FREEWAVE IR COMMANDER
FREEWAVE
IR COMMANDER
WIRELESS INFRARED
TTL FLASH TRIGGER
FOR CANON E-TTL (FWIRC-C)
USER MANUAL
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING VELLO
The Vello FWIRC-C FreeWave IR
Commander is the nexus of your
wireless flash setup, enabling you to
set and control all functions of your
wireless slave flash units. Equipped with
for total wireless E-TTL control. It also
offers high-speed sync with compatible
flashes, allowing you to use shutter
speeds higher than your camera’s top
flash sync speed. Three groups and
an infrared transmitter, it provides the
freedom of remote IR triggering for an
unlimited number of flashes, and full
compatibility with Canon’s E-TTL or
E-TTL II metering and flash ratio systems
four independent channels deliver
enhanced wireless operation, even in
busy environments, and the Commander
itself can be rotated atop your camera
for easy line-of-sight positioning.
2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Precautions���������������������������������������������������� 4
Turning on the FreeWave
IR Commander������������������������������������������� 12
Key Features�������������������������������������������������� 6
Selecting Channels������������������������������������� 14
Overview������������������������������������������������������� 7
About Flash Groups���������������������������������� 14
Compatible Devices������������������������������������ 8
E-TTL Mode������������������������������������������������ 15
Installing Batteries���������������������������������������� 8
Factory Reset���������������������������������������������� 21
Advanced Features������������������������������������ 22
High-Speed Sync Mode������������������������������������� 22
Repeating (Stroboscopic) Mode������������������ 23
The Modeling Light���������������������������������������������� 24
Autofocus Assist���������������������������������������������������� 24
Flash Exposure Bracketing������������������������������� 24
Flash Value Lock����������������������������������������������������� 25
E-TTL Ratio Modes����������������������������������� 16
Setting Up Slave Flash Units���������������������� 9
Specifications���������������������������������������������� 25
Manual Modes��������������������������������������������� 19
Mounting the FreeWave
IR Commander������������������������������������������� 11
Troubleshooting����������������������������������������� 26
S1 Optical Slave Mode������������������������������ 21
3
PRECAUTIONS
• Please read and follow these
instructions and keep this manual in
a safe place.
• Keep this product away from water,
moisture, and any flammable gases
or liquids.
• Do not attempt to disassemble or
repair this product.
• Should this product sustain physical
damage, do not touch any exposed
interior metal parts. If touched, they
may generate an electric shock or
cause a malfunction. Promptly remove
the batteries and contact Vello
Customer Service.
• Use only parts provided by the
manufacturer.
• If you detect excessive heat, smoke,
or a burning smell coming from this
product, immediately cease operation
and remove the batteries to prevent
the product from igniting or melting.
• Make sure that this product is intact
and that there are no missing parts.
• Do not aim the transmitter directly in
the eyes of any person or animal.
4
• Always install AA batteries of the
same type and age. Do not combine
different types or old and new
batteries.
• Dispose of used or damaged batteries
according to local regulations.
• Install the batteries in the proper
orientation, as indicated by the
markings in the battery carrier.
• Remove all batteries from this
product before long-term storage.
• Keep this product away from children.
• Keep the metal contacts in the
battery compartment clean and free
of corrosion and dirt. Do not touch
them with your fingers. Corrosive
elements on the contacts can damage
this product and prevent it from
functioning properly. Contacts may be
cleaned with isopropyl alcohol on a
cotton swab.
• Do not clean this product with agents
containing corrosive or flammable
substances.
• All images are for illustrative purposes
only.
• Handle this product with care.
• To avoid damage to this product,
be careful not to overtighten or
improperly thread any of the threaded
fittings.
5
KEY FEATURES
180° rotation:
Pivots to achieve IR line of sight.
Manual mode: Can manually adjust
power output in 1/3 increments.
Wireless E-TTL (evaluative
through-the-lens): Makes
Standby mode:
Reduces power consumption.
full use of your flashes’ builtin E-TTL technology.
Internal memory:
Remembers settings when turned off.
TTL exposure compensation:
Enables adjustment of TTL
exposure by ±3 EV with finetuning by 1/3 of a stop.
High-speed sync:
Allows flash synchronization
up to 1/8000 of a second.
E-TTL flash ratio:
Set the power output ratio when
working with multiple E-TTL groups.
Stroboscopic mode:
Fires the flash multiple times in quick
succession during a single exposure.
