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Archive 2012 · 1DX Flash Issue
  
 
James Cripps
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p.1 #1 · 1DX Flash Issue


Hi Everyone,

Maybe I'm just missing something obvious... but I had a serious issue at a wedding this evening. While using my new 1DX with a 580EX attached as a master flash with a RadioPopper PX Transmitter, triggering a Slave 580EXII off camera with a RadioPopper PX receiver attached: the Slave 580EXII was triggering and firing but not contributing to the exposure at all (I had it set so that only the slave was supposed to fire and contribute to exposure - not the master). I was completely confused so swapped the Master 580 flash and PX Transmitter to my 5D (Classic) with all the same settings, and it triggered it just fine and the flash contributed to exposure as expected.

Now that I've gotten home, I've tested this a bit further. The 1DX uses on camera, single bounced flash just fine. It also seems to trigger slave flashes just fine ONLY if the Master flash is contributing to exposure. As soon as I set the Master to "OFF" and only use it to trigger my Slave - there is NO flash contribution to the exposure, even though I can visibly see the Slave firing. It's like it's not syncing with the 1DX for some reason. This is driving me crazy!!

Someone help



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Photon
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p.1 #2 · 1DX Flash Issue


I don't know about RadioPoppers, but the PocketWizard Flex TL system hasn't gotten a firmware update for operation with the 5D3, let alone the 1DX. I would guess that RP also will have compatibility problems unless they program new firmware. Sorry, I know that's no help.

It's a good reminder of why any new gear should be thoroughly tested before you use it for a wedding. That's not a criticism aimed at you - you probably had full backup - but I've read posts here by people hoping a new camera will arrive Friday so they can use it at a wedding Saturday. Wow.



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:42 AM
James Cripps
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p.1 #3 · 1DX Flash Issue


You're probably right. Drats... I'm not even sure if they release new firmware for RP? I'm sure they must.

I know what you're saying also, and while I did have a full backup ready to go, I was so taken back that it threw me off my game, so to speak. Foolish, I know. Here's to hoping they address this soon if it is indeed the issue.



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #4 · 1DX Flash Issue


As I understand the way the radio popper system works it should not need any different firmware . Unlike the pw's system radio poppers are using the the plus from the master flash and changing that into a radio signal.
Have you tried the EXACTLY the same master/slave settings WITHOUT the RP's being used? (I mean the standard canon opticle trigger) . The problem could be an issue in the way the 1Dx uses the flash.



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Binh Ly
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p.1 #5 · 1DX Flash Issue


I don't have the PX anymore but I am pretty sure that if your turn off the master on camera, it will not trigger the slave properly. I am surprised it worked on your 5D. I have tried this on the 5D II and 5D III and if you turn the master off, it will not control the slave properly. I have seen it trigger the slave from time to time erratically (even if the master is turned off), but it was totally out of sync and not working properly which is what I expected.

If you want the PX TX to control the PX RX consistently, the master has to be on all the time. If you don't want the master to contribute to the exposure, turn it to its lowest setting and point it backwards (away) from the subject. Good luck!



Jul 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Gregory Edge
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p.1 #6 · 1DX Flash Issue


Sell all your flash gear and buy 600EXs. Problem solved. Less crap to carry and less batteries to worry about. Not to mention waiting for someone to reverse engineer Canon's gear. I bet within a year or two the PocketWizard FlexTT system and Radio Poppers are discontinued along with support.

You should be able to replace your 580EX, 580 EX II and Radio Poppers with 2 600EX-RT and have little out of pocket cost.



Jul 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #7 · 1DX Flash Issue


+1 on Gregory's post. The RT of the new 600EX RT works like a charm and so easy/convenient to operate.


Jul 28, 2012 at 03:04 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #8 · 1DX Flash Issue


I'll try the exact same settings with the RP's being used and report back.

To Binh Ly: This is taken from the RP website FAQ:

"10) Can I shoot with the On-Camera Flash (Master) not contributing any light to the picture?
Yes, you can set your on-camera flash to be used as only a master/commander and not actually contribute any light to the photo. You may still see a flash being emitted from the on-camera flash but that is only used in communicating to the slave off-camera flashes and will not actually add to the exposure of your photo. Please consult the flash manual for details on how to do this."

So I know it can be done, and I always used to do this in the past.



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:22 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #9 · 1DX Flash Issue


Update:

Without the RadioPoppers - The 1DX and speedlites work as expected. I set the master flash to "OFF" as to not contribute to the exposure, and the slave fires perfectly and lights the subject. So it must be the RPs having an issue with the new camera.

Now to wait on RP customer service and see what they have to say. Well that's unfortunate for the rest of my summer weddings :S Back to old school 5D flash work. A bit silly after spening $6000 on a new camera body.



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:50 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #10 · 1DX Flash Issue


I don't do a huge amount of flash work but I did get a couple 600RT's and it is really nice to have radio control built in. No worrying about third party products potentially not working well with Canon gear. I hope to get the ST-E3-RT when it's back in stock at B&H. The one downside to the system is the lack of AF assist on the ST-E3-RT. Not sure what Canon was thinking there.


Jul 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM
 

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Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #11 · 1DX Flash Issue


James Cripps wrote:
Update:

Without the RadioPoppers - The 1DX and speedlites work as expected. I set the master flash to "OFF" as to not contribute to the exposure, and the slave fires perfectly and lights the subject. So it must be the RPs having an issue with the new camera.

