Using Older Electronic Flash With Digital Cameras; What Works—What Doesn’t Page 2

There are many such units on the market. AlienBees from Paul C. Buff offers the CyberSync 2.4GHz Radio Remote Control System. These advanced remote control components offer a broad range of 16 selectable frequencies to eliminate interference and operate up to a 400-foot range. The transmitter lists for $60 and the receiver for $70.

AlienBees CyberSync Receivers
AlienBees CyberSync Transmitter

BKA (Brandess-Kalt-Aetna Group) offers the SP Studio Systems SPWTAC1 One Channel AC Wireless Flash Trigger that fires any flash from any camera having either a hot shoe or PC contact. It consists of a small hot shoe-mount transmitter with an LED read-out and a receiver that plugs into the AC outlet of a studio flash unit. The range is 150 ft and it’s powered by a 12v battery. The MSRP is $58.

SP Studio Systems SPWTAC1 One Channel AC Wireless Flash Trigger

Booth Photographic distributes the Cameron Radio Flash Trigger, a 433MHz unit having four channels and a range of 150 ft. It comes with a 3.5mm jack for studio flash sync ports but also has a 6.5mm adapter jack. There is a PC socket and touch-fastener tape to attach it to flat surfaces on the flash. It uses two AAA-size batteries. The MSRP is $100.

Cameron Radio Flash Trigger

Dot Line Corporation handles the RPS Studio Wireless Flash Trigger Kit that has four channels. The kit that lists for $60 includes a transmitter and receiver and extra connections for various types of studio flash units.

RPS Studio Wireless Flash Trigger Kit

JTL’s DigiFirer Radio Trigger & Receiver System offers eight optional channels with a digital display. It uses a low trigger voltage (5v) for camera safety. It has a 120-foot range. The trigger has a large test button and the receiver has a reset button. The DigiFirer Radio Trigger & Receiver Set lists for $150.

JTL DigiFirer Radio Trigger & Receiver Set

The Metz 5368 Mecalux 11 Auto Slave flash trigger is intended for use with Metz hot shoe flash units. It’s a small device that will fire a Metz flash when a signal is received either via optical or radio pulse. The MSRP is $89.

Metz 5368 Mecalux 11 Auto Slave

The Morris LED 4-Channel Radio Trigger Kit consists of a battery-powered transmitter and receiver that have a range of 150 ft. The four adjustable channels let you use it in situations where other photographers might be using radio slave units, too. The receiver unit has both a 3.5mm RCA sync adapter and a PC cord. It operates on two AAA-size batteries and has an MSRP of $159.

Morris LED 4-Channel Radio Trigger Kit

The OPUS OPL-WTS 4 Channel Wireless Flash Trigger System from Nadel Enterprises has a transmitter that includes terminals for PC cords and 3.5mm sockets and has an 80-foot range in open space. The receiver accepts PC cords and also works with a standard 6.3mm jack. Both components require a battery. The MSRP is $100.

OPUS OPL-WTS 4 Channel Wireless Flash Trigger System

The Wein Sync-Link by OmegaSatter can be connected to your digital camera’s hot shoe to send an infrared signal to any flash having a built-in optical slave to make it compatible with digital cameras. It’s lightweight, compact, uses infrared technology, and has a broad operating range. The MSRP is $70.

Wein Sync-Link

Quantum Instruments has several sophisticated models, including the Radio Slave 4i with four channels ($354, street) and the new FreeXwire with eight channels and sophisticated wireless TTL capability ($185, street).

Quantum Radio Slave 4i

Quantum FreeXwire

Tamrac’s MicroSync Digital slides onto the camera’s hot shoe and the receiver fits into a studio flash sync input terminal via the RCA 1⁄4” mono plug or a two-prong household sync input. If your digital camera has an electronic shutter release input you can also fire your camera from a distance away. The kit MSRP is $170.

Tamrac MicroSync Digital

PocketWizard from the MAC Group offers the brand-new MiniTT1 for Canon digital cameras and will offer models compatible with Nikon products soon. The small transmitter locks onto the camera’s hot shoe and works with one or more PocketWizard transceivers (like the FlexTT5). It connects with and interprets Canon’s E-TTL II data and digitally transmits any changes made on the camera flash compensation dial seamlessly to the flash units. The MSRP is $199.

PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5

The Tristar (APV) Model IRX-12 is a universal flash trigger that attaches to any camera’s hot shoe. When the camera shutter is fired, the unit sends an infrared signal to your AC-powered flash unit to fire the flash. The range is 100 ft. Most models of larger studio flash units have an infrared receiver built into the flash head. It measures 4.4x2x1.75” and weighs about 4 oz. A cord for use with cameras having a PC socket is included.

Tristar (APV) Model IRX-12

In summation, with the proper digitally-compatible accessory you can safely and successfully use your older version of hot shoe, handle-mount, and AC-powered electronic flash units with your new digital camera. But do your research first to make sure that you can work safely and effectively with any combination you choose.

• AlienBees—
• BKA (SP Studio Systems)—
• Bogen Imaging, Inc. (Metz)—
• Booth Photographic (Cameron)—
• Dot Line Corp. (RPS Studio)—
• JTL Corp.—
• MAC Group (PocketWizard)—
• The Morris Company—
• Nadel Enterprises (OPUS)—
• OmegaSatter (Phoenix and Wein)—
• Quantum Instruments, Inc.—
• Tamrac (MicroSync)—
• ToCAD America Inc. (Sunpak)—
• Tristar (APV)—
• Zeikos—


avalon's picture

I have read full above article, there are providing very relevant information about the transmitters and receivers. AvalonRF is also providing different kind of digital wireless microphone.

Zhivago's picture

The HV suffix of the Vivitar 285HV does not mean it has a high trigger voltage, it means it can accept a high voltage supply from an external battery back. Paradoxically, the HV version has a lower trigger voltage than the plain 285. That is because the HV ones were introduced later, when high trigger voltages were recognised as an issue. Vivitar were hardly going to trumpet that their flash had a potentially dangerous voltage.

On the other hand, Vivitar modified the circuitry of the 283 quietly with no change of model number, which means you may or may not get a safe one. The Vivitar 285 was a 283 with more features.