wireless flash


TPF Noob!
Aug 6, 2010
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I have a sony alpha380 and a wireless flash.
I'm able to use the wireless flash, but I would like to use it (the wireless flash) withou using the camara flash. how can i do it?
The wireless flash system built into your camera uses an infrared light trigger signal that is sent by the camera flash. So, your camera flash has to fire.

I don't know about Sony, but Nikon makes an accessory unit (SU-800) that mounts on the camera hot shoe and only emits infrared light. People cannot see infrared light.

An alternative is to use radio triggers. a transmitter mounts on the camera hot shoe and a receiver is attached to the off camera speedlight.

Unfortunately, Sony has chosen to use a non-standard hot shoe electrical contact layout and you may encounter difficulty finding suitable 3rd party accessories.
Sutita I am in the same boat as you - new to off camera flash. I have played with using the on camera speedlight but we are very limited to where the external flashes can be placed. Unless you have high end model camera body (that has a built in flash commander), which I don't, we have two solid options.

1. PC cords. Use a PC hot shoe adapter on your camera's hot shoe mount and either another PC hot shoe adapter on the flash or connect to the PC terminal on the flash body if it has one. Then use a PC wire for the camera to communicate to the off camera flash. This will always fire your flash but it is not wireless. Also you could get wireless triggers for a few bucks more.

2. Wireless triggers. There are many flavors available from dirt cheap to expensive. Dirt cheap would be eBay triggers at less than $20. They work....sometimes if even at all. Expensive would be the very popular Pocket Wizards. PW are more than what a hobbyist like you and me need. I choose to use Cactus V4 triggers. I paid less than $100 for a transmitter and two receivers. They are fairly reliable and are a good compromise between PW and eBay triggers.

There is a lot more information available that I did not include on the Strobist website and helpful videos on YouTube.
Thank you for your answers. They were quite enlightening.
It seems that now I need to find a good trigger ;)

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