Nikon CLS should be updated: from infrared to radio signal.

Started Oct 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
OP MIC37 Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: shouldn't be anything technical...

It took only 2 years for Canon:

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

Jon Rty wrote:

Cool, did not know that. But then there shouldn't be anything technical stopping a camera manufacturer from producing a similar system.

You're quite right, there's really nothing technical stopping Nikon or Canon.

  • Controlling analog Paul Buff stuff (Alien Bees, White Lightning, Ultra, Zap, and X) is easy, I've done it myself. RadioPopper and Pocket Wizard did it. If they can do it, Nikon can do it.

  • Controlling analog TTL (Nikon SB-12 through SB-80, and similar Canon, Oly, Pentax, etc. going back 35 years) is easy, too. I've done that, too. RadioPopper and Quantum did it. Again, if they can do it, Nikon can do it.

  • Controlling digital TTL is a bit harder, but RadioPopper, Pocket Wizard, Pixel, Phottix, and Yongnuo managed it. Nikon designed that system, they should be able to do it.

But there is something philosophical stopping Nikon. Analog TTL is an insanely cheap thing to add to a flash. Nikon did it, timing based, essentially nothing but software, on the SB-800. They didn't do it on the SB-900 and customers complain about that lack. (and SB-900 costs $120 more than the SB-800 it replaced). You can't use an SB-900 for TTL on any Nikon film camera except F-6, so if you use film, even occasionally, it's own separate flashes for the film and digital, dig up an old SB-800, or suffer a quirky, hard to use Metz.

And there's something from a business planning sense. Pocket Wizard started out in studio flash and extended their system into digital TTL, so they have motive to control both. RadioPopper was created by a photographer who used both TTL and studio flash, and he had motive to control both. I'm not sure, at the Nikon level, you can make a business case for controlling anything other than Nikon flashes.

There's also liability issues. I have a project I call "flash thing", a high speed flash sequencing controller. My lawyer advised me to not manufacture it, and to not put the plans out into the open source community. Small flashes are dangerous. Studio flashes are insanely dangerous. I had a corneal flash burn a couple of years ago: I appreciate how dangerous they are.

My answer was to a poster who brought up to issue of built-in RF transmitters not being able to control 3rd. party gear, but apparently that isn't a issue. Thus the part about non-TTL.


It's really a shame that we'll never get the camera makers and flash makers to sit down at one table and build a fully interoperable radio flash system.

-- hide signature --

Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph

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