Flash Not Firing Randomly

PictureX Photo Booth
I tried to search the forums, but couldn't find anything like this so decided to ask. my apologies if this topic has already been discussed!



I run my photo booth with Breeze Software with a Canon 60D and a Bowen Gemini 500 strobe flash that is triggered with an Elinchrom Skyport Speed transmitter. I have run my photo booth with this set up for 2 years with little to no problems.



I did a gig a couple of weeks ago where my flash didn't fire 1 out of about ever 5 - 10 shots. obviously it was a big problem since that was a blank shot on every strip or every second strip. Sometimes it was 2 blank shots on one strip. I checked all of my settings with Breeze and all looked the same (external flash checked) and reset my laptop and the problem persisted through the entire gig.



I brought all of the equipment in that night, tested it all at home and it worked perfectly. I took about 100 shots with the flash firing every single time.



I have done about 4 gigs since that one with no problems at all. Then last night, the same problem started to happen. Blank shots with no flash firing every now and then. Enough for it to be a problem but with no predictability. (there were some times where 10 strips in a row would work perfectly fine, but then one in every 5 shots would be blank for the next 10 mins, then fine again for a time.)



Again tonight, I am sitting here testing all of the equipment and it has been working fine, none stop for the past half hour without ANY blank, no flash shots. It is ALL of the same equipment and cords I used at last nights faulty gig!



If it was something that continually happened at least I could replace things until it stopped, but it is all working perfectly tonight.



Has anyone experienced this? Any suggestions on things I should double check?



thanks in advance for any help!

Comments

  • 29 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • bassqee
    The skyport could be the issue, sometimes they do not like heat - try switching over to a sync cord and see if that solves things.
  • boothpix
    I had similar problems with my ellies for ages, in the end I started using some cheap remote triggers from ebay, I only bought them sa I was fed up with the 5m flash synch cable. Then actually ditched the ellies in the booth and started using cheap chinese imports, which thus far have also given a more even consistant light too? - seem to be more suited to the booth and the only they miss fire is if the cable isn't in the socket properly???



    I have gone back to cables but only since finding some 12" ones on ebay, I know hold them in place with an elastic band to help ensure contact.
  • PictureX Photo Booth
    @bassqee wrote:The skyport could be the issue, sometimes they do not like heat - try switching over to a sync cord and see if that solves things.

    60Ds don't have a PC sync in, but I figured the skyport might be the problem so have ordered a hot shoe adapter. I will update once I get it to see if it solves the problem. I have a big gig tonight and will be using my same old set up. Fingers crossed that there are no flash misfires!!!



    If anyone else has dealt with this and has any suggestions, I am open to other suggestions i might not have thought about!



    Cheers!
  • Daytona photo booth
    I am having the same problem. I'm breeze with a t2i and a 550 cannon flash with a cannon connecting cord. I replace the cord but it is still random. I put brand new batteries and it still does exactly as you explained it. It is very problematic so it's hard to pinpoint the problem.
  • bassqee
    Batteries may be you issue - the recycle time for a speedlight can take longer than you expect when drawing power off batteries, get a power adapater for the flash and you'll see a marked improvement.
  • ToToPhoto
    Is it possible that your optical slave trigger is on? If it is, then other people taking photos with flash will trigger your flash. If this happens there will be times when your flash will not have enough time to recycle, causing a black image.
  • Daytona photo booth
    The thing is that I tried a power adapter and it didn't make a difference. I am starting to think it is the program.
  • bassqee
    screenshot your settings and we can see what could be the issue.



    Can yo borrow another camera and see if that makes a difference?
  • Daytona photo booth
    I have a 60D but I'm using version 2.0 and need to update breeze but at this point am afraid to with all the jobs this week. I will up date after this week to see if it make a differences
  • PictureX Photo Booth
    @bassqee wrote:Batteries may be you issue - the recycle time for a speedlight can take longer than you expect when drawing power off batteries, get a power adapater for the flash and you'll see a marked improvement.



    I always plug my light into an outlet. I am using a Bowen Gemini strobe, not a speedlight.



    My gig last night went perfectly with only one flash misfire the entire 3 hour gig with over 500 photos taken! Thank goodness. But still worried about it happening again in the future. I am hoping that when i get the PC adapter, I will be able to use that as a backup if it is a problem with my skyport.
  • PictureX Photo Booth
    @ToToPhoto wrote:Is it possible that your optical slave trigger is on? If it is, then other people taking photos with flash will trigger your flash. If this happens there will be times when your flash will not have enough time to recycle, causing a black image.



    I had that problem when I first started out and now always keep the cell switch off and black out the optical sensor. I know for a fact that this wasn't the problem the last gig this was happening as I watched the flash carefully to see if it was going off randomly from other flashes or signals and it wasn't.



    Thank you for offering suggestions though! I appreciate people chiming in. You never know what a person might be missing!
  • PictureX Photo Booth
    @Daytona photo booth wrote:The thing is that I tried a power adapter and it didn't make a difference. I am starting to think it is the program.



    it's just weird to me since I seem to be able to go 2 - 4 gigs without having the problem, but then one time it almost ruins a gig! Is it the same for you? This is my busiest time of year and I get so anxious now before a gig since I never know if it will be totally fine or if it will be a disaster!
  • Daytona photo booth
    I had a gig Thursday no problem, Saturday random firings with no rime or reason. How many seconds between each picture do you have? I have seven seconds between each shot and a total of pictures.
  • Mystickal1
    Every once in a while, I have a strip where the flash quits working. I'm using a Flashpoint strobe with a sync cable. If it happens, I have to turn the strobe off and back on and it works fine. It rarely does it. Not sure why or what causes the problem.
  • PictureX Photo Booth
    @Daytona photo booth wrote:I had a gig Thursday no problem, Saturday random firings with no rime or reason. How many seconds between each picture do you have? I have seven seconds between each shot and a total of pictures.



