Monday, March 2, 2009

What have you torn apart lately?

DaNece and I went out to play with flash photography over the weekend and I found a huge limiting factor to my setup. The SC-28 chord that I purchased only lets me get a few feet away from the flash. That’s great if I am just holding the light off to the side with my hand, but when I set it up on a tripod and go to move around D it was severely limiting.


I almost dragged my flash over a number of times, which got me thinking that there must be extension cables out there. And surely, there are. For the cost of a whole ‘nother cable I could put the two together to get a 6’ cable… not exactly what I had in mind.


So I browsed the internets and found an article about hacking this $50 cable to bits. I got out the knife and cut right through the cable. I hoped this would work.


A trip to Home Depot to pick up a couple of female network jacks, and a few minutes of separating wires and punching them down into the jacks. I was done:


I plugged it all in, threw a 25’ network cable on it, and turned the camera on. The cam showed a flash connected, the flash showed connection to camera, and I fired off a test:


SUCCESS! And instead of a $50 cable for three measly feet, I spent $10 on some jacks, and about $10 for the cable!


Chickenbells said...

Totally cool...I love it when those do it yourself projects go well!

TomboCheck said...

Sadira - Me too. Normally mine are on the less-than-successful side though. :)

Rob said...

Is there a reason you're not using a slave unit? I usually have a slave on a seperate tripod and trigger it with a small fill flash or some-such, and not cords to trip over! :D Just a thought:

(you can get them radio activated if you don't want to use another flash for the trigger)

TomboCheck said...

Rob - The D90 actually has i-TTL built in, as does the SB-600. So I can command the flash remotely with infrared (and keep TTL no less!). The problems with this are:

A. You need line of sight (mostly, as infrared does bounce a bit). This might limit me a bit in the creativity department.

B. Range of the built in system (and any infrared or optical system) is limited. Not as big of a deal when it is dark, but during daylight you reach that limit pretty quickly as I found out when me and D went out over the weekend).

C. No matter what the manufacturers tell you, the commander flash does fire during the shutter cycle, which may put out light that is unwanted.

D. I'm a cheapskate who doesn't want to buy a set of Pocket Wizards which won't retain TTL capabilities.

And it was just fun to see if I could do it. :) For $10 I got a very reliable extension that doesn't take up much more room than the existing ttl cable.