Radio Controlled Speedlight?

FedererPhotographyFedererPhotography Posts: 7Member
edited August 2013 in Nikon Flashes
Any rumor of one coming out? I'm debating a switch to Canon to get this capability but would hate to take the loss needlessly on the switch if Nikon was going to release some RF-controlled flashes soon.
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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    This can be addressed in two of ways depending on your needs. One is to get some PoketWizard (more flexibility and options to suit your needs) or if you just want to fire the flash while it is mounted on your body consider the RFN-4 or RFN-4s (depending on your camera body) by SMDV. Note: the RFN's lack many of the features the PocketWiards have; but if all you are looking to to set off your flash while it is mounted on your body then this is a great option. Moreover, these options are fare more cost affective than to switch to an entire camera system...just to have wireless flash. The choice is your....good luck.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    I have a D800 and use pocket wizards, they work very well
    I would be nice, if Nikon had Radio built in, but I would not dream of switching to another brand just to get built in radio
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • FedererPhotographyFedererPhotography Posts: 7Member
    edited August 2013
    Perhaps I should be more specific in my needs/desires/usage -- because other people have previously mentioned "Just add one of the third party wireless triggers" before.

    I use upwards of 8 different SB800/900 speedlights during a given wedding (I don't care to debate why I use so many... it's just how it is). Being able to put these around corners or out of the way (or leave them where they are and simply get more consistent firing) or fire them off from outside the room would open up lots of creative possibilities. ... allowing me to get better images... allowing me to put more money in my pocket.
    I never use iTTL or other 'auto' features -- but I DO change the power of the remote flashes from the master all the time. I might have 3 speedlgihts around a dancefloor and turning one up to 1/16 while dropping another to 1/128 and turning the other off to get a specific effect and then go back to 1/64 for all 3 without having to pull down the lightstands is imperative. I do this dozens of times - moreso now that LED lighting has become ubiquitous (God, I hate LED DJ lights) Being able to trigger these lights with more confidence than line-of-sight offers would be awesome.

    I believe Golf007 is right -- I can meet these needs with the PocketWizard system at a cost of around 1800 dollars. But it's not really the cost I'm concerned about... it's functionality and dependability. This would also add an additional item to each flash setup, with it's own costs set of batteries, connections, protocols and points of failure. Not exactly 'ideal'. Also, this system is 'all-in' -- you can't have half of your speedlights triggering optically and half not -- if you put your master on a pocketwizard you can't do optical triggering anymore. I'm looking for MORE reliability and LESS complication... so, this isn't really a viable solution.

    Before anyone throws "radio poppers" out there -- they also work and meet the need. (they actually meet it better than the pocketwizards because they can be mixed-and-matched with optical triggering -- saving money) I bought some radio poppers early on and, simply put: I don't trust the company, the product doesn't work as advertised, the failure rates are high and the range is short.

    PitchBlack -- I hadn't read about the Phottix Mitros before. Thank you for pointing it out to me - looks like a great product (though the SB900 UI is hard to beat) However, it doesn't appear to meet the radio-triggering requirement without adding (yet another) 3rd party item to the mix. So it's a great option, but doesn't actually solve my problem.
    The Phottix Odin's look very interesting... but upon first glance still appear to require a 'middle-man' device -- a source for failure. Either way, thank you for pointing them out... I'll look further.

    I mean absolutely no offense with this question. Simple fact is that Canon has a solution that offers a functionality I desire... Nikon doesn't. I'm not slamming Nikon, I'm simply asking if anyone knows when they are going to add this functionality... because consistent remote flash control and triggering is important enough to me to switch systems over. (let's be honest, the cameras and workhorse lenses are basically identical for all but pixel-peepers... and for every 14-24 that Nikon has that's better than Canon's equiv... there is a 85 1.2 that Canon has that's better than the Nikon equiv. For a purely manual shooter (well, I use AF), the systems are functionally identical with the exception of this one radio-triggering point)

    Some of you might not find value in having integrated radio wireless triggering -- the same way you might not find value in the integrated optical triggering. However, I (and a large subset of my cohorts) would.
    Post edited by FedererPhotography on
  • I looked further and the Odin doesn't appear to allow you to have a flash on the actual camera... (keeping one on the camera is very very useful for when you have to impromptuly leave the area you have 'set up' with your remotes)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,069Moderator
    And you can't have an SB910 in your pocket for those moments?
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    . it's functionality and dependability. This would also add an additional item to each flash setup, with it's own costs set of batteries, connections, protocols and points of failure.
    I only use 3 SB 900s with PWs and yes checking the batteries, connections, protocols is a pain; fortunately, I don't have to use this set up very often


    Are Nikon going to add this feature in the future?


    Maybe with the D5 but this may l not appear until 2016


    If the Cannon system will cut the mustard, then yes may be you should switch systems

    I also hate led disco lighting

    PS could post a sample of your work




    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @FedererPhotography: If my memory serves me right, I believe that with the PocketWizard system it does allow you to turn on and off different zones, as well as, flashes attached to them. Having said that, I think it would be best to give their customer service center a call and speak to one of their techs/sales reps. They have a great support center and will be able to answer many of your concerns and set you on the proper path...given your complex setup. As for batteries and such, regardless of which system you go with, this issue will still be in present and need to be addressed accordingly.

