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Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?

  
 
sungphoto
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


I am rigging up my Nikons up for a multi-camera project, and want to be able to consistently trigger anywhere from 4 to 8 cameras at the same time. Ideally the trigger signal would come from one master camera that is triggering all of the other cameras.

If that is not possible, I am ok with just having a pocket wizard (open to alternatives) transceiver on each body, and just trigger it with a handheld trigger. I of course want the system to be reliable and work consistently, while also balancing having as accurate of a sync as possible between them.

Any ideas?



Nov 30, 2023 at 04:56 PM
carl_g
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


I assume you could use a bunch of pocket wizards all set to the same channel and fire them from your main camera. Put the PW on your main camera in the hot shoe. I've only used mine to fire one remote but I believe it should work for multiple cameras.

Edited on Nov 30, 2023 at 05:09 PM · View previous versions



Nov 30, 2023 at 05:07 PM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


What cameras are you working with?

The Z8 and Z9 include this capability - see "Synchronized Release" - out of the box.
https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/z8/en/synchronized_release_guid-27c76bb2-f477-5390-6054-4e674362208e_82.html

Oh, and the Zf too - so Expeed 7-based cameras.
https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/zf/en/synchronized_release_guid-6393f2be-54f2-7fd2-b808-21b0032a1fd5_78.html

Edit: Noting the pocket wizards comment, not looking to shoot multiple cameras but remote wireless triggering, I was looking at doing that with the Z8 or Z9 yesterday but realized I don't have an appropriate remote accessory cable for the camera and Pocketwizard PlusX combo here.

https://pocketwizard.com/products/n10-acc-remote-acc-cable/



Nov 30, 2023 at 05:09 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


carl_g wrote:
I assume you could use a bunch of pocket wizards all set to the same channel and fire them from your main camera. Put the PW on your main camera in the hot shoe. I've only used mine to fire one remote but I believe it should work for multiple cameras.


Thanks! What's the best flavor of PW nowadays? Is the plus III the one to get?



Nov 30, 2023 at 05:30 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


michaelwatkins wrote:
What cameras are you working with?

The Z8 and Z9 include this capability - see "Synchronized Release" - out of the box.
https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/z8/en/synchronized_release_guid-27c76bb2-f477-5390-6054-4e674362208e_82.html

Oh, and the Zf too - so Expeed 7-based cameras.
https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/zf/en/synchronized_release_guid-6393f2be-54f2-7fd2-b808-21b0032a1fd5_78.html

Edit: Noting the pocket wizards comment, not looking to shoot multiple cameras but remote wireless triggering, I was looking at doing that with the Z8 or Z9 yesterday but realized I don't have an appropriate remote accessory cable for the camera and Pocketwizard PlusX combo here.

https://pocketwizard.com/products/n10-acc-remote-acc-cable/


I thought I had read about that functionality in the Z8/Z9 too, but wasn't sure.

I am using a Z9, Z8 and a bunch of Z62s (I sold the ZF to fund all the Z6s I have to get haha) but not using the D850 just because running power to it is a little more complicated (whereas the other cameras can all be powered by USB-C). It is kind of sounding like a simple external trigger would be best if I'm mixing bodies.. hmm



Nov 30, 2023 at 05:35 PM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


I have a Z6 kicking about I could try this on, hmmmn.

Ordering a N1 version of this as I believe the stereo cord end will work with one of my PW PlusX, the other with the Z8/9.

Kiwifotos MC-30 Remote Control Shutter Release Cord

The N3 version appears to be for the Z6 and many other models; I probably won't get this as I can't see myself needing a remote trigger for the Z6.

Here in Vancouver either are cheaper than ordering a cable from PocketWizard, plus get a remote button trigger. WIll let you know if it works.



Nov 30, 2023 at 05:56 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


Yes please do!


Nov 30, 2023 at 10:25 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


The best way to do this is hardware synced. You cannot do just standard triggers - you need special PW triggers (Multimax) that allow you to set custom sync delay offsets, and you need matching bodies and matching lenses - the body/lens combo actually informs the PW as to the sync delay, and then you have to manually set it on the PW for each camera/lens. I learned this building a DIY “wigglegram” rig with 5 cameras some time ago.

For hardware syncing you might be headed for an Arduino or similar and a bit of soldering.

