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05-31-2011, 10:00 PM   #1
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Wireless PTTL for 2 flashes next to each other

I haven't had the chance to try this yet. What I was thinking of doing was putting my AF540 and Metz 58 together on my lightstand that has a bracket for two flashes behind either my 45 or 60" umbrella. Both flashes will be set on wireless slave. Ill have my Sigma 530 super as my controller.
I'm wondering if the flashes will know to adjust their light output because they'll be working in tandem. I know the light won't particularly be brighter but it'll at least be fuller since I'm asking them to shoot thru a very large umbrella. I tried using wireless PTTL to shoot off two flashes at once and it turned out that only one flash went off at any time. I figure it was because I was having the flashes shoot into the camera so one shut off prematurely seeing as how it had enough light. I've had as many as 4 flashes shoot from the camera controller and all work, as long as the heads were pointed away from the lens.
Has anyone here used the PTTL flashes wirelessly while next to each other to get fuller light through an umbrella/softbox, etc? I'll be able to get around to trying this weekend but was curious if anyone had experience with it. It could definitely help while using HSS outside.

Thanks

05-31-2011, 10:07 PM   #2
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This has been posed a few times before on the forum.
Whilst theoretically (and by the AF540FGZ manual) it should work, I haven't yet been able to simultaneously run more than one flash unit wirelessly.
I had gotten around it by running a master off a hotshoe extension cord driving a slave unit wirelessly. But that has limited me to two lights. Getting around it further would require radio triggers, unless it is possible to run more units wirelessly via the optical triggers.

If you have, though, it would be great to get your experience on the setup.
05-31-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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I may do that. I;m also figuring with the 2 flashes next to each other that I can cut their overall power output by half. For example, having 2 lights shoot thru an umbrella in 1/8 power rather than have just one do it at 1/4 power. Ill get fuller light and a faster recharge from the flash batteries.
Awww, Ill figure this out by the end of the week. Ive been using wireless triggers and have been happy but Id like to have more output control thru the camera, rather than asking a voice-activated lightstand to fiddle with the buttons on the flash.
05-31-2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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That's a good idea.
If the two flashes can be optically triggered and mounted at opposite poles of an umbrella, that would make for an excellent light source.
An inanimate light stand also doesn't take offense if you get upset with it, unlike the voice-activated ones...

06-01-2011, 01:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
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It works.

Here's my test with K7 + 2 copies of Pentax 540. The built-in flash is used to trigger the remote flashes.

Both remote flashes fire:



In the two photos below, I purposely exhaust the output of the flashes (camera set at ISO 100, F/22) to see the difference between one remote flash and two remote flash setups.

One remote flash setup:



Two remote flash setup:


Last edited by SOldBear; 06-01-2011 at 02:04 AM.
06-01-2011, 02:20 AM   #6
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SOldbear, is there anything in the setup that varies from the usual wireless setup procedure for these two flashes? Both flashes synced with the camera body in SL2 mode? Works in P-TTL or only in A/M modes? It would be great to get the process down pat for reliable operation.
06-01-2011, 02:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
SOldbear, is there anything in the setup that varies from the usual wireless setup procedure for these two flashes?
I don't think so. Set up for two remote flashes is the same as for one remote flash. The only thing to make sure is all remote flashes have to be on the same channel.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Both flashes synced with the camera body in SL2 mode?
No. They are in SL1 mode. I don't think they work in SL2 mode ("dumb" optical trigger) because the p-TTL pre-flash strobe from the built-in flash will trigger them. Note that the built-in flash is always in p-TTL mode unless the lens is an M-lens, in which case the built-in flash will fire with full power.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Works in P-TTL or only in A/M modes?
The test is in p-TTL mode. I didn't test in any other mode.
06-01-2011, 02:54 AM   #8
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Great! Thanks SOldbear.
Once I get back to base, I will be trying this out as well.
Looks like I've been keeping my 540 on SL2 mode and that may be the cause, however I can't recall whether my Sigma has such a setting...

Will get onto it in a couple of weeks.

06-01-2011, 05:43 AM   #9
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I have done something similar with two Sigma flashes (an EF-500 SUPER and an EF-530 SUPER). Simply set both to Wireless P-TTL SL mode on the same channel, and you should be good to go.
06-01-2011, 06:47 AM   #10
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Thanks for that added info RBellavance - I'm hopeful then that the combination of an EF-500 super and an AF540FGZ will be reliably triggered by the pop-up flash wirelessly.
06-01-2011, 07:28 AM   #11
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I knew I could leave it up to SOldbear! :-) At least I have that option in the future.

And to Ash, I have tried using wireless mode the the slave flashes set to manual and I've found that it works 40 to 50% of the time, then for some reason it would react either too soon or too late because I saw the flash pop but not have it show up in the picture. and yes, I'm keeping it in wireless SL1. Its not a deal breaker for me because when I shoot with lights in manual mode I use radio triggers.
06-01-2011, 10:11 AM   #12
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I have been trying do something similar for a couple of weeks!! One question though, have you managed to do it using the inbuilt flash as a controller rather than a third gun?

I need to do it with the 2 "slaves" mounted one either side and trigger it with the inbulit flash.

Kim
06-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kim C Quote
have you managed to do it using the inbuilt flash as a controller rather than a third gun?
See my test in post above.

The controller is the built-in flash.
06-02-2011, 12:50 AM   #14
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Thanks, I'll try it when get home next week.

Kim
QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
See my test in post above.

The controller is the built-in flash.
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