Ghetto Wireless Flash Triggers

•November 9, 2009 • 2 Comments

My ghetto “RF-602” wireless flash triggers arrived last Friday, so I thought that I best write a mini review if you have not heard about them.

Previously I had triggered my speed lights and strobes via stock and homemade PC synch cables. This is a reliable method; however it is quite inflexible especially when it comes to manoeuvrability as you are constantly tethered between the camera and your light hardware. I only became aware of the RF-602 wireless triggers after viewing a picture on Flickr taken by the talented http://www.flickr.com/photos/30401683@N06/. Amazon seemed to be a reliable source for acquiring the device, so an order was placed on the Wednesday, with the hardware promptly arriving on the Friday morning.

The RF-602 operates at a frequency of 2.4GHZ, with the option to use 16 different channels to avoid any interference issues from other devices. The pidgin English instructions detail the supported camera models as being : Canon Eos 1D,1DS,5D,5DII,7D,10D,20D,30D,40D,50D. The device does not support ETTL mode and the highest synch speed is 1/250 second. The greatest operating distance of the transmitter/receiver is quoted at 100 metres (328 feet), which is ideal for the majority of photographers. The battery life of the transmitter will give you around 20,000 exposures and the receivers battery life expectancy is 45 hours.

The package consisted of the following items:-
  • X1 Transmitter
  • X2 Receivers
  • Remote Cord
  • 6.35mm (1/4″) PC Sync Cord,
  • 6.35mm to 3.5mm Plug Converter
  • Batteries for Transmitter (AAA Duracell) & Receiver (CR2 lithium unknown)
Major Parts of RF-602:
A. Controller/Transmitter:
  • Shutter Button
  • PC Input Socket
  • Operation Indicator lamp
  • Hot Shoe Mount
  • Channel Switch
B. Receiver :
  • Power Switch
  • Channel Switch
  • Hot Shoe Socket
  • 3-Pin Shutter/Trigger Output Port
  • Hot Shoe Mount + 1/4″ thread for Tripod Bolt
C. Accessories:
  • Remote Cord
  • 6.35mm(1/4″) PC Sync Cord
  • 6.35mm to 3.5mm Plug Converter
  • Batteries for Transmitter
Day One
My 1D was not at hand at the time, so I began my first test with the Canon G9 compact camera. The transmitter fitted snugly on the hot shoe plate of the G9, with the receiver being hooked up to the Canon 580EX speed light. The dip switches were left in their default state for testing. The receiver synchronised with the transmitter as soon the shutter button was half depressed. I was quite surprised to find out that they successfully worked, with no signs of misfiring either. The test was repeated, this time with an extra Canon 480EX speed light being used in conjunction with the 580EX. Success again! Both flashes triggered simultaneously and no misfires were registered. Limited testing of the range of the devices, in this case 10 metres, was also carried out and once again I can confirm that the devices interacted as they should, with no misfiring.

Time for testing the gear with the big Canon! I repeated the same set of protocols as I had used with the G9. Once again I ended up with a 100% success rate without any issues or misfires. The last challenge of the day was to test out the functionality of the remote shutter trigger. A receiver was placed on the hot shoe plate of the 1D, with the three pin remote lead connected (screws into place) from the receiver to the remote control terminal on the side of the 1D. The camera was set to manual focus and a number of test exposures were fired off. Another success was achieved, with the camera triggering each time.

Day Two
Triggering my Elinchrom strobes were the last set of tests that I completed during the weekend. A receiver was hooked up to the Elinchroms via the supplied 6.35mm (1/4″) PC Sync Cord and 6.35mm to 3.5mm Plug Converter. Around 500 exposures were taken without any issues and no misfires occurred.

The only concerns that I do have relate to the durability of the devices. You would not want to drop them from a height as they would disintegrate! No clear weather sealing is visible, therefore it would be unwise to use them in damp/wet conditions and expect them to be 100% reliable.

I will end this post by saying that you cannot go wrong for the price, they are excellent value for money and a no-brainer purchase especially if you are a beginner to the strobist world.

Paul Douglas
RF-602 Wireless Flash Triggers

RF-602 Wireless Flash Triggers

Long time, no post!

•October 24, 2009 • 1 Comment
Terry

Terry

The wedding season is truly over for me this year and it certainly was a busy period. I do have the proof editing for the final ceremony that I shot two weeks ago to complete, although I thought that I would start doing some personal work again to keep the creative flow going. I do have a number of ideas that I would like to translate to digital media, so let’s hope that I find the time to do it all.

A big thank you goes out to both Hannah and Terry for being such great models for me during the last two sessions that I did shot, much appreciated.
Paul Douglas

The wedding season is truly over for me this year and it certainly was a busy period!

I do have the proof editing for the final ceremony that I shot a couple of weeks ago to complete, although I thought that I would start shooting  some personal work again to keep the creative flow going.

I do have a number of ideas that I would like to translate to digital media, so let’s hope that I find the time to do it all.

