How Do I Deal With This Issue? (Triggers + AF-Assist)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MikeLem, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. MikeLem

    MikeLem TPF Noob!

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    I have an issue that has been puzzling me. I'm hoping you guys can shed some light, so to speak.

    I shoot a Canon 7D. It has AF-Assist built into the pop-up flash, and IR AF-Assist if you're using a Speedlite in the hotshoe.

    Here's my issue. I've been messing around with some wireless triggers (Cactus V4's and PW's), and it seems to me that it's impossible to use any AF-Assist if I'm using triggers in the hotshoe. I know that on the Nikons, this isn't an issue because of a dedicated IR "beam" out of the camera itself.

    So, how do I use AF-assist in low light (IR, preferably) and wireless triggers? Or, am I just out of luck?

    Thanks!
    Mike
     
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Hey, with the IR AF-assist is coming from the strobe itself (I.E. a 430ex or 580ex or something of the like). When you use a trigger you lose this capability.

    I think you may be rather out of luck, at least when firing with triggers.

    One other thing to consider is that the speed of focusing will be at least somewhat improved with a lens 2.8 or faster. Not sure what you have, but if you're looking for low-light focusing this may help. Otherwise you're probably best off having the speedlight on camera.
     
  3. MikeLem

    MikeLem TPF Noob!

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    Nate,

    I've tried everything down to my 50mm/1.4, and no dice in super low light. I'm not too concerned about the shots where I'm working with a model, but I can see wedding receptions in dark venues being a nightmare with some off camera flash and no af-assist available.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Those Nikons having an on-camera AF assist, use visible light.
     
  5. MikeLem

    MikeLem TPF Noob!

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    One option I'm wondering about: Is it possible to use wireless triggers with a hotshoe adapter out of the PC/sync terminal on the camera? Speedlite on the hotshoe, and trigger attached to the camera via pc terminal? Ugly, but it seems like it would work.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, that will work...I do it all the time.
    But do you need a hotshoe adapter for the trigger? Most triggers that I've seen or used, have their own sync terminal, so it's just a cord from the trigger to the PC port on the camera. I usually use an elastic band to hold the trigger to the side of the flash body....not pretty, but it works.

    Actually, I'm not really concerned with the AF assist beam on my flash. I use the on-camera flash in (E-TTL mode) as a fill light to my off-camera main light (which might be another hot-shoe flash or a studio strobe).
     
  7. MikeLem

    MikeLem TPF Noob!

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    After digging, this seems like a reasonable solution. I also found a place that can mod an ST-E2 to add a hotshoe to the top of it. That would equate to no cables at all, and just throwing the PW right on top of the ST-E2.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    That's not a bad idea...although the price of an ST-E2 is pretty steep just for an AF assist light.
    Can you share some details on where they will mod up the ST-E2 and how much it would cost?
     

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