Remote triggering of strobes..

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Don Kondra, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Greetings,

    If you are using a radio remote trigger with multiple monolights, is it necessary or just beneficial to have a receiver on All of the lights?

    And yes, all lights are equipped with slaves :)

    Is there really any advantage to using a remote trigger over the on camera flash?

    I'm assuming if the camera flash is set to the lowest setting that will trigger the slaves, the camera flash will not be visible in the image?

    Cheers, Don
     
  2. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    The huge advantage of using triggers is that you don't have to rely upon the light hitting the slaves to trigger your flash. Inside, in a studio setting, it's not a huge deal but the triggers are still a better idea so there is no extra light in the image-- besides, it saves a lot of batteries, etc, to use a dedicated trigger. If you are trying to use lights outside, or in a large space (I use strobes to light up rooms for event photograph, for example) you really need the triggers because otherwise you spend the whole time trying to hit the slave with your flash. Having triggers on every light means that you don't have to worry about the lights getting set off by stray light and you don't have to make sure that the light from one strobe hits the slave of the next. In the studio, it's not a big deal at all. On location, it can be a bit limiting.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Receivers are the best way to go, but slaves can work just fine. Just keep in mind the slave position compared to the lights with receivers. I don't think I have ever used a receiver on a hair light and rarely on a background light. Key and fill lights always have one. That's just how I like to work.
     
  4. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you both for taking the time to respond.

    Basically what happened is I've ordered a two head kit and a transmitter with two receivers.

    My plan was to wait and "see" how the two heads worked but before they arrived I've decided to order a larger "main" light :)

    Off now to order another receiver...

    Cheers, Don
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I would think that you would only need multiple receivers when you are shooting in a situation where other people are shooting with flash. You wouldn't want their flashes setting off your lights...and most lights will disable their optical trigger when something is plugged into their triggering connection.

    I only ever use one trigger when shooting with my studio lights. Most of the time it's on the main/key light but it could be on the fill or any of them really. The trigger fires one light and that light triggers all the rest. Easy as pie.
     
  6. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks Mike,

    Although another receiver is relatively inexpensive I've held off on ordering it.

    I'll be interested to see if the second light without a receiver will fire when it's slave is behind a softbox in relation to the main light ?

    Cheers, Don
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    I guess there could be some circumstances when the optical trigger might be at a disadvantage...but I've yet to run into a situation where one of my lights wasn't able to be optically triggered. This is why it's probably best to use the one receiver on the main light, as that is likely to be the brightest light, giving it the best opportunity to trigger the other lights.
     
  8. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'll see if I can "fool" the slave but it should be a simple matter to place the second receiver on the suspect light in a three light set up :)

    Cheers, Don
     
  9. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    And remember that reflectors aren't just for bouncing light into your scene. They can be handy for sending light back to a stubborn slave.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1 - If you are alone in a room and there are no other flashes going off but yours, one receiver and all the rest being slaved is fine.

    However, if you do what I do now and then, and that is to go into an area with 30 other photographers and at least 5-6 different areas and flashes are going off 20 times a minute, its a good idea to make sure that you are both on a unique channel specific to your area and that your setup cannot be triggered by your neighbor or anyone else, for that matter. In this case, slaves are out of the question.

    2 - Yes... distance and versatility. I don't see many slaves working over 20 feet in the daytime, but even the el-cheapo Cactus V2s triggers can be made to work at over 350 feet consistently. Also no on camera flash to flatten the picture or add red-eye into a picture that you are trying to make of a subject that is closer.

    3 - Maybe. Depends on how close you are to your subject. If you are 2 feet away from your subject and the flash is 10 feet away, your on camera flash *is* close enough to make a difference. However, you can always place a little tinfoil in front of your flash so that it is "visible" to your slaves but is blocked from shooting forward. This is also an advantage to using radio triggers... no flash from the camera (see #2).
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008

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