I have three cactus v5 remote triggers. I also use Canon equipment. I want to be able to fire both a wireless trigger and an on camera flash at the same time. The wireless trigger would fire an off camera flash and then the on camera flash would be used as fill light.

This would be useful in a wedding situation for example when you have an assistant placing an off camera light, but in some situations you want to light the shadows a little bit.


2 Answers 2


The hotshoe on the transmitter is a pass-through connection; all you need to do is mount a flash (or a flash cable) on top of the unit you have in your camera's hotshoe. Note, though, that there is no TTL for the pass-through function either, so both flashes (the off-camera and on-camera flashes) need to be adjusted manually and separately for the lighting ratio you want.

  • What could I do to retain the TTL capabilities of the on camera flash?
    – EtienneT
    Jun 30, 2012 at 5:00
  • @EtienneT - Depends on the camera model — if you have a PC terminal available, you can run the transmitter from that and use the hotshoe (or built-in flash) for TTL. Or you could step up to a TTL-capable trigger system (that will also be able to control the intensity of your off-camera flash and therefore the lighting ratio). Canon has their own radio system now, but there's also the PocketWizard Mini/Flex TTL system. It's more expensive, certainly, but much more capable for "on the fly" photography.
    – user2719
    Jun 30, 2012 at 5:24

Sounds like you want optical slaves. Use your on camera flash as normal. Put those on the off camera flash and they'll fire when triggered by the main flash.

Note - some flash units have this capability built in.

  • 2
    +1, but there's one minor caveat here for the wedding/event photographer: Uncle Bob's point-n-shoot will also trigger your remotes, so you may spend an inordinate amount of time (and suppress an inordinate amount of anger) waiting for a clean recycle. If you're using something like Nikon's CLS with restricted coding (I'm not familiar with Canon's system), you can often avoid it, but the hotshoe-style slaves often fire at any triggering (non-metering) flash.
    – user2719
    Jun 30, 2012 at 6:17
  • 3
    @Stan - Very true - meanwhile Uncle Bob get some nice fill ;)
    – rfusca
    Jun 30, 2012 at 6:20

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