Tethering really can be your best friend or worst enemy when shooting. So what is it all about, how can it help and how might it hinder. Heres my little guide to tethering.
Digital photography has come a long way over the years and those little screens on the back of our cameras really are quite impressive but they really cannot replace seeing your photos on a big screen. This is important for shooting when clients are in the space, for checking focus, highlights, shadows and to see the overall crop and feel. You just cannot sensibly do this using that tiny screen and the first time you tether you will have a great time. In fact you will probably dance around like a fairy and a glitter party. It is pretty simple, you have a cable that connects your camera to your computer and each time you take a photo the image is sent to your computer and via something like ‘Lightroom’ or ‘capture one’ you (and everyone around) can see the photo almost instantly. It really is awesome.
I use the Tether Tools ‘Tether Pro’ 15ft cable and I couldn’t have had a more pleasant experience. It plugs straight into the USB 3.0 port on my D800 and into my iMac or Macbook Pro giving me 15 feet of freedom. To give you a little perspective thats the length of me, a model and then a medium sized dog all lying down in a line, I am sure that helped. Using the cable I do not feel restricted all, in fact I feel positively liberated. I am not tempted to keep looking at the back of my camera, I just keep taking photos allowing the shoot to have great flow, every now and then I will stop and check a few files.
Here’s a little video I made about this awesome product.
Above is a photo of me using the cable on a shoot in London last year.
The cable comes in bright orange or black. I got the ‘hi visibility’ orange and I have to say, it really does work. Clients, models and importantly I always know where the cables are and never trip on them. The only real downfall is that the cables can easy fall out from the camera or the computer. Fortunatelly Tether Tools has a solution for this,woohoo, the ‘Jerk Stopper Kit’. Two small cable retention devises that hold your cable in place. On the camera end it creates a loop that takes all of the strain removing the chance of it fallen out and a similar thing on the computer end. In all honesty on the many shoots this has been on me with it has NEVER come out, ever. Although it comes at an extra $22 it really is worth it.
– Fast file transfer
– Hi visibility to reduce the chances of a trip
– Long so does not fee restrictive
– Excellent build quality
– Secure (with Jerk Stopper Kit)
– Comes in Black or Orange
– USB 3.0, USB 2.0 or Fire-wire versions
– Expensive – $71 for 15ft cable and Jerk Stopper Kit
This is an awesome piece of kit that does its job wonderfully. If you shoot tethered or want to give it a go then this is the cable for you.
Would I recumbent it – Yes 100%