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Ganesh6667

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Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« on: February 10, 2017, 12:34:30 PM »

Hi all,
With a lot of difficulty I somehow managed to enter the medium format through a used Phase One H20 V back on a Mamiya rb67 Pro S. The person who sold the DB back to me was of no help and with help from the forum at Lu-La, I managed to get an adapter to connect the DB to the Mamiya RB. Later got the cables and only recently got the whole act together. 
The following is the problem I am facing.
When I release the shutter, the output image is completely black (like unexposed). I tried with different settings but was of no help. I changed various lenses and with lot of variations of shutter and aperture,  somehow, on the wide 50mm C lens at T setting I got this image (87528)(87539) and I forgot to note down the settings, and even after numerous tires I could not repeat the process. However accidently while checking if the sync connection was all right, the flash tripped and Lo I had an image (87550).
I replicated the process and the image was on the screen.
It sound weird, but this is how it goes-
On the wide 50mm lens, the shutter is set to T and the desired aperture. The sync and the flash sync cables are connected. I release the shutter. The lens is on Mirror up. Next I release the mirror up with a cable release and disconnect the lens sync cable from the DB end and in one swift action reconnect the cable back to the DB and the flash fires immediately, the image appears on the laptop screen.
Without the above process the flash does not trip and I get the completely unexposed image or the other type of image.
I have tried to explain as best as I can.
HELP!!!
I need to know what needs to be done to get the back going, and me getting back to medium format photography.
Thanking you in advance. 
Best regards.
Ganesh.     
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BobShaw

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 03:57:10 PM »

I haven't done this with an RB67 but I did research it with an RZ67 and it was all too hard and too expensive and promised poor results.

This sounds like a "Wake Up" problem. Phase backs require you to wake them up before taking a photo. In other words the first sync gets them ready to fire and the next sync takes the picture.

There are complicated cables that you can get to do it at silly prices, or you can make your own. So I would start googling phase wake up and RB67 and see where that gets you.

If I was you I would sell the lot (which is what I did) and for much less money get a Hasselblad h3D or later. They are all integrated and you don't have to get parts from different manufacturers to work together. If you persist and get it working you have a very heavy and decades old camera with a minimum focal length of 50mm and a huge crop factor.
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Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 12:26:55 PM »

Hi BobShaw,
Thank you very much for the support. But the fact that I love to work on my Mamiya is luring me to do these things, though my primary camera is still a Canon 5d2, which I sometimes attach to my Sinar also. Even after going to such lengths to make it work, it is very difficult to take a decision. Lastly, I have ordered a firewire repeater and if this doesn't work, I will be heading your way.
Best regards.
Ganesh.
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Ray R

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 04:21:51 PM »

Ganesh6667 - You say you have tried various settings? this is a bit vague. I have a P45 on a Mamiya RB.

The first image looks like a shutter problem. Have you changed the shutter latency on the back?

Have you tried without Mirror lock up.

with my back I have a cable that connects to the flash sync to the back - it is not a wake up cable as the adapter on the camera allows for the camera to wake the back up, the flash sync then fires causing the back to expose itself.

I do have a lens on a dmini which causes images similar to your first one and I believe that this is caused by a shutter problem on B exposure.

I would simplify everything in trying to get it going - I would leave the flash out of the equation to start with.




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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 08:34:17 PM »

I haven't done this with an RB67 but I did research it with an RZ67 and it was all too hard and too expensive and promised poor results.

This sounds like a "Wake Up" problem. Phase backs require you to wake them up before taking a photo. In other words the first sync gets them ready to fire and the next sync takes the picture.

There are complicated cables that you can get to do it at silly prices, or you can make your own. So I would start googling phase wake up and RB67 and see where that gets you.

If I was you I would sell the lot (which is what I did) and for much less money get a Hasselblad h3D or later. They are all integrated and you don't have to get parts from different manufacturers to work together. If you persist and get it working you have a very heavy and decades old camera with a minimum focal length of 50mm and a huge crop factor.


For clarity - Phase One digital back models P45+ and older will require the wake up. The P40+/65+ and all IQ1/IQ2/IQ3 models allow you to choose the dormant (wake me up please) mode or an (I am ready when you are) always awake mode.

