Uncle Dick's Feijoada
Right. Learned something of interest to Nikon and Fuji users last night - actually might work for Canonistas as well, but I have to experiment down here at work before I can confirm it. The basic problem was to go out to the field and take car pictures in bright sunlight - see my previous post decrying the sun for the difficulties of this - and to do this at a distance...about 2100 Km.
I want to take pictures of the Victorian Rod Show and the Australia Day car display in Melbourne. I could do it by one of several means: take the Nikon D 300s, the Nikon SB 700 flash, and the Stroboframe Pro RL bracket, or take the Fuji X-10 by itself. The former gives great shots but is heavy and cumbersome, and I don't want to ship the entire rig back and forth for a 10 day's holiday. The latter gives good shots but is defeated by the shadows under the cars or in their interiors.
I could rent a Nikon outfit at Michael's in Elizabeth Street but that would cost money. I could ship my Nikon outfit over in a Pelican case and then back again but THAT would cost money. I could purchase a big Fuji flash for the little Fuji but that would cost money. I am cheap. I needed to think it all out.
The answer lay in the menus of the Fuji and of the SB 700 - and hanging on the doorknob of the computer room. I switched the flash to "remote" and searched the menu for "SU-4". Then I went into the Fuji menu and enabled the external flash. The Sb 700 was put onto Manual and dialled down to 1/8 power. I pulled the Manfrotto monopod off the door and cleaned the blood and fur off it.
Fuji at 400 ISO, f:8, 1/125 second in Manual mode. Flash up. Camera fires, flash fires, SB 700 fires, perfect exposure. I have SB 700 in one hand and the camera in the other so I have off camera flash by the simplest means possible. If I attach the SB 700 to my monopod or extension pole I can do anything I want with it. And it'll cost me nothing. I'll fuel the Sb 700 with a fresh set of AA lithium batteries and I am laughing all holiday.
Note that this outfit goes into my little Tamrac shoulder bag that I got for free along with my mobile phone, notebook, and a muesli bar. The food at the Victorian Rod Show is awful so I go prepared. Note also that the Manfrotto monopod I carry to support the camera is also air-transportable, so I am good to go. I'll still visit Michaels. but only to spy on them...
Other users of other systems can benefit from this sort of flash connection - as long as they do not need the TTL facilities that the major manufacturers build into their respective systems. TTL is wonderful but you can use flash without it. We do it in a studio all the time.