Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?

Started Jun 18, 2012 | Discussions
Ramz
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Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
Jun 18, 2012

I have 5 Speedlights (3x SB800s & 2x S900s). Buying a receiver for all of them is expensive (5x ~$150-$200), so I want to use Nikon CLS whenever possible, and use radio triggers only when the flash is hidden (in softbox or behind an object) or if its really far away.

Must Have:

  • control flash power/modes from Camera (either incamera/SB900/any gadget)

Can live without (for radio triggered flash only)

  • TTL

  • HSS

What are my options? Ideally something that does TTL passthrough so my remote flashes get the CLS signals, and still radio trigger 1 or 2 flashes.

Looks like the Phottix Odin (released today) requires a receiver for each unit. Is that the same case with PocketWizard Flex/Mini?

Thanks
ram
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Ronj2
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ramz, Jun 18, 2012

They all require recievers & a transmitter. The new Phottix looks nice but IMO is now priced too close the PW which would be my choice. Nikon will soon be announcing a SB???? version of Canon's radio capable 600EX-RT flash unit which is excellend from what I have read. When that happens the writing will be on the wall for these expensive aftermarket add-ons. When you consider the price of these units and the price of the new Canon flash unit at $549 there's no point is spending the money on PWs etc when you can just sell you existing flash units and upgrade to the newer one and not have all that added complexity for add-ons. I have the Phottix Stratos which will hold me over until Nikon catches up with techology.

Thanks to Canon for being the first to come out with RF in their top of the line flash. Wth so many devices using wireless these day it amazing that the camera manufactures have taken so long to use RF instead of the old infrared technology.
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Ron J

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Ramz
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ronj2, Jun 18, 2012

Thanks for the answer. Yes, the prices of these are really crazy.

BTW Will Stratos do TTL passthough? I can pop a SB800 on top of Stratos and let Statos fire all its receiver (a hidden SB800 with Stratos receiver), and SB800 optically triggers other slaves (4 plain SB remotes).

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Ronj2
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ramz, Jun 18, 2012

Yes my stratos allow CLS to function when my SB910 is mounted on the tranmitter.

Sincerely

Ron J

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Ronj2
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ronj2, Jun 19, 2012

One of the things to consider with the new Phottix Oden is that you won't be able to use both your on camera flash and trigger the recievers at the same time like you can with the Stratos or with the PW system. The PW & Stratos are more useful in that respect.

Things will be a whole lot simpler one day when the built-in RF is included in most flash units. If PW would have a good sale I would switch over.
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Ron J

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Tom Reynolds
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ramz, Jun 20, 2012

Radiopopper units are designed to do this. Buy a slightly used PX transmitter for $180 - 200 and used JrX receivers for $60-80 each. This will also give you manual power control of units attached to JrX receivers that are "hidden" unlike most other options, including a few non-Nikon flashes if you know how to do it. Later, when you are rich you can buy a PX receiver for $250 new or less used, and get full radio CLS control for one or a group of flashes. Some learning curve is involved.

You need to attach the PX transmitter to a Nikon Master control device. All IR transmissions to other Nikon CLS flashes will continue to work as usual.

= tommy

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sic0048
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Price different between Phottix Odin and Pocketwizard min/flex system
In reply to Ronj2, Jul 12, 2012

The prices are father away than you might think at first glance. That is because to get the functionality of the Odin system with the PW system (with regards to controlling multiple zones of flashes), you must also add the AC3 zone controller to the mix. So that is another $80 in addition to the receiver and transmitter.

I just purchased the Odin system for Nikon with the transmitter and two receivers. Total cost was right at $500. To get that functionality in the PW system, I would have had to purchase a MiniTT1, and FlexTT5, and the AC3 zone controller. Total cost for that in today's Amazon prices is $716. So the PW system is nearly 45% more expensive.

The gap between the Odin system and PW system also gets larger the more receivers you buy since the PW receivers run $74 more than the Odin receivers.

Now obviously there are some features that the PW can do that the Odins cannot - like act as a remote camera trigger. So I am not trying to say that the Odin system is always the best choice. But if you need a TTL (and HHS) wireless flash triggering system, the Odin system can be much cheaper than the Pocket Wizard system.

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Ronj2
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Re: Price different between Phottix Odin and Pocketwizard min/flex system
In reply to sic0048, Jul 13, 2012

Another difference is that with the Odin you can't use a flash on camera like you can with the PW. At least with the PW you can add or remove the AC3. With the Odin you have to use the controller or put on the Photix Stratos on which you lose TTL control of the remotes. The PW is much more flexable. A pro photographer is not going to want to lose that over $200. I use the Stratos, as a result realize I wouldn't want to lose the ability of on camera flash when I need it, so I personally would upgrade to the PW when the prices come down (If Nikon does not come out with a radio capable flash unit first like Canon has).

IMO right now the PW are worth $200+ more.

