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Old 11-11-2010, 16:42   #1 (permalink)
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Radio Triggers

I got a nice surprise yesterday - a nice big tax rebate because I had been paying too much 2 years ago for my summer work! £700 big un's that I did not budget for, now I'm going to spend it!

I've already got 2 SB900's so thinking about getting a 3rd. What I really want is some quality radio triggers - anyone got any recommendations?
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Old 11-11-2010, 17:10   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

I use an SB-900 and two SB-800s with the Nikon CLS system with no problems.

Edit: I also have some very cheap triggers from Hong Kong and China that work well.

Pocket Wizards have the reputation and the price tag. Phottix have an equivalent that got a rave review on Strobist and costs about £80 per unit:

Phottix Atlas Professional Wireless Flash Trigger

I called Phottix to find out where I could get some and they said that they were not going to be importing them into the UK! However, you can order direct from the Phottix EU web site.

Co-incidentally, Calumet now do a Calumet pro series wireless transceiver that looks suspiciously like the Phottix one, and is priced almost the same. Call me cynical, but I wonder if Calumet are seeling the Phottix one under their brand name and the agreement is that Phottix don't import the Atlas

I have the latest Calumet Focus magazine and it is featured in it, but I can't seem to find it on the Calumet web site
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Old 11-11-2010, 17:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
I use an SB-900 and two SB-800s with the Nikon CLS system with no problems.

Edit: I also have some very cheap triggers from Hong Kong and China that work well.

Pocket Wizards have the reputation and the price tag. Phottix have an equivalent that got a rave review on Strobist and costs about £80 per unit:

Phottix Atlas Professional Wireless Flash Trigger

I called Phottix to find out where I could get some and they said that they were not going to be importing them into the UK! However, you can order direct from the Phottix EU web site.

Co-incidentally, Calumet now do a Calumet pro series wireless transceiver that looks suspiciously like the Phottix one, and is priced almost the same. Call me cynical, but I wonder if Calumet are seeling the Phottix one under their brand name and the agreement is that Phottix don't import the Atlas

I have the latest Calumet Focus magazine and it is featured in it, but I can't seem to find it on the Calumet web site
Those Phottix/Calumet ones look interesting. Maybe I'll pop into the store to ask about them.

There are cheap alternatives on ebay - transmitter and 3 recivers circa £24 - is there really a huge difference between cheapos and the more expensive ones? I had exceedingly cheap ones from e-bay before, however, they were very flimsy and are now defunct hence why I need new ones.
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Old 11-11-2010, 18:20   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

As I said, I have had no issues using the CLS system to fire three flashes (two are on one channel) - they have even fired when the camera was in a different room!

I use really cheap triggers from e-bay with my studio flashes with no issues either, but I would consider the Phottix/Calumet ones when I can spare the cash.

I've seen good things written about the Yong Nuo RF-602 which is commonly available for about £25 too. You can get kits with one two or three receivers and the dearest will be around £65. Good value there.

I think the strength of the Phottix/Calumet ones will be the range (if needed) and brand/support. Also, I think that the shoe on the unit is a hotshoe so if you use them with speedlights you won't have to use cables.

However, Yong Nuo might have good support too - they certainly get good press, but I'm not sure if the shoe on the receiver is a hotshoe, but if you are using the flash shoe to mount to a stand you will have to use a cable anyway. I think the Phottix/Calumet ones have a tripod thread so the hotshoe can accomodate a flash.
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Old 11-11-2010, 18:28   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Now done a bit of research on the 602 and found these which are useful. It seems that the flash shoe is a hotshoe and they do have tripod fittings

Nikon CLS and TTL/BL flash: Yongnuo RF 602 wireless flash trigger .

http://ishootshows.com/2010/08/18/re...lash-triggers/
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:14   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

My only single reason for being jealous of Nikon users - Canon's IR trigger system might be cheap but having built-in wireless would be a lot nicer.
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Old 15-11-2010, 05:02   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Nikon CLS is a great system, but it is IR which means you need a clear line of sight. If clear line of sight is not a problem for you then I would stick with the CLS as that is what SB900 are known for...a cleaner and easier menu system to control the CLS. If line of sight and distance is a factor for you I would recommend you go with some cheap radio triggers or set aside some money and get ONE good set of PW or Phottix. Since you have SB900 you don't need to get triggers for all of them you just need one pair..a transmitter that is attached to your camera and one receiver attached to ONE of your SB900s. The SB900 like the SB800 have an optical trigger built in so hooking them all up to a receiver is not needed. A good pair of PW is worth the investment if you ask me. Cheaper Ebay or other Radio triggers works really well as well, but you get what you pay for. I have a set of them and they work great, but if I am doing a longer shoot then you can really feel those sucker heat up when you touch them afterwards. I have had my set of PWs for over 2 years and as long as you don't leave the battery in them for long periods of time (weeks on end) when you are using them they NEVER give you problems.
Lastly, CLS vs PW really depends on your style and type of off camera work. I shoot strictly in manual mode, so I use a light meter and I do most of my testing BEFORE the shoot. CLS allows you to CHANGE the setting of your SB900 "on the fly" where as with PWs you have to WALK over to your SB900s and change the setting manually. If you need to make MANY changes within a shoot then CLS is WAY easier, if you change your setting only a few times within a shoot....Radio triggers will do the job fine, but you seem to have some to alot of experience doing off camera lighting so most of what I said you would know already.
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Old 15-11-2010, 07:36   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

im another one who votes for the RF 602, hasnt let me down ever and has worked in all and every location and situatino i have put it in.. some of hte palces i go arent that well hygenic so if they get broken or mega dirty its not the end of the world cos of hte price!
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Old 15-11-2010, 22:00   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

I actuallu got myself a set of 602 as well....they are BRIGHT I have to say......but I am not 100% sure on the model number....my set has not means of attaching my PWs to..but has built in photo cell so I don't need PWs on them.

