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Subject: "Help deciding on a radio trigger" Previous topic | Next topic
ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Tue 17-Nov-09 10:34 PM
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"Help deciding on a radio trigger"
Tue 17-Nov-09 10:37 PM by ZoneV

US
          

Shutterbug had a good article recently that introduced various radio triggers for flash units.

I'm looking for a transmitter / receiver set that is inexpensive, compact and lightweight, reliable, and versatile. I will only be using it occasionally, though I would like it to be expandable if I decide to add another receiver down the road sometime. It must have a PC connection to attach to the Nikon flash units.

I searched B&H, and tried to narrow it down to those sets that appear to be made for use with any hotshoe flash unit and are around 80-100 dollars US. More than one channel is an important feature.

Here is what I came up with:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/654667-REG/Dot_Line_RS_RT03K_4CHS_RS_RT03K_4CHS_Wireless_4_Channel_Flash.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/621565-REG/Interfit_INT492_INT492_Hot_Shoe_and.html#features/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/607612-REG/Speedotron_23497_LED_4_Channel_Radio.html#specifications/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

Would like to hear from people who have used these; will also take other suggestions too.

Finally, are there caveats with these units, like max sync speed? I was hoping to sync up to 1/1000th sec with the D1x, but I don't know how much of a delay these remotes have and how that would work.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
MEMcD Moderator
17th Nov 2009
1
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
ZoneV Silver Member
17th Nov 2009
2
     Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
MEMcD Moderator
17th Nov 2009
3
          Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
ZoneV Silver Member
17th Nov 2009
4
               Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
edac
18th Nov 2009
5
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
ChrisP4
30th Nov 2009
6
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
Anthony Caciopo
30th Nov 2009
7
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
bartystewart Silver Member
30th Nov 2009
8
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
gheck58 Silver Member
30th Nov 2009
9
     Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
txrpls
30th Nov 2009
10
     Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
gkaiseril Gold Member
01st Dec 2009
11
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
HBB Moderator
01st Dec 2009
12
Reply message RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger
Bufo55
22nd Dec 2009
13

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Tue 17-Nov-09 10:55 PM
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#1. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Al,

The D1X has a maximum sync speed of 1/500th sec. not 1/1000th sec.
I can't comment on your inexpensive RF triggers as I have always used Pocket Wizards. They are expensive but I have found them to be 100% reliable.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Tue 17-Nov-09 11:11 PM
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#2. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>The D1X has a maximum sync speed of 1/500th sec. not 1/1000th
>sec.

Mine goes to 1/1000th sec when I break the dedicated connection by using a PC cord. That 1/500th sec spec is only for Nikon speedlights mounted in the hotshoe. Really! The D1x syncs up to 1/1000th sec. with most nondedicated flash units

>I can't comment on your inexpensive RF triggers as I have
>always used Pocket Wizards. They are expensive but I have
>found them to be 100% reliable.

Too professional for me (in other words too bulky and expensive).

>Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Thanks, I am, as always.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Tue 17-Nov-09 11:30 PM
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#3. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Hi Al,

Wow! That is good to know!
Thanks!
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Tue 17-Nov-09 11:32 PM
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#4. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

>Hi Al,
>
>Wow! That is good to know!
>Thanks!

D70 is the same. 1/1000th sec non-dedicated sync without losing any light unless your flash duration is longer than 1/1000th sec.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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edac Registered since 18th Jan 2007Wed 18-Nov-09 01:44 AM
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#5. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

I too was ready to plunk down the $$ for the Pocket Wizards, but the cheapskate in me just would not let my fingers into my wallet to actually buy them. As a disclaimer, I believe there are no better quality radio trigger/recievers available at this time. So I decided to do some research and found that there are many alternatives, not the quality of the PW, but alternatives none the less. I went to the Strobist site and found that there is a pretty large following of a ebay radio trigger/reciever called the Cactus V2s. Thee are mixed reviews, but it seems that many find that they are reliable and a viable altenative for the cash strapped buyer. I cannot coment on the specifics, but i would say thet perhaps you should google these recievers/triggers and decide for yourself. I am going to get a set for myself and see if they live up the the hype.

I have found that you can get a set of 1 trigger and four recievers for around $50 minus shipping. FLICKR has a group dedicted to these recievers, as well as many other blogs around the net. It may be worth a look. From what I understand many consider these a throw away at best, meaning that the durability is somewhat in question. It seems that someone who is looking to test the world of radio triggers could get into it for cheap and if it is not what they are looking for, the investment is not backbreaking.

Just a thought and something you may just want to research.

