Simple but complete Guide to using the Hahnel Captur Module Pro (2)

In this tutorial you’re going to learn how to use the Hahnel Captur Module Pro and all of its capabilities. Before we start, you should also have a Captur Remote Control set with a Transmitter that is put in Digital Channel Matching mode with at least one Receiver. In addition, you should put your Captur Module Pro in Digital Channel Matching (DCM) mode with at least one other Captur Receiver.

To set your Captur Module Pro in DCM mode:

  • Make sure the unit is turned off
  • Press and hold the big shutter release button until the LED flashes green rapidly
  • Make sure your Receiver is turned off
  • Press and hold the Receiver’s button until the LED turns red without flashing.

Turn off all units and back on again. They are now associated with each other. You can now use the Captur Module Pro to either fire photographic flashlights or the camera, using the associated Receiver. Note that in order to use the Captur Module Pro as a remote shutter release and simultaneously fire flashes, you will need to:

  • Mount the Captur Remote Control Transmitter on your camera
  • Connect a Receiver matched to the Captur Module Pro to the camera
  • Mount your flashes on Receivers that are matched to the Transmitter.

Any other method will result in your flash triggering too late, creating an underexposed image. In order to make recognition of associated Receivers easy, you can label them with a sticker or anything else that clearly shows which Receiver is matched with whatever type of unit.

Captur Module Pro

Using the Captur Module Pro as a shutter control

You can use the Hahnel Captur Module Pro as a shutter control in two ways: wired and wireless. In both cases, you’ll push the big fat unlabelled button right below the LCD screen halfway down to autofocus. The LED will go steady green. Push the button all the way down to release the shutter — the Captur Module Pro LED will turn red. Keep the button down for more than 3 seconds to lock it down. This enables bulb photography or continuous shooting.

If you have purchased the optional cable for your camera, you can use the Captur Module Pro as a wired shutter control. There’s not much to explain about this further. You connect the Captur Module Pro with your camera and sue the release button as explained and that’s it.

You can also use the Captur Module Pro as a wireless shutter control. To use the Captur Module Pro as a wireless shutter release, you will need a matched Captur Remote Control Receiver.

  • Connect the Receiver to the camera’s shutter control port
  • Turn on the unit
  • Use the shutter control button as explained in the first paragraph.

Programming the interval timer of the Captur Module Pro

The Hahnel Captur Module Pro is a full blown intervalometer. It enables you to take photos at regular intervals and it even allows you to repeat your interval sequence at its own regular interval. In other words, you can nest one interval in another.

Captur Module Pro

Let’s assume it’s noon and you want to take 12 long exposure (bulb) shots of 4 minutes each every 30 seconds, starting at 22:00 / 10PM. When the first 12 shots have been taken, you want to wait for half an hour and then you want to repeat the sequence twice. Let’s translate this into a language that Captur Module Pro understands.

Navigating the system

The Captur Module Pro has an interval timer screen that starts with the Delay and ends with the number of times you want to have your interval sequence to repeat. The screens will show up in this order:
Delay > Long > Interval 1 > Interval 1 N > Interval 2 > Interval 2 N

To adjust the interval settings, you will use the SET button and its ‘wing’ buttons around it. To go the next screen, you’ll push the button to the right of the SET button. To go back to the previous screen, you’ll push the button left of the SET button.

Captur Module Pro
To change the values in a screen, you’ll push the SET button once. The seconds field will start blinking. If you are in one of the “N” screens, the field inside the brackets will blink.

Captur Module Pro
The “N” screen.

To increase or decrease values in the field, use the buttons vertically of the SET button. The top button increases values, while the bottom one decreases them. When you’re done adjusting, push the SET button once again to fix your changes.

To go to a minutes and hours field in a screen, you’ll use the buttons horizontally at either side of the SET button.

Translating our example into the different Captur Module Pro screen entries

This translates our setup as follows:

  1. You want to start shooting at 22:00 / 10PM. It’s noon. In the Delay screen push the SET button once. The seconds field starts to blink. In our setup we will set the Delay to 10 hours.
  2. Move to the Long screen using the button at the right of the SET button. If you want to take a normal photo (i.e. no bulb shot or a burst of shots with the camera in continuous shooting mode) leave the values set to zero. In our setup, however, we are going to take shots of 4 minutes each, so we’ll go to the minutes field and increase that to 4 minutes and press the SET button to confirm your change.
  3. The actual interval is set in the next screen with the heading “INTVL1”. We want to repeat our 4 minute bulb shot every 30 seconds, so you’ll press SET, the seconds field will start blinking. You’ll use the button above the SET button to increase the value to 30, then press SET again to fix the changes. And then you’ll press the right button to move to the next screen.
  4. You’ll enter the screen where you’ll set the number of shots you want to take in the interval sequence — “INTVL1 N”. In our setup, that’s 12 shots. So, again, push the SET button, adjust the value and push SET again.
  5. Now we want to repeat this whole sequence twice after waiting half an hour in-between. The screen we’re in after the previous step should read “INTVL2”. We’ll set the minutes value to 30 and move to the last screen.
  6. The last screen reads “INTVL2 N” and here we’ll set the number of sequence repeats we want, i.e. two. By now, you should know how to adjust that value.

