Suggestions or a simple wireless flash extension device, please.

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Back in the day, when I used film cameras, I quickly learned that you don't put it your flashgun the accessory shoe - you get an extension lead and hold it in your other hand. Then you can angle the flash so that your subject doesn't look like an underfed vampire.

Today, you can't seem to buy extension leads like that - but there are many wireless devices.

I've trawled through many of these. All I want is the simplest reliable wireless remote trigger that will retain TTL flash functions - the devices designed for studio are too complicated, expensive and look like a nightmare to set up in a hurry? Range is not an problem in this application.

Any suggestions please?
 
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Phil
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Depending on your camera and flash, it might still be possible to get a cable.

And again, let us know the gear you have already and we can offer suggestions for wireless (which is infinitely better anyway).
 
OP
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Thank you.

I have a Panasonic G90 and a GX9 (very differenti appearance but fundametally the same electronics inside)

The first cable I used went into a simple sych socket on a Zorki 4and was very light. The last one was a curly cable that went into the hotshoe of a Nikon F501 and was harder to handle. Wireless seems like a much better option because it's not going to get tangled in the scenery and presents some new possiblities, when I get used to it.
 
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Phil
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A Godox 6850 and an x pro O trigger will set you back less than £200, full TTL and HSS functions, even remotely.

The wireless trigger is no more difficult to use than the rear panel of a flash.
 
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Thanks again - video's make it look like the flight deck of the Enterprise but I suppose if I can find my way around a G90 it's not that complicated.
Added to my wish list.

My first flash was petalised, and used great big blue flashbulbs so it's been a learning curve :)
 
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Phil
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All modern flashes are fairly complex, though in use (once setup for what you want) there’s not often a lot of fiddling to do.

But it’s occurred to me that both the trigger and the flash will feel large alongside an M43 camera. Godox do a small 350 flash, it’s fully functional and actually has quite a bit of power (and loads of people love it), but as it’s run from 2 AA’s the recycle time makes it all bar unusable IMHO.
 
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Chris
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I have a set of Neewer FM radio Flash triggers (PT-16GY)which have just the one central contact.
The set comprises the transmitter which fits the camera hot shoe and two triggers which fit on the base of the flash so they should work on any camera hot shoe.
Now they do not support TTL and I cannot guarantee they will work.
I used them on a Fuji XT-1 and a Fuji XE-2, they would trigger two Nissin i40 flashes quite happily when on the XE-2 but would not work on the XT-1( I think it was the hot shoe contact on the camera) , so I switched to a Godox system which works fine so these are sitting unused and I don't want to bin them
If these are of any use you can have them for free, just make a £10.00 donation to a charity of your choice.
 
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Dave
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Godox do a small 350 flash, it’s fully functional and actually has quite a bit of power (and loads of people love it), but as it’s run from 2 AA’s the recycle time makes it all bar unusable IMHO.
There's a version now with a Li-ion battery - for extra cash of course.
 
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I've seen reviews of of the Godox 360- they say that the lithium ion powered versionsare a lot more expensive, but rechargable and more powerful.
The last electronic flashes I used had 4 - 6 AA cells. The basic electronics haven't changed that much so I imagine just 2 AAs wont give you a wild ride.

I probably need quite a bit of power, so I'll stick with the larger version - Li-ion powered, of course.

The trigger might be a bit big on a G90 (not to mention the GX9) but as long as it doesn't get in the way of the viewfinder, I can probably live with that.

Thanks very much for the offer Troutfisher, but I think I'll go the TTL route. To use my first flashes I had to write out a table for the aperture appropriate to the film speed, guide number and distance (fixed flash sych speed, of course).. I focussed, looked at the table set the incidated aperture... and the subject had gone home. If I'm going to catch up, I'll go the whole hog.

Thanks all :)
 
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Chris
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Thanks very much for the offer Troutfisher, but I think I'll go the TTL route. To use my first flashes I had to write out a table for the aperture appropriate to the film speed, guide number and distance (fixed flash sych speed, of course).. I focussed, looked at the table set the incidated aperture... and the subject had gone home. If I'm going to catch up, I'll go the whole hog.

No problem , if you go with Godox you should be fine.
 
