Quick Start: Plug the cables into the SLR Shepherd and into the cameras. If needed, plug the flash cable into the SLR shepherd. Turn on your cameras. Press the shutter release button on the SLR Shepherd half way down to turn on the SLR Shepherd and achieve focus and exposure lock on your cameras, then press the shutter release button on the SLR Shepherd all the way down to take an exposure. Release the shutter button to prepare for the next exposure.
With further exposures, the SLR Shepherd will automatically adjust the shutter release timing for each camera to optimize shutter and flash sync.
Camera Cables: The two cables from cameras to SLR Shepherd each have four conductors (shutter, focus lock, strobe contact, and ground). The SLR Shepherd needs a four conductor 3.5mm (1/8 inch) audio "miniphone" style phono plug. The cameras usually need two separate connectors (one for strobe, and one for shutter release), and the camera cables thus typically will have a "Y" configuration.
Strobe Cable: The SLR Shepherd needs a 3.5mm (1/8”) mono audio “miniphone” style plug for the flash sync cable. By convention, the tip of the connector is positive and the base negative. Since the connector on the other end of the cable needed by an external flash system varies widely, a flash sync cable is not ordinarily included with the controller. However, flash sync cords for the Pocket Wizard are widely available using this exact “miniphone” connector. For example, search for "pocket wizard cable" at B&H Photo.
Paramount Cords (www.pccords.com) can make a custom cable for you, and I would suggest a custom cable with a straight molded miniphone 3.5mm plug (#37) on one end, a female hotshoe adapter with ¼-20 threaded mount (#33) on the other end (but a custom plug for your flash could be substituted for the hotshoe adapter). The hotshoe adapter includes a male cold shoe on the bottom, so you can mount the flash and adapter back on one of your camera hotshoes if you want, or use the ¼-20 threaded mount to secure the adapter to your camera mounting bar. With a three foot straight cord, this will cost about $35, and will work for any flash with a hot shoe. The SLR Shepherd provides high voltage protection (up to 400 volts), so no need to add high voltage protection to the cable.
Compatible Flash Units: The SLR Shepherd does not support dedicated TTL style flash units that need a data line for communication between the cameras and flash such as the Canon Speedlite flash units. Any non-dedicated flash unit that has a conventional two conductor trigger cable can be used. For portraits with fill flash on the go, I would suggest the Interfit E-flash panel. For more conventional 'cobra style' good quality basic automatic flash, I would suggest the Metz 36-C2, Sunpak 383, and Vivitar 285HV. Alternatively, one can call or email a photo supplier such as B&H Photo, and ask for a recommendation based on your shooting style.
Strobe Test: To test the strobe cable configuration, press the SLR Shepherd red "Test" button to trigger the strobe. The strobe contact is held closed as long as the button is pressed. This button uses the SLR Shepherd battery to trigger the internal electronic switch. While only trace current from the battery is used, the button is recessed to prevent inadvertent activation during storage and photography that may drain the battery prematurely.
Advanced Features: The SLR Shepherd is set up for immediate use without further adjustment. However, if one wishes to customize timing or features, a set of adjustments are available. To make adjustments, hold down the shutter release button of the SLR Shepherd to power the SLR Shepherd, then press the <UP> or <DN> buttons to scroll through the features. Use the <Select> button to choose the feature. Then use the <UP>, <DN>, and <Select> buttons to use the feature. Simply release the shutter button to exit the menu and turn off the SLR Shepherd. To reset all features of the SLR Shepherd to original settings, first release all buttons, then while holding down the <UP>, <DN>, and <Select> buttons, press the shutter release button half way to power up the SLR Shepherd and restore default settings.
If the batteries ever do need to be changed, one can remove the four screws from the back of the SLR Shepherd enclosure, and replace the two coin cells in the battery holder. Caution:To utilize as much of the battery life as possible, the SLR Shepherd does not have protection from reversed polarity of the batteries. One one must check the polarity carefully when installing the batteries. These batteries are one of the most commonly available coin cells, and can be purchased at most local grocery, drug, and hardware stores. This process of changing the batteries is simple enough, but I would be happy to provide this service for the price of shipping and batteries if needed.
The most vulnerable component of this stereo camera system is the cables. The cables are designed to withstand flexion, but cannot withstand much tension, so one should not allow the SLR Shepherd to hang by the cables! Velcro applied to the back of the SLR Shepherd with mating Velcro on the tripod can provide support for the SLR Shepherd when not hand held. During storage, the cables are best coiled loosely and protected from impact and sharp flexion. With care, the cables will last a very long time.
Similar to most cameras, the SLR Shepherd is not waterproof or splash proof and must be protected from water exposure, particularly in a salt water environment. The SLR Shepherd uses the finest components available, and with care will provide many years of high performance.
Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved.
SLR Shepherd Home
Digital Stereo Photography Home