Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sigma 530 Super Flash in Wireless TTL? Check!

After playing around with my Sigma 530 Super Flash I wanted to use it and my Nikon SB600 and use them both in TTL mode.  Using both flashes in TTL means I can put the flashes where I want them and not worry about adjusting their outputs or anything of that nature. The camera will take care of the mental gymnastics and I can just take pretty pictures.  Initially I thought there was no way this was going to work and I'd be stuck with my cheaper than dirt Cactus trigger. Thankfully I was wrong. The unfortunate thing is the steps are rather convoluted and tricky to perform.

  1. Put your left foot in
  2. Take your left foot out
  3. Shake left foot all about
  4. Now do the "hokey-pokey" and turn yourself about (no one can do this but you!)

Alright, so its not the hokey-pokey but the steps do require some manual dexterity. The camera needs to be metering while you are adjusting the settings. If its not then you can't get the flash into TTL mode. Basically it means just periodically pressing the shutter half-way to "wake-up" the camera. I suppose one could go into the menu and adjust the "Auto meter-off delay" to a higher value than the 6 second default but that would also suppose one would have thought of that while one was trying this out the first time. That aside, with the flash mounted on the camera and the metering on follow these steps (described on this Flickr post):
  1. Press the MODE button to select the TTL / flash symbol / SL icon. 
  2. Press the SEL button to make the channel indicator blink and press the + or – button to set the channel
    number (either C1- C4).
  3. Press the SEL button to make the group number blink and press the + or – button to set the group number. Press the SEL button to confirm. 
  4. Detach the slave unit from camera body and place it in the desired position. 
One thing I had to grump about when I performed step three was that I bumped open the battery cover on the flash. Of course the flash turned off and then I had to start all over again.  I might be tempted to put a couple of wraps of hockey tape around that sucker to prevent that. At the very least it would help keep my quarters in my pockets and out of the swear jar.

Once all those steps were performed correctly I was able to trigger my Sigma wirelessly with TTL. I powered up the other flash and proceeded to blind the heck out of my poor dog who was the only model available at that moment. Okay, I must confess that he is a bit of a diva and does like to be in front of the camera and probably didn't mind a bit.

There are a few things I can try next. One is to simply control the output manually from the camera itself.  That should be simple enough but you never know. It would be handy because then I can have greater control over the lighting.  The other thing to try is the Auto FP option. This will allow me to use shutter speeds higher than 1/200 second such as when I want to shoot with wide apertures.

No comments: