Nikon D800 with high-speed trigger (ballons and water drops)

Started Jun 7, 2013 | Photos thread
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Stephen Sproull
Stephen Sproull Forum Member • Posts: 72
Nikon D800 with high-speed trigger (ballons and water drops)

I am in the process of wrapping up my Electrical Engineering degree and I took a course this spring that required all of the students to design and build a project using a PIC microcontrollor. It took me a while to come up with an idea, but one day the thought hit me to build a high speed trigger for photography. I referenced a few online resources while building the system, but as a whole, everything was done by us.

Over the course of the Spring 2013 semester, a friend and I built a high-speed trigger from scratch. We used a PIC18 microcontroller, IR emitter/detector, piezo speaker, solenoid, and many other parts to accomplish the task. In the end, we had a fully working and fully functional unit. I was able to capture some pretty images using the system.

My main setup included a Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikon SB800, and LumoPro 160. Unfortunately I do not own a macro lens so I had to use the 24-70mm and heavily crop. Fortunately the D800 has some extra resolution All of the shots were taken against a collapsible white reflector.

I wrote up a little blog post about the project. Also, I made a video that explains everything and shows the system in action!

I'm happy to answer any/all questions you might have. Thanks!

Used blue food coloring for basin of water. Using red food coloring for falling droplet.

The sound of the popping balloon triggered the system. Pretty good response time, eh?

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Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S

 Stephen Sproull's gear list:Stephen Sproull's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +1 more
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