Wireless flash triggers

RichardC

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Hi. A question for all of you seasoned wireless trigger users.

I currently use 2x FL50R and 1x Metz 52AF-1 speedlights with an EM1.2 and EM1.

I have a large octagonal soft box where the flash is situated inside (meaning you have to take the damned thing to bits to change a setting), and two 60cm conventional soft boxes on boom arms. Other than to change the batteries, I don't want to have to keep clambering over everything to access the flash unit.

I want a wireless trigger system which will allow me to control the output from all three lights individually, ideally just like the Olympus remote system, but without the need for line of sight.

Does such a system exist?

Are the systems flashgun specific ie, work from profiles (so I would need a system which accommodated both of my types of flash) or 'system' specific, ie, emulate the manufacturer's own remote system which the 'compatible' flashes are designed to work with.

Can't see too much detail on Amazon :) The Godox XPRO-O-TTL system seems to do what I need but I can't seem to find which things I need to buy to attach to the bases of the flashguns.

Alternative suggestions welcome.
 

alex66

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I think the Godox triggers can do this, but like you I have not been able to find enough info to be sure. Also I am looking to get a simple but wireless set up over buying a cabled set up.
 

algold

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AFAIK Godox triggers only work with Godox flashguns, but I can be wrong here.
I have a set of Cactus V6 (Mk I) triggers, which work nicely with a mix of different flashguns - Oly FL600r, Metz 58FA1 and Canon 430ex. Mk 1 only supports the remote power control of individual flashguns from the camera.
Cactus V6 Mk II also supports cross-brand TTL and HSS.
They are quite expensive and you will need one transceiver for your camera and one for each flashgun. May be it will be cheaper to buy a new set of Godox TTL flashguns and a Godox TTL trigger - that is, if you need TTL and not just a remote power output control.
 

christofp

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AFAIK Godox triggers only work with Godox flashguns, but I can be wrong here.
I have a set of Cactus V6 (Mk I) triggers, which work nicely with a mix of different flashguns - Oly FL600r, Metz 58FA1 and Canon 430ex. Mk 1 only supports the remote power control of individual flashguns from the camera.
Cactus V6 Mk II also supports cross-brand TTL and HSS.
They are quite expensive and you will need one transceiver for your camera and one for each flashgun. May be it will be cheaper to buy a new set of Godox TTL flashguns and a Godox TTL trigger - that is, if you need TTL and not just a remote power output control.
I went the cheaper way. From Metz52/OlyFL600r to GODOX x-Pro trigger and TT350 / TT685 / V860ii system. By selling the old flashes for a good price I managed to swap the flash system without additional costs. And I am quite happy with my new setup ...
 

RichardC

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I am pretty sure with the Godox you just need to buy a receiver along with the transmitter I just bought their system which I am happy with.
That is what I'm guessing - but it's just an educated guess. I am inclined towards the Godox but will track down the manufacturer and email them first.
 

RichardC

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AFAIK Godox triggers only work with Godox flashguns, but I can be wrong here.
I have a set of Cactus V6 (Mk I) triggers, which work nicely with a mix of different flashguns - Oly FL600r, Metz 58FA1 and Canon 430ex. Mk 1 only supports the remote power control of individual flashguns from the camera.
Cactus V6 Mk II also supports cross-brand TTL and HSS.
They are quite expensive and you will need one transceiver for your camera and one for each flashgun. May be it will be cheaper to buy a new set of Godox TTL flashguns and a Godox TTL trigger - that is, if you need TTL and not just a remote power output control.

I agree in that I don't think there will be much in it, I understand your logic. I have grown attached to the two Olympus flashes though, and I want to keep them for the time being. I'm also going to get a more powerful Metz at some point too.

Don't actually use TTL (but might want to), but I do need to be able to manually set the outputs and vary them without reaching up above my head and trying to remember which way to move the dial and by how many clicks :)
 

algold

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I agree in that I don't think there will be much in it, I understand your logic. I have grown attached to the two Olympus flashes though, and I want to keep them for the time being. I'm also going to get a more powerful Metz at some point too.

