pocket wizard alternatives?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by goodoneian, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    i'm getting really sick of my cactus triggers. and have been for some time now. every time i've used them lately i feel like throwing my camera at someone due to how inconsistent they've been firing, even after i change the batteries and all that jazz.

    now pocket wizards are a little expensive and i can't really justify buying those, but i know theres some less expensive alternatives around. i've heard of skyports and radio poppers etc. but i know next to nothing about either. anyone want to help point me in the right direction?

    oh, and i'll just be triggering 2 sb600s
     
  2. Mitch1640

    Mitch1640 TPF Noob!

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    the cyber sync triggers and receivers from alien bees look really nice and are very reasonably priced, give those a look.
     
  3. zelseman

    zelseman TPF Noob!

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    I have cybersyncs, they are awesome. They work through multiple walls, and very long distances from my very broad tests. Very affordable as well. Im about to buy another reciever.
     
  4. czsmola

    czsmola TPF Noob!

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    I have the Belzzo triggers....I have done another number of head shots with them with really little problems. But they are still brutal compared to PW... you could just use the CLS from nikon
     
  5. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    those seem like pretty good contenders. since they have quite a few different ones which would you recommend? all's i want to be able to do is trigger my flashes, i don't need any kind of bells and whistles really. and i don't want a/c powered obviously
     
  6. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    cls is ridiculous outside though
     
  7. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    The radio poppers are awesome with CLS. I have been shooting with them for about 6 months now. Never ever misfired, or not fired. I love them. The only thing I wish is that they had a PC out so that I could fire strobes as well. Maybe the new version will have that option.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't understand... I am up to something like 4000 pics and NO misfires that I can blame on the Cactus setup.

    1. Did you do the cactus recevier and transmitter mod PROPERLY? (that means using a 12.39" length of 1 single solid copper strand from a CAT5 wire)

    2. Are you sure you are using fresh batteries?

    3. Are you *sure* that you disable stand-by mode on the SB-600's?

    If you tell me yes for all of the 3 above, you should not only be getting consistent performance, but at well over 350 feet.

    Just last night, I've placed my setup in my basement, then went outside to my friend's car to pickup some extra "period clothing" for a shoot we were doing, and I was 3 houses down from mine, *inside* his van with closed doors and hit the button 3 times. When I got in, the model told me that the flash went of strangely by itself exactly 3 times.

    So we're looking at as setup that can shoot through the metal of a van, is several houses down the street and is in a basement, all successfully... as well as a setup that works at over 350 feet when line-of-sight.

    99% of all Cactus issues come from not having done the soldering properly, not using the proper wire or not using fresh batteries. Now if I had only 1 trigger and 1-2 receivers, we could say QC issues, but I have 3 transmitters and 7 receivers (4-ch) and 2 receivers (16-ch), bought from 2 different sources (GI and MPEX), and tested all possible combinations and always get the same consistent results.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's easy to understand. Go to a forum like POTN and search Cactus. You'll see a ton of threads. Some times they work great, sometimes they're DOA, they misfire, they don't fire, they won't fire withing 20' of another trigger. As I've said a million times when you've said "I don't understand", the cheap slaves reputation doesn't come from defective units alone, it's over all QA problems in getting a working problem out the door.

    Search Pocket Wizard on POTN and the only thread you'll probably find about a set that didn't work is where a guy put it onto the hotshoe of the camera backwards and it wouldn't fire because the pins weren't making contact. User Error.

    OP-
    Alien Bee Cyber Syncs
    Elinchrom Skyports
    Radio Poppers

    Just goggle radio flash triggers.
     
  10. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    After 6 months of frustration, I finally ditched my Cactus triggers and went with Cybersyncs. Best thing I ever did. Now they work every time. No more misfires, no more making people wait while I'm troubleshooting my lights, no more missed shots. Maybe I should have sent my triggers to Jerry to be modified, but I never had the success he's having.

    The Cybersyncs do have some caveats.. They don't come with a lanyard or any way to attach them to the lightstand. I am currently using velcro, which I am not too fond of. Also, the test button the receivers (which is also the power-on button) is easily pressed by accident when not in use, which can lead to accidental battery drain. I got around this problem by getting a cheap case with foam inserts that you can customize:

    [​IMG]

    Other than that, I am extremely happy with these!

    Edit: Btw, if you want my cactus triggers, make an offer. I am selling them "as is" with no guarantees! :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Of course you get what you pay for, I agree 100% with that, but a VAST majority of the issues can be resolved with the 3 points I have outlined above. The common sense thing of putting it in the right way (how in the heck can anyone put them in backwards??? I'll offer that anyone that doesn't know the front from the rear of a hotshoe has no business even holding a camera. :lol: ) or using fresh batteries, etc... are all avoidable and if people who modded their Cactus did it right, there would be TONS of happier people out there.

    Of course I am not going to rule out DOAs, lemons happen with ANYTHING, and when you are talking oriental uber-low cost triggers, the possibility has to be higher than if you are paying for PWs.

    For me, the only thing that the PWs do that my Cactus cannot, is give me incredible (read incredibly useless) range, and I have not yet found a need to go beyond 50-75 feet, and in that distance, they are rock solid.

    I would suggest that before dropping MORE money, if you have the Cactus, do the 3 things I outlined above... they are near free... new triggers/receivers are not.

    BTW, have you noticed the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/PocketWizard-PWP-TR-801-125-Transceiver-Black/dp/B000GHXMO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1233079972&sr=1-1"]price of PWs[/ame] is just now slowly starting to spiral down a bit? Once they hit the land of $100US a piece, that is coming into a range that I can call reasonable and would consider switching, but until then, I am getting all the love I need from my V2s and am not really missing anything.
     
  12. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    1. no

    2. yes

    3. yes

    regardless of being capable to doing the mods, i want to buy new ones. i'd rather pay around 180 dollars (which isn't too bad imo) for 2 receivers and a transmitter that i know will work reliably from the box.

    btw, that's a nice case andrew


    oh and also, on my cactus receivers the wire that runs from the pc port to the circuit board in the actual receiver itself keeps snapping and i have to re solder it very frequently which is getting quite annoying.
     

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