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Author Topic: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?  (Read 8678 times)

CowGummy

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Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« on: January 20, 2012, 08:23:48 PM »
Hi guys,

I've been asked to do some promo shot photography for a friends band and I will want to make use of some off-camera flash. Can anyone recommend a decent, but cheap (as it's a friends band, this ain't no earner...) set of triggers that would be both reliable and safe (considering possible voltage issues) to use with my 5DII and a 430EXii along with an old Vivitar zoom thyristor 285?

So far I've had a a look at the RF-602 (or RF-603 - although I've read they're not as reliable as the older model) and the cactus v4/v5. Does anyone have any experience triggering the older Vivitar I've got alongside my EX430ii?

Not bothered about TTL as I shoot manual 100% of the time anyway, although if I could get the transmitter on the hotshoe to give me the option of attaching the EX430ii on top of it for fill-lighting (and having the option of TTL might be welcome for this) and the Vivitar always fired remotely that would be ace. Failing that I would happily settle for a full manual setup with both flashes triggered off-camera.

Any thoughts from some strobists on here would be much appreciated - thanks!
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Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« on: January 20, 2012, 08:23:48 PM »

pwp

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 11:21:34 PM »
After nearly dropping the Visa card on Pocket Wizards, I lucked out when a friend aimed me towards the Cybersync http://www.paulcbuff.com/cybersync.php from Paul C Buff .

Super impressed with these, and with PCB stuff generally. Went ahead and bought four Einsteins http://www.paulcbuff.com/e640.php and lots of modifiers.

Definitely check out Cybersync. You'll want the transmitter http://www.paulcbuff.com/cst.php and receiver CRSB http://www.paulcbuff.com/csr.php

Paul Wright

D.Sim

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 12:05:32 AM »
Hi guys,

I've been asked to do some promo shot photography for a friends band and I will want to make use of some off-camera flash. Can anyone recommend a decent, but cheap (as it's a friends band, this ain't no earner...) set of triggers that would be both reliable and safe (considering possible voltage issues) to use with my 5DII and a 430EXii along with an old Vivitar zoom thyristor 285?

So far I've had a a look at the RF-602 (or RF-603 - although I've read they're not as reliable as the older model) and the cactus v4/v5. Does anyone have any experience triggering the older Vivitar I've got alongside my EX430ii?

Not bothered about TTL as I shoot manual 100% of the time anyway, although if I could get the transmitter on the hotshoe to give me the option of attaching the EX430ii on top of it for fill-lighting (and having the option of TTL might be welcome for this) and the Vivitar always fired remotely that would be ace. Failing that I would happily settle for a full manual setup with both flashes triggered off-camera.

Any thoughts from some strobists on here would be much appreciated - thanks!

I use the RF-603... Only problem I have with it is if the flash goes into sleep mode, then wakes up again, it wont fire. Turned off the sleep mode on my flashes for that....

CowGummy

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 06:42:53 AM »
Thanks to both of you for the replies.
I've had a look at the cybersyncs and they seem to have some great reviews - my only concern is that as I'm in the
UK they would incur import taxes and take a while to get here. But thanks for the detailed links!

Anyone have any thoughts on the compatibility of the Vivitar with the rest of my setup? I only ever use it off camera, and fire it via the 'test' button on long exposure work for light painting through coloured gels. I bought it about 3 years ago as it got a few thumbs up in flickr light painting group, but was always explicitly warned aout connecting it to any other photo gear due to high voltage issues??
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wickidwombat

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 07:15:12 AM »
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Wireless-Flash-Trigger-2-Receiver-fr-Canon-430EX-580EX-/330416587250?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item4cee5d01f2

i have these ones, never had any problems with them, they work with my elinchrom studio ligths as well as the 580s so i can mix them up

the recievers take AAA batteries
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smirkypants

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 07:56:29 AM »
I bought a half dozen of the Cowboy Studio flash triggers from Amazon. I bought them to use for some location shoots in not the best parts of town where I don't want to bring the "good" gear. I use them with a rebel and a couple of old/used minolta flashes that I inherited from my dad. I have never had a problems ever. They work great and if you wreck them, they are so cheap to replace. Full manual, very basic, highly functional. Buy two sets just in case. You can buy a raft full of them for what Pocket Wizards cost.

http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-NPT-04-Speelights-extra-receiver/dp/B005IQRMN4/ref=pd_cp_p_0

RC

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 08:22:40 AM »
How about renting a 580 EXII to use as a wireless trigger for your 430 EX and maybe rent second flash or two if you need to fire multiple flashes?

