Experience with "Cheap and Cheerful" wireless flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by iolair, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. iolair

    iolair No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm looking into getting some cheap wireless flash controllers. (Which some people seem to call "eBay wireless flash"). Who has experience here? What have you found about ease-of-use, range and reliability?

    What about suppliers? Has anyone had to return equipment? How long did a replacement take? Customer service OK?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want to purchase Cactus triggers, do so from the following link (I'm not sure if B&H or Adorama supply them)

    Midwest Photo Exchange - Search

    MPEX has amazing customer service and if you do happen to get a set of misbehaving units or a product that's DOA, they'll fix it for you pretty quickly.

    They're not the most reliable and that's not always speaking about performance. There's a lot more in the way of build quality and q/c issues than with other brands. The next cheapest and probably best "budget" units are the paul c. buff cyber syncs. I've heard pretty much nothing but praise for these triggers. Then again, it's about 3x the cost of the Cactus triggers.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The "eBay radio triggers" are inexpensive. As usual you get what you pay for.

    One of the things that makes them inexpensive is a limited number of channels, like only 4 or so.

    I know several local amateures that use these radio triggers they got through ebay.

    They work and are easy to use. None have had to be returned. We haven't tested their range beyond 20 yards or so.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I've used the Cactus triggers (same ones at MPE but bought from Gadget Infinity). I have the older versions, the newest version (V4) is supposed to be a little better.

    They did work, sometime well, sometimes not so much. They were fun to play with and made it easy to try out some off-camera flash.

    Since then, I have upgraded to the CyberSync system, which was more expensive, but so far they have been perfect.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most Pocket Wizards only have 4 channels. They're not inexpensive. I think Skyports are the same. Probably Radio Poppers and Cyber Syncs as well.
     
  6. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I'll second Big Man. I had the Cactus v2's for a while...did the antenna mod to them, which did help range & reliability, but I still had misses about 5% to 10% of the time. They are great for learning & just playing around, where the occasional non-flash is no big deal, but when you want to know that the flash is going to go off every time, you will need to spend a few more bucks. I purchased the Cybersync set-up a little less than a year ago, and haven't had a single misfire.
     
  7. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The reviews I've read are 50/50 on reliability, so it seems whether it works or fails is down to dumb luck.

    If I buy a wireless flash system, it will definitely be the Alienbees Cybersyncs system. I've heard nothing but good about it, and it's less than $200 for a trigger/receiver kit.
     

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