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Author Topic: Which Phottix RF trigger?  (Read 5084 times)

Drizzt321

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Which Phottix RF trigger?
« on: May 16, 2012, 02:02:56 PM »
So, I figure it's finally time for me to get a RF speedlite/strobe triggers. I currently have a 580 EX II (may get another speedlite, prolly 3rd party at sometime) and a old pack + 4 heads that still works fine that I got recently. The Phottix Odin is overkill for me, I think, and too expensive for me right now, The Phottix Aster looks just about perfect for me, but then I noticed the Phottix Strato II Multi which is a bit more expensive (~$155 for transmitter + 2 receiver vs $71), but can do single or multi group, plus hotshoe passthrough, longer distance, and takes AAA batteries instead of CR2 coin batteries. It's a good bit more, but I think the capabilities might be nice, plus I can use them as a remote shutter release which is pretty neat.

So, opinions? Suggestions? Am I crazy?
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Which Phottix RF trigger?
« on: May 16, 2012, 02:02:56 PM »

Cornershot

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 02:37:54 PM »
I have the older Stratto triggers that Phottix still sells. Not much difference and cheaper than the newer II. I haven't been using them lately since getting my TTL triggers. But they're a reliable product and have decent range. I haven't had any problems with them and I've owned them for years. The hot shoe passthrough is actually pretty useful as is the shutter release.

By the way, I hear that the Pixel King TTL triggers are supposed to be a good budget option. I don't have any first hand experience. Maybe somebody can chime in on if they're worth buying. You can get a transmitter and two receivers for something like $200.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 02:41:38 PM by Cornershot »

FocalFury

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 02:45:35 PM »
I have the Strato II Multi and I highly recommend it. Great button layout, build quality, and reliability. Plus it comes in a package with all the different cables you may need.

JerryKnight

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 11:56:17 AM »
I have the Strato II Multi and I highly recommend it. Great button layout, build quality, and reliability. Plus it comes in a package with all the different cables you may need.

+1,000,000

These are seriously amazing. They're cheap (compared to something like the PocketWizard PlusIII), but not so cheap that you can't trust their construction. The transmitter/receiver pair is ~$100 US, and individual receivers are ~$60. Here's an example E-bay store that I would trust (Cameta Camera), or you can order direct and wait for them to ship from Hong Kong.

The groups are done in a fantastic way. Set each receiver to a group (A,B,C,D) and on the transmitter, you have four buttons that let you turn each group on or off independently. For my own shooting (assistant photog at weddings) I set up 3 flashes on lightstands, each one set to a separate group. Usually, I turn them all on for full cross-lighting, but I can very quickly turn any of them off if they get in the way.

And a HUGE PLUS is that the transmitter's TTL passthrough works even when it's off. My own pattern has become E-TTL on-camera, manual flash off-camera, so this is a very big feature that not even the PocketWizard Mini or Flex have (you cannot fire the on-camera flash with the remote turned off).

Regarding range, Phottix's claim of 150 meters is somewhat believable in my testing. I put a receiver on a lightstand by my house and walked down the street until it stopped firing consistently. I then went on Google Earth and measured the distance to just about 150 meters where it fired ~80% of the time. At 100-125 meters, it fired 100%. I do not own a flash that could do anything significant at 100 meters, but if you're doing outdoor portraits with a very long lens, this distance might be useful.

So yes, get the Strato II's. You won't be disappointed.

EDIT: Obviously, the OP already has this information, but I can say from experience that all these features of the Strato II are accurate and very useful. I've never looked at the Aster's but I would have a very hard time recommending anything but the Strato II. They're that good.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 12:18:10 PM by JerryKnight »

JerryKnight

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 12:10:46 PM »
You didn't mention it, but if you're wondering about a good cheap non-TTL flash for your remote flashes, I recommend the Yongnuo YN560. Relatively cheap, but it has roughly the same power output as a 580ex2. These are the flashes I use on my lightstands, and they've been reliable. They use the same 4xAA batteries that Speedlites use, and they have a zoomable strobe head.

Since you're looking at manual radio slaves like the Strato II, getting extra Speedlites would be overkill if that's all you would use them with.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 12:23:41 PM by JerryKnight »

Drizzt321

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 01:02:43 PM »
You didn't mention it, but if you're wondering about a good cheap non-TTL flash for your remote flashes, I recommend the Yongnuo YN560. Relatively cheap, but it has roughly the same power output as a 580ex2. These are the flashes I use on my lightstands, and they've been reliable. They use the same 4xAA batteries that Speedlites use, and they have a zoomable strobe head.

Since you're looking at manual radio slaves like the Strato II, getting extra Speedlites would be overkill if that's all you would use them with.