Edit: here’s an old school tutorial on it - https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Enter-the-Ghetto-Matrix-DIY-Bullet-Time/#intro

Edited on Nov 30, 2023 at 11:28 PM · View previous versions



Nov 30, 2023 at 11:15 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


Looks like you just need to hard wire shutter releases:

https://petapixel.com/2012/12/19/how-i-created-a-matrix-bullet-time-style-rig-with-50-dslrs/



Nov 30, 2023 at 11:24 PM
carl_g
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


sungphoto wrote:
Thanks! What's the best flavor of PW nowadays? Is the plus III the one to get?

Yes plus III is the one.
And it looks like it will work:

https://pocketwizard.com/remote-cameras/#:~:text=You%20will%20need%20two%20PocketWizard,linked%20to%20a%20single%20transmitter.

Tips for Remote Photography

You will need two PocketWizard radios. One PocketWizard radio to use as a transmitter (attached to your main camera or to hold in your hand to manually trigger) and one PocketWizard radio with the correct remote camera cable for each remote camera. Yes, you can have multiple remotes all linked to a single transmitter.

You will need a cable. The remote camera needs to connect to a PocketWizard radio with a remote camera cable. While we engineer our cables to be the best, accidents can happen! You may want to have a back up! Find your remote camera cables here.

Make sure your internal camera clocks are in sync on all your cameras. When you import into your editing application of choice, your images can sort by time.

Good luck!



Dec 01, 2023 at 10:07 AM
 


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nmerc_photos
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


I believe the Esper Triggerbox would have this functionality

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1825914/0?keyword=esper#16350119

that was what I bought it for, but never ended up using it



Dec 01, 2023 at 10:47 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


jlafferty wrote:
Looks like you just need to hard wire shutter releases:

https://petapixel.com/2012/12/19/how-i-created-a-matrix-bullet-time-style-rig-with-50-dslrs/


Thanks Jim! I figure I can use the pocket wizards for other remote photo projects, so they are good enough of a solution to test out some ideas. I wish I could build something like that bullet time rig just for giggles, but guessing the studio mates might not be happy with the entire place being filled with it lol. Cheers!



Dec 01, 2023 at 12:38 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


jlafferty wrote:
The best way to do this is hardware synced. You cannot do just standard triggers - you need special PW triggers (Multimax) that allow you to set custom sync delay offsets, and you need matching bodies and matching lenses - the body/lens combo actually informs the PW as to the sync delay, and then you have to manually set it on the PW for each camera/lens. I learned this building a DIY “wigglegram” rig with 5 cameras some time ago.

For hardware syncing you might be headed for an Arduino or similar and a bit of soldering.

Edit: here’s an old
...Show more

The multimax seems like the way to go, assuming I do have some issues syncing across cameras. Would love to see the wigglegram stuff sometime.



Dec 01, 2023 at 12:40 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


carl_g wrote:
Yes plus III is the one.
And it looks like it will work:

https://pocketwizard.com/remote-cameras/#:~:text=You%20will%20need%20two%20PocketWizard,linked%20to%20a%20single%20transmitter.

Tips for Remote Photography

You will need two PocketWizard radios. One PocketWizard radio to use as a transmitter (attached to your main camera or to hold in your hand to manually trigger) and one PocketWizard radio with the correct remote camera cable for each remote camera. Yes, you can have multiple remotes all linked to a single transmitter.

You will need a cable. The remote camera needs to connect to a PocketWizard radio with a remote camera cable. While we engineer our cables to be the best, accidents can
...Show more

Awesome, thanks!



Dec 01, 2023 at 12:41 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


Again, regular triggers like the PlusIIIs will not work. It has to be Multimaxes. You can see this very old thread discussing the sync equalizing:

https://www.photo.net/forums/topic/70773-a-cable-release-for-the-pocketwizard-multimax/

Note this passage:

I've been doing stereography with two Mamiya 7 II's for almost three years now - hopelessly hooked. The MultiMax units will allow me to sync the shutters without using cables - and best of all, equalize their lag times. Releasing both cameras with a DPDT switch on a hard-wired Y-cable, 1/500th only syncs perfectly about 75% of the time, as measured by a friend of mine. Sync is fine at 1/250th and slower using the Y-cable, but sync with a dual mechanical cable release is consistent only at 1/60th and slower.



Any lack of sync is very disturbing in stereo images. "Retinal rivalry" is so easy to spot, astronomers use stereoscopes to simultaneously examine two images taken of the same area of space on different dates. If any new objects have appeared, no matter how small they are on the plate (if they can be resolved at all), the visual cortex will spot it immediately.



