DIY Wireless DSLR Tethering

For anyone who doesn’t have wireless built in to their camera, the notion of getting wireless control and viewing has always been either impossible, or, at a price, the domain of third party providers. There are a growing number of third party wireless tethering devices on the market: the CamRanger has been around for a while, but with the current model (the CamRanger 2) coming in at over £400, the chances of the budget-concious getting …

Make your own Lens Coat

On rare occasions I manage to find enough free time to get out and attempt to do some wildlife photography. When this happens I browse through my less than extensive collection of telephoto lenses and dig out my lens of choice – a Sigma 100-300mm f4 HSM. It’s a pretty decent bit of kit for someone on a relatively limited budget, as unlike a lot of cheaper tele zooms it’s actually sharp at the 300mm …

Taking Control of a Cheap Macro Ring Flash

Warning: this project requires opening the body of a strobe/flash unit containing a capacitor that holds enough charge at a high enough voltage to stop your heart if you discharge it through yourself. Therefore don’t try to follow this modification unless you have enough knowledge of electrical engineering to do it safely. There’s no doubt that a ring flash is a useful bit of kit for getting reasonably even illumination for close up work when …

Flexible Strobe Trigger

Where can you get hold of a flexible trigger unit for a portable strobe? I’ve got a few of these type of units, but the trouble with them is that if the key strobe unit is set to low power and the sensor isn’t in direct line of sight the firing of the receiver unit can range from fairly ‘hit and miss’ to entirely ‘miss’. This can get very frustrating. Separating the sensor from the …

Safe Sync Unit

You may have heard that old flash guns and heads shouldn’t be used with modern DSLRs, because their sync voltage (i.e. the voltage across the hot shoe or sync connector) can be very high. Tens of volts on the sync connections were common, but in some cases the voltages were in the hundreds. To find out the voltage level of an old flash unit a good place to start is here: http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html, preferably followed by …