6
Modeling light:
Gives the appearance of a continuous
light to simulate the direction of light.
Flash Exposure Bracketing:
Allows continuous pictures
while automatically changing
flash exposure compensation.
Flash value lock:
Locks the flash output level
that’s optimal for specific
elements of the scene.
OVERVIEW
Front
1. Battery chamber
1
2. AF-assist light
2
3. Transmitter
4. Locking wheel
3
5. Mounting foot
6. LCD
4
7. Mode button
5
8. Test button/flash ready light [
9. Navigation buttons [
10.Set button
11.FN button
12.Power switch
Also Included
• Drawstring pouch
• User manual
]
Back
]
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
7
COMPATIBLE DEVICES
INSTALLING BATTERIES
The Vello FWIRC-C FreeWave
IR Commander is compatible
with Canon’s E-TTL and E-TTL II
(evaluative through-the-lens) system.
To make full use of the FreeWave IR
The FreeWave Commander is
powered by two AA batteries. To
install batteries, make sure the device
is turned off and follow these steps:
Commander, use E-TTL-capable hotshoe flashes that are fully compatible
with your camera’s E-TTL system.
1. Press and slide the battery
compartment cover in the direction
of the arrow to open.
2. Insert batteries in the orientations
indicated by the illustrations inside
the compartment.
3. Close the battery compartment
cover by pressing and sliding it in the
opposite direction of the arrow on
the cover.
8
SETTING UP SLAVE FLASH UNITS
You can create a sophisticated lighting
setup by positioning slave flash units
individually or in groups to function as
main, fill, accent, and other lights. Setting
your light ratios at different light outputs
to achieve specific looks gives you a
professional level of creative control.
To set up your slave flash units:
1. Turn on your slave flash and set it to
E-TTL and IR slave modes, as well as
the same group and channel as the
FreeWave IR Commander.
2. After setting your slave flash, mount
the flash and position it with its IR
sensor facing the Commander by
rotating the flash’s base.
Line-of-sight
positioning
Group A
Group B
Flash Groups with multiple flashes
For information on how to perform
these procedures with your particular
flash, refer to your flash’s manual.
Tip: You can combine multiple slave flashes
within the same group to fire simultaneously.
9
When positioning wireless slaves to light
a subject, keep in mind the following:
• Make sure the Commander’s
transmitter is facing your flash’s
IR sensor and that there are no
obstructions between the two units
(see Turning On the FreeWave IR
Commander on page 12 for more).
• The effective communication
range between the FreeWave IR
Commander and your slave flash
units may vary, depending on the
ambient light.
• When photographing outdoors or in
bright ambient light, the sensors can
be overwhelmed by ambient light,
which will lower their sensitivity.
10
MOUNTING THE FREEWAVE IR COMMANDER
To mount the FreeWave IR Commander
on your camera, make sure all devices
are turned off and follow these steps:
To dismount the FreeWave IR
Commander from your camera,
make sure the Commander is
turned off and follow these steps:
1. Looking down at the unit, rotate the
locking wheel counterclockwise to
loosen it.
2. Slide the mounting foot all the way
into your camera’s hot shoe.
1. Looking down at the unit, rotate the
locking wheel counterclockwise to
release it.
2. Slide the mounting foot out of your
camera’s hot shoe.
3. Rotate the locking wheel clockwise
until secure.
11
TURNING ON THE FREEWAVE IR COMMANDER
To on turn the FreeWave IR
Commander, slide the power
switch to the On position. When
turning off the Commander, it will
remember all your current settings.
Once mounted on your camera, you
can rotate the Commander for lineof-sight positioning. The Commander’s
transmitter should be facing the flash’s
IR sensor, and there should be no
obstructions between the two units.
12
Test Button/Ready Light
The ready light indicates the status
of the Commander. When it glows
red, the Commander is ready to
be fired. When the light is off,
the Commander is recycling.
To fire a test flash, press
the Test [ ] button.
Tip: After changing any settings in your
wireless setup, press the test button to fire
a test flash and confirm your new settings.
The slave flashes will fire at a nominal
power setting for firing confirmation.
Automatic Power-saving Function
After 5 minutes of inactivity, the
Commander will automatically enter
power-saving mode to conserve
battery life, and the LCD will display
the standby mode indicator.
