A&P Help me spend my money (strobist crap)...

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Idyfohu, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Thanks to OTAP I watched OneLight and am in awe...crazy shit and such an amazing DVD.

    So I need more...

    This is my setup, but I'm wondering why I should keep my current flashes in lieu of cheaper Nikons.

    SB-900 & SB-600
    (2) Manfrotto 5001B Light Stands
    (1) Umbrella Connector
    (1) 30" Convertible Umbrella
    (1) 28x28 Westcott Apollo Softbox (ordered and shipped)

    Need: (1) Umbrella Hot Shoe Connector:
    http://www.adorama.com/LTUSH.htm
    Want: (1) 43" Westcott Umbrella
    http://www.adorama.com/WEUC43SB.html

    My huge hangup is what I should do for Poppers. I don't want to go down the PWII road, cause they're too spendy.

    So either RadioPoppers JrX, CyberSyncs, or I'm even considering the YongNuo RF-602, which is damn cheap, but of course not in the same league.

    I've read a shitload of reviews/comments about each model and can't figure out what road to go. The CyberSyncs and RadioPoppers are about the same amount of money (About $200 for 1 transmitter and 2 receivers) and the YongNuo is about $60 for the same setup.

    So, what poppers do you recommend and why?

    Secondly, should I keep my current flashes? I'd like to do the occasional wedding, so I assume the SB-900 could prove useful here, I just am trying to think of a good reason to keep a $500 flash that a $75 one will do almost as well (off camera of course).

    Oh and if anyone here has any of this for sale, let me know for sheezy.
     
  2. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Guest

    cybersyncs are very good,
    i use the cactus v4's as said in the other thread... because they are cheap, have a built in hotshoe mount (dont need pc sync-hotshoe adaptors or any sort of cables), and i've heard a lot of good things about them. they work perfectly for me, ive used them up to 1/320th by cheating my sync speed


    i'm assuming the sb900 has faster recharge, and more power than the $75 flash
    so it might be worthwhile hanging onto it, since you have an sb600 already as well
     
  3. Waddup you?

    Waddup you? OT Supporter

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    sb900 and sb600 = CLS?
     
  4. bbp

    bbp bike watching troll king OT Supporter

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    yeah why don't you use CLS?
     
  5. Total Xenocide

    Total Xenocide OT Supporter

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    I think he's looking to be able to trigger his flash inside the westcott apollo, which I don't think is possible with CLS since the flash will be inside the softbox.

    I was debating over the same triggers not too long ago, Idyfohu. I decided to go with the Yonguo rf-602s and haven't really looked back. I love them for the price. Not 1 misfire, half press = wakes up from standby, doubles as a remote camera trigger, etc. Only real downside is the proprietary sync port on the receivers if you're trying to sync something other than a hot shoe flash... but I just splice my own cords so it's no biggy for me.

    I would almost recommend the rf-602s to you, but the reason I was debating over the RP JrXs is because of the studio version and its ability to remotely control the power of TTL flashes. You have the added advantage of shooting Nikon, so you have the DIY RP cube hack readily available. I mention this because in order to change anything with the flash once it's inside the westcott apollo, you'll have to either unzip the bottom or undo the velcro and reach inside, so having the studio would be nice... but it can't control the SB900...
     
  6. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Yup, exactly. CLS is awesome and built-in of course, but it's not reliable outdoors and I plan on doing more outdoor shoots than indoor. Not to mention that $200 is a drop in the bucket compared to all my other gear (not to say that it's not important).

    You're spot on with the JrXs too. I read about the hack, but just another cost, not to mention that it's not compatible with my SB-900 (almost makes me want to sell this and buy a SB-800 instead). Then the other issue is that the SB-600 requires the hot shoe slave, which is another $20 if I go with another route...ugh. PITA.

    "Only real downside is the proprietary sync port on the receivers if you're trying to sync something other than a hot shoe flash..." This is probably naive, but else is there to sync? Another camera I suppose, what other purpose is there?

