Sunday, November 16, 2008

Morris Mini Slave

Since the first time I saw a Morris Mini in action, I have been intrigued by all the possible solutions they offer and with the trend moving to lighter and more compact gear, the "Morris Mini Slave Wide Plus" is now more than ever one of my favorite tools  in the bag of tricks.

This little strobe runs on two AA batteries, charge time between pops is about 4 seconds, and without a modifier during some testing I was getting F5.6@ 4 feet/ISO 200.
Along with a ready light for power indication and a sync port for hard wiring,  it has, as the name implies, a built in optical slave that makes the flash fire when it sees the pop from another strobe. Awesome! And they can be put just about anywhere... held in a hand or hidden by a laptop, set on a shelf or hung from a ceiling. There is a quarter-twenty thread on the bottom that makes it easy to put on a stand or a stud for all the rigging possibilities.

Mine of course, have been covered in velcro for my modifiers and using a trick learned from "Mr. Industrial"(David Tejada), or as I call him....... "boss", I have made a bunch of tiny gels that fit over the actual strobe bulb. The clear globe on the front of the Morris unscrews to expose the bulb and allow access for your gel application. Morris makes an accessory kit of color  FX snap-on filters but there are only 4 colors and none are for color correction. I suggest using a gel sample pack to make your own so that you have a full selection of creative colors at your disposal.

When it comes to using modifiers, I have troubles with the built in slave seeing the flash and firing, covering the Mini with silk or sticking it into a snoot renders the slave inoperable.


For this problem I use a PN peanut slave. Plugging the sync cord that comes with the Morris into the strobe and then putting a micro optical slave on the other end gives you a way to get out from under your modifier with a slave that can see the other strobe(s). I am sure there is a way to get one of these to fire using a wireless radio remote, some specific cord, but my own research has found no obvious answer. Any comments or suggestions on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Testing my Morris Mini with DIY snoot and peanut micro slave.

Here they are in action. The blue in the background is a Morris on a backlight stand. It has a foam flag on it to control the spill and the blue gel is cutting the power down about 2 stops.
A 2nd Morris is sitting on a shelf behind me to my left with a full CTO. It is putting a warm kicker on my left cheek and mixing with the blue to make the third color over my right shoulder.
The main light is a Nikon SB28 through a 43 inch umbrella, skirted vertically to keep spill off the background. The SB is triggered with a Pocket Wizard and the two Morris strobes are using their built in optical slaves. There is a fill card on my right to open the shadow side of the face just a touch.


i.n.galbraith said... long did that shot of the fanned out sample gels take you?........the truth. :)

Erik Lawrence said...

6 hours 27 minutes..... I should have had an assistant!

Will said...

Hey Erik, just found your blog while looking for info on the Morris mini. I'm trying to figure out how to connect it to a PW as well, will go to radioshack today ;-)