YongNuo Wireless Shutter Trigger: Reviewed

18 Oct

Today I’ll be reviewing the second item in my Friday goodie-bag, my highly anticipated “Wireless Shutter Release” from YongNuo. It has a similar, yet slightly modified design in comparison to the OEM Canon LCD remote (yet identical to some after-market copies), but I find it fantastic in it’s ease of use, and ergonomics to boot.



I purchased the remote, along with various other goodies, from YongNuo’s official eBay store, for three simple reasons:

  1. They offered free shipping to South Africa
  2. in the (not too unlikely) case of an item arriving broken in the box, I’m fully covered by the warranty. This warranty often falls away when purchasing from 3rd party online retailers offering discounted rates.
  3. They were really helpful when I messed up my order on eBay.

Features & Functions

This remote really is quite packed with features for the $50 price tag it ran from the manufacturer’s eBay store, including:

  • Single shutter button
  • Bulb shutter with “hold” switch
  • User-specified delay time
  • User-specified long exposure time
  • User-specified Intervalometer, with a shot-limit of 399, and then infinite.
  • An LED for focus confirm and actuation confirm (Green for focus, Amber for shutter)
  • a (faint) backlight!

What is quite remarkable about this little device is that one can stack the functions, ie:


delay of 5 seconds → long exposure of 10 minutes with a second-timer
or
delay of 4 hours (until sunset) → timelapse exposures of night sky, each 30 seconds long, for 8 hours (or however long your camera battery lasts)

Ease of Use

I really can’t compare this to anything but my Time Machine, but in any case this remote is dead-simple to use throughout.
One simply uses the directional pad to move through each page of functions (pictured) so:

First set the delay (00:00’00 if not required) then long exposure (again, zero if not needed) then the intervalometer, and then your number of shots (after this you can specify if you want to hear a beep after each actuation).
To start your program, simply hit the “Timer Start/Stop” button, and away you go. Wirelessly.

Range Testing

I got a chance this weekend to test the remote’s range, and was happy to see it was still firing at 180 ft (60m), anything further and I started getting shaky results – Regardless, living in South Africa, I don’t think I’ll ever be more than 180ft from my camera at any point in time, so I’m not too phased.
I should add, I tested this flash in a relatively quiet (in terms of radio-interference) suburb, with maybe 6 wireless networks in range. I’m not sure whether testing in a city or heavy RF areas would yield different results, but I’ll make a note to test such a situation soon.

Battery

The battery life on this remote really is fantastic, and far outperforms that of my Time Machine (although in it’s defense, the time machine is packed with a load more features.)
The wireless remote has no power switch, and so requires removing one/both of the AAA batteries, which I have yet to do, and as such, it’s been functioning very well for the past three four days and counting.

In conclusion, I have to say that for $50, this wireless remote is an absolute gem. It’s light, but not so light that you feel you’re using a kid’s toy. It’s slim, easy to use, has great battery life, and has a good range that far surpassed my needs.

RF-602 Wireless flash trigger: reviewed

17 Oct

I’ve been excited to try some wireless flash triggers since I started really getting into Strobism, and since my remote flash cable really doesn’t get past 3 feet without the flash falling over , it seemed time to splurge on the $30 RF-602’s from YongNuo.
I have to say, if the packaging is anything to go by, these nifty devices are of a higher quality than I expected, with an outer shell of card, and a thick inner shield of packaging cardboard, the 602’s were nestled snugly, each piece in a blanket of bubble-wrap, cables and all.

These really aren’t the most complex pieces of equipment, and it was as simple as popping (included) batteries in, flipping switches to “on” and connecting everything, but not in that order. Connecting the flash after turning the trigger on results in a confirming flash pop, which I wasn’t expecting. 😦

I got  a chance to do a range test this morning, and managed to confirm a distance of over 240 ft, or 80 metres, on a clear day in a quiet suburb. I’m not entirely sure what difference it would make if I were in a city, or an area with lots of network interference, but I’ll keep an eye out for anything.

 

I’ve heard of people receiving their 602 kits with bits broken inside, or the flash shoe coming off after a day or two’s use. I can’t attest to the quality of my purchase just yet, I have to say they feel incredibly well-built for the price. I’ve dropped both pieces twice now with no problems -knock on wood- and placing them at an extreme angle on a light stand doesn’t trouble the receiver whatsoever.
I’ll use this opportunity to say that I’m glad I ordered from YongNuo’s official eBay store, as I’ve found that quite a few online retailers offering discounted rates without the warranty. I personally feel better having the warranty for a piece of equipment that is admittedly rather cheap, and of lesser quality, being shipped across the world.
I have to say, I really appreciate the slim footprint of the receiver, with nearly nothing in the way of ports and buttons, it keeps itself ever-so-slim, much thinner than some of the “poverty wizard” competition, and much slimmer than the feature-packed pocket wizards.

