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Issue with "black" images shooting with Nikon D850


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I've been experiencing an intermittent issue while shooting with my Nikon D850.  Occasionally the camera will capture "black" images while I am shooting both above and below the water.  I know it is not an issue with the strobes not firing because I see the strobes firing.  I have tried changing the strobe power to Full and it still is capturing black images.  I've also tried changing the settings, but the images are still dark or without colors.  Typically, if I turn my camera off for 5+ minutes the issue will be resolved (for the dive). 

 

I've included images demonstrating the problem.  The first image is an example of a test shot I took above water.  The second image is a virtual copy of the first image where I increased the exposure by +5 in LR.  The last image is the same subject take 1 minute later.  The camera and strobe settings remain the same in all images as well as the camera and strobe position.  I also verified that the strobe fired for the first image.  

 

Has anyone experienced or heard of this problem?  Thx in advance for any help or suggestions you can provide.

 

 

Black Image

Tulamben_2024-01-19_08-26-07.jpg

 

Black image Exposure +5

Tulamben_2024-01-19_08-26-07-2.jpg

 

Same image 1 minute later

Tulamben_2024-01-19_08-27-08.jpg

 

 

Settings for Black Image

black_Image.png

 

 

Settings for next photo

normal_Image.png

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2 hours ago, TropicLeslie said:

I've been experiencing an intermittent issue while shooting with my Nikon D850.  Occasionally the camera will capture "black" images while I am shooting both above and below the water.  I know it is not an issue with the strobes not firing because I see the strobes firing.  I have tried changing the strobe power to Full and it still is capturing black images.  I've also tried changing the settings, but the images are still dark or without colors.  Typically, if I turn my camera off for 5+ minutes the issue will be resolved (for the dive). 

 

I've included images demonstrating the problem.  The first image is an example of a test shot I took above water.  The second image is a virtual copy of the first image where I increased the exposure by +5 in LR.  The last image is the same subject take 1 minute later.  The camera and strobe settings remain the same in all images as well as the camera and strobe position.  I also verified that the strobe fired for the first image.  

 

Has anyone experienced or heard of this problem?  Thx in advance for any help or suggestions you can provide.

 

 

 

 

Yes, I have seen this problem. More than likely this is a Synchronization problem. The issue will exist somewhere between your flash trigger and strobe.

 

What exactly are the brand/model of strobes and flash trigger? I had problems with the Backscatter MF2 not syncing with some Nauticam flash triggers. They have updated the strobes to solve the problem and replaced my strobe with one that works.

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You don't explicitly say how much light you have available, the next thing to check is whether the frame is black with an ambient light shot which is metered to correct exposure with the strobes off.   Depending upon which particular strobe and triggering method being used it's possible the strobes are not syncing correctly. 

 

I just tried taking a shot on my camera no strobe indoors with your settings.  Then turned up the ISO by 5 stops and got a similar result with your first two shots, first totally black then with +5EV you can barely see some detail.  Outdoors in daylight 1/250 @ f7.1 ISO200 would be close to the right exposure.  I'm not sure how reproducible the black shot thing is but next time it occurs trying taking a shot out doors no strobes to see if the camera is under exposing or not.  This is to eliminate a camera issue. 

 

While it's possible that the flash is not syncing properly, I'm not sure how it would be intermittent, usually I would expect them to either sync or not.  The flash trigger batteries are a good first step to try.

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The sync issue i had with backscatter was intermittent. It worked until it didn't and typically continued to fail for the rest of the session. I believe there was a "learning" issue where the strobe used logic to determine preflash and this was not effective. 

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On 2/13/2024 at 5:50 PM, Dave_Hicks said:

 

Yes, I have seen this problem. More than likely this is a Synchronization problem. The issue will exist somewhere between your flash trigger and strobe.

 

What exactly are the brand/model of strobes and flash trigger? I had problems with the Backscatter MF2 not syncing with some Nauticam flash triggers. They have updated the strobes to solve the problem and replaced my strobe with one that works.

I have INON z330 strobes with fibre optic cables.  The flash trigger is Nauticam TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR Cameras. 

 

On a side note - I also own two MF2 strobes.  One is one of the first manufactured (I purchased it as soon as they were available). The second one I just purchased very recently.  Is there any way to know which strobes have the problem or can you describe the symptoms.  I have only used the strobe with my TG6 but I am planning to start using them with my DSLR.  I'd like to save myself some frustration trying to diagnose issues if possible.  

