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01-21-2018, 12:52 PM   #1
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Newbie question - cross manufacturer trigger compatibility

Hi all - a quick question...

I have just bought some budget lighting kit to learn the basics of studio lighting including Yongnuo YN585EX speedlite and Neewer S300N strobe, and a Neewer wireless trigger kit. I have managed to get some reasonable results (with Pentax K3 and K70), however the day will come when I want to replace that very budget kit but still won't want to spend a fortune. The trigger kit I have is really for speedlites and it does work with the strobe but its not ideal as it is only attached by sync cable and the receiver is fairly bulky so I suspect it will fall out at some point if I'm not careful.

When looking around it seems that the likes of Canon and Nikon are well catered for in terms of 3rd party triggers at a range of prices very little for Pentax aside from the Neewer kit that I already have and the Cactus kit that at 4x the price. If you are only interested in manual control rather than TTL, can you use triggers designated as being for other camera brands? I know that the Yongunuo speedlight works with most brands of camera.

For example could I use this Yongnuo560-TX labelled as for Nikon or this Godox for Canon for simple triggering?

Any advice?

Thanks

01-21-2018, 03:39 PM   #2
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You can use almost anything on the market for manual control, _pauls.

Pentax uses the same hotshoe fitting as Canon, Nikon, etc.

I've used CowboyStudio and PocketWizard triggers from other owners on my Pentax when using their lighting setups, plus lots of cheap no-namers.
01-22-2018, 10:54 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You can use almost anything on the market for manual control, _pauls.

Pentax uses the same hotshoe fitting as Canon, Nikon, etc.

I've used CowboyStudio and PocketWizard triggers from other owners on my Pentax when using their lighting setups, plus lots of cheap no-namers.
Great - I was hoping you would say that - a guy did loan me his trigger to try his strobe and his camera was Nikon so I figured that for basic functionality I should be OK but didn't want to waste 30 or 40 quid on something advertised as "for Nikon"
02-15-2018, 04:11 AM   #4
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OK... so a further question on the same lines. Now that I'm getting a bit more confidence with the basics of using my kit entirely manually, it would be nice to be able to do things like adjust the power on units remotely (especially when shooting in a darkened room) which I can see is a feature of many of the more advanced triggers. Would Canon/Nikon designated kit work for this functionality? Also when it comes to triggers and receivers do they need to be of the same manufacturer, for example a Godox trigger working with a Neewer receiver?

The more I read the more it seems that the Cactus v6ii is the only show in town and would have the benefit of HSS buy obviously at 160+ for a pair its not really cheap when I don't know how much use I will get out of them.

Any recommendations?

02-15-2018, 06:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by _pauls Quote
OK... so a further question on the same lines. Now that I'm getting a bit more confidence with the basics of using my kit entirely manually, it would be nice to be able to do things like adjust the power on units remotely (especially when shooting in a darkened room) which I can see is a feature of many of the more advanced triggers. Would Canon/Nikon designated kit work for this functionality?
This feature usually only works with a certain flash or strobe at the receiving end, since there is no agreed upon method between brands of changing power.



02-15-2018, 08:27 AM   #6
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Ah OK - thats a shame - I guess it might not be in the industry's interests to come up with a standard protocol for comms between cameras/triggers/flash.

Thanks again for the info.
02-15-2018, 09:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by _pauls Quote
Hi all - a quick question...

I have just bought some budget lighting kit to learn the basics of studio lighting including Yongnuo YN585EX speedlite and Neewer S300N strobe, and a Neewer wireless trigger kit. I have managed to get some reasonable results (with Pentax K3 and K70), however the day will come when I want to replace that very budget kit but still won't want to spend a fortune. The trigger kit I have is really for speedlites and it does work with the strobe but its not ideal as it is only attached by sync cable and the receiver is fairly bulky so I suspect it will fall out at some point if I'm not careful.

When looking around it seems that the likes of Canon and Nikon are well catered for in terms of 3rd party triggers at a range of prices very little for Pentax aside from the Neewer kit that I already have and the Cactus kit that at 4x the price. If you are only interested in manual control rather than TTL, can you use triggers designated as being for other camera brands? I know that the Yongunuo speedlight works with most brands of camera.

For example could I use this Yongnuo560-TX labelled as for Nikon or this Godox for Canon for simple triggering?

Any advice?

Thanks
Pocket Wizards. They aren't the cheapest things out there, but they don't have annoying delays that prevent the use of full sync speed either. I have heard of people using cheap triggers who have to shoot at much less than sync because the triggers fire late.
02-15-2018, 09:57 AM   #8
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Thanks Wheatfield - I'm not familiar with Pocket Wizards (like I say I'm a newbie to this field) - can you explain what kind of setup you have - ie what model flash, triggers etc and do you have PTTL and HSS?

02-16-2018, 12:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Pocket Wizards. They aren't the cheapest things out there, but they don't have annoying delays that prevent the use of full sync speed either.
Pocket Wizard triggers provide no advantage over Cactus triggers, on the contrary.

Cactus triggers allow remote power control, HSS, and with selected flashes even full P-TTL support. Pocket Wizard triggers do none of that and the Cactus triggers are more than fast enough to support the sync speed of Pentax DSLRs.

@_pauls: Pocket Wizard triggers were once the gold standard of the industry. However, they never offered something specific to Pentax and due to their high-end pricing and the rise of good to excellent quality third-party trigger alternatives, went into financial trouble in 2014.