Don't actually use TTL (but might want to), but I do need to be able to manually set the outputs and vary them without reaching up above my head and trying to remember which way to move the dial and by how many clicks :)
In this case Cactus V6 will do just fine.
Mk1 if you only need manual power adjustment from the camera, and Mk2 if you need both manual and TTL for different brands of flashguns. Transceivers have preinstalled profiles for many different makes and models. They are quite well made and pretty reliable.
 

Robert Watcher

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I can tell you from recent first hand experience in professional shooting sessions both outdoors and indoors - that the Godox system is surprisingly good and the best investment I have made in flash gear in a long time.

Previously I used on occasion a radio flash trigger and receivers with hot shoes and plug adaptors purchased from China probably 7 years ago - to fire my FL50r flashes outdoors or my Elinchrom studio lights indoors. I still have the trigger a four receivers, but never use them. They were only $30 or so - worked fine - but not always dependable —- and of course exposure had to always be Manual. You will need something similar to that to use your current flashes.

Before coming back to Canada a few weeks ago (from my home in Guatemala), I ordered a Godox flash and trigger (original one, not the Pro) to see if they would be any use. At $195 Canadian dollars for both including shipping, it was worth a gamble as I had gotten rid of my last FL50r last year and had 2 family portraits to shoot within days of arriving in Canada.

The trigger on my camera (em-1) fired dependably from even distances of 30-40 feet away outdoors on a bright day, as well as with my Godox flash in a soft box indoors. Incredibly, I accomplished both shoots in full TTL mode - even in the soft box - and use the High Speed Sync setting outdoors where the shutter speed had to be high because of the brightness —— in the past I just forgot about using fill flash in that situation. The basic Godox trigger as well as the Pro, both allow full +- exposure control of many flashes without having to touch the flash unit.

This week I am ordering a second Godox flash so I don’t have to take my studio strobes on a large indoor family portrait shoot in a weeks time. For me the beauty of their system is that all their flash equipment works together in the same way and with the same features of high speed sync and ttl functionality - that includes super compact flash, to FL50r replacement flashes, to powerful portable 200ws flash, to studio flash. And once you have a trigger for your brand of camera, it will fire all Godox flashes that are dedicated to any brand. As well All Flash units can function as trigger and receiver, so there is no need for the trigger if you have two flashes.

I have been quite impressed. Last week I purchased their PRO S-Type Bracket for holding the speed light (no more strain or broken hotshoes) and allowing Bowen’s speedmount boxes and reflectors to be attached. Also they have a bracket for Elinchrome and one other bayonet mount.

This was the package that I received ($156.00 USD). Included handy colour temp filters, plastic dome and very handy little bag that I am using to carry around 2 flash units and a bunch of brackets, clamps and batteries in the other side.

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ijm5012

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The problem is that Godox does not make a m43 receiver that you stick on the hot shoe of the flash, they only make the transmitter.
 

Robert Watcher

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The problem is that Godox does not make a m43 receiver that you stick on the hot shoe of the flash, they only make the transmitter.

True. He would have to go with one of the radio transmitters (cheap and less dependable) like I have from China, or the more expensive Radio Poppers or Pocket Wizzards and the like (expensive and dependable). But full manual control only, with Olympus gear - and with the cheap ones, no way to control the flash output from the trigger on some.

A month ago, I was considering a more dependable brand name trigger, but I realized I could have a whole Godox setup for less money. And the pluses of having TTL and HSS with pretty close to the same output as my fl-50’s. My current Elinchrom and Multiblitz studio strobes, I can just fire optically as I have been doing all along.
 
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Robert Watcher

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The tt350 is wonderfully small to go along with mounting on an Olympus body like my E-M10 or E-PL8 - but no where near powerful enough to provide the output of an fl-50 flash. I have considered getting a tt350o though, to throw in my pocket for those personal social events that I attend. Also could use it on camera for a wireless trigger for off camera flash.
 

inkista

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Whether you want to go Cactus V6II or Godox depends on how attached you are to your FL50Rs and Metz.

Cactus V6II will let you use TTL, HSS, and have remote power control over legacy TTL speedlights, if you also purchase V6II transceivers to act as receivers and attach to the feet of your flashes. You have the inconvenience of having to add on a trigger (i.e., remembering to bring them and batteries for them), but you don't have replace the speedlights themselves, and you can mix and match any other-system (e.g., Canon, Nikon) TTL speedlights into your setup. But you are also going to be limited to speedlights for future expansion, now that the RQ250 looks like it's going to be a no-go. Cactus does have two speedlights with built-in radio triggers (RF60 and RF60X), but they have single-pin feet so are manual-only on a camera hotshoe.