    Care to elaborate on any other thoughts with the Yonguo? I'm thinking this is the route I might go since it's 1/4 of the cost of the other top-tier options and if I have a bigger need, I'll just upgrade.

    Thanks for everyone's input...and of course Bob, I gotta do my research on the V4s too.
     
  7. tetsuo

    tetsuo And shepherds we shall be...

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    i started with the cactus v2's (the v4's weren't out) and i had really good luck with them triggering flashes. the problem i ran into was the durability. the sync port quit working on one of them, so i had to put the flash in the hot shoe and it just didn't feel very stable in there plus it put the flash about 2.5" higher up and off center from the umbrella. i upgraded to the cybersyncs and haven't regretted it once. i only have a single transmitter and a single receiver, but all of my flashes have a optical slave except my 550ex.

    i do have a couple of the yonguo 460 flashes and they work great. i'm not sure about their triggers, but the build quality of the flashes seems pretty solid.
     
  8. jshively

    jshively OT Supporter

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    The only problem is the 600 does not have a PC port but a hot shoe would solve that.
     
  9. jshively

    jshively OT Supporter

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    I would keep the 900 because selling it to buy a 800 you will not save that much money. Maybe dump the 600 and you could probably get 150 or so for it.

    The 900 could still work as a walk around flash.

    I am mostly just talking out loud and throwing out options because I have looked at similar setups lately and I have both a 900 and a 600.
     
  10. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    If I were buying a trigger system right now, it would be the Radiopopper Jrx Studio's and i'd make my own RPcube so I could control the power of my strobes with the dials on the studio.

    That would be fucking awesome.
     
  11. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    I've only heard good things about the cybersyncs, plus the compatibility with ABs down the road is temping. Too many options and too many work-arounds to make shit work...blah.

    Talking out loud is good, I'm listening. What other options have you considered? The RF-602 is really looking more and more appealing. Aside from receiving a DOA unit, it looks like people are having good success with them and they also can trigger my shutter, which is a plus on my POS camera that doesn't like the ML-L3 remote.

    After getting sick from reading so much shit about the differences including the RPcube mod, my understanding is that I wouldn't be able to control the power level on my SB-900, but all older Nikon flashes would work. I hate the fact that I'd have to spend an extra $20ish bucks too for each reciever, which means each trigger is about $80...ugh. Although the control would be pimp.
     
  12. s14brent

    s14brent Active Member

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    the sb900 is the problem child for the rpcube's for me as well. i use the radio popper jrX's (3studios and 1basic) and they are absolutely amazing. you can't go wrong with the basics either though, basics are very reliable as well.

    prior to those i used elinchrom skyports, never had a misfire or any problems with those and they're smaller! I just wanted to be able to control the power on my speedlites and white-lightnings. these are a bit more costly though.
     
  13. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    I've heard more negatives about the skyports, but obviously have no experience using them personally.

    It's really bugging me that the SB-900 isn't compatible otherwise I think I might've splurged on the JrXs. The CyberSync commander IMO is too expensive (although awesome) and big, but the flexibility there would be nice as well.

    So that leaves me with few options...god damn it.
     
  14. Total Xenocide

    Total Xenocide OT Supporter

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    Studio strobes for the most part. But the Yonguo set actually comes with a cord for most studio strobes, it's just that I recently picked up some Lumedyne 067x 400 w/s packs and had to splice a HH connector to it.
    If that didn't make sense at all... then another example would be the Sunpak 120j from OneLight

    That's basically what I decided to do. I don't actually see myself needing to upgrade anytime soon as I haven't run into a problem with them yet. I friggen love them for the money
     
  15. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Cool, thanks for the explanation, makes perfect sense.

    Ya, I'm thinking of sticking with my setup for now and then I'll add strobes as needed and as/if deals come up.

