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#987607 - 04/05/2011 22:16 Lightning Trigger!
Beanz Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 17/11/2007
Posts: 4
Loc: Melbourne, Victoria.
Hi gang,

I see it's been over 2yrs since I've seen a post on lightning triggers. How are they? Is there any examples you want to share? I just bought one from here Lightning trigger cost me around $107.00 which isn't too bad. Anyway, just wanted to see what has been happening with them...

Ben
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nice sounding

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#987621 - 05/05/2011 05:53 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Beanz]
Jason P Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 07/10/2008
Posts: 471
Loc: Lismore, Northern Rivers
Gday Ben,

I recently got a lightning trigger. Have used it on a couple of occasions with mixed results. I've found that, depending on the manufacturer, it will pick up even the smallest change in light intensity. Example being on Tuesday I was trying for lightning with it and chewed through about 160 pics in about 10mins. I was able to get 5 reasonable keepers

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2004121179771.2121057.1145861180

Still very happy with the results but trying to get one of those elusive fully branched daytime CGs is still difficult as the sensor isn't quite quick enough when matched with my 400D. You may get lucky if two staccattos arc down within milliseconds of each other, but I haven't succeeded in that department yet. Anyhow good luck with it and hope to see some of your results soon.

Cheers Jason

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#987672 - 05/05/2011 15:13 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Jason P]
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
That facebook link don't work.

Huge success, I don't think I missed a single lightning active storm I chased. Only use it during daylight, at night I just use bulb mode and cable release. It does work at night also.

I brought mine off ebay.
http://shop.ebay.com.au/aeophoto/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562

Just some examples, click on photo for larger.






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#994235 - 09/06/2011 10:15 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: thomo]
Analog6 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 27/06/2005
Posts: 129
Loc: Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia
What camera are you using Leigh?
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"Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies"
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#994659 - 11/06/2011 07:45 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Analog6]
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
Canon 7D
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#1004596 - 06/08/2011 01:35 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: thomo]
strido Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 05/08/2011
Posts: 5
Canon EOS Digital Rebel - with Lightning Trigger:

(NO TRIPOD)




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#1004644 - 06/08/2011 12:16 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: strido]
Big_Pete Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 19/12/2004
Posts: 1955
Loc: Perth
Geez I find the fact that you didn't use a tripod hard to believe. Those photos are awesome! grin

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#1004678 - 06/08/2011 16:31 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Big_Pete]
Noname Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/01/2011
Posts: 2104
Just wondering, I have Finepix Fujifilm S3600 2006 version, could I get a lightning trigger for that camera? If not, as in other option could I trade cameras for a better one?

In the topic. Nice pictures you guys. I scored some lightning myself in routine of index finger.



Just wondering, how lightning trigger works?
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Blank.

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#1004683 - 06/08/2011 17:14 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Noname]
ozthunder Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/09/2001
Posts: 3012
Loc: Mt Warrigal, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: MathewTownsend
Just wondering, I have Finepix Fujifilm S3600 2006 version, could I get a lightning trigger for that camera? If not, as in other option could I trade cameras for a better one?


99.9% certain you cannot. Triggers are available for digital SLR type cameras, and then mainly Canon and Nikon.

I doubt trade is an option either, just keep the Fuji for a backup and save your dollars for a digital SLR.

Lightning trigger reacts to light, it could for example be triggered by flashing a strong light toward the camera.

I have a trigger myself, but last year was so woeful for storms here it went unused.
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Michael Thompson
http://ozthunder.com

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#1004702 - 06/08/2011 18:49 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: ozthunder]
Things Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/11/2009
Posts: 8400
Loc: Blair Athol, SA
A lightning trigger is very, very basic. All it is is a photodetector, which is finely tuned to notice differences between ambient light and a lightning strike. When the photodetector detects lightning, it compares it against the ambient light level.
If it is higher (To a threshold you usually set), it'll trigger. At night is much easier in terms of detecting lightning, as it's usually the brightest light source at the time.

The trigger then just signals your cameras shutter to fire. Done wink

Cheers,
Dan

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#1004803 - 07/08/2011 13:10 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Things]
strido Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 05/08/2011
Posts: 5
The photos I got without the use of the tripod - I just sort of pinned the camera to the door of my car.


This fella was just outside the house - I was inside shooting outside, which is why there's reflections on the shot. I suppose I'll photoshop them out eventually. I love this thing!





* I should note that I did turn the levels way down, as the original shot is too washed out to even see the bolt.


