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KoiBoy
26th of January 2007 (Fri), 19:18
hi,

i just recieved my Optical Slave Flash Trigger w/ Sync Socket today in the mail, and i just tested it out with my Sunpak Flash, the trigger works perfect and is in sync with the Canon Powershot S3 IS. just thought i share this infomation, as i was looking and reseaching for one for weeks until i finally got this one.

thank you ( MaxZoom, Moppie ) for your help :)

i bought the Optical Slave Flash Trigger w/ Sync Socket on eBay with seller photogearok for about $15 U.S. dollars and got the packing from N.Y to CA within 3 days.

> here is a picture of my Sunpak Flash with the Optical Slave Flash Trigger w/ Sync Socket <

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/6308/img0381aob0.jpg



here is a picture of the Optical Slave Flash Trigger w/ Sync Socket.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b398/auction-ebay/NewTrigger.jpg

now, its time to search for a good but affordable foldable flash bracket.

mishnogram
26th of January 2007 (Fri), 22:35
Koiboy,

Would really like to see some of the shots with your new flash system. I'm looking into one of my own and your research and shots would be great.

Thanks,

Min

Jon
27th of January 2007 (Sat), 10:49
Glad to hear it works. Now like Min said - show us some pics!

KoiBoy
27th of January 2007 (Sat), 12:56
Koiboy,

Would really like to see some of the shots with your new flash system. I'm looking into one of my own and your research and shots would be great.

Thanks,

Min

Sure NP Min & Jon, i just took this picture as requested this morning around 9:30 am. the picture is my daughter's play room with no housing light, the room has no windows so its a bit dark, this way we can see how well it does in dark rooms.


here are the pictures... (taking w/ 10 Sec. timer on tripod)

1) Canon S3 IS w/ NO Flash in DARK room

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/4530/img0392sb7.jpg


2) Canon S3 IS w/ STOCK Flash in DARK Room

http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/3843/img0393cj2.jpg


3) Canon S3 IS w/ Sunpak Flash w/ Optical Slave Flash Trigger (Straight)

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/4448/img0394zq5.jpg


4) Canon S3 IS w/ Sunpak Flash w/ Optical Slave Flash Trigger (45 degree)

http://img465.imageshack.us/img465/9035/img0396vs1.jpg


5) Canon S3 IS w/ Sunpak Flash w/ Optical Slave Flash Trigger (Bounced)

http://img250.imageshack.us/img250/5487/img0397mn8.jpg


as you can tell from #3, this Sunpak flash needs a diffuser when shooting straight (which i'm in the process of getting one).

here is another picture of the Optical Slave Flash Trigger, working with the Sunpak Ring Light.. (see below) wanted to show that the trigger works very well, and hoping that i did help some S3 users here who are looking a good trigger to work with their standard non-digital external flash.

http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/4804/img0389bo2.jpg

that image of the Sunpak ring light flash was to show how the trigger works using the Canon S3 IS in MANUAL mode (no flash from camera, only from the external flash/ring light)
have a good weekend everyone :D

Jon
27th of January 2007 (Sat), 13:24
You can use some white tissue paper as a diffuser while waiting for a "real" one, or rubber-band a white 3x5 card to the flash head to use as a "kicker" with the head in the full vertical. We used to do this in the "Good Old Days".

Robukincan
27th of January 2007 (Sat), 13:55
the bounced lighting looks great

brantfordbandit
28th of January 2007 (Sun), 08:52
i have the same slave but an older flash it won't work all the time, could it be the flash needs more time to gharge

KoiBoy
28th of January 2007 (Sun), 12:28
i have the same slave but an older flash it won't work all the time, could it be the flash needs more time to gharge

i think so, most older flash takes much longer to recharge, mine Sunpak flash recharges about 0.6 seconds to 8 seconds depending on the intensity/power i select. of course its nothing compare to the top-of-the-line flashes that recharged super fast (one day i will have one of those flashes :)

MaxZoom
28th of January 2007 (Sun), 12:37
Sorry I'm just not seeing it - where did you give info on "Sunpak Ring Light"?

KoiBoy
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 00:20
Sorry I'm just not seeing it - where did you give info on "Sunpak Ring Light"?

oh, the last picture that i posted (see above) has a picture of the Sunpak Ring Flash light with the Optical Slave Trigger attached to it and the pictures show me shooting with the S3 in Manual mode, showing the trigger fires the Sunpak ring flash light. did i answer this right? MaxZoom?

here is a picture of the Sunpak Ring Flash Light i have.. very powerful awesome light. now just need to get my macro lens, hopefully i will have pictures in the next few weeks or so.. :)

http://image.i-soldit.com/images/0247/102470000062/102470000062_05_01.jpg

MaxZoom
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 05:16
I missed the second photo not being the same flash as the first photo.:oops: Sorry could not see the flash for the light (AKA "Could not see the wood for the trees")

Just one more question what do you mean by "no flash from camera"? I'm wondering how did you get the ring flash to trigger with no light from the camera flash - did you deflect the light from the flash backwards so the optical slave still picked it up or is there some more sophisticated trigger technology involved.

On the sample shots, when I use my auto flash I set my S3 in M mode to match the f/stop & ISO I set on the flash and I get a perfect exposure regardless of direct 45 or 90 degrees, any idea why your shots are over exposed?

mishnogram
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 08:10
Thanks for the photos.. really neat comparison. Your daughter and my kids should do a "got it.. need it" session. :D

I've also been trying to experiment with just diffusing the light from the flash (aka tissue taped as Jon had mentioned) on the S2. I found the output was pretty good. I also tried to tape a piece of writing paper folded up to direct the flash upwards and diffuse the direct flash. Definitely not as strong and bright as your output but in a crunch, it might work.

