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Thread: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

  1. #1
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Just got my flash (no more renting it!) from HK last week. Still very new to flash.

    My understanding between off shoe flash cord and flash triggers is that for the flash cord, it allows me to use the flash off the camera while flash wireless triggers works similarly but via radio frequency (can fire a few flash at one go), am I correct?

    So which is a better investment? Should I just get a flash wireless trigger or flash cord is good enough? I dun think I need both, one of them will be sufficient right? I have plans to get 1 more slave flash in future. So expansion is part of the consideration before I get one of these.

    Any advise for me?

  2. #2

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    There are definite benefits of using wireless triggers over sync cables, but when it boils down to it, they both do the same thing.; fire your flash.

    How you plan to shoot plays a big factor on which will be better for you.

    Sync cables are a lot cheaper than wireless systems and have less to go wrong at the end of the day. You can still have multiple flash units in your lighting setup by using a sync cable on one and then setting the rest to slave. You may want to start here given the low investment and then move to wireless systems once you get more used to remote flash.

    Wireless triggers are great if you hate cables attached to your camera or want to trigger multiple flashes out of line of sight (so the slaves cannot see the flash). Working in bright sunlight can also cause issues with slave sensors. A number of wireless systems allow you to adjust the brightness of flashes from the camera wireless unit which can be a real godsend when working with softboxes. Remember though that you need a transmitter and then receivers for each flash unit and that can be costly.

    I use the pocket wizard mini tt1 and tt5 as well as the elinchrom sky port system and love both of them. The pocket wizards support TTL on my Canon which is awesome in simple off camera setups (like macro). The sky port system allows me to adjust the flash output from the transmitter as well as fire test flashes and switch on the modelling light.

    You don't need to spend a fortune on pocket wizards or sky ports as there are a number of cheaper options available (around S$40 each I think I have seen somewhere).

    Try out both methods to see which you prefer and which works better for your shooting style. Check out the outings Palangsi runs as there is always a lot of kit being shared during the outing and you get to see it all in real world scenarios. There is one this Sunday morning and all are welcome.


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  3. #3

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Hi,

    Pls take note that the normal flash triggers will not be able to do TTL for u, unless u get those very high end sets that cost as must as 150 per set, for that, it can support wireless TTL. Alternative if u really wanna use TTL, u gotta attached that cord.

    For me i've tried almost everything before, and have seen many peeps buying wrong stuff as they bought all these stuff in a rush.

    I think u should borrow a set first and mess around with it first : )


    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    Just got my flash (no more renting it!) from HK last week. Still very new to flash.

    My understanding between off shoe flash cord and flash triggers is that for the flash cord, it allows me to use the flash off the camera while flash wireless triggers works similarly but via radio frequency (can fire a few flash at one go), am I correct?

    So which is a better investment? Should I just get a flash wireless trigger or flash cord is good enough? I dun think I need both, one of them will be sufficient right? I have plans to get 1 more slave flash in future. So expansion is part of the consideration before I get one of these.

    Any advise for me?

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    Just got my flash (no more renting it!) from HK last week. Still very new to flash.

    My understanding between off shoe flash cord and flash triggers is that for the flash cord, it allows me to use the flash off the camera while flash wireless triggers works similarly but via radio frequency (can fire a few flash at one go), am I correct?

    So which is a better investment? Should I just get a flash wireless trigger or flash cord is good enough? I dun think I need both, one of them will be sufficient right? I have plans to get 1 more slave flash in future. So expansion is part of the consideration before I get one of these.

    Any advise for me?
    is your off shoe flash cord referring to TTL cord? if no, and it just a simple sync cable, than don't spend money on it.

    cord or cable are less flexible, it will limit your flash to camera distance set up, and you or anyone may trip over the cable during the shot, unless you are shooting with table top setup.

    if you plan to have multiple flash set up in future, you still can work with only one receiver via set 2nd and 3rd flash in optical slave mode, but will be less flexible on the flash set up in term of positioning and distance, so best is look for a wireless trigger set is expendable, eg, able to have multiple receivers.

    Hope this help.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    thanks for the information guys! i will read up more and try to get my hands on both to try if possible but buying.

  6. #6

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    thanks for the information guys! i will read up more and try to get my hands on both to try if possible but buying.
    hello brother.. we are on the same boat.. haha


    pst few nights been reading all these stuff... eyes swollen now...

    i am considering cable and optical also.. but since catchlights recommend wireless i think it is good to go this way.... i thought about it and i feel wireless is the way to go...

    i think we should research on this sky port thing... being able to control the power and fire test shot as modelling light is very important... else we will need assistant to be there at the slave flash to fire for us to see how the effect works...

  7. #7

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    hi all

    i wonder how will TTL support using wireless help... how can the camera know the distance between the subject and those slave flash, or even for one flash setup, how can the camera know the distance if that flash is off camera?

  8. #8

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Magic

  9. #9

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    Magic
    u mean if i use pocket wizards for all my flashed, they will all be controlled via TTL? save all trouble on setting the power?

  10. #10

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Depends on what model pw u have
    Depends on what speedlights u using

  11. #11

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    Depends on what model pw u have
    Depends on what speedlights u using
    i see. i guess only 430 at the minimum... and this means $$$...

    but imho, TTL may not be very useful if say we will to place a 430 with a snoot for hair light, one 430 for background... i think for such things we still need to set the power manually... and if possible, use a flash meter to measure them to set the ratio right...

