Wireless flash triggers?

Started Dec 18, 2012 | Questions thread
srr2
New MemberPosts: 17
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Re: Wireless flash triggers?
In reply to srr2, Jan 2, 2013

Thanks once again for the time you all took to reply.  It's much appreciated.

I looked at every product recommended in this thread and finally took the plunge with the Cactus 5.  It appeared to be the closest match to my needs (and actually proved to be even more versatile than I originally anticipated) and was clearly the most cost-effective.

Bought three dual sets from Midwest Photo Exchange.  So far, I'm very pleased with their service.

Anyway, they finally arrived after many holiday-related slowdowns in transit.  Unpacked, added batteries (I really like the spring-loaded battery trays) and hooked them up.  100% success!  No fiddling, tuning, or channel selection.....  nothing.  Just set the camera to TX and the lights to RX and presto....  perfect.  And to top it off, they work without a hitch in the presence of two high-power 2.4GHz and one 5GHz WAPs.  When you're not using them, the RX/TX switch offers a center-off position so the batteries aren't drained while you're not using them.

They have a hot-shoe trigger built in so they can also fire my (35 year old) Sunpak Auto 221S in addition to providing a tripod mount for it which it lacked.  I'm impressed with this level of compatibility.  The Sunpak outputs a Voc of 37VDC with a "low" current of 120uA.  This is within the 300Voc rating Cactus claims, and it worked immediately the first time I tried it.

There are two downsides:

1) Single-source availability.  MPEX is it unless you want to order from Gadget Infinity in Hong Kong and pay very high shipping rates.  As it turns out, if you go with MPEX's slightly higher price and their lower shipping cost, it's essentially a wash compared to GI's price plus shipping.  Since MPEX offers a 1-year warranty and exchange within the US, this is basically a no-brainer with respect to these two sources.  There are no other reputable/viable sources that I found.

2) (This one kind of ticks me off)  They don't ship enough cables to use both units in a dual kit in "receive" mode.  They *assume* that someone buying a dual kit is using it 1 TX and 1 RX.  I expect situations where I'll use it 1 TX and 4 RX, so I'm at least one cable short.  In fairness, MPEX has a clear picture of what's in the box, and an unambiguous written list, so I'm partially at fault for not studying these items closely enough, but then I didn't expect to have to do that since the stated purpose of these is RX&TX and RX&RX, so there's a bit of blame to go around for the natural assumption that the kit comes with the necessary parts for RX&RX operation.

Bottom line: So far, highly recommended in situations where you don't need the capabilities of a PW or its ilk.  High value/$.  It works without any fuss.  I trust MPEX as a source.

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