Here is how they turned out.

http://lee-family.smugmug.com/gallery/2379939#124713124

Thanks again for posting those photos.. now, I need to convince the wife that I gotta have one of those flash things..

regina_emmanuelle
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 08:39
Am I missing something? How do you get an external flash to function with the S3 without a hotshoe? I'm very very interested... I thought I was going to have to suffer through with the built in.

Thomas S.
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 09:56
Am I missing something? How do you get an external flash to function with the S3 without a hotshoe? I'm very very interested... I thought I was going to have to suffer through with the built in.


You can buy slave triggers which detect the on camera flash to trigger an additional slave flash unit. It is that small (1in X 1in) device which is attachet to the shoe mount of the flash in KoiBoy's pictures of his flash (and alone in one picture). They are an inexpensive way to get around needing a hotshoe.

regina_emmanuelle
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 10:19
You can buy slave triggers which detect the on camera flash to trigger an additional slave flash unit. It is that small (1in X 1in) device which is attachet to the shoe mount of the flash in KoiBoy's pictures of his flash (and alone in one picture). They are an inexpensive way to get around needing a hotshoe.

Thanks!

So you would still need to use the built in flash AND the slave flash? Wouldn't that just end up overexposing the image? I'm sorry to ask so many questions, it's just I've only ever seen the flashes that go directly on the camera's hotshoe.. never two at the same time.

Jon
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 11:18
Essentially, you set the on-camera flash as weak as you can, and just use it to trigger the slave, which does all the work. You'll need to be using Manual flash, so you'll have to either figure out the exposure to use by trial and error or get an auto-thyristor flash, which figures out the correct exposure itsself, based on how much flash reflection it, not the camera, sees.

KoiBoy
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 12:19
I missed the second photo not being the same flash as the first photo.:oops: Sorry could not see the flash for the light (AKA "Could not see the wood for the trees")

:mrgreen:

Just one more question what do you mean by "no flash from camera"? I'm wondering how did you get the ring flash to trigger with no light from the camera flash - did you deflect the light from the flash backwards so the optical slave still picked it up or is there some more sophisticated trigger technology involved.

On the sample shots, when I use my auto flash I set my S3 in M mode to match the f/stop & ISO I set on the flash and I get a perfect exposure regardless of direct 45 or 90 degrees, any idea why your shots are over exposed?

i'm still super new to flash exposure, but what i did was had the S3 on a tripod and set it to MANUAL (did'nt change anything in manual mode) and shot the sample pictures (see above).

as for the Sunpak Ring Light to flash, the S3 was in MANUAL mode and there was no Flash coming out of the S3 at all but flash must be in up position to work, looks like it send out a small charge/signal that the Optical Slave Trigger pick-up and instantly fires the Sunpak Ring Light.

hope this helps. :)

KoiBoy
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 12:30
Thanks!

So you would still need to use the built in flash AND the slave flash? Wouldn't that just end up overexposing the image? I'm sorry to ask so many questions, it's just I've only ever seen the flashes that go directly on the camera's hotshoe.. never two at the same time.

actually when i set the S3 in MANUAL mode (you also have to have the flash up on the S3 in MANUAL mode). it sends out a small charge/signal that the Optical Slave Flash Trigger picks up and fires the external flash, you won't get any over exposure (depending on your external flash function, and position of the external flash.. basically don't shot straight indoors with external flash unless you have a diffuser to soften the light).

i took me some good reading threw a few forums and with questions and research to get the setup right for an external flash, and i hope this will help some S2 / S3 users out there who want an external flash to function with their camera.

KoiBoy
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 12:36
Thanks for the photos.. really neat comparison. Your daughter and my kids should do a "got it.. need it" session. :D

i never thought my daughter would end up with sooooooooo many toys, i told myself i wouldn't do that with her when she was born, but i guess my pictures show how she ended up with more.. n more.. n more.. n more toys.. :D

as for your pictures, you did a great job! the results are much better then the standard flash pointing straight without any diffuser.

chicagoastronomer
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 12:48
This is a great post.

Are you using the slave trigger away from the camera or is it on a bracket with the camera?

Are you able to post a pic with the two working together?

I have a Sunpak twin element flex-head flash from my 35mm Nikon film days, and really would like to use it with my S3.

Thank you for bringing this to our eager attention!

mishnogram
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 12:53
i never thought my daughter would end up with sooooooooo many toys, i told myself i wouldn't do that with her when she was born, but i guess my pictures show how she ended up with more.. n more.. n more.. n more toys.. :D




We should share toy room pictures someday. I have 3 kids so my house is starting to look like a toy store. But decided that starting this year, I'm going to start downsizing since (don't quite know why) we are getting a dog as well.

Anyways, thanks for the comments on the shots. Glad to see people who use the powershot series of cameras and other accessories and can share their experiences.

KoiBoy
29th of January 2007 (Mon), 18:17
This is a great post.

Are you using the slave trigger away from the camera or is it on a bracket with the camera?

Are you able to post a pic with the two working together?

I have a Sunpak twin element flex-head flash from my 35mm Nikon film days, and really would like to use it with my S3.

Thank you for bringing this to our eager attention!

thanks, yes the flash in the pictures (toy room) was mounted on a flash side bracket and then on a tripod, pointing the flash up to bounce the light.

the optical slave flash trigger can be position up to 60ft away from the camera and it will also fire.

as for taking a picture of the S3 and the Sunpak flash firing the same time? i need to buy another digital camera to get that shot. ;)

as for your old 35mm camera flash, i should fire but if your old camera flash recycle time is long, you have to wait until your flash has recycled in order for you to take another shot.

