I recently bought the Hahnel Captur Pro for high speed photography, and whilst I am very impressed with it I have discovered that using it for water drop photography (one of the main reasons I bought the Hahnel Captur Pro in the first instance) is not going to be as easy as I first thought.
I am totally new to high speed photography and I thought the Hahnel Captur Pro was used to trip the camera’s shutter and the speed lights, however I have since discovered that in order to get sharp shots the Hahnel Captur Pro is used to fire just the shutter, and that I need to use the camera in bulb mode in a totally dark room. Yep, I admit that I was naïve and I didn’t appreciate I have to keep the camera’s shutter open (in the dark) and then fire the flash just at the right moment to get the photo.
I only want to dabble in water drop photography and give it a go so the thought of spending a few hundred bucks on a water drop kit (one of those electronic timing machines, a stand and drip bottle) was out of the question. Even if I did have the spare funds to buy such an elaborate bit of photography kit there was no way I could justify the cost of buying one. I intended on making a simple (and very cheap) water drop device, and whilst this is easy to do it is not possible to set the time between drips, and it is in the lap of the gods.
I have found that with my set up there are times when there are several seconds between drips and times when the drips are virtually constant. When there is sufficient time between the drips using the camera in bulb mode (and using the Hahnel Captur Pro to fire just the flash) is a possibility but it is impossible to know how my water drip system is going to behave. The other issue when there are long intervals between the drips is setting the pre-focus which takes ages and is a real faff.
When there is little time between the water drips it is impossible to set the camera in bulb mode and use the Captur Pro to fire just the shutter. When the drips are constant and close together it is normal for several drips to break the laser beam causing the speed lights to fire multiple times whilst the shutter is open, resulting in numerous exposures in one which doesn’t work. To prevent this happening you have to close the shutter as soon after the speed lights have fired, but when the drips are constant it is virtually impossible to close the shutter before the next drip (and often drips) break the laser beam causing the speed lights to fire.
If you want to use the Hahnel Captur Pro for water drop photograph an electronic water drop machine is an essential bit of kit. With these kits it is possible to set the duration between the drips. This means you can set a short duration/have a constant flow in order to pre-focus the lens before increasing the duration to several seconds to enable you to close the camera’s shutter after the speed lights have fired but before the next water drop is released. These electronic timers also allow you to have multiple drips falling at the same time which will collide for even more cool effects.
If you want to use the Hahnel Captur Pro in laser mode for photographing water drops you really need to invest in an electronic water drop machine. Sure, you can try my method above, however I wouldn’t recommend it at all, unless you like being frustrated that is.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.
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