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Understanding Wireless Triggers

Lesson 15 from: FAST CLASS: How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

Understanding Wireless Triggers

Lesson 15 from: FAST CLASS: How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

15. Understanding Wireless Triggers

Lesson Info

Understanding Wireless Triggers

So now let's get a little more complicated. Let's go, Wireless. Let me show you how this is gonna work. Take this down. The next is a very low cost solution. And it's a little flash. Pulls detector. No. Okay. This little guy? Well, slave trigger. I bought this on Amazon a couple weeks ago, and I have others in my kit, but, uh, less than 10 bucks, and it's super simple. Basically, one thing here and the only purpose of the of the foot is to mount on another what we call a cold shoe, You know, another mounting plate or on a stud just like that. Okay, then what you do is you take your flash again any flash that you own, and you just put that flash on there. But the difference now is that flash can Onley work in manual mode? There's no t tl control. There's nothing automatic about this. How this works is it sees a pulse of light, and then it says thing. Fire, fire. So pulse of light fire. It's that simple in that straightforward, no sophisticated technology. All right, so here, I'm gonna p...

ull out. This one is Ah, SB 700 Nikon Flash. I just put that here on the shoe, just like that. And now I have to set this for manual output. It won't work on T t L because there's no like camera to communicate with it anymore, right? So I on this specific flash, I said it to manual mode with the switch on the side. So I go down a manual mode and then to change the output. Well, I have to push, you know, the output button and then rotate the dial. And I can change it anywhere from 1/1 full power all the way down to the minimum amount of flash output, which is, you know, 1 64th 128th power. Cool. So let's see how this works. Put that in here. Now, You want this little sensor to be basically pointed to wherever the camera is because the camera's going to send out a pulse of light to this. So almost all flash heads have the ability to rotate the flash head. So point the sensor to the camera and the flash head towards whatever you know, the lightbox subject. You know, whatever you're shooting, just like that. So next we have to tell that thing to fire. So how can we tell that thing to fire? Well, we have to send a pulse of light that way. So I grabbed this camera first. This is the Nikon D 500. There is no pop up flash on this camera. So this camera in and of itself cannot trigger that because there's no flash poll. So I have to get a different camera that actually has a little pop up flash. I just so happen to have one. Okay, amazing. So this is this cameras the Nikon D 7 50 And when I push my flash button up comes this. So that's now a flash trigger. But there's a caveat. When you pop up this little flash, most cameras default. This little flash to t t l. Oh, interesting. So if this flash fires in T tl mode, do you remember what happens in t TL mode? Remember, there's, like a pre pulse like a pre flash. Then it comes back to the camera camera, makes a decision real fast, and then it sends the rial flash. Guess what? This suckered us when that pre flash goes out, it fires this. And then when the shutter actually opens? No, it doesn't fire. So you have to set up your pop up to be manual as well. All right, so here we go. If I go to the menu system and in the Nikon system, I just go to is called the Bracketing and flash Menu. All cameras have some type of flash control inside the menu system. I go in there and it's called flash Control for Built in Flash. Right. That's That's the built in flash. This one right there. I go into there and I say, I want this built in flash to be manual output. Okay, most DSL ours have this option manual output, and then I can choose what power level for manual output. Just because I want to, I'm gonna pick 1 32nd power. That's not You can choose whatever value you want. Just know that if you go too much power on this guy, it will impact the photo, and you don't want that. So you want it low enough so that it triggers that, but not high enough so that it doesn't impact the subject, so I'll just pick 1 32nd just for grins and giggles. Cool. Now, when I take my picture, that fire's from this pulse. I think it did. Oh, yeah, it did. Good. How many times do I have to do that? To learn from my own mistake, not stared it? Yeah. So that's super simple, right? Almost no technology involved. Other than this little $10 trigger, you already have your flash. You already have your little pop up. And now this can literally go anywhere on set anywhere in stage, and I can trigger it remotely. So let's say I do take that