The New Manual DSLR Project

Hi, and welcome to my blog. The Manual DSLR Project was started March 30, 2010 with the intent of devoting one year to learning how to use my Nikon D300 in manual mode. I invited you to join me as I took this journey. You celebrated with me as my fingers began to remember which wheel adjusts the shutter speed and which controls the aperture settings. I was brutally honest in sharing my mistakes.

A year passed quickly...and I achieved my goal of demystifying the manual operation of my camera.

While the Manual DSLR Project was intended to be bound by time (one year), I am eager to keep the conversation going. So look for additional posts on anything related to photography. And interact. Let me know if you are reading the blog and find it useful.

All the best...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Off Camera Flash on a Budget

I have been slow to post lately, for a variety of reasons, but plan to start posting again as my schedule allows. As a step toward the manual flash part of this project, I decided to purchase remote triggers that would allow me to take the flash off the camera, while controlling it manually.

I have the Sekonic L-758DR Light Meter (Black), which is able to work with a Pocketwizard, so when the Pocket Wizard 801-130 Plus III Transceiver was announced, I thought I might go with those. But it took a long time for those to be in stock. In the meanwhile, I read a post on The Digital Story that reviewed the Cowboy Studio Trigger Set. Derrick was impressed, so I took another look at these wireless triggers. But while looking at this set, I ran across the Yongnuo RF-603 N1 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger/Wireless Shutter Release Transceiver Kit for Nikon D1/D2/D3/D200/D300/D700  that allowed the ability to trigger the camera shutter also.

At a cost of $33.64 I figured it couldn't hurt to try a set. And while I only received them this afternoon, I am impressed. I took a quick photo for my son's EMT license and used these to trigger the flash. It worked like a charm. Over the next several weeks I'll run these through their paces. In fact, I think I will order a second set so that I will be able to run 2 flashes and still have another available to operate the shutter. Can you believe a set of 2 with a synch cable for less than $35? And with Amazon Prime, I received 2-day shipping. Not bad at all!

Here's a bonus. I pulled a dusty old Vivitar flash out of my desk drawer, popped in some fresh Eneloop batteries, and hooked it up to one of these triggers. And it worked just fine. While I have a Nikon SB-600, it's good to know that I can use the Vivitar when I want to add a second speedlight.

So keep a watch out here for more testing of these inexpensive, but functional, devices. There is a link below where you can order these from Just make sure you get the right ones for your camera.

All the best...Mike