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RadioPopper Review-By Andrew Collings

February 8th, 2011 Comments off

The RadioPopper system allows the photographer to fine-tune the interplay between the existing light and the speedlights.

How the RadioPopper system works:

The RadioPoppers don’t add any functionality to the flashes. But they are essential to using the flash on location. This is because what the RadioPoppers do is to relay, via radio signals, the existing light-based (tiny quick pulses of strobe from the flash) communication system that the Canon flashes and cameras use.

RadioPopper system consists of a device that sits on top of the hot shoe-mounted Master flash and a separate unit that is mounted via an included plastic cradle to the Slave/remote flash(es). The Master flash fires a pre-flash each time you take a photograph and this pre-flash is the control signal to the other flashes. The RadioPopper system captures this preflash light/information, turns it into a radio signal, relays that signal to the RadioPopper receivers mounted to the slave flashes and these receivers then emit out that original master pulse into those slave flashes. The Canon slave flashes are tricked into thinking they received a pulse from the master flash. And it all happens as fast as 1/8000s. It seems like it wouldn’t work consistently. But it does.

Camera with RadioPopper sender unit. All my 580’s have the Honl speedstrap on them permanently as well as a tungsten gel. We built custom holding straps for the camera flash mounted sender.

Examples of our small strobe location lighting kit:

Left: Honl 1/4″ grid (hard light). Right: Honl Photo traveller8 Softbox (long-throw soft spot).

Left: Westcott 43″ Collapsible silver umbrella. We use this umbrella when we need maximum power. Right: Our setup for flare-oriented shooting during dancing.

Contents of our small strobe location lighting kit. I like the Manfrotto Nanostands for many lighting situations and it’s great that they fit right in the case! But we also bring 2 10′ heavy duty stands in a stand sling bag.

Example photographs shot with RadioPoppers and our small strobe system;

Being able to shoot TTL fill flash outdoors without worries of sync problems is great! So is shooting at high shutter speeds and wide apertures–here at 1.4 and 1/4000s !

Our experience with the RadioPopper system has been excellent. We have very rarely had any issues with the electronics. It really is like magic, especially when one uses the system with the 5DmkII and 1DmkIV and the 580exII flashes. When those items are used, you are able to control all your remote flashes with the menu system on the back of the camera. While it’s more complicated to turn the Master/Slave flash mode on and off than it is on the 580ex flash (the 580ex has a physical switch to do that right on the flash), it’s much easier to configure the settings with the 580exII. It’s great that it works so well, since one has virtually no understanding of why it isn’t working since it’s all wireless electronic hocus pocus.

http://www.andrewcollings.com

Photography Hand Trucks and Carts

May 19th, 2008 Comments off


My last post on camera bag technology and transporting your gear did not include lighting gear. This post is primarily for Pros who travel with lighting.

Case technology for transporting lighting really hasn’t really changed that much. Lights have gotten smaller and lighter, but this hasn’t change the cases. It’s just a matter of getting the right size and padding. Many newer cases come with wheels and that’s a noteworthy addition.

The four biggest manufactures are Lightware, Tenba, Pelican, and Haliburton.

Size matters: Getting the right size and weight for air travel is tricky. Sometimes it’s just best to rent gear near your destination when you travel by air. I like to hire local assistants who own lights or can get their hands on some. I’ll pay big bucks for someone who knows the location, can get the lighting, and can pick me up at the airport. What I save on rental cars, taxis, and baggage charges can pay for an assistant. Read more…

Camera Bag Technology

May 15th, 2008 Comments off


The right method of traveling your gear is essential. Careful consideration of the way the gear is transported is often overlooked. Camera gear has changed, so the bags and cases have changed as well. Some of the new bag technology is really innovative and can make a big difference in the way you work with the equipment. Backpacks, slings, and holsters are in are replacing shoulder bags. My back welcomes these changes! Really nice Modular Systems are also coming onto the market.

Depending on the amount of gear you own, and what you do with it, I recommend owning at least three camera bags:
#1.) The largest bag that will still fit the domestic travel carry on regulation: I use the Tenba Shootout backpack shown above for this bag. It just barely fit’s into the overhead of larger planes. The shootout is a really well thought out backpack and I highly recommend it.

#2.) A medium bag that will carry just one camera body, a flash and a couple of lenses: I use the Tamrac Velocity 9 shown below which is a sling style. I love the sling style and find the Velocity 9 to be an comfortable and accessible.

#3.) A holster bag that carries only one camera and one lens: It’s nice to be able to take just the bare essentials on some shoots. Read more…