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Dirk Rösler
28-Aug-2014, 04:37
Hi there, is there a technique or gadget that lets you trigger strobes when using shutters without sync capability? I suppose you can open the shutter and then fire the flash manually using flash meter. Or is there something more elegant (like a sound-sensitive trigger)?

Could also use the Sinar shutter I suppose...

Jim Jones
28-Aug-2014, 05:33
In the early days of flash photography, shutters with a cocking lever that moved when the shutter was activated could close external sync contacts. Also, cable releases were made with sync contacts timed to close at the right moment.

Liquid Artist
28-Aug-2014, 05:57
I asked the same question about a year ago, and although I had some good answers none of them really worked for me.
The cable release with a sync cord wasn't one of them, and now that Jim mentions it I think it may be the answer for me.
However I use mostly old flash bulbs, which have a longer burn time than more modern systems. So a better chance of working if it isn't synced properly. On the other hand the shutter can still fire before my bulb, still leaving the subject in the dark.

Jac@stafford.net
28-Aug-2014, 06:34
In the early days of flash photography, shutters with a cocking lever that moved when the shutter was activated could close external sync contacts. Also, cable releases were made with sync contacts timed to close at the right moment.

Those are still around, usually of Russian make. Most have a variable delay intended to fire flash bulbs. The downside is that (those I have) require a conventional shutter release socket. Here is a photo from this site of exactly one of mine. (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&docid=emhLdyFn_WbsHM&tbnid=ttHZ2CfB8q67ZM:&ved=0CAUQjBw4zgI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ussrphoto.com%2FUserContent%2Fsynch%25202.jpg&ei=5DL_U5nAIsi8ggT48oL4Bw&psig=AFQjCNHiftI77HmX8jG9MNNsB_ucLDx9Vw&ust=1409320036678661) The flash cord plugs into a socket on the back of the plunger, barely visible here.

Then there is the Canon flash intended for early Leica-like screw mount cameras that trips through its own mechanical release because those early cameras often had no synch socket.

A search will show we have many posts here describing Packard shutters modified with a simple micro-switch for electronic flash.

So now the question is: What kind of shutter is Dirk considering? I'm sure we can come up with something.
.

Struan Gray
28-Aug-2014, 06:43
Trigger trap have some useful gadgets for triggering cameras or flashes using light, sound or other inputs. I'm pretty sure you can adjust the delay between the signal and the actual trigger so that you can get the timing exactly right.

triggertrap.com


PS: I was thinking in terms of using the sound of the shutter tripping, plus a delay, to trigger the flash.

Dirk Rösler
28-Aug-2014, 06:43
Hi, thanks for your attention. It is a Betax No. 4 Shutter here

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?113658-FS-Velostigmat-9-5-in-f4-5-in-Betax-No-4-Shutter&p=1139310&viewfull=1#post1139310

Dirk Rösler
28-Aug-2014, 06:54
triggertrap.com

These guys are doing some cool stuff, but I cannot find anything suitable there. I have an ages-old optical trigger, but I agree that acoustic would be best. Of course it should trigger just once, when shutter opens, and not on close.

http://www.hiviz.com/tools/triggers/triggers2.htm

A sound trigger discharges a flash unit in response to a sound or vibration created by either the high-speed event itself or some other action that initiates the high-speed event. The three parts of a sound trigger are the microphone, the amplifier, and a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR). The diagram above shows how the components are connected. The microphone picks up the sound of the event. The signal from the microphone is then amplified in order to gate the SCR, which acts as a switch.

DrTang
28-Aug-2014, 07:00
Hi, thanks for your attention. It is a Betax No. 4 Shutter here

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?113658-FS-Velostigmat-9-5-in-f4-5-in-Betax-No-4-Shutter&p=1139310&viewfull=1#post1139310

Just had those guys from NYC put a sync on my #5 Betax..I sent a broken shutter with sync parts they could use if needed - not sure if they needed them as I'm waiting for the shutters to show up now

the Former Lens & Repo guys

jnanian
28-Aug-2014, 07:09
A search will show we have many posts here describing Packard shutters modified with a simple micro-switch for electronic flash.

they were done at the factory ( http://www.packardshutter.com/ ) and purchased with a sync. i worked with a portrait photographer decades ago
and that was exactly the set up ... single speed shutter, modern single post flash sync, and a handful of those photogenic strobe
that looked like hoover vacuum cleaners

Bob Salomon
28-Aug-2014, 07:46
Many, if not most, camera repairmen can add flash synch to an old shutter.