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Sincerely

Ron J

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LA_CAMGUY
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ramz, Jul 13, 2012

Might want to try the ALZO iTTL dual hot shoe. I've been using it with the new Phottix Odin for Nikon and works great. One shoe for the ODIN and the other for my Nikon SU-800. Gives me control of 6 flashes from the camera...3 from the Phottix Odin and 3 from the Nikon SU-800. The key obvoiusly is the Alzo dual hot shoe...it "Y's" your flash signal information. Might think about it as an option.

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ScratchDisk
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'Y' or 'Dual' TTL cords
In reply to LA_CAMGUY, Jul 14, 2012

Hi, That sounds very flexible. I didn't have any luck with an Odin TCU for Canon on a Y or Dual cord

but I have been lucky using 2 Canon Speedlites on dual cords from a single Odin Rx. ETTL, M, HSS & SCS all work as they should More bang for your buck (or quicker recycling).
These dual cords are a bit of a law unto themselves IMO.

How are you liking 'Odin for Nikon' overall?

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LA_CAMGUY
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Re: Phottix Odin for Nikon
In reply to ScratchDisk, Jul 14, 2012

I'm really happy with the Phottix Odin for Nikon. Having the 300' range is absolutely the best. Using softboxes and umbrellas and not having to worry about line-of-site to the flash makes things so much easier (IMO). I really like the RATIO TTL feature that lets you set up 3:1, 4:1 or other ratios without hardly having think. What it comes down to is speed...you can do things so much faster...adjustments that use to take walking over the flash and then back to camera....thing of the past. Think about it...what's that kind of control and time saving worth when you are on a shoot?. Also, no special batteries..'AA's' that you can get anywhere. Gotta' love the high speed sync capabilty (1/8000th sec.) for those outdoor shoots. I could go on and on but bottom line is that for me the wait for the NIKON version of Phottix Odin was definitely worth it!

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sic0048
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Re: Price different between Phottix Odin and Pocketwizard min/flex system
In reply to Ronj2, Jul 14, 2012

I'm going to reply, but I'm not trying to be argumentative here.

You are right about loosing the ability to add a on camera flash when using the Odins. However, if you add an on-camera flash to the PW, you loose the ability to have different zones and be able to control them. So that is a huge negative for the PW system too.

At least with the Odins, I can get another receiver and use a flash bracket to have a flash located at the camera position. Not including the price of the flash bracket, it is still a cheaper solution that going with the PW system.

I realize there are other features that the PW still has over the Odins, but trying to add a on-camera flash is a work around with either system IMHO.

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KenEis
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Re: Price different between Phottix Odin and Pocketwizard min/flex system
In reply to Ronj2, Jul 17, 2012

I dont see why having an on camera flash is important at all. In all the scenarios I've used my PW plus 2s I've never wanted an on camera flash
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LandoftheCleves
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to Ronj2, Jul 17, 2012

Ronj2 wrote:

Nikon will soon be announcing a SB???? version of Canon's radio capable 600EX-RT flash unit which is excellend from what I have read. When that happens the writing will be on the wall for these expensive aftermarket add-ons. When you consider the price of these units and the price of the new Canon flash unit at $549 there's no point is spending the money on PWs etc when you can just sell you existing flash units and upgrade to the newer one and not have all that added complexity for add-ons.

-What have you read about a Nikon radio SB???--I'd like to read it too!

-Whether the writing would be on the wall would depend a lot on price and performance (stating the obvious, yes.) At Canon's $600 per speedli(gh)t(e) and $320 for a (bigger/clunkier) transmitter, you're only about $200 below two SB910s + PW TT1 & two TT5s, with considerably less range. The more flashes you add the more savings you get, but how many flashes need the radio control?

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Blackbirdone
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Re: Mix 'Nikon CLS' with 'Radio Triggers'?
In reply to LA_CAMGUY, Aug 5, 2012

Dear La_Camguy

That seems a great idea,could someone out there give me the name and website of a company that would supply a Alzo iTTL dual hotshoeI have been on there website but they don't ship to the United Kingdom.So if someone could give me details of a Ebay or other suppliers I would be most grateful
Paul

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Minglt
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Re: 'Y' or 'Dual' TTL cords
In reply to ScratchDisk, Jul 4, 2013

ScratchDisk wrote:

Hi, That sounds very flexible. I didn't have any luck with an Odin TCU for Canon on a Y or Dual cord

but I have been lucky using 2 Canon Speedlites on dual cords from a single Odin Rx. ETTL, M, HSS & SCS all work as they should More bang for your buck (or quicker recycling).
These dual cords are a bit of a law unto themselves IMO.

How are you liking 'Odin for Nikon' overall?

Care to share where you got your dual cord from for your PW.  I have been told by the guys at PW that it is not possible to have ETTL through a dual cord using 1 Flex TT5.  So I like to try it.

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