Wirless Flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by John Williams, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. John Williams

    John Williams TPF Noob!

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    Hey just got my brand new canon 430ex flash through the post and was wondering if i can set it up on a wireless trigger type thing, how i would go about this, what are the best products for this, and would it be worth doing with only one flash?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    It is certainly worth doing with one flash, often, you won't need any more.

    You can't use Canon's wireless system unless you buy a 'Master'. The 430EX can only be a 'Slave' in that system. A master could be a 580/550EX or an ST-E2. Either way, it's not cheap.

    You could go with a radio trigger system, which doesn't have the advantage of E-TTL metering, like the Canon system...but it's a more reliable way of triggering a flash.

    There is a cheap radio trigger that is supposed to work with that flash...the Cactus V.2. I have this and that flash, and I can tell you that it doesn't work very well. It fired about 60% of the time and often fires twice.

    The preferred product is made by Pocket Wizard. These will fire your flash, every time, with a range of 1600 feet (or something like that). You can even fire your camera remotely.
    They are not cheap though. You will need two 'transceiver' units and they are just under $200 each.

    You could also look at something like the Skyport system from Elinchrome. A bit cheaper than Pocket Wizards but maybe not as reliable when you don't have good line of site.

    Personally, I use my 430E on the camera (or on a bracket with off-shoe cord) and use cheap off-brand flash units for off camera use.
     
  3. John Williams

    John Williams TPF Noob!

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    ok great. So what about the off-shoe cords, what should i be looking for and in what price range? And how do you use them, on a tripod or just in your hand? thanks
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Again, there are two ways you can go here. One way would be with a Canon 'Off shoe cord II' (or off brand equivelent). This will allow you to use the flash off camera and keep all of the flash metering etc. The standard cord is only 2 feet long though...so it could be used on a bracket or in your hand. These are about $60-$80 at B&H.

    I believe that you can buy a longer 'off shoe' cord...or you could make one. However, because of the way the flash metering works, you can't go too long. Maybe 6 or 10 feet total.

    The other way to go, would be with manual flash control (just like you would have to do with radio slaves). You would need a cord with a PC connection at the camera end. If your camera has a PC connection, you can use that. If not, you would need a hot-shoe to PC connection. It goes on the hot-shoe and connects to the cord. At the flash end, the 430EX does not have a PC port...so you would need a PC to hot shoe connection. The connectors and cord should be fairly inexpensive.

    You could use the flash in your hand, on a tripod or light stand etc.

    If you haven't read it yet, there is a whole web site, dedicated to off-camera flash.
    Strobist. Start with 'Lighting 101'
     
  5. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    another option would be to get the ebay wireless trigger. i got it and shockingly they work great. what camera do you have? some do not have PC ports.
     
  6. John Williams

    John Williams TPF Noob!

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    I've got a 350D, how much did you pick one up for on ebay, because im pretty skint after buying the flash anyway but if it needs to be done then it needs to be done lol.

    And thanks big mike for the links and advice.:thumbup:
     
  7. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hold on just a second.. :)

    Your 430EX won't hold up well with the ebay triggers. I have the ebay triggers that everyone gets on ebay, and they work great (for the price, and within a few feet) EXCEPT not on the 430EX. The cheap ebay triggers cause my 430 to fire at random :). NOT good.
     
  8. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    good thing someone with experience spoke up.
     
  9. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    cameramike, what flash do you use your ebay triggers on?

    I have a sunpak 383 that works well with them.. but am looking for more strobes in the near future to go along with my other 2 ebay triggers.
     
  10. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    hehe sunpak 383. i've heard though that alot do work with them. maybe purchase one and test it, if it works keep it if not return it?
     

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