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 05:53
i'm still super new to flash exposure, but what i did was had the S3 on a tripod and set it to MANUAL (did'nt change anything in manual mode) and shot the sample pictures (see above).Do you mean you did not set the f/stop & ISO on the camera to match the auto setting on the flash?
In my case for ISO100 I can set my auto-flash to two power settings f/4 or f/2.8 - I then set my camera to the same settings. No matter what I do with the head (direct/45/90 degrees) the auto-flash compensates and I get a great exposure. I could diffuse the flash head if I wanted to and the auto-flash will compensate up to the limit of its output power. From your shots it looks more like you did not match camera and flash settings ant that is why they are over exposed - IMHO.:(

as for the Sunpak Ring Light to flash, the S3 was in MANUAL mode and there was no Flash coming out of the S3 at all but flash must be in up position to work, looks like it send out a small charge/signal that the Optical Slave Trigger pick-up and instantly fires the Sunpak Ring Light. Hmmm. On my setup I had to have the S3 flash up and set at 2 of 3 on the flash power setting. 0 and 1 of 3 did not trigger my slave at about 10ft. I think you are getting a flash from the S3 to trigger the slave, I don't know what else could do the job. I'm not trying to fault you, if there is some magic here I want it too, I just cant figure out how the optical slave could trigger without a flash from the S3.:confused:
I'll try and do some sample shots with my setup and post them so we can compare notes, I think a lot of people could benefit from this thread, thank you for being so pro-active in this thread.:-)

jkdlee
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 06:39
nice one! bought one for myself and love it. I use it mainly for macro though as the setup i use blocks the onboard flash

http://i7.tinypic.com/485t4e9.jpg

these were taken at 1/160 secs at f.8
http://i18.tinypic.com/2d0lyis.jpg
http://i15.tinypic.com/33eo7kl.jpg

KoiBoy
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 14:54
nice, i'm glade this thread help you.. (i feel good.. :)

what kind of Reverse camera lens is that, i was in the process of looking for a good Marco lens (sony or raynox) only becuase i have the Sunpak ring light and it will go over the 58mm thread.

nice one! bought one for myself and love it. I use it mainly for macro though as the setup i use blocks the onboard flash

http://i7.tinypic.com/485t4e9.jpg

KoiBoy
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 15:04
if there is some magic here I want it too, I just cant figure out how the optical slave could trigger without a flash from the S3.:confused:
I'll try and do some sample shots with my setup and post them so we can compare notes, I think a lot of people could benefit from this thread, thank you for being so pro-active in this thread.:-)

:D

no magic, i didn't change anything on the S3 in Manual mode, i only learn that by having it in Manual mode it will fire your external flash with the right slave trigger.

i went ahead and look at the S3 flash (when position up) and did a 10 sec. timer on it with me facing it to see if it flash and see if that is what trigger the slave flash trigger. NOPE.. my stock flash doesn't flash, but it did send some magic potion to the slave trigger to fire the external flash :D

MaxZoom, i did however hold the trigger on the S3 down to see what was set on Manual mode, the stock settings on Manual mode is..

ISO 80, 1/125 , f4.0

i just order a Demb Flash Diffuser Jumbo, so that i can play with the external flash and see if it will so diffuse the flash, once i get it, i will do some sample shots and post them here. i made a betterbounce card, and others, but i guess its time to move up ;) since i already spend enough $$$ on other things, why not get a more solid built diffuser (thats just me, my other home made ones, works great.. i'm just gadget happy)

Moppie
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 17:34
Awsome mate, Im glad it works so well :)

Now the fun begins, working out manaul exposures with the flash.
The flash should have a guide on the back, showing its effective range at a given aperture.
Set your S3's flash to its lowest setting, and then set the match the aperture on the camera to the guide on the off camera flash, based on the distance from the flash to your subject.

Once you have that figured out, then its time to try something that you can't do with an SLR.
Crank up the shutter speed.
Because an SLR has a mirror and shutter in front of the sensor, its hard to use a shutter speed faster than about 1/250th, unless you have a dedicated flash with high speed sync. If the shutter speed is to fast, the flash will be firing at full intensity when the shutter is closing, causing it to shade the sensor.

However, digital compacts did away with shutters along time ago.
Instead the sensor is simply turned on and off its from its high power capture mode.
You can use this as a substitute for the lack of apertures below about F8, which you may need to use if your flash is to powerful.


I'll keep a look out for some of your more series results, it looks very promising :)

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 17:41
Dang KoiBoy, I can't do your magic.
Here are some test shots I took with my set up - I'll have to span a few posts to get them all up - sorry if I upset anyone but I hope this is helpful to many.:)
#1 MODE: Full Auto
ISO: (Auto)
SPEED (Auto) 1/8
APERTURE: (Auto) f/3.2
INTERNAL FLASH: Off
SLAVE FLASH: Off
AMBIENT:200W tungsten center of room overhead
143202

#2 MODE: Full Auto
ISO (Auto)
SPEED (Auto) 1/60
APERTURE: (Auto) f/3.2
INTERNAL FLASH: Auto
SLAVE FLASH: Off
AMBIENT: 200W tungsten center of room overhead
143203

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 17:43
#3 MODE: Av
ISO 100
APERTURE f/4.0
Speed (Auto) 0.6
INTERNAL FLASH Off
SLAVE FLASH Off
AMBIENT 200W tungsten overhead center of room
143204

#4 (Deleted)

#5 MODE Av
ISO 100
SPEED 0.6
APERTURE f/4.0
INTERNAL FLASH: Auto
SLAVE FLASH: Off
AMBIENT: 200W tungsten overhead center of room
143205

