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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 25 Dec 2009 (Friday) 17:27
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Radiotriggers for my Sigma 530 Super

 
mannyboi
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Dec 25, 2009 17:27 |  #1

Hi!
New to this forum, and i need some advice on what triggers to buy for my flashes. This seems like a large, active forum, so i thought id give it a shot!

I have a 40D and two Sigma 530 Super, which i have been triggering with some cheap ebay-triggers for some months (Blazzeo Meg-Trig). Works perfectly in regular conditions, very few misfires even with two flashes. Only problem is that it outputs several flashes (like 3-5), but thats not the problem im adressing in this thread. The triggers cost me 18$ each, and they give great value for your money.

Seeing as i am combining my two favorite hobbies, snowboarding and photography, i need reliable triggers for cold conditions. Thats where the problems start. These cheap triggers refuse to work properly in cold (about 3c-5c and colder) conditions. Since i shoot snowboarding, this is a major issue. I have alot of misfires, and because i am using multiple flashes, its a even bigger problems. Shooting with these triggers in cold conditions is like playing russian roulette with light. There is no telling wich, or if they all, or none of them will fire. I just got contacted by a magazine that might want me to cover some events for them, and i need triggers that can make me seal the deal.

I need triggers that are reliable down to -30celsius, and have fairly good range. Ive looked at PocketWizards, but they are very expensive, and seeing that this is just a hobby (for now) i cant defend buying those 200$ each-triggers, especially when i would need three PW Plus II. I have taken a look at Elinchrome Skyport, and AlienBees' CyberSync-system. Anyone tried the 530 Super with any of these systems?

Some blog said that he had some major issues with his 530 Super and Skyport, with about 50% failing rate, which is totally unacceptable. Anyone tried this setup, and can (un)confirm this? Either way, this looks like a good priced setup as far as i can see, and i assume it would work well in cold conditions too. Anyone tried it?

Any thought on AlienBees CyberSync? Dont know if these work well in cold conditions either, but they are fairly priced and they seem to have good solutions. Dont know if they are fully compatible with my 530 Super though, anyone tried that setup?

And then, we have PocketWizards. I guess they are as reliable as a radiotrigger can get, but they are very expensive. I stumbled across some problems adressed in this thread, although that was a 500 super. If i at first go ahead and buy some expensive PWs, i wont accept any problems like the one adressed in the thread i mentioned. Have anyone tried the 530 super with PWs?

Alot of questions here, but i really need some advice, and some first/second hand experiences. Thanks for your time!

edit: just thought i'd mention it, i dont need E-TTL-support or loads of channels. Just a reliable trigger for cold weather.


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themadman
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Dec 25, 2009 17:44 |  #2

Anyone have any experience in the cold with Yongnuo rf-602's?


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40Dude6aedyk
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Dec 25, 2009 19:10 as a reply to  @ themadman's post |  #3

It's probably the batteries and not the electronics. Have you thought of wrapping your receivers in one of those chemical handwarmer packets to keep the batteries warm?

Or use these batteries: http://www.batterybank​.net/digital/master/aa​lith.html (external link)


Canon 40D; Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS, 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, 85 mm f/1.8; 580EX II; Sigma EF-530 DG Super; CyberSyncs

  
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110yd
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Dec 25, 2009 21:24 |  #4

Finding electronics that works reliably at that temp (-30C or -22F) is going to be very tough to do. Most of the semiconductors that are used are tested to commercial temps. You are asking for something considerably more (almost underhood automotive). The other components (Capacitors) will have a big change in value with that kind of temp change. I suspect trial and error on your part would yield results that would be more digestible. The price of a trigger with components that were tested at that temp would be through the roof..

Regards,

110yd




  
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MT ­ Stringer
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Dec 26, 2009 00:39 |  #5

Anyone tried the 530 Super with any of these systems?

Yep. Well actually it is the EF-500 DG Super and here in South Texas, it doesn't get as cold as you are talking about. Maybe 34deg F tonight! :-)

That's a Skyport receiver hanging off the bracket.

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reinis
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Dec 26, 2009 09:11 |  #6

I know you said radio-triggers, but how about optical trigger? cold weather shouldn't be a problem, and they are built-in into your sigma.




  
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mannyboi
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Dec 26, 2009 10:34 |  #7

40Dude6aedyk wrote in post #9262952 (external link)
It's probably the batteries and not the electronics. Have you thought of wrapping your receivers in one of those chemical handwarmer packets to keep the batteries warm?

Or use these batteries: http://www.batterybank​.net/digital/master/aa​lith.html (external link)

Yeah, I've thought of this. Though it is a extremely unpractical solution, and not something to count on in the long run. Id rather pay for some good triggers than relying on pocket-warmers on my triggers during shoots, and while packing my gearbag. Ive actually exchanged the two original alkaline batteries in the recievers with two aaa lithium-batteries from Energizer. Did this up front to my last shoot, and hoped that it would solve my issue, or maybe make them somewhat more reliable, which they unfortunatley didnt.