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 08:22:40 AM »

CowGummy

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 08:32:19 AM »
Thanks for the feedback all - much appreciated. It's good to hear that people seem to be happy with the reliability of their poverty wizards.

I think I need to find internal peace with throwing the Vivitar 285 into the equation. Yes, renting another speedlite would solve the issue in the short run, but I actually really like both the ruggedness of the old Vivitar and also the quality of the light output from it. It's always been a great flash for me when using to 'paint' in Bulb mode.
Just been spending the last couple of hours researching if it's safe to use or not - I think i need to make sure myself, so it's off to buy a multimetre to test trigger voltage before anything else happens...

Does anyone know the 'safe' upper limit voltage wise for the 5DII off the top of their head?
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Maui5150

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 08:32:24 AM »
I used the CowBoy Studio crap for a few months before going PocketWizard.  With Cowboy, you either can use hotshoe or radio trigger.  Not both.  i.e. if you use radio triggers on strobes, you are fine, or if you you remote hot shoes on flashes, but you can't fire both, unless you are doing it optically.  Had a lot of misfires with the cowboy studio as well. 

Picsfor

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2012, 08:50:33 AM »
I've got rf602's and they were the main thing at Strobist shoots.

Although they came in Canon or Nikon flavours, they worked with either, and they worked with any flash gun we attached them to. Of course we weren't using and ETTL features, and worked them all manually - but I never heard of any one having problems.

For £40 approx, I don't think you can go wrong, and that's 1 transmitter with 3 receivers!

How cheap do you want to get?

Oh, and I've seen a few pros use them on location shoots, so they can't be bad!

xROELOFx

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2012, 09:54:55 AM »
What a coincidence, I was just looking for a good trigger system myself. After spending a couple of hours of searching and reading reviews last night, I found the Phottix Strato II to be the best choice.

They are not the cheapest, but from what I understand (from reading all the different reviews), deliver the best quality for the lowest amount of money. A set with a trigger and a reciever costs about 75 euros.

What I really liked about this system is that you can mount a flash on the trigger, while it's on your camera. The trigger sends the normal TTL information from the camera to your mounted flash. And at the same time you can trigger another flash (attached to the reciever).

Another pro for me was the ability to upgrade to the Phottix Odin system later (wich is the PW killer at the moment). You're than able to use the Odin to send the signal, and use a Strato reciever to catch it.
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Maui5150

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 10:29:47 AM »
I have to laugh at the Phottix Odin being called a PW killer.

For one, it has EXTREMELY limited availability, unless you consider eBay as a primary delivery channel.   It currently does not appear that there are ANY stores in the US carrying the Odin.

I have asked about the Odins at two stores in the Boston area that carry Phottix (i.e. they are not just a jealous PW shop) and they do not carry the Odins and were not planning to carry the Odins for "reliability" reasons. 

How the Strato IIs they do carry and do like, so it also does not seem to be a manufacturer bias.

I am all for competition, cheaper priced items and thing when there are high quality competing products the consumer wins.  Have seen the literature, heard some people talk about the Odins, but know no one in the US or North America that carries the Odins or have plans to carry it.  And when I see highly established long running shops that carry the manufacturer, but don't plan on carrying a particular product (i.e. it is by choice) that is NEVER a good sign.  Tells me stores are worried about returns, service grief and disappointment.

If it was a cheaper PW killer, I am sure stores would be clammering especially being able to sell or upsell people from cheap triggers into "High Quality" TTL at a fraction of PW cost. 

unruled

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« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 12:12:45 PM by unruled »

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2012, 10:56:51 AM »

picturesbyme

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2012, 11:48:01 AM »
I have this a while ago and it haven't failed me yet...
For the price (under $30) it def. worth a look

http://youtu.be/s5shvFGUf3g

CowGummy

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 12:28:15 PM »
Okay, I think I will go with the RF-602 - they seem to be getting the most votes for cheapo triggers, both here and in the flickr strobist group discussions.
I do however really like the look of those phottix strato II. I like the fact that it does give the option of mounting a flash onto the transmitter, but availability in the UK is questionable.
I hear that this would be possible with the RF-603 (Transcievers) as well, but most people appear to prefer the older RF-602 system?

Anyways, thanks again - I think I'm close to ordering and appreciate the input here!
5DmkII   |  50 f/1.4  |  24-105L f/4  |  135L f/2  |  70-200L f/2.8 IS II  |  430exII

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Re: Any suggestions on cheap ebay triggers / poverty wizards?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 12:28:15 PM »