    Quick question, with the Yonguo, I'll just need a hotshoe slave adapter for my SB-600 correct? The SB-900 won't need anything additional to work with the included setup?

    This is the one I'm planning on buying (Shooting with a D700):
    http://cgi.ebay.com/RF602-RF-602-for-Nikon-D700-D300-D200-D3X-w-2-Receiver_W0QQitemZ150418203597QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item23059fa3cd#ht_6621wt_1167
     
  16. Total Xenocide

    Total Xenocide OT Supporter

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    SB600 has a hot shoe right? You should be able to just slap it on the rf602 receiver, so you shouldn't need any kind of adapter to make it work with the setup you linked to.
     
  17. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Yup, has a hot shoe...I guess I'm reading reviews and crap too much. I just know some triggers require a hot shoe to PC connection...regardless, I'll slap this on and then buy a $15 connector if necessary.

    Thanks mang for the input.
     
  18. jshively

    jshively OT Supporter

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    I kind of went through the whole gambit of should I trade everything for an alienbees with a vanabond setup, another flash, etc.

    Right now I really do not have much desire to shoot people so a lot of my photography I am focusing on food/plants/zoos/random stuff that does not move. I have just decided that I should use what I have until my needs exceed my hardware.

    If I do anything I will probably dump the 600 and pick up a second 900. I really like the 900 and this way I would have a backup for when I eventually break it (I am a clutz).
     
  19. jshively

    jshively OT Supporter

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    Of course now that I say I have no desire I will magically become interested in people and be right back to what to do what to do.
     
  20. percent

    percent deluded

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    About 2 months ago, I started to change my flash system from optically triggered full manual to CLS. I bought a SB-800 and 2 SB-600s and couldn't be more disappointed with CLS. It sucks outside. And interesting placements are damn near impossible. It is downright hard to get the flash to fire and not be in frame with any sort of wide-ish lens.

    So, i'm selling the 600s (see other thread). Keeping the 800. Bought some rf-602s. Bought a YN460 to replace one of my Sunpak Auto 30DXs (one broke awhile ago, one still works). But nothing came in yet.

    When the YN460 gets here, i'll buy another if I like it, or buy another 30dx if i still prefer them to the Yn460. They both cost about the same.
     
  21. jshively

    jshively OT Supporter

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    Edit: never mind. I really just need to use what I have instead of trying to constantly upgrade....
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  22. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Ya, CLS inside works great and I just got my Apollo Softbox yesterday and it works great with CLS (the flash is pointed towards the rear of the box and bounces back and has been 100% reliable, but of course, once you go outside it's a whole new animal. I ordered some RF-602s, so we'll see how those fair (I've heard a lot of great things for these POS eBay triggers) and I'm thinking about selling my SB-600 for two Yonguo II cheap flashes just for fill/hair/background light.

    Ya, you and me both. Although, I do need some umbrella brackets...have any for sale/any recommendations?
     
  23. jshively

    jshively OT Supporter

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    I have one of these:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/90709-REG/Medalight_PGSH_Universal_Umbrella_Bracket_with.html

    and

    http://www.amazon.com/Bogen-2905-Swivel-Umbrella-Adapter/dp/B0000AE64T

    I cannot tell a difference.

    I also just ended up using the speedlight stands that came with both the SB600 and 900 instead of buying different ones such as http://www.amazon.com/Tiffen-300-SHO-Stroboframe-Bracket-Mount/dp/B00009UTL1/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_b
     
  24. Idyfohu

    Idyfohu New Member

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    Oh, this is perfect actually as I've been thinking about going with the Manfrotto, but obviously it's more than double the cost of the basic umbrella brackets since you have to get the coldshoe adaptor too.

    Sweet, guess I'll stick with the "cheap" plastic ones. I was thinking of getting a nicer one just because of the added weight of my softbox, but really, it's not heavy, even with an additional umbrella bracket (so I can tilt it).

    Thanks mang.
     

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