A big thank you goes out to both Hannah and Terry for being such great models for me during the last two sessions that I shot, much appreciated.

Paul Douglas

Terry

Terry

Hannah

Hannah

Back Lighting

•April 2, 2009 • 2 Comments
Scotty

Scotty

Sunday was a gorgeous day in Gloucester, although  everyone was still recovering from my sister’s 50th birthday bash held the night before….I decided to take advantage of the weather and attempt to use the sunshine as a back light.

Technique…

A test shot was fired to get a rough idea of the aperture and shutter speeds required to shoot into the sun. I rigged up a 480EX flash gun, on a light stand, to the left hand side of my target location to act as a fill light; this was bare and set to half power. A ring flash modifier (more info to follow soon!) was attached to a 580EX flash gun (camera mounted) and set to full power; this was acted as the main light.

Oh, I am not that high tech, not yet anyway! The 430EX (butchered the day I bought it to mount a jack socket) was attached to the camera via a home made PC sync cable, it works every time for me🙂

Bring on the budding model…..

My sister’s youngest son, Scotty (slightly hung over!) was kind enough to volunteer as a model for the session. Once he was in place a few more test photos and adjustments were made until I was happy with the final setting; ISO 50, Exposure 1/60sec, Aperture f/16, Evaluative Metering.

Conclusion…

I am quite happy with the overall effect achieved here and I will most certainly be revising this in the future. The only real pain that I experienced was using an aperture of f/16 which revealed a serious amount of dirt on my camera’s sensor…I must give it a good cleaning soon!

Paul Douglas

Mobile Phone Photography

•December 14, 2008 • 2 Comments
Street Art

Street Art

We are living in an era where the majority of the populous now has access to capturing images via mobile telephone. These images can be captured, edited within the telephone itself and uploaded to sites such as Flickr, or personal Blogs in an instance.

Many people have asked me why I capture images on my phone as opposed to using my ‘real’ camera. It is another tool in the hands of a photographer as far as I am concerned, no different to taking images with a pin-hole or with a media format camera.

I tend to use mine quite often for documenting ideas for future photo shoots that I see in magazines/papers and scouting locations, etc. They are extremely versatile and should never be discounted as being a toy.

My tips on using these devices would be to kill the flash, this is one of the worst ways that you could trash a potentially good image. Try and ensure that you make use of available light and use exposure compensation if your device permits its use. Do not be afraid to post process the final image on your computer, you will be surprised with the results that you can achieved with the odd tweak.

The image displayed in this post was captured on the Nokia N95 mobile phone, the location was a pedestrian walk way in St.Albans.

Further links to examples of my mobile phone photography can be viewed by clicking the option at the top right hand side of this page.

Happy Snapping!

Portraiture Photography

•November 25, 2008 • 1 Comment
Mike

Mike

Portraiture, or portrait photography is one of my favourite forms of the art. The gentleman that you see posing on the right is Mike, a work colleague, who was kind enough participate in a photo shoot during the summer time. Mike is a talented French horn player, so the objective of the shoot was to capture a character portrait of him. The only major stumbling block that occurred during the shoot was the appearance of myself and the flash on the highly polished surface of the French horn. I managed to conceal myself on most of the shots, however I did not succeed all of the time…it’s not too noticeable though. Thanks to Mike for allowing me to use his image on this blog. Further examples of my portraiture work can be found by clicking the portraiture link at the top right hand side of this page.

Children’s Portraiture

•November 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment
stockgrove

Maura

The last couple of weeks have been hectic with my time spare time being split between children’s portraiture and commercial (samples to follow) photo shoots. This is the first time that I have taken portraits of other people’s children and I must say it was an experience. I felt as though I expended more energy during the shoot than I normally would in a 10km race.

Samples of Adele and Ryan’s photo shoot can be viewed by clicking the children’s portraiture link towards the top right of this page. A kind thank you goes out to Nichola and Jerry for allowing me to use the images of their wonderful children on this blog site.

The image on the left portrays my youngest daughter, Maura, strolling through Stockgrove park.

Boards Of Canada

•November 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Boards Of Canada

Boards Of Canada

Boards Of Canada refers to one of my favourite bands who hail from Scotland and not from Canada as the name might suggest. I’m rambling….back in October I completed a photo gig for the SnoSnow that was held at the Xscape Centre in Milton Keynes. It was  the coldest shoot that I have completed to date, but I had fun. Respect to the guys and girls who performed in the freestyle session and also to those who  appeared in the  fashion show. Photography from the shoot can be found by clicking the Sports Photography (Extreme) link at right hand side of the web page. I’ve also included a photo of Robin Fenlon, editor of RIDE magazine,  pulling some major air over a set of stairs in London. Enjoy!

Camera: Canon Model: Canon EOS-1D ISO: 1600 Exposure: 1/30 sec Aperture: f/4.5 Focal Length: 32mm Flash Used: Yes

 
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