Godox lets you have TTL, HSS, and remote power control over any of their TTL speedlights (TT350/V350, TT685/V860II) that have a built-in radio transceiver; and HSS and remote power over any of their manual speedlights (TT600/V850II). But there's no add-on receiver for four-thirds TTL legacy speedlights in the system yet (the X1R receivers at this time are only for Canon, Nikon, and Sony. Doesn't mean it'll never exist, but the delay means they get to sell more Godox speedlights, so chances are they aren't going to rush to provide them any time soon). But you do have the convenience of built-in triggers that don't require additional batteries and simplifies setups. And the Godox system also includes bare bulb flashes and both battery-powered TTL and AC-powered manual studio strobes across a wide range of power outputs and price points.

If you want a TTL/HSS speedlight that has roughly the same output as the FL50R, then the TT685-O (US$110) is probably the Godox unit you want. Unless you're really sick and tired of dealing with dozens of AAs, at which point the li-on pack powered V860II-O (US$180) may be more desirable; the pack has roughly 3x the capacity of 4xAAs. Otherwise, the two units are UI and feature identical, aside from the V860II not having an external battery pack port. However. The TT685-O and V860II-O cannot do optical "RC" master/slave (I find this annoying, because the Canon, Nikon, and Sony versions can be master slave in the wireless eTTL, CLS/AWL, and WL "smart" optical systems, respectively and I have a GX-7 with an RC master in the pop-up).

The mini TT350-O (or its li-on version, the V350-O) are good for balancing on small mirrorless bodies, but underpowered in comparison. They only swivel 270º, have no recycle beep, no sync port, and no external battery pack port, and are less capable radio transmitter units than the X1T-O or XPro-O transmitters are (smaller range, fewer features). They also don't get firmware updates as often as the TT685/V860II. If you don't need a smaller unit (and given that you shoot with FL50R flashes, it looks like you don't), it may not be worth it.

If you gang together your three speedlights in a bracket, then you may also want to look at the Godox AD200 bare bulb flash, which has roughly the same power output as three speedlights. :) It has no flash foot and is designed solely for off-camera use, and has the power output of a very small studio strobe in a speedlight-sized package. It also has a ton of accessories (round head, extension head, LED head, dual bracket, and comes with both bare bulb and fresnel heads). It does TTL, HSS, and remote power control as a slave to an X1T, XPro, 350 or 685/860II.

You could also look at the Nissin Air and Di700a, it's more expensive, but has receivers. Like Cactus, it's mostly limited to speedlights.

If you don't need TTL/HSS, and you just want remote power control, you could look at the Yongnuo YN-560-TX and the YN-560III, YN-560IV, YN-660, YN-720, and YN-560Li. But expanding to bigger lights or adding in TTL units becomes a serious PITA.
 

ijm5012

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FWIW, I have an AD200 and a V860II, and they’re both fantastic. It’s so nice being able to shoot both off camera with my Nikon or Olympus cameras (I have the Pro transmitters for both systems).

It’s more expense, but I would highly suggest dumping the existing gear and going all Godox/Flashpoint for simplicity’s sake down the road. It’s a very nice flash system.
 

alex66

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The tt350 is wonderfully small to go along with mounting on an Olympus body like my E-M10 or E-PL8 - but no where near powerful enough to provide the output of an fl-50 flash. I have considered getting a tt350o though, to throw in my pocket for those personal social events that I attend. Also could use it on camera for a wireless trigger for off camera flash.
I think I will go for the more powerful set up its about £20 more for a much bigger output.
 

inkista

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FWIW, I have an AD200 and a V860II, and they’re both fantastic. It’s so nice being able to shoot both off camera with my Nikon or Olympus cameras (I have the Pro transmitters for both systems).
Word. I have a TT685-C that I use with TTL/HSS/remote power control from an XPro-C on a 5DMkII, an XPro-O on a GX7, and an XPro-F on my X100T. My two TT600s can do HSS/remote power from my Xpro-C and XPro-O (but is having HSS issues with the XPro-F). It's not a perfect system, but it is perfectly usable.

