pc sync issue

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ilkka_nissila, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. I have the following issue when I'm using a pc sync cord to trigger a flash. In the first shot taken after the camera has been turned on, only about half of the frame is lit and the rest is black. In subsequent exposures, the whole frame is exposed. The problem occurs with both my D3 and D700, and it's not dependent on the flash unit used as far as I've been able to determine. Since both my cameras behave in the same way I'm wondering if I am doing something wrong. If you have used the pc sync cord to trigger flashes at 1/250s using one of these cameras, do you have a similar experience? Thanks.
  2. What happens at sub-max sync speeds?
  3. I've not seen this on D300. Maybe there's a glitch in the software?
    Kent in SD
  4. do they behave the same with wireless?
  5. Are you set to rear-curtain sync by any chance?
  6. Having only half the frame lit certainly suggests that the shutter speed exceeded the sync speed of the camera. What does the exif data show? Knowing Ilkka's experience, I would guess he has encountered this problem even when shooting in manual mode, which makes it all the more puzzling.
  7. I tend to shoot with the shutter speed locked to 1/250s or 1/200s when in the studio (the D3 allows this kind of locking). I haven't specifically tested if slowing down the sync helps; I will do this. I use 1/250s with Nikon flashes but I sometimes use a studio which is equipped with Hensel studio flashes and with those I have to shoot at 1/200s or slower - otherwise I get a darkening of maybe 1/5th of the frame at the bottom edge.
    No, I haven't used rear-curtain sync in situations where I've run into this problem.
    Wireless operation has never given me this problem.
    I just ran a few tests - at first I couldn't reproduce the problem; but then I figured out that the problem has exhibited itself after breaks in shooting so I let the camera lie down unused for a couple of minutes. Then I picked it up and took a shot. The first shot was only partially exposed, the subsequent ones correctly. Maybe the remote flash (connected to the pc cord) goes into some kind of "sleep" mode if the camera is not used for a little while, and then it doesn't sync correctly? I guess I need to do more testing - at first I thought the problem was systematic (after power-on) but now it seems like an intermittent problem (always related to the first frame after either power-on or a break, never appearing repeatedly in a sequence). I have tried another cord, the same problem appears.
    I suppose I should get a pocket wizard but it's kind of strange that I can't get the pc cord sync to work reliably.
  8. I have a have a hunch that the problem won't go away just because you're using a different way to trigger. Then again, a radio trigger would be non-iTTL, which might make a difference somehow. What about a very slightly sticking shutter?
    Kent in SD
  9. I found a menu to turn off the "standby" function; apparently the pc cord is only used to trigger the flash and timing of the first flash gets messed up if the flash was in standby mode. In CLS remote or master modes, the standby mode is canceled when I activate the camera's meter by pressing the shutter button half-way. This doesn't cancel the sleep mode when the pc cord is used. I don't know how it works with radio triggers; whether they communicate the meter active status to revive the flash or not. Anyway, I will do further testing to see if the standby mode was the main problem or if there was something else also.
  10. i remembered something old school, film days: in a studio setup, we used to shoot into the ceiling to "mate" the strobes and cameras via synch cords before starting the session.
  11. I bet it's a standby problem. The manual for my SB23 expressly states that you shouldn't use it a slave since there is no way to get it out of standby (all it has is a switch for off-ttl-manual). Of course this flash predates CLS. Presumably on CLS your flash is continuing to 'listen' for preflash even when in standby but without CLS that can't happen.

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