The death of the PC socket.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Robert Kennedy, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    O.k. Is it just me or has the PC socket just up and died?

    O.k. Maybe not DIED, but definately gotten really sick.

    I'm down in the lab working on a color project, when a calssmate asks for help in the studio with the strobes.

    She had a Canon Rebel G. Now, I am a Nikon person, but I have always heard that Canons are great because you can buy the big glass and it will work with a $250 Rebel body. Many wildlife guys apparently do this as the lens counts more than the body.

    But I am not sure how many studio people do this type of thing....

    See, the damn thing, like most new cameras under $1,000 had no PC socket. It did have a hot shoe though. So we threw on an adapter.

    Problem solved, right?

    Nope.

    While the camera would trigger the strobes when there was no film in it, it wouldn't trigger them when there was film loaded.

    And no matter what we did, including setting the damn thing on "manual", it wouldn't fire the damn strobes.

    I even checked the connections, everything worked and fired, except when it was on the damn camera!

    Now, the PC synch is probably one of the simplest things around. Been around for years, and it works very nicely. The parts are cheap. So why not throw it on a camera?

    Of course we all know the reasons for this. Money. A dollar saved on on camera is $50,000 in the bank each month. But even then, why not make synching easy? As far as I could figure the overly complex hot-shoe and the whole E-TTL thing might be the cause of the problem. And of course locking you into THEIR flash system is ideal, right?

    The sad thing is, the really wonderful, and idiot proof PC synch is dying. Think about it. The PC socket is the IDEAL solution to many problems. It is standardized, it is cheap, it is effective. These new, more advanced flash systems, almost all of which are proprietary, just don't hack it. They require adaptors, manuals, etc.

    It sucks.

    Anyway, what piece to technology do you lament the demise or decline of?
     
  2. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Film. :smile:
     
  3. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    some cameras will only work with their pc-adapters, so the canon may only work with a canon brand hot-shoe to pc adapter....
    But yeah, it's ridiculous.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yeah, this is one of the nuttier things missing on the latest cameras.

    Also the cable release socket. How hard can this be? Even the simple on-off switch electric cable release socket would be fine. There is, though, a kind of clunky clamp on adapter that will attach to P&S cameras and others.
     
  5. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    A Cable release socket is what I miss as well with my F100 :sad:

    Robert - do you have to facility to fire the strobes using a flash camera mounted?
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    A wind lever.
    Without one, if your batteries die, you have an expensive doorstop. And c'mon, How lazy do you have to be to be unwilling to move your thumb an inch to the right between exposures?
     
  7. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Very true, your point regarding technologies going proprietry Robert. On the F100 the remote shutter release is electronic (only). There is no mechanical option at all, nadda.
    Instead of getting by with a $10 mechanical release cable, it is necessary to spend NZ$260-00 on a cable that probably costs $10 to make! Go figure.
     
  8. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    There is no way to slave those strobes at all. They are Speedotrons that date back to sometime around Watergate. Ironically, my much cheaper, and newer Alien Bees have a built in slave function that works great.

    Then again they are made by Paul Buff, who I am sure loves the PC socket....

    Yeah, the cable realease thing is nutty. I mean the N80 has it but the F100 doesn't? All you need to do is drill some threads through your shutter release!
     
  9. bmac

    bmac Member

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    HOnestly, you should be using a safe sync adapter anyway. Unless you like the smell of burning electronics. None of my current cams have the PC socket, I have a $50 safe sync that goes onto the hot shoe and has a pc socket on the front. I am guessing that it had something to do with dirty contacts. You can use any hotshoe flash you want with the Rebel line of cameras, you just won't get ttl.
     
  10. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Hmmmm ...:smile:
     
  11. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Note that I am not responsible for any damage to your camera... :smile:


    Brian - Weird thing was that the camera flash when it had NO film in it, but not when it had film in it!

    So, not the contacts....

    As to safe sync'ing....yeah it probably is a good idea. Then again I stay the hell away from those flashes they have. The UofA studio setup is a joke beyond belief. The equipment pre-dates the program itself! Nasty stuff.

    Me, I'll use my nice and safe Alien Bees. Sure they may look funny, but they are sort of like the old Bug. They run forever. Plus, they use low-voltage sync.

    Why nopbody will replace antiquated, non-adjustable strobes with a mere $1,500 worth of equipment (and with that you get 3 lights and a bunch of stuff with it) that will last forever and is safer is beyond me.

    Seriously, that Speedotron started smoking once....
     
  12. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Several years back I bought a off brand non canon flash for my camera. I had to get special adaptors for it to work on the canon. The adaptors were almost as much as the flash. If I had had time before I left for over seas, I would have ordered the proper flash unit. I didn't test it before hand. Thankfully it ll worked when I was in a dug out canoe.
     