    I have 7 seconds between each photo also and typically have a 4 photo set up for strips of 4x6 collages. and have had it that way for 2 years without a problem!



    this is so frustrating. I did some corporate headshots today and it was non-firing again through the whole thing. It's not as bad for something like that compared to a photo booth, but i guess i just eliminated it being the Breeze software that is the problem since this was just a camera and flash set up.



    When i hit the TEST button on the skyport on the camera, it flashes green on both the unit on the camera and the one plugged into the light, but the light doesn't fire. To me that means that the skyport is communicating with itself, but not with the light.

    I got my PC adapter today and have been testing with the strobe plugged directly into the camera and it seems to be working fine...but it always works fine at home! it only ever screws up at gigs. if i continue to have problems then the problem must be either with the light or the camera...and I would put my money on the light. I have been meaning to replace my light soon anyway to either a ringlight or another strobe that is more compact.



    will keep this thread updated in case i find the problem and can help someone else figure a similar situation out!
  • as808pb
    Im using a T3i, All-in-One and 300 watt moonlight with sync cord and hot shoe. The flash goes off when I push the Test button and also when I take a picture using the shutter button on camera but when taking pictures using the Darkroom software the flash doesn't work.
  • Daytona photo booth
    I bought Darkroom but haven't loaded it in the photo booth yet. I bought new cord for the flash but didn't make much of a difference. I am waiting for my new computer to come in before I load Darkroom. I also will upgrade breeze now that i don't have a job the rest of this month. I want to see if the problem is the T2i. To be honest i think the lower end cameras are the problem. I had a 50D when I fist started and had no problems. This all started when my former business partner wanted his camera back.
  • Pwa25
    What batteries are you using? I use Sanyo eneloop xx in my flashes



    http://www.eneloop.info/eneloop-products/eneloop-batteries/eneloop-xx.html



    Haven't had a problem since, as soon as I get one shot that they dont fire, I change the batteries. Depending how long the events I'm running are, I can normally get around 2 events out of each charge they are that good!
  • boothpix
    @daytona - Yes it is a problem with the lower end cameras, by error/design from the manufacturers?



    But is fixable in the software - essentially the cameras are designed NOT to fire a flash with live-view activated, useless for photo booth mode. Most of the major software providers like Breeze or Darkroom have come up with a solution - I cannot recall where the settings are in Breeze but in Darkroom it is very easy to fix:



    In the main menu screen, go to the tab marked Liveview - the second option down 'When a photo is captured' change the drop down to "Pause liveview to capture photo" I then personally set it to 2 seconds but it should work at 1.
  • Daytona photo booth
    Pwa25- I know it's not the batteries because I've used a external battery and it still did it. I bought some high end batteries no difference.



    boothpix- I have heard there is a setting in breeze but have never been able to find it.
  • Unknown
    In breeze it's called external flash mode, but that's for studio strobes, not speedlights.
  • Unknown
    i have the same issue randomly with my 40D...it could be the power adapter im using. I didn't see the issue when i was using the battery...anybody has a reliable adapter they use they can recommend.
  • Mike
    @phamj57 wrote:i have the same issue randomly with my 40D...it could be the power adapter im using. I didn't see the issue when i was using the battery...anybody has a reliable adapter they use they can recommend.



    Are you not using the Canon power adapter? If not invest in one.
  • Unknown
    Canon adapter is not available new any more for 40D.



    I tried looking up the one I have but I guess I didn't order it on amazon like I thought.



    I found a used one on ebay that looks like it... But costs way more. I think I paid $16 for mine.

    http://m.ebay.com/itm/141083096841?nav=SEARCH&sbk=1



    You're looking for ACK-E2 power supply.
  • Daytona photo booth
    Just a follow up on my booth. I bought a new i5 windows 7 with 8gigs of ram lap top. Bought the newest beeze program, and my gig last night went the best in a long time. Not one missfire all night long. So the only thing that was changed was the computer and the newest version of DLSRremote. One more thing wow was it fast!!



    Dan
  • PictureX Photo Booth
    I'll update my situation also. bought a PC adapter to slave my Gemini and it worked perfectly. I also just bought an ABR800 and it is working perfectly with that light also, so mine was a wireless skyport problem.



    Alana
  • Mike
    @Daytona photo booth wrote:Just a follow up on my booth. I bought a new i5 windows 7 with 8gigs of ram lap top. Bought the newest beeze program, and my gig last night went the best in a long time. Not one missfire all night long. So the only thing that was changed was the computer and the newest version of DLSRremote. One more thing wow was it fast!!



    Dan



    A fast machine really makes a difference
  • Unknown
    So I was doing an event yesterday and my flash would not fire randomly. I have a 40D with a NEEWER 180w strobe. I used the cable that came with the strobe. My camera settings are ISO800, f/7.1 I tried buld and then switched to 1/125 shutter speed. I also using NEEWER ACK-E2 AC Adapter but I switched to the Canon battery and it was still doing it. I don't know if its my camera, the adapter or my setting within breeze...anyone have similar situation and what did you to do fix it.
  • Daytona photo booth
    What is the specs of your computer and the version of Breeze. Read my post it was the older breeze that was giving me the problem. I would get a newer version of breeze.
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