You'll be fine with non-specific Pentax triggers but only if you do not need HSS (high-speed sync). If you want the latter, Cactus triggers are indeed your best choice. Acon also did some P-TTL triggers for Pentax (Acon R930) but their website no longer exists, so it seems that option has disappeared.
02-16-2018, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Pocket Wizard triggers provide no advantage over Cactus triggers, on the contrary.

Cactus triggers allow remote power control, HSS, and with selected flashes even full P-TTL support. Pocket Wizard triggers do none of that and the Cactus triggers are more than fast enough to support the sync speed of Pentax DSLRs.

@_pauls: Pocket Wizard triggers were once the gold standard of the industry. However, they never offered something specific to Pentax and due to their high-end pricing and the rise of good to excellent quality third-party trigger alternatives, went into financial trouble in 2014.

You'll be fine with non-specific Pentax triggers but only if you do not need HSS (high-speed sync). If you want the latter, Cactus triggers are indeed your best choice. Acon also did some P-TTL triggers for Pentax (Acon R930) but their website no longer exists, so it seems that option has disappeared.
Fair enough. When I was looking at triggers, the el cheapo ones such as the cactus were junk with misfires and poor synchronization being SOP. It’s nice to see that they have gotten better.
Someplace around my equipment cases I have an old Pentax IR trigger that will fire my Photogenic flashes without the need for a receiver, though I have the receiver as well. It’s a little directional, so the box has to be in the vicinity of the subject, so it has to go beside the stand that is holding the hair light boom.

---------- Post added 02-16-18 at 10:31 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by _pauls Quote
Thanks Wheatfield - I'm not familiar with Pocket Wizards (like I say I'm a newbie to this field) - can you explain what kind of setup you have - ie what model flash, triggers etc and do you have PTTL and HSS?
They are (were apparently) really high end triggers. The ones I have don’t support anything other than firing a studio flash. I have a Photogenic 4 head box and cable system that uses a power pack with flash heads attached by fairly long cables. What I like about this type of flash is that it is lightweight (relatively speaking) to haul on location, with good power output. When I bought it some 20 years ago, the options for studio flashes were box and cable or moonlights. The advantage of mono lights that have built in power supplies was that if a power pack goes down, it only takes out that light, while if a box and cable system goes down, the system goes down. A lot of photographers that used box and cable systems would have a spare power pack or two.
The disadvantage of monolights is that they are, in effect, a fairly heavy watermelon on the end of a stick. I almost got beaned on the head one day when a young and somewhat unruly child ran into a light stand during a shoot and knocked it over. I was using the equipment that was set up in the studio, which were Bowens monolights rather than my own lights. I have fairly fast reactions, but had I not seen it coming it would have hit me on the head.

I went through the small battery powered flash on cheap stands with optical trigger phase in the 1970s, using Vivitar 292 and 285 flashes. I admit that things have improved in some regards with TTL replacing thyristors or manual power dials, but some things simply haven’t improved due to physics. If you want to use battery powered flash units with light modifiers, you will need to get used to longish recycling times because modifiers eat up flash power, and also frequent battery changes.

I moved from the small battery powered units to a Metz 60 CT-2 which was a much more powerful hammerhead style with a separate power pack and a large battery. Along with it, I got a second head that plugged into the pack and allowed me to have a very portable battery powered two light system. It worked quite well, though recycle times were still a bit long, especially if I was shooting with the 6x7 camera that had slower lenses.

Eventually, I just bit the bullet and bought a proper studio system. Studio portraiture and still life photography is a great hobby, one that can be very satisfying. I don’t know what your budget is, or how serious you want to be regarding this type of work, but if you are serious, you will, eventually, tire of the limitations of battery powered strobes and will end up with proper studio lights.

If you are serious, skip the greasy kid stuff and go to studio flash units right off the hop. You don’t need to spend a fortune, you don’t need the bells and whistles of TTL or wireless flash control, a straight ahead plug in flash system without all those bells and whistles will run circles around anything that you have to put batteries into, and you will find the learning curve to be less steep and more useful.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 02-16-2018 at 09:36 AM.
02-17-2018, 05:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
When I was looking at triggers, the el cheapo ones such as the cactus were junk with misfires and poor synchronization being SOP.
That must have been Cactus V2 (their first trigger, I believe). These were pretty terrible just like many other early triggers in that price range at the time. Some DIY antenna mods made the V2 triggers usable apparently.

My first Cactus triggers were the V4. They had a rather limited range (~15m in my experience) but were rock solid in that range. The V5 had a 100m+ range and, again, were rock solid. The V6(II) use the same radio technology as the V5, so again, the performance is flawless.

These triggers are not only "better" than the shoddy V2, they leave nothing to be desired in terms of reliability.
07-03-2018, 04:14 AM   #12
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can you advice if the godox xpro-C ttl wireless flash trigger will work on pentax k-3? usually it works on canon and other brands but not mentioning pentax?
07-03-2018, 08:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by janrae Quote
can you advice if the godox xpro-C ttl wireless flash trigger will work on pentax k-3? usually it works on canon and other brands but not mentioning pentax?
I do not think they have made one for Pentax. I think they (or Adorama) said they would.
07-08-2018, 01:27 PM   #14
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thanks Mike! I just bought Yongnuo YN585EX and I am new user on a flash, can you advise what are the settings? I have tested it and in the monitor on the flash it is P-TTL and I just followed online directions, but I am not sure if my settings are correct.
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