I've had a lot of experience with the Mamiya RZ/Digital Back combos, but little experience with Mamiya RB/Digital Back combos. I have many happy clients using RZ, almost none using RB. I find that it's a relatively easy affair pairing a digital back with a Mamiya RZ. But I've been warned away from RB by some technicians, who felt that the synchronization was a challenge, especially compared with the RZ.

Not sure what you may have going on here Ganesh, but it looks to me like a timing issue, but also there could even be an issue with the health of the sync posts themselves (a sync cleaner might yield some improvement). But my feeling is that a powered firewire hub is unlikely to solve this for you.


Steve Hendrix/CI

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Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 12:22:16 PM »

Hi Ray and Steve,
Thank you for your valuable inputs.
I initially used the back on my desktop and faced issues, i have forgotten the settings, but later my desktop PC on which I am running Windows XP refused to recognise the DB. I switched to a macbook pro and now this problem.
I have had the rb for years now along with a few lenses, so I thought of converting it to digital.
The lenses I tried with are all C lenses- 50, 90 and 250mm and may be the mistake could be in the shutter latency. One question is how do check/ change these settings on the back?
I have tried- with the mirror up and straight shoot.
mostly I shoot with the mirror up as I get some time to  do the following -
I set the shutter to T  and then release the shutter and later release from the mirror up  on a cable release in my left hand while dis-connecting and reconnecting the sync cable with my right. WOW Suddenly the flash fires as I re-connect  and the image appears. Without that flash, the image are like the ones I got above - motion blur types mainly only on a few settings, but mostly in all other settings black unexposed ones.
All literature regarding the H20 says that I don't need a wake-up cable. when I was getting the black like unexposed image after the exposure I was recommended to use a firewire repeater as the power supplied to the back was insufficient.
I am really confused as I have spent a lot on money and time on the DB, adapter, cables and now I have ordered firewire repeater from USA.
Here In bangalore, many are not familiar with the medium format and no accessories can be brought off the shelf. So it take a long time to get the kit working.
The few images that I got out of the DB were good and I intended to do product photography at studio with it. But till now nothing has taken shape and as a last refuge I asked the forum and i am really glad that i have company to help me out.
Thank you very much once again. I will update with some more experiments and maybe on a different RB body and lens, that I can source from my friends.
Regards.
Ganesh.
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Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 12:30:23 PM »

Hi Steve,
I forgot to ask where can I get the sync posts services here in India?
I have heard that servicing a DB can be very expensive and will it justify the cost?
Just a few questions, if you could let me know.
Thank you.
Best regards.
Ganesh.
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Ray R

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 02:10:44 PM »

I have a P45 on my Mamiya - I had a quick look for a H20 manual, and there was no mention of shutter latency.

The RB body connects to the P45 through the adapter, and when the shutter is fired it wakes the back up, but if the mirror up is on, it has to be released within 4-5 seconds or it beeps.

I am afraid I do not know it this is the same with the H20.

I can only make some suggestions. And more questions than answers.

As the flash is firing when you reconnect the sync cord I would surmise that you are shorting the cable as it is being reconnected. If this is the case then the shutter may not be making the circuit when released.

Does the flash fire when connected directly to the lens?

If the flash does fire, it may be that the lead from the lens to the back is not making the circuit.

Is the lead okay and is it making a proper connection to the lens and the back?

Is it possible that on T the camera and back is making an exposure, all be it that it is under exposed.

I would still have a go without the flash pointing at a window in daylight to see what I would get.

What lead do you have connecting the lens and the camera.

Sorry I'm not being much help but I will try.

Ray
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 05:16:22 PM »

Hi Steve,
I forgot to ask where can I get the sync posts services here in India?
I have heard that servicing a DB can be very expensive and will it justify the cost?
Just a few questions, if you could let me know.
Thank you.
Best regards.
Ganesh.


Hi Ganesh -

residing in the USA I cannot specifically advise on a facility in India that would offer this service, however if you can identify any camera repair shop that performs lens repairs, they will likely be able to offer such a service.

You might also want to track down one of these:

https://www.digitalback.com/product/sync-signal-cleaner-cable-for-iq-digital-backs-e-g-for-e-shutter-tech-term-schmitt-cable/

We do stock these, but we don't typically ship internationally for cables and accessories as we only ship Fedex, and the international shipping amount we charge on an $89 cable is not practical. But if you click on the link, it will display the part number and any Phase One dealer could order this for you.


