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12-21-2008, 03:24 PM   #1
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K10D/K20D Wireless Flash vs. Radio Triggers

Hey guys,

Currently I have a K100D Super with a Sigma 530 Super (I like things that are super ) and results have been great for the most part. The one thing I wanna experiment with, however is wireless flash. I know K10D and the K20D can trigger the Super Siggy of camera using their built in flashes (I've played around with it a little bit using my brother's K10D), so I'm wondering if there are significant advantages to investing in a set of radio triggers (cactus v2s seem to unreliable, pocket wizards too expensive; flashwaves look nice, but still $200 is a hefty investment.)? There are questions I have regarding the on-board flash triggering with regards to line of sight. I can trigger around corners indoors, but what about outdoors. If it's really bright, will it still work? Does shooting around the corner of a building work?

Basically, should I go for just upgrading the body and using the on-board flash to do wireless, off-camera flash? Or should I try radio triggers, since I can probably hold off on upgrading the body for a little while longer (maybe until the K30D is announced when the price of K20 drops even further)?

Thanks

12-21-2008, 03:56 PM   #2
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If you want unexpensive radio triggers, look at the "cybersinc" from Paul C. Buff.
12-21-2008, 08:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kthung Quote
There are questions I have regarding the on-board flash triggering with regards to line of sight. I can trigger around corners indoors, but what about outdoors. If it's really bright, will it still work? Does shooting around the corner of a building work?
If it's really bright, it probably won't work. Shooting around corners is dubious if it's light out. And on the other side of lighting conditions, I had problems with the K10ds focus-assist strobe triggering the Sigma EF530DG Super erroneously. (Not an issue for me with Metz 48 AF-1 or Pentax AF360FGZ.)

That said, in other cases, it works really, really well.

QuoteQuote:
Basically, should I go for just upgrading the body and using the on-board flash to do wireless, off-camera flash? Or should I try radio triggers, since I can probably hold off on upgrading the body for a little while longer (maybe until the K30D is announced when the price of K20 drops even further)?
It's hard to predict, but I don't think that price scenario is likely to happen. It didn't with the K20D by the time the announcement was out, there were so few K10Ds available the price was basically going back up.

As someone who went from K100D to K10D, I'd say go for the K20D upgrade.
12-22-2008, 12:35 AM   #4
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What I don't like about the built-in wireless triggering (also from the Nikon system I had) is that sometimes in very bright light (outdoors), the flash may not trigger if the sensor/receiver on the flash is in direct light. Minor thing really.

I do miss wireless TTL every now and then for quick shooting.

If the onboard flash triggering serves your needs then I don't see a need to spend

12-22-2008, 04:19 AM   #5
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930 reasons I'm glad I bought Flash Waves
12-22-2008, 06:40 AM   #6
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I've been trying to make friends with my wireless PTTL flash system (K10D, 360 flash, Metz 58 flash). I really wanted this to work, but I've discovered a few things:

Line of sight really means line of sight #1. The Metz flash has it's IR sensor on the left hand side of the body, which means if you hand hold it to the left (so you can hold the camera in your right) the flash won't see the control flash. I spent a great deal of time with that one until I figured out holding the flash upside down in my left hand gave me back IR line of sight. Pain.

Line of sight really means line of sight #2. Neither the Pentax or the Metz shot reliably tucked behind a tall indoor plant. I used the built in flash as the control flash, so maybe a using a bigger flash as the master would help get the control flash through the plant leaves. Unreliable performance.

I also might have had problems with nearby reflective objects... had a devil of a time getting a proper exposure with wireless PTTL using an umbrella reflector. Everything was badly underexposed. Still scratching my head over that one, not sure what was up.... one answer is the reflective umbrella was somehow confusing the control communication between master and slave.

In all these instances, I bailed out, used my Cactus V2s and used the histogram to tune in my exposures. Failure rate on the V2s at this point is about 1 DNF (did not fire) to 12 good ones.

So far, the hassle factor for wireless PTTL is quite high for me.

