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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:01 AM   #1
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Just wondering, they are usually sold under the Cactus name.

Ira
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 12:07 PM   #2
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sounds cool. what setup are you using? i suppose this somehow works through the wireless flash support? not familiar with it but looking to get into it somehow.
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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DorkUnderwater wrote:
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sounds cool. what setup are you using? i suppose this somehow works through the wireless flash support? not familiar with it but looking to get into it somehow.
No, it is more like the Pocket Wizzard, there is a transmitter that fits the hot shoe of the camera and receivers which attach to your flash units. This does not provide any form of TTL. Here is a link to one of the sites selling them: http://www.oriverphoto.com/Camera_Fl...r_DC_Type.htmlit is simple but reasonably effective.

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 1:03 PM   #4
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Got a set of them last year, they work and thats about anything/everything I ever did with them.

The transmitter is of descent quality, the receiver i've got is one that can be bended. And thats the weak part, I always have the idea that the complete thing was going to crash when using it.

http://martybugs.net/reviews/cactus.cgi explains it better than I can.

Ronny
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 1:16 PM   #5
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Thanks Ronny, good source. Now all I need is the pc cord for a Vivitar 285 flash unit.

Ira
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 1:24 PM   #6
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Gadgetinfinity.com sells them, too (and they also sell them on Ebay).

They are a Hong Kong based vendor with a very good reputation. Here's the 4 channel Cactus that works with newer Vivitar 285HV models. They have other models, too.

Cactus 4 Channel V2s Wireless system with one Trigger and one Receiver for $32.95 at gadgetinfinity.com

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 1:31 PM   #7
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rhermans wrote:
Quote:
Got a set of them last year, they work and thats about anything/everything I ever did with them.

The transmitter is of descent quality, the receiver i've got is one that can be bended. And thats the weak part, I always have the idea that the complete thing was going to crash when using it.

http://martybugs.net/reviews/cactus.cgi explains it better than I can.

Ronny
[img]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Eigenaar/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/img]
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Same experience here: really poor build quality. I get worried every time I mount the flash on it (on an umbrella holder). That is why I do not use it as much as I intended to.

I ordered it from Hong King via eBay: bad idea. The receiver came dead and had to re-send the package. The whole thing took, from the time I ordered first time until I had a good unit, 6 weeks. Should I need another receiver, I will probably order one from a US store, e.g MPex.

The major (and only?) advantage is of course the price.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 11:34 AM   #8
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DigitalAddict wrote:
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rhermans wrote:
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Got a set of them last year, they work and thats about anything/everything I ever did with them.

The transmitter is of descent quality, the receiver i've got is one that can be bended. And thats the weak part, I always have the idea that the complete thing was going to crash when using it.

http://martybugs.net/reviews/cactus.cgi explains it better than I can.
Same experience here: really poor build quality. I get worried every time I mount the flash on it (on an umbrella holder). That is why I do not use it as much as I intended to.

I ordered it from Hong King via eBay: bad idea. The receiver came dead and had to re-send the package. The whole thing took, from the time I ordered first time until I had a good unit, 6 weeks. Should I need another receiver, I will probably order one from a US store, e.g MPex.

The major (and only?) advantage is of course the price.
The reason I mentioned the Vivitar pc sync cord is that I plan to mount my 285s directly to the umbrella mount by their hot shoes, and then connect the trigger by pc cord. That way I can use rubber bands of even tape to attach the trigger to the light stand and it does not have to support the weight of the flash.

As for the price advantage, I could buy 10 of these for the price of one Pocket Wizard, for an amateur photographer this is a significant saving. The units can be modified for slightly better reliability and range. My flash kit is pretty rudimentary but for head shots and couples it works well and these remotes will make it even more flexible.

Ira
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 1:41 PM   #9
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I have this flash trigger. Purchased it from GadgetInfinity on eBay. So far I haven't had any major issues. Indoors, I was able to trigger the flash from quite a distance without many missed triggers. However, your mileage will vary. The mounting bracket on the receivers is pretty weak, even when the screw is tightened; don't expect to tilt the receiver at an angle with a hotshoe-mounted flash. Like Ronny said, the receivers will raise a hotshoe-mounted flash by a few inches, making it difficult to properly use on an umbrella bracket. If you're going to use the unit with umbrellas, use PC-sync cords or the Pentax TTL extension cord.

If you're going to use any newer flash units (AF 360 FGZ, etc), make sure to get the V2s model of the Cactus triggers. Just like the Pentax DSLR hotshoes, the hotshoe mount on the receiver can only handle up to 12V trigger voltages.

Do note that some brands may not work without modifying the receiver. Some Minolta strobes require a low reference voltage, which would require you to further ground the hotshoe connection by connecting its pin to a battery terminal. Some Canon flashes will trigger endlessly when connected to the receivers. The Sigma EF-500 ST will not trigger at all with the receivers. Do check the trigger voltage of your Vivitar flashes. The Vivitar 285HV is the only flash that will work through the hotshoe, though you can use your 285 through the PC port. A list of the compatible flashes is available here: http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/produc...66&cat=0&page=

Be sure to closely examine the PC-sync port on the receiver, as some people have reported that the poor build quality resulted in some units with ports that have the center contact almost touching the outer contact, resulting in short circuit.

If you have more than one receiver, be sure that you keep them at least 1 foot away from each other. I, along with many others, have noticed that when the receivers are in close proximity, they could either trigger each other randomly or cause one to not trigger.

From my experience, you'll be able to sync this trigger down to 1/180.

You are definitely getting what you pay for with this product. As an alternative, there is a new, but relatively unknown wireless trigger called the SM FlashWave. It's available through a company called G9Chon at g9chon.com. The site looks dubious, but people on the Strobist forum have purchased units from them and do like the performance of the unit. It's pricier @ $156 for receiver+transmitter, but it seems the quality and reliability is better than the Cactus triggers, according to Gene's Pentax.

Another alternative to the PocketWizards are the Elinchrom Skyports. They're priced slightly higher than the FlashWaves at $185 from Adorama, but come from a reputable company and have great range, apparently.

- Jason
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 11:24 PM   #10
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Hi Ira,

I have the same triggers as you do. I use it to trigger with my pentax 540 flash. It works great! I have the basic stobist setup; light stand, umbrella holder, umbrella and flash connected to the flash trigger on the mount, not by cord. The trigger does seem weak and i'm looking for a better way to connect it. It makes me nervous having the flash mounted on the trigger mounted on the umbrella holder, it really does not seem stable! Anyhow I used this setup at a recent SemiFormal that I attended and was asked to photographed. These are the results of using this setup.

http://tdotho.smugmug.com/gallery/45...iarC#266230438

Thanh
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