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On 2/13/2024 at 5:54 PM, Chris Ross said:

You don't explicitly say how much light you have available, the next thing to check is whether the frame is black with an ambient light shot which is metered to correct exposure with the strobes off.   Depending upon which particular strobe and triggering method being used it's possible the strobes are not syncing correctly. 

 

I just tried taking a shot on my camera no strobe indoors with your settings.  Then turned up the ISO by 5 stops and got a similar result with your first two shots, first totally black then with +5EV you can barely see some detail.  Outdoors in daylight 1/250 @ f7.1 ISO200 would be close to the right exposure.  I'm not sure how reproducible the black shot thing is but next time it occurs trying taking a shot out doors no strobes to see if the camera is under exposing or not.  This is to eliminate a camera issue. 

 

While it's possible that the flash is not syncing properly, I'm not sure how it would be intermittent, usually I would expect them to either sync or not.  The flash trigger batteries are a good first step to try.

Thank you for your response.  I am using INON z330 strobes, fibre optic cable and a Nauticam TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR Cameras.  The flash trigger batteries are pretty new.  I installed them less than a month ago and they are still showing as good [green light] on the converter when I fire the flash.  As I said, this happens intermittently - underwater and above water and seems to go away without any patterns.  In the example shown it cleared it up in a minute.  Other times I haved turned off my camera and had to wait about 10 minutes (after testing sporadically during this time).  

 

I'm not sure if this is a strobe / camera sync issue or a camera issue.  

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On 2/13/2024 at 5:33 PM, TimG said:

How are you triggering the strobes? If you’re using fibre optics and a third party trigger, is it possible the trigger batteries need changing or charging?

Thank you for your response.  I'm using INON z330 strobes with fibre optic cables and a Nauticam TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR Cameras.  The batteries are about a month old and the flash trigger shows them as good (green light).  I'm not sure how often (flash fires) the batteries should be changed.   Any ideas??????

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1 hour ago, TropicLeslie said:

Thank you for your response.  I'm using INON z330 strobes with fibre optic cables and a Nauticam TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR Cameras.  The batteries are about a month old and the flash trigger shows them as good (green light).  I'm not sure how often (flash fires) the batteries should be changed.   Any ideas??????

Is the preflash button on the Inon330 strobe depressed and locked as needed with that configuration?

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1 hour ago, TropicLeslie said:

I have INON z330 strobes with fibre optic cables.  The flash trigger is Nauticam TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR Cameras. 

 

On a side note - I also own two MF2 strobes.  One is one of the first manufactured (I purchased it as soon as they were available). The second one I just purchased very recently.  Is there any way to know which strobes have the problem or can you describe the symptoms.  I have only used the strobe with my TG6 but I am planning to start using them with my DSLR.  I'd like to save myself some frustration trying to diagnose issues if possible.  

Try it out and if you see the issue write to Backscatter.

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1 hour ago, TropicLeslie said:

Thank you for your response.  I'm using INON z330 strobes with fibre optic cables and a Nauticam TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR Cameras.  The batteries are about a month old and the flash trigger shows them as good (green light).  I'm not sure how often (flash fires) the batteries should be changed.   Any ideas??????

The Flash Trigger batteries last forever it seems. Mine last for years and i often do 150-200 dives a year.

 

The vacuum sensor batteries need to be changed frequency on the other hand 

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12 hours ago, TropicLeslie said:

 

I'm not sure if this is a strobe / camera sync issue or a camera issue.  

I think a good first step is next time it happens adjust your exposure to what the camera thinks is the correctly metered exposure and take a shot (without flash)  and then go back to your usual settings and take another shot. 

 

You came up 5 EV and recorded some detail in your image but I expect if you are indoors you might need quite a bit more than 5EV to get the exposure in the right ball park for an ambient light shot.  If it does it on land take the rig outside to take the shot.  Just dial your shutter speed down until the meter says exposure is right, don't be concerned about camera movement we only looking to see if it exposes correctly.  The main thing is to take an exposure that the camera says is correct.  If it can do this it points to the problem being a strobe/sync issue.

 

Take a second shot immediately afterwards at your usual settings just to show the issue is still present and didn't fix itself as you changing settings or moving the camera. 

 

If the camera is able to take a correctly exposed ambient shot it narrows the problem down to the strobe/TTL converter issue and additional trouble shooting steps are needed.  It is important to be methodical when doing this type of trouble shooting.

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