Lock Mode
To prevent inadvertent operation of
the Commander, you can deactivate its
controls by setting it to lock mode. This
will disable all of the buttons except for
the power switch and the test button.
Standby Screen
To reactivate the Commander, press
the Set button or press your camera’s
shutter-release button halfway. During
long periods of inactivity, use the power
switch to turn off the Commander.
LCD Illumination
When you turn on the FreeWave IR
Commander or press most buttons, the
LCD will glow blue for up to six seconds.
To lock the device, press and hold the
FN button for five seconds until the
lock icon [ ] appears on the LCD.
Lock Icon
To unlock the device, press and
hold the FN button until the
lock icon [ ] disappears.
13
SELECTING CHANNELS
ABOUT FLASH GROUPS
On the FreeWave IR Commander,
four channels (1, 2, 3, and 4) are
available. You can use this option
to prevent your flashes from being
triggered by another photographer
On the FreeWave IR Commander,
three flash groups (A, B, and C) are
available, and you can combine multiple
slave flashes within the same group.
working with a similar system nearby.
To select the channel, press the Set
button repeatedly until the channel
number blinks. Use the Left and
Right [
] navigation buttons to cycle
through channel numbers 1 through 4.
Note: Make sure your slave flashes are set
to the same channel as the Commander.
14
Flash Groups
Channel
When setting groups on the
Commander, make sure to set your slave
flashes to the corresponding groups.
Note: Be aware of the independent
recycling time of each flash to ensure
all flash units are ready to fire.
E-TTL MODE
In E-TTL mode, the FreeWave IR
Commander will automatically set the
appropriate flash level via your camera’s
evaluative through-the-lens (E-TTL)
metering system data, calculating the
correct power for all communicating
E-TTL compatible flashes.
In E-TTL (ALL) mode, there is
one global exposure value (EV)
setting for all three groups.
Setting E-TTL Mode
Press the Mode button repeatedly to
cycle through the modes until the E-TTL
(ALL) mode indicator appears onscreen.
Adjusting Global EV
EV is set globally for E-TTL mode.
EV is displayed in decimal form
and can be adjusted from -3.0 to
+3.0 in 1/3-stop increments.
To adjust EV:
E-TTL All Mode
Global EV
1. Make sure the Commander is set to
E-TTL mode.
2. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the EV number blinks, and use the
Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the EV.
15
E-TTL RATIO MODES
The FWIRC-C Commander offers
two E-TTL ratio modes, E-TTL
(A:B) and E-TTL (A:B+C).
E-TTL (A:B)
Power output is set at a ratio for groups
A and B. For example, if the ratio is set
at 2:1, group A will fire at twice the
power of group B. In this mode, there is
one global EV setting for both groups.
E-TTL A:B+C Ratio Mode
E-TTL A:B Ratio Mode
16
E-TTL (A:B+C)
Power output is set at a ratio for groups
A and B, and group C is set in EV and is a
ratio of group B. For example, if group C
is set at EV -1, it will fire at one stop less,
or half the power of group B. With the
A:B ratio set at 2:1, group A will fire at
twice the power of group B, and group C
will fire at half the power of group B, i.e.,
one quarter of the power of group A.
Setting E-TTL Ratio Mode
Press the Mode button repeatedly
to cycle through the modes until
the desired E-TTL ratio mode
indicator appears onscreen.
Ratio Adjustment
In E-TTL (A:B) and E-TTL (A:B+C)
modes, you can adjust the power
output ratio between groups A and B.
To adjust the ratio:
Ratio
1. Make sure the Commander is set to
the desired E-TTL ratio mode.
2. Press the Set button to make
the ratio value blink, and use the
Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the ratio from 8:1
through 1:8.
17
Adjusting Global EV
EV is set globally for both E-TTL
(A:B) and E-TTL (A:B+C) modes.
To adjust EV via the FreeWave
IR Commander:
Note: With select Canon cameras, you
can adjust EV for group C independently
1. Make sure the Commander is set to
the desired E-TTL ratio mode.
via your Canon camera’s menu controls.
For more information on this feature,
refer to your camera’s user manual.
On the Commander LCD, global
EV is displayed in decimal form
and can be adjusted from 3.0 to
+3.0 in 1/3-stop increments.
18
2. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the EV number blinks, and use the
Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the EV.
For information on how to adjust
EV for group C via your Canon
camera’s menu controls, refer to
your camera’s user manual.
Global EV
MANUAL MODES
For greater creative control over
your images, you can set the flash
power output level manually.