Starting your interval timed session

In order to start our interval timing, you must not leave the last screen. If you do press the right button after step 6, you’ll be in the first sensor-controlled setup screen and you can’t start the interval timer from any other screen but one of the interval screens we’ve covered.

To start your interval timing, push the Start/Stop button once. If you want to stop the sequence, you can push it again. It’s not hard to see you can inadvertently push this button and ruin an interval sequence while it’s busy.

To prevent this from happening, there’s a “Lock” button on the Captur Module Pro. If you just push it once, it will act as a sound feedback switch. Push it once and the feedback beeps will be turned on, push it again to turn them off. However, if you push and hold this button for a couple of seconds, it will lock all other buttons except the shutter control.

The Captur Module Pro sensors

Hahnel has equipped the Captur Module Pro with five sensor-triggered capabilities:

  • Sound
  • Infrared (IR)
  • Light
  • Laser
  • Auxiliary port, which is a port that accepts external sensor modules.

The four built-in sensors have settings for Sensitivity (0 – 99), Delay before the shutter is released or the flash fires (0 – 10sec), Duration of a burst or exposure time (with your camera set to continuous/bulb mode) (0 – 10 sec) and finally the Number of times the sensor triggers the Module Pro (0 – Infinite).

The Captur Module Pro Infrared module

In the box with your Captur Module Pro, you’ll find an IR transmission module. This box has an ON/OFF switch and an IR power switch.

Captur Module Pro IR module

This switch should be kept at its default setting, keeping the following observations in mind:

  • The changeover point from High to Low depends on the ambient light
  • As a guideline, for distances below 1.5m the Low setting is best. For distances greater than 1.5m the High setting is best.
  • There will be some distances where it will work on Low as well as High.

The IR sensor requires the IR module to be optically lined up with the red IR receiver port on the Captur Module Pro. IR always is a line-of-sight system. In this case, the Captur Module Pro triggers the associated Captur Remote Control Receiver when the beam is broken.

Captur Module Pro

Sensor settings

Just as with other sensors, you will have to set the Captur Module Pro’s Sensitivity, Delay, Duration and Number parameters to obtain the best results. It’s impossible to give you firm advice on these settings as they will change from each environment and from your own objectives. I strongly recommend you to experiment to find your best combination of settings.

However, a few basic rules can be set.

The default Sensitivity is OK for most cases. For example, if you’re trying to fire the Module Pro when a hard bang occurs using the Sound sensor (which is a microphone, really), but you’ve set up your equipment in a noisy environment, then the Sensitivity parameter will work best at a lower setting. If the sound you’re using as the trigger is drowning in noise, you’ll be out of luck if you can’t move the Captur Module Pro close enough. On the other hand, if you’re in a quiet environment, the Sensitivity setting may be just right, or you may be able to lower it to fire the Module Pro.

The Delay feature allows you to set a delay of up to 10 seconds in increments of 1/100th of a second. You will want to use this to fire the Module Pro at exactly the right time after the sensor has been activated by the breaking of a laser or IR beam, for example. Let’s say you want to shoot a balloon filled with water bursting. You can choose to show the exact time of bursting, with little water splashing out, but by setting the Delay to a few hundreds of a second, the Module Pro will fire at the moment the water is already going everywhere.

Hahnel’s Youtube channel has a great series created by a pro photographer explaining how he achieved his results.

Duration speaks for itself. If you plan on shooting continuously, you can do so by setting the value high enough for your purposes. The same applies for the Number setting, although this relates to the number of times you allow the Module Pro to fire, rather than allowing for the camera to shoot for extended periods of time. Still, the Number screen has an extra trick up its sleeve…

The Captur Module Pro’s more or less secret power feature

The Captur Module Pro has one feature that you might not be aware of, unless you have read its instruction leaflet from start to finish and paid close attention. It’s the powerful capability of combining the interval timer with sensor triggered photography. It’s available with all sensors.

The way it works is as follows:

  • Set up your time lapse first
  • Set up your sensor settings and navigate to the sensor’s Number settings screen
  • Push the SET button to enter adjustment mode for the field. Using the button to increase or decrease values, scroll to the value that looks like this “[-t-]”. If you start from the default setting, which is “[—]” or infinity, you best scroll upwards to get there fast. Push the SET button to confirm your choice.
Captur Module Pro
The “N” screen.

The Captur Module Pro will now fire when it is triggered by the sensor and it will keep on triggering the camera or the flashes conforming to the interval settings.

Battery life

The Captur Module Pro has a running time of approx. 96 hours on its AA batteries. The Captur Module IR, which is supplied with the Captur Module Pro has a running time of 200 hours on Low power and 50 hours on High power setting.

Captur Module Pro

However, you can have the system running for much longer periods of time. The Captur Module Pro and Captur Module IR both have a built-in micro-USB socket which allows you to power the devices with an external 5V power source. There’s a tutorial on the Hahnel Captur Remote Control too.