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LX5 10bar housing + TTL Strobe

Discussion in 'Panasonic Planet' started by Aquanut2, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    779
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    28
    I've had good luck with the HW TTL converter on various Olympus cameras. Panasonic supposedly uses the same strobe electrical interface, so called "ETTLl". I'm surprised there would be an incompatibility.

    I wonder about your connections. I gather you have a Nikonos style bulkhead? So you should be using the Ikelite to Nikonos TTL cable, # 4104.6.
    Ikelite Sync Cords
    This is the only cable they recommend for Nikonos TTL. The other cables will give you the operation you have, full manual but no quench for TTL.

    The way your strobe is behaving, it sounds like you either have a non TTL cable or contact problem on the Q signal line. Here is a diagram of the Ikelite and Nikon (not Olympus) connector pinout (at the bottom). Check the connectivity from the HW board to the strobe connector pins for the T, Q, R and Gnd signals.
    IKELITE Underwater Systems
    My bet is there is a break in the Q signal line.

    Good luck and let us know how this works out.
     
  2. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    Yes this has been way more trouble than I thought it would be, but determined to get an electrical sync cord solution. Continuity checks out from the board, thru bulkhead to end of the connected sync cord. I brought my system to a local camera store and confirmed that my LX5 is functioning properly with an Olympus TTL flash (just to be sure it wasn't the camera) and using the hotshoe TTL converter, Ikelite 4104.6 cable w/SB161 worked in TTL on a Olympus E-PL1 in store. But all I can conclude is it works with another camera and it may be something unique with this particular Strobe camera combination. If I had acess to another 161 it might just work.

    At this point leaning towards abandoning Ikelite and trying a S&S YS110a with sync cord.
     
  3. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
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    In playing with the strobes I have, I was unaware that Oly and Panasonic use a different flash sync than just about everyone else does. Testing my oly strobes (which work great with the LX-5, I discovered that they don't sync to any canon camera in TTL. My first thought was that they must have two preflashes, but with the camera set to manual, which does not have any preflash, the strobes sync (even when when the strobe is set in TTL). That can only mean they are not using any preflash, or the timing of the preflashes is so short that it does not see them (not sure which it is).

    I wish I had an Ike strobe to compare, but it now has me wondering how they could make the conversion from the camera to the stobe. I guess if it is just timing, then it would be easy to do, but if the number and how it actually works is different, then that would seem to be a huge issue to overcome.

    I've read they use one pre-flash, that they use two, so am a bit confused.

    I do know that the oly strobes will flash sync all the way up to the max shutter speed, 1/4000, that is such a tiny amount of time, that they much be timed extremely accurately. 1/4000 is .25 miliseconds, which is a value so small that I don't understand how a preflash would even work.

    I can see the preflash from a S&S strobe, I cannot with the Panasonic...so it may be just a really short timing....need to increase the shutter speed on the Canon as see if there is a sudden drop off (showing timing is the issue)...

    But if it is timing, then there may actually be a difference between the S&S and the Ike strobes..


    Just thinking outloud on the issue.
     
  4. Aquanut2

    Aquanut2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Upstate NY, USA
    36
    1
    0
    Hi Puffer Fish,
    Yes that high sync is really sick (wish my Nikon bodies could truly do that) guess that's not a problem when you don't have to deal with a mirror to get out of the way.

    Well if anyone is following this thread I thought I'd share where I've ended up.
    I tested a S&S YS-101a and their 17100 sync cord to usng the TTL converter, it was almost as bad as the IK DS161 was in TTL. There was promise as you could see some compensation but images were still way over exposed when shooting up close or at f2 and the strobe never used full power at distance or when stopped down.

    The good news is as previously reported the YS101a performed well in DS-TTL mode with a fibre optic cable (even when kluged from a audio TOS-Link cable). This is not the ideal solution I wanted (camera battery drain) but did handle what ever exposure I through at it.

    So I'm sending back the HW TTL converter for refund and sourcing an optical solution with S&S.
     
  5. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    779
    34
    28
    If you are determined to use the Ike strobe, it is easiest to use the Ike Housing for the LX5, which will be available in a week or so at $550. Let Ikelite guarantee the compatibility and don't try to invent a complicated beast without the right tools and knowledge. Ikelite does make TTL converters for Nikon and Canon cameras, but not Olympus/Panasonic, so that's not an option.

    This problem is caused by the camera makers. About 10 years ago, in order to protect sales of their own brand flash, each invented a unique way of signaling to the flash. Nikon used iTTL, Canon cTTL, Olympus eTTL. This made each brand of flash incompatible with other brands of flash in the hotshoe.

    And they were all different from the common Nikonos standard, which had become almost universal for underwater use. The Heinrichs Weikamp TTL converters tranlate the various Nikon, Canon and Olympus proprietary protocols into Nikonos protocol, which is used by a wide variety of Nikonos compatible flashes.

    It seems that Panasonic does not exactly mimic the eTTL protocol devised by Olympus, so the olympus HW TTL converter does not work on some Panasonic cameras. That's my guess. I've used HW converters without any trouble for years on Olympus cameras, so I have to surmise that Panasonic made a change that caused the problem. I assume that Matthias, being a genius, will figure out the problem and revise his microcode to deal with it.

    In the meantime, if you use the 10Bar housing, it looks like optical triggering is the best answer, just as you have discovered.
     
  6. JackConnick

    JackConnick Optical Ocean Sales ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I've got the new Ike housings w/HW sync on order...They also should have a fiber optic trigger cable out RSN, but it will be manual only to start.

    Jack
     
  7. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    779
    34
    28
    The ideal product to optically trigger the ikelite strobes would just screw onto the strobe and have an Inon style fiber connector, thereby converting the strobe to fiber. They don't really seem to get that the world has embraced fiber connections for strobes, so I doubt they will do that. Ikelite is just so conservative about new electronics designs. They'll probably put a wire to the strobe and have a dongle with electronics -- hope I am wrong.
     
  8. derway

    derway Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: pasadena CA
    85
    3
    0
    If you are forced to give up, and use optical triggering, you can keep your great ike strobe, and use the heinrichs digital optical adapter.

    It does TTL properly, following preflash and so on, and works with ike strobes.

    I've had great luck with this, and used it with sony and canon digicams. I believe it will work in your situation. Solve your problem for $159. Heinrich's web site shows all the current ike strobes and all the pany's up through the lx3.

    You can find it at reef photo, but this system won't let me post links yet.

    It provides a nikonos connector, so you need a nikonos to ikelite cable, which you probably already have.
     
  9. derway

    derway Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: pasadena CA
    85
    3
    0
  10. Wisnu

    Wisnu Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Katameya Heights, New Cairo
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    My camera is SP-350 w/ PT-030 and PEN E=PL1 with 10bar. I use Metz 58AF-1 for Oly/Pana in 10bar housing. I also love the Metz 58AF-1 for topside.
    The flash is powerful (GN58 @air) and TTL is very accurate - work well either using sync. cord or RC.
    The negative side: very bulky housing/flash - bigger than PT-30 ; and have to be careful handling the 5-pin bulkhead. My daughter just damaged the pins - waiting the replacement from 10 bar.
     

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