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Old Feb 17, 2004, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default I'm wanting a lightning trigger, which camera's work?

Hey everyone, if you do not know what a lightning trigger is go to lightningtrigger.com and check them out. Anyways I'm in the process of getting my first digital camera and they say the lightning trigger needs an electronic shutter release. Does anyone know how many camera's have these or a place where I can check whether camera's have them or not. I'm looking at maybe a sony f717 or something along those lines. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Feb 18, 2004, 6:15 AM   #2
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It's fairly easy to build the trigger, and for those cameras that can accept remote shutter, fire it. What I would wonder, is how long does the camera take to capture an image frame to its buffer store, after the shutter is pressed or remotely activated (its lag)? That 'time to capture' can be slower than a camera's fastest shutter speed. The best guide might be its fastest movie frame rate and that's usually about 30 frames per second but at LOW resolution. Lighting discharges might be much faster. This sounds to me like a match to expensive DSLR cameras.

Now what this box might do is open the shutter set to a longish exposure, in which case you might miss the start of the first lightning flash. VOX
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Old Feb 18, 2004, 7:35 AM   #3
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... the other thing to consider is some cameras (D7/i/hi/A1) have two contacts: 1-for AF (ie 1st detent) and 2-for shutter release. If you close both switches at the same time the camera will not fire until the AF has locked!

-> might need to preset the camera on manual focus before hand... to speed up the process :P
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Old Feb 18, 2004, 9:37 AM   #4
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You have to hook that up to a camera with almost instant response in manual focus. Most DSLR cameras do that.

Some regular digitals have reasonably small delays in manual focus mode. Dave has a page like this for every camera he does reviews on: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/C3020/C32A7.HTM I chose an extreme case where the time it takes between triggering the camera in manual focus and taking the picture is unrealistically long. You need a camera with manual focus, manual or IR contacts for a release and you need a camera with reasonable shutter release times in manual. If the release is IR you will need to also buy their remote control triggering device.

You might do better to just go to film if your present digital isnít suitable. There are decent 35mm SLRs showing up used in camera stores and e-bay that are superb for very little money. They trigger almost instantly in manual focus. Make sure you get one that already has an appropriate lens or with one available. I would guess you would want a fixed focal length 28mm or wider.

Nothing other than DSLR is going to come close to some of those speeds listed for 35mm SLRs. If you are sufficiently serious about getting lightening pictures to buy that trigger I would go with either a DSLR or film SLR.

Many people get very good lightening shots by just setting the camera up for a long exposure and aiming it in the direction of lightening activity until they get something. Seems a better approach than the trigger for digital since the shots are free. The trigger you are looking at is designed for film.
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Old Feb 18, 2004, 10:36 AM   #5
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You could try putting a DSLR on manual focus and B exposure setting but lacking that I believe that slipe is right. With a DSLR in that mode you'd also need to look at noise reduction....

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Old Feb 19, 2004, 2:14 PM   #6
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I have a friend that had took some great shots of lightning by just setting the camera on a tripod and setting it up for a 1-2 sec exposure. You can usually guess roughly when the lightning will strike and jsut press the shutter release early. And the beauty about digital is you know immediatly if you have got the shot you want and if not you can delete it.

talking about guessing about when the lightning will strike, i took this with my we point and shoot camera with no manual settings, hand held through the living room window and dont think it turned out too bad

Picture has been sharpened slightly but the sky was that bright and there was no rain at all.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 6:01 AM   #7
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i have been looking for a lightning trigger for quite some time. The followings seem the optimal ones in terms of cost and quality.

The expensive one which seems more professional:

The cheaper one which has lots of positive feedbacks on ebay:

Any feedback will be really appreciated from those who have experience with them.

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