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mikejl29

Radio Slaves/wireless Slaves Thread

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Alright, after numerous posts about slaves and people being dumb about them... I've compiled some info for people. Feel free to add details. If I left stuff out, it's either because I don't believe in it.. or because I just don't like it.

 

First up... The Camera

In order to get your flash off camera, you need to check what your camera is packin'. Do you have a hotshoe, a PC terminal, or both? Most lower end cameras these days won't come with a PC terminal.

 

D2H-PCPort.jpg

This shows the Nikon D2H which happens to have both a hotshoe and a PC terminal.

 

If your camera does not have a PC terminal and you are looking to use PC Cables (more on these further down) you will need something to convert the hotshoe to a PC. One of the best products to do this is the Nikon AS-15. I'm not sure if you can use this on a Canon SLR or DSLR but I don't see why not.

 

AS-15.jpg

This shows the Nikon AS-15 with the PC terminal coming out the back.

 

Now let's look at the Connection Method

There are three (ok there are more) ways to get the slave flash firing.

 

PC Sync Cords

Alright, these are basically some cords that run from your camera to the flash.

PCSync.jpg

The left side is a PC (Male) and the right side is a PC (Female).

If you would like to run more than one slave flash, you will need a splitting device that looks like this:

PC1to4.jpg

With this method you will need to plug the splitter into your camera or a sync cord between your camera and the splitter. From the splitter you would run a PC Female to (Insert Plug for your flash here).

 

You could also run a Hotshoe to Hotshoe adapter like the Nikon SC-17/SC-28/SC-29. This works exactly like it looks. One end plugs into the hotshoe, and the other has the flashes hotshoe slip into it. The bottom of the end for the flash has the threads for a tripod.

SC-17.jpg

 

 

Optical Slaves

Not going to give much detail on these because I don't like them. Essentially you have one flash fire from your main camera... and from there each slave flash has a sensor mounted to it. When it senses a burst of light over ambiant light, it fires the flash it's connected to. These suck during the day time though.

 

Radio Slaves... Pocket Wizards

Pocket Wizards are the greatest invention ever. They start with a transmitter mounted to the hotshoe of your camera.

PDub-Back.jpg

 

When the camera sends a signal to the hotshoe, the transmitter picks up that electrical pulse from the camera and emits a signal up to 300 feet around which is picked up by any receivers you have mounted to flashes in the area.

 

Now the receiver gets connected to a flash somehow through some cord. These cords must usually be purchased seperately. Some of the Pocket Wizard kits include a Miniphone to PC cable.

PDub-Top.jpg

This shows the top of the Pocket Wizard receiver where the Miniphone connection is plugged into.

 

 

Now let us study the FLASHES situation.

 

Different flashes have different connection that must be made. All manufacturers have different types of cables. To find out which works for your camera, head over to www.paramountcords.com and take a look at what they have before asking on Skate Perception. Those questions get really annoying.

 

Now... some things to think about.

The Nikon SB-800 has a built in PC terminal so you can use the Miniphone to PC cable that comes with Pocket Wizards.

SB-800.jpg

However, the Vivitar 285HV accepts a different cable called the VC-1.

Vivitar285-PC.jpg

In order to connect my Pocket Wizards to my Vivitars, I custom fabricated a cord built from an old set of headphones (Thats how I got the Miniphone) and from an Old VC-1 Vivitar cord.

MiniphoneToVivitar.jpg

 

 

Sometimes there are no inputs and you will just need to use a PC to Hotshoe converter. Here is an example of one made by Kaiser.

Kaiser-PCtoHotshoe.jpg

 

Remember, it's all about finding the cord that goes from your camera or your Pocket Wizard... and connects correctly to your flash.

 

In case you are wondering... it is possible to mix the two methods. You MAY connect more than one flash to a Pocket Wizard Receiver. Mamiya and Pocket Wizard have said it is OK to do but do not recommend more than 2 flashes per receiver. I have personally used 3 flashes from a single receiver without an issue.

 

Next we'll discuss Mounting your flash.

