Radio Triggers vs. built in wireless

brush

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
173
Reaction score
59
Location
Atlanta
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
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?
 

tirediron

Watch the Birdy!
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
45,747
Reaction score
14,802
Location
Victoria, BC
Website
www.johnsphotography.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
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.
 

2WheelPhoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
6,844
Reaction score
996
Location
Tampa
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
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.
 

Big Mike

I am Big, I am Mike
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Messages
33,896
Reaction score
1,853
Location
Edmonton
Website
www.mikehodson.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
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.
 

mjhoward

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
414
Location
Bowling Green, KY
Website
www.michaeljeremie.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
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.

 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
brush

brush

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
173
Reaction score
59
Location
Atlanta
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
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! :)
 

Village Idiot

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
7,269
Reaction score
406
Location
Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
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! :)

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.
 

2WheelPhoto

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
6,844
Reaction score
996
Location
Tampa
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
MANUAL flash FTW
bigthumb.gif
 

RichardsTPF

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
445
Reaction score
14
Location
Houston, TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by o hey tyler
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Mach0
http://amzn.com/B005LUPV1WThese look pretty promising I might say. Worth checking out IMHO



I have them, and they work great. Hoping to pick up another receiver soon.
Still waiting for the Nikon set to be released lol.

Looks like a great deal for a noob learning off camera flash on both TTL & manual mode.

What is that E-TTL stand for? Sometimes I see i-TTL, what's the difference?
 

o hey tyler

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
9,786
Reaction score
2,727
Location
Maine
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by o hey tyler
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Mach0
http://amzn.com/B005LUPV1WThese look pretty promising I might say. Worth checking out IMHO



I have them, and they work great. Hoping to pick up another receiver soon.
Still waiting for the Nikon set to be released lol.

Looks like a great deal for a noob learning off camera flash on both TTL & manual mode.

What is that E-TTL stand for? Sometimes I see i-TTL, what's the difference?

I would actually strongly suggest that someone NEW to off camera flash learn with manual flash first (with a pair of Cactus triggers or similar). TTL flash and transmitters have a much steeper learning curve, and if you don't know how to effectively tune and place lights, TTL is just going to do more harm than good IMHO.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top