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Tue May 31, 2016 5:21 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 37

I'm using a Nikon D750 with a CST on the hot shoe and CSXCV's w/Einsteins. The shutter is set for 1/200th and have been working this way for a very long time. Just a few days ago I have started encountering on rare occasion where it is dark and fuzzy looking at the bottom of the frame. At the time I was shooting flat artwork with very flat lighting- so it was easy to see when this happened. I had shot around 100 shots and this only occurred twice (and not sequentially). I confirmed that no settings got changed- still at 1/200 shutter speed. In the picture it looks like when you shoot at too fast a shutter speed and get part of the shutter curtain in the shot, but this should not be the case with this setting. I contacted Nikon for support, but they are washing their hands of this because I am using the CST to sync along with non-Nikon flash units.

So... any chance this can be caused by the CST? I have taken many 1000's of shots without any issues, but am concerned that this problem will start to surface more consistently and at a bad time. I have confirmed in the EXIF data the shutter is at 1/200th. The battery in the CST was just recently replaced. Please let me know if you have any ideas.




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Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:35 am

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

Thats odd. Probably know this already, but are you shooting in manual? Also, I watched a video one time and the pro suggested shooting at 160. He didn't explain why but recommended it. I have been shooting at 160 ever since. There may be a line when shooting at 200 with various types of flash units. I shot at 250 once and got the dark line so maybe try 160.

It does sound like a shutter issue. Maybe its lagging for some reason.




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Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:42 pm

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

Hmmmm. It sure sounds like you are experienced and knowledgeable enough that this is not a flash sync or settings issue.

I've been a Nikon shooter ever since switching over to digital in 2005. I've never had any issues shooting at 1/250th with any of the many makes and models of flashes I have used with Nikon bodies. That includes Einsteins, Bowens, Nikon speedlights, Lumopros, and PCB CyberCommanders and CSR* receivers. I've never had to drop down to 1/160th, as is sometimes needed with Canon bodies.

How many actuations do you have on your D750? I have a theory - and I hope I am wrong. It may be possible that the mechanics on your shutter box are starting to malfunction/fail. This has happened to me twice, but when it did the symptom was that the mirror would get stuck half-way, or not complete its travel correctly or completely without a 2nd press of the shutter button. It would happen only now and then, but with increasing frequency as the days went on. One of them was a D300 with no drop history and less than 30,000 actuations.

Your symptom does not sound exactly like that, but I still wonder. When a shutter box starts to fail, the feel and sound of the shutter release/mirror/curtain is different and odd. Has anything felt/sounded odd with and of your shutter releases?




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Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:20 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 37

No odd sounds and only in the neighborhood of 13k actuations. PCB support has suggested changing frequencies on the CST & avoiding rear curtain sync. Since it so far has happened very intermittently it may take awhile to see if this helps- but I am going to give it a try.




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Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:15 pm

Site Admin
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:43 am
Posts: 5266

For clarification, a failing shutter was one of my concerns, until I saw the sample images, which suggest only one light was out of sync.

Our remotes fire a string of fire commands to help ensure that the signal gets through should there be interference with one. If one flash got the signal earlier than another, this could be the cause, especially in rear curtain sync, in theory.

With enough time spent and enough actuations, we could probably figure it out specifically. However, I don't think DJP wishes to spend gobs of time when simple adjustments will work. Certainly, if our suggestions don't work, we will be more than happy to continue assisting.




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Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:30 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 37

Technical Support wrote:
Certainly, if our suggestions don't work, we will be more than happy to continue assisting.

I have been a Nikon NPS member for many years. Unfortunately after 911 they did away with their dedicated phone number and support at Nikon is really built around helping amateurs- not pros.

On the other hand, this was really my first dealing with PCB support regarding a technical matter and I will say it is clear as to why their reputation is so outstanding. I am really impressed that the time was taken to evaluate images and trying to draw conclusions. It's too soon to say if these suggestions will work, but the willingness to assist more if needed is truly appreciated!




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Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:14 am

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

DJP wrote:
. . . .
I have been a Nikon NPS member for many years. Unfortunately after 911 they did away with their dedicated phone number and support at Nikon is really built around helping amateurs- not pros . . .


I am also an NPS member. I don't even get email replies from them anymore. For my last repair, I had to become extremely and persistently vocal to get it executed in a timely manner. Very disconcerting.

I've never had a bad or slow customer experience with PCB. Ever.




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