RSS & Email Feeds - The Easy Way To Keep Up To Date With The Blog


Tech Podcast Network
« SCL Photography Podcast 100 - Not Out! | Main | A Great Day Out At The Motor Museum, Beaulieu »

First Attempts At Macro Off-Camera Flash In Our Garden With The Cobra 700af Strobe

I've had the Cobra 700af flash for quite a few months now, but I've never got round to using it properly. When I bought it from the car-boot sale, I popped some batteries in and gave it a quick go, but it didn't seem much more powerful than the pop-up flash on my 350d, and didn't do very well when I tried to bounce it off ceilings or walls. I guess I've got a lot to learn...

The Cobra 700af, with my 350d, on its bracket:

I got some extra rechargeable batteries recently, so I popped four in the flash head and four in the handle. I was determined to see if I could get some half-decent macro shots, as a strobe can really improve the colours when working macro, plus it means I don't have to use the long exposures required when using smaller apertures with natural light.

I used my Soligor 90-230mm zoom, some extension tubes, the M42-EF adapter to make the old lens fit my 350d, two tripods (one for the flash), my remote-control shutter release, mirror lock-up, and, of course, the Cobra flash.

First Attempt At Off Camera Flash With Macro Set-Up

I think I'm going to enjoying playing around with the Cobra, and here's the best of the photographs I took in the garden:

Flower From Side (In Garden)
Flower From Side (In Garden)

Yellow Flower (With Flash)
Yellow Flower (With Flash)

Stamens Detail, Red Flower (In Garden
Stamens Detail, Red Flower (In Garden)
Check out the detail in the original size.

I'm using the camera in Manual mode, where what happens is the flash fires whenever the shutter trips. To control the exposure, apparently the way it works is that the shutter speed controls the ambient (background) light, and the aperture controls the amount of flash on your subject (I think!). However, the 350d has a maximum flash sync speed of 200th of a second, so that's one of the limiting factors.

Right, I'm off to the Strobist to learn a bit more about this flash business!

Cheers, Rob.

Reader Comments (3)

Hiya Rob,

Good to see you finally getting around to some off-camera flash work. Glad that you're getting good results and that initial misgivings, (bounce flash experiments), hasn't put you off from experimenting further.

The Strobist is a great site but also remember that experimentation will set it more firmly in your mind than reading about it. You'll soon be start playing around with 'diffusers', 'snoots' and such and enjoying the results.

When you want to start 'modding' flashes for variable power, external slave operation synching etc. don't hesitate to give us a shout as I've adapted quite a few now and more than happy to help :-)

All the best to you and family,


June 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictor

Hi Victor,

Thanks for the encouragement Victor, I think this is going to be a very rich vein of our passion to explore....

Cheers, Rob.

June 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hi Rob
first want to say that your U-Tube videos have been a great help to me! learned a great deal from to you!
the other think i wanted to ask, i have a Cobra 700af... like you have in this film, i have not used it for so long but checked and it still works, it for a canon. My canon flash have given up the ghost! I want to use this off camera of for fill-in lighting, what would be the best way to use it I have a Canon D350 that i have been using for over 10 years and know it so well and given me what i want i have never upgraded so still using a very old camera. would love some help in using my Cobra with the D350. i know it will not work in TTl but knowing you have used this setup was hopping for some advice.
thanks again for all your help in the videos up to date!

March 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter+bill reed

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.