Radio Triggers vs. built in wireless

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by brush, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. brush

    brush TPF Noob!

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    Last weekend I was trying to shoot a model on the beach at sunset, and could not get my 430EXII to fire off-camera using the 60D's built in wireless functions. I can only assume there was too much ambient light for the pulse from the popup flash to reach the 430's sensor because once I was back indoors everything worked fine off-camera again. So, it's time to consider radio poppers right?

    On Amazon I found a set of CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 channel triggers, with 1 transmitter & 2 receivers for like 30 bucks. I know CowboyStudio is notoriously cheap stuff and for professional purposes it will not hold up, but I have a light stand & umbrellas from them that suit my needs just fine and the reviews on Amazon are strong...so do you think it'd be a worthwhile upgrade for outdoor shooting, or should I stick with my built in wireless 'til I decide to bite the bullet & pay for some pocket wizards or something?


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If I were you, I'd think about paying a little more money and getting Cactus Triggers. They're still reasonably priced, but of all the consumer-grade models, they're usually the best reviewed, and seem to better built and more reliable than Cowboy Studio gear.
     
  3. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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    I like pocketwizards a lot.

    I not only use them to trigger my all lights, but also the camera plus lights when i'm on a tripod and want to hold the shutter open for some background ambient to enter at night.
     
  4. CCericola

    CCericola Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  5. Big Mike

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

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    A few things to consider here. If you go with any of the 'basic' triggers, you will have to use manual flash (setting the flash power and exposure manually).

    If you go with Radio Poppers or the TL Pocket Wizards, you can retain the E-TTL functionality and HSS etc. of your built-in system. But this is an expensive option.
    Also note that the Radio Poppers are a piggyback system, and require an on-camera master. I haven't looked at them in a long time, I'm not sure if the pop-up master will work, or if you would need a 580EX master, just to make it work (obviously a much more expensive option).

    So if you are OK going with a manual option, the industry standard is/has been the Pocket Wizard Plus II units. They are great, but at $160 each unit, they aren't cheap. The get as low as $30, but those are hit and miss. I have an old PT-04 set (from Gadget Infinity) and they worked but not well enough for pro use. There are newer/better models that probably work well enough, but I don't know.

    I went with the Cyber Sync triggers (From Paul Buff/Alien Bee). They aren't all that cheap (about $140 for a trigger and receiver) but they have worked flawlessly for me.
     
  6. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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  7. mjhoward

    mjhoward TPF Noob!

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    I REALLY like the Yongnuo RF-602's I got. I've never had a misfire at 1/250. I got the transmitter and 3 receivers for under $70.

     
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  8. brush

    brush TPF Noob!

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    Wow, lots more to take into consideration than I thought of. I'm glad I asked! I've got a little more homework to do still.

    So, I didn't even think about the E-TTL thing. I guess I can just practice my manual flash skills a bit, probably a good route anyway right? The lightenupandshoot guys CCericola links to also have good things to say about the Yongnuo RF-602s...I'm thinking I might give that a shot. They're 30 bucks on amazon and I can afford to lose that money if it turns out to be a bad idea. Only huge drawback to them for me, other than the E-TTL thing, is that plastic cold-shoe mount, I'm sure I'll break that, but maybe it'll teach me to be careful with my gear! :)
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, most people use manual flash vs. letting it set the exposure for you. You get more accurate and consistant images that way for the most part.
     
  10. 2WheelPhoto

    2WheelPhoto TPF Noob!

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    MANUAL flash FTW [​IMG]
     
  11. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have them, and they work great. Hoping to pick up another receiver soon.
     
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  12. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Still waiting for the Nikon set to be released lol.
     

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