photo Pau and Andre are Model is too bright. How do I reduce the power on this? Yeah, I got to go over there, right? So I come here and I push the flash power output, and I just rotate that down to whatever half power quarter power, eighth power, See? So that's neat. Inexpensive. One of the easiest ways to go for ah for triggering. Let's say that you don't want to buy one of these, and all you have is to say that cheap $30 flash or inexpensive $30 flash from Amazon. Let's go back to that one. These flashes like this ones made by a company called Apple A light A p e r l A t e. And most of the flashes in this genre, like Amazon basics, they have one as well, but they have a mode called slave mode. And on this one, specifically, there's s one in s two. And these slave modes are exactly the same. Is that little I, um, product that I just showed you that little $10 sensor. Um, and it detects the light from this little port here on the side. So even so, you you might not even have to buy one of those little triggers. Your your flash might have it built in right to the flash itself. It's just called straight slave mode. And so that the way that's gonna work again as you put that on your light stand. And then you rotate that sensor towards your camera and then the flash fires and you again, you have to set the fans the manual output, 1 64th power. Whatever. So that's another inexpensive way. You might even already own a flash that has a straight slave mode. No, real technology here, and every all the questions we've had up to this point still pertain. It may not register. In fact, I know from experience this little flash, I have to be pretty close for it to trigger. So I know on this flash, I don't let it be just a straight slave. I usually have some other thing attached to it that senses the trigger better. Maybe a radio trigger or maybe a different product. A different slave. Well, speaking of different slaves, there are other types. This is a Nikon product, and it's outdated. You can't find anymore, but it's called the S. U four. And there's if you look hard, maybe on eBay, Craigslist or something. You can sometimes find these things laying around. But they're just different types of slaves from different manufacturers. This one just happens to be a Nikon. So in this one, I can literally put this right here, and it's designed their ago. It's designed to be just a slave trigger so real similar. The base here rotates around, and then it also this little The sensor goes up and down so you can kind of get a little bit more control over how it receives the input. But this is just one more way to do basic slave trigger flash photography. Nothing. No real technology here. All the control still happens here in the back of the menu. Right? So that's standard slaves. Let's talk about the next one. Um Oh, am wireless original manufacturer wireless. And the truth is, I'm gonna um Yeah, let me talk about this one right now, so oh, am wireless? Both Canon and Nikon have a technology. Now that does radio trigger. Okay, they both do radio trigger for remote flashes. The newest Nikon cameras have this, but the canon cameras have had it for a few years. All right, so that's this little sucker. Okay, this little sucker here is the What's the brand was the product name. Oh, yes, it's the WR Dash 8 So many little names. But Canon has something similar. Sometimes the cannon is built into the body on the Nikon D five sometimes is built in the body, but this one, it requires this little radio control, and it just screws here into the side of the camera. It's called the 10 Pin. So screws into the 10 pin just like that. Great. And you see this little green light blinking now and it's now looking or listening for another radio enabled flash. So here we've got the Nikon SB 5000. Okay, the SP 5000. Now, this is the only flash in the Nikon world Right now. That's also radio trigger herbal. And when I say radio, what I mean is it doesn't use optical light to trigger it uses radio to trigger it. And so, if I said this for remote, here we go. I said it for remote and it's looking for a link and so I can trigger this wirelessly with the radio trigger. Now I can put this behind a table. I can put it up in the rafters. It can be 30 feet away, 60 feet away, 100 feet away and a little trigger with just a radio pulse. And so radio is much more flexible. It's also a bit more reliable than just the optical trigger. So this takes a little bit of learning in a little bit of understanding. I'm not going to go in the technical details. I will point to another creativelive class that I talk. I did teach a whole creative life class on this specific topic, so we won't go into the details here because it is a little bit complicated, but it's reliable and consistent, and I use this quite a bit. One of the advantages of going with this