Archive for January, 2014
My first good catch with a DSLR trail cam..!
It has taken me long enough. When I first set-up my Nikon D700 and after months of frustration using wireless flash triggers (two different makes), I have come to the conclusion that the only way to capture elusive wildlife with a DSLR and get that first shot; hard-wire the flashes with a TTL sync cord is the only way to go. These two shots of an Indochinese tiger shown here was captured in January 2014 using my D700 and a Nikon 10mm fixed lens in conjunction with a Nikon ML-3 remote trigger and one SB-28 and one SB-600 Speedlight.
I have cropped these two photos. While at the cam, I replaced the 10mm with a 24mm manual lens and refocused to take in the tighter crop. The 10mm was too wide for this location. On my next visit in a week or so, I will put a 35mm lens to get an even tighter frame. Also need to add one more flash above the cam as the shadow of the log on the right is not too good. Needless to say, the hard-wired flashes are still going and burn very little power on standby. I will also hard wire my other cams one at a time to do away with the useless wireless triggers. Enjoy…!!
For the first time, a snarling tiger shows what their reaction is to a video cam with red LEDs when actuated at night. This male tiger is a resident at this location in the ‘Western Forest Complex’…a black leopard also passed the cam several times but did not actually look at the LEDs and so no reaction was recorded.
At the second location, the tigers did not seem too bothered by the red blob…! I now have a few cams including my Nikon D700 set-up here and hopefully will catch a tiger with my DSLR trail cam…!! Please enjoy these videos and even though they are a bit fuzzy, still show Thailand’s amazing natural heritage at its best.
My smallest DSLR camera trap yet…!
Before my trip to the States in October 2013, I started working on a Sony DSLR trail cam using a Model A500 body with a Sony 28mm ƒ2.8 lens. I prefer prime lenses (24, 28, 35 or 50mm) over zooms for camera traps (for the most part) due to better quality images.
Sony A500/Pelican 1120/SSII/18650 externals/YongNuo CTR-301P/S.
A Pelican 1120 case has just enough room for the A500 body without a battery pack and a SSII with a #5 chip is used for control. A generic shutter release cable was cut and hooked-up to the SSII. NOTE: Make sure your SSII is up-graded to ‘no refresh’ as this can actuate the camera every couple of hours and drain the battery…!
Close-up modified YongNuo CTR-301P/S wireless flash trigger plus two 18650 externals.
Most people are not aware that Sony bought all the copyrights from Konica-Minolta (K-M) DSLR and SLR programs on the lens mount and other equipment and hence, many lenses and accessories are interchangeable between K-M and Sony. I have a few leftover Minolta lenses from my old film days for future Sony DSLR trail cams. Minolta made some of the finest lenses on the market on par with German Zeiss and Leica. However, the first K-M (Digital Dynax D7 and D5 bodies) were power hogs and a fully charged Lithium battery lasts about two-days on stand-by…!
Sony A500 in the case.
After Sony took over, power saving was improved and the A500 can last for several weeks. I decided to hack the A500 to take two 18650 – 4.2v Lithium batteries for 8.4v output as externals to increase battery life plus there was enough room in the case for them. However, the original Sony 7.2v battery must be in place for the cam to work with externals..!
Nikon SB-28 and YongNuo CTR-301P/S flash trigger reciever in Tupperware box.
For flash, a YongNuo CTR-301P/S wireless flash trigger for Sony is used along with a Nikon SB-28. The flash trigger transmitter was modified so the body fits in the case as shown. The flash system works very well and the flash, transmitter and two extra 4-AA battery packs all fit in a Tupperware type box. The SB-28 is modified to take regular battery packs putting out 6 volts. I also made up an extra slave flash with a light sensor.
LBK elephant proof boxes for Sony A500 and Nikon SB-28/YongNuo CTR-301P/S.
The cam and flashes of course have my ‘elephant proof’ aluminum boxes to protect them from the marauding giants and possible theft. I hope to set this cam soon and any photos will be forthcoming…Also, a Sony A700 and a A55 trail cams are one the way…!
Hope this helps anyone with a Sony or Minolta digital camera. A Minolta D7 or D5 would probably need a fairly large SLA battery. However, both make neat trail cams….!!