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Old Aug 23, 2002, 8:21 PM   #1
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Default D100 and Novatron 60-v400-2c MiniKit

I just purchased a Novatron 60-v400-2c kit from eBay. I have no experience with strobes as I have been a hot-light user for years.

In my initial tests, it seems that the strobes are too slow for the D100 and it only catches the flash at the very bottom of the image.

Can anyone help me with this? Are the strobes not going to work with my camera?

I have no idea what I'm doing....
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Old Aug 24, 2002, 11:41 AM   #2
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Do you mean only part of the frame is exposed? If that's true your shutter speed is set too high. Focal plane shutters as used in SLRs have a maximum sync speed where the entire frame is exposed at the same time. According to the review the D100 will only sync to 1/180 second. Set it to that speed or slower and you'll be fine.
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Old Aug 24, 2002, 2:21 PM   #3
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Yea, it's fine at 180 and below, but I was hoping to have more options. Novatron says that I can send the kit in for an adjustment to make it "Digital" compatable. Do you think it's worth it?
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Old Aug 24, 2002, 3:19 PM   #4
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There is nothing that can be done to the flash to make it work at faster shutter speeds. What Novatron means by "digital compatible" is a low voltage sync circuit. That's not a bad idea for any modern electronic camera, film or digital, to keep from burning up the sync switch & electronics.

The issue has nothing to do with digital cameras, it has to do with the focal plane shutter because you have a DLSR. The shutter consists of two curtains over the film plane. One starts opening then when the shutter inteval has elapsed the second curtain starts to close. At high shutter speeds the second curtain starts closing before the first curtain is all the way open. You essentially have a moving slit. I have the same issue with my film Nikons, an F2 and an F3. I cannot use flash at any shutter speed faster than 1/80.

Non DLSR digicams and leaf shutter cameras like large format and some medium format can use flash at any shutter speed. The whole film plane is exposed at the same time.

There are flashes compatible with high speed focal plane shutters. They work by making several micropulses of light for a longer period of time so there is flash exposure while the moving slit is crossing the film plane. Your Novatron cannot be modified to do this and even if it could the modification would render it useless as a studio flash.

Question, why do you need a faster shutter speed in a studio setting?
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Old Aug 25, 2002, 1:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your help Steve, I will definitely be calling Novatron for the fix! Do you think it will be okay to use the strobes before I have this adjustment done? I have a shoot that I would like to try the strobes out on next week...

There's no real particular reason I want to shoot at different shutter speeds, I'd just like the option. It's too bad it's the same deal with the F2 coz that the other SLR that I use. Oh well, I guess you work with what you have...
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Old Aug 25, 2002, 7:40 PM   #6
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I'll agree it's a nice thing to have. I've got a fifty year old crown graphic that will sync at 1/500 and a Dimage 7 that will sync at any speed but not my film Nikons. It's useful in that you can virtually eliminate ambient window light as a factor in the studio.

If you don't have a volt meter to check the sync voltage call Novatron and ask them what it is. Also check with Nikon to see what the save levels are. If it's a high voltage sync you can get isolation devices from Wein or Paramount cords.

http://www.saundersphoto.com/html/wein.htm
http://www.paramountcords.com/

As an alternative you could also use the built in flash to fire a slave if there;'s a way to disable pre-flash like the Canons and D7. If you can't disable the pre-flash you'll need either the Digislave SA-10 or the new Wein digital peanut slave.
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Old Nov 23, 2002, 7:13 PM   #7
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Enero..

I think I would wait for the Novatron "fix"...those older systems have MUCH higher sync voltages than the newer systems which hae a "D" at the end of the name on the power box.....ie....VR600D...
John
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