A classic example of poor sync in every day stereography can be imagined by considering a shot where someone is running across the field of view - with one foot on the ground in the right image, but that same foot not quite touching the ground in the left image - not cool - a waste of film. Now imagine a forest scene with falling leaves blowing about... Each frame can, by itself, be perfectly frozen, with absolutely no blurring due to motion, but the merged stereo pair won't work at all if the cameras were out of sync. Yuck!



I'll post a followup here eventually to report whether or not the MultiMAX equalization feature can actually keep the leaf shutters sync'd at 1/500th - and whether or not I can sync a flash to them as well.



Dec 01, 2023 at 02:03 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


A great resource:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1275350/

I wrote to Pocket Wizard about this and here was their reply:

Synchronizing two cameras to one event (usually a single set of flashes) is a very difficult process. It is possible using our MultiMAX radios and a technique called “equalization.” You may be interested in page 42 of the MultiMAX manual, which explains the synchronization process:

Equalization, or synchronizing multiple cameras to the same flash, requires precision timing. Even though the human eye may perceive camera triggering activity as instantaneous, it is not. Even the flash, which appears to provide light only for an instant, has a time duration (flash duration) that needs to be factored into synchronization calculations.

Every camera has a delay from the time that it is triggered until its shutter is fully open. The trigger can originate from either the camera’s trigger button or via its motor drive port. This delay is called “lag time” and it can be different from camera to camera and may even vary between two cameras of the same model. Even if two cameras are triggered at exactly the same instant their shutters will be open at different moments. If one camera is attached to a flash, the other camera’s shutter will probably not be open at the right moment to capture the flash.

Some cameras are not suitable for equalization. For best equalization a camera must have a consistent lag time. If a camera’s lag time varies widely or unpredictably for each exposure then it may not be possible to synchronize that camera. This is not a flaw of either the camera or the MultiMAX. A varying lag time in a camera is considered acceptable operation for the majority of photographic situations. Cameras are usually designed to respond predictably, but are not necessarily or specifically designed to do so with the precision needed for equalization.

You can read more in the MultiMAX manual: http://www.pocketwizard.com/products/images/PW-MULTI.pdf



Dec 01, 2023 at 02:11 PM
tntcorp1
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


@sungphoto -

why not use the 10-pins connector for wireless remote trigger assuming all cameras are within the recommended wireless range.

buy the required quantities of RFN-4s Wireless Remote and set all receivers to the same channels as the remote. you should only need one remote to trigger all camera simultaneously.

i cannot remembered if the receiver will also activate the meter and af as well. it has been a while since i last used a set.

a 2nd option is a diy option - fabricate and hardwire a cable to connect all cameras in parallel via the 10-pins port. i believed you only needs to short 2 out of the 10 pins to trigger. the cable does NOT require power input!

To determine which 2 pins, buy a simple nikon wired trigger for 10 pins port. disassemble the actuation switch to identify which two pins are used.

good luck!



Dec 01, 2023 at 02:58 PM
kaplah
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


sungphoto wrote:
I am rigging up my Nikons up for a multi-camera project, and want to be able to consistently trigger anywhere from 4 to 8 cameras at the same time. Ideally the trigger signal would come from one master camera that is triggering all of the other cameras.


The WR-R11a and WR-R11b will sync multiple bodies.

You can have one body as the master or press the shutter release button on a WR-T10.

Easy, no cables, no extra batteries. I recommend PIN pairing, it's easier for my brain to comprehend.

https://onlinemanual.nikonimglib.com/wrr11a_wrr11b/en/03_advanced_use_01.html#synchronized_release_with_the_wr-r11a_wr-r11b

Nikon should do a better job of promoting its products, they have something for most use-cases.








Dec 01, 2023 at 03:28 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


This guy may know something about it.



https://www.35mmc.com/20/12/2019/55-frames-with-55-cameras-of-one-man-at-one-moment-by-mark-van-der-wal/



Dec 01, 2023 at 07:38 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Best method to trigger 4-8 cameras at once?


Desmolicious wrote:
This guy may know something about it.



https://www.35mmc.com/20/12/2019/55-frames-with-55-cameras-of-one-man-at-one-moment-by-mark-van-der-wal/


I think the result is pretty inspiring, thank you for sharing! One of the photo specific ideas I have is to do something similar but all digital, as well as a video concept. Arranging collaborators for the idea now! I'll prob just go the pocket wizard route to test the idea with 4 cameras first.



Dec 04, 2023 at 01:14 PM
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