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Strobist: e-bay triggers

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by ShaunK, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Anyone hear have any experience? I try to ask on the Strobist site, but get absolutely no response. looking at the 16-channels, but now many people are buying the Cactus V2's... whats the difference? Thanks!
  2. The 16 channel versions are designed for studio strobes while the 4 channel ones are designed for small strobes and have a hotshoe.

    I bought a 16 channel because I didn't want the extra height the 4 channel will result in but had to apply a mod as shown here. Click on the "i" button to see the text.

    I am happy with the end result and have since properly soldered the connections.

    The unit works well especially if you change the battery in the transmitter. The odd misfire happens but the fresh battery dramatically reduces this. Also some have put up a mod to add a small antenna to the transmitter to boost the range but I haven't tried this yet as I use it in close quarters.
  3. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    Shaun, usually I'm all for products that save money and do the job. i.e. the 85/1.8 vs. the 1.4, or a piece of paper and rubber band vs. any of Gary Fong's...ahem, stuff. But this is one area where I highly recommend shooters do not compromise.

    Buy Pocket Wizards and don't look back!!

    As I've said time and time again, the bottom line is this...Do you want a product that will work some of the time or maybe even most of the time? Or do you want one that works ALL of the time?

    None of the other products, CLS, SU-800, Cactus, etc, etc, even come close to the range, reliability and versatility of PW's.
  4. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    That's what I was thinking too Ray, at least to convince me that the price of the PWs was worth it over the competition. I guess it's a buy and forget kind of product.
  5. I have the cheapy triggers and so far they have worked great. There are plenty of folks though that have had problems. I would not hesitate to buy PWs if I needed triggers for a client shoot. Someday I will buy the PWs.
  6. Thanks, Dayo... I will try to remember to look more closely at the pics later. I'm not much of a DIY'er :smile:

    II agree, Ray, but for now, I can not even come close to affording the PW's. II'm going this route as a cheap way to get my feet wet with wireless. Once II know what I'm doing, and can justify the cost, I'll start saving! :smile:

    Good to know, Mark, thanks.
  7. Naturally we all prefer something that works all the time in preference to something that only works some of the time, but that's not the case here. Nothing in this product category works ALL the time, even PWs.

    I use my EBay triggers professionally and have NEVER had a misfire. I suspect the story with PWs would be the same, but they cost almost 10 times as much.

    I doubt if I could justify owning several spare sets of PWs, but I do happen to own several spare EBay triggers. Would I swap ALL my EBay triggers for PWs in an even trade? Sure, just like I would swap my Honda for a BMW. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to buy either PWs or a BMW.

    PWs are VERY reliable, but they're not infallible. I don't have MTBF figures of course, but I feel that my equipment serves me quite well and if I have a failure I can simply pull out a back up. Some, but certainly not the majority of PW users can say the same.

    True, some people have had trouble with the cheap Chinese triggers, but I'm not one of them. My success rate has been perfect over many months and thousands of shots. My triggers meet all my requirements for reliability, range, and versatility.

    I have no problems with anyone who uses PWs and if owning a set (or several sets) meets your particular bang-for-the-buck criteria, I say go for it. However, PWs are certainly not the only answer to achieving reliable remote triggering.

    I used the money I saved to buy a 18-200 VR lens. :biggrin:
  8. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    sounds good Bob ..what brand do u use?
    ..i love doing this on the cheap ...;-))
  9. Neither am I!
  10. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    That's great Bob, whatever works for you. I've just heard too many horror stories to be bothered with the others.

  11. You're correct about too many horror stories. People rant and rave all the time about how horrible the cheap Chinese triggers are. However, it seems to me that the vast majority of these rants fall into two categories.

    One is the guy who just spent quite a bit of money for Pocket Wizard triggers. Naturally, once you own a set, there is a tendency to look down on any lessor equipment. I'd like to own a set too (actually I want 4 sets), it's just that I'm not willing to pay for them. I remember my mind set when I was the owner of a new Porsche. I thought my car was nicer than just about any car around (and I was close to correct) AND I had a tendency to poo poo
    those around me who drove less exciting vehicles. By the way, I got over it and now I drive a Honda.

    The second category is the EBay trigger owner who just can't figure out (in spite of getting plenty of help) that the transmitter battery is wrapped in clear plastic for shipping purposes before it's inserted into the battery holder. In this condition, the damned thing just won't fire, i.e. it's a piece of junk.

    There are fewer posts from people who are rational about making their choice, but it is indeed true that some folks can not only justify owning PWs but they are making a wise choice to use them.

    Even though I use my triggers professionally, my needs are rather specific. I want a device that will work and if it breaks I need an affordable back up and I need it now. The fact that it may fail on the first shot is not important as long as I can get the shot made without significant delay, since my shots are almost always in a controlled environment. On the other hand, if I were shooting sports and just HAD to get that "first-shot" of some baseball player shooting steroids in the dugout, I'd own a set of PWs. Because with PWs I would feel that my "first-shot" reliability factor would be increased in spite of the fact that my Chinese triggers have not yet failed a single time. You can just look at them in comparison to PWs and know which is going to be more reliable.

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