    Best of luck and keep us informed regarding what path you take...specially if you call PocketWizard. :)
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Golf, it's not only switching flashes on and off, it's also to set them on various output levels by remote. I don't see how a pocket wizard is able to do that trick. As for batteries, I also prefer solutions with no additional batteries. They can fail, be out of power or remain at home because I thought I have them with me / and additional set of spare batteries.

    It appears once more that Canon offers better contemporary techniques while Nikon users need to buy tons of separate things to attach. Which actually can be a good thing, because all those contemporary stuff inbuilt in the cam costs a bit more...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    Golf, it's not only switching flashes on and off, it's also to set them on various output levels by remote. I don't see how a pocket wizard is able to do that trick....
    the PW AC3 Zone Controller allows you set various output levels by remote.
    It does not need, yet another battery, but it is very fiddly and cannot be "locked off"

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    I would seriously look at some user reviews before making the switch.

    There seems to be quite a few Canon shooters who don't like them too much.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Instead of using the AC3 Zone Controller to control flash output, you can also attach an SB-800/900/SU-800 on top of the PW to do the same (as you would for an optical system). Requires PW with ControlTL capability (FlexTT5 or MiniTT1).

    But an integrated radio system like Canon's is the way to go.

    (To the OP: the Canon system is also "all in" like PW. You either set all the flashes to radio, or all to optical. You can't do both at once.)
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    if you are going for a PW with an SB800/ 900; as the controller. I would go for Flex rather than the Mini, as while the Flex is bigger, it seems to have a greater range, uses the same batteries as the SBs and is generally more reliable

    I don't find the menus on the SU 800 very user friendly after using an SB900
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @JJ_SO: For your viewing pleasure.

    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @PitchBlack: That may be, however from a cost perspective on the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT @ $549 each where by the OP needs 8 of them...the cost alone for the flash comes to: $4,368 It sure make the PocketWizard system far more attractive. Note, this cost will be in addition to the cost in acquiring the new Canon camera gear and the lost taken in selling all Nikon gear (sell the Nikon gear is of course an option that my not be executed by the OP.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I was in the same place and now use the Phottix Odin with a couple of Strato II (trigger only) and love them. You are limited to 3 groups but I will sneak in the Strato II for a manually set "other" group. (Light up halls in the background, backlight, ambient light, etc.) The main reason I went with Odins is for the High speed sync. Pocket wizards are nice but just too damn expensive for what they really are. Very nice, but I have yet to trick up the Odin system yet.

    I have been using them for 3 months now, and have yet to have any issues with them, and I beat stuff up pretty good. The main thing for me is that They-just-work.

    Let me know if anyone want's more info on them.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @TaoTeJared: For the record The Pocketwizard MiniTT1 support High speed sync up to 1/2000, while the FlexTT5 goes all the way to 1/8000.

    Some info in the Phottix Odin would be welcome however. Always like to learn and get your input TTJ. Thanks in advance....cheers :D
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • @sevencrossing
    You can go see my wedding photography work (though since having my kid a year and a half ago, I haven't updated... seriously, I have only been in business for 6 years at this point and haven't updated my portfolio in 3... i better get on that. haha.) My
    wedding and newborn photography blog
    has some more recent stuff, but still, only like 4-5 posts this past year.

    @Golf007sd
    You are right, you can control zones remotely using the pocketwizard system... however, that requires an additional piece of hardware (with all the requisite failure points, complexity, and additoinal 'administrative' overhead that entails). Also, from my call to Pocketwizard, it also isn't mix-and-match with the built-in CLS (you can't have group A on line-of-sight communications and group B on PW and fire them both... so you need a lot of pocketwizards just to add ONE 'around the corner' flash). I thinking the best solution might simply be to get the old-school cheapo pocketwizards and have one setup purely dedicated to that type of image. (like a backlit snow shot, for instance)

    @Ade
    I did not know you couldn't do both LoS and Radio with the canon system. Hopefully, if Nikon comes out with RF, they won't have that limitation --- whcih brings me back to the OP... anyone have any rumors on an ETA for that??

    @PitchBlack
    There doesn't appear to be anything on the horizon for Nikon. - See more at: http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/1448/radio-controlled-speedlight#Item_17
    That's a huge bummer... but is the answer I was looking for.

    A system switch from Nikon to Canon actually isn't very expensive (because our gear tends to be more expensive than theirs)... it's switching to Nikon that really has people taking baths. That said, I do like my Nikon gear and I'm extremely familiar with it so I'm loath to change.

