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Thread started 02 Dec 2006 (Saturday) 10:39
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Has anyone successfully used an optical trigger with Canon EX Flashes?

 
TMR ­ Design
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Dec 02, 2006 10:39 |  #1

I'm researching optical triggers that will work correctly with Canon EX Speedlite flashes.
There are a lot of thread and posts, and a ton of articles on this subject but it always addresses the issue of pre-flash. It would seem there are many that won't have the pre-flash problem and the real issue is the fact that after the flash fires it will lock up and the only way to reset it is to power down and back up again.

In some of the searches it was mentioned that the Metz or Kaiser overcame this problem but I have nothing definitive to go on.

Anyone know of or own one that works correctly and does not have either the pre-flash or the lockup problem?


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René ­ Damkot
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Dec 02, 2006 11:20 |  #2

I have a Hama (I think) optical trigger. It will trigger a 540EZ or 550EX once. Then the flash has to be shut down or the Hama disconnected.
IIRC it has to do with the Canon being kept 'triggered', because the triggercurrent running through the unit is too low. So the 'switch stays closed' so to speak. (Sorry, can't explain it better in English)


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PacAce
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Dec 02, 2006 11:25 |  #3

René Damkot wrote in post #2343245 (external link)
I have a Hama (I think) optical trigger. It will trigger a 540EZ or 550EX once. Then the flash has to be shut down or the Hama disconnected.
IIRC it has to do with the Canon being kept 'triggered', because the triggercurrent running through the unit is too low. So the 'switch stays closed' so to speak. (Sorry, can't explain it better in English)

Close enough, Rene, but to be exact, it's because the current flowing through is too high to turn the switching device off. :)


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TMR ­ Design
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Dec 02, 2006 11:40 as a reply to  @ PacAce's post |  #4

Aren't any of the third party manufacturers addressing this issue since Canon and EX flashes are so poular?


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Dec 02, 2006 12:52 |  #5

TMR Design wrote in post #2343109 (external link)
I'm researching optical triggers that will work correctly with Canon EX Speedlite flashes.
There are a lot of thread and posts, and a ton of articles on this subject but it always addresses the issue of pre-flash. It would seem there are many that won't have the pre-flash problem and the real issue is the fact that after the flash fires it will lock up and the only way to reset it is to power down and back up again.

In some of the searches it was mentioned that the Metz or Kaiser overcame this problem but I have nothing definitive to go on.

Anyone know of or own one that works correctly and does not have either the pre-flash or the lockup problem?

As I stated in my posts in your other thread about this same subject, the real pressing issue is not the pre flash. If the preflash were the real stumbling block, there would not be an issue, as there are many optical slaves that can deal with that hurdle.

But, the problem is the fundamental inherent electrical attributes of the the recent Canon Speedlights and their inability to function properly with the basic trigger circuit of most available optical slaves.

As I stated before, I am in process of trying to do some basic testing on this, but I am trying to garner the proper resources to accomplish this in a comprehensive manner and unwilling to cast out half baked information.

If I can easily garner the needed resources, I will get this info. If it becomes difficult, I will just cast the issue aside as it is of some interest to me, but it is not the Rosetta Stone. I am also in no grand hurry. This lack of information about an interesting situation creates no meaningful personal roadblock.

Enjoy! Lon


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TMR ­ Design
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Dec 02, 2006 13:32 |  #6

londuck wrote in post #2343497 (external link)
As I stated in my posts in your other thread about this same subject, the real pressing issue is not the pre flash. If the preflash were the real stumbling block, there would not be an issue, as there are many optical slaves that can deal with that hurdle.

But, the problem is the fundamental inherent electrical attributes of the the recent Canon Speedlights and their inability to function properly with the basic trigger circuit of most available optical slaves.

As I stated before, I am in process of trying to do some basic testing on this, but I am trying to garner the proper resources to accomplish this in a comprehensive manner and unwilling to cast out half baked information.

If I can easily garner the needed resources, I will get this info. If it becomes difficult, I will just cast the issue aside as it is of some interest to me, but it is not the Rosetta Stone. I am also in no grand hurry. This lack of information about an interesting situation creates no meaningful personal roadblock.

Enjoy! Lon

Good enough Lon. I did point out in the original post that the real issue is the lockup and not the pre-flash. I'm in no grand hurry either...simply hungry for information and knowledge. I've read your posts in the other thread so please don't think I did not or cast the answers aside. I just thought that a post with this specific question in the subject might prompt others that perhaps have additional information to chime in and help.


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jmb4370
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Dec 02, 2006 13:52 |  #7

I dont' remember if I posted in one of your other posts about this (londuck), but I think I was responding about this somewhere. and I think one of the voltage isolation circuits that have been posted around might have merit in this application, as they act as a relay and will shut down the circuit, keeping the trigger side separate from the flash side.

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Dec 02, 2006 15:24 |  #8

TMR Design wrote in post #2343619 (external link)
Good enough Lon. I did point out in the original post that the real issue is the lockup and not the pre-flash. I'm in no grand hurry either...simply hungry for information and knowledge. I've read your posts in the other thread so please don't think I did not or cast the answers aside. I just thought that a post with this specific question in the subject might prompt others that perhaps have additional information to chime in and help.

I would welcome all help on this issue. But, I have looked at this enough to be sure that the real issue is not the preflash. So, I only wanted to decouple that possibility from the mix.

