FREEWAVE IR COMMANDER
FREEWAVE
IR COMMANDER
WIRELESS INFRARED
TTL FLASH TRIGGER
FOR NIKON i-TTL (FWIRC-N)
USER MANUAL
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING VELLO
The Vello FWIRC-N 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
TTL control. It also offers highspeed sync with compatible flashes,
allowing you to use shutter speeds
higher than your camera’s top flash
sync speed. Three groups and four
an infrared transmitter, it provides the
freedom of remote IR triggering for
an unlimited number of flashes, and
full compatibility with Nikon’s i-TTL
metering system for total wireless
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���������������������������������� 15
Compatible Devices������������������������������������ 8
Advanced Features������������������������������������ 23
High-Speed Sync Mode������������������������������������� 23
Repeating (Stroboscopic) Mode������������������ 23
The Modeling Light���������������������������������������������� 25
Autofocus Assist���������������������������������������������������� 25
Flash Exposure Bracketing������������������������������� 26
Flash Value Lock����������������������������������������������������� 26
i-TTL Mode������������������������������������������������� 16
Installing Batteries���������������������������������������� 8
Specifications���������������������������������������������� 27
Auto Aperture Mode�������������������������������� 18
Setting Up Slave Flash Units���������������������� 9
Troubleshooting����������������������������������������� 28
Manual Mode����������������������������������������������� 20
Mounting the FreeWave
IR Commander������������������������������������������� 11
Restoring the Factory Settings���������������� 22
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 i-TTL (intelligent
through-the-lens): Makes
Standby mode:
Reduces power consumption.
full use of your flashes’ builtin i-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.
AA mode: Uses your flash’s built-in
sensor to automatically set the
appropriate power output.
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-N FreeWave IR
Commander is compatible with
Nikon’s i-TTL (intelligent throughthe-lens) system. To make full use of
the FreeWave IR Commander, we
The FreeWave IR Commander is
powered by two AA batteries. To
install batteries, make sure the device
is turned off and follow these steps:
recommend using i-TTL-capable hotshoe flashes that are fully compatible
with your camera’s i-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 power 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
i-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 turn on 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 a designated period of inactivity,
the Commander will automatically
enter power-saving mode to conserve
battery life, and the LCD will display
the standby mode indicator.
When reactivating via your camera’s
shutter button, standby time will
be controlled by the camera’s
settings. When reactivating via the
Commander’s Set button, standby
To reactivate the Commander, press
the Set button or press your camera’s
shutter-release button halfway.
will occur after approximately 5
minutes of inactivity. 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 any button, the
LCD will glow blue for up to six seconds.
Standby Screen
13
SELECTING CHANNELS
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.
To lock the device, press and hold the
FN button for five seconds until the
lock icon [ ] appears on the LCD.
To unlock the device, press and
hold the FN button until the
lock icon [ ] disappears.
Channel
Lock Icon
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
working with a similar system nearby.
To select the channel, press the Set
button repeatedly in any mode until the
channel number blinks. Use the Left
and Right [
] navigation buttons to
cycle through channels 1 through 4.
Note: Make sure your slave flashes are set
to the same channel as the Commander.
14
ABOUT FLASH GROUPS
On the FreeWave IR Commander,
three flash groups (A, B, and C) are
available, with independent control
over all three groups. For example,
you can set one group to i-TTL
mode and another to manual mode.
You can also combine multiple slave
flashes within the same group.
Note: Be aware of the independent
recycling time of each flash to ensure
all flash units are ready to fire.
Flash Groups
Disabled Flash Group
When setting groups on the
Commander, make sure to set your
slave flashes to the corresponding
groups. To disable a group, choose
the “- - -” setting on the Commander.
Any flashes in this group will not fire.
15
i-TTL MODE
In i-TTL mode, the FreeWave IR
Commander will automatically set
the appropriate flash level via your
camera’s intelligent through-thelens (i-TTL) metering system data,
calculating the correct power for all
communicating i-TTL compatible flashes.
On the FreeWave IR Commander,
i-TTL mode and EV are set
independently for each group.
16
Setting i-TTL mode: To set a group
to i-TTL mode, follow these steps:
1. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the desired group’s mode indicator
blinks.
2. Press the Mode button until the
i-TTL mode indicator appears
onscreen.
i-TTL Mode
Adjusting a Flash Group’s
TTL Power (EV)
Flash output compensation (EV) can be
set in i-TTL and AA modes (for more
information about AA, refer to AA
Mode on page 18). EV is displayed in
decimal form and can be adjusted from
-3.0 to +3.0 in 1/3-stop increments.
EV is set individually for each group.
