MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding Phase One IQ4, IQ3, IQ2 and IQ1 series digital camera backs.

MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Yankov Wong » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:31 pm

I have been having a lot of problem shooting tether with my IQ250 and my 15" MacBook Pro Retina.

The cable that I am using are Tether Tools, Tether Pro, USB 3.0. Sometimes I will use the active extension too.

The problem which comes back very often is that the connection lost during shoots. Particularly when the macbook pro is not connected to power outlets. Both the USB plug on the left and on the right of the Macbook pro have the same problem. Normally, it would work for a while and suddenly lost the connection and nothing else can be done other than resetting everything. Sometimes I even need to disconnect the battery of the IQ250 too.

The technical support from the dealer in Hong Kong is helping me a great deal but the problem is more than what they can help. People have been telling me that the voltage of the USB outlet of the Macbook Pro is not very stable particularly for tethering. I have already turned the battery charging in the IQ250 off, but the same thing happens.....Don't tell me that I can't tether shoot into my macbook pro outdoor. 80% of my jobs goes like this, and I am disappointed.
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby LSdigi.com » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:50 am

Yankov Wong wrote:I have been having a lot of problem shooting tether with my IQ250 and my 15" MacBook Pro Retina.

The cable that I am using are Tether Tools, Tether Pro, USB 3.0. Sometimes I will use the active extension too.

The problem which comes back very often is that the connection lost during shoots. Particularly when the macbook pro is not connected to power outlets. Both the USB plug on the left and on the right of the Macbook pro have the same problem. Normally, it would work for a while and suddenly lost the connection and nothing else can be done other than resetting everything. Sometimes I even need to disconnect the battery of the IQ250 too.

The technical support from the dealer in Hong Kong is helping me a great deal but the problem is more than what they can help. People have been telling me that the voltage of the USB outlet of the Macbook Pro is not very stable particularly for tethering. I have already turned the battery charging in the IQ250 off, but the same thing happens.....Don't tell me that I can't tether shoot into my macbook pro outdoor. 80% of my jobs goes like this, and I am disappointed.


Hey Yankov,

I havent encountered any issues while tethering to my personal laptop however I have on several Photographer's Retina MBP's. You could use a Hyperjuice if you shoot outdoors a lot, which in theory should solve your problem (although obviously it shouldn't be happening anyway). Also just to check is Battery Charging switched off?

You could use something like this and monitor dips in voltage http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JIFMXSK
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Jon » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:25 pm

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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Yankov Wong » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:24 am

I have tried everything we could and even the technician from the dealer was right beside me for more than an hour and still the same problem occurred. I am very frustrated as a professional user, and I need to tether A LOT. I am running all sorts of testes on my computer and it's working well, nothing strange.

Some other using my camera and their own computer got some very similar issue too..... I don't think that is acceptable.
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Sun6 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:41 pm

We have jsut updated our Macbook Pro recently, and am having the same problem. This this issue ever get resolved? I am on a V mount hasselblad, IQ250 back running into a retina macbook pro, 8 metres of USB 3 tethering cable- 1 tetherlock extension and the short Phase USB cable. When I tethered to our old 17inch the connection was rock solid. Now, if the camera sits idle for say 30 min, I have to restart the computer to get a connection again.
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Paul_Steunebrink » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:32 am

Sun6 wrote:...
I am on a V mount hasselblad, IQ250 back running into a retina macbook pro, 8 metres of USB 3 tethering cable- 1 tetherlock extension and the short Phase USB cable. When I tethered to our old 17inch the connection was rock solid.

There you go. You can not tether 8 meters of USB 3 without active regeneration of the signal through a hub or repeater. The max. is 3 meters. Your old 17" works because it uses USB 2. That is a different story. Please refer to the KB article Jon mentioned in this thread. It contains the solution.
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Sun6 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:15 am

Thanks Paul, I overlooked that article. Makes sense, but disappointing that tethering works flawlessly over USB 2 but not USB 3 unless you use a powered repeater.
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby noel1 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:59 am

call me old fashion, must be something wrong when you move from being able to shoot 10 meters away from a computer to 3 meters... :?
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby PhaseoneUser55657 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:37 pm

The issue is with the technology, USB2 was 480Mbps while USB3 is 5Gbps, a 10 times increase in bandwidth. With the increase in bandwidth, you decrease the length of cable, just physics.

If you really need to go with out a powered extender, I believe there is some optical USB3 cables that allow long travels.

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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Paqart » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:07 pm

I just did ten days of shooting in Thailand, almost all of it outdoors, and didn't run into this problem once. I was using the IQ 250 just like you, and the 13" retina MacBookPro. Is it possible that the problem is with your MacBook and not the camera?

*EDIT: just saw the tether length posts. I was using the three meter cable that came with the P1, so that would explain why I didn't have a problem.

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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby Paul_Steunebrink » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:35 pm

Paqart wrote:I just did ten days of shooting in Thailand, almost all of it outdoors, and didn't run into this problem once. I was using the IQ 250 just like you, and the 13" retina MacBookPro.
...
I was using the three meter cable that came with the P1, so that would explain why I didn't have a problem.

I think it make sense to quote and emphasize the statement above. The 3 meters is within specification of USB3.
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby NN142196UL1 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:47 pm

Get a repeater. I initially thought I had to plug power into the repeater, but you don't have to. The repeater requests more power from the laptop and solves all the issues. I'm currently shooting with a 10meter repeater cable, no issues...
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Re: MacBook Pro 15" Retina USB 3.0 Tethering Problem

Postby LSdigi.com » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:26 pm

The only way to get a stable connection (while having FAST charge via USB3) is using Tether Pro Booster with either AC adapter attached OR the battery unit for location.

First time I've used it with AC adapter with XF + 350 back with Tethertools 5m Active Extension + 4.6m Tethertools A-B, and the connection has been FLAWLESS.

USB power management - ON, Power Share - On - Charge From Computer - FAST. Without the booster the back made a buzzing sound and switched off. The only thing that drains (a tiny bit) is the camera battery, but it would last all day at a push.
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