system is that you can control everything. Basically from the camera. The deal is you can control T T l. You can control manual right here from the back of the flash. So, like, if this flash will call it flash number one if I want that to be a t T l flash, are you just right here from the back of the camera? Make it T t l This flash. If I wanted to be a manual output, I can do that. And without actually approaching the flashes, I can make them brighter or darker right here from the back menu. So these, these mean you can stay back kind of in your creative space. You don't have to approach the flashes a little bit less walking around. It's a really good, reliable system. Okay, so that's basically a radio trigger. Ah, and its integrated very well with the camera. system. Okay, so let's now talk about both the Nikon and Canon Wireless. Both of these manufacturers have of similar but slightly different type of control. This one I know, I confined immediately go to this camera. So this one basically is called the Creative Lighting System, and it's based on optical trigger and so optical meaning it's sending instructions through pulses of light like Did the Did the did it. It's like Morse code for Flash. It's like, Hey, flash over there. Shoot at T T l plus 1.7 and you flash you go t t l minus 0.3. It's actually telling the other flashes how to behave through pulses of light. So you had set up this little pop up to be a commander flash. And then if you see here, you can see Group A. I'm telling Group A, which is, you know, the first flash. I went to B T TL at this brightness in Group B. I want you to be t tail at that brightness, so that's pretty cool again. It's just another way to control those remote flashes, but it is doing it with pulses of light, so maybe you have a Nikon like this is a D 7 50 Basically, all the noon icons from you know 4 4005 onward have this technology built into the camera system, So you may already own that. What does it work with and what does it not work with? Well, it works with Nikon brand flashes. Sometimes it works with off brand flashes like If you buy, let's say, like $150 flash from Auto Rama or B NH and it says Nikon Wireless T T L. Then it will also work with that kind of third party flash. I have a bunch of flashes up here and you know, one of them is this tiny little Nikon SB 500. It's dinky. It runs off of too Little Double A's. This works in that wireless system, just fine. So on this is, you know, this is like 100 $80 or $200 flash from Nikon. So it only works with Nikon flashes owed, not necessarily with any any other brands unless it specifically says, Hey, I work in the Nikon CLS creative lighting system. Cannon has something similar. OK, so let's talk about the next idea and these I'm gonna combine together. Okay, These I'm gonna combine together. There's basically two types of radio trigger. Well, there's way more than two types of radio triggers, but you've got these, which is like 1/3 party. No one's ever really heard of this. It's called Young New Oh, young, young New. Oh, sure, that works. And you also got stuff higher instead, that lots of photographers have heard of which are pocket wizards. Okay, Now these air radio triggers in other words, this which it will be on the camera. Sens information to that one, which is on the flash. But it just trigger information. It doesn't tell it to go brighter or darker, so it all has to be manual output. You know, the flashes all have to be manual control in both the pocket wizard. Actually, now, Aziz, the years have gone on pocket. Wizard now has t TL control systems, and they work in the canon world. They also work in the Nikon world. So when you buy a pocket wizard that says t t l control, make sure it's dedicated for your specific type of camera. Okay, These air for lack of a better term. I'll just say unsmiling radio triggers, right? It just It's basically circumventing the optical path and going to a radio path. These little setups, they do have multiple channels, the multiple groups, these buttons allow you to control all that. So I can you know, I can make this flash fire and that flash not fire. I can still control that right from here. Let's go through. And I'll just show you a simple in a quick set up for how this works. Okay, so ah, we'll grab a flash. Any flash will do. And so for this, I will use this app for light this $30 flash and this will be the remote. Okay, so that's just gonna mount like this onto here. Screw it down so it doesn't fall off. Turn on the flash. And let's see, of all the modes I've been talking about, how do we want this flash to behave manual? Want to be manual mode, So I push the mode button until it says manual. Okay. Well, now I have to find a way to, like, mount this toe my flash system, you know, to my lighting stand. The bottom of this is just ah, hot