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 17:46
#6 MODE Manual
ISO100
SPEED 1/125
APERTURE f/4.0
INTERNAL FLASH: 1/3
SLAVE FLASH: Off
AMBIENT: 200W Tungsten center of room overhead
(Yes its not just black - look carefully)
143229

#7 MODE: Manual
ISO100
SPEED 1/125
APERTURE f/4.0
INTERNAL FLASH 2/3
SLAVE FLASH: Off
AMBIENT: 200W Tungsten center of room overhead
143207

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 17:48
#7 MODE: Manual
ISO100
SPEED 1/125
APERTURE f/4.0
INTERNAL FLASH 3/3
SLAVE FLASH: Off
AMBIENT: 200W Tungsten center of room overhead
143210

#8 MODE: Manual
ISO100
SPEED 1/125
APERTURE f/4.0
INTERNAL FLASH 1/3
SLAVE FLASH Auto set for 100ASA f/4.0
AMBIENT 200W Tungsten center of room overhead
143212

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 18:00
This is the setup I used (sorry the photos aren't better but my best camera was busy getting its photo taken):lol:

From behind the camera
143227

The S3 with flash bracket optical slave and auto flash.
143228

MaxZoom
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 18:27
Once you have that figured out, then its time to try something that you can't do with an SLR.
Crank up the shutter speed.Well my optical slave + auto flash kit works just fine (no drop off of flash seen by camera) in Manual mode, ISO100 f/4.0 1/1600 sec which is as fast as the S3 will let me go with the on-camera flash on.:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
So why did I want to do that?:lol::lol:

Please please please someone else post to this thread so it does not look like I've taken it over completely.:oops: :oops:

KoiBoy
30th of January 2007 (Tue), 22:55
hey MaxZoom,

that is the EXACT setup i had for my shots..

http://img250.imageshack.us/img250/5487/img0397mn8.jpg

i think i could be that my daughter's room is medium/small size and has a wall on the right and left, so when i bounce my external flash, the ceiling and the walls most likely help gave me the results..

but my internal flash on the S3 (position up) doesn't fire on Manual mode at all, it just send signal to the optical slave flash and fires it.


Mobbie...

thanks for the tip, i will sure be paying around with the flash setting and manual settings.

i just finally got my Flash Bracket.. here is a picture of it, now i just need to pay for it and hopefully get it by the weekend to do some shots.. will post a new thread once i get the hangs of things on 'my new' (someone's old) bracket.

*camera and flash not included* :p my bracket.. coming soon...

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/4710/1stroboframerd0.jpg

oops.. i just realized that this bracket might not be for me, looks like i will be using my right hand to hold the bracket (will see how this goes, when i get the bracket). if this doesn't work for me, then back to ebay it goes to someone who is left-handed. dunno yet, if i will sell this back, until i try to see how it does while hold with right hand and trying to take pictures at the same time.// humm.. interesting..

MaxZoom
31st of January 2007 (Wed), 02:32
hey MaxZoom,

that is the EXACT setup i had for my shots..

Your original "3) Canon S3 IS w/ Sunpak Flash w/ Optical Slave Flash Trigger (Straight)" is over exposed, my shot is direct and not overexposed that is why I think you have not matched the settings on the flash & camera. Don't get me wrong I think "5) Canon S3 IS w/ Sunpak Flash w/ Optical Slave Flash Trigger (Bounced)" shot (original and re-posted) is great.
but my internal flash on the S3 (position up) doesn't fire on Manual mode at all, it just send signal to the optical slave flash and fires it.I would so love that to be true. I do not understand what could trigger the slave if there was no flash from the camera. What stops the pop-up flash from firing when in "position up" or are you masking the pop-up flash in some way?
Is that your slave and bracket setup? From that shot I see a cable going from the flash to the top of the camera. The pop-up flash is down, you say "position up"? You also have a "black box" on top of it. That is nothing like my optical slave which is like the one shown by jkdlee and your original post. With my equipment the pop-up flash has to be up, on and visible to the slave for my slave to fire. Can you give me details of this unit? Can you give us a close-up of that head? How does it stay in place on the camera? I want to be "scentific" so I need to be able to reproduce your findings.:lol:
i just finally got my Flash Bracket.. here is a picture of it, now i just need to pay for it and hopefully get it by the weekend to do some shots.. will post a new thread once i get the hangs of things on 'my new' (someone's old) bracket.

*camera and flash not included* :p my bracket.. coming soon...
Very fancy bracket, it looks like it might a bit difficult to use and I'm left handed.:)

MaxZoom
31st of January 2007 (Wed), 02:40
Oops - just noticed the EOS on the camera thats not a slave thats a hot shoe connection I was sooo keen for this to be an S3 setup I did not notice. I'm so embarassed:o :o :o :o :o :o Sorry.

padylyn
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 15:50
Hi Everybody,
After I bought my S2IS and realised that the onboard flash was a lot weaker than the one which I had been using with my old camera I spent a lot of time wondering if I could get the automatic flash which I had to work with the S2IS.
I bought a small slave activator which did work when the onboard flash flashed.
However, the timing wasn't right, as all my photos turned out almost black.
Then somebody on this forum suggested that if I put the camera in Manual mode it should work.
I tried that and I havn't looked back since.
The off camera flash is a fully automatic unit so it decides the power required to light the scene.
However, if working fairly close-up, I would switch the on-camera flash to it's lowest setting, which will still cause the extra flash to function, but not influence the lighting very much. In addition I would select a high F number.
Also, if working outdoors at night you will probably need to set the off-camera flash to manual mode to get get the maximum power from it.
With a bit of experimentation it's possible to get very good results,