110yd wrote in post #9263444 (external link)
Finding electronics that works reliably at that temp (-30C or -22F) is going to be very tough to do. Most of the semiconductors that are used are tested to commercial temps. You are asking for something considerably more (almost underhood automotive). The other components (Capacitors) will have a big change in value with that kind of temp change. I suspect trial and error on your part would yield results that would be more digestible. The price of a trigger with components that were tested at that temp would be through the roof..

I see your points... That they are tested and "certified" for such extreme temperatures on paper doesnt bother me, but that they work in those temperatures, guaranteed or not. Basically im just looking for some first-hand experiences, and i guess PWs would do the trick.

A typical event which i would be sendt to cover just recently took place here in Norway, and the temperatures during the contest was at -27c. Of course this isnt the regular temperature, but when i buy some triggers for a couple of 100 dollars i want them to work with me when the cold sets in too.

MT Stringer wrote in post #9264156 (external link)
Yep. Well actually it is the EF-500 DG Super and here in South Texas, it doesn't get as cold as you are talking about. Maybe 34deg F tonight! :-)

Nice, thanks! Its not usually that cold here in Norway either, but it happens ;)
Good to see that your triggers work well with your 500 Super, i am thinking about giving the skyport a try. Found a nice kit with one transciever and two recievers for a reasonable price. The only thing worrying me is some problems adressed on this blog (external link). Unfortunatley, the shop that has the nice kit for sale is on the other side of the country, so i cant test them in the shop, ill have to buy them online and cross my fingers. I can always send them back, but returning items online is always a hassle. Good thing its working with your 500 super, i hope we can dig out someone who have tried the 530 super with the skyport!

reinis wrote in post #9265098 (external link)
I know you said radio-triggers, but how about optical trigger? cold weather shouldn't be a problem, and they are built-in into your sigma.

Thanks, ive thought about this. There are two problems though; other photographers on the same location, and range. When shooting a contest, there are usually 6-7 photographers who have rigged their strobes under the kicker, and a optical system wouldnt work out at all. I want to fire the flash from a long distance as well, so again the optical system wouldnt work out. Thanks for your tip anyway :)


edit:
I found a older topic, also adressing misfire-problems with the Skyport and a 530 (not-super), and it never got "solved" properly. Cant find any topics on CyberSync and 530 Super though.


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110yd
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Dec 26, 2009 11:37 |  #8

With out making this thread a design 101 thread, I will try to share some information. It does not make any difference whether you optically couple or use a radio, the laws of physics are still applicable. The extreme temp affects the electrical components (Some more than others). The value of the large capacitors in the flash change value due to the temp change. The capacity of your battery changes also. The best advice I could give you is to try and keep the batteries (and the rest of the electronics) from getting to cold. If you look at the specs of some tantalum or electrolytic capacitors, you will see that the value changes significantly over temp. I think if you do some experiments, you should be able to get predictable results.
Strange that you would be in Norway....I have been there and it's a great place.

Regards,

110yd




  
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40Dude6aedyk
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Dec 26, 2009 12:32 |  #9

If you want to know if a 530 DG Super works with CyberSyncs at normal temps, then I can report: No problems.

What are all the other photographers using to get their equipment to work in the cold?

Based on 110yd's posts, I would be using chemical pocket warmer packs.


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mannyboi
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Dec 26, 2009 15:13 |  #10

40Dude6aedyk wrote in post #9265859 (external link)
If you want to know if a 530 DG Super works with CyberSyncs at normal temps, then I can report: No problems.

What are all the other photographers using to get their equipment to work in the cold?

Based on 110yd's posts, I would be using chemical pocket warmer packs.

Great, id love to buy some CyberSyncs. The problem is that alienbees.com has decided to NOT ship internationally, and all of a sudden getting some CyberSyncs is alot harder for me. Atleast i can get Elinchrom here in Norway, AlienBees are making it hard for themselves. I am wondering if ill give Skyport a shot, and return them if they dont work out with my 530 supers. Id really like a first-hand experience!

Ill contact some photographers and find out what they are using to keep their recievers ready for action during their shoots. Thanks for the info 110yd, Norway is a great place indeed :)


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MT ­ Stringer
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Dec 26, 2009 19:20 |  #11

How far will your flash be from the camera?
Just curious. The Skyports are supposed to be good for 320 feet. I know I have triggered them at a baseball field with no problem. Only thing is, It wasn't a cold day.
Here's a pic. The camera was set up way down past first base at a high school game. I was over by third base so, it could have been close to 200 feet because it is almost 124 feet across the diamond plus the extra footage. I had the Skyport set up to trigger the camera every time my main camera fired a shot.

1) Remote camera setup

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2) Example pic of pick-off play at first captured by the remote camera.
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Radiotriggers for my Sigma 530 Super
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