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Charles Lent
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I began switching to Godox about 2 years ago. My initial purchase was two Godox TT600 speedlites and an X2T transmitter. Having full adjustment capability for each light from your camera position is a significant game changer. I have now completed replacing all of my studio lights with Godox/Flashpoint (Flashpoint is rebranded Godox) and now have 5 Godox speedlites in my field kit. I also have five JJC BP Series battery packs that plug into my speedlites for longer battery life. Each holds 8 more AA lithium Ion batteries, so 12 AA batteries total to power each speedlite. They run for hours now on the high capacity rechargeable batteries and the speedlites are ready for another shot in about 2 seconds.. I bought the X2T because it has a pass through hot shoe on top of it that let me continue to use my old lights as well as the Godox by stacking my old transmitter on top of the X2T so I could make the transition from my old lites to Godox/Flashpoint as time and budget allowed. I now have seven Godox/Flashpoint studio monolights and 5 speedlites, plus three X Pro transmitters (one for each camera) and the X2T is in my field kit, and as of April 2021 my transition to Godox/Flashpoint is now complete. It's a real joy to use a light control system that lets you do everything from the camera position.

Charley
 

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The other Chris
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If you want a simple cable and your camera doesn't have a sync socket you can get hot shoe adaptors that allow a cable to be plugged into them.
 
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If you want a simple cable and your camera doesn't have a sync socket you can get hot shoe adaptors that allow a cable to be plugged into them.
Thanks. I tried that (I had one for Nikon 501 back in the day) but I gave up after an extensive search on Amazon for on that would work with Panasonic MFT cameras - if you know of one online now, I'd be grateful for a link.
 
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Charles Lent
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How about this transmitter. It's designed just like the ones for my Canon and Fuji cameras, but designed for use on a Panasonic camera. It's output can control up to 16 groups of Godox/Flashpoint lights or any other brand of lights using a Godox/Flashpoint receiver attached to each of the other lights. Depending on the brand and model, these other lights may not have full adjustment capability from the camera location, but at least they can be triggered from it..

Both of these links are for Panasonic cameras, but I don't know anything about Panasonic MFT.

amazon.com/s?k=godox+x+pro+panasonic&crid=3H7NT7L3Q0M2F&sprefix=Godox+X+Pro+p%2Caps%2C170&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_13

or this one, which has 5 groups and a hot shoe on top, so you can stack your existing flash transmitter and continue to use your old lights and control system along with new Godox/Flashpoint. I bought one of these to fit my #1 Canon camera while making the transition to Godox/Flashpoint. My X2T is in my field kit, but also considered a spare for backup in case one of my Pro transmitters fails. The X2Tp will provide a great way to transition from what you have to these. Flashpoint is just rebranded Godox so it's the same thing under different name and catalog numbers.

amazon.com/s?k=godox+x2t+panasonic&crid=20W4ZY4RO8EPW&sprefix=godox+X2T+%2Caps%2C172&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_8_10

Charley
 
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Thanks for the suggestions CharleyL :)

Today, I trawled through Ali Express and found a suitable TTL curly synch cable. I'll get a flash next, and then, when I've learned how that works, the wireless kit. That flattens the learning curve gives me time to examine all the transmitters, and leaves me with a backup.
 
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Charles Lent
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The big + is when getting more than one flash, because one of these transmitters can control all of the adjustments on each light from the camera position, if they are compatible. Sticking to one brand helps you do this, as each brand of transmitter tends to only control the same brand of receiver/flash, unless you buy an add-on receiver for each flash that is compatible with the transmitter that you bought. With only one flash, and a sync cable you can at least get the flash off your camera, but adding from there can become more difficult. TTL is easy, but making separate flash brightness and zoom adjustments is not. Things get very complicated when controlling more than one flash or groups of flash units, as all adjustments of each flash unit must be done by going to each flash unit to make the adjustment. A sync cable only lets you trigger the flash from the camera. You can add more flash units and more sync cables, but you still must go to each flash unit to make adjustments, and then there are the sync cable trip hazards. 50 years ago I smashed a camera when I tripped over the sync cable. I never want to do that again.

You can actually do without sync cables if your camera has a built-in small flash. With today's speedlite flash units they all seem to have IR sensors built-in, so in close proximity they can be triggered when the small flash on your camera fires. But, put one behind an object and your camera flash won't likely trigger it. This even works when several different brands of speedlites are used.