Now to wait on RP customer service and see what they have to say. Well that's unfortunate for the rest of my summer weddings :S Back to old school 5D flash work. A bit silly after spening $6000 on a new camera body.


I really can't see how the RP's could be affected by the body you are using. Unless its a different system to the one I've seen the transmitter sits ontop of the the flash head and is not connected to the body in any way. Which is different to the px flex system.
All the RP is doing is turning the light pulses of the master flash and sending them a radio to the reciever .
So as long as the light pulses are being emitted by the master the RP should work.

I know that when it was discoverd that the pw system had problems with the 5D3 when it came out I can't remember anyone saying they had issues with the RP's . In fact I recall posts that said it worked .

Have you tried swapping the master and slave round? At the moment you say you have the 580ex as master and the ex2 as slave . What happens when the ex2 is master and can be menue controlled by the body not the flashes menu itself ?

Just thinking



Jul 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #12 · 1DX Flash Issue


I'll give that a shot Ian. It's just the the 580EXII is completely unreliable as a Master, as it often switches itself to TTL and fires full power.

Unfortunately it does seem that it is somehow caused by an incompatibility with the RPs and 1DX, as it works every time on the 5D Classic.

Question about the 600EX: Can I trigger a second 600EX with radio, and an older 430EX optically, at the same time in a setup? Also, can I use the 600EX's radio system on a 5D Classic. I would assume so, as it should just be the flashes communicating with each other here, correct?




Jul 28, 2012 at 05:59 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #13 · 1DX Flash Issue


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
I really can't see how the RP's could be affected by the body you are using. Unless its a different system to the one I've seen the transmitter sits ontop of the the flash head and is not connected to the body in any way. Which is different to the px flex system.
All the RP is doing is turning the light pulses of the master flash and sending them a radio to the reciever .
So as long as the light pulses are being emitted by the master the RP should work.


I've never used RPs but it's my understanding that the PX is not just a simple remote trigger but instead supports full E-TTL II communication and features. To do that the PX would have to know how to interpret and transmit E-TTL II commands. I suspect to support that they had to reverse engineer E-TTL II. Perhaps the 1DX is using E-TTL II in a different manner that still adheres to Canon's internal specification but might break third-party devices that have an incomplete implementation.



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #14 · 1DX Flash Issue


snapsy wrote:
I've never used RPs but it's my understanding that the PX is not just a simple remote trigger but instead supports full E-TTL II communication and features. To do that the PX would have to know how to interpret and transmit E-TTL II commands. I suspect to support that they had to reverse engineer E-TTL II. Perhaps the 1DX is using E-TTL II in a different manner that still adheres to Canon's internal specification but might break third-party devices that have an incomplete implementation.


That's what I'm sensing here. Perhaps even just something to do with the RGB metering of the camera which is also used for flash exposure metering, etc.



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #15 · 1DX Flash Issue


I don't know.
As far as I can see the RP is just forwarding the commands sent out by the master flash. For the RP to work you HAVE some form of master flash present. Now that can be a 580ex (or 550ex) or the st-e2 . Remember the st-e2 is really just a flashgun with a red lens on the front (take the lens off and you will see it flash)
There is a lot of difference in something interpreting the commands and something that just forwards them on



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #16 · 1DX Flash Issue


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
I don't know.
As far as I can see the RP is just forwarding the commands sent out by the master flash. For the RP to work you HAVE some form of master flash present. Now that can be a 580ex (or 550ex) or the st-e2 . Remember the st-e2 is really just a flashgun with a red lens on the front (take the lens off and you will see it flash)
There is a lot of difference in something interpreting the commands and something that just forwards them on


"Forwarding" a digital command requires understanding the method by which the command is communicated between the body and flash and also understanding the structure/content of the command. Firmware engineer here



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:12 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #17 · 1DX Flash Issue


Just discovered this as well: http://www.printscharmingphotography.com/?p=7382&cpage=1#comment-8159 Scroll to the bottom

He seems to be having the very same issue. His solution is just to enable to Master flash firing, instead of just triggering the Slave... which I don't want. He goes on to say "The really confusing thing, is that without this enabled, the slave flash will still fire, just not at the precise time needed to actually help light the subject. Maddening? Yes."

Exactly what's happening to me.



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #18 · 1DX Flash Issue


Ok , well at least you have something to corroborate your problem . So maybe there is something in the commands that the RP is not getting right . (I stand corrected ))

Solution:
If it works fine with the master set to fire , then how about covering the flash lens with a black out of some kind?

Get one of thes cheap plastic diffusers they fit snug on the flash head and spray paint it black inside. Or line it black velvet or something



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:22 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #19 · 1DX Flash Issue


Thanks Ian. Yes that does seem like the only option for now, unfortunately. I've been thinking about doing that.


Jul 28, 2012 at 06:27 PM
James Cripps
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p.1 #20 · 1DX Flash Issue


So the 600EX's are worthless to me as I still use a 5D along with the 1DX.

First of all you can't use optical and radio at the same time (to trigger a 580EX and 600EX for the same image... I'd have to buy 3 600EX's!)

You can't use radio HSS on anything but the 1DX and 5DIII!

AND it only syncs at up to 1/100th on the 5D, instead of it's native 1/200th.



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:41 PM
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