With the Hahnel Captur Remote Control you can control a camera or a group of photographic flashlights. The Captur Remote Control is the basic part of a bigger system that includes sensor triggers and intervalometers. When you buy a Captur Remote Control, you’ll find a Transmitter, a Receiver, batteries and a cable for your camera inside the box. If you want to trigger multiple flashes, you’ll need to buy additional Receivers. Extra Receivers come without cable or batteries.
In this basic tutorial you’re going to learn:
- How to set up the Captur Remote Control as a remote shutter control system
- How to set up the Hahnel Captur Remote Control for use with one camera and two photographic flashlights.
- How to use the Captur Remote Control with two cameras and multiple flashes.
When you unpack the Hahnel Captur Remote Control you’ll notice that the Transmitter is the only device with a hotshoe. The Receiver only has a coldshoe. The Transmitter also doesn’t come with a cable port as the Receiver does.
The Hahnel Captur Remote Control only works with flashes set to manual mode. It will not work in TTL mode. Manual flashes will work with the Captur Remote Control. I have successfully used the system with LumoPro LP160 and LP180 flashes.
Using the Captur Remote Control as a remote shutter control button
The Captur Remote Control serves as a remote shutter control whereby you hold the Transmitter in your hand and connect the Receiver to your camera. It has a maximum range of 100m. In practice, the Hahnel Captur Remote Control works perfectly if you stay within a 40 to 50 metre range, regardless of obstacles in-between the Transmitter and Receiver.
- Connect the included shutter cable to your camera’s remote control port (see your camera’s user guide for instructions). Connect the end of the cable that looks like a smaller version of a stereo mini jack to the Receiver’s cable port. Make sure the cable is firmly seated and pushed in fully.
- Turn on the Receiver and your camera. Turn on the Transmitter.
- To activate your camera’s autofocus, push the Transmitter’s large, grey release button lightly. The Transmitter’s LED will stop flashing and hold its green light steady on for as long as you hold down the button.
- To release the shutter and take the photo, push the Transmitter button all the way down. The Receiver’s LED will briefly turn red, the camera’s shutter will release and your photo will be taken.
You can also use the Captur Remote Control to shoot continuously or have the shutter open for long exposure (bulb) photography. To prevent you having to hold down the Transmitter’s button for long periods, you can lock it.
To lock the Captur Remote Control’s Transmitter button for continuous shooting or long exposure, push the button down fully for 3 seconds until its LED flashes red. The button is now locked and you can lift your finger. To stop taking shots or exposing, just full push again and the shutter will close. The Transmitter’s LED will stop flashing.
How to set up the Hahnel Captur Remote Control with one camera and two flashes
To trigger photographic flashlights with the Captur Remote Control, you’ll need to set up the system so the camera can trigger the flashes to go off at the right moment. For that to happen, you will need to mount the Captur Remote Control Transmitter on the flash shoe of your camera. If you own a Sony Alpha with the non-standard hotshoe, you will first need to buy an adapter that is capable of transferring all electrical signals to a standard hotshoe. You can then mount the Transmitter on the adapter and use it as if there’s no adapter installed.
The next thing to do is mount your flashes on the Captur Remote Control Receivers. When you’re all set, turn on the Receivers, the flashes, the Transmitter and your camera. Now when you release your camera’s shutter, the flashes will fire. However, if you started this tutorial with brand new Receivers, the Captur Remote Control system will be in Open Channel Matching mode. This means any Transmitter will activate any Receiver when triggered.
There is another mode that you will need to use when your setup gets more complicated. If your flashes don’t fire and you have set up the Captur Remote Control system before, you might be in Digital Channel Matching mode, which could prevent some Receivers to react to your Transmitter. In that case, you will need to re-match your Receivers with the Transmitter.
Using the Hahnel Captur Remote Control with two cameras and two sets of flashes
If you want to use the Captur Remote Control in a studio and you want to use the system with:
- Two cameras and two matching Transmitters
- A Transmitter and a Captur Module Timer or Captur Module Pro…
…you will need to first put the Transmitters (or Modules) and Receivers into Digital Channel Matching mode. Out-of-the-box your system comes in Open Channel Matching mode. This means that any Transmitter or Module can trigger any Receiver. That may not be what you want. In fact, in most cases you’ll want to match or associate one transmitting device with one or more receiving devices, with each transmitting device having access to its own pool of receiving devices.
To make that happen, you need to put your Transmitters and Receivers in Digital Channel Matching mode. This is how you do it:
- First decide which Receivers you want to match up with your first Transmitter. You can make the set of Receivers as big as you want, but it is wise to label both Transmitter and matched Receivers. Personally, I user a self-adhesive label.
- Turn off all Transmitters and Receivers.
- Push the release button of the first Transmitter down all the way and keep it pushed while you turn the unit on. The LED will start flashing green.
- Push down the button on the Receiver and keep it pushed down while turning it on. The LED will now turn red without flashing. Leave the Receiver turned on.
- Repeat step 3 for each Receiver you want to associate with the Transmitter. When you’ve finished matching all the Receivers you want to associate with this Transmitter, turn off all Receivers and Transmitter.
- Next time you turn on the Transmitter and its matched Receivers you will notice that only this Transmitter can fire these specific Receivers. Others that have been matched with other Transmitters or Modules will not fire.
- To match the second Transmitter, repeat the steps starting with step 2.
If the need ever arises to return the units to Open Channel Matching mode, these are the steps to take:
- Push the Transmitter button and, while keeping it pushed down, turn on the unit. Hold down the button until the LED turns red without flashing.
- Push the Receiver button and, while keeping it down, turn on the unit. Hold down the button until the LED turns red steadily as well.
- Repeat this with all the devices you want to return to Open Channel Matching state. When all units have been reset this way, turn each of them off. Next time you turn them on again, they’ll be in Open Channel Matching mode.
NOTE: You’ll see the LED turn red without flashing after about 6 seconds.
To start using the cameras with their respective Transmitters and Receiver pools, you will need to follow the instructions in the previous chapter: “How to set up the Hahnel Captur Remote Control with one camera and two flashes”.
When you now shoot a photo with either camera, only the flashes mounted on the pool of Receivers that were matched with the associated Transmitter will fire.
Can you group flashes with the Hahnel Captur Remote Control system?
The last chapter discussed setting up your system using two cameras and two sets of Transmitter/Receivers. These instructions also apply to using the Transmitter together with a Module Timer or a Captur Module Pro (See the associated tutorial for more information).
That may have sparked hope with you that it should be possible to use the system with one camera but two sets of flashes — a feature that is commonly known as flash grouping. Flash grouping allows you to control multiple groups of photographic flashlights with one camera.
For example, you might have a group of flashes with colour gels mounted on standby and another group without gels mounted. If you put all the gel-equipped flashes in one group and the bare ones in another, you can quickly switch between them for completely different types of photography. Professional gear like PocketWizard’s Plus III remote flash and camera triggers enable you to set up groups.
The Captur Remote Control by itself does not enable flash grouping, but Hahnel’s Viper Wireless Group Flash Trigger does. This system is compatible with the Captur Remote Control on the level of radio transmission/receiving signal, which basically means you can mix the both of them and they’ll work.
However, the Viper system is for Canon only.
There’s a tutorial on the Hahnel Captur Module Pro too.