 

I think these little guys are a fantastic addition to anybody’s kit bag, especially avid strobists, learning the ways of off camera flash for as low a price tag as possible. (I’m not being thrifty, I’m saving…)

 


Goodie Bag Friday

16 Oct

My first bag of goodies I’ve ordered from YongNuo arrived last night. Express from Hong Kong to South Africa in 3 weeks flat, not bad in my opinion.

YongNuo Goodies

I decided to order from YongNuo’s offical eBay site , as they offer free shipping on most of their products, and while sometimes the products are priced a tad higher, having the assurance that your product comes with some sort of warranty is quite reassuring. Especially when dealing with, lets face it, relatively cheap camera gear from china.

The small bag was quite stuffed, and consisted of one set of RF-602 wireless flash triggers, a wireless shutter trigger, an el’ cheapo flash diffuser and some eye-cups, which I tend to lose at a worrying rate.

Reviews of the wireless shutter release and RF-602 triggers to follow soon.

 

Dedicam – A (much) cheaper alternative to the real thing

12 Oct

Amazing for sports and event cinematography, probably less amazing for secret spy work.

This morning, while looking for some inspiration for my DIY remote pan/tilt head, I came across something rather spectacular.
It seems that I’m not the only one with the opinion that renting a helicopter for a couple o’ thou’ per hour is cutting into the pocket money just a little too much. Well lucky for us, Dedicam, a company hailing from Germany, have been hard at work building varyious models of radio control helicopter/steadicam combinations.

Their site shows three models: Two “standard” looking R/C helicopters (an electric and gas version), and what they call a DediUFO_01 (pictured right), an 8-rotor octocopter which is solely electrically powered, and for lack of a better word.. Awesome!
I’d imagine the electric powered models would be best in terms of vibration reduction, at a loss of air-time. But with the amount of stabilisers and deadening stuffed in the Nitro model, I can’t see anybody being too upset with their petrol-powered purchase.

You can catch Dedicam’s showreel below or here if you’d like.

It looks like a two man job to get anything half decent out of this setup, with one person physically operating the Octocopter,and the other on the camera rig. I’m really impressed with the quality of workmanship in their creation, but what I think puts the cherry on the top of this rig is the set of video goggles worn by the cameraman.

Testing the dedicam

Suiting up

So I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty desperate to get into something like this. I’ve heard one can purchase a Dedicam (not too sure which model) for approximately $10,000, which is really pushing the DIY motivation through the roof. I’ve managed to find a few forum discussions about similar set-ups, and the word “Mikrokopter” seems to crop up a lot… I’ll report back on what I find on that front.

Below is a German video of a six bladed multicopter, with a much smaller camera mounted on it. It’s a little longwinded, but skipping through you’ll find some demonstrations of a pretty awesome GPS system, allowing the machine to return back to where it’s motors were started, a weight test with a 1l bottle of CocaCola, and some other fun stuff.

What do you think of this newfangled, “legless tripod”? Leave your thoughts below.

Timur Civan and his hotcakes Wollensak

11 Oct
Image from 102 year old Wollensak 35mm F5.0 Cine-Velostigmat - copyright Timur Civan

Image from 102 year old Wollensak 35mm F5.0 Cine-Velostigmat - copyright Timur Civan

Just shy of a month ago, photographer and DOP Timur Civan posted these images on Cinema5D.com . Taken with a 5d and a 102 year old Wollensak 35mm F5.0 Cine-Velostigmat cinema lens, from the cranking days.

I’m a huge fan of any old 35mm / medium format lens that I can possibly try and fit onto one of my Canon DSLRs. So much so, that I buy lenses that have very little hope of ever fitting, but they get bought because the “what if” factor in my head is… a very strong decider. In any case, the images that come out of this button-sized lens are something to see, each filled with an awesome sense of nostalgia.

Maybe it’s knowing the age of this lens that gives it that intrinsic mood, or maybe  it’s just inherent in the images themselves. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Civan has even created some video footage with this little baby recently!

This 1908 Wollensak 35mm F5.0 “Cine-Velostigmat” on a chunky 5d MkII looks ridiculously cool in my opinion, and the images (which I don’t believe are completely untouched like some seem to argue) speak for themselves.

more info can be found over here

An Introduction. Pure and simple.

11 Oct

In all likeliness, this particular post won’t (hopefully) be my most read, and if things go well, only by those exceptionally bored or worryingly interested in what I have to say, being the originating post, from where the rest will seem to ooze out of.

It is here, that I’ll begin the jibberjabber then.

They call me matt. Twenty two at this point in time, I’ve developed quite a feverish fondness for.. Learning?

Yes, I love it. If it has something, anything to do with creating something out of raw sensual material, I just fucking love it.

Since picking up a camera several years ago, and slowly branching into such fields as timelapse photo/cinematography, slow motion video & the likes (I’m sure bits and pieces of these hobbies will crop up here eventually).

I grew up in the film industry, and now find myself a part of the family business, namely: special effects. We’re currently in the middle of one of our biggest feature films right now, Judge Dredd… 3D. So that’s tons of fun. (…) My main goal, ultimately though, is to end up behind the wheel of a cine-cam, so wish me luck with that.