So I'd say ... unless you've got to have 100% reliability on your wireless setup, go for the Cactus V2s, maybe try running the flashheads on auto setting. It's maybe 50 bucks investment, and if it doesn't work for you, you can easily move the triggers in the forum marketplace.


good luck,

germar
12-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
If you want unexpensive radio triggers, look at the "cybersinc" from Paul C. Buff.
I've got these and I'm very happy with them. You can get a trasmitter and reciever for about $130, and you will need a PC to hotshoe adapter, which is about $20 from flash zebra.

I recently wrote a review on the cybersyncs posted here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-accessories/44029-alienbees...rs-review.html
12-22-2008, 10:59 PM   #8
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If I were in the US, I'd go for the CyberSyncs or the upcoming RadioPopper Jr-X. But here where I'm from the Flashwaves are almost half the price and I just LOVE them. Having a built-in hotshoe is really hard to beat.

12-22-2008, 11:59 PM   #9
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I missed a lot of off-camera shooting because I was waiting for those damned RadioPopper Jr to come out. I actually took them at their word they'd be shipping by last summer.

I just looked at their press release and if the product does what they say it will and actually exists when they say it will, then I would love to have them. Wish they had a hotshoe, though.
12-23-2008, 06:32 AM   #10
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I'm actually quite surprised why there aren't many RF system makers putting hotshoes in their receivers. It's such an awesome feature. No cables, no adapters no nothing needed to get the flash to fire. Just mount the flash and it works.

I was thinking of switching to Cybersyncs but then I'd need to get adapters to mount my flash on the umbrella tilting bracket, then get/use cables to connect the trigger to the flash, then hang or mount the trigger securely/safely on the whole rig... soooo.. nah.. I'd rather just mount the flash on the trigger and start shooting.
12-23-2008, 11:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
In all these instances, I bailed out, used my Cactus V2s and used the histogram to tune in my exposures. Failure rate on the V2s at this point is about 1 DNF (did not fire) to 12 good ones.

So far, the hassle factor for wireless PTTL is quite high for me.

So I'd say ... unless you've got to have 100% reliability on your wireless setup, go for the Cactus V2s, maybe try running the flashheads on auto setting. It's maybe 50 bucks investment, and if it doesn't work for you, you can easily move the triggers in the forum marketplace.


good luck,

germar
Germar, I agree. I now have two Cactus V2s transmitters and 2 receivers for a total of $64 USD. Once i modified one of the transmitters for a decent antenna (and will do the same for the 2nd) they've been reliable and quick to use. come with hotshoes, easy to store and fast to use. Not fancy but all i need.
12-23-2008, 03:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses guys. I looked into the cybersyncs and one thing that I really do like about the flashwaves is the built in hot shoe. It seems more convenient and is less to worry about. The price difference in the US is only $50. I guess I may end up upgrading the body first since I will end up doing that eventually and see if the on-board wireless is not sufficient.
03-11-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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how do i get the flashwaves triggers in australia?

Hi there,
I have been reading all the posts about wireless flash triggers and really want to purchase the Flashwaves2 but the only link here direct me to Amazon, and they won't ship here due to warranty problems or something. Can anyone help me with the company that makes them, does anyone know their direct link or any where that will ship to australia. The PW's are way out of my price range and I like the built in hot shoe. Thanks to any of you that has the time to help me. I have a K20d and AF540. I just need more simple off camera flash options. BIG thanks,
03-12-2010, 09:10 AM   #14
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The newer YongNuo RF-602s (same manufacturer as the classic "cactus" units but apparently MUCH more reliable) have a builtin hotshoe on the receivers I believe.
03-14-2010, 08:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
I'm actually quite surprised why there aren't many RF system makers putting hotshoes in their receivers. It's such an awesome feature. No cables, no adapters no nothing needed to get the flash to fire. Just mount the flash and it works.

I was thinking of switching to Cybersyncs but then I'd need to get adapters to mount my flash on the umbrella tilting bracket, then get/use cables to connect the trigger to the flash, then hang or mount the trigger securely/safely on the whole rig... soooo.. nah.. I'd rather just mount the flash on the trigger and start shooting.
Actually, nearly all of the cheapo chinese recievers I've seen (such as the PT-104s being shipped to me right now) have hotshoes. These are the ones I bought, but there are endless variations on ebay...

Obviously they're very economical but reliability remains to be seen. I'll report back.
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