Come close to my SB800 in power output and it recycle pretty fast in full power output....not bad.
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Old 15-11-2010, 23:09   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dookie View Post
Nikon CLS is a great system, but it is IR which means you need a clear line of sight. If clear line of sight is not a problem for you then I would stick with the CLS as that is what SB900 are known for...a cleaner and easier menu system to control the CLS. If line of sight and distance is a factor for you I would recommend you go with some cheap radio triggers or set aside some money and get ONE good set of PW or Phottix. Since you have SB900 you don't need to get triggers for all of them you just need one pair..a transmitter that is attached to your camera and one receiver attached to ONE of your SB900s. The SB900 like the SB800 have an optical trigger built in so hooking them all up to a receiver is not needed. A good pair of PW is worth the investment if you ask me. Cheaper Ebay or other Radio triggers works really well as well, but you get what you pay for. I have a set of them and they work great, but if I am doing a longer shoot then you can really feel those sucker heat up when you touch them afterwards. I have had my set of PWs for over 2 years and as long as you don't leave the battery in them for long periods of time (weeks on end) when you are using them they NEVER give you problems.
Lastly, CLS vs PW really depends on your style and type of off camera work. I shoot strictly in manual mode, so I use a light meter and I do most of my testing BEFORE the shoot. CLS allows you to CHANGE the setting of your SB900 "on the fly" where as with PWs you have to WALK over to your SB900s and change the setting manually. If you need to make MANY changes within a shoot then CLS is WAY easier, if you change your setting only a few times within a shoot....Radio triggers will do the job fine, but you seem to have some to alot of experience doing off camera lighting so most of what I said you would know already.
I've been using the optical trigger (on camera flash d300s) for the CLS for a while (since my cheap e-bay radio ones died) and it is great when it works. The problem is when shooting from far away, outside or even in portrait mode (lens blocking flash) the flash trigger is often lost in the wilderness and fails to set off the 900's which is reallly annoying.

It is fantastic being able to change power from my shooting location however without having to move, which is why I would like the Nikon system, however, IR is, as mentioned, not 100& reliable and you need to be able to have a line of sight between the camera and flash(es). In some shots I would like to conceal flashes so I think I will need recievers for them all.

I phoned Edinburgh's Calumet and they will have their version of flash transievers instock next week, so I'll go and have a wee look and report back.
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Old 23-11-2010, 17:04   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Visited Calumet today and still no sign of these elusive triggers. They said they were due in on the 18th November....

NOt sure if it's a good sign them being so late in, especially since they were featured in the catalogue. And pretty annoying as I NEEEED triggers ASAP.
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Old 02-01-2011, 16:24   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

another vote for rf602's - I have had a few cheap wireless triggers and these have been the best, reasonable build quality and reliable and cheap enough you can buy a backup set should anything fail

the only other option I would consider is something which allows CLS / Advanced wireless lighting over radio, either the pocket wizard flex system Pocketwizard® - Wireless transmitters and receivers or the radio popper Home - RadioPopper - both are pricey
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Old 02-01-2011, 20:08   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

After considering the Phottix Atlas system, I've just ordered a set of Yong Nuo RF 602's with four receivers for £63.

I had to set up a flash behind the camera recently and the CLS would not fire it until I moved it in front of the camera and to the side. I did not have a radio trigger with me but I still needed to use the CLS for a flash in front of the camera and I'm not sure if the CLS will fire a flash with another flash being fired by a radio trigger.

This price is still £18 less than one Phottix Atlas transceiver, so the VFM is fantastic.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:23   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

I went for 3 x PT-O4 which included 3 x flash mounts for max versatility (and a good price @ £55) even though I mainly use wired setup for the studio lights
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Old 14-01-2011, 15:07   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Calumet Edinburgh still don't have the Transievers in, pathetic.

I've gone with the 602's. Saved some money but disapointing from Calumet to advertise something they didn't even have.
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Old 14-01-2011, 15:30   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

I have 3tx and 6rx rf-602s - they are great (I could say 'for the money' but actually they are just great and work without any fuss),.

only reason to post was the rf603s are out Yongnuo RF-603 Wireless Transceiver System - are they better remains to be seen,. being able to use the transceiver on the body with pass-through for the flash might be handy for some, personally I prefer using the pc-sync plug and have the rf602 on the camera strap because I can plug and unplug it as needed and still retain the flash on the hotshoe* (perhaps you can do this with the rf603 by turning it off - but even so it looks very precarious and there's no locking mechanism!)

hopefully they will continue to make the rf602s but for the cost by the time I have killed them I'm sure there'll be something else new to buy

* - that is canon, with nikon I have heard it might not quite work like this as in certain situations the pc-sync is disabled when using ttl mounted flash (not actually tried it)
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Old 14-01-2011, 16:29   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

Quote:
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only reason to post was the rf603s are out
Looks interesting. Shame there is no compatibility with the earlier models. Wonder how much they will be?

The Phottix Atlas has run into some issues in the USA regarding copyright/patent with Pocket Wizards. This might be the reason why Calumet has no stock.
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Old 19-01-2011, 18:33   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Radio Triggers

I received today a newsletter from Calumet that among other things mentioned the
Calumet (Phottix Atlas) radio flash trigger, so they must be available

Calumet Pro Series Wireless Transeiver Unit - CF0085 - ATLAS 89100
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