Cheap, reliable trigger for Alien Bees?
/forum/topic/1157638/0



formula4speed
Registered: May 08, 2005
Total Posts: 1693
Country: United States

I'm putting together a budget product shooting setup to take photos for a website. I've got a couple AB400s, shoot through umbrellas, stands, and my old Panasonic G1 (M4/3) to work with already. So what I need now is a way to trigger the ABs, the G1 does not have a PC port. I searched for hotshoe to PC adapters which are inexpensive enough, but the reviews are all over the place. I don't know anything about cheaper radio triggers, they seemed to be geared towards hotshoe flashes so I'm not sure which ones would have a PC connection.

Any suggestions for a specific product that is inexpensive but works well? Wireless not necessary, but would be fine. I'm hoping I don't have to drop the cash for Cybersyncs (which I know are good).



sleibrand
Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Total Posts: 918
Country: United States

Does your panasonic have a built-in flash? The Alien Bees have optical sensors that will trigger off any strobe.

Likewise if you do need a trigger, you would only need to trigger one of the Bees. The others should "see" the triggered one.

PBC does sell hotshoe to PC port adapters but I don't know how their price compares to others.



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

As sleibrand mention, if your camera has built-in flash (which I believe it does) you can use that to trigger the AB optically. Make sure the flash is in Manual only. If you use TTL you will end up with under exposed images because of the pre-flash.



Rick Ryan
Registered: Nov 11, 2006
Total Posts: 47
Country: United States

Also make sure Red Eye prevention for flash is turned off in the camera. That will generate a preflash as well.



formula4speed
Registered: May 08, 2005
Total Posts: 1693
Country: United States

It does have a built in flash, so I could try using them as optical slaves (I figured at least one would be firing that way). Should I be concerned about that effecting my exposure, or will it be too low power to be of consequence compared to the ABs?

I didn't realize PCB had the adapters, I'll check that out as well.



Waki
Registered: Jan 02, 2012
Total Posts: 239
Country: United States

Its $60 but I use a Wein IR optical trigger. A smallish shoe mounted flash that emits unseen IR to trigger the lights. My X100 doesn't have a port either and I sometimes want to use it with my studio lights and speedlights equipped with optical slaves. Works perfectly and supplies way more coverage than a pop up flash. I've bounced the IR flash around corners with good results. Its call the Wein Sync-Link. B&H sells them as do others.



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

formula4speed wrote:
It does have a built in flash, so I could try using them as optical slaves (I figured at least one would be firing that way). Should I be concerned about that effecting my exposure, or will it be too low power to be of consequence compared to the ABs?


Set your manual flash to the lowest setting you need to trigger the AB and it will not affect your exposure. If it affects your exposure simply use some form of diffuser to cut the hot shoe flash even more. A paper towel or tissue will do the trick and still leave enough power to trigger the AB. It doesn't take much as long as the optical slave can "see" the flash.



AlphaValues
Registered: Dec 15, 2011
Total Posts: 50
Country: United States

A lot of people dismiss them just because they're so much cheaper than PWs, but I don't use TTL or HSS. I'm completely happy with mine and have never had a problem that wasn't solved by a fresh set of batteries.

http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/cactus-wireless-flash-transceiver-v5-duo.html



ravisrajan
Registered: May 04, 2012
Total Posts: 177
Country: United States

AlphaValues wrote:
A lot of people dismiss them just because they're so much cheaper than PWs, but I don't use TTL or HSS. I'm completely happy with mine and have never had a problem that wasn't solved by a fresh set of batteries.

http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/cactus-wireless-flash-transceiver-v5-duo.html


+1 for cactus V5 system. I use them with my Einstein no issues at all.



swoop
Registered: Feb 11, 2005
Total Posts: 1491
Country: United States

http://www.microsyncdigital.com/home.cfm?CFID=4544667&CFTOKEN=38174837

Microsync's. I use them and I love them. Super compact system. You're not going to get the epic range of pocketwizards, but if you're going to be in the same room as your flash it works perfectly.