Padylyn

towershot
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 17:48
You can use some white tissue paper as a diffuser while waiting for a "real" one, or rubber-band a white 3x5 card to the flash head to use as a "kicker" with the head in the full vertical. We used to do this in the "Good Old Days".
ahh,yes,the good old days.
Now don,t get to close to the flash,or you will get powder burn...:lol:

Jon
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 18:10
ahh,yes,the good old days.
Now don,t get to close to the flash,or you will get powder burn...:lol:You're trying to be funny, I'm sure, but I've actually used flash powder in my younger days. We used it for explosions in theater effects.

towershot
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 18:33
You're trying to be funny, I'm sure, but I've actually used flash powder in my younger days. We used it for explosions in theater effects.

was trying to be funny,and say I,m getting on, but you beat me there.never used it myself,but used to jump when it was used..Rick..:oops:

JustShootin'
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 19:28
These are the good old days I guess, because I still use any and everything as a flash defuser, as I'm sure a zillion photographers do. Gun powder........well!

Jon
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 19:57
Not gunpowder - flash powder is a Magnesium-based powder used for lighting back when.

JustShootin'
1st of February 2007 (Thu), 21:07
Not gunpowder - flash powder is a Magnesium-based powder used for lighting back when.

I know what flash powder is. Slip of the typing finger!

MaxZoom
2nd of February 2007 (Fri), 02:25
Hi Everybody,
After I bought my S2IS and realised that the onboard flash was a lot weaker than the one which I had been using with my old camera I spent a lot of time wondering if I could get the automatic flash which I had to work with the S2IS.
I bought a small slave activator which did work when the onboard flash flashed.
However, the timing wasn't right, as all my photos turned out almost black.
Then somebody on this forum suggested that if I put the camera in Manual mode it should work.Hopefully KoiBoy and myself are helping lots of users to "see the light":oops::lol: . Please note while Manual shooting mode forces the on-camera flash into manual flash mode. You can use Av mode too and select Manual flash setting in the menu. For those who don't know already, manual flash disables the pre-flash so any optical slave can be used - there is no need for a 'digital slave'.
I tried that and I havn't looked back since.
The off camera flash is a fully automatic unit so it decides the power required to light the scene.It surprises me just how good this "old-technology" really is. It is simple to use and is very good & predictable results.
However, if working fairly close-up, I would switch the on-camera flash to it's lowest setting, which will still cause the extra flash to function, but not influence the lighting very much.Yes, when using a slave like this I would nearly always set min power (1/3) on the on-camera flash, unless I actually wanted its light. For anyone concerned about the on camera flash being too bright, look at my shot #7 in the earlier post, Eeyore was about 6 ft away and yet at f4.0 & ISO100 the on camera flash at 1/3 (min power) has minimal effect In addition I would select a high F number.But always matching the flash and camera f/stop of course.;)
Also, if working outdoors at night you will probably need to set the off-camera flash to manual mode to get get the maximum power from it.Yes most auto flashes seem to have a tiny bit more power on full manual maybe a 1/3 of an f/stop for some reason?
With a bit of experimentation it's possible to get very good results,

Padylyn
Thanks Padylyn: Super post which I hope will encourage more to try this out. Auto-flash units are quite inexpensive when compared to E-TTL etc and really deliver great results.:D

chicagoastronomer
4th of February 2007 (Sun), 11:08
This is sure quite a helpful thread, and I have learned so much.

I received my small cube slave trigger yesterday and tried it. It took some manipulation of the external flash settings, but it finally worked...and worked well.

I will post pics soon tonight, but this is a great set-up.

Thanks to all for your pioneering work in working around the No-shoe S3.

Shame on Canon for excluding one...:mad:

JustShootin'
4th of February 2007 (Sun), 11:33
Shame on Canon for excluding one...:mad:

I guess you can only expect so much for such a small price. But I would have gladly paid a little more for my S2 to cover the cost of adding the hot shoe.

KoiBoy
6th of February 2007 (Tue), 18:32
well here is the flash racket that i ordered and just got. i love the Optical Slave Flash Trigger, but... yes... but... i did find its limitations finally..

the Optical Slave Flash Trigger will fire 100% of the time if position correctly over the Canon Powereshot S3 IS flash, and if the Optical sensor is position to face the camera directly at a long distance, it will fire 100%.

now here is the limitations that i found out, by using the flash bracket, the Optical sensor is facing the same direction as the camera (facing forward towards the lens). if i position the flash over the lens on the flash bracket, it will fire, but if the flash is position a bit higher (max.) on the flash bracket, the Optical Slave Flash Trigger will not fire, looks like the sensor of the Optical Slave Flash Trigger needs to be position pretty close to the Canon S3 flash in order for it to fire.

so with that said (in case someone ran into a problem with this Optical Slave Flash Trigger not firing).. i made some modifications to my flash bracket so that it will fire 100% when i shot in landscape and in portrait position as i flip the camera. basically changing the screws on the flash bracket "L" flash holder bar so that i can move it lower to the camera.

most likely it probably would fire if position higher (max.) on the flash bracket if i set the Canon flash to fire in its lowest power setting, but for me in Manual mode my Canon doesn't fire the flash, it just emit a small charge that fires the Optical Slave Flash Trigger (magically)

just thought i point out any limiations that the Optical Slave Flash Trigger might have or that i have encounter.

http://img400.imageshack.us/img400/7897/img0880aoo2.jpghttp://img524.imageshack.us/img524/6732/img0881aoq8.jpg

these pictures were taken from a reflection of a dirty closet mirror :lol:

chicagoastronomer
6th of February 2007 (Tue), 19:02
Manual mode my Canon doesn't fire the flash, it just emit a small charge that fires the Optical Slave Flash Trigger (magically)

Do you keep the flash UP or DOWN on the camera when in manual?