Thanks,
Mark


It's Good to be Gold!
Proudly Supporting Nikonians

http://www.klr-650.blogspot.com
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ChrisP4 Registered since 23rd Jul 2007Mon 30-Nov-09 12:47 AM
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#6. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 0


Pittsburgh, US
          

I currently use the Paul Buff Cybersync triggers and receivers (company that makes Alien Bees lighting equipment. In my experience, I've found these to be more reliable than the Hong Kong triggers, and of good quality. I don't do a lot of CLS/TTL, but rather tend to manually work with my lights (as I will use mix of ABs and my speedlights inside).

Chris
Member from Western PA

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Anthony Caciopo Registered since 15th Jan 2009Mon 30-Nov-09 04:25 AM
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#7. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 6


US
          

After a frustrating experience last night with my SB-800, SB-600 and SU-800 controller in a nightclub, I'm ready to look at radio triggers.

Remote i-TTL would be nice, but all I want is the ability to adjust power level from the camera position. Although, I guess if that can be done, TTL probably is also part of the package.

Don't get me wrong, Nikon's infra-red flash controlling technolgy is great, and I've been pleasantly surprised at some chalenging situations in which it has worked well. But, it can only do so much and I'm ready for a new option.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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bartystewart Silver Member Nikonian since 07th May 2009Mon 30-Nov-09 05:41 PM
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#8. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Another alternative is radiopoppers. The new Jrx series can control the power of lights from the camera using small knobs. They are cheaper than PWs (140 for receiver and transmitter), but more reliable than the hong kong triggers.

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gheck58 Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Dec 2003Mon 30-Nov-09 06:30 PM
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#9. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 8


Aliso Viejo, US
          

To my knowledge, Radio Poppers only work with with Canon at this point. You cannot sync higher (or adjust the power of a studio strobe or Nikon flash) higher than the rated sync speed of the camera. Unless you are using Nikon Flashes (CLS) using the on-board flash, SU-800, SB-900 or 800 as the commander. Or, you can use Elinchrom RX Syports with Elinchrom RX studio strobes. There are a few companies claiming higher sync speeds and TTL but none have delivered yet except Radio Poppers for Canon. And I'm not sure how well those work.

As far as wireless triggers go, I use Elinchrom Skyports and they're great. Small and very reliable.

Hecky

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txrpls Registered since 19th Dec 2007Mon 30-Nov-09 09:34 PM
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#10. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 9
Mon 30-Nov-09 09:35 PM by txrpls

San Antonio, US
          

>To my knowledge, Radio Poppers only work with with Canon at
>this point. You cannot sync higher (or adjust the power of a
>studio strobe or Nikon flash) higher than the rated sync speed
>of the camera. Unless you are using Nikon Flashes (CLS) using
>the on-board flash, SU-800, SB-900 or 800 as the commander.
>Or, you can use Elinchrom RX Syports with Elinchrom RX studio
>strobes. There are a few companies claiming higher sync
>speeds and TTL but none have delivered yet except Radio
>Poppers for Canon. And I'm not sure how well those work.
>
>As far as wireless triggers go, I use Elinchrom Skyports and
>they're great. Small and very reliable.
e
I think you are confusing the Pocket Wizard eTTL system that is right now only available for Canon. I have a the original set of Radio Poppers and the work fine with Nikon and work well at high speed sync and I have never had a miss fire. The JrX Radio Popper Studio will manually control the output of the SB 800 (I know for sure) and several other Nikon Flashes. The will also control Alien Bees output remotely also using three little knobs on a control unit that mounts on the camera hot shoe. I also have a set of Skyports and find that the Radio Poppers allow more alternatives especially if your are mixing different brands or models of lights.

Best Regards,
Mark

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Tue 01-Dec-09 02:23 PM
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#11. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 9
Tue 01-Dec-09 02:30 PM by gkaiseril

Chicago, US
          

You can look at radiopopper and see their product line. Their system intercepts the EMF pulse produced by the flash tube and send that data by RF to a receiver that converts the RF signal back to IR. There is no different product for Nikon or Canon except for the remote holder which requires one to select Nikon or Canon brands.

You might also want to look at Pixel TTL RF Triggers, Europe only.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberTue 01-Dec-09 03:32 PM
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#12. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

Al:

From my perspective, buying radio frequency (RF) triggers is a lot like buying tripods. I sold or gave away more than enough tripods to pay for the really dependable, stable Gitzo carbon fiber units that I now own. How many of us have learned that lesson?

