3 Ways to Sync Your Strobes to Your Camera

3 Ways to Sync Your Strobes to Your Camera


You just bought Strobes and now you need to
know how to sync them with your camera. Here’s how. Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on “The Slanted Lens,” we’re gonna talk
about how to sync your camera with your strobes. There’s three basic ways we’re gonna talk
about today. These are the three that I think are the most
practical. There is a myriad of ways to make this happen
all because of DIY kinds of tricks and workarounds. But we’re gonna talk about the three basic
ways to sync your camera with your strobes. So, number one. It’s the easiest and probably the most effective
with regards to not failing way to sync your strobes with your camera, is just simply the
cable that came with your strobe. Or you can purchase these at B&H or through
the RMS affiliate program. These are simply a sync. The sync goes on the side of the camera right
here and now you simply run this all the way over to your strobe. And now when I take a picture, it syncs. The pros are it’s extremely reliable. It’s the most reliable way to fire your strobes. The cons are that your strobe can only go
as far away from your camera as this cable. And then this cable lays on the ground and
you’ve got people tripping on it, and it’s kind of a pain in the butt. And it’s very difficult because you can only
fire one strobe with it. Only one. So, number two is using the electronic slaves
that are on most strobe heads that are made today. So, this power pack here has an electronic
slave on the top of fit, and you can put this over to the slave. And this one over to the slave and this one
to the slave. And what it’s doing is if it gets a flash
of light, that light is collected in this little slave here. And it sees the light and it goes, “Oh, there’s
a flash.” And so it flashes the unit that it’s connected
to. So right now I have my cable to one. When it goes off, it’s going to reflect in
the electronic eye of the other two and it’s gonna fire all three. Here we go. And there they go, all three went off. So now that’s slave mode. But we’re still connected to this cable. So what we can do is get rid of this. We’re going to now add a strobe to the camera. And we’re going to use this to fire the other
strobes in our shot. I’m running this on manual because I do not
want this to overpower the work that these other three are doing. My goal is that these three are my lighting
and this just becomes the trigger that sets my camera. Now the pro of this situation is, what really
is positive about this, is that I can get this as far away from my set as I want. And I can fire it off. The negative or the downside of this is that
it does bring the light up on set. So that can be sometimes hard to balance and
be able to fight with. And, secondly, is that it’s gotta be fairly
close. It won’t fire these in the light outside. Outside in the bright light becomes the most
difficult place to use slaves because the slaves can’t see a change in light because
it’s already so bright out there. They don’t respond to that. So, they need a darker area. Great inside, great on set, great when you’re
working in somebody’s house but not great when you’re working outside. So, number three. So I’m kind of a radio slave. There’s a lot of companies that make these. There’s Radio Poppers or Pocket Wizards. There’s [inaudible 00:03:16], you know. There’s all kinds of stuff out there I’m sure. And these are fabulous and because they conquer
most of the problems. The disadvantage of these is cost. The first two methods we talked about are
very, very inexpensive. Even if you had to buy a small strobe to put
on your camera, you can get those things for $30 online. But these become an expense per unit that
you have to purchase. But they overcome the issues of being outside
because this will fire your strobes outside. They’ll fire your strobes a long ways away. So I simply put this on my camera. So this becomes a master. This is going to send a signal out that’s
going to fire my strobes. With the dyno lights and pocket wizard, the
pocket wizard is already built into the dyno light. If you don’t have that you’re gonna need to
get a B Unit that you hook up with a cable to your strobe or to your mono block. So you have your A unit on the camera, B unit
at the power source, the mono block or this other power out of the pack. When I hit this, I sync all three of these. I have two of them that are syncing by radio
slaves and the last one is syncing by the electronic eye or the slave on the mono block. Now I’d like to say there are some very inexpensive
options out there that really give you a great product. It’s just how far away do they work and reliably
how far away can you get them. Some are radio. Some are infra-red. I mean, there’s several different things out
in the market today. So, there’s the three main ways to be able
to sync your camera with your strobe. But now let’s take a look at my strobe cable
emergency kit. So this is my syncing emergency kit. What I have in here is all the stuff that
I need to be able to sync with anything that I may ever need to sync to. It’s neatly organized so we know exactly what
is there, exactly what we have. But if I were to take and get rid of all of
this, this is what you really need. I have a mini jack to strobe sync. I have a Edison to strobe sync. And I have the quarter inch to strobe sync. There’s your three major ways you sync with
strobes. You’ve got your mini, your quarter and Edison. Edison is not used that much anymore but it
used to be used on speedotron strobes. There are some out there still. So each of these have the end that go into
the sync port on your camera. Then when I start using radio slaves which
I do. Probably most of things that we do are done
with radio slaves. It’s a more expensive way to go but it’s what
we use constantly. So my radio slave syncs with a mini at the
back. But now I’ve got to be able to adapt that
to whatever strobe platform. So I’ve got a mini cable, mini to mini, and
then I’ve got an adapter that goes to quarter and that will fire the strobes as well. So now I don’t have to buy tutoring cables
but I’ve got the mini and I’ve got the adapter and that gives the ability to sync with both
of those different platforms. I get stereo cables. You don’t have to have stereo. You can run this on mono. But I get stereo cables because I can use
them in audio applications and other applications as well so it’s just as well have stereo. But then, of course, I always have the cable
that gives me the mini jack to the Edison just in case I want to be able to run my radio
slaves with an older platform like the speedotrons. So there are absolutely other strobes out
there that are going to have a proprietary way to attach the cable to the back of the
strobe. They all go back to that same adaptor, to
the camera, because that’s standard on the cameras. And so you may need to look at something that’s
going to adapt itself to your strobe. But these are the three major ones that you
work with, most of the things you’re going to encounter in the United States. You might think to yourself, “Well, I’m not
gonna have any other strobe platforms because I just use certain ones.” I’ve been on location and decided, “You know
what? We better rent a strobe.” And we’re in some little town and the only
thing we can find is…and you don’t have the cable. So I carry these cables with me always so
I can adapt myself to any of the different platforms that are out there. Also, if you check out our Mastering Studio
Strobes, we go into great detail about the different types of strobes and how you sync
with each of them and how you can use them effectively in lighting set ups as well as
just the technical ways to use your strobe equipment. So get out there. Check out that Mastering Studio Strobes over
at theslantedlens.com. So there’s a look at cables, what will keep
you from having a problem when you’re on set. Sync those strobes and make some great images. So keep those cameras rolling. Keep on clicking. [00:07:44]
[Music] [00:07:56] Don’t forget to subscribe to “The Slanted
Lens.” Like us on Facebook. Tell your mother about us. Tell your mother’s mother about us.