Tim Meisburger
28-Aug-2014, 09:34
You don't really need a microswitch to add sync to a Packard; just hot glue and an old sync cord. One side attaches to a screw on the Packard and the other glued so the piston hits it wide open and that completes the circuit and fires the flash. Its can be set up nicely with a brass spring, etc. or jury-rigged in about ten minutes just with wire.

Randy Moe
28-Aug-2014, 09:51
Great source. I will be buying one!

Thanks.



Trigger trap have some useful gadgets for triggering cameras or flashes using light, sound or other inputs. I'm pretty sure you can adjust the delay between the signal and the actual trigger so that you can get the timing exactly right.

triggertrap.com


PS: I was thinking in terms of using the sound of the shutter tripping, plus a delay, to trigger the flash.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
28-Aug-2014, 22:24
Trigger trap have some useful gadgets for triggering cameras or flashes using light, sound or other inputs. I'm pretty sure you can adjust the delay between the signal and the actual trigger so that you can get the timing exactly right..

What a great idea! Thank you Struan! I just ordered a dongle and cable today. I have been looking for a way of using strobe with my 101 year old Graflex SLR without butchering it, and this may be the way. It took some time to adjust the sensitivity of vibration sensor to get the mirror slap to register but not my pushing the shutter, and adjusting the delay. I can rest my phone on the camera, plug the phone into the strobe (with a low voltage sync adapter), and wow! Of course, I am using a shutter speed of about a 1/4 second...

Dirk Rösler
29-Aug-2014, 00:18
I have looked at the trigger trap page for a while now, but I cannot figure out which of these things solves the problem. The iPhone app with some sort of cable? Flash adapter?

Struan Gray
29-Aug-2014, 01:11
I've not done this, but my understanding is that you would need:

1) the triggertrap app for your mobile or tablet (a free download)
2) a dongle. Any of them will work to trigger a flash with an LF shutter, so get the one which works with your DSLR/SLR if you have one. If you don't, you should get the Nikon or Canon model so it's easier to sell on.
3) the flash adapter accessory. This plugs into the dongle and provides a sync signal to a flash (presumably buffered).

Attach the dongle to the mobile. Attach the flash adapter to the dongle, and connect the sync contact to your flash. Use the app to set up the chain of devices to trigger on the sound of your shutter firing.

Were it me, I would get a cheap earbuds headset with a condensor mike on the cable (like the Apple ones) and fix the mike to the body of the shutter. That way you maximise the sound of the shutter and minimise external noise.

I don't know how flexible the app is in terms of filtering the incoming sound, but in principle the advantage of using a digital device like this over a classic analogue sound trigger is that you can customise the filtering on the input. Pattern recognition (sing a high C to take a pic) and voice control are built into most smartphones and tablets, but even if you don't go that far, you should be able to set background noise levels to ignore.

The only downside I can see is that you may need a safe-sync isolator if your flash equipment uses a high sync voltage. Trigger trap can tell you how much their gear can cope with.


Struan

Struan Gray
29-Aug-2014, 01:14
I can rest my phone on the camera, plug the phone into the strobe (with a low voltage sync adapter), and wow! Of course, I am using a shutter speed of about a 1/4 second...

Very cool. All kudos to Triggertrap rather than me. I just think they're good gadgets.

Dirk Rösler
29-Aug-2014, 06:21
thanks for this. The problem with the earbud mike idea is that the iphone headphone socket will already be occupied by the dongle.

Also their site says this disclaimer:

This flash accessory must only be used with modern, portable electronic flashes. Use with studio equipment or with high-voltage flashguns may damage your smartphone.

Should be ok most of the time I suppose... mmmh

Randy Moe
29-Aug-2014, 06:33
When I get mine, in a month (next paycheck), I will test that theory with Paul C Buff Einsteins using an old iPod Touch 4. I use the iPod for all kinds of apps and consider it obsolete and more electronic garbage, but if it works it lives another cycle. I have never used an iPod for music!


thanks for this. The problem with the earbud mike idea is that the iphone headphone socket will already be occupied by the dongle.

Also their site says this disclaimer:

This flash accessory must only be used with modern, portable electronic flashes. Use with studio equipment or with high-voltage flashguns may damage your smartphone.

Should be ok most of the time I suppose... mmmh

Struan Gray
29-Aug-2014, 06:36
thanks for this. The problem with the earbud mike idea is that the iphone headphone socket will already be occupied by the dongle.

Mea culpa. I though they were using the bottom end connector for the dongle.



Also their site says this disclaimer:

This flash accessory must only be used with modern, portable electronic flashes. Use with studio equipment or with high-voltage flashguns may damage your smartphone.

