Firefly Slave Units for Cave Photography
are designed and manufactured by cave photographers for cave photographers. They are extremely sensitive and are easily triggered by your on-camera flash. They are designed to trigger both electronic flashes (strobes) and flashgun/flashbulb units which very few other slaves can do. Click here for more information about these great slave units.

The Magic Wand is a simple aid to focusing underground in dim light conditions. With a mini-mag flashlight attached
to the base of the unit, the Magic Wand produces a bar of light that makes it easy to focus, using a split image focusing system on your SLR camera. It is also very useful in auto-focusing with digital cameras where contrast of light and dark areas is used for sharp focus.
Click here for more info.

Flash Systems of various sorts are available from Shot in the Dark as well. I carry brand new Vivitar 285HV and Sunpak 383S electronic flashes and occasionally have used flashes available at a reduced price. Click here for further info on availability.


Firefly Slaves come in two versions. The original Firefly 2 and the new digital Firefly 3. The FF 2 will fire whenever any flash is used to trigger it. The FF 3 is used in situations where digital cameras emit a pre-flash that is used to determine the proper exposure settings by the camera, followed by the shutter-open flash. If a FF 2 were used with a camera that uses a pre-flash, the strobe would trigger on the first pre-flash but not have enough time to recycle and fire on the second, open-shutter flash and thus would not illuminate the image. The pre-flashes can be deceiving as they usually happen instantaneously with the second flash and thus appear as if they are only a single flash. It is best if you can shut off the pre-flash and set your camera manually for cave photography, but many cameras don't allow that option and thus require the FF 3. One advantage to the FF 3 is that it can be "trained" to fire on however many flashes you want it to: one, two, three, or more. As such, the FF 3 can "learn" how many pre-flashes your camera uses (perhaps even no pre-flashes) and will remember that setting until you change it again, making it a more versatile slave unit.

Both units respond to infrared light. As a result, they are sensitive up to 1,500' and will easily trigger when hidden behind rocks, around corners or a good distance away down the passage. They will fire either a strobe or a flashgun and can be triggered by either your on-camera strobe, other strobes, or certain flashbulbs.

Both units are very small and lightweight. They measure 3/4" X 1 3/4" X 2 1/2" and weigh little more than one ounce. The FF 2 operates on three small alkaline watch batteries (SR43) that last for years and are easily replaceable. The FF 3 requires three silver oxide batteries (SR44SW). Since the units draw an incredibly small amount of current, there is no "on/off" switch which helps eliminate connection points that are prone to failure while underground.

The FF 2 slave units are available with either a Hot Shoe (HS) connection or a PC connection. If you primarily use strobes with hot shoe connectors, we highly recommend the HS version. The PC connection is primarily for use with flashguns that do not have HS connections. Because the PC connection is more prone to failure due to corrosion (a fault of the basic design of PC connections, not of the Firefly Slave Unit) we include a set of instructions for directly wiring your flashgun into the slave unit. The FF 3 unit is available only with a hotshoe connector.

The FF 2 slaves are $75.00 each, the FF 3 slaves are $110.00 each, plus $8.00 postage for the first, $1 each additional. We also offer replacement batteries for both units at $1 each for the FF 2 and $3 each for the FF 3 units. Each unit requires three batteries. Postage is $1.00. We accept cash, check, money order, Visa/Mastercard/American Express. You may e-mail me your credit card number if you so wish. It never goes beyond here! Please note that your monthly bill will show up with a sale to "Mountain Street Pottery" in Camden, Maine on it. This is my regular business and allows me to accept credit cards for Fireflies.

All slave units are thoroughly tested before shipping out and we guarantee your satisfaction. Please contact me for further information about Firefly Slaves.

***To clear up any potential confusion, please note the following: The slave unit is a slave unit only. It is not a strobe/slave configuration and will not produce any flashes on its own. It must be connected to *your* strobe or flashgun. Several people have mistakenly thought that it would flash as well, which it does not do. Use of a Vivitar 283, 285, a Sunpak strobe or a Honeywell flashgun is recommended.***

MAGIC WAND: Firefly Electronics has created a new device for focusing your camera in the dim lighting conditions of cave photography. Called the "Magic Wand", this focusing aid is a lightweight, prismatic plastic bar that produces a six inch long line of light. Placed next to the area you wish to focus on, it is easy to line up the bar in your split-image focusing system on your camera and have a perfectly focused picture. Its best feature is its absolute simplicity. It works well for focusing when using an auto-focus digital camera as well.

Cost is $14 plus $1 for postage. Requires use of a small flashlight. A Brinkmann or Maglite Solitaire (both are single AAA battery operated) are recommended. If you wish, we will provide you the flashlight for an extra $10.


Shot in the Dark Cave Photography is now pleased to offer Vivitar 285HV and Sunpak 383S electronic flashes (strobes) for cave photography. The Vivitar 285HV is a real workhorse of a flash and is the most versatile one available at a reasonable price. The Sunpak 383S is also a rugged flash for cave photography but does not have the flash-focusing fresnel lens that the 285HV has. Both provide the same flash power output as full power and both dial down their outputs from full 1/2, 1/4, and 1/16 power. The 383S also dials down to 1/8 power. Both are ideal for use with your Firefly Slave Unit.

The strobe can be adjusted for normal, wide or telephoto shots. The flash can be dialed in for full, half, quarter or one-sixteenth power output, making it economical to use. Both have a built-in power-conservation circuit to make your batteries last a long time. The units run on four AA batteries and can be used with rechargeables for further savings. Cost is $110 for the Vivitar 285HV flash and $100 for ther Sunpak 383S flash plus shipping. Please specify your choice and allow extra time for shipping.

Occasionally, used strobes come on the market which I sell at a reduced price, based on their condition. Some strobes are small and are best used for fill flash or as a trigger strobe on your camera. Some are larger and can be used as a primary flash for your photos. Availability and condition vary so please contact me to find out what is currently available.