34 thoughts on “3 Ways to Sync Your Strobes to Your Camera”

  1. There is an idea get a Lady and the tramp style photos using you cables as a replacement for the spaghetti. Lol then say to sync with cord or not to sync with cord. Lol

  2. There is an unwritten rule that states: If anyone other then the talent in the shot is found with a body part in the shot, he or she must have a mustache placed on said body part in post!! I kinda feel that hairy elbows are hot!! LOL!!

  3. Been using Pocket Wizard for years. Just make sure to turn them off when done with the shoot. I sometimes forget so I always bring extra batteries. I always bring a cord in my bag for a backup in case the Pocket Wizards fail.

  4. Some older flash units use the micro (cell phone) plug, as well, and it can be very hard to find adaptors to mate them with minis or 1/4 inch lines. One way is to use a cable and a plug-in slave, which can be positioned to "see" where the on-unit slave cannot. There are also hub-type adaptors for sync cords – 1 in, 3 out, etc., which can be useful, especially if you have a gender matching problem in your cables. And the older Edison lines are great as intermediaries – when you need longer runs of cable, you can use a household extension cord between the camera sync and the strobe sync cords. And its stronger, so it weathers handling better.

  5. I was able to sync my PCB ultra to high speed 1/4000 WITHOUT ANY BANDING:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHJF_YUoqTk&t=547s

  6. hey slanted lens! here's a problem i am having. I recently purchased a dynalilte kit with a m1000 XR power pack and it did not come with the 3 prong sync cord so i can use my pocket wizard with it. I have the plus ii's. All i ever find is 3 prong to PC. i need a 3 prong to DC/3v cord. I cant seem to find them anywhere. Any suggestions? im kind of upset that i do not have this cord, as i was excited when i purchased this set. thank you!

  7. Any idea how to set up two lights of the same brand, but not set each other off? I've tried using the flash but it still sets both off. I need the 2nd photog to set her strobe off and me just set mine off. Neewer 400 and 300. Yes – Ive tried different channels.

  8. I wondering if the strobe has hss and ttl and I use a trigger on the camera and receiver with a sync cable would it still be able to use the hss and ttl on the strobe?

  9. Is it possible to use the cable for strobe 1, and a set of radioflash for strobe 2? Would the two strobes fire toghether?

  10. What if my camera (Canon 80D) doesn't have a cable attachment and does not recognizes the Neewer trigger I bought?

  11. Strength and Grace Movement

    i wish there were links to these cables. Not sure what they are all called, and links would make it so much easier.

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