Should be ok most of the time I suppose... mmmh

I think the Wein Safe Sync is still available. I'm too mean to buy one, so I have kept high voltages away from digicams using a small flash on very low power and optical slaves.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
29-Aug-2014, 07:07
... This flash accessory must only be used with modern, portable electronic flashes...

The dongle is rated for <20V. The Wein safe sync should reduce trigger voltage to about 6V with older strobe equipment.
http://forum.triggertrap.com/discussion/460/can-you-use-the-triggertrap-dongle-with-old-flash-guns

Dirk Rösler
30-Aug-2014, 12:48
After realising that the iPhone's flashlight triggers optical slaves in my studio flash head and a classic optical trigger I had around the house, I found a free app called "Best Flashlight" that has the feature to trigger the iPhone light by sound. The shutter sound sets off the flashlight on the phone which then triggers the optical slave of the synch cord or the flash head.

Almost free solution with no high voltages to worry about. Just have to fire the shutter at B or T... which is kind of close to firing off the flash with the other hand, but never mind!

Thanks for the ideas.

Randy Moe
30-Aug-2014, 13:19
I will try that. Why not.

Thanks for the tip, it could save me a lot of Rube Goldberg frippery.


After realising that the iPhone's flashlight triggers optical slaves in my studio flash head and a classic optical trigger I had around the house, I found a free app called "Best Flashlight" that has the feature to trigger the iPhone light by sound. The shutter sound sets off the flashlight on the phone which then triggers the optical slave of the synch cord or the flash head.

Almost free solution with no high voltages to worry about. Just have to fire the shutter at B or T... which is kind of close to firing off the flash with the other hand, but never mind!

Thanks for the ideas.

David A. Goldfarb
30-Aug-2014, 23:42
Hi there, is there a technique or gadget that lets you trigger strobes when using shutters without sync capability? I suppose you can open the shutter and then fire the flash manually using flash meter. Or is there something more elegant (like a sound-sensitive trigger)?

Really, nothing more is needed, as long as the strobes are significantly brighter than ambient, and indoors, unless you're mixing strobe with long exposures or hot lights, strobes are likely to be at least 4 stops brighter than the ambient light. I've used open flash technique for lenses with no shutters, just removing the lens cap, firing the strobes manually, and returning the lens cap, and it works perfectly well. With practice you can easily get the lens cap exposure time down to 1/2 second or less, and if the lens has a shutter with a B setting, then 1/4 second or less is quite manageable. Less gear, more elegant, I say.

Dirk Rösler
31-Aug-2014, 23:46
I think you are right, less is more. Sensible to only automate it in an environment with high ambient light or fill-in flash situation. Thanks.

Cor
4-Sep-2014, 07:44
+ 1

Best,

Cor

Really, nothing more is needed, as long as the strobes are significantly brighter than ambient, and indoors, unless you're mixing strobe with long exposures or hot lights, strobes are likely to be at least 4 stops brighter than the ambient light. I've used open flash technique for lenses with no shutters, just removing the lens cap, firing the strobes manually, and returning the lens cap, and it works perfectly well. With practice you can easily get the lens cap exposure time down to 1/2 second or less, and if the lens has a shutter with a B setting, then 1/4 second or less is quite manageable. Less gear, more elegant, I say.

Randy Moe
4-Sep-2014, 07:49
Yes that does work. It even works with old shutters that have only B or T working. Open the shutter, trigger the strobes and shut the shutter. As you say 1/2 second hand synchro is easy.

WayneStevenson
15-Oct-2014, 06:33
I have an old Anastigmat that I modified for a little while to sync with flash. I stripped a sync cable to took the two leads and attached one to the trigger lever, and the other to a paperclip that was on my lens board. Worked like a flint lock.

I calibrated it by bending the paperclip further or closer towards the trigger lever. Tested for sync by aiming my strobe through the lens and looking in through the back while I triggered it.

Spent more time calibrating it than shooting with it so I removed it. The paperclip was never sturdy enough.

If I were to do it again, I would put a nut on the lens board and use a screw so I could adjust it that way. And then another nut to lock it in place.

I had initially opened it up to find a place inside I could solder contacts. Which would be the best place for it. But couldn't see an easy way to insulate the inside without putting some effort into it. And I wanted to get up and running within about 20 minutes. Heh. A little impatient.

Jac@stafford.net
15-Oct-2014, 15:33
Wayne, next time if you can, look at the early Compur shutters that were modified for flash. It is a simple project.