Edited by strido (07/08/2011 13:11)

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#1007554 - 23/08/2011 14:20 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: strido]
Harry Spotter Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 14/11/2001
Posts: 1955
Loc: Springwood, Brisbane
I'm intrigued by these lightning triggers. I've always been tempted to get one, but am yet to see a shot where it has triggered early enough to successfully capture the myriad branches of the lightning's initial stroke. These 'branches' seem to occur only when the lightning first strikes (due to multiple 'leaders' searching for 'streamers' emanating from the ground) and any subsequent strokes are comprised of a single bolt only. The initial branchy bolt seems to set the lightning trigger off, but by the time the camera's shutter opens, the branches are gone and you're left with a photo of just a single bolt (as all the photos in this thread so far illustrate).

Has anyone successfully captured these branches using a lightning trigger?

Cheers,
Marty.
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www.MartyPhotography.com.au

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#1007571 - 23/08/2011 16:42 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Harry Spotter]
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
They predominately rely on bolts that strobe, or last at least 1 second. The biggest problem is camera lag, while cameras are on the improve most DSLR's have a lag time of 40-120ms, which is where the problem lies.

If you scroll up and look closely at my 4th shot there are some branches on the bolt.

Another factor to consider during day is distance from the strike, branches have to compete with daylight and are usually less intense than the actual bolt.

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#1007576 - 23/08/2011 16:53 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: thomo]
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
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Westend - 0mm MTD - 256mm YTD
Severe Weather Chasers

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#1007594 - 23/08/2011 19:04 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: thomo]
Jason P Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 07/10/2008
Posts: 471
Loc: Lismore, Northern Rivers
I was fortunate enough to get a daytime bolt with the trigger with some branching on the 11th of August. My theory is that it may have picked up the change in light intensity from a crawler and opened the shutter in time to capture the branched CG. This is a cropped version to show the detail



Original


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#1007678 - 24/08/2011 13:17 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Jason P]
Harry Spotter Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 14/11/2001
Posts: 1955
Loc: Springwood, Brisbane
Ah thanks guys. I'd really like branches like this!



But it seems the camera is as much at fault as the trigger (if not more so).

The branches are still present when the lightning first makes contact with the ground; but they seem to disappear for any subsequent strokes of the same strike. Which is a pity... and it means my problem remains, for the most part.

Thanks for that chart of shutter lag times, Leigh.

Cheers,
Marty.
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www.MartyPhotography.com.au

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#1007689 - 24/08/2011 15:47 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Harry Spotter]
Greg Sorenson Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 05/11/2005
Posts: 3256
Loc: Canberra!
Mate, if we all got branchy cg's like that, we'd all be happy chappies.......

In truth, i've resisted buying triggers, simply because twilight / evening lightning is far more photogenic IMO from a purely photographic point of view. Day time structure is usually what i'm after before night fall.... and in addition this upcoming season, footage as well.

I do have some chunky solid ND filters that can slow down shutter speeds to 2-5 secs in broad day light, however as mentioned above, don't tend to use it. Each to their own i guess:)
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Storm season is upon us... now let the fun begin

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#1007692 - 24/08/2011 16:01 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Greg Sorenson]
Harry Spotter Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 14/11/2001
Posts: 1955
Loc: Springwood, Brisbane
ND filters are useless during the day for lightning in my opinion because they restrict the amount of light coming in and hence, reduce the width and impact of the lightning bolt. I could stop down to F32 to give me a longer shutter speed too, but it makes the lightning bolt so narrow and weak that there is no point - that is my purely subjective view.

I'd love a trigger to give me a lightning bolt during the day WITH the structure that would otherwise be on its own. Instead of taking your normal structure shot, use the trigger to get structure WITH lightning. Hell yeah. But only if it renders the lightning well (which is of course subjective, like everything related to photography and art).

As soon as I see a chunky branchy lightning pic taken with a trigger (using a 7D or less) I'm buying it!

Cheers,
Marty.
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www.MartyPhotography.com.au

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#1007809 - 25/08/2011 16:49 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Harry Spotter]
Andy Double U Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/10/2006
Posts: 1829
Loc: Mundoolun, SE QLD, 129m ASL
Could always get yourself a suitcase full of super stupidly fast 16gb cards + a Canon 1D Mk IV. Set it to JPG fine and hold down the shutter release Marty grin Better yet, get yourself two sets so you can run them in alternating fashion so whilst you are swapping the card out of one, the other one is still firing!

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#1007811 - 25/08/2011 17:09 Re: Lightning Trigger! [Re: Andy Double U]
thomo Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 06/12/2005
Posts: 2639
Loc: West End, Townsville, QLD
Would be easier to buy a 1000fps video camera.
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