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01-08-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
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Wein used as a lightning trigger?

I had an idea today while hearing that in my area, there was going to be a thunder storm tonight. Not sure what made me think of this.

Could a Wein Slave Trigger be used as a lightning trigger if you converted the pc sync output to a stereo mini plug to plug into the sync jack on the Pentax digital SLRs?

I've looked at the do it yourself plans online for lightning triggers, and they seem as if they would be a little over my head to make. If no one has tried this, I'm going to give it a shot anyway and will let the forum know what happens.

Just a thought.

01-08-2008, 06:05 PM   #2
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this sounds really cool man

good luck - would love to see what you come up with and hear about the journey
01-08-2008, 06:52 PM   #3
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in the accessories forum there is a schematic for a cable release.

If you use those plans and look at the schematic for the trigger, you should be able to set this up,
01-08-2008, 09:29 PM   #4
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Disapointing storm didn't make any lightning at all

Thanks Lowell for the direction to the older posts on the mini plug wiring diagrams. I'll still put this idea together and test it out next storm. I really want it to work in the daytime so I can get lightning in landscape shots.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any suggestions, comments, let me know.

01-08-2008, 09:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by answerdude Quote
Disapointing storm didn't make any lightning at all

Thanks Lowell for the direction to the older posts on the mini plug wiring diagrams. I'll still put this idea together and test it out next storm. I really want it to work in the daytime so I can get lightning in landscape shots.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any suggestions, comments, let me know.
Could you try to test the device you create using an off camera flash, manually released (test button)?
01-08-2008, 10:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Could you try to test the device you create using an off camera flash, manually released (test button)?
That was the method I was thinking of using too. Sounds like I'm thinking along the right path.

This sounds too obvious to work. That's why I posted to the forum. Someone has to have tried this before me. These Wein slave triggers have been around a long time. Is it maybe that not until the last few years have we had a direct, simple access to the camera's shutter through a simple wired switch?

Winter thunder storms in Indiana is a rare thing. This might take till spring before I can get a decent shot. I'm hopeful though.
01-08-2008, 10:47 PM   #7
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The usual way to take lightning pictures is just to stop down to F/8 or F/11 and just hold open the shutter on a remote release, then close the shutter after the strike. It works pretty well, unless the lighting comes in waves. That almost always overexposes.
01-09-2008, 12:25 AM   #8
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But wouldn't the shutter lag be too much to catch the whole lightning? I don't know how long a typical lightning last. If it only lasts milliseconds, you may not able to capture much with the slave triggered exposure.

01-09-2008, 04:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
But wouldn't the shutter lag be too much to catch the whole lightning? I don't know how long a typical lightning last. If it only lasts milliseconds, you may not able to capture much with the slave triggered exposure.
There is a good article somewhere about this, and it discusses why it works. Although lightning can be for as little as 50 uS, there are usually after strokes in the came channel, and the whole event can last more than a second

There is also a commercial lightning trigger that sounds like exactly what the OP is planning to put together.
01-09-2008, 12:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by benplaut Quote
The usual way to take lightning pictures is just to stop down to F/8 or F/11 and just hold open the shutter on a remote release, then close the shutter after the strike. It works pretty well, unless the lighting comes in waves. That almost always overexposes.
This I do at night. What I want the lightning trigger for is durring the day. Your method would lead to greatly over exposed pictures for daytime shots.
01-10-2008, 02:19 PM   #11
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Hi Tony,

Since I have a very cheapo-version of your wein-trigger, I also looked into this because I'd like to try this myself, and I also think it should work.
I'm going to try and make a small plate that fits in the hot-shoe of the trigger, and solder a cable with mini jack to it...

Keep me posted if you succeed in doing it !

Cheers,

Z.
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