The FWIRC-C Commander offers
three manual modes: M (ALL), M
(A+B), and M (A+B+C). In M (ALL)
mode, flash output power is global
for all three groups. M (A+B) mode is
a two-group mode in which the flash
power output is set independently
for groups A and B. Similarly, M
(A+B+C) mode is a three-group mode
in which the flash power output is
set independently for each group.
Setting the Manual Mode
Press the Mode button repeatedly to
cycle through the modes until the desired
manual mode indicator appears onscreen.
Manual All Mode
Manual A+B Mode
Manual A+B+C Mode
19
Adjusting Power Output
Flash power output is represented as a
fraction. The 1/1 setting is the full-power
flash, and each successive setting halves
the light output, all the way down to
1/128. You can also fine-tune the flash
output in increments of one-third,
indicated by a hyphen next to the
fraction, first higher and then lower, e.g.,
1/1, 1/2-, 1/2-, 1/2, 1/4-, 1/4-, 1/4, 1/8-…
20
To adjust power output:
1. Make sure the Commander is set to
the desired manual mode.
2. Press the Set button repeatedly
until the desired power output
blinks, and use the Left and Right
[
] navigation buttons to adjust
the output.
Power Output
S1 OPTICAL SLAVE MODE
FACTORY RESET
The S1 optical slave mode is ideal for
shooting with a remote flash, such
as a monolight, that has an optical
sensor. In this mode, power output is
adjusted on the slave flash, rather than
2. Turn on your slave flash, and set it to
optical slave mode. Make sure your
slave flash’s IR sensor is facing the
Commander.
the Commander. Unlike the TTL and
Manual modes, S1 optical slave mode
does not employ groups and channels.
3. Set the power output on your slave
flash.
To set S1 mode:
1. Press and hold the Mode button for
five seconds until the S1 indicator
appears onscreen.
For information on how to perform
these procedures with your particular
flash, refer to your flash’s user manual.
This restores the FreeWave
IR Commander to the factory
default settings. This will erase
all current settings and replace
them with the default settings.
To restore the factory settings,
press and hold the Set button for
five seconds until the Commander
reverts to the default screen.
To exit S1 mode, press
the Mode button.
Default Screen
21
ADVANCED FEATURES
High-Speed Sync Mode
You can use shutter speeds that are
faster than your camera’s maximum
flash sync speed with the FreeWave IR
Commander by activating high-speed
sync (HSS). HSS lets you use shutter
speeds as fast as 1/8000 second. This
is helpful when shooting with large
apertures in brightly lit environments
or when freezing motion.
22
In HSS mode, the FreeWave
IR Commander will wirelessly
transmit the information from
your camera to your flash.
You can enable HSS either by pressing
the FN button on the Commander
or your camera’s flash menu
screen. When HSS is enabled, the
FP icon [
] will appear in the top
right corner of the Commander’s LCD.
High Speed Sync Icon
Repeating (Stroboscopic) Mode
The repeating (stroboscopic) mode
fires the flash multiple times in quick
succession during a single exposure. In
stroboscopic mode, you can adjust flash
output, stroboscopic frequency, and
flash count. Stroboscopic frequency is
measured in hertz (Hz) and indicates
the number of flashes per second.
The flash count (RPT) represents
the number of flashes per frame.
Flash Output
Frequency
Flash Count
To set the FreeWave IR Commander to
stroboscopic mode, follow these steps:
1. Mount the Commander on your
camera.
2. Press the Mode button repeatedly
until the flash output level, Hz, and
Repeating mode indicators appear
onscreen.
4. Press the Set button to make the
stroboscopic frequency number
blink, and use the Left and Right
[
] navigation buttons to adjust the
frequency from 0 to 190.
5. Press the Set button to make the
flash count number blink, and use
the Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the count from
0 to 40.
3. Press the Set button to make the
flash output level blink, and use the
Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the output from
1/128 to 1/4.
23
The Modeling Light
The modeling light feature gives the
appearance of a continuous light
so you can approximate how the
flash will illuminate your subject.
Autofocus Assist
Camera autofocus (AF) systems can
have difficulty locking onto a subject
in dim light or low-contrast scenes.
