Using Wireless Remotes

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R.Lynch
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Using Wireless Remotes

Post by R.Lynch » July 24th, 2010, 5:43 pm

We all know how difficult it can be to work with a wild animal while shooting. I've been particularly frustrated when attempting to take pictures of quick moving snakes at night. At times I feel like I need 4 hands to get the shot I want; one to focus the camera, one to arrange lighting, and two to work with the animal.

In attempt to make my life a bit easier I have started looking into wireless remotes for my camera. At the moment I think I'm going to go with the Nikon ML-L3 wireless remote. I was wondering if anyone here uses this or another model of wireless remote and whether you would recommend it? Any thoughts/ comments would be appreciated!

Cheers,
Ryan

bgorum
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by bgorum » July 24th, 2010, 6:11 pm

Hummm? I'm afraid I don't really understand how adding one more thing to deal with is going to help the situation. How did you anticipate using the wireless remote?

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chrish
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by chrish » July 24th, 2010, 7:05 pm

My DSLR came with a wireless remote (Sony Alpha 700). I have used it a few times for specific things but the problem with using it for live stuff is that you can't see through the viewfinder while you are posing the animal and holding the remote. It really doesn't help.

My remote sits on the shelf almost all of the time.

Erik Williams
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by Erik Williams » July 24th, 2010, 7:08 pm

I've played with the poverty wizard remotes before, and it was painful for herps. Constantly adjusting the intensity manually was tedious at best.

However, I've found the camera-controlled remote flashes to be pretty cool because I can change settings in the camera body, quickly and easily. The hard part is putting them somewhere. They are too heavy for a cheapy gorillapod, and I don't want to carry a thousand tripods or umbrella stands into the field. Usually I get an unhappy assistant to help with one, and I hold the other at arm's length. Not a perfect solution. They really cast a nice light because you can move them away from the subject much better than an onboard flash or even the dual-flash macro setups. But it's a big pain.

Edit: Oh sorry, CAMERA remote. I have one, it's cool for self portraits. Wouldn't even dare try it for herps.

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R.Lynch
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by R.Lynch » July 24th, 2010, 7:32 pm

bgorum-the idea is that I can set up the camera on the tripod aimed at where I want the shot. Then with remote in hand I can move out in front of the camera to deal with/ pose the animal. I guess the idea is that it would be easier to deal with the animal with a small remote in hand rather than the entire camera/ tripod set up.

Seems like the rest of you who have one are not to excited about them. I wasn't sure if it would make things easier or not- it just seems convenient in the description of the item.

Thanks for the comments!

Erik Williams
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by Erik Williams » July 24th, 2010, 7:51 pm

The problem is scale: at night, you have a limited amount of real estate to work with. A wide shot will catch a lot of black background because the flashes, whatever they may be, will not be powerful enough to light the whole forest/desert/road. That means you'll be limited to moderate magnification or macro, and neither lend themselves to a "set it and forget it" focal point. You'll probably end up with a lot of almost-in-the-frame shots or out of focus shots. Besides, it's more fun to herp with a buddy who can wrangle while you shoot.

E

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Ribbit
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by Ribbit » July 29th, 2010, 7:57 pm

I've used a wireless remote to aid camera stability in some relatively extreme low-light cases. For example, the camera is on a tripod but on soft ground, focused on a small motionless herp when there's not much natural light but I don't want to use the flash. The exposure might need to be very long to get sufficient depth of field -- 10 or 20 or 30 seconds. Just touching the camera can be enough to cause a little camera shake that can ruin a shot like this, and the remote can help.

John

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umop apisdn
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by umop apisdn » July 31st, 2010, 4:29 pm

I just want a camera body with sensors for the wireless remotes from in front as well as behind. I personally want to check everything out through the viewfinder and not worry about reaching in front of the camera to hit the shutter.

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David Jahn
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by David Jahn » August 1st, 2010, 5:17 pm

I use a remote with my Canon occasionally. It works great when using a tripod and shooting at low shutter speeds, as a camera on even the most stable tripod will often move just enough to cause a loss of sharpness if you trigger the shutter manually.

I've tried using the remote a couple times this year as Ryan asked about, for precisely positioning an animal well in front of the tripod/camera, then snapping the shot with the remote. It is definitely challenging to compose the shot and get focus spot on without positioning the animal while viewing the composition through the lens, but it is possible after a few iterations (composing the shot, move to adjust the animal, move back to recompose, etc., then shoot with the remote when you think you have it). As Erik says, it's much easier and more fun to work with a buddy when arranging shots, but I have done it this way in a pinch.

Remotes are cheap, small, and light, so I see no reason not to keep one with my camera gear at all times.

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Mattlesnake King
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Re: Using Wireless Remotes

Post by Mattlesnake King » August 3rd, 2010, 10:00 am

Like some have stated already, the wireless remotes can be good with herps when you are using a slow shutter speed and the critter is being very still. It'll keep you from shaking tripod legs and things like that. Of course you could also use the camera's timer, but if you're a bit clumsy getting far from the set-up might be the best bet. I have a remote for my Nikon D50, but am in no hurry to get one for my D300 if that tells you anything about its true utility with herps.

Good luck,
Matt K

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