Exactly my thought, since I won't be doing TTL. Those do look pretty good, thanks for the recommendation. Hell, for that price, I can get a dual lightstand bracket, and hook the 2nd one up via the receivers PC-Sync port and double my lighting power per remote 'head'. Not too shabby at all :)
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wickidwombat

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 07:27:25 PM »
obviously the odins are the absolute best but also quite pricey (they will let you shoot pretty much any flash at up to 1/8000 sec including 580 ex on full power no more need to set HSS!
another upshot of this is if you need highter flash speeds using this method you can buy the cheap yongnuo 565 flashes which dont have canon standard highspeed sync but the odins will still operate them up to 1/8000 sec (note i havent tested this exact flash model doing this as i dont own one however i have tested it with 580 ex 2 flashes and studio strobes)

so given how cool the odins are I would recomendgetting the stratos even though they are more expensive if later you decide to get odins the stratos can still operate as recievers for the odins! saving you about $200 each for the additional odin recievers
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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 07:27:25 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 04:40:19 PM »
So, just got my Strato II Multi today, had a few minutes to play with them at lunch. So far so good. A really nice touch is the inclusion of all the AAA batteries necessary to run them. Energizer ones too, not no-name crap ones. When I have a chance to play with them in other uses, I'll post some more thoughts.
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wickidwombat

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 09:02:36 PM »
So, just got my Strato II Multi today, had a few minutes to play with them at lunch. So far so good. A really nice touch is the inclusion of all the AAA batteries necessary to run them. Energizer ones too, not no-name crap ones. When I have a chance to play with them in other uses, I'll post some more thoughts.

carefull with alcaline batts they can leak especially if left in a device for long periods, i dont trust them so i just threw all those in a draw and use eneloop rechargeables
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JerryKnight

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 08:43:29 PM »
So, just got my Strato II Multi today, had a few minutes to play with them at lunch. So far so good. A really nice touch is the inclusion of all the AAA batteries necessary to run them. Energizer ones too, not no-name crap ones. When I have a chance to play with them in other uses, I'll post some more thoughts.

carefull with alcaline batts they can leak especially if left in a device for long periods, i dont trust them so i just threw all those in a draw and use eneloop rechargeables

This is a good point. Lithiums are another option. I don't think lithium AAA's will leak like alkalines, and they have a very long life and nearly unlimited shelf-life. I got a pack of them ready for when the stock batteries die.

I do like the idea of the economy of rechargeables, but I haven't yet learned to trust the low- or ultra-low-discharge NiMH batteries like Eneloops over a span of months. I know that they should maintain their charge, but I've been burned by the horrible Energizer NiMH's lasting less than two weeks in my bag.

wickidwombat

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 09:29:33 PM »
eneloops are great and always carry spares
thing i like about the odins is they use AA batts not AAA which means the same batteries as the flashes

I have a bunch of AAA eneloops i got for my ebay poverty wizards which i dont use much anymore
the only thing i have that use them is the intervalometer cable release
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Drizzt321

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 11:17:51 AM »
Yea, I'm going to get a bunch of eneloop batteries, just haven't yet. Forgot to order some when I got the triggers, so it was a nice touch that they can with batteries, even if I'm not going to use them for all that long with the ones it came with.
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MK5GTI

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 10:03:05 AM »
just want to clarify, the Phottix Strato II is a TTL trigger, correct?

i realize their website mentioned TTL pass though hot-shoe, but thats something different. i just want to try wirelessly TTL since my RF602 die.

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 10:03:05 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 07:23:56 PM »
just want to clarify, the Phottix Strato II is a TTL trigger, correct?

i realize their website mentioned TTL pass though hot-shoe, but thats something different. i just want to try wirelessly TTL since my RF602 die.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Phottix-Strato-II-5-in-1-Trigger-Receiver-x2-Canon-F318-/150634866106?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item231289a5ba

yep

and also note that they will work as recievers for the odin system too if you ever decide to get an odin
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JerryKnight

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 08:22:53 PM »
just want to clarify, the Phottix Strato II is a TTL trigger, correct?

i realize their website mentioned TTL pass though hot-shoe, but thats something different. i just want to try wirelessly TTL since my RF602 die.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Phottix-Strato-II-5-in-1-Trigger-Receiver-x2-Canon-F318-/150634866106?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item231289a5ba

yep

and also note that they will work as recievers for the odin system too if you ever decide to get an odin

Erm.. Nope. The Strato II radio is manual only. The TTL passthru lets you use a TTL flash on-camera, but it still is a manual-only radio trigger. It's cool that it works with the Odin, which is their TTL-compatible remote system, but a flash mounted to the Strato II receiver can only be triggered in manual mode.

If you have to have remote TTL, go with the Odin (or PocketWizard Flex/Mini, Radiopopper, etc.)

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Re: Which Phottix RF trigger?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 08:22:53 PM »