Cactus Triggers

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by pongerts, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. pongerts

    pongerts TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone!

    I've got a question.

    I'm planning to buy Cactus Remote triggers for my Nikon D60 and Vivitar 285HV flashes. (I'm buying them off ebay)

    My question is; Are there differences between models of transmitter that i should buy?
    Because in ebay, I tried searching and I found many kinds. (i.e. Cactus triggers for olympus, sunpak, sigma).

    and there are also different kinds of receivers. Are there any particulars that i should take note?


    here's the link BTW.

    <LINK>http://stores.ebay.com/Gadget-Infinity_Digital-Camera_Flash_Wireless-Trigger_W0QQfsubZ2214405</LINK>


    and also, do i buy the cactus trigger off ebay or gadget infinity??
    It's my first time to buy online. :)

    thanks guys!
     
  2. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    As long as the camera has an ISO hotshoe, (basically anything but a Minolta or Sony) you should be fine with any of them *except* for some odd trigger voltage issues with some. That should be fairly well explained in the description on GI's site, and only applies to the receivers, not the transmitters.

    While we're on the topic of triggers and unusual hotshoes, anybody know a way to trigger a Minolta 5200i from a Cactus? I'm about to order some Sunpaks, but I've gotten good at working the controls on the Minolta in the dark, so it would be great to have it available for off-camera stuff too.
     
  3. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    You might be able to get a shoe adapter for your Minolta so the Cactus triggers will work.

    Your best bet is to send them an e-mail and see what they suggest. I had to send them an e-mail, and they responded pretty quickly, and were quite helpful.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The transmitter should match the receivers. In the case of Cactus, you purchase the kit that contains both 1 transmitter and 1 receiver. Then you buy extra receivers as necessary. I like my Cactus V2s and they are good for a budget... be aware that there are reports of some units arriving broken or with issues. Test them out when you get them.

    If you are in the U.S., MPEX.com is a distributer of Cactus V2s.
     
  5. pongerts

    pongerts TPF Noob!

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    I've decided that i'd go for Vivitar 285 HV's and Cactus V2s from
    www.gadgetinfinity.com
    2pcs Vivitar 285's and a set of Cactii plus 2 receivers more.
    i already have a Sigma EF530 DG ST so I can add that up to my setup!

    Do you guys think this is an 'OK' setup for a beginner trying to learn lighting?
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    It's a good start....although, you may find, at some point, that these triggers are just too finicky when it comes to professional work.

    I've got an older Cactus set and I recently added a new V2s. I wasn't sure if they would all work together, but they do. The only thing that doesn't really work, is that my old receiver has problems when put on my Canon 430EX unit...it works find on my other flash units though. Actually, another problem I have is that the triggers have trouble firing when on the hot shoe...it might even be a problem with the hot shoe. So I usually use a small cord and plug them into the PC port on my camera.
     
  7. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    If you're in the US, I'd suggest ordering from MPEX.com, you'll get faster shipping and better service if anything goes wrong (DOA triggers).

    I use Cactus triggers, and they do just fine for me. They're great for a beginner. If you start having any trouble with them (misfires, need more range, etc) I suggest looking into the antenna mods for them.
     
  8. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    I believe that has something to do with the amount of electromagnetic energy the 430ex puts out. It messes up the (fairly weak) RF signal.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Cactus V2s main distributor is www.gadgetinfinity.com and that's where mine came from (but if you look, some parts are a couple dollars less at MPEX than Gadget Infinity and shipping will likely be a little less). The 3 week wait for delivery from Hong Kong was worth it for me. BTW, you can order the cheaper 16-ch receiver, it triggers wonderfully in the first 4 channels of the V2s transmitter and is a couple dollars less. If you do not need a hotshoe install, get this one.

    Good idea about testing right away... I had zero issues, but read about someone that received a dead receiver. It was replaced without a fuss.

    I think it is a good setup for starting out. I'd even go so far as suggest NOT starting out using more than 1 single strobe/umbrella until you get comfortable. You can get some amazing results with a single off camera flash. ;) www.strobist.com is your friend. Look for Lighting 101 and 102.

    I hear that a lot... but in over 3000 shots, I had ONE misfire, and that happened at the 358 foot mark, and then, only once and never again. QC has to be a factor... I hear some people have issues getting 10 feet and others that are getting 110 feet UNmodified. Mine are modified and do over 300ft consistantly. Fresh batteries are a MUST for these to do their best. :)

    I don't have that issue and that's from working on a Nikon E8800, D200 and an old F2a. Talking about "problems", the V2s receivers are to wobbly for my tastes if you place them on the receiver hotshoe of the V2s receivers, so I got myself a small adapter with a sync connector and use a cheap wire to connect it to the receiver (that's hanging via small tie-wrap beside and hung on the stand), it also places the flash closer to the center of the umbrella. It adds about $16/umbrella more to the overall costs for the adapter and cable. This is a small cost that adds so much to the reliability and functionality of these units. The adapter and cables I got from www.flashzebra.com .

    [​IMG]

    It's been posted here before, but for those people that want to spend about 2 minutes per transmitter to mod it, it does increase triggering distance from 30 to 300+ feet. You can visit my blog HERE and see how I did it and the results of the mods. I also discuss doing the receiver battery mod so that instead of using expensive 15 dollar batteries, you can use simple AA rechargeable batteries. This is a 4 minute modification per receiver and well worth it.

     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    WHOIS results for www.gadgetinfinity.com

    Domain name: GADGETINFINITY.COM

    Registrant Contact:
    HARVEST ONE LIMITED
    Henry Chan

    1101 David House
    8-20 Nanking St
    Jordon, KOWLOON 0000
    HK

    WHOIS results for MPEX.com

    Registrant: Make this info private
    Bill and Mike's Photo
    3313 North High Street
    Columbus, OH 43202
    US


    Gadgetinfinity is out of Hong Kong. Yes they are a good supplier with good reputation. I'd still recommend U.S. folks ordering from MPEX since they are from Ohio. Literally took only 2 business days to get my order from them to NJ. It is 10x easier to deal with someone within the U.S. if you have any complaints.
     
  11. pongerts

    pongerts TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a lot guys for the input! That's why i'm very thankful for this forum that it's not 'blocked' in the country i'm currently staying in which is the United Arab Emirates.

    Most other forums (and a lot of other sites) are blocked in this country. So I was fortunate to have stumbled upon this forum.

    I'm going for the triggers from GI because i don't know if www.mpex.com would deliver to this country.

    Again, thanks a whole bunch to you guys!

    FYI, i'm going for the studio setup 1 in their website, it goes with an umbrella and stand, plus a set of V2s and a 285HV.

    I've got another question though,

    I know that a white umbrella is a shoot-thru umbrella,
    but what's the difference between a silver-black and a silver-white umbrella? I know that it is used for bouncing off from the silver side, but would there be a difference between a black and a white outer side?
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah.... didn't realize you were in the UAE.

    Unfortunately, I don't have an answer to the black versus white outer-side. Hopefully someone will answer. They do make a white umbrella with removable black outer-side for use as a reflective or shoot thru.
     

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