The FreeWave IR Commander can
emit a red autofocus-assist beam to
Flash Exposure Bracketing
Flash exposure bracketing (FEB) lets
you take three continuous pictures
while automatically changing the flash
exposure compensation between
-3 and +3, once above and once
To activate the modeling light feature,
press your camera’s Depth of Field
Preview button. The flash will pulse
rapidly to simulate the direction of light.
help your camera focus automatically
by locking onto the projected light.
below the set flash exposure. FEB
is useful for shooting in situations
in which it’s difficult to determine
the appropriate flash exposure.
Note: Using the modeling light will greatly
decrease your batteries’ output.
24
For Canon systems, AF illumination
is controlled directly by the camera.
When the camera’s internal AF assist
is enabled, the Commander’s AF
assist will be enabled as well. For
more information on this feature,
refer to your camera’s user manual.
The FEB function can be activated
via your camera’s menu. For more
information on this feature, refer
to your camera’s user manual.
SPECIFICATIONS
Flash Value Lock
In E-TTL mode, you can lock the flash
output level that is optimal for specific
elements of your scene by using the flash
value lock (FV Lock) feature. FV lock
overrides any flash exposure settings.
FV lock is set in your camera’s menu.
For more information on this feature,
refer to your camera’s user manual.
Transmission Range
Up to 115´ (35 m)
Channels
4
Groups
3
Flash Coverage
Horizontal: 40°
Vertical: 30°
Display
Backlit LCD
Controllable Remote Flash Mode
E-TTL (ALL), E-TTL (A:B), E-TTL
(A:B+C), M (ALL), M (A+B),
M (A+B+C), Stroboscopic
Power Source
Two AA batteries
Dimensions
2.5˝ × 2.5˝ × 3.3˝ (6.3 × 6.3 × 8.3 cm)
Weight
4.2 oz. (120 g)
25
TROUBLESHOOTING
The Commander is stuck
in the camera hot shoe.
• Make sure that the mounting-foot
lock is released.
The Commander is not flashing.
• Make sure that fresh batteries
are installed and in the proper
orientation.
• Make sure the Commander is
The slave units are not firing.
• Make sure the hot-shoe light’s locking
switch is set to the lock position.
• Make sure the slave units are turned
on and at the correct settings.
securely attached to the camera.
• Make sure that the electrical contacts
on the foot of the Commander are
not dirty. Clean them and try again.
• Make sure the Commander is fully
installed in your camera’s hot shoe.
26
• Make sure that the slave units are
set to IR slave and E-TTL modes,
even when using the Commander to
trigger in manual mode, and that their
channel and group match up with
those of the Commander.
• Make sure that the Commander is
within the transmission range and
the wireless sensor on the slave is
pointing toward the Commander.
Remove any obstructions in the line
of sight between the two.
• Ambient light may affect IR
transmission.
• Make sure that the electrical contacts
on the foot of the slave unit are not
dirty. Clean them and try again.
Note: After changing any settings in your
wireless setup, press the test button to fire
a test flash and confirm your new settings.
• Change the channel on both the
Commander and the slave flash units.
Make sure all units are set to the
same channel.
27
ONE-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY
This VELLO product is warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal consumer
use for a period of one (1) year from the original purchase date or thirty (30) days after replacement, whichever occurs later. The warranty
provider’s responsibility with respect to this limited warranty shall be limited solely to repair or replacement, at the provider’s discretion,
of any product that fails during normal use of this product in its intended manner and in its intended environment. Inoperability of the
product or part(s) shall be determined by the warranty provider. If the product has been discontinued, the warranty provider reserves
the right to replace it with a model of equivalent quality and function.
This warranty does not cover damage or defect caused by misuse, neglect, accident, alteration, abuse, improper installation or maintenance.
EXCEPT AS PROVIDED HEREIN, THE WARRANTY PROVIDER MAKES NEITHER ANY EXPRESS WARRANTIES NOR ANY IMPLIED
WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE. This warranty provides you with specific legal rights, and you may also have additional rights that vary from
state to state.
To obtain warranty coverage, contact the Vello Customer Service Department to obtain a return merchandise authorization (“RMA”)
number, and return the defective product to Vello along with the RMA number and proof of purchase. Shipment of the defective product
is at the purchaser’s own risk and expense.
For more information or to arrange service, visit www.vellogear.com or call Customer Service at 212-594-2353.
Product warranty provided by the Gradus Group.
www.gradusgroup.com
VELLO is a registered trademark of the Gradus Group.
© 2016 Gradus Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.
www.vellogear.com
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
GG2
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