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Thread: Tethering D800

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    Super Duper
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    Tethering D800

    Hi,

    We've had a D800e in the studio since around November last year, we haven't even gotten round to opening the box (bet that's gonna make some of you cringe ) as the repro station we bought it for had endless delays while we tried to find room for it and a person to work there. You know how it goes.

    We just got handed an incredible assignment, one of the universities here has an incredible collection, massive warehouse full of documents. They have been divided between various communities in the Diaspora and contain the official records of countless Jewish communities over the past few hundred years. The entire collection, uncataloged, is about to be handed over to the National Library here which means it will go to the back of their 10 year backlog and not be seen again for over a decade. We have been given exclusive access to the warehouse over the next month starting a week today to shoot documents there.

    We will be taking the D800e with us, we are still up to our eyes in the studio with the MFDB shooting other collections which we only have temporary access to.

    We do not as yet have a laptop and now there is an urgent need. The laptop needs to have failsafe no question asked perfect tethering for both the Leaf back (in the future) and the D800. Software will be C1.

    I know that as far as Leaf are concerned the answer is and has pretty much always been a Macbook Pro. My dealer told me that Leaf will not even guarantee tethering performance with any PC laptop though I'm checking with Yair Shahar if that is true. Question after my long preamble, is anyone using a late MBP with C1 for the D800 and tethering? Is it as reliable as we need?

    Thanks!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Tethering D800

    I shoot almost 100% tethered and have had mixed (read frustrating) experience tethering a D800 or D3S for that matter to a MBP using C1 - DIRECTLY (the last word is key). Wasn't much ebtter, if at all, using Cannon either. That said, since moving to Nikon have found a simple solution.

    The problem, also with LR4 (again, going direct) were dropped connections requiring restart, etc. Power off camera or switch bodies and boom - software won't re-acquire unless retstarted.

    In short, the usual tethering BS.

    Different cords (Tether Tools), active extensions (Tether Tools), etc., etc. Some minor improvement in reliability, but nothing major. A local Phase pro (who also shoots Nikon) and I found that making sure NO Thunderbolt drives are plugged in (if have TB port) at same time (e.g. for backup), helped, but still not 100%.

    C1 (and even more so LR4) was also SLOW ingesting 800e files. Bloody painful to watch.

    The solution was simple.

    Pick up a copy of Nikon Camera Control Pro 2. You set it as the software interface to the camera and have it drop the images into a hot folder for C1 or LR to pick up. Simple software, just sits in background with small window showing what camera connected and controls (can operate camera remotely if desired) but works like a charm.

    It is 100% reliable. You can power off the camera, unplug it, switch bodies, etc., etc., and once plugged back in or turned on will re-acquire in seconds - with C1 or LR never being the wiser.

    It's also #$%^&* fast. CC2 can ingest an 800e file faster than C1 or LR can ingest a D3s file. Don't know how, but it does.

    One note - DO NOT overshoot the buffer. If you overshoot the buffer on the 800/e while tethered it CAN cause CC2 to 'stall', sometimes requiring a restart of the software.

    CC2 is an extra step on setup that shouldn't be necessary, but I can shoot all day with it and never have a burp - the way it should be. My solution is simply to disconnect the image processing/DAM pipelines from the acquisition stream until someone can make a LR/C1/etc that can do both seamlessly.

    Edit: Cables now used: Tethered Tools USB 2 & 3 cables (D3s, D800e respectively) with respective TT active extensions.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Tethering D800

    My tethering issues with the D800 went away once I changed my cable setup.
    I use a siig powered usb3 extension with the nikon supplied cable plugged in to the end.
    My only issue is that turning off the camera during the shoot sometimes causes C1 to lose the connection.
    -bob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Tethering D800

    Hi,

    We will be working with a camera running off the mains, it won't be powered off during shooting. We are using an Active USB 3 cable extension, as you said Rob, freaking fast transfer! I just tried it on the desktop. I have downloaded a trial of CCP2, love the fact it's got the ability to show if the camera is straight in the LV. It's a 30 day trial, if C1 causes problems we'll just use CCP2 instead and buy it. How do you do a hot folder in C1?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Tethering D800

    Ben,

    Here you so sir (will explain better than I will- and faster ;>).

    Knowledge base for Phase One and Mamiya Leaf users

    I use tethering on location a lot with laptop running of battery, mains or Profoto BatPac.

    With CCP2 no more taps on shoulder from assistant because C1 or LR has quietly dropped the connection for no #$%^& apparent reason.

    Peeve - how #$%^ hard can it be to have your tether software have the ability to 'beep'/screech/burp/sound submarine 'Dive!' alarm when it looses the camera connection? The number of lost images it could save daily around the globe ... Ok, rant over.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Tethering D800

    Appreciate it Rob, I just tried with C1, transfer just as fast actually but the LV is horrific, not even any AF in the LV mode in C1.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Tethering D800

    No worries.

    You'd think in 2013, given what the various software packages cost - and what they're otherwise capable of, that tethering would be a non-event, but sadly it rarely is.

