I need true synchronization! TRUE SYNCHRONIZATION!!

As I get closer to my planned 3D stereoscopy goals, I have all the tools I need. Two identical Nikon Df cameras (well, one’s black and one’s silver, but other than that..) Two identical 50mm f/1.8D lenses. A mounting rail that will keep both cameras level and parallel when shooting.

But I’m now running into a problem.

A synchronization problem.

Originally I had hoped to find a low-tech way to simultaneously activate both camera shutters. But my plans to use a cabled shutter release fell flat. I couldn’t get both cameras to fire simultaneously. And my only other option was to use my two index fingers to simultaneously press the shutter buttons each time. Which worked – maybe – 35% of the time. And that’s great for stationary items, but not for items in motion.

No. If I want to do this correctly … and accurately … and without trouble … I gotta bite the bullet, spend $500, and purchase a dedicated wireless battery-operated synchronous shutter release system.

This consists of three parts. One part is a Nikon WRT-10 digital shutter button, and the other two items are Nikon WR-R11B receivers (one for each Nikon Df).

The benefits of these gizmos? Hopefully I can capture something at the exact moment, and not with one frame slightly out of time alignment. Which would suck eggs.

Last Tuesday, I placed an order with B&H Photo for the parts. On Thursday, the parts arrived. And after a couple of quick tests to pair everything up …

It’s time to go somewhere and test these bad boys.

And by “somewhere,” I’m talking about Saratoga Harness Track.

And here’s how things turned out.

There’s a horse at the harness track, Pay Me ToKnight, that’s won me some $$ in the past. I had him in the second half of a daily double yesterday, and he paid off nicely.

Here he is in the lead as the horses race to the finish line.

It’s actually his third win of the year, but his second win overall. Here’s the same image in combined left-right.

Okay. The synchronization is tighter, I’ll give that. I think what might have happened is that this was the second shot of a blast of images, so it’s possible that there might have been a tiny lag in one of the cameras. But it’s a lot closer than previous attempts.

Let’s try this again. What’s happening in the third race?

Ooh, that’s good. I’ve got the starting gate and the horses. Let’s see this in a combined image.

Yes. Definitely a tighter sync. These digital shutter releases work like magic.

Oh, and I have to show you this one, because it’s quite a charmer.

In addition to the harness horses that go around the track, the course employs a rider whose job it is to calm down other horses who might get frightened or out of control or just need a little emotional support. The track’s horse in question is named Wally, and he’s a gentle soul. The rider often has peppermints or other treats that she gives to kids so that they can feed Wally, and I’ve also seen one or two patrons bring Wally big fat juicy apples to nosh on.

Before the start of the second race, I saw Wally walking alongside another horse Tranquility K. I didn’t even realize that I had captured this image. But I got it.

Or, to put it in a more visual recreation…

Look at that. Wally’s left front leg and Tranquility K’s right front leg are just inches from the ground. Wally’s front right knee has a slight bend, but that could be equated to the angle of the photo rather than a delayed shutter response.

I like this photo a LOT. in fact, I’m going to save this for possible Competition Season 2023 usage, either as a 3D construct or as a static 2D image. Because, yeah.

So … first test of this new shutter system, and I’ve already got a Competition Season 2023 candidate. That’s definitely proving its worth. I’m seriously good with that.

Seriously good with that.