The transmitters that I mentioned let you avoid the sync cables as well as allowing the adjustment of all of the flash units from the camera position. If you are buying a flash unit as well as the sync cable, it's best to pick a flash unit brand that you plan on expanding into in the future, since each brand seems to have their own version and operating parameters for their units. There is one transmitter soon coming to market that is supposed to work with many brands of flash units, but the price was incredible, something like $1000 US for just the transmitter.

I made my choice when upgrading from my old flash equipment to go with Godox and Flashpoint because their products are very reasonably priced and very reliable. Many other photographers, even pro photographers, seem to now be discovering and switching to these as well. The Godox wireless communication system for these is in the 2.6 ghz band, which is in the WIFI frequency region and it has little to no interference, at least here in the USA. My old equipment tended to misfire (actually fire when not ready to use the camera) sometimes when my wife operated something in the kitchen.

Charley
 
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The cable is a stopgap while I learn to use the modern flash which will be my next purchase - one complicated thing at a time :)

Thanks for the reminder to insure that the flash will be compatible with the trigger which will come next - probably all Godox.

I can imagine multiple flash units would be taxing to coordinate without a central control unit (the trigger) and I'm collecting YouTube videos about how to set one up. That's stage three - if I find I need that kind of setup...
 
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Chris
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I use Yongnuo triggers. They are very simple to set up and you can easily set up and control some complex lighting set ups. It was something I worried about when I started using them but now I rarely use my big studio lights and just use these with the speed lights. I like that you can control everything from the camera.

Using the flash hand held with a cable is ok-ish but you'll need a modifier and the small flash soft boxes do not soften the light much. It won't be long before you want a better diffusion and then you'll be putting the light on a stand.
 
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Charles Lent
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Yes, sync cables do work, and work well for one light setups to get the flash off the camera, and it's what I used for years with film and flash bulbs. We have come a very long way in photography and lighting since then. I'm on my third generation of radio flash triggers now, and will never go back, to even the last generation. This photographer's job is just so much better and simpler now. You can even use sync cables with Godox speedlites and transmitters, if you desire to link other brands of lights to the Godox equipment, but you will need to manually adjust these other lights by going to each of the other lights. All Godox lights can be triggered via infra red light too, so even the small pop-up flash on the cameras can trigger them, if nothing blocks the camera light. For me, I'll stick with my Godox X System. It's the most reliable and cable free way that I've ever used.

Speedlites frequently come with plastic diffusers that slip over the face of them, or you can buy them separately for many, and I have used these when a soft box is just too big for the occasion. These do a pretty good job of spreading and softening the light when you are in tight places. I also have two 15" square soft boxes, plus two 6 X 6" mini soft boxes that just slip over the speedlites for use when "smaller" is needed. As with cameras, your best choice is what you have with you, and you make do with what you have. Do your best to pick what will work for your budget and situation.

I chose Godox for my transmitters, speedlites, and studio lighting because it's reasonably priced, very reliable, and they offer both speedlites and studio lights that all work on the same communications system, so I can even mix using them if I should want to. Yongnuo has great transmitters and speedlites at reasonable prices too, but I haven't seen them offering any studio lights, yet (well, I've stopped looking for alternatives now.) Even at Godox prices, I have about $3,000 in lighting (speedlites, battery packs, monolights, and communication) invested in Godox and Flashpoint (rebranded Godox) so far. I recently added a Fujifilm camera to my herd, so now have a third Godox X Pro transmitter plus the X2Tc transmitter that I used when transitioning from my old lights to Godox/Flashpoint. It's now in my field kit with the 5 speedlites and other portable equipment and the X Pro transmitters are on each of my cameras.

Charley
 
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Charles Lent
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If you just want to trigger your flash wirelessly and can do without the adjustments and TTL control from the camera, the wireless flash triggers from Neewer are very reasonably priced and will work with most cameras, but they are not all that reliable. I've heard complaints from those who have tried them. They are a small step above sync cables, but that's about it.

