A frequent companion when I am out shooting with the Leica S2 on a tripod is the Leica S-Camera Remote Release Cable. As with most electronic cable releases, this 24 inch (61 centimeters) long release allows the user to fire the S2 without physically touching the camera, preventing unwanted camera vibration during long exposures. Additionally, it features a locking mechanism that will simulate keeping the shutter pressed down for bulb exposures.
While the Leica Remote Release is perfectly fine when I am standing right next to my camera, we have had numerous requests for a longer cord. Many users, including myself, often stand back from their cameras while shooting to better survey the scene. I know a portrait photographer who prefers to stand away from the camera while shooting to remove the traditionally intimidating barrier between the photographer and the subject.
Those who are familiar with Pocket Wizard Plus II units know they are a great way to wirelessly trigger strobes. With the right cable, these units can also be used to fire a camera. Every modern digital camera has a propriety cable release port of some kind, in the S2’s case; Leica uses a robust and weatherproof LEMO connector that securely locks into the camera body to prevent accidental removal, but is easily removable with a quick tug.
In our quest for a longer cable release, we realized that the wireless firing capabilities inherent to the Pocket Wizard system would allow us to create, essentially, an infinitely long remote release for the S2. However, there was no Pocket Wizard cable that was suitable for this application. While one end of the cable is a common miniphone connection (which plugs into the Pocket Wizard) , the other end used Leica’s proprietary LEMO connection. We are now proud to offer the Leica S2 Pocket Wizard Motor Drive Cable which, when combined with 2 Pocket Wizard Plus II units, will allow the user to fire the Leica S2 from hundreds of feet away with no wires between the photographer and the camera.
In use, not only will this allow the S2 shooter to step far away from their camera while shooting, but it also allows the camera to be fired remotely, even from ANOTHER camera (more on this later)! First, plug the miniphone end of the motor drive cord into the Pocket Wizard, then the other (LEMO connector) end into the cable release port of the S2. Turn on the camera and the pocket wizard. Make sure your receiver (the Pocket Wizard attached to the S2) and your transmitter (the Pocket Wizard in your hand) are set to the same channel. Press the TEST button on your transmitting unit and the S2 will fire…completely wireless. The Pocket Wizard Plus II units are transceivers, which means the unit attached to the camera will automatically become the receiver and the hand held unit will be the transmitter.
I mentioned previously that you can not only fire the camera remotely using this setup, but you can even trigger the S2's shutter with another camera. Pressing the TEST button on the transmitting Pocket Wizard unit simulates a trigger signal being sent through the metal pin at the bottom of the Pocket Wizard’s hot shoe. If you place the transmitter on the hot shoe of another camera, firing that camera will send the same trigger signal through the unit. This will send that trigger signal to the receiver, which is conveniently connected your Leica S2. Anytime you press the shutter of the hand held camera, this will fire the S2. The possibilities are endless!
In this video, we first use a Leica M9 with a Pocket Wizard Plus II on the hot shoe to fire a Leica S2, then we demonstrate how the test button on the Pocket Wizard can be used to fire the S2 by itself. Listen carefully, the shutter on the S2 fires slightly after the M9.
As a bonus, we also had a standard Leica S Remote Release modified to be modular and extendable. In its standard configuration, the trigger end of the release attaches to the Pocket Wizard Cable. However, simply add a miniphone extension cord for a wired cable release as long or as short as you like.
The best news of all is the original Leica S Remote Release that you already own can be retrofitted with this modular setup. Simply contact us and we will be happy to provide you with more information. For those of you seeking the entire setup, the entire Leica Modular S2 Release setup is available, along with the Leica S2 Pocket Wizard Motor Drive cord.