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08-26-2015, 11:05 AM   #1
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Triggers and multiple flashes solution - please

Hi there,

I am having a particular projects coming up and I need to use flashguns. As I am new into flash techniques I tried to learn and collect bits and pieces of information in order to make a decision, but somehow I did not manage to come to conclusion as there are techniques I don't understand. Therefor I explain a little for what I want to achieve and please if you can advice me, whats possible and effective.

I am looking to create some shots on long or longer expositions with highlights. In these highlights I would need to freeze movement - but really freeze, so I would like to have flash going off by 1/600 or optimally 1/1000 of a second. I am thinking to have flashes from different places as camera and optimally to have 4-5 flashes.

I have K5 and set of lenses. As I am artist, I am on budget by default, so what I was thinking:

K5 + wireless triggers / or master wireless flash + set of 2 - 5 flashes in maximum 4 groups
- each set with its own settings (different strength and if possible I would like to experiment with speed/time of flash in different groups)
- as I do not have lot of money, I will look for second hand and 3rd party
- please if you have a good idea of 3rd party, let me know. I was thinking Yongnuo,for triggers Cactus, Elinchrom? (does it go cheaper?)
- I would like that triggers in M mode can trigger various brands of flashes, so for instance old Pentax,Nikon, Yongnuo...(if its possible as I will be also lending some stuff)
- if possible that it can have control over flashes like Pentax AF200 - but also its strength and speed (if that's even possible)

Thank you for your help in advance!


Last edited by em-tx; 08-26-2015 at 11:08 AM. Reason: typo
08-26-2015, 11:48 AM   #2
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Any tiger support high speed sync, wired or wireless?
I thought third party trigger didn't support that, and always use pentax flash as trigger and slave.
If my understanding was correct, I guess you can use cheaper Yongnuo as wireless flash for background, but will have to use pentax AF flash as trigger and wireless flash for freezing movement -- but you will probably have set them at manual model: other manual flashes will mess up the PTTL.

also, can AF200 works as high speed trigger? I don't own one, but I thought it couldn't. you might want to double check.

I haven't tried mixing pentax AF and manual yongnuo flashes, and using high speed sync before. would like to hear other comments.
08-26-2015, 11:53 AM   #3
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Your best bet for controlling multiple channels with different settings is the Cactus RF60/V6 setup:
Cactus RF60 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Cactus V6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
08-26-2015, 12:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Your best bet for controlling multiple channels with different settings is the Cactus RF60/V6 setup: Cactus RF60 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews Cactus V6 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
Do you think I can put in various channels various brands of flashes?

QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Any tiger support high speed sync, wired or wireless? I thought third party trigger didn't support that, and always use pentax flash as trigger and slave. If my understanding was correct, I guess you can use cheaper Yongnuo as wireless flash for background, but will have to use pentax AF flash as trigger and wireless flash for freezing movement -- but you will probably have set them at manual model: other manual flashes will mess up the PTTL. also, can AF200 works as high speed trigger? I don't own one, but I thought it couldn't. you might want to double check. I haven't tried mixing pentax AF and manual yongnuo flashes, and using high speed sync before. would like to hear other comments.
I do not really have money to buy AF 360 or 540. There is out there AF 280 for cheap, but I am not really willing to buy in case I can not force it do to what I want it to do.
I would go generally in M mode.
Also I am wondering what will happen with "color/tone" of light mixing 2 various brands of flashes.

08-26-2015, 12:11 PM   #5
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The K5 works VERY badly with off-camera P-TTL flash. Exposures will be way off and inconsistent. You will need to use manual, which you plan to do anyway, so it won't be a problem for this project. This flash metering problem was fixed in later models (K30, K3, etc).
08-26-2015, 12:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by em-tx Quote
color/tone" of light mixing 2 various brands of flashe
color should be similar, at least from pentax and young, unless you put filter on them.

The trigger and receiver cali92rs mentioned are interesting, worth trying if budget allows.
08-26-2015, 12:59 PM   #7
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If you can afford the Cactus system explained in the links above, those are great. They are very full featured. If you don't have the budget for that, then the Yongnuo system is great. The TX560 trigger and YN-560III or IV flashes. It is so much easier to work with flashes that have the receiver built right in than a receiver and a separate flash. The trigger is $40 and flashes with the receiver built in are $70. This allows you to afford the amount you need. Mine have been a terrific purchase.
08-26-2015, 02:37 PM   #8
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Not to disappoint but...
First they are no triggers that support P-TTL of Pentax therefore no HSS, speak your max. speed is 1/180 on K5.
Second the flashgun fires always with same power just the duration of the flash is different.
Third the off-camera flashguns do not support 2nd curtain.

I heard only of Aokatec triggers that support P-TTL but did not buy them by myself as I decided to go different route. You might try them and post your experience here.

Good luck with your experiment and have fun!