Steve Hendrix/CI

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Kumar

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2017, 12:44:12 AM »

I've used an H20 on a Bronica SQ and a Sinar. I don't remember using anything other than a standard sync cable from the flash socket to the back along with the firewire cord. Initially I too got the kind of images that Ganesh shows. This was on an XP Windows laptop with a simple firewire adapter. Then I got another firewire PCMCIA card. This one had a socket for a 12V? power supply for which I used a "Universal" laptop battery. There were no further problems with corrupt images. I never had problems on a Windows XP desktop with a firewire card.

I also used a G4 Powerbook with no issues. It needed more batteries, of course.

Kumar

Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2017, 12:32:21 PM »

Hi,
Yesterday I managed to call my good friend Sabir- who also happens to be a Hassy user. He came with his 500CM body and 80mmlens. He had read this post and was also curious about this behaviour from the Mamiya Rb / H20.
As usual the Mamiya threw up the same pattern of unexposed images or the blur images and when with the same settings we connected the back to the Hassy, the images were spot on, both with and without the flash connection. The settings are the same on both the cameras. ON the Mamiya I tried will all the lens I own- 50mm wide, 90mm and 250mm. Same results.No images, however when the setting is shortened, the image appears.
Now even my friend is Perplexed. What do you think is the issue here.
I have now got a UNIBRAIN firewire repeater and still everything is the same.
Thanks for everything.
Warm regards.
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Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 06:28:10 AM »

Hi Ray,
I checked the settings and did not find the shutter latency for the H20 in the menu settings. Though it exists, the item does not highlight, meaning it is not for H20 probably. I am using C1 7.
You were absolutely right. The flash is not firing when connected to the back,but the flash fires when connected to the lens- meaning the contact is not made with the back.
However today I rechecked the settings and fired with the cable release in locked position until the beep and the image was transferred, and I found the bottom image in only T settings (Aimed at the window minus the flash). Other than that, the lens is not making the necessary contact with the back I guess.
I have a couple of branded leads, one with a gold  coloured contact and the other a dual lead sync cable and a few that I made myself. All are working fine- I checked them on the Hasselblad 500CM.
Could you suggest what I could try next.
Regards.
Ganesh. 
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Ray R

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2017, 05:31:44 PM »

Hi Ganesh,

When you say
No images, however when the setting is shortened, the image appears.

Is this with a shorter exposure?

As I said I do have a similar problem with a lens on my dMini, and on a long exposure I get the magenta cast, with shorter exposures it is fine.

As you have tried 3 lenses, you may be unlucky in that ALL 3 have a problem but I wouldn't expect that.

Another thought is what is the flash sync setting on the lens? X or M, have you tried both? I don't know if that will make a difference though.
but this is why it might
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_synchronization

If you are using the flash and T I guess that you are using an exposure of a few seconds, have you tried Not connecting the flash to the back, but to manually fire it whilst the shutter is open?

Not knowing the H20 if the body wakes the back up and the sync cable takes the exposure is it possible to attach the sync cable to the Hasselblad lens with the back on the Mamiya, fire the Mamiya with the lens on T, and then actuate the shutter on Hasselblad lens to see if you get anything. I can't try it myself a the moment but if I get time tomorrow I will try it with my P45.
(I'm not sure that makes sense)

I will ask but I guess you will have tried, but have you tried without mirror lockup?

Ray








« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 05:38:10 PM by Ray R »
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Kumar

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 06:37:21 PM »

The fact that the back works on the Hasselblad means that there's no problem with it, or the cords. The issue is only with the RB and its lenses. Some points to check:
1. Is the multi-exposure button at the back of the camera body fully depressed?
2. Are the sync contacts on the RB lenses clean? You might try a roll of film at different shutter speeds to confirm this.
3. X or M?
4. Mirror up or normal?
5. Since you have a Sinar, you also have some lenses for it? If so, you could do this with a 135 or 150 lens. Tape the lens on its board in front of the Mamiya lens mount ensuring that there is no stray light. Make sure the mirror doesn't hit the lens! Use the back with this lens, and see if you get an image. If you do, there is something wrong with the lenses.

