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KODAK PROFESSIONAL: Technical Information Bulletin

Setup and Adjustment Instructions for Min Sync Delay Feature
 
 

KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro Back Plus

Contents

Updated 14 September 2006

This bulletin applies to a KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro Back Plus (PBP) using an adapter interface that is not manufactured by Kodak (OEM).

The Min Sync Delay feature is available on Firmware Version 3.1.8 and higher (download here).

 

Introduction

If you are using a DCS Pro Back Plus with an OEM adapter interface and are experiencing high image noise or intermittent Shutter Opened Early errors, improper timing may be the culprit. The new Min Sync Delay feature lets you:

  • Set the proper trip-to-sync delay for your camera system.

  • Vary the delay if you use multiple operating modes.

The following camera models do not require a Min Sync Delay adjustment:

  • HASSELBLAD Camera Models 555ELD, 503CW, 503CXI, and 553ELX.

  • MAMIYA RZ67 Pro II Camera.

  • Any camera used with an OEM adapter interface that does not experience high image noise or intermittent Shutter Opened Early errors.

 

Instructions for Electrical Shutters

Step 1:

Connect the OEM adapter interface to the DCS Pro Back Plus. Follow the instructions provided in the adapter interface user guide.

Step 2:

Activate the PBP menu and select Properties > Min Sync Delay. Verify the Min Sync Delay menu item appears in the Properties Menu.

Step 3:

Use the navigator switch to select 50 msec, then select OK.

Step 4:

Press the shutter release button to capture an image.

Step 5:

If the following situations occur, take the action indicated:

Situation

Action

Shutter Opened Early error appears in PBP LCD

STOP! You cannot capture images! Contact your adapter supplier.

No error display

Set the Min Sync Delay time to the next larger value.

Step 6:

Press the shutter release button to capture another image.

Step 7:

Does a Shutter Opened Early error display on the PBP LCD?

  • If yes, set the Min Sync Delay time to the previous value. This is the optimum timing for your camera configuration. Go to Step 8.

  • If no, set the Min Sync Delay time to the next larger value. Repeat Steps 6 and 7. When you reach the maximum Min Sync Delay time and a Shutter Opened Early error does not display on the PBP LCD when capturing an image, STOP. This is the optimum timing for your camera configuration. Go to Step 8.


Step 8:

Document the optimum timing for your camera configuration settings for future reference. Different camera models, settings, and photographers may require different Min Sync Delay times. See Example of Typical Delay Times.

 

Instructions for Mechanical Shutters

Step 1:

Connect the OEM adapter interface to the DCS Pro Back Plus. Follow the instructions provided in the adapter interface user guide.

Step 2:

Activate the PBP menu and select Properties > Min Sync Delay. Verify the Min Sync Delay menu item appears in the Properties Menu.

Step 3:

Use the navigator switch to select Default, then select OK.

Step 4:

Press the mechanical release button smoothly and consistently to capture an image. Apply the same smooth and consistent motion to achieve the same timing from shot to shot.

Step 5:

If the following situations occur, take the action indicated:

Situation

Action

No Sync Detected error appears in the PBP LCD

Press the mechanical release button slightly faster to capture another image.

Shutter Opened Early error appears in the PBP LCD

Press the mechanical release button slowly to capture another image.

No error appears in the PBP LCD but you have a high image noise level

Press the mechanical release button slightly faster to capture another image.
If the image noise level is not reduced, set the Min Sync Delay time progressively higher until the image noise level is acceptable.

No error appears in the PBP LCD and you have a good image

Leave the Min Sync Delay setting at Default.

Step 6:

Document the optimum timing for your camera configuration settings for future reference. Different camera models, settings, and photographers may require different Min Sync Delay times. See Example of Typical Delay Times.

  

Properties Menu

The Min Sync Delay menu item should appear in the Properties Menu when you connect an OEM adapter interface cable to the PCP interface port. If the Min Sync Delay menu item does not appear, contact your adapter interface supplier. You cannot optimize your configuration timing unless this option is available.

Properties

Battery Save Onset
Display Off Time
Long Exposure Processing
Min Sync Delay
Resolution
Total Actuations

 

What Causes High Image Noise Levels?

High image noise levels are caused by improper synchronization and improper timing.

Synchronization assures that the host camera system's shutter timing is properly timed with the CCD's readiness to capture an image. If proper synchronization between the camera and the KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS Pro Back Plus (PBP) is not achieved, the PBP's diagnostics will intervene and prevent the image capture. The PBP remote shutter release jack has inputs and outputs that allow a wide variety of camera systems to be synchronized to the PBP.

Improper timing occurs when the PBP is set to a very short sync delay but the camera has a long trigger-to-sync time (also known as trip-to-sync time). The trigger-to-sync time begins when the camera shutter release is pressed and ends when the shutter opens. The time varies from a minimum of 50 milliseconds (msec) to hundreds of milliseconds. Improper timing results in higher image noise. For example, if the PBP delay time is 50 msec but the camera trip-to-sync delay is set at 400 msec, the CCD "sits in the dark" after flushing is complete. As the CCD waits for an image capture, it accumulates a dark signal. Because this dark signal is random, it adds noise to the dark floor of the image (the shadow areas). Minimize the CCD wait time to achieve the lowest noise level.

 

What is Flush Mode and Ready Mode?

Flush Mode prepares the CCD for an image capture sequence. Flush Mode occurs when the CCD system is powered up, the shutter is closed (CCD is in the dark), and the sensor reads out at a high rate of speed to clear any signals. The PBP shutter will not open when the CCD is in Flush Mode. The LCD displays a Shutter Opened Early error message and the image is not captured. To correct this condition, follow the instructions provided in this bulletin to adjust the delay time.
Ready Mode occurs after Flush Mode. The CCD waits for the shutter to open and the image to be captured. After the shutter closes, the CCD is read out to the PBP memory.

  

Example of Typical Delay Times

The DCS Pro Back Plus offers a programmable hardware feature that allows variable sync delay timing. This occurs when the PBP camera interface port senses a physical resistor of a specified value. Adapter interface manufacturers must follow the formulas and guidelines provided by Kodak to properly configure the sync delay for optimum performance.

Delay times vary depending on the following conditions: the camera model, the settings, the operating mode, and even the photographer. You must determine Min Sync Delay times for each of these conditions. Do not use a fixed delay time! For example, the trip-to-sync time is considerably shorter when the camera mirror is up than when the mirror is down. The table below indicates the typical delay times for the FUJIFILM GX-680 Professional Camera System series using different mirror modes.

Camera Model

Mirror Mode

Delay Time

FUJIFILM GX680 I and GX680 II

locked up

100 msec

normal

200 msec

FUJIFILM GX680 III

locked up

200 msec

normal

300 msec

Kodak and Kodak Professional are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.

TIB7043

Technical Information Bulletins provide information of limited or specific application. Responsibility for judging the applicability of the information for a specific use rests with the end user.