    @spraynpray
    And you can't have an SB910 in your pocket for those moments? - See more at: http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/1448/radio-controlled-speedlight#Item_17
    The Odin system seems like it would do it, but I like being able to just leave the area and know that I can still bounce-flash easily and quickly. It's EXTREMELY common for me to be working a dancefloor with a particular setup for a particular look that might be great, but not particular flattering for grip-and-grins...(from a few years ago) image Then have a Mother-of-the-Bride tap me on the shoulder and ask for a photo with her sisters... (which is obviously going to need to be taken with considerably different light) something that is easily done with a quick flick of the master to "on" and bouncing it. Additioanlly, sometimes I'll have the on-camera contribute to exposure just a touch... to fill in those dark shadows. I guess keeping a flash in my pocket wouldn't be the end of the world... hrm....
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I am using pixel king units. They are a simple pass through, so each flash behaves as if it is mounted directly. and you cannot vary output from a 'master'. iTTL seems to reliably manage multi-flash exposure this way, and my approach is to vary relative output based on flash or reflector distance to subject . One could adjust output at the flash but this is tedious.

    The transmitter does pass through to a hot shoe mounted on it.

    They support 3 channels, and three groups within each channel.

    I like them because they are simple and reliable and relatively inexpensive.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @FedererPhotography: Wedding photography and having proper lighting is without question a very complicated and tricky task to accomplish. One thing you may want to consider before parting with some cash permanently, is to rent some of the gear from Adorama Rental Co. That way you can get some idea of which direction to go. That is if you live within the USA.

    I wish you the best....Cheers
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Here is a good video for you to consider regarding batteries and charging them

    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Odins are just like Pocket Wizards with a SU-800. The only downside could be that Odins only have 4 channels where PWs have ...(32? or something really high) and the trigger from remote (but I can add that with the stratto or other cheap options). I'm never shooting around other photogs so it is not an issue. High speed sync up to 1/8000 (I have used that a lot) and everything else. I have been firing them through some pretty tricky situations and metal (interference) and they have worked flawlessly. Full TTL, a mix of settings, easily changeable from the unit on the camera, etc. It is just like changing settings with a PW & SU-800. I really haven't found anything that makes them pause/fail or anything where the PW did anything more. (I do like the AC3 top dial exposure PW has. Less fiddle time for sure.) If you think of it, I have the control module, 3 receivers, 1 Strato II transmitter, and 3 Strato II receivers. That's $540 for the Odin set and $210 for the Strato II. (I did have the Strato's first.) If you went pocket wizard, you are looking at $700 plus the SU-800 ($240) for the same Odin setup and then adding 3 basic PW triggers for $300. My Phottix odin cost me $750 vs $1,200 for the same PW setup.

    I'm not bashing Pocket Wizards at all - they are a great product and I'm sure have options that the Odins don't, but since I don't know that = I don't need them or would use them. They do have plastic feet - that is the only long term concern, but they also have metal screw adapter so that is how I usually attach them. So far they have been really reliable and easy to learn and use. There are not many that do high speed sync and the Odins work great and that is really why I went that direction over other 3rd party options.

    I have been looking at the Mitros flash to add but am waiting to see the reviews. As a backup/secondary (3rd, 4th+) flash it could be a great option to add units where the Nikon SBs are not really needed.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Quick note on Nikon coming out with a radio flash - I have never seen anything but I think they have too. 3rd party units have completely caught up to Nikon (power/zoom/features) and Phottix with the radio flash, along with Canon and theirs, I think they have too. We are close to an upgrade cycle for the 910 and even the Su-800.

    I was waiting but at some point you just have to do what you need to and prepare to grumble when Nikon dose release on a week later. ;)
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,582Member
    Nicely said PitchBlack. My Canon buddies can't understand the pricing on the new lens. I have to got use your example of what you get with Nikon compared to Canon. Thanks.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • I don't really expect unbiased info on a nikon site. It's fine. No offense taken... just like when you basically told me to not let the door hit me on the way out when I asked about a future capability Nikon didn't currently have. I expected it here.
    I've done the math with my (~40k worth of) gear and what I'd buy on the Canon side. It's not very expensive to switch, for me, with the gear I have and need. (I don't have anything longer than a 200 - so the tele's don't really matter a ton) Most of the additional cost would come from getting stuff that was better than what I can get on the Nikon side, like the 1.2 primes vs the 1.4 stuff, etc. or from the fact that I'd be potentially going from a used item to a new item (whcih comes with a new warranty... which has value). The added cost isn't really a nikon vs canon thing. So you can fanboy it all you want, but I've actually done the research.

    Either way, I'd rather not go through the annoyance of changing systems (and that wheel? blech!) so I'm going to keep on looking for a good solution. The Mitros look good, as does the Odin system. Perhaps Phottix will come out with a 'main' flash that combines the Mitros features with the Odin triggering. Money.

    Until then, I might need to just revisit the RP solution -- the ones I have are gen 1 and the new ones might be good enough for me to be willing to look past their shady business.

    Thank you all for the various information on the flash stuff, it's been extremely educational!

  • PhotophunPhotophun Posts: 43Member
    I just picked up a Pocket Wizard TT1 and two TT5s for use with my D7100 and Nikon speed lights. Realized after messing around for quite some time and then being the man I am finally giving in and reading the manual/website, that they are not yet compatible with the D7100. So I have expensive triggers for now but one day or some time this year there will be an update to the TT1 that will enable me to adjust the speed lights from the commander mode.
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