GH3 Studio strobes

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Charl F, May 17, 2013.

  1. Charl F

    Charl F New to Mu-43

    4
    May 17, 2013
    Johannesburg
    Help ! My studio strobe lights (I'm using Elinchrom D-Lite 4 Kit) are out of sync with shutter on my GH3. It fires way before the shutter.

    Flash setting on camera is set to wireless
    Shutter speed is below 160th

    With sync cable, it only fires 2 times out of 10. (Brand new cable & is plugged in firmly)

    What am I missing ?

    Charl
     
  2. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    I'm guessing you are using optical triggering with the Ellinchroms? If that's the case, it might be that the second strobe is triggered by the first and not the on-camera flash.

    I cannot guess about the sync cable problem...

    Have you tried radio triggers of any kind?
     
  3. Charl F

    Charl F New to Mu-43

    4
    May 17, 2013
    Johannesburg
    I only used one strobe. - No luck with radio trigger.
    After setting up the second strobe, the radio trigger worked.
    Still no luck with triggering the strobes with camera flash.
     
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    I'd be interested to see if another cable would work, I've gotten PC cables that are busted, out of the box new. They are fairly fragile. I'd also wonder about the voltage difference, or some other weird thing happening there on the strobe side or camera side. Maybe if you have a voltage adapter try that out (the radio trigger would alleviate that, which makes me wonder about that), and see if it makes any difference. Is your light properly grounded with a good cord with, and a surge protected outlet that otherwise maybe causing irregularities in the light?
     
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    think you have to switch off wireless...I beleive that is just for use with dedicated lumix/olympus flash units

    K
     
  6. Charl F

    Charl F New to Mu-43

    4
    May 17, 2013
    Johannesburg
    Thanks Guys

    I'll try a different cable & changing battery in the radio slave.

    All this equipment worked fine with my Nikon (R.I.P - in the big studio in the sky)

    C
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, this is correct. The way the wireless flash system works is to send a series of pre-flashes to transmit TTL and other info to the 4/3 wireless system, and the flash then processes that information and fires, both flash and shutter working after a slight delay to send and process that TTL and firing information.

    The optical sensor on your strobe on the other hand, is what we call a "dumb slave". It fires as soon as it sees another flash, and uses the settings you have physically set on the dials. The camera does not need to send any firing info, only a trigger flash. So what's happening is that your strobes are triggering off the pre-flash from your wireless system.

    What you need to use the strobe's slave sensor is to trigger them with straight-up flash on manual power, not wireless TTL. You can either use your on-board flash at very low power (ie, like 1/64th) so it doesn't affect the image or use a hotshoe flash with a nice soft light modifier so it adds a positive fill light to your image. In other words, fire your flash just as you would if it were your light source, but make sure you keep it on manual power with no TTL. TTL will always require a pre-flash (to meter) and a delay in the shutter. Plus you don't want the camera trying to adjust settings for your flash, when it doesn't know about the slave lights that are going to be set off it.

    Of course your other options are radio trigger or better PC Sync cables. Personally, the only time I'll use PC Sync is from the camera to flash bracket. I remember the horrors of the old days stringing out 30' cables to your lights, lol (I've always shot with many lights at a time so you can imagine the mess that made with wires all about ready to trip on)! Now I will only use optical or radio for off-camera lighting. Studio strobes are operated in a controlled environment so optical triggering works great, and the slave sensor is already built-in so no extra purchase is necessary.

    I don't own any of the latest Panasonics, but I know that older Pannys were rather limited in the manual flash capabilities of the built-in flash, so you may find it difficult to turn off the pre-flash if using that option... but I would hope in a camera as advanced as the GH3 that shouldn't be a problem anymore. All Oly cameras right down to the simplest Mini can have built-in or clip-on flash set to full manual with your choice of 1/1, 1/2, 1/4...1/16, 1/32, 1/64, etc., and I never understood why Panny didn't have that option. Your GH3 is the first Panny to communicate with the 4/3 wireless TTL system, so its flash system should be all updated now. However, if you use a hotshoe flash instead then you will have no problems on any camera. They will have their own manual mode and settings.
     
  8. Charl F

    Charl F New to Mu-43

    4
    May 17, 2013
    Johannesburg
    Thanks Ned.

    I set the on camera flash on manual @ 1/128 & it works perfectly to set off the Elinchroms. - With no real effect on subject from on-board flash.

    C
     
  9. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    If you can't make the Skyport system of the Elinchroms work with the GH3 (in manual mode, of course), it would be a good idea to obtain a set of "ebay Pocketwizards" (i.e. cheaper radio triggers). This will get rid of a number of problems with optical triggering, both indoors (e.g. behind obstacles) and outdoors (e.g. there are sometimes problems with humidity and optical triggering). Not to mention radio may give you higher sync speed with some flashes.

    I currently use the Cactus V5 and have still to find any issues with either strobes and speedlights, with the OM-D.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Perfect! :2thumbs:
     
  11. Photodan1

    Photodan1 Mu-43 Regular

    157
    Jun 26, 2012
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Dan
    The Phottix units are much like Pocket Wizards but much less $$. They are very reliable and well built.
     
  12. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    I haven't tried them, do you mean they work with TTL with :43: cameras? I always use manual, to tell you the truth, and I find limited use of TTL for off-camera flash. I have heard only positive reviews of Phottix though, and I'm sure they'll work great.

    Come to think about it, Olympus at least, has a great flash control system built-in, supporting groups, etc, directly from the camera. It's a shame it's only optical. One of my wishes would be for Olympus to make it available to third party radio trigger manufacturers.
     
  13. Paddy

    Paddy New to Mu-43

    2
    Oct 16, 2013
    Australia
    Paddy
    GH3 as Studio Camera

    Hi Charl, I just finished building my studio and have started experimenting with my GH3 with Elinchrom flash heads. I can't see my subject however! I am currently flipping between manual and automatic exposure to get around the problem. I am sure there must be a setting here somewhere but can't find it. Basically, with a high F stop in a dark studio the LCD is black. I flip to P in order to focus and then flip back to manual to take the picture. Not ideal. How are you getting on? Anyone else have any advice. By the way, I am syncing 2 x BRX 500's with a cable into the front of the camera. I also have a second wireless trigger on the hotshoe for some strobes.

    O.K - so good news, just figured out that I needed to turn 'constant preview' off - I had this activated for video. I did have a play and was able to recreate your issue by popping up the on-camera flash but it went away the moment I reconnected the sync cable. I am really not sure why it needs the sync cable - I would have thought just having the skyport on the hotshoe would do the trick but apparently not. Weird.