When the desire to go wireless with control of your flash units from your camera location without using sync cables becomes more desirable, pick a brand of transmitters and receivers that will be reliable and will offer every type of flash that you will ever need, since there is no standard in place for these. Every camera and flash brand has their own design for flash and flash control, and for the most part they are not interchangeable. Each company makes a different version of their transmitters to match with each popular brand of camera. Then the transmitter outputs match their flash units, but not other brands. Godox does offer receivers to let you use other brands of flashes with their wireless system, but each receiver is different in it's outputs to match up with the other brands of lights.

There is a new transmitter coming on the market that is supposed to work with any brand of camera, but it's price will give you "sticker shock" at close to $1,000 US.
You can buy transmitters and speedlites for all of your cameras from Godox and still have money left over for spares, etc. and that price is only for the camera transmitter.

Charley
 
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Owen
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I initially went with Yongnuo 622s for my Nikon Speedlights, as they were the first realistic solution to offer TTL and HSS/tailsync over radio (Pocketwizard had the TT5 but it was notoriously finicky to set up and cost more than a small hatchback - and you had to add a second "thing" called the "AC3 zone controller" that looked like Noah used it to take his dream cruise marketing shots on top of the trigger if you wanted to actually influence the TTL exposure). I've still got half a dozen of those and they worked well.

Having used Nikon's optical AWL system though, I disliked having to "assemble" the speedlight before I could use it, with another set of batteries to worry about too. So I carried on using AWL whenever I could - just turn on the flash, raise the pop-up flash on the camera and set the power on the back of the camera. This was fine until the 3rd generation of the Nikon D8xx cameras - when they deleted the bloomin pop-up :-/ So a couple of years ago when the death of one of my D810's meant replacing it with a D850, I swapped them out for Godox V860-II's and a pair of X-Pro triggers. Now the lights work straight outa the bag again, and as Charley said - the other main Godox advantage is the same controller also works with bigger lights like my AD200 and right up to the P2400. Even the older Lencarta Safari II location light works flawlessly with it (as long as you swap out the radio for the 2.4GHz one).

Godox have also thought about some pretty niche use cases as well which I really appreciate. Like, for example, if your camera is mounted up on the ceiling, and you're triggering it remotely, you can configure the X-Pro trigger on the camera, not to assert power settings, and just fire the lights. This allows you to use a second X-Pro to control all the groups' power settings down on the ground.

It has the occasional hiccup - delivering random full power bursts on the AD200 requiring a battery out and back in again to restore normal operation (turning it off doesn't cut it) but on the whole, I never worry about the triggering with the Godox kit.
 
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Charles Lent
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Actually, for remote camera use, you can put an X2T transmitter on the camera and with the Godox App you can work through bluetooth to adjust all 5 groups of lights, TTL, Zoom of speedlites, and trigger the camera, all from the App on your cell phone. The App on the cell phone uses bluetooth to control the X2T, which then controls the lights through WIFI. Then, with a short sync type cable from the X2T to the camera external trigger input you can trigger the camera from the cell phone too. This camera trigger function doesn't work yet for all cell phones, but it will work with some. Not mine though, but I can adjust the lights through the App from my cell phone or tablet. I have both a radio trigger and a Bluetooth trigger for the cameras, so this App problem isn't a big issue for me. I usually use the radio trigger to trigger the camera, since it has longer range and works very well, but it won't control video use of the camera. The Canon Bluetooth remote will control both video and still of the camera, but doesn't have the range of the radio trigger.

Speedlites have many dual function buttons, where a short push does one thing and a long push does something entirely different, and this can lead to some confusion for new users. The fact that they can also be used as a transmitter on the camera, a receiver slave to the camera mounted transmitter, or be an independent flash that you can put on the camera hot shoe and use, can be a little intimidating until you grasp how this works and this kind of thing can be frustrating for new users. It took me a while of trying things and going back to the manual, which was too small for these old eyes to read, so I had to download the pdf version so I could make it larger to read it. Speedlites take a while to learn and the Chinglish (Chinese to English conversion) doesn't help matters either.

I had a lot of trouble understanding this App to Speedlite communication until I realized that the App was controlling the X2T transmitter on the camera via Bluetooth and then the X2T on the camera was controlling the speedlites. I had initially had the idea that the App controlled the speedlites directly via WIFI. Once I figured out that it controlled the X2T via luetooth, which then controlled the speedlite via WIFI my problem was solved.

Charley
 
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