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Cactus Flash Triggers

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by JustinD, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Does anyone use these? They're cheap...as cheap as they come in fact (about $40).

    I was thinking it might be a cheaper alternative to getting a second sb800 (just buy the $40 cactus trigger and a cheap, used, sb600 for example).
     
  2. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin
    Also known as the Poverty Wizards :tongue:. I own a set and they work fine for my small space.
     
  3. Cool, Francis. What flash do you use them with?
     
  4. Remember that you may need a sync port on the flash, so you won't be able to use the 600

    I personally use pocket wizard with the good old SB-28's about £60 used, great flash guns with PC sync
     
  5. Hmm. I think I'd rather be able to use the flash without a bunch of hassle.

    Pocket Wizards are kinda spendy and the Cactus triggers seem kinda flimsy.

    Since the sb800 fires with the pop-up flash on my D200 I guess I'd just rather get another one of those.

    The pop-up flash can fire two sb800s right?
     
  6. You don't need a sync port. The receivers have a hot shoe mount. I use them with my SB-600 all the time. You just need to set the SB-600 to not go to sleep after 30 seconds or you will get a missed fire. They're definitely worth the money, but with the new Cyber Syncs from Paul C. Buff, it's hard to not justify the extra cost for a better product. Of course, I believe you would need a sync port with the Cyber Syncs. This is an easy workaround though. Just buy a hot shoe adapter with sync port. Another thing to remember is, if you're considering these in lieu of an SB-800 to act as a controller, you lose the ITTL capability of the SB-600. You have to manually set the power level when using any wireless trigger like the Cactus, PW, or Cyber Sync.
     
  7. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin
    Justin-

    I use it with my speedlights as well as my Alien Bees.
     

  8. Yes, the pop-up flash can control several off camera flashes divided into two groups if you want. Just remember, the CLS feature has its weaknesses that can only be overcome with manual flash settings. For example, at my last wedding, I tried to backlight the dress on a hanger in a doorway by placing my SB-600 behind it. I couldn't get any TTL setting to give me the effect I was looking for. I ended up placing the flash in manual mode to get the look I was going for.
     
  9. kenyee

    kenyee

    157
    Jan 12, 2008
    Boston, PRofMA
    You can get a full set (4 receivers, one trigger) from midwest photo for around $90 (a little over the price of one cybersync set). They're probably around 95% reliable which is good enough for most hobbyists. If you're doing a wedding, I'd go w/ cybersyncs or pocket wizards...wish the cybersyncs had a hotshoe but that was the part the cactus triggers had the hardest part getting right because of all the weird flash voltages so it's no surprise they didn't add that feature...
     
  10. mattsteg

    mattsteg

    455
    Aug 10, 2007
    MN
    If CLS triggering using your d200 as commander is acceptable, and SB600s are suitable, why not combine the two? SB600s will work fine as CLS slaves as well.

    The D200 commander mode can trigger 2 groups of flashes where "group" is any number of flashes that will get the same setting from the camera. In other words, the answer to your question is "yes, and you can control them separately from the camera".
     
  11. Good info, folks, and it's really appreciated.

    I guess I'll just add a sb600 to my sb800, use the pop-up flash on the D200 to fire them both, and not worry about any triggers then.
     
  12. I got mine for 43.00 $ Can on eBay (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=180288518567). At that price, I'll use them within their range and will develop my skills while playing with multiple flashes and if and when I outgrow them, I'll get a set of Pocket Wizards.
     
  13. I got a set of one transmitter and 4 receivers. Yes, they are flimsy, and not 100% reliable, but I've used them for 2 weddings with almost no problems... in fact, the most problems I've had have been with my flashes going to standby and not waking when I need them. I've use them with SB-28's, and SB-600, and an SB-800. They are great for when my flash is in an umbrella, esp. I've found that there are many times when the flash from my camera isn't so nice for triggering the speedlights... I could remedy that with an SU-800, but for well over $200! This was a great, cheap way to try out wireless. If someday I need better, I'll buy better and have this experience to help me make the most from my more expensive triggers.
     
  14. kenyee

    kenyee

    157
    Jan 12, 2008
    Boston, PRofMA
    Reptile Guy: what did you mean by "almost"? :) 
     
  15. Almost means sometimes the flash doesn't fire, but it's not very common. Also, if you don't set your flash so that it doesn't enter sleep mode, it will not fire when it receives a signal. Instead, the signal just wakes it up. It's ready to fire after that wake-up signal.
     
  16. Yeah, What Medic said. Like I mentioned, the problems I've had have more been with the flashes than the triggers.
     
  17. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    I'm joining in a bit late...

    I have the cheap ebay cactus V2 radio triggers. They are fragile, poorly made, and have terrible range. I modified mine to have an external antenna, and it works reasonably now, with about 100ft range. Most of the time, I use the Nikon Commander system as it is convienent, fast, and less cluttered.

    On the other hand, I do appreciate having a radio trigger set up for the few times I really need it. With the radiotrigger, you don't have the iTTL delay of the preflashes (but you can get around it by going to Manual on all the slaves, and/or Flash exposure lock) and don't have the line of sight issue with IR communication.

    For under a hundred bucks, I have radio triggers for the 3 speedlights that I can use when I need. Because of the low $$$ invested, I think they are worthy of consideration if you intend occasional light duty use.

    I recently dusted the Cactus V2's to start working on a Halloween themed poster. It's still a work in progress, but here it is:

    2908055132_e5ceecd87f_b.
     
  18. kenyee

    kenyee

    157
    Jan 12, 2008
    Boston, PRofMA
    ok...same things I know about with mine then :smile:
     
  19. Alan - thanks for weighing in here - nice shot for the poster as well.
     
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