Off camera lighting questions.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by KhronoS, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    After talking to a friend and read somethings about off camera light, i decided that i definitly have to go with this system, because i got tired of plain flash straight to face (sometimes maybe bouncing flash).
    I already have a 430EX Canon flash.
    And decided i will start by using this one with an umbrella diffuser onto a light stand. Now i need something to trigger the flash wireless.
    Now i was thinking Pocket Wizard, but are too expensive because they act as as transmitter and receiver. So if i want a pocket wizard system of 1 transmitter and 2 receivers i have to pay like 600$. So i have to buy 3 units. It;s kind of stupid.

    Now i want something to trigger the flash if you guys know something else. Or i would buy an Pocket wizard to act as a transmitter and combine it with some cheap receiver, or i don't know.

    What do you guys advice me to use?

    P.S.I need something that i can use to trigger a strobe or studio flash too.
     
  2. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The new Radio Poppers are supposed to be more reliable than the cheap triggers, and more affordable than Pocket Wizards. I don't know if all the models are out yet, but I think they are planning on releasing a simple, cheap, reliable, no-frills radio trigger.

    strobist.com is definitely where the info is.
     
  4. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Until the people with the GI Cactus triggers keep bugging you to use your Pocket Wizards because they're depending on their triggers for a shoot and they just aren't reliable.

    From cheapest to most expensive(general brands)

    1. Gadget Infinity, Cactus V2S, $30 for 1TX 1RX - These are not reliable. Not reliable in the fact that you could get a set that's DOA. You could also get a set that works perfectly. You could also get a set that will work only some of the times. You could get a set that randomly triggers. You could get a set where only one receiver will fire if you put another receiver too close. These are all complaints I've heard on other forums. You hear them a lot compared to complaints about other triggers.

    These things are cheap and that's the only advantage. If you're just getting into this and just want something to experiment with, then these are your best best bet.

    2. Paul C. Buff, Cyber Syncs, $130 for 1TX 1 RX - Relatively new. Never seen these in use but everyone that has them likes them. They don't have the range of the PW's, but not everyone needs that.

    3. Elinchrom, Skyports, $180 for 1TX 1RX - These work good. They're half the price of the PW PII's. They don't have the same advertised range though. The transmitter doesn't have a screw lock on it and some people have complained about losing it off their hot shoe. Not a lot, but some. The TX also is powered by a rechargable battery. This is a concern to some people and a bonus to others. The Skyports are very compact and they are a great alternative to the PW's if you don't have the budget.

    4. Pocket Wizard, Plus II) $350 for 2TX/RX - The industry standard. I've only heard of two instances of these not working. The first is common and it's not a fault of the PII's at all. It's that flashes being use don't fire because of the PC connection on the flash with the supplied cable in the PII box. PC connections are crap. That's my opinion on the matter. The second time was of an apparently DOA set of PII's. After many pages of "solutions" and "help" on POTN, I asked if he was putting them on the right way. The guy kept trying to get them to work while fitted into the hotshoe backwards. That's not going to work.

    These things have an advertised range of 1600'. That's on a plane in Oklahoma with no other interference or electronics around and with no sun spots popping off in the vacinity of Earth. They're still pretty powerful though. They're also compatible with other companies' gear. Sekonic makes a light meter with a PW chip in it that will trigger your PW's. Certain expensive strobes can be purchased with PW triggers built in.

    They also can trigger your camera since they're transceivers. You can put two PW's on two cameras, three on additional flashes, and one in hand. With the one in hand, you can trigger them all at once.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ... by only about only 20 dollars. Yes they are out. The range is not as high as the PWs but they have the ability to shoot TTL, something that the PWs will never be able to do. One thing that I *really* do not like about the RPs is their design. They look bad and unstable mounted on top of the flash or a SU-800.

    I use the Gadget Infinity triggers and modify them (it's VERY easy!). Cheap price and after the mods, I can get over 350 feet on mine consistently. If I need iTTL and won't work further away than 30 feet from the flashes, I can use Nikon's CLS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  7. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    Well i decided to try the Cacatus trigger... since it's my first time going off camera.
    And 30$ is not a very high price...

    Thank you guys for the info. :D
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    He was talking about RP Jr's.

    And the current RP's only work with TTL flashes. You can't fire anything manually with them. So studio strobes and pretty much 80%-90% of the flashes out there are incompatible.
     
  9. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    What are RP's?
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True, I made a mistake concerning the P1 vs P8's. Jrs are not out yet.

    As far as manual... wellll.... kinda/sorta. Yes you cannot use incompatible flashes that are non-TTL, but if you have a TTL setup, you can control each section manually (from a camera like the D200, D300, D700) internal menu, a SU-800 or SB-800/900 commander menu.

    But I know what you meant, VI, and you were right.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. Big Mike

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

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    I've been waiting for the PR Jr. to be released, so we can all see if and how well it works. Checking their site, it should be soon...but they also said it was supposed to be this summer :roll:
     

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