Slave Flash Question

Dray1027

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OK, big time Noob question,
I'm looking to buy a Speedlight or similar flash, & just wanted to know, are all these types of flashes able to be used as a slave flash. And do I need something else other then that?
 

jwbryson1

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Howdy. Not sure if all of them can be used as a slave, but certainly there are units out there that can be fired as a slave unit. Check this out:

Amazon.com: Yongnuo YN-560 II Speedlight Flash for Canon and Nikon. GN58.: Camera & Photo


If they can't be fired as a slave, you will need a wireless remote system such as Pocket Wizards, etc. PW's are the high end brand, but you can get much cheaper versions through Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama, to name a few.
 

jwbryson1

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Not exactly. Let me summarize for you and maybe that will help.

You have to be able to trigger the speedlights somehow, and that can either be done using your camera (on a Nikon, it's called the Creative Lighting System or "CLS" for short). The pop up flash can send a signal to an i-TTL capable Nikon speedlight (such as the SB-900 and others) and that signal will cause the flash to fire, even if the flash is "off camera." If you don't have an i-TTL capable speedlight (in other words, only a speedlight that works manually), then you will need some way to trigger the speedlight.

Typically you will need a trigger (called a transmitter) attached to the camera (attached to the hot shoe) and then a receiver on EACH flash unit you wish to fire. For example, here you have a transmitter and a receiver: Amazon.com: Wireless 5 in 1 Trigger Set for Nikon: Electronics

You attach the transmitter to the camera and a receiver on EACH flash you wish to fire, and as long as they are on the same channel, they will all fire when you take a photograph.

With the Yongnuo YN 560 Mark II units, the difference is that the have a BUILT IN radio slave. So, let's say you have 3 flashes that you want to fire but only 1 receiver. You would put the transmitter on the camera, and the receiver on 1 of the flashes. The other 2 flashes have no receiver on them, but they have a built in radio slave, so when they see the first flash fire (by using the transmitter / receiver set up), they will automatically fire too even though they don't have a received attached to them.

Make sense?
 

jwbryson1

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jwbryson1

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Here is some more information that you may find helpful...

 
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tirediron

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Don't forget you can get inexpensive optical triggers and use the camera's pop-up flash as a trigger, or get a hot-shoe to PC & PC to hot shoe adaptors and connect via PC cord ('though IMO, a wired connection is not the best option).
 
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Dray1027

Dray1027

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Thanks for all the info, Some great stuff. I think I have found what I need.
Thanks again!
 

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OK, big time Noob question,
I'm looking to buy a Speedlight or similar flash, & just wanted to know, are all these types of flashes able to be used as a slave flash. And do I need something else other then that?

I couldn't say for sure, but I think most will do that. If the Yongnuo will do that, and my SB-910 will do that, and I imagine the Canon flashes will do that, then probably most will do that. Before you buy a flash, just check the settings menu for slave function.
 

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With the Yongnuo YN 560 Mark II units, the difference is that the have a BUILT IN radio slave. So, let's say you have 3 flashes that you want to fire but only 1 receiver. You would put the transmitter on the camera, and the receiver on 1 of the flashes. The other 2 flashes have no receiver on them, but they have a built in radio slave, so when they see the first flash fire (by using the transmitter / receiver set up), they will automatically fire too even though they don't have a received attached to them.

Make sense?
The yn560iii is the one with the built in wireless. The yn650ii have a built in optical slave only which IMO is ok but unreliable. I recommend yn603 for basic triggers or yn622 for TTL and HSS

and the yn603 can also remotely trigger the shutter on your camera too as an added feature
 

Gavjenks

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Awesome product that does this reliably and at <10% of the cost of many alternatives:

Amazon.com: CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Trigger for External Speelights with 1 Trigger and 2 Receivers (NPT-04+extra receiver): Camera & Photo

For $29, you can fire 2 external flashes via radio remote upon shutter press. Flashes can be any brand at all, as long as they fit in a hot shoe and are triggered by that one silver connection in the middle (99.9% of flashes made in the last I dunno at least 20 years). These are very reliable and I've used mine for years on a fairly regular basis.

Only real disadvantage is that they can only work on shutter speeds up to 1/250th or so (however fast your camera can shoot before it exposes with a moving slit between the two shutters). Some vastly more expensive systems ARE able to remotely synchronize HSS flash (meaning you can shoot at pretty much any shutter speed with remote flashes working as expected). This problem doesn't ever come up for me, though, personally. If I ever need flash at 1/4000th of a second, it generally does not happen at the same time as when I need multiple external slave flashes as well...
 

jwbryson1

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With the Yongnuo YN 560 Mark II units, the difference is that the have a BUILT IN radio slave. So, let's say you have 3 flashes that you want to fire but only 1 receiver. You would put the transmitter on the camera, and the receiver on 1 of the flashes. The other 2 flashes have no receiver on them, but they have a built in radio slave, so when they see the first flash fire (by using the transmitter / receiver set up), they will automatically fire too even though they don't have a received attached to them.

Make sense?
The yn560iii is the one with the built in wireless. The yn650ii have a built in optical slave only which IMO is ok but unreliable. I recommend yn603 for basic triggers or yn622 for TTL and HSS

and the yn603 can also remotely trigger the shutter on your camera too as an added feature

Optical slave, radio slave, whatever. The point is that you don't need a receiver on each flash to get them to fire as long as you put them in slave mode. The OP understands my point.

As far as reliability goes, I've never had a problem with mine firing in slave mode, ever.
 

jwbryson1

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That Cowboy Studios received / transmitter system is designed for a Sony DSLR, and the YN 560 is designed for Nikon or Canon. What kind of camera do you have? You need to pick the model designed to go with your camera.

On the Cowboy Studios gear, there are people who swear by them and think they are great because of the price. I have a set, and they seem to work okay, but please keep in mind that you get what you pay for. They are cheap, and placticky feeling and they will not last nearly as long as a better brand like Phottix Strato II units, or Pocket Wizards. They will also not have the same range and will be less reliable (misfires or no fires). I have the Phottox Strato II units too and I prefer them. I keep the Cowboys as cheap backups.

Having said that, if your budget is severely limited, they are okay, but certainly not the best you could choose.
 

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