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Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:18 pm

Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 2:16 pm
Posts: 3

I am using and Alien Bee 400 in a photobooth set up. It takes 3 pics 5 seconds apart. The camera I am using is a Canon T5i. Initially After running the program for about an hour the flash would fire but the pics came out very dark to black. I have swapped out cameras, sync cables and hot shoe adapater. I am still having the problem and it is happening just a few minutes. Any idea what is causing this? I do not have a second alien bee to test it at this time. The area is well ventilated.




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Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:56 pm

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:44 am
Posts: 100
Location: Chicagoland, USA

Hi, Kuecker2

If you compare the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture of an initial shot that is properly exposed to one an hour later - are they the same? I am guessing "yes" since you describe a photo booth setup, but it's always good to eliminate those possible variables first.

If there are no variables with ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, are there any batteries involved with any of your triggering? I am guessing "no" since you describe a using a sync cable, but again it's good to eliminate battery issues since you have the problem after about an hour or so.

If there are no batteries involved in your triggering, then my next big suspicion is the sync cable. As much as anything else in many years of using monolights, they have been the source of my aggravations. I avoid them like the plague (especially if one of the connector ends of the sync cable is the "pc sync" type) in favor of hot shoe transmitter triggering, but there are still those situations where you just have to have them. Is it possible that the vibration of the shutter over a period of time loosens its connection to your hot shoe adapter? It takes surprisingly little difference in the position of a sync cable to nullify its connection to your adapter, etc. When I use sync cables between my speedlights and my PCB CSRB+ receivers, I actually gaffer tape the cables to the speedlights to avoid them shifting position. If you can say with absolute certainty that the flash is still firing after an hour and also when your photos start to go dark, then that all but eliminates the sync cable as the source of the problem.




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Sat May 14, 2016 3:55 pm

Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:42 am
Posts: 47

Yea, odd. I bought a trigger system and realized it took a few tries and batteries perhaps to get it to not have a "bad connection." Took a few tries to get it to work consistently, the trigger (Neewer). I observed being used (while I was with wire) for a professional Photo Booth situation. The guy was using an AB800 I think.




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Mon May 16, 2016 12:26 pm

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:01 pm
Posts: 72

I don't think you have a hardware problem. You say it flashes but things are dark (under exposed). I suppose you could have a bad capacitor in the flash causing an underpower but I would bet you a nickel that the camera setting/s got changed. I'm a canon shooter but not familiar with the t5i but all canons dslr have a finger wheel just above the shutter button. On my camera that can be set for shutter speed or f/stop adjustments. Could that have gotton bumped by mistake and changed your exposure? Could it have gotten changed from manual to say aperture priority? Is your iso the same. So many settings could have been changed.

I would look at the exif data from a good image and a underexposed image. If all things are equal than the flash may have an issue? Were you running the booth? Could someone else have slid the power slider to lower power?

Look at the facts first before trying a shotgun fix. All your settings should be able to be seen on the lcd when you play pack the images. On my camera I use the info button to toggle from no info, just image to all info (exif data) on image displayed along with histogram. Not sure how the t5i activates the info.

Share what you figure out please.

Kuecker2 wrote:
I am using and Alien Bee 400 in a photobooth set up. It takes 3 pics 5 seconds apart. The camera I am using is a Canon T5i. Initially After running the program for about an hour the flash would fire but the pics came out very dark to black. I have swapped out cameras, sync cables and hot shoe adapater. I am still having the problem and it is happening just a few minutes. Any idea what is causing this? I do not have a second alien bee to test it at this time. The area is well ventilated.




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