I'm doing some experimentation as well, and will post my findings soon.

I appreciate the pics.

KoiBoy
6th of February 2007 (Tue), 19:36
Do you keep the flash UP or DOWN on the camera when in manual?

I'm doing some experimentation as well, and will post my findings soon.

I appreciate the pics.

in MANUAL Mode, the flash is always up so that it can trigger the Optical Slave Flash. :)

MaxZoom
7th of February 2007 (Wed), 14:54
most likely it probably would fire if position higher (max.) on the flash bracket if i set the Canon flash to fire in its lowest power setting, but for me in Manual mode my Canon doesn't fire the flash, it just emit a small charge that fires the Optical Slave Flash Trigger (magically)
Dear KoiBoy,

You are really freaking me out with your magic Canon S3. My S3 is definately not magic as you describe it, so have you the only magic one or am I the unlucky one without magic.:(

With my Canon S3 the flash has to be popped up for the slave to fire. Minimum power setting on the flash is enough but it is a flash - yes it is much weaker at 1/3 than setting 2/3 and 3/3. Are you counting this weak flash as not a flash but magic?

On the topic of your flash bracket, how easy is it to use now that you have it?

KoiBoy
7th of February 2007 (Wed), 16:24
Dear KoiBoy,

You are really freaking me out with your magic Canon S3. My S3 is definately not magic as you describe it, so have you the only magic one or am I the unlucky one without magic.:(

With my Canon S3 the flash has to be popped up for the slave to fire. Minimum power setting on the flash is enough but it is a flash - yes it is much weaker at 1/3 than setting 2/3 and 3/3. Are you counting this weak flash as not a flash but magic?

On the topic of your flash bracket, how easy is it to use now that you have it?

as for the internal flash firing, no comment :D, j/k.. but now i'm playing with the manual settings and i think i might be able to have the internal flash fire at 1/3 so that it will trigger the optical slave if i position it at a higher level on the flash bracket.

as for the flash bracket, i was debating between the "flash flip" or the "camera flip" type ones, and i notice that if in the near future i buy a SLR camera, the a very good external flash would cost around $200 - $350 and i don't want it to drop off a flash flip bracket., now if i had the "flash flip" type brackets, the flash being flip back and fort would eventually break off its mount and droping to the floor, so a "camera flip" type bracket was the best choice for me.

i love how the bracket functions and how light it weighs, its a Stroboframe bracket (old model). makes using an external flash with the canon s3 so much easier, cause i can flip the camera and the flash stays in the same place.

the funny part of this is, now when i went out to a birthday party last weekend, my friends said.. "dude.. your a pro? now.. ha.. ha.. ha... ha...

that was funny to hear because all of my friends have the small compact canon P&S (point n shot) cameras, i'm the only one with a bigger body camera with external flash and a camera bracket. :mrgreen: can't image if i painted my telephoto lens white with red and back (to look like an canon L lens) i know for sure i would be some funnier comments.

anyways.. for me.. the flash bracket is great and i have used it more then not using it, since the external flash mounts on it just fine.

been cloudy today... was hoping to get a better moon shot, but no moon yesterday or the other day... what happened to the moon? :D

MaxZoom
8th of February 2007 (Thu), 11:53
been cloudy today... was hoping to get a better moon shot, but no moon yesterday or the other day... what happened to the moon? For your moon shot you will need to set your on camera flash and your slave flash at maximum.:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers.

MaxZoom
8th of February 2007 (Thu), 16:41
I was thinking of the moon we like to look up at. Whatever rocks your boat.:)
Hey KoiBoy I thought your slave flash was real powerful? The freaky thought that came to me was even if there was a flash powerful enough to illuminate the moon you could not synchronise without a long shutter time because of the limitation of the speed of light. So it not your S3 or your slave flash that is the limit its actually light travelling too slowly. I'm going to lie down in a very dark room now - I'm thinking about stuff way too hard.:shock: I may be there for a l-o-n-g time.

chicagoastronomer
10th of February 2007 (Sat), 12:19
Here is my Slave trigger and Camera Bracket set-up

I got my slave trigger last week, and had not the chance to play around with it. This afternoon I did some experiments and found a problem or two.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v209/josephguzman/PowerShot%20S3/DCP_2309.jpg

I located the slave trigger on the base of the camera flash bracket. (I have had this nice bounce double-element adjustable & rotatable flash unit from my Nikon 35mm film days. Even has C batteries in the handle as well as auxiliary 4 AA batteries as back-up!)

When I adjust the on-board flash to minimum, (1/3), it does not activate the main flash. If I kick it up to 1/2, then it does. The camera is set on manual.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v209/josephguzman/PowerShot%20S3/DCP_2313.jpg


There are adjustments on the back of the bounce flash and thystor sensor. Perhaps I'm not setting properly? I have played with different setting but I just don't know.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v209/josephguzman/PowerShot%20S3/DCP_2315.jpg

Could it be that the slave trigger is too far down, resting in the shadows on the bracket, to "see" the weak 1/3 on-board flash? The attached hood I'm sure is blocking some of the flash too.

With setting it to 1/2 flash, "I think" I'm getting synched flash shots from the bounce flash.


UPDATE:

I think I solved the problem.

It seems I'm not getting good contact between the trigger box and thystor sensor. Sometimes it fires when I shoot the camera flash off, and other times it just sits there.

The knurled ring to tighten the flash down to the hotshoe seems to cause it not to fire. There's something about it being too tight that prevents good contact. If I just slide it in the hotshoe on the slave trigger, and slightly tighten it...it works.