  12. #12

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by sfoto100 View Post
    i see. i guess only 430 at the minimum... and this means $$$...

    but imho, TTL may not be very useful if say we will to place a 430 with a snoot for hair light, one 430 for background... i think for such things we still need to set the power manually... and if possible, use a flash meter to measure them to set the ratio right...
    nvr use ttl or flash meter before.

  13. #13

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    nvr use ttl or flash meter before.
    all manual?

    how long do u need to get those light ok before u press the shutter?

    i have not started.. but just imaging all these steps scare me...

  14. #14

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by sfoto100 View Post
    all manual?

    how long do u need to get those light ok before u press the shutter?

    i have not started.. but just imaging all these steps scare me...
    when first started quite long, after awhile very fast once you set up your main the rest can adjust/tweak very fast.

    As long as you know what kind of setup u want/ where you want the lights, shouldnt have much steps.

    But don't take my word for it, i'm also like you just learning here and there.
    Last edited by eleveninth; 14th September 2010 at 06:21 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    Just got my flash (no more renting it!) from HK last week. Still very new to flash.

    My understanding between off shoe flash cord and flash triggers is that for the flash cord, it allows me to use the flash off the camera while flash wireless triggers works similarly but via radio frequency (can fire a few flash at one go), am I correct?

    So which is a better investment? Should I just get a flash wireless trigger or flash cord is good enough? I dun think I need both, one of them will be sufficient right? I have plans to get 1 more slave flash in future. So expansion is part of the consideration before I get one of these.

    Any advise for me?
    got both, the triggers give u more versatility. I seldom use the cord, only when i'm doing macro with my g10 nowadays. hehehe

    since u already planning for a slave, might as well go straight for the trigger. As to which one is good, I've heard the YN RF602 and the atlas are reliable. price wise i think the YN RF602 wins. lol

  16. #16

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Y wouldnt it know? tsk tsk, if ur trigger supports wireless TTL, what it does is that ur camera will sense it the surroundings and then send the data to ur flash and then it will fire the amount that is needed. The distance? there's pre-flash to sense it if i'm not wrong.

    So its convenient of coz lol. But the trouble it wireless TTL technically speaking will judge the surrounding and give u a normal correct exposure, but this might not what u want though when u r doing potraits espeically when u wanna do some special effects, glamorous shots or smth.

    Quote Originally Posted by sfoto100 View Post
    hi all

    i wonder how will TTL support using wireless help... how can the camera know the distance between the subject and those slave flash, or even for one flash setup, how can the camera know the distance if that flash is off camera?

  17. #17

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny888 View Post
    Y wouldnt it know? tsk tsk, if ur trigger supports wireless TTL, what it does is that ur camera will sense it the surroundings and then send the data to ur flash and then it will fire the amount that is needed. The distance? there's pre-flash to sense it if i'm not wrong.

    So its convenient of coz lol. But the trouble it wireless TTL technically speaking will judge the surrounding and give u a normal correct exposure, but this might not what u want though when u r doing potraits espeically when u wanna do some special effects, glamorous shots or smth.
    yes those slave flash can use a pre flash to get the distance between themselves and the subject (i think they use the lens AF point and focal length used to determine distance in fact), but how about the distance between these slave flashes to the camera?

  18. #18

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Hi,

    I tot u have gotten ur answer? LOL! When they fire the flash, ur cam will sense it. At the flash will be adjusted to get the right exposure thats all. U can shift ur cam near or further for all that they care. They'll just flash the necessary to get the right exposure determined by the cam. Over here they just 'see' the exposure. Did i answer ur qus or hav i ans some other stuff instead? LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfoto100 View Post
    yes those slave flash can use a pre flash to get the distance between themselves and the subject (i think they use the lens AF point and focal length used to determine distance in fact), but how about the distance between these slave flashes to the camera?

  19. #19

    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny888 View Post
    Hi,

    I tot u have gotten ur answer? LOL! When they fire the flash, ur cam will sense it. At the flash will be adjusted to get the right exposure thats all. U can shift ur cam near or further for all that they care. They'll just flash the necessary to get the right exposure determined by the cam. Over here they just 'see' the exposure. Did i answer ur qus or hav i ans some other stuff instead? LOL!
    yes i got it now... tks.. as long as the camera sense it, the job is done.

  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: off shoe flash cord vs flash wireless triggers

    to shoot in manual flash mode actually is not that difficult.
    to begin you may need a flash meter, but you can get away by doing some tests,

    first you need to understand the Inverse square law. - Four Flash Photography Basics we must know

    let says you set the flash at half power, aim at a subject at 8ft away, you get f8,
    at the same distance you set full power will be f11,
    set at 1/4 power will be f5.6

    you bring the flash (set 1/2 power) nearer to the subject, at 4ft away will be f16,
    further away at 16 ft will be f4.

    so now you only need to know if a bare flash at what power at what distance will give you what f-stop, and with a umbrella will give you what f-stop. just need some mental calculation when you change the power setting or the distance of the flash to subject.

    after some practice you will know the results will be more consistent than using the TTL set up, cos TTL will is measuring the reflectance of the light from your subjects, it will throw you out of the window if your subject wearing white or black outfit.
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