To adjust EV:
1. Make sure the desired group is in
i-TTL mode.
2. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the EV number blinks, and use the
Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust EV.
EV
17
AUTO APERTURE MODE
In Auto Aperture (AA) mode, your
flash’s built-in sensor will automatically
set the appropriate flash power output
level by measuring the reflected
light from the environment. This
is different from i-TTL, which uses
your camera’s exposure sensor.
AA mode and EV are set
independently for each group.
18
Setting AA Mode
To set a group to AA mode,
follow these steps:
1. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the desired group’s mode indicator
blinks.
2. Press the Mode button until the AA
mode indicator appears onscreen.
AA Mode
Adjusting a Flash Group’s
TTL Power (EV)
Flash output compensation (EV) can be
set in i-TTL and AA modes (for more
information about i-TTL, refer to i-TTL
Mode on page 16). EV is displayed in
decimal form and can be adjusted from
-3.0 to +3.0 in 1/3-stop increments.
EV is set individually for each group.
To adjust EV:
1. Make sure the desired group is in
AA mode.
2. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the desired EV number blinks, and use
the Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the EV.
EV
19
MANUAL MODE
For greater creative control over
your images, you can set the flash
power output level manually.
Manual mode and flash power output
are set independently for each group.
Setting Manual Mode
To set a group to manual
mode, follow these steps:
1. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the desired group’s mode indicator
blinks.
2. Press the Mode button until the
desired mode indicator appears
onscreen.
20
Manual Mode
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-…
To adjust power output:
1. Make sure the desired group is in
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
21
RESTORING THE FACTORY SETTINGS
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.
22
Default Screen
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 enabling high-speed
sync (HSS) in your camera. HSS lets you
High Speed Sync Icon
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.
When HSS is enabled, the FP icon
[
] will appear on the Commander’s
LCD. HSS is set in your camera menu.
For more information on this feature,
refer to your camera’s user manual.
Disabled Flash Group
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.
Repeating Mode
23
To set the FreeWave IR Commander to
stroboscopic mode, follow these steps:
1. Mount the Commander on your
camera.
2. Press the Mode button to enter
stroboscopic mode.
3. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the desired group indicator blinks,
and press the Mode to enable or
disable the group.
24
4. Press the Set button repeatedly until
the flash output level blinks, and use
the Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the output from
1/128 to 1/4.
5. Press the Set button to make the
stroboscopic frequency number
blink, and use the Left and Right
[
] navigation buttons to adjust the
frequency from 1 to 100.
6. Press the Set button to make the
flash count number blink, and use
the Left and Right [
] navigation
buttons to adjust the count from
1 to 24.
Flash Output
Frequency
Flash Count
The Modeling Light
The modeling light gives the appearance
of a continuous light so you can
approximate how the flash will illuminate
your subject, and is available on cameras
that have a Depth of Field Preview
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
button. 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.
Note: Using the modeling light will greatly
decrease your batteries’ output.
help your camera focus automatically
by locking onto the projected light.
To enable AF assist on the Commander,
press the FN button. The AF-ILL
icon [
] will appear on the
Commander’s LCD when this feature is
enabled. When your camera’s internal
AF-ILL is on, it will enable the camera’s
AF assist but not the Commander’s. For
further details, see the table below.
Setting
Result
Commander’s AF-ILL is on
Commander’s AF assist is on
Commander’s AF-ILL is off and
camera’s internal AF-ILL is on
Commander’s AF assist is off
and camera’s AF assist is on
Commander’s AF-ILL is off and
camera’s internal AF-ILL is off
Commander’s AF assist is off
and camera’s AF assist is off
AF Illumination Icon
25
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
below the set flash exposure. FEB
is useful for shooting in situations
in which it’s difficult to determine
the appropriate flash exposure.
The FEB function can be activated
via your camera’s menu. For more
information on this feature, refer
to your camera’s user manual.
26
Flash Value Lock
In i-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.
The FV Lock function can be activated
via your camera’s menu. For more
information on this feature, refer
to your camera’s user manual.
SPECIFICATIONS
Transmission
Infrared
Transmission Range
Up to 90´ (27.5 m)
Channels
4
Groups
3
Flash Coverage
Horizontal: 40°
Vertical: 30°
Display
Backlit LCD
Controllable Remote Flash Mode
i-TTL, AA, Manual, 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)
27
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.
28
• Remove the batteries from the slave
units and the Commander, wait a
moment, and then replace.
• Make sure that the slave units are
set to IR slave and i-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.
29
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.
30
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.
© 2015 Gradus Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.
31
VELLO is a registered trademark of the Gradus Group.
© 2015 Gradus Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.
www.vellogear.com
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
GG1
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