    Just a bunch of finger-pointing: "it's not our software, it's the cables", "it's not the cables, it's the camera", "it's not the camera, it's the software", "it's not our fault, blame Apple/Sony/Dell/HP/___", etc.

    In the mean time, the folks who need to use it, have to do DIY work arounds - or perform various voodoo to keep their sanity during a shoot. Yeah, it's a pet peeve ;>

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Tethering D800

    Back to having issues. I have 2 diffrent repeaters and 2 diffrent USB 3 cables and the last 2 days shooting with a client its been off and on. Today I ripped the whole deal out and just shot to a card. It's one thing to have issues on your own time its another to have issues with clients on hand. And paying clients at that. I am shooting again in the morning. Ill give it one more shot at it but the whole process has been good and bad at times. Bottom line its just not freaking rock solid and it pisses me off. Im Shooting tethered in C1, MBP and supposedly repeaters and cables that are supposed to work. Here is where I dearly miss my Phase backs as they where 100 percent rock solid. This is cheesy and ultimately not reliable.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Tethering D800

    I'm shooting hundreds of frames entirely tethered with my D800E mounted to a custom DSLR film scanner which shoots arrays of images at once and I've found that using the Nikon USB3 cable with a USB2 active repeater to be the most trouble free. I'm on Windows but wanted to mention this method in case it helps. I cannot count on C1. I use Camera Control Pro also. C1 often shows me earlier thumbnails and previews than the current file, even after deleting the entire image folder and restarting C1. It's a nightmare. I suspect part of the problem is continuing teething pains from USB3 support.

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    Re: Tethering D800

    I should note that in the past I've used free-ware (or at least was at time) software called Sofortbild in place of CCP2 when I shot with a pair of D3S bodies, worked brillaintly at dumping files from bodies into a hot folder. But I moved away from it after shifting to a D3S+D800e pair when Sofortbild had issues with the 800/e. That may or may not still be the case.

    C1 would also occasionally give me issues like Daniel showing a file that was x shots back in time, etc.

    Yeah, there's nothing like testing the snot out of a setup between shoots and have it work flawlessly, then have the exact same setup throw brain farts in front of clients on shoot day for no apparent reason. Yup, good times.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Tethering D800

    Yesterday for the first time i got this updating camera profiles warning. Happened about 3 times. I have no idea where this came from as i never seen it before. C1 this is. Okay I have another repeater cord Im bringing this morning to my shoot which is already setup at clients plant with my lights and such just need to plug in basically. But after today I'm rethinking this tethering as I need rock solid. Nothing worse than being a 38 year Pro and looking like a idiot in front of a client, ****ing with this ****. Yea Im pissed but I'm also happy as this was a 1 day shoot that turned in 3 and more to come. Okay I can deal with that. ROTFLMAO

    BTW my Leica 19 R looks really freaking awesome. I'll post some of those next week. Seriously happy with that wide angle and I have a Zeiss 135mm F2 coming today. I'm stoked
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Tethering D800

    I've been using a D800 for about a year with C1 7 tethered w/ LiveView MBP 2011 and it is mostly stable now, and by that I mean I might get only 1 or 2 disconnects in a 4 hour shoot. It was not like this at all originally and I went through many painful shoots with the camera crashing in LiveView, which would crash C1, and require resetting camera and C1, etc.

    Very painful to figure out, first you blame the cord, then maybe how the cord jiggles in the camera, etc. But in my case it was the version of C1 in combination with OSX that caused the most issues. And its not as simple as "stay on 10.7 only," never upgrade from 10.6 either. The funny thing is, same hardware, but bootcamp to windows 7 and it NEVER-EVER crashes - however, your laptop will run crazy hot after awhile trying to work this way and you will fear for its thermal future. I seriously considered switching to a PC laptop after all the hell I went through, in fact if you query Phase they will often recommend PC gaming laptops....

    Anyways, I digress. This is what I am running at 95% stability, lots of LiveView (albeit manual focusing):

    MBP 2011
    OSX 10.8.2
    C1 Pro 7.1.2
    Nikon USB 3.0 + StarTech 6-Feet USB 3.0 Extension Cable

    *I still keep my 1DS MKIII around and it has proven to be the most reliable with C1, tethering & Live View. In C1 6 it never crashed, but version 7 it sometimes disconnects but very very rarely.

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    Re: Tethering D800

    One more thing to add since you are looking at a copy setup, the D800 behaves very oddly when in a overhead position pointed directly down - in LiveView it can't make up its mind to show you a portrait or landscape orientation of the scene and will sometimes wildly flip back and forth to the point that you have to adjust the camera plane away to get it to stop its spastic behavior. This always happens when shooting straight down with objects on a black background. I don't know if its a C1 or Nikon specific issue but nothing I've changed in the camera has alleviated it.

    2 more things I've noted on USB tethering on MBP, you need to use the first port, not the one closer to the screen, and don't let your laptop battery drain past 50% - the few errant disconnects I get now are usually when the power Lvl gets lower then 47%.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Tethering D800

    Starting to regret the order for the MBP now but Leaf said they won't recommend anything else. Sigh...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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