What we had thought about the sensor being too low resting on the bracket doesn't seem to be a factor.

I hope this solves it.

MaxZoom
10th of February 2007 (Sat), 22:14
Hi ChicagoAstronomer,

Sounds like you've sorted the problem - Congrats!

KoiBoy
12th of February 2007 (Mon), 11:56
I think I solved the problem.

It seems I'm not getting good contact between the trigger box and thystor sensor. Sometimes it fires when I shoot the camera flash off, and other times it just sits there.

The knurled ring to tighten the flash down to the hotshoe seems to cause it not to fire. There's something about it being too tight that prevents good contact. If I just slide it in the hotshoe on the slave trigger, and slightly tighten it...it works.

What we had thought about the sensor being too low resting on the bracket doesn't seem to be a factor.

I hope this solves it.

i think this is probably the thing that i might also have had, i do lock my flash pretty tight, but my flash is position on my flash brack pretty close to the pop-up flash, but will give this a try today and position my flash higher.

oh.. i have a Sunpak GX-8R Ring Light Flash

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?p=2695955

today is the last day i'm going to have it for sale here on POTN, so if it doesn't go, then off to ebay (hate ebay fees) :D its a vert good macro ring light flash, it has a pc sync that can be used with the optical slave flash trigger w/ sync on side.

anyways.. gotta try different settings to see if i can position my flash higher and still trigger the flash. :D

ceriltheblade
23rd of April 2007 (Mon), 05:15
Hi all, I will renew this thread since it has been dead for a couple of months -
You all must spend crazy money on your accessories! I checked out some of these flashes (the retail ones) and we're speaking about $300+ for each product (except brackets and slave trigger). Wow! Also, I carry the camera around with my children in tow and my wife etc... Are these set ups for y'all just in-studio set ups? I really want to work on my photography (I am a full-time physician who has an interest in the photography), but these prices and this mass is a bit large! Has anyone had "good enough" results with the DIY flash rings?

MaxZoom
23rd of April 2007 (Mon), 12:41
I think you got the wrong end of the stick. I'm using a 20 yr old flash unit from my 35mm SLR with a <$20 optical slave trigger unit. I'm looking to upgrade to a more powerful flash and expect to spend less than $100. Second hand flashes are great for slave use and won't cost the earth.

cwee1
10th of May 2007 (Thu), 17:40
Hi Chicago Joe
I am curious, which 'cube slave trigger' did you purchase? I saw a JPSlave unit on Ebay for approx $10; does that sound familiar? Thanks.
cwee1@hotmail.com

chicagoastronomer
12th of May 2007 (Sat), 16:51
Cwee1,

I got my slave unit for $9.99 - ($14.99 with shipping), from seller "Photogearok" on Ebay and works well.

caservant
7th of June 2007 (Thu), 00:22
Hope you all don't mind a question from a newbie. I've got an S3 IS and have a couple of old flashes from my non-digital SLR days - a cheapo Nikon and a Canon Speedlite 220EX. Would one of these work?

Also, while I realize that a bracket would be preferable, would this work out just as well if I hold it in my hand, or position elsewhere in the room? Both flashes have fixed heads, so I won't be able to bounce them unless I find a way to manually tilt them upward. Any thoughts on all this would be MOST appreciated as I've been busy searching for a decent, affordable digital slave flash solution for some time.

MaxZoom
7th of June 2007 (Thu), 12:08
Hope you all don't mind a question from a newbie. I've got an S3 IS and have a couple of old flashes from my non-digital SLR days - a cheapo Nikon and a Canon Speedlite 220EX. Would one of these work?

Also, while I realize that a bracket would be preferable, would this work out just as well if I hold it in my hand, or position elsewhere in the room? Both flashes have fixed heads, so I won't be able to bounce them unless I find a way to manually tilt them upward. Any thoughts on all this would be MOST appreciated as I've been busy searching for a decent, affordable digital slave flash solution for some time.Hand holding would be fine but a bit alkward. If you don't want to get an L-shaped bracket, I got a streight bracket for under $5 works just fine because the optical slave cube pushes the flah head that bit higher anyway.

Any hot shoe flash would work fine you need an auto setting between f2.8 and f/8 and either a digital optical sensor or if using a non-digital sensor set the S3 to manual flash and use the cam in Av, Tv or M. A digital sensor needs to be set to non-digital when you set the S3 to M because there is no pre flash so the unit wont fire.

Hope this helps.

caservant
12th of June 2007 (Tue), 18:17
Thanks for the input, MaxZoom. Just bought by slave trigger on eBay for $10 shipped. Can't wait to try it out!

Do you have a pic of your setup with the straight bracket? Also, can you tell me where you got it for $5?

Lastly, the main issue for me with the bracket and hand holding is that a want to get a good angle to bounce the flash, rather than shooting straight on. Since my flash doesn't tilt, I need to find another way to direct the light.

dexdex
13th of June 2007 (Wed), 06:02
Can you setup the trigger to "ignore" the pre-flash, which would allow to use it in modes where the camera pre-flashes (I guess the S3 does, as well as the G7) ? I'm using an old slave flash which cannot, but the more up-to-date material sometimes allows it.
Thanks for the hint anyway.

