I'm preparing to do a very lightweight photo shoot with two speedlights inside 24" softboxes. These particular softboxes have the speedlight completely contained inside the softbox.

I have one speedlight that will be directly connected via 1/8" cable to my camera hot shoe. Will the sensor on the speedlight in the other softbox be able to pick up that flash through its optical slave and fire, or do I need to get some remote triggers for both lights?


1 Answer 1


Depending on the lines of sight, the distance, and the shape and material of the softbox, this can sometimes work. The diffusion material doesn't typically block a lot of IR.

But, I'd really highly recommend getting a decent but low cost set of radio triggers. Then, you don't have to worry about any of those things. (Ugh, I turned the softbox so the light falls differently, and now it won't fire.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ The particular speedlight in question is probably a factor, too. I have a little Metz 28 CS-2 with the bracket hacked off that I use for my always-have-it pocket flash, and its sensitivity is jaw-dropping... with the trade-off that it does trigger in response to random flickers of light sometimes. Seems like adjustable threshold would be a nice feature... \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2015 at 18:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @junkyardsparkle Good point. Meanwhile, a different Metz model I had had the IR sensor on the side, which meant it'd sometimes work for lighting from the left but not the right. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 18, 2015 at 19:07

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