08-26-2015, 04:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
Not to disappoint but...
First they are no triggers that support P-TTL of Pentax therefore no HSS, speak your max. speed is 1/180 on K5.
Second the flashgun fires always with same power just the duration of the flash is different.
Third the off-camera flashguns do not support 2nd curtain.

I heard only of Aokatec triggers that support P-TTL but did not buy them by myself as I decided to go different route. You might try them and post your experience here.

Good luck with your experiment and have fun!
Hi,
well - its not disappointing, but rather waking up.

I am interested in full manual (lot of work, but dont mind to learn).

Why do I need P-TTL for HSS. I thought that in Manual I can decide speed, it just had to trigger on time - or where I am wrong.

Even I can set flash manually for half strength - it just half time. Is it for all flashes - including Pentax ones?

Its only Pentax Flashes supporting second curtain?

Aokatec - looks rather interesting.
08-26-2015, 05:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by em-tx Quote
Hi,
well - its not disappointing, but rather waking up.

I am interested in full manual (lot of work, but dont mind to learn).

Why do I need P-TTL for HSS. I thought that in Manual I can decide speed, it just had to trigger on time - or where I am wrong.

Even I can set flash manually for half strength - it just half time. Is it for all flashes - including Pentax ones?

Its only Pentax Flashes supporting second curtain?

Aokatec - looks rather interesting.
You need P-TTL for HSS.
08-26-2015, 05:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You need P-TTL for HSS.

Why if I am in full manual?
08-26-2015, 05:50 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by em-tx Quote
Why if I am in full manual?
Because your K-5 has to know there's a flash that can do HSS attached and P-TTL is the communication method between the two. Otherwise you won't even get a signal to the hotshoe past 1/180s.

You can shoot HSS in a camera's manual mode, but the flash can't be manual. It has to receive the P-TTL commands (cable, HSS flash or P-TTL transmitter) and be able to flash the required pulses.

Last edited by clackers; 08-26-2015 at 05:59 PM.
08-26-2015, 06:46 PM   #13
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Do you even need High-Speed Sync (HSS) for what you're doing? A fast shutter speed is not a requirement for using a flash to freeze motion, you just need the ambient contribution to be very low during your exposure and your flashes to have a low enough T.1 time to stop the movement (T.1 time is essentially the flash duration, for hotshoe flashes the lower the power level the shorter this is and the better the stopping power).

Can you describe in more detail what's going with your setup? Is this a long exposure you're doing with flashes going of during it? Or something else?

QuoteOriginally posted by em-tx Quote
I am looking to create some shots on long or longer expositions with highlights. In these highlights I would need to freeze movement - but really freeze, so I would like to have flash going off by 1/600 or optimally 1/1000 of a second. I am thinking to have flashes from different places as camera and optimally to have 4-5 flashes.
08-26-2015, 08:31 PM   #14
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The way to freeze movement is to lower the power setting. 1/8 power is about 1/4000 of a second. Depending on what you are shooting, that will freeze movement quite effectively. To freeze hummingbird wings requires even faster such as 1/16 power.

Once you are getting into those speeds with multiple flashes, synchronizing them becomes a challenge. The latency, or delay between emitting a signal and triggering the flash using optical wireless triggering is about 1/16000 of a second, or a quarter of the 1/4000 duration at 1/8 power. That may or may not be a problem. Signal wireless using rf radio waves is much slower, you may find problems at 1/1000 speed where the synchronisation isn't effective. Others who use these systems with multiple flashes to freeze movement can comment.

Of course when you decrease the power you have less light. From a camera exposure standpoint the light from a flash is affected by the distance from the subject. Twice the distance means 1/4 of the light, roughly a square relationship as the same amount of light has to flood an area 2*2 the size. That is the basis for the exposure charts where distance, Iso and fstop are all used to calculate the exposure settings.

Depending on what you are shooting you can get into situations where everything is conspiring against your exposure, short duration, distance to subject and small aperture for depth of field. In other words, great fun and lots to learn.



The yongnuo stuff is pretty good for the price, it works OK. They are cheap.

I needed five flashes to fire simultaneously at 1/16 power or 1/6000 of a second to freeze bats in flight. Eventually I ended up using a raspberry pi board with a piface output board to trigger there bodies and five flashes. It worked quite well, the yongnuo 560iii flashes worked well.

It comes down to how fast your action is, how critical your synchronization is, how many shots.
08-26-2015, 10:25 PM   #15
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I think I might stick to landscapes !


just to add to the freezing motion points ... The guys are right that you don't need HSS to freeze the motion ... The flash is fast enough already. If you have a lot of ambient light though you might get blurry ghosting effects around edges of your subjects (I think this is called 'dragging the shutter' when done deliberately ..). I guess its why a lot of this kind of photography has a black background, as the ambient light has been kept really low.

Last edited by mcgregni; 08-26-2015 at 10:34 PM.
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