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Thread: Flash trigger

  1. #1
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    Michelle

    Flash trigger

    Hi, this is probably a silly question. I bought a studio light starter kit from Amazon. It came with a flash trigger that has one 16-channel transmitter and a receiver. The kit had 3 strobes. Do I need three receivers for each strobe in order to fire them at the same time?

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Flash trigger

    unfortunately,yes. Each strobe has to be attached to a receiver which receives and then transfers the signal from the transmitter to the strobe. I got the PocketWizards, which are wonderfully efficient,easy to use and reliable, but buying one for each strobe just hurts, as they are not cheap.

  3. #3

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    Siggi-short for Siegfried

    Re: Flash trigger

    Confused-my studio lights are triggered by one receiver and transmitter,the other are slaves,I can trigger them by on camera flash or off camera flash without transmitters or receivers at all

  4. #4
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Flash trigger

    You could trigger the receiver on one of the lights using the transmitter and then optically slave the other two lights (assuming that they have this fairly common functionality). The optimal way would be to use separate receivers on each of your lights. I don't know how talented you transmitter / receovers are and if the connection with the lights has any level of integration. With my PocketWizards I can individually control three separate banks of lights right from my camera in 1/3 stop increments (my lights have this remote capability built in via PocketWizard receivers).


    It's hard to give a more definite answer without knowing more about your equipment. but if you bought it from Amazon, I suspect your setup is probably fairly basic.

  5. #5

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    Re: Flash trigger

    Most studio lights have a photocell slave built in, if yours are like this you use the radio trigger to fire one and that will trigger the others. Unless you are using fast shutter speeds at the limit of the focal plane shutter, or a fast moving subject, you should have no problems with the minute delay between the first flash and the triggering of the others.

  6. #6
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    Re: Flash trigger

    Thanks all for your kind help. My kit from Amazon did not have any operating manual and that's why I am so confused about how to use it. Could someone kindly tell me how to slave the other strobes with one transmitter and one receiver? There is no digital display on these strobes. But I can manually control the power by 1/8 stop. There is also a sync socket in the back with a cable. Thanks

  7. #7
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Flash trigger

    I would suggest that you set up a couple of lights and try firing off one of them. If the second one fires you will know that you have a slave that works. There should be a test button on the back of the units to trigger it. If not, set up your camera with the trigger and receiver on one of the units to see what happens. Again the second unit should fire.

  8. #8
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    Re: Flash trigger

    Thanks Manfred. Should I sync them to the same channel? I tried to sync each strobe with a different channel and mount the transmitter to the hot shoe on the camera while attaching the receiver to one of the strobes. When I pressed the button only the one with the receiver fired. The other two didn't fire. But they all worked individually.

  9. #9
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    Re: Flash trigger

    I don't have the advantage (or disadvantage) of havng studio strobes that can be controlled from my camera. However I can trigger all of the strobes from my camera. I use a YinYan infrared trigger on my hotshoe and this fires my strobes with a burst if IR light...

    The disadvantage is that in order to adjust the power of the units, I must be at the unit. The power is not controlled from the trigger or camera. I also need to be where the optical slave can "see" my trigger and I cannot shoot when other people are shooting their flashes because their flash will trigger my slaves...

    However, my trigger can fire any number of studio strobes, was very inexpensive (around $20 U.S. Dollars) and has been working for years without a fault. The only maintenance I do is occasionally replace the AA batteries off which the trigger works and remove the batteries if I am not going to use the trigger for a long while.

    But, the optical slave of the studio strobe will be bypassed if I have a trigger attached to a strobe such as a receiver or a sync cord.

  10. #10
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    Re: Flash trigger

    Thank you Richard.

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Flash trigger

    The reason you can select multiple channels is so that you can choose a channel that works for you. These are unlicenced frequencies that walkie-talkies, wireless microphone, radio-controlled toys, etc. use. You wouldn't want to be working in a room adjacent to one where another photographer has set up and is shooting on the same channel. He would be firing off your flashes and you would be triggering his. If you are finding inconsistent results (i.e. your flashes are misfiring), change channels to see if this helps.

    This is over and above the banks I described in my first posting. These are a sub-set of the channel and allow you to control the lights independently. I don't know if your units are sophisticated enough to have separate banks.

    So, to answer your question. All of your flashes should be on set on the same channel. If your units work like mine, the unit with the receiver will run using the receiver (and is the master flash) and all other units will work as optical slaves and will be triggered by the master. Remember, the sensor on the slave strobes have to be able to detect the flash from the master, otherwise they will not fire.

  12. #12
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    Re: Flash trigger

    Well explained. Many thanks!

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