Strange effects: E-PL1 and a wireless strobe trigger.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by OPSSam, May 17, 2011.

  1. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I am stumped. I have a Alienbee B400 triggered by an inexpensive (cheap) wireless trigger. Using my E-PL1 at any speed above 1/100th of a second results in non-random strips of diagonal lines every time I kick it up every 1/3 of a stop to 1/200 (I do know the sync speed listed is only 1/160). Also these lines are diagonal, maybe twenty pixels in length, and only run across the top of the resulting image left to right.

    The diagonal lines are not random noise or the shutter curtains. Also, the center of the image has a very slight vertical striping pattern.

    Here's what I know:
    The E-PL1 only has this issue above 1/100th, and using the pop up flash to trigger the Alienbee optically has no such lines right up to 1/160th.

    Same wireless trigger setup on an Nikon D60, no such problems.

    I'm not ruling out the trigger as a problem, but it is strange that every step above 1/100th perfectly doubles the effect I am seeing. And upon further inspection even the 1/100th has striping.

    I cropped the images and left the exif intact, but I don't know if it will show up:

    1/125 F 5.6
    First Picture (portrait orientation, which is why is looks sideways)

    1/250 F 5.6
    Second Picture

    Images are cropped from original raws using viewer 2.

    Any thoughts or ideas on this one are welcome.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Saelee

    Saelee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2011
    The vertical like looks like banding to me. What ISO is that shot at? I don't know what is going on with the horizontal lines. Can you see that from your camera?

    Have you tried a different memory card?
  3. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    a quick google search on wireless triggers banding reveals that this is a fairly common interference problem with cheaper wireless triggers (esp Cactus and clones).

    It's RF interference.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Viewing the nature of the interference that is very likely. Not much you can do about it except try other wireless triggers or use a small on-camera flash that fires slave units on the other flashes.
  5. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I have one of the clones, I think. This is the first time I have seen this in a picture, but this is also my first use of a wireless trigger. I Google searched your terms and found something similar in a Canon 5D.

    I also have tested this trigger on a Nikon body and an E-5 my friend owns, and no such effect is seen. So technically it's fine on the full size SLRs. It seems to have more of an effect on the Pen camera, probably because there is less of everything between trigger and the sensor/electronics.

    To answer the above question, iso was 200 in both. Also, the memory card was not the issue, two different good Sandisk cards produce the same effect. Shots were originally RAW, jpeg processing helps cover up the effect a bit, but I like to shoot RAW.

    Also, I used another brand of RF trigger, no effect seen. I'm sure it's my cheap trigger. On that note, does anyone have experience with radiopoppers and this type of camera. I'd hate to blow $150 to find out I still have the same issue.
  6. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    It's RF interference, it's well documented. If you know someone that has some Pocket Wizards, see if you can try theirs or go to a camera shop that sells them
    and give them a try. Go to the Pocket Wizard site and snoop around, you'll find that Canon flashes also put out RF noise interference, but there is a fix to cure the problem. If your serious about wireless flash, bit the bullet and get the best, they are expensive, but believe me, once you use them you won't look back.