shoe, basically hotfoot. So I gotta have some way to mount that. I'm depending on the type of set up by a use, you might have these little flash stands These air worth their weight in gold. Hopefully got one for free when you bought your flash. If you didn't go out and buy one, they're very inexpensive and they're just plastic. And that allows you to mount that to the bottom here. And then there's 1/4 by 20 thread, and that will mount to your light stand just like that. Okay, so that's one way to mounted on the light stand cool. Another option, this is this is a soft box bracket basically and is designed to work with your speed lights. So this is a separate, separate product that you would buy. I recommend getting it like a soft box speed light bracket. You know something along those types of terms, their name differently on all the websites and all the products. But basically, what that does is it allows you to mount the flash into your high end soft box stuff. Come on, you gotta unscrew that all the way. There we go. So now I took off. That's fancy foot. And that just mounts here into this. Just like that. Cool. Now what? Well, now. And we'll see this in a minute as I put a soft box. For now, maybe I'll just do an umbrella. No, I won't do an umbrella. I will do a soft box because this is designed for a lock box. I won't actually mount it cause we're gonna do that later. But the idea is now this soft box come out to the speed ring. This here is called a speed ring, and it's designed to just mount this in there like that. So this is a soft box, and this soft box is relatively expensive, but you confined inexpensive ones in the maybe 75 $200 range. I love soft boxes. I think they're really important for photography for off camera flash photography, but they can be slightly pricey. Okay, so that's mounting this sucker onto some type of light stand. Yes. Well, put this back onto here just so you can see what's going on. Okay, again, this flash needs to be set for manual output. cool. Now let's go to the camera and we'll use back to my Nikon d 500 this other radio trigger out of here. Okay, so just gonna mount that on the hot shoe. Straightforward. And now the next thing is, you want to make sure that the channel is lined up here with the channel on there and, like, this has six different channels. Channel 123456 And the reason why we have different channels so that multiple photographers can be in the same room at the same time. So you get Channel One and you get two and three and four. You know, maybe we're in a basketball arena, and you want your lights to not be triggered by my trigger. And so we all kind of handshake ahead of time and agree to take different channels. Same same type of set up overall where we, uh I eso and shutter speed and aperture all that works. And now we just trigger think of and there's really no distance limitation on this. There's also really you can shoot. This could be on the other side of a window. It could be on the settleable wall could be behind your subjects. And it's almost always gonna trigger. Yep. Armpit. Yep. Good. Worked behind the head. I'm Norwegian. Got a lot of thick skull here. Yeah, so it always worse. So that's cool. Triggering with a radio trigger. Pocket wizards are I would say they're kind of the industry standard for this type of radio trigger. They are very expensive. Ah, basic pocket wizard kit. You know, it's in the hundreds of dollars. The wireless stuff that does, Like the T TL. The TL pocket wizards are multiple hundreds of dollars. So I wouldn't necessarily recommend going there, especially no. Since the whole purpose of this class is to show kind of your first flash. So with their first flashes, get something like this this young you. Oh, honey, even if I'm saying that right young, you owe this only cost me about $40 on Amazon, maybe 30 bucks. It wasn't that expensive. I got it. I opened it up. I looked through it and I was working with it. I'm like, Oh, it's actually fairly sophisticated. I got lots of groups. Um, another cool thing about this is you can just trigger your camera remotely by setting this up with. There's a little cable here that comes out and it can go here into the 10 pin, and so you can do that. Use this like a remote trigger, not necessarily flashes remote. Trigger that camera, so it's a wireless remote trigger as well.

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a Creativelive Student
 

Great fast-class! Mike Hagen got straight to the point and made it super easy to understand!

user-182390
 

Great course very informative and so easy to understand.

Craig
 

The class covers exactly what you would expect. Very good basic information about how to set-up and operate a flash on any camera. Mike was extremely personable and communicated very well.

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