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(Some Guy)   Lightning detector automatically hits the trigger on your camera so you can aim it at a thunderstorm and get almost all of the excellent lightning shots you'd ever want   (f-8andbethere.com) divider line 22
    More: Cool  
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1521 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Oct 2006 at 12:45 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



22 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2006-10-05 10:57:51 AM
Neat. I want one that works for fireworks, too.
 
2006-10-05 10:59:38 AM
Attactive and successful shuttering mechanism.
 
2006-10-05 11:00:24 AM
Here's the website for the cool gizmo itself, in case the linked review page gets farked:

www.lightningtrigger.com
 
2006-10-05 11:07:28 AM
i don't know much about photography nor lightning, so this is an honest question.

how in the hell does it detect the lightning and open the shutter in time to take a picture? lightning bolts are over pretty damn quick.
 
2006-10-05 11:14:25 AM
Almost $00 dollars? Nice idea... but seriously.
 
2006-10-05 11:15:08 AM
*$400
 
2006-10-05 11:15:13 AM
zn0k

Good cameras have pretty damn quick triggers. Actually, on the website they have a chart of most popular SLRs (Digital and Film)

As for detecting lightning, It's probably the same as how a non radio flash slave works. It just detects the sudden flash of light.
 
2006-10-05 11:20:20 AM
zn0k: "how in the hell does it detect the lightning and open the shutter in time to take a picture? lightning bolts are over pretty damn quick."

It could detect the change in light levels (even if the change is relatively small overall, it would be extremely rapid), or it might detect the radio waves from the strike.
 
2006-10-05 11:21:45 AM
well, thanks for the explanations.
 
2006-10-05 11:22:54 AM
Sounds like the guy in the previous story (the Daily Mail link) could have used one of these gizmos. Actually, he could have used some heavy insulating boots and gloves while he was at it.
 
2006-10-05 11:23:18 AM
If I remember right, lightning sends up a signal that you cannot see just before it is seen by the human eye. Can't remember what that is, though.

If that is true, wonder if one can build a camera trigger to detect that?
 
2006-10-05 11:38:33 AM
I have a little experience in this...

My best lightning pictures have been with little daylight, and as such I had to keep the shutter open for a second or two. So in theory, if the camera is quick enough, it can catch something after detecting the flash. For me, I just held down the shutter button when I thought lightning was likely to strike, and hope to get lucky.
 
2006-10-05 11:43:04 AM
How the hell does this get around the lag that exists even in high-end digital cameras? Even my old Nikon SLRs had a mechanical delay, and my current mid-range digital has a lag that's benchmarked at 0.3 seconds. How does a camera 0.3 seconds behind capture something as fast as a lightning strike?
 
2006-10-05 12:48:41 PM
Is there a `female nudeness' detector?
 
2006-10-05 01:11:45 PM
$330 for something you usually do with low ISO, long exposure, patience and practice doesn't sound like a bargain.

Then again, my forays into lightining photos suck.
 
2006-10-05 02:21:59 PM
40below: How does a camera 0.3 seconds behind capture something as fast as a lightning strike?

It doesn't. According to TFA, what we see as a lightning strike may actually have several bolts, one after another. The "trigger" detects the first bolt, and if you're lucky, you get one of the others.

The guy was shooting film to avoid digital's increased lag. He said there were a ton of shots that didn't catch any lighning. (I'm not sure if it just missed or if it detects cloud-to-cloud that wasn't visible?) Also he said it just ripped through the film.

If you want to save money on the gizmo, you might try nearly constantly hitting the shutter release and see what you get. In fact, it might be an interesting comparison.
 
2006-10-05 02:28:40 PM
FallingKnife: constantly hitting the shutter release



Got this that way.

i10.photobucket.com
 
2006-10-05 03:04:54 PM
These have been around for decades. I know a lot of lightning photographers who have used one, and generally it doesn't make it any easier, and the quality of your photographs will not be as high. It's much easier to hold the shutter open manually, knowing the right aperture and shutter time for a well-exposed shot.

Some of my lightning pics, taken without a trigger
 
2006-10-05 04:10:02 PM
Haha, .3 second delay on your digital camera. Loser.


/37 ms shutter lag, 80 ms viewfinder blackout on my D2h
 
2006-10-05 05:03:26 PM
My camera can take 5 shots per second, in a burst up to 23. In practice, I can get a burst up to 33 pictures because files are getting saved to the CF card from the buffer. So when I hit shot 23, the first 10 or so shots are already out of the buffer.

So I could just hold the shutter down. Or use a tripod + remote switch & long exposure with a small aperture.

40below: How the hell does this get around the lag that exists even in high-end digital cameras?
...
How does a camera 0.3 seconds behind capture something as fast as a lightning strike?


Just what are you calling a "high-end digital camera"?

The shutter lag time of the EOS 20D is 65ms (that's 0.065 of a second, or roughly 4 ahd a half times faster than the number you gave)

Just what are you calling "fast as a lightning strike"

Up to 20 or even 30 partial return strokes may occur in a single lightning flash, all in about 1 to 2 seconds total duration. The human eye sees this as a flickering of the lightning flash.

2 seconds is a hell of a long time in the digital photography world.
 
2006-10-05 05:10:06 PM
zsouthboy: /37 ms shutter lag, 80 ms viewfinder blackout on my D2h

Planning on upgrading to a D2X?
 
2006-10-06 09:28:05 AM
My recipe for lightning shots:

1. Thunderstorm
2. Nikon D70 or F3 (insert your favorite camera here)
3. Neutral Density filter
4. 1-2 second shutter speed.
5. (There is NO step 5!)
6. Profit!
 
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