I am getting aware of how this forum operates. If you can limit the focus to the germane path, and not just a laundry list of all the possible paths that a mental experiment might evoke, then that focus is much more likely to produce some concrete results.

PacAce has already done some meaningful investigations in this area, and so far his work explains the situation well.

I previously posted a thread requesting information about the "rumored" slave units that will work with the Canon Speedlights. But, to this point the only info I could ever get was that it was a Metz unit, and that unit was just tested in a camera store.

So, there may be more info lurking in the forum archives, and in some of the forum members gray matter, but I have not uncovered it.

Enjoy! Lon


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Dec 02, 2006 15:30 |  #9

jmb4370 wrote in post #2343700 (external link)
I dont' remember if I posted in one of your other posts about this (londuck), but I think I was responding about this somewhere. and I think one of the voltage isolation circuits that have been posted around might have merit in this application, as they act as a relay and will shut down the circuit, keeping the trigger side separate from the flash side.

Michael
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Initially I thought these "Safe Sync" or safe sync like devices might hold promise, but as a class they are basically sync Voltage limiting devices (they do not "act as a relay") and typically cut Voltage to about 6 Volts.

The recent Canon Speedlights already have sync Voltages at or below 6 Volts. So, after a bit of thought I realized they likely hold no promise.

But, on a slow day I may take a look anyway. I have a couple of "actual" Safe Sync devices about, and I even have a homebrew safe sync that I soldered together from a circuit I picked up on the web.

But, I seek an inexpensive optical slave solution, and with the Safe Sync devices at about $40.00 this frustrates that objective.

That nice $80.00 Sunpak 383 flash with a $10.00 optical slave, really undercuts piling on much expense to a Canon Speedlight to get it to accommodate like function. If you are going to spend $40.00 or $50.00 just to get a Canon Speedlight to work with an optical slave, why not just forget it and get an $80.00 Sunpak 383 and a cheap optical slave and stop the silliness.

Canon sure makes it hard to use there very expensive flash units for general photographic work. It should not be this hard.

Enjoy! Lon


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Dec 02, 2006 17:58 |  #10

londuck wrote in post #2344037 (external link)
Initially I thought these "Safe Sync" or safe sync like devices might hold promise, but as a class they are basically sync Voltage limiting devices (they do not "act as a relay") and typically cut Voltage to about 6 Volts.

The recent Canon Speedlights already have sync Voltages at or below 6 Volts. So, after a bit of thought I realized they likely hold no promise.

But, on a slow day I may take a look anyway. I have a couple of "actual" Safe Sync devices about, and I even have a homebrew safe sync that I soldered together from a circuit I picked up on the web.

But, I seek an inexpensive optical slave solution, and with the Safe Sync devices at about $40.00 this frustrates that objective.

That nice $80.00 Sunpak 383 flash with a $10.00 optical slave, really undercuts piling on much expense to a Canon Speedlight to get it to accommodate like function. If you are going to spend $40.00 or $50.00 just to get a Canon Speedlight to work with an optical slave, why not just forget it and get an $80.00 Sunpak and a cheap optical slave and stop the silliness.

Canon sure makes it hard to use there very expensive flash units for general photographic work. It should not be this hard.

Enjoy! Lon

The Sunpak solution is my recommendation too, especially for the price. The 580EX can then be used in manuaal mode as an expensive trigger device on the camera. And this would agree with Canon's theory of expensive is better....:lol:


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JX
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Dec 02, 2006 21:34 as a reply to  @ Titus213's post |  #11

I bought a wein. I could not get it to work with my 580 Ex. Here is my post. https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=230640

My advice is to go PW or Quantum FreeXwire.

Jim


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TMR ­ Design
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Dec 03, 2006 06:24 as a reply to  @ JX's post |  #12

Thanks for all the contributions to this thread. For now I'll sit back and see if anyone comes up with anything.


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Apr 16, 2008 18:19 as a reply to  @ TMR Design's post |  #13

Hi there,

I just joined this forum after reading loads of threads about wireless triggering. Finally, I just got myself 3 pocketwizards ( they're so wicked they should rename them pocketwitches !!! ). Radio is definitely the way to go when shooting both indoors and outdoors.
To get back to this thread, I own a Hama optical trigger and it works well with a century old Starblitz ( fires everytime ) as long as you keep a direct line of sight bet. speedlights AND quite short a range too !
With my 430 EX, as mentionned before, it only fires once, then you need to "reboot". Haven't tried it with my 580 EX though.
Last, you may wanna check this : http://michaelbass.blo​gspot.com/ (external link)
That guy offers ( for $, duh ) to modify canon speedlights in order to do all sorts of things AND has optical triggering solutions ( links on the home page ).
Hope that helps.
G.




  
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Apr 17, 2008 16:09 |  #14

Does anyone know if there is the same issue with 550EX flashes and hotshoe adapters used with pc terminals? In other words, if I try to use one of these hotshoe adapters on the flash and connect it to the camera with a pc cord will it also lock up after the first shot?

I got optical slave triggers for the vivitars that also have pc terminals and was wondering if I could use them with a pc cord to connect the 550 off camera as well.

I'd like to know before I shell out the cash for a pc cord...


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Apr 17, 2008 16:28 as a reply to  @ aericj's post |  #15

I have an old sunpak optical trigger which works flawlessly with my 430 ex, they turn up now & then on ebay. It will not ignore the preflash though so only answers 50% of your question....sorry

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