Triping the Light Fantastic

Small accessories can sometime make the difference between being able to make a shot or not. Nowhere in photography is this truer than when trying to synch studio flash units with your SLR.

One of the formerly SLR standard features that has all but disappeared from today’s entry and mid-level digital SLRs is the traditional PC (Prontor-Compur) synch connection. There is, on many models, simply no place to plug a synch cord from a studio light But one feature that even the least expensive digital SLR does have is a hot shoe. If your camera doesn’t have a PC outlet but does have a hot shoe, all you need to is slide on Smith Victor’s inexpensive ($14.95) Hot Shoe to PC Adapter and you’ll be able to connect a standard sync-cord and get that shot.

What if you want to use a shoe-mount flash and your camera has a PC outlet but lacks a hot shoe? (Admittedly, we are probably talking about an older and film-based SLR but I know they are plenty of those shooters out there because Mary gets plenty of e-mail from them about her Daypack backpack.) Adorama’s  PC to Hot Shoe Adapter with Connecting Cord provides a hot shoe for those cameras that lack one and also lets you use the shoe-mount flash off camera. The cord is about 7 inches long and the whole megillah only costs $9.95.

If you want to eliminate the synch cord entirely, here’s another suggestion. I’m a bit of a klutz when working in the studio and have, more than once, stumbled over a power cord and more times than I can count, over a synch cord. For me and others like me, a wireless trigger is the best and safest solution for tripping the light fantastic.

The studio portrait at left was made using two Flashpoint II monolights (a model 620 and a model 320) that were wirelessly tripped using their built-in slave units and a Flashpoint Infra Red Remote Trigger mounted on a Canon EOS 5D. Manual exposure was 1/15 sec at f 7.1 and ISO 100. ©2011 Joe Farace

Tip: In addition to being able to trip monolights with built-in or external slave units, the Flashpoint Infra Red Remote Trigger will fire many shoe-mount flashes that have built-in infrared receivers. For Canon speedlite users, it operates much like a simplified version of the company’s Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 but without the sophisticated controls. It will just fire the strobes but if that’s all you need the price differential is significant.


Author: Joe Farace

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