a lit sparkler, open the shutter (with 1st curtain flash), and then wrote the word, closing the shutter (w/o flash) at the end.    The second pic doesn't matter so much, as it could have been done both ways:
With 1st curtain: pose, open(flash), mess with sparkler, close(no flash). 
With 2nd curtain: open(no flash), mess with sparkler, pose, close(flash).

If there is too much ambient light, the poses would need to be held throughout the exposure, with assistants doing the writing.  If flash is the only light on subject, they only need to be in position for the flash part of the exposure.

I'd probably shoot these with first curtain.   It just seems easier.  Keep in mind that some subjects (most, in my experience) have no idea what a long exposure is, and associate the sight of a flash as being 'the picture'.  It can help to let them know what you're doing so they 'perform' when needed, and not spoil the shot.

(BTW, I agree that hiding the curtain controls from non-Canon flashes is silly)


rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2259
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2012, 03:46:57 AM »
This is a bug, plain and simple -- and one that Canon really should fix in the next firmware release.
+1

Either not in the requirements, or not designed right.
You in software too?
 :)

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2012, 03:46:57 AM »

davidbellissima

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
    • Wedding Photographer in London
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2012, 04:38:52 AM »
I can highly recommend the Phottix Odin triggers. From the unit on the camera you can set rear curtain sync, high speed sync, TTl or Manual, control the flash output in 1/3 stop increments and zoom the flash head. Fantastic. Here is a link comparing them to some other triggers:

http://www.bellissimaphoto.co.uk/photographers/pocket-wizard-versus-phottix-odin-versus-radio-popper-flash-triggering.html

And-Rew

  • Guest
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2012, 05:03:16 AM »
So let me get this right -

you're saying that you cannot set up 2nd curtain sync on a 5D3 unless you have a Canon flash attached?

If that is correct, then in my book that is a design flaw or implementation flaw.

I've been using a variety of flash guns at (Nikon, Canon, Metz, Sunpak) Strobist shoots on my 5D2's for 3 years and have always been able to access the flash menu to change curtain sync between 1st and 2nd. A variety of triggers have been used as well.

So glad I decided not to invest huge amounts into the 5D3. Sorry all you techies of this forum - I've been able to access my flash menu on all Canon SDLR's since the 30D and the removal of that option to me is a design flaw.

I'm with the OP

kaihp

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2012, 07:34:25 AM »
This is a bug, plain and simple -- and one that Canon really should fix in the next firmware release.
+1

Either not in the requirements, or not designed right.
You in software too?
 :)
Close, but no cigar. Used to design ICs, before turning to the dark side (ie: management).

zim

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 782
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2012, 07:53:59 AM »
Maybe the guys from Magic Lantern could squeeze in a quicker fix than Canon are likely to do?

I can set first/second shutter on my 500D without a flash so I wonder if this really is a ‘flaw’ or sales/marketing dept. having there way again.

gbchriste

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2012, 08:23:52 AM »
So let me get this right -

you're saying that you cannot set up 2nd curtain sync on a 5D3 unless you have a Canon flash attached?

If that is correct, then in my book that is a design flaw or implementation flaw.

I've been using a variety of flash guns at (Nikon, Canon, Metz, Sunpak) Strobist shoots on my 5D2's for 3 years and have always been able to access the flash menu to change curtain sync between 1st and 2nd. A variety of triggers have been used as well.

So glad I decided not to invest huge amounts into the 5D3. Sorry all you techies of this forum - I've been able to access my flash menu on all Canon SDLR's since the 30D and the removal of that option to me is a design flaw.

I'm with the OP

Actually, it hadn't occurred to me until I read your post that attaching a non-Canon flash might also grant access to second curtain sync.  Like you, I've spent some time in the Strobist community and have an LP120 manual flash so I attached it to the camera. Still no go.

Any attempt to access the "Flash function settings" menu, which is where curtain sync is buried, is greeted with a message that reads, "This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off."  Same behavior with a remote firing trigger mounted in the hot shoe.

So yes, setting second curtain sync, and turning the sync back to first curtain, cannot be accomplished unless there is a Canon branded flash attached. 

Although I can't test it, I will grant that using some type of 3rd party trigger system that preserves the Canon camera-to-flash communication protocol, like the Pocket Wizard FlexTT5, might enable that portion of the menu system.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 08:55:59 AM by gbchriste »

willhuff.net

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2012, 09:34:29 AM »
Any chance that pestering Canon will get them to change it?

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2012, 09:34:29 AM »

danski0224

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 567
    • View Profile
    • Some of my Work in Progress
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2012, 09:58:02 AM »
I soooo want the 5DIII, but reading stuff like this changes my mind...

5DII is safe for now.

 ;)
Some of my Work in Progress..... www.dftimages.com

CharlieB

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2012, 11:54:10 AM »
I don't think this is a design flaw.

Either by way of direct mounting, or coupled external flash (cable, wireless), there needs to be an TTL flash "known" by the camera.

The reason, I believe, is due to the nature of the 2nd curtain synch.  Although the curtain travel time is very fast, at some flash output settings - which are tube firing time derived - you will probably get some unwanted consequences. 

Put another way, 2nd curtain synch actually occurs BEFORE the 2nd curtain begins to move.  But how much before?  It depends on how long the flash tube is going fire in order to achieve what the "camera/flash" system believe are correct exposure.  This may be splitting hairs, but on larger units, the flash tube firing time can be just under 1/1000 second, and no doubt Canon has accounted for this timing factor by limiting the way 2nd curtain synch is implemented.

Moreover... I would not be surprised that if you first set the camera to 2nd curtain, and then went with a non-TTL remote setup, that the camera might "say" its on 2nd curtain, but actually has reverted to first curtain.  I can see Canon doing that.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 5D3 Second Curtain Sync - Design Flaw?
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2012, 11:54:10 AM »