430 EX II wireless riddle

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by 9db, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. 9db

    9db TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone.

    I'm a longtime lurker poking my head out, finally.

    I'm a TV news shooter that got into stills not too long ago. I'm still a baby in this, and I'm finding the hardest adjustment is working with flash. I really, really want to go off-cam with the flash.

    I have a 50D and a 430 EXII. I'm having a hard time solving the wireless riddle with the 430EX II. I've researched Pocket Wizards, the Canon Wireless system, and Radiopoppers, but I'm not sure which way to go.

    Heck, I'm not even sure how to go wireless with the 430EX II. Am I missing something? A cable perhaps?

    Thank you in advance for any help.
     
  2. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well if you have a cable then it's not wireless, but it's off camera. Pocket wizards are your best bet, go for it if you have the money. The Canon Wireless system uses infrared so the flash with have to be in direct line of sight of the transmitter. Radipoppers are radio triggers, similar to pocketwizards. And last there are the Cactus triggers, also referred to as ebay triggers. They are also radio triggers and are really cheap, I'm using them myself and they work great. You can first buy the cactus triggers, learn off camera lighting techniques and if it's not enough for you you can get the pocket wizards. Also mods can be made to the cactus triggers to make them work better, I'm sure JerryPH will pop his head in here and tell you more about that and post a link to his blog where he explains how to mod them.
     
  3. 9db

    9db TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I've been using continuous lighting for a while, so the flash stuff is pretty new to me.

    I'm not even sure how to hook up the 430 EXII to any of the wireless options. Do I understand correctly that even though you are wireless, you need to wire your flash into the transmitter? There is not an output of any kind on the 430EXII.
     
  4. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lets say you have the Cactus triggers (since I have them and its easier to explain). You have a transmitter on the camera where the flash usually goes and a receiver under the flash. There is a hot shoe on the receiver. Set the transmitter and receiver to the same channel and shoot away. Pocket Wizards are similar but you have a transceiver. Its a transmitter and reciever in one and work on the same principle.
     
  5. 9db

    9db TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a lot.

    I know it's silly that I was having difficulty with it, but I appreciate your help.
     
  6. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    many people have difficulty with that. You should also visit Strobist
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As mentioned, there are a few different ways to make this work.

    The Canon wireless system uses light pulses (not IR) when you have a 580EX flash as your on-camera master. It can then control several 'slaves' which could be 430EX units or other 580EXs. (there is a non-flash master that does use IR, but that's besides the point).
    This system is good in that is allows you to have control over the output of the remote flash, from the master unit. It also allows auto 'E-TTL' metering of the remote units. The down side (and it's a big one) is that the signal isn't reliable in many cases...outdoors especially. This is why many pros use radio triggers instead. Of course, to make it work, you would need a 'master' flash (580) which is rather expensive.

    There are several levels of radio triggers. Pocket Wizards are the top of the line, but expensive. Cactus triggers are the cheap ones, but their reliability is hit and miss. I have a few cactus triggers but I recently moved up to Cyber Syncs (from Paul C. Buff/Alien Bee). They are cheaper than PWs and work great (although the top end range isn't the 1600' that the PW can do).

    As you have figured out, the 430EX does not have a sync socket (the 580EX does). So to plug in a receiver unit like the PW or the Cyber Sync, you would need a hotshoe adapter. Something like THIS. The Cactus triggers have a built-in hot shoe, so this adapter would not be needed.

    Now, when using radio triggers you no longer have auto metering...which means that you have to set the power yourself and figure out your exposure. It's not hard, but most people find that there is a steep learning curve until you get your head wrapped around it. A lot of pros prefer this because the light output is consistent, while auto metering isn't always.

    As you can see, there is a lot to think about...but believe me, the results are well worth the effort.
     
  8. 9db

    9db TPF Noob!

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    Great info, thanks a lot.

    I ordered the Cactus triggers. I figure I can get my feet wet with them...I'm sure it will be a learning process, but I like the fact that the output is consistent.

    Thanks again, guys.
     
  9. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Radio Poppers just came out with the JrX that allows you to control up to three sets of strobes and their power level from the transmitter on the camera. They have been getting good reviews from Strobist and others and are a lot cheaper than PocketWizards.

    By the way, does anybody know off hand if PW has a set that will control flashes other than as a dummy?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, the Canon models came out earlier this year and the Nikon models should be here soon, if not already.

    From what I've been hearing, they don't work as well as people had hoped. Appearance, the flashes cause some radio interference that can get in the way of the PW communication. PocketWizard® - ControlTL
     
  11. Foga

    Foga TPF Noob!

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    Cactus trigger are a good inexpensive way to get some experience with triggering your flashes remotely.
    i would advise in the radio poppers over the pocket wizards when you are ready to jump in the water in full.
    I believe the technology, although new is far more powerfull than what pocket wizards offer at a fraction of the cost.
    You will need a hot shoe adapter that goes in your flash, like if your were putting it on top of your camera, and the adapter will have a cable that ends on 1/8 mono plug that goes into the pocket wizard.
    This is necessary, cause canon doesn't make their flashes with direct inputs for plugs
     
  12. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Like this one.
    Not true, the 580EX II has a PC port.
     

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