Time to be with your loved ones

Time to be with loved ones

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Currently my AB800's have a built-in optical trigger, but still requires a flash to trigger them. I'd like to move to an all wireless setup. I also have the canon ST-E2 to pair with my Sigma 500 DG Super and Canon 580 EX II.

I'd like to use a wireless trigger system that will work with both my Alien Bee's and my Speedlites.

Money isn't necessarily an issue, assuming the triggers do what I need them to do.

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7 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

My apologies for linking to Strobist all the time, but as it happens there is a recent post just about that. He lists PocketWizard Plus II Transceiver as the best and most reliable, followed by RadioPopper JrX, AlienBees CyberSyncs, and Elinchrom Skyports.

You also might want to check out RadioPopper PX, which looks like it might be able to trigger slave units for your Speedlites and AlientBees at the same time.

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I found that useful, I have to say the most compelling point about the pocket wizards is AA batteries. The other cheaper options make use of annoying button cells (can you even get rechargeable button cells?) or CR123A batteries which might as well be button cells (I used to have a camera that used them). –  Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Feb 24 '12 at 15:38
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I have some of the "eBay" triggers that I bought a year ago. I found them at mpex.com (Midwest Photo Exchange). They are the Cactus V2's and are $30 for a receiver and transmitter. I feel like it was a good deal, considering the price of a PocketWizard. They obviously are not as reliable as the pro equipment but for an amateur like myself, they work great. They miss sometimes, but it is rare enough that I don't care or even think about it.

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I owned a set of Cactus V2 and discarded them. At home they worked quite ok, but on several locations they tended to fire the flash without reason, probably due to electro signals of other electronic devices. –  Sam Jul 23 '10 at 13:14
I own (and use) Cactus V2s, and have experienced similar issues: they misfire maybe 1/4 of the time, and they wouldn't work at all in my church (which, I suspect, is the fault of the wireless microphones…). HOWEVER, one transmitter an three receivers cost less than $100, so I can't really complain — I got them to experiment with off-camera flash, and they let me do just that. –  David Wolever Jul 26 '10 at 2:54
Just wanted to add that they now offer a Cactus v4 set. I haven't tried any cactus products, so I can't comment on their quality. gadgetinfinity.com/cactus-wireless-flash-trigger-set-v4.html –  Finer Recliner Dec 6 '11 at 21:24
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Or just go with the ultra-cheap YongNuo RF-602, which give you a lot of bang for the buck. I own two sets and find them good enough for serious work.

Before I owned a set of Cactus V2 Trigger (one sender, two receivers), and these gave me a lot of problems:
Sometimes they did not trigger the flash.
Sometimes they triggered the flash without me taking a picture (leaving me with a drained flash when I needed it).

The Cactus V4 are reported to be better, but I do not own these, so I cant tell from personal experience.

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Is that one of those ebay triggers? Do you have personal experience with it? –  Alan Jul 22 '10 at 20:41
Well, you can get them on ebay, but some retailers offer them, too. And there are a lot other triggers on ebay, too. I own two senders and five receivers and use them a lot, not only for firing my flashes but as remote trigger for my cam, too. For flash they work great, for remote triggering the cam they could be better. They tend to take two or three pictures with one press, since timing sensitivity is not that good. –  Sam Jul 23 '10 at 6:17
Yongnuo triggers are absolutely the best bang for your buck. ~$30 or so will get you a two transmitters/receivers (each module is both). I have two sets so I can fire up to three external flashes (four if my T2i could trigger flashes). Flashes sync up to a shutter speed of about 200-250, and I haven't had a single misfire on medium power just holding down the shutter (4fps I think). Good up to 100yards (haven't tested this myself, but there are plenty of reviewers who have). In summation, I don't think it's necessary to get PocketWizards. Too expensive, and Yongnuo 603's get the job done. –  Jon Dec 8 '11 at 1:30
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I've previously used Cactus V2s which were good enough but occasionally failed in front of people which makes you look bad and gets you in a flap. Not good.

I've just ordered a set of Cactus V5. If you remember to give me a nudge next week, I'll let you know how I get on with them. There's no TTL stuff, but the range and reliability is supposedly improved. Also, each unit is a transceiver which means you only need one spare (if you care about spare kit).

Anyway, something to consider perhaps: http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/cactus-wireless-flash-transceiver-v5-duo.html

UPDATE: They're amazing. Love them.

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I use Elinchrom Skyports, but if money is not an issue then go for PocketWizards.

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For a cheaper option try Phottix.

Good news is they work with pocket wizards and have a hot shoe.

Strobist also has done a review on them. http://strobist.blogspot.com/2010/06/pocket-wizard-compatible-remotes-are.html?m=1

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I have a set of RadioPopper JrX and for my application they work great.

The only problem that I found is that the compartment holding the battery was very flimsy and the tab broke right away. Other then that, they have a good distance and good reliability.

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