Kumar

Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 12:16:29 PM »

Hi Kumar and Ray,
I just love the thought train to get a solution to this.
Thank you overmuch.
We tried some very very settings and combinations.
Once purely bt accident, I happened to get just one image and this was never replicated.
Yes, the same incident on all the three lenses, strange???
I was thinking maybe C lenses may have some shutter/ mechanism issues for compatibility with the DB,
Ray, have you tried using KL lenses, they may be better suited for the DB then the C lenses.
Kumar the multi-exposure is on the film back and not the camera itself, and Yes, we tried with both M and X settings with flash and without.
Some shots mirror up and many normal.
With the sync cable connected to the lenses, the flash is firing perfectly at all speeds perfectly.
Kumar, I will try the Sinar 150 on the mama body tomorrow and post the results.
Thank you very much for the support. I very deeply respect this.
Warm regards.
Ganesh.
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Ray R

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2017, 03:41:58 PM »

I have mainly C lenses and only one KL. Don't forget I am using a P45.

I did a quick test this morning and there is a difference between M and X, I get a magenta cast with X, I think this is because the sync connection is fired before the shutter is fully open.

I am at a wedding now and do not have the DB with me.

I can only assume there is a communication error between the sync and the back but if you do as Kumar suggests then we may have more idea.

As I say I had a lens for a 5x4 camera which I use on my dMini, this produces a purple cast when on the B setting. It was sticking so I had it CLA'd, when it came back I had a purple cast, I returned it and it was redone. I still get the purple cast but not as bad. I think it is a problem with the shutter in the lens.

I do think you would be extremely unlucky to have a problem with three lenses (I have 7 for the Mamiya, some of which are duplicate and I have not had a problem).

I do not know how the camera wakes up the H20, I think on the P45 it is a bit mechanical.

I will wait till you have tried the Sinar lens, before your try and tape it onto your Mamiya can I suggest that you use a Mamiya lens on the camera with the back, and connect the sync cable to the back and the Sinar.

My thinking is that then you press the shutter, this will wake up the back and open the lens BUT NOT expose the back. The actuate the Sinar lens, this will then expose the back and end the exposure (set the Sinar to an fixed exposure). You can then press the lever on the Mamiya.

I would suggest that if this works it is the Mamiya lens that is causing the problem, if its the same then I would suggest its the initial wake up.

If its the same I would do what Kumar suggests and mount the Sinar on the camera but it will have to be light tight as I have found any leakage may cause the problem - and just having had a lightbulb moment, maybe this is the problem - you have a light leak?

I may not be able to check for a couple of days, but will check then.

Good luck.

Ray

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Kumar

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 06:21:37 PM »

"Flash firing at all speeds" is an inconclusive test. Is it syncing properly? And that can be determined only when film is exposed. Sabir can process a roll of film in a few minutes.

I know the RB doesn't have a multi-exposure switch on the body. When the switch on the film holder is moved forward, it depresses a pin on the rear of the body. The adapter should be doing that to ensure that the exposure happens properly. Is it doing so?

Kumar
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 06:37:30 PM by Kumar »
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Ganesh6667

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2017, 11:47:59 AM »

Hi,
Sorry could not get back earlier.
Ray and Kumar, I did a small test just to confirm if a wake-up cable was necessary and Yes, Steve is right.
This back does need a wake-up cable and in the C1 I pressed the capture icon and this woke up the back, later I released the shutter on the Mamiya and LO! the image appeared.
Except for the 250mm lens, the 50 and the 90 are working fine. I also tried with the flash and it is also firing.
Thank you guys a lot for the support, I really needed it, I mean it.
Also there is a long scratch on the IR filter, and I was suggested to remove it. Is it okay to do so?
My doubt is when I clean the sensor should i do it as usual or is there a different procedure? Will I be running the risk of ruining the sensor?
Looking for answers from (you guys) as usual.
Warm Regards.
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Kumar

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2017, 03:23:26 AM »

The back works on the Hasselblad without a wake-up cable, but the Mamiya needs one? Strange.

Does the scratch show up in the images? If not, leave it alone. The general advice is to replace the IR filter, but I don't know whether Phase One will still service it, and whether it would be worth it.

Kumar

Ray R

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Re: Starting Problem with Phase One H20
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 09:49:39 AM »

I agree with Kumar, if the scratch doesn't show I would leave it. Otherwise I can't really comment.
When you talk about cleaning, is that before or after you remove the filter.

Cleaning with the filter

http://teamworkphoto.com/blog/2015/09/how-to-clean-your-phase-one-digital-back/
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