Your super cool flash and Pdubs arent just going to lie on the ground are they? I would hope not. This is where you get some lightstands or some shitty WalMart tripods and get your flash where you want it. Now... most tripods come with a screw on the top.. but that doesn't really fit a hotshoe does it? So we need something to convert that.

 

Here is an example of a product made by Kaiser.

TripodToHotshoe.jpg

I have also used a Nikon-AS19 for this purpose.

 

Now for a shot of the whole SHABANG...

FullSlaveSetup.jpg

 

 

Well that's all for now guys. Remember to feel free to add stuff to this. I am well aware that there are other methods (Infrared, Ebay Slaves, Nikon iTTL Creative Lighting, Canon eTTL) but the above methods are the ones I have the most experience with.

 

This is just an overall guide to get people started and understanding how the system works with slaves.

 

Take it easy,

Mike

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that really helps

i've been looking for a guide like this for a very long time

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Good Job!

This makes me so pissed off at the fact I have ebay slaves and not PW's. Basically, I wnt 2 slit my wrst or sumtin.

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No Jake, the last one merely attaches the flash to the tripod. However the Kaiser with the PC sync does have threads in the bottom.

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Good Job!

This makes me so pissed off at the fact I have ebay slaves and not PW's. Basically, I wnt 2 slit my wrst or sumtin.

Don't worry Jordan, I have pocket wizards.

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Amazing tutorial, props for all the time and effort put into this, I'm sure it will help a bunch of people.

 

Good Job!

This makes me so pissed off at the fact I have ebay slaves and not PW's. Basically, I wnt 2 slit my wrst or sumtin.

 

Hahaha, don't worry you aren't the only one that wants them real bad. Going off on a tanget here, but todays light setup: First I electrical taped my piece of shit promaster fm600..

FM600_130.jpg

to my lightstand. Because its been knocked over so many times, that both flaps have been broken off and lost(Ive found and reattached them a couple times). After I metered it, I metered my sb-26 flash, than I turned on the built in optical/light slave, reattached the ebay sync cord to my promaster, to find out that my 30ft in fact was not long enough. And getting a looser angle would risk knocking it over AGAIN. Ok enough of this essay. I'm sorry if I ruined this topic.

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Damn if we only had one this good about those ebay slaves so I can quit seeing topics about them.

 

pinned.

 

thanks mike!

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This will really help alot of the new photographers out, thanks for posting this Mike!

 

 

i'm a new photographer and this helped me out a huge deal, along with everything else on skateperception

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If I am wanting to use a flash with a pocket wizard, the flash doesn't have to be the same brand as my camerea right? since its just hooked into one of the pocketwizards and not my camera..

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wow, I'm not even a photographer and i could understand that pretty well.

this inspires me to get into photography, but i have other priorities with my money haha.

well at least i know how to set up some slaves now!

 

macbook>death lens>d50.

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Christmas.

My goal is to get 3 flashes going on PW's and instead of a telephoto lens Im just going to get 50mm hopefully. I love being like everyone else.

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This was helpful... but could someone clear this up for me?

 

I'm just getting into skate photography.

 

I own the Canon 580EX speedlite flash. Exactly what is everything else I need to have a nice set up of slaves and etc.?

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This was helpful... but could someone clear this up for me?

 

I'm just getting into skate photography.

 

I own the Canon 580EX speedlite flash. Exactly what is everything else I need to have a nice set up of slaves and etc.?

im gonna try not o be a dick, but did you like...read it?

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Hey, I was wondering if anyone has purchased pw's from the ebay seller ahmuay. I am planning on geting 2 units, 1 trans and 1 reciever for x-mas. And the 380 cost of getting 2 plus 2's off of bh is looking rather pricey, especially since I just got a season pass to sunday river. This ebay guy is apparently seeling 2 new plus 2's for 339 buy it now, and 15 shipping. But he also has the regular plus model for 305 + 15, and that is looking like the way to go. 60 dollars, save and the product is new. I just wanna make sure this guy is legit.

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