Jon
13th of June 2007 (Wed), 07:34
There are slave triggers out (specifically, ones labeled as "Digital Slave"; Wein makes a few) that will ignore the pre-flash. I've also seen mention of one that has a switch-selectable slave - there are 4 switch positions for use as regular (no pre-flash) slave and 3 forms (presumably used by different camera makers) ofd pre-flash.

riyazi
26th of October 2007 (Fri), 08:22
Hi

I am trying to get a slave trigger and flash for my S3 IS. Can anyone suggest brands of the trigger. I have seen several pictures of the trigger but no brand names or shop names. I am looking at an item called Seagull SYK-5 - does anyone have this and does it work with the S3 IS ?

thanks for your help

Jon
26th of October 2007 (Fri), 10:53
As I mentioned in the post right above yours, Wein makes a good line of digital slaves (as well as other flash accessories). They're fairly widely avai8lable in the US at least. B&H carries them, among others.

dan_bgblue
16th of July 2008 (Wed), 18:44
New to this forum, or relatively new anyway. I have been reading for a few months and have a question for the folks here. I hope I am not dredging up a thread that is too old and my question will be ignored, but I hate creating new posts on message boards when there are threads that address a subject already in place. My question is this...

I have a Sunpak 383, and a S3 sans hotshoe of course. I am looking at a combination of the two products at the links below to solve the problem of being able to use a flash off camera. This set of hardware looks like it would fit the bill. Use the hot shoe adapter on the 383 to attach it to a tripod or a camera bracket, then plug the optical slave flash into the sync port of the 383.

Am I missing something here, or do you think this will work OK?

http://www.flashzebra.com/hotshoes-shoes/0066.shtml

http://www.flashzebra.com/opticalslaves/0073.shtml

Thanks for any comments or help you can provide.

Dan

MaxZoom
17th of July 2008 (Thu), 13:11
Am I missing something here, or do you think this will work OK?Yes it should work, just remember to set S3 to M so there will be no pre-flash from the camera. Good shooting.

Changeling
18th of July 2008 (Fri), 16:53
This is a subject I have been exploring myself.I found that most of the slave flashes were essentially pieces of crap with limited capabilities and the general knowledge ofthe subject was limited to say the least!

Then I discovered what a guy developed on his own. Can't say more because I would be condemned with the stigma of presenting Spam to the forum. This is an elderly gentleman who developed his own design and is not commercially advertised.
By the way this gentleman is recognized by major photography people who know a hell of a lot more than I do, witch is not saying much.

http://www.pbase.com/sinoline/sft_kit

There will be a lot of "experts" who voice there opinion without ever reading what this man has come up with!
Try using your own brain and the experienced individuals who understand what this mans unit can actually do! Try READING!

The problem seems to stem from what experienced photographic people seem to think what a unit like this is, it is not your normal cup of tea, so get used to it and read what the man has done!

dan_bgblue
18th of July 2008 (Fri), 19:12
Can you help me find his e-mail address? I searched the linked site, thanks for linking it btw, and he says to e-mail him about price and such for a already built unit, but I can not find a way to contact him.

Thanks

This is a subject I have been exploring myself.I found that most of the slave flashes were essentially pieces of crap with limited capabilities and the general knowledge ofthe subject was limited to say the least!

Then I discovered what a guy developed on his own. Can't say more because I would be condemned with the stigma of presenting Spam to the forum. This is an elderly gentleman who developed his own design and is not commercially advertised.
By the way this gentleman is recognized by major photography people who know a hell of a lot more than I do, witch is not saying much.

http://www.pbase.com/sinoline/sft_kit

There will be a lot of "experts" who voice there opinion without ever reading what this man has come up with!
Try using your own brain and the experienced individuals who understand what this mans unit can actually do! Try READING!

The problem seems to stem from what experienced photographic people seem to think what a unit like this is, it is not your normal cup of tea, so get used to it and read what the man has done!

riyazi
19th of July 2008 (Sat), 09:26
Hmmmm ... did you read the page :) The first line is "Please make any messages or comments with a duplicate sent to my email. Email address is shown in first picture below" and yes the first pic does have an email address :)

dan_bgblue
19th of July 2008 (Sat), 11:36
Hmmmm ... did you read the page :) The first line is "Please make any messages or comments with a duplicate sent to my email. Email address is shown in first picture below" and yes the first pic does have an email address :)

I guess I am a little slow. I did read that but the address in the picture flew right over my head. Thanks for pointing it out!

Changeling
19th of July 2008 (Sat), 12:24
I guess I am a little slow. I did read that but the address in the picture flew right over my head. Thanks for pointing it out!

Glad you got it, be sure to read everything it says, any camera and any flash!

Changeling
19th of July 2008 (Sat), 13:09
I guess I am a little slow. I did read that but the address in the picture flew right over my head. Thanks for pointing it out!

Well, I couldn't find it either (same problem you had), I have a tendency to try and do things to fast. However one of my friends did find it, shes ( the one who bought it for us) standing behind me now giving me his email address, and a lot of "SAS", LOL Here it is:

sinoline@charter.net

Take care, Changeling

MaxZoom
19th of July 2008 (Sat), 14:15
LOL Here it is:

xxxxxx@xxxx.xxx

Take care, Changeling
The idea of putting your e-mail in an image is to stop automated spamming. You just ruined that by posting his e-mail in plain view!!!

From an electronics point of view the unit does not seem unique, there are similar commercially available units. Nearly all optical slaves can operate high trigger voltage flashes, the problem is digital cameras not being able to tolerate high voltage, that is not an issue with an optical trigger. There is scope for the firmware to be superior to commercial units which I cannot comment on.
I use a much simpler 'dumb' slave and can use my flash on either auto or manual mode. Yes I use the camera in manual with the flash on the S3 normally set to the mid or low power setting just enough to trigger the slave but not enough to contribute illumination unless required. In practice using camera auto for flash provides no creative control. In short I don't feel there is anything wrong with the design in question I just dont see that it contributes anything special. The S3 can be used with a simple dumb slave in Av, Tv or M what's the problem?