  13. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Try buying a slave unit with a PC socket and using a shielded on-camera flash to set it off.

    Things I wish were still readily available - Graflex holders, mechanical shutters on roll film cameras, lens stop-down buttons.
     
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  15. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Brian is right. Get a Wein safe-sync. It's an opto-electrical isolator. The Rebel probably can't deal with the voltages or impedance or polarity of the studio kit. Safe-sync doesn't care about any of that, it'll just work right.

    You might want to look at this page I put together some time ago about strobe voltages and electronic cameras (film or digi -- doesn't matter): http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html
     
  16. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Cable releases. Okay, my cameras all have sockets for cable releases. But the Canon's all require an electronic cable release. So I bought one. It's overpriced and I seldom use the silly thing anyway. How hard can it be to thread the shutter release?

    I've gotten really good now at gently releasing the shutter with my finger. Don't need no stinkin' electronic cable release.
     
  17. sparx

    sparx Member

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    I don't know what all the fuss is about. My camera has all the above things. Mind you it doesn't have autofocus, built-in pop-up flash, motor wind, 15 program settings, LCD screens et al. I guess that's what consumers today expect, things to make life easier, not more complicated. :sad:
    The irony is, i borrowed my step-mums EOS 100 the other week and hated it. Couldn't get the hang of turning my brain off, and that was easier than turning all the automatic functions off.
     
  18. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    The benefit with a cable release is that I can set-up my camera 12 feet away from me if I'm shooting wildlife and hide a safe disance away (I have an air tube one). Without the release I have to hide under camo nets etc and use a longer lens.
     
  19. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    Yep, PC sockets, cable release threads, and a wind lever would be great. I'd add DOF preview and a way to set the ASA on some cameras.
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    and a REAL mirror lock-up, (not the self timer cheat)
     
  21. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Sometimes there's nothing that beats the feeling of using a manual winder during a shoot, somehow it makes it feel more real.
     
  22. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    One thing I've always wondered about powerwinders....

    They always tout the speed of the them. The old FPS line.

    But how often does anyone NEED that fast an advance?

    O.k. If you are watching a leopard take down a gazelle or shooting something that is happening VERY fast.

    But how often is something happening THAT fast?

    Often a good, fast, thumb works just as well....
     
  23. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Robert, you've clearly never seen my wife opening my VISA bill - a sight to behold, and I seriously doubt that availablility yet of technology that could catch it on film.

    But you raise a good point that I'm inclined to agree with. For exactly that reason, I've been considering ditching the nikon with a motor for a manual advance rangefinder with better lenses. I've used the motorwind about 3 times in three years, and matrix metering less and less frequently. I can't see the point in having all those $$ tied up in an slr when it could be spent on good glass. And a mirror lockup would be V useful also!

    Fast motor drives - surely only for sports, very occasionally nature work, and of course the obligatory through-the-lens-shot of the Holywood PI engaged in a little 'cover-work' of the 70's thriller.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2004
  24. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    There's only one way to find out!

    I have a Canon Motor Drive A, for A-1 and AE1-Program cameras, for sale! Not the small winder, this is the big fast motor with a hand grip. It comes with the AAx12 power pack, can be used as a grip without the power pack (thumb winding is always an option, if the motor is turned off) and can advance at either 3 or 5 fps. Included is a hand-made remote cord. Write me and know the wonders of a real professional motor-driven SLR.
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Even for bird photography, I'm rarely using 5 fps on my F-1N, except for the occasional flight sequence shot. On the other hand, I have both the 2.5 fps auto winder and the 5 fps motor drive, and the camera is much more responsive with the motor drive, meaning that in single-frame mode, I can take the next shot faster with the motor drive than with the auto winder.
     
  26. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I use Canon EOS Elan 7 as well as a Rebel. Both will tell my cheap HAMA hotshoe-to-PC adaptor. No problems, it works without ANY problems. So I have to disagree with Canon being bad with this.
    Also I like the electronic cable release that Canon makes. It cost me approx. $40 and it works perfect. The button is just like the one on my cameras. I appreciate the stuff my Canons have. Good and fast auto-focus helps me often, although I mainly shoot with MF. The meter is good in all modes (Spot, CW and matrix) and gives me perfect exposure (although I use my handheld Sekonic meter a lot).
    I shoot 80% manual and 19% aperture priority and 1% shutter priority. No programs!

    Also, when shooting studio shot I really like the automatic film advance! Then I can shoot all I want and not missing shots because I have to advance all the time...!