It’s more expense, but I would highly suggest dumping the existing gear and going all Godox/Flashpoint for simplicity’s sake down the road. It’s a very nice flash system.
If you are in the US, a lot of us would also recommend purchasing either the Flashpoint R2 gear from Adorama, or Godox 2.4 GHz gear from B&H, because they're directly supporting the units with 1- and 2-year warranties. They can't actually do repairs, but they can replace units for you. It's a big difference between having someone in NYC answer your emails and having all your emails to Shenzhen be ignored. Part of the low-low pricetags on these things comes from Godox shoving customer support off on the retailers, so who you buy from is important.

The V860II and TT685, while great speedlights, aren't quite up to the level of the OEM speedlights, though, for on-camera use. TTL consistency/accuracy may not be as great, and AF-assist can sometimes be iffier. In addition, there's no lock button for the head; tilt and swivel movement is held in place by simple friction and some pretty viscous grease. We're all kind of dying to see if they've improved any of these issues with the rumored round-head speedlight (read: Profoto A1 clone) that may be out for Christmas. :) Magnetic mods, here we come. If you want to see a good in-hand review of the Profoto A1, Neil van Nierkerk has a youtube video. I figured, after the AD200's round head accessory was announced, that this was probably in the works.

I am hoping, though, that elv can talk them out of using unprotected 18650 li-on cells and into using protected cells or a cartridge of some kind, if not the VB-18 the V850II and V860II use. The comments thread on the Yongnuo YN560Li announcement has been eye-opening.
 
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Robert Watcher

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The V860II and TT685, while great speedlights, aren't quite up to the level of the OEM speedlights, though, for on-camera use. TTL consistency/accuracy may not be as great, and AF-assist can sometimes be iffier. In addition, there's no lock button for the head.
I would actually have been surprised if the quality of these Godox units, was up to the impressive quality of my $700 OEM flash unit. My view is that the Godox (Flashpoint plus a few other private label names) is close enough to the power, consistency and build of my FL-50R, that I am fine with that. However, the Godox is superior when it comes to wireless flash useage and system compatibility including very inexpensive reflectors, softboxes and accessories. The option to have a flash with a lithium battery is impressive too - high number of flashes with consistent fast recycle times - great for wedding photographers. I still would like to have one unit with AA’s though, just because of the easy availability of those batteries if you can’t charge the lithium battery for some reason.

Being the original poster is using an Olympus camera, it is good to know that the O versions of Godox flash, do NOT support Auto Focus Assist. Hopefully someday that feature will be added for on-camera use.

There is no lock button or switch, however there is a twist screw for tightening the flash into a hotshoe. So the flash isn’t going to just fall out of the hotshoe I wouldn’t think. This is less of an issue when using the flashes for off-camera lighting. Exspecially if using the inexpensive bracket that grips the flash by the head and allows any number of studio type accessories to be used with the flash.

Several years ago I purchased the Yongnou flash and within the first few months, the plastic cover on the front broke and the glass bulb inside broke. I didn’t use it after that. It was a fine enough flash, but I think my Godox is a little sturdier.
 
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ijm5012

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There is no lock button or switch, however there is a twist screw for tightening the flash into a hotshoe. So the flash isn’t going to just fall out of the hotshoe I wouldn’t think. This is less of an issue when using the flashes for off-camera lighting. Exspecially if using the inexpensive bracket that grips the flash by the head and allows any number of studio type accessories to be used with the flash.
He was talking about the rotation & swivel of the flash head. On the Olympus flashes, there is a button that must be pressed and held in order to rotate the head. On the Godox units, there is not such button that needs to be pressed in order to rotate the flash head.

Honestly, having an FL-50r and a V860 II, the V860 II feels like the more premium product IMO.
 

Robert Watcher

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He was talking about the rotation & swivel of the flash head. On the Olympus flashes, there is a button that must be pressed and held in order to rotate the head. On the Godox units, there is not such button that needs to be pressed in order to rotate the flash head.

Honestly, having an FL-50r and a V860 II, the V860 II feels like the more premium product IMO.
Oh yes. I forgot about that button on the side of the head.
 
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