Do I need to buy something for flash to work on remote ? didn't work with wifi APP


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Jun 1, 2013
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I am sorry if this has been asked already. I don't know how to look it up since I don't know much about what and how flash should work. I am new to a DSLR camera settings . And only used (borrowed) my moms DSLR with a lot of limitations. I had no external flash for it, and was using only 1 lens,sometimes two. Part of why I didn't really learn off her camera I think is because I didn't like it. I have my own now,and am more motivated and have learned so much already. Because i LOVE my camera,and the fact I have my very own finally .
So I only have an external flash that I bought at walmart for 50 something bucks. I have seen the Nikon ones for 300+ at best buy and online. It makes me think the one i have must be total crap. I'm sure it is, but I still get better pictures than if I use the pop up flash.
Here is my problem . I tried the wfi remote thing (app on my phone) to take pictures on remote. It worked,but the flash wouldn't go off ! Im sure its either because I don't know what I'm doing or don't have what I need. I don't understand the settings for the flash other than manual for the different strengths of light output , but not anything else. DO I need to buy a special kind of flash (like these "speed lights" I read online people are referring to) or those $300+ ones I saw and/or a special kind of actual remote that goes to the flash ?

I hope I'm making sense. I know when I don't know what I'm talking about, I can not make sense sometimes.
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It's hard to diagnose based on what you've posted, but I think I understand what's going on. You've likely bought an inexpensive, fully manual flash that will fire on your camera, but has to communication with the camera for adjusting settings, and doesn't have any sort of built-in trigger mechanism. In that case you do need a remote trigger... there are a few options depending on how much you want to spend and what you want to do:

1. Radio triggers such as Cactus Trigger V5 or Yongnuo are probably the best solution; you mount a transmitter on your camera and a receiver on the flash, when the shutter is tripped the 'Fire the flash now' signal is sent from the transmitter on the camera to the receiver on the flash. $35-75

2. Optical triggers (much cheaper $15-20) use a sensor that mounts on the foot of the flash and detects another flash and triggers the slave flash. The disadvantage is that these require you to use your pop-up flash, which, depending the quality of the optical trigger and your camera may mean having to deal with multiple flash exposures. They also don't work as well in bright light, and require line-of-sight with the camera.

3. Fully wired: Without knowing what your camera is, you may need one or two adaptors. Higher end cameras have a built-in PC port into which you will afix a PC Sync cable and connect that to a receiver attached to the foot of the flash (nb. many optical triggers also have built in PC sync ports). If you have an entry-level camera then you will require an adaptor unit to mount on your hot-shoe with a PC sync port. This will run ~$50, but means you're physically attached to the flash by a wire, limiting range, and PC cables are also subject to inconvenient disconnections.

Edited to add: A 'speedlight' is just a $5.00 word for "flash"!
I'm sorry for forgetting to post the camera info. I have a Nikon D7100 . What I want to be able to do is take pictures by remote, (or even timed) and the flash to also fire like it's supposed to when the shutter goes off. *If it's needed,or I set it to go off*
I had the external flash hooked on top my camera when I was trying out my wmu wifi app to experiment with taking pictures by remote,using the wifi APP as the remote. I can't use that awesome app someone else posted about, because it's not compatible with my phone or tablet. It doesn't have to be on my phone or tablet. But I'ts all I have to work with in terms of any kind of 'remote" .

I was disappointed when the flash didn't go off ,like it normally does when I hand push the shutter, myself. I went into the different flash settings (blindly because I have to learn what those are for as time allows ) incase I had the settings all wrong. Flash photography is my weakness,and what i need to learn the most I think. I am so used to using natural lighting ,the last few years.

Anyway, I did manual,ttl , timed remote, etc.. I think it went off once but couldn't get to do it again after that and didn't remember how I did it. Unless it was wishful thinking . I refuse to be limited by not having the right tools to work this great camera . I know I don't have what I need, but have no clue what I need to even buy for the purpose stated above. I don't mind a cord that has to be plugged into the camera OR something wireless. Although wireless would be nice . One of the reasons i bought this one over the D5200 was something I read about a flash setting being better with the d7100.Even though I didn't fully understand it. I didn't want to be limited in what my camera could do when it comes time for me to do what I need, as I get better with knowing how to use all the features.
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The D7100 is a very nice camera with lots of features, and you will love it. The flash should work when seated into the hotshoe. Make sure it is seated all the way in, and has good batteries. In whatever menu of settings on the flash, make sure it is "on". There are several ways that your camera can fire a flash, so make sure it is in one of those modes. Take test shots by manually pressing the shutter release. The flash should fire.

Do all of your testing before you try the wireless app again. If the wireless app still doesn't fire the flash, double check the camera and flash settings.

It is possible that the flash has gone into "standby mode" and is simply not "awake" when the camera shutter trips.
Thank you Designer , I tried doing those things but I am just not knowledgable enough about how to work flash, let alone the settings and then trying to do it by remote. I can't play around with the settings again until I know what those settings are for.
I WILL get there, and soon . I promise. That is why I bought this camera ,because I want something I won't grow out of a year from now.

Yes, I LOVE it !! I have been almost obsessed-like always wanting to take pictures,and then spending time on the computer fixing them up and organizing them,etc... after my little one is in bed. Taking pictures of my kids,and feeling so proud and happy that I am more than satisfied with them, and feeling NO need to pay some one else (yay,and saving money on portraits). I'm not sure if this is how it will be ,or its just a 'honey moon " phase LOL . BUt my mom has done photography for YEARS and when ever she visits she doesn't put her camera's down. IF we go to the zoo/park,etc or something, she's not excited to go ,to go but because of what pictures she get get of the animals or garden center, lol . I've only begun to get serious about this, and I can now understand that (let's just call it passion ) feeling now . I get easily frustrated when I know what I want, but don't know how to get there yet. Good thing for forums where I can be reminded to check my manual, or better understand how someone else explains something . Thank goodness for youtube also !
(yay,and saving money on portraits)

LOL Just wait until you find yourself wanting to outfit a small home studio with backdrops, strobes, light stands, light modifiers, and more.

Good way to "save money", though.

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