I use my herd of twelve SB800s frequently in night shoots with military and law enforcement agencies, including one tonight. As my shots got more complicated over the years, I eventually reached the limits of the infrared (IR) Nikon CLS technology. A couple years ago, I experimented with a few of the inexpensive RF units and discovered they were not dependable or rugged enough for my needs. Tonight I will have twelve or fourteen law enforcement officers and a Black Hawk helicopter for my subjects. This is not the time to discover that my RF units are not reliable.

Ergo, a year or so ago, I gave away the inexpensive units, bit the bullet and switched to Pocket Wizards (PWs). My current herd of PWs includes six PLus II units and seven MultiMax units. Had I researched a bit more, I would have purchased all MultiMax units, as they provide 32 RF channels and incredible multipop, delayed and interval triggering possibilities for use with moving subjects. Their list of functions goes on and on ...

I don't mean to sound critical of the inexpensive units. I realize that not everybody is as out of control as I am regarding speedlights and night shots with moving officers, K9 dogs/handlers, hovering helicopters, machine guns firing on full auto, etc. For my needs, particularly with moving subjects at night, I require absolute, rugged dependability and greater sophistication and am willing to pay for it.

To date, PWs have served me without fail. Yes, I must adjust each remote SB800 manually in the SU-4 mode. This is not a real problem, as I am frequently in SU-4 mode, usually when I have more than three remote subjects or groups of subjects in the scene, and/or distance and line of sight issues dictate. Over time, I became reasonably accurate at estimating the zoom and power settings on the remotes.

I have followed the development of Pocket Wizard's Nikon/Canon TTL RF units as well as Radio Poppers. If all of my shoots could be handled with just three remote groups in TTL mode, I might have waited a while before moving into PWs. The startup issues with RF shielding, etc. on the PW units will eventually be solved and they will take their place in the market. I'm guessing, but perhaps by then Nikon will have announced a new, RF-based speedlight system and I will have to start all over, building a new herd. Sigh!

Another perspective from far left field ...

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Go here for a list of membership upgrade benefits.

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Bufo55 Basic MemberTue 22-Dec-09 03:27 PM
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#13. "RE: Help deciding on a radio trigger"
In response to Reply # 12


US
          

Thought I would share my experience with the Radiopopper Jrx system, especially because I'm surprised I have never seen anyone mention the compatibility problem with Nikon.

THE JRX TRANSMITTER ANTENNA RUBS AGAINST THE POPUP FLASH ON NIKONS. I see the user above (txrpls) shoots with a D3 so is probably not aware of this problem. On my D700 the fit is bad enough that the button antenna on the bottom of the transmitter gets pushed slightly to the side. I don't know if the fit is equally bad on other Nikons. When I contacted the company they said they were aware of the problem on all Nikons with popup flashes! Yet no warning on the website!

I asked what I could do about it. They said I could use a cord with a PC synch(camera side) to 1/8 inch plug (Jrx transmitter side). Two problems: where do I mount the transmitter? And they provide 2 cords and several adapters, but NO PC synch to 1/8 cord (they do mention that on the website, though they also do not sell one separately). No answer.

I asked if they were planning a redesign. No answer.

I asked if they thought they should let customers know about this problem before they order. No answer.

I suggested that they let customers know, since a lack of transparency can be extremely damaging to their reputation in the long run. No answer.

As far as the product goes, it does what it says, and I am impressed with the consistency and strength of the signal. However I should clarify that it cannot trigger true high speed synch with Nikon flashes (I vaguely remember reading something about being able to cheat with other strobes). Also, getting a feel for how far to turn the knobs to alter flash output can be tricky. To me, this is a device to use when you want to use a trial and error method of setting up lights, or experiment with up to three groups of lights and save yourself some time. Once you have the setting you want, you can lock it in by flipping one of the (tiny) DIP switches.

Other warnings: does not work with SB900 since the SB900 does not have a TTL interface (at least, not that works with the JrX). Does work with any Nikon flash that works with TTL: SB800, SB28, SB26, and many others. If you are thinking of using it with manual flashes like Vivitar 285 or Lumopro, it won't work since they are not TTL. (TTL was the predecessor to the current i-TTL).

I made my own cables from an SC-18 and some miniplugs, since all I own are Nikon flashes (SB-800 and 3 SB-26's). It all works fine, but because of the problems mentioned above (fit, knobs that require developing a good feel) and the photography I do (not always a lot of time for trial and error) I think I'll be returning the JrX's.

For you non-DIYers that only use SB's, the RP cube has been promised for months now and when I asked when it would be available, no answer. If you want my cables, contact me. I'll sell more or less at cost plus postage. They are very well made.

PEACE,
Steve

  

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