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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 26 Aug 2009 (Wednesday) 22:16
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Radio Popper JrX Studio Receiver Mini Review

 
Vermin87
Goldmember
1,036 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Location: CA
     
Aug 26, 2009 22:16 |  #1

Hey all,

My new JrX studio receiver came in today and I thought I should clear up some questions people might be having regarding the units with some photos.

I haven't gotten around to doing any range testing, but I think David Hobby's review (external link) covers that well enough.

EQUIPMENT

(1) Canon 30D w/ BG-E2
(1) 580 EX Mk I on camera
(1) Alien Bee B800
(1) Radio Popper PX Transmitter
(1) Radio Popper JrX Receiver

SETUP
-B800 approximately 2ft. from subject, camera right
-580EX used for triggering, pre-flash only, set to Group A, Manual Mode
-JrX set to Channel 1, Group C

-Post processing done in Lightroom 2.4, no adjustments applied.

TEST 1 - High Speed Shutter

-Camera Settings:
ISO 100, f5.6, 1/320s, 5fps
-B800 Flash Settings (Via PX Transmitter):
Power Level: 3, Tracking Enabled, Flash Dumped Prior to first shot

Results 1

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2543/3861073688_af15a94102_o.jpg

-Notice that I only got a flash in every 5 frames. This worried me at first. But then, I observed that my 580EX was taking a long time to recharge between flashes. Turns out it was shooting at full power for the pre-flash? Not too sure why...the output was off and it was in Manual Mode.
-Changed flash output on Group A (the 580EX) down to 128th for no risk of recycle issues for shot below

Results 2

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2464/3861073722_cfbbaa0753_o.jpg

-Faster response time, down to 1 flash per 3 frames. Hmmm...I didn't think the B800 was having any issues with recycling so I left that unchanged. Power level "3" is pretty low. There are 36 divisions on the PX transmitter. This equates to somewhere in the 1/32nd range on the B800.
-Changed to 3 fps instead of 5 fps for shot below

Results 3

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2511/3861073750_0f75436851_o.jpg

-Surprisingly, all shots had flash! So...seemed like 3 fps is fine for the Radio Popper units. I didn't mess around with this anymore since I normally don't shoot this fast anyway.

TEST 2 - HIGH SPEED SYNC

-Camera Settings:
ISO 100, f8.0, various shutter speeds, single shot
-B800 Flash Settings (Via PX Transmitter):
Power Level: 6, Tracking Enabled, Flash Dumped Prior to first shot
-580EX Flash Settings:
HHS enabled, 1/128th power

Results 1: Portrait

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2527/3860290705_83f621a015_o.jpg

-Notice the banding once the shutter speed hits 1/320 sec. I brought it back down in the same increments just to make sure. Yep, max sync speed is 1/250 sec on a 30D.
-How about in landscape?

Results 2: Landscape

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3426/3861073596_8272de8620_o.jpg

-Just for fun, I went all the way up to 1/8000sec. Again, a clear banding issue above 1/250 sec. Max sync speed is still limited to 1/250 sec.
-David Hobby posted a while back about tricking your lights into working for you beyond the max sync speed. I think this would apply here also. Again, my power level is very low. If I turned up my power level as I raised my shutter speed, I might have gotten some better exposure results. However, there would still be issues with banding, as I believe the shutter moves at a fixed speed, regardless of the "shutter speed."


OVERALL OBSERVATIONS:

-Even in Manual mode, the B800 output cannot be controlled from the flash directly, but must be controlled via the PX transmitter
-Make sure you dump after each change in flash power.
-Why are the dip switches not coded in binary?!?!?! The different channels and groups have this weird switch pattern to them. It would be much more intuitive to use binary instead of having to memorize their channel code. At least they give you a pocket cheat sheet.

SETUP AND MOUNTING PICTURES:

For those of you interested, here are some pictures showing my setup for the test and some ways I used velcro to attach the JrX to my AB B800.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3498/3861073912_b99eec1e45_o.jpg

01 - Flash mounted to the light stand with an Impact clamp, similar to the Bogen ones, I believe.
02 - Mounting position for my receiver. I figured down would be better since most of the time, my flash will be above me. If the receiver antenna was up top somewhere, at certain angles it would be blocked by the flash itself, lowering the potential range....not by much, but still. I'm not an EE...you don't have to do it my way.
03 - Notice the dummy sync port plug. Radio Popper supplies this with the Receiver. The B800's optical slave is disabled when a plug is in. This is crucial for when using the JrX with mixed ETTL setups.
04 - Close-up
05 - Velcro Placement
06 - Velcro Placement


Thanks for reading! Let me know if I can answer any questions.

If anyone wants to add to this, let me know and I'll add your comments/other reviews to this first post.

NOTE: I'm going to be MIA for a few days, so no immediate responses.
Also, I only own (1) PX Transmitter, (1) PX Receiver, and (1) JrX Receiver. Please do not ask about the JrX Transmitter.

Gear
Flickr (external link)
Website (external link)

  
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richardchoi
Member
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177 posts
Joined Oct 2008
Location: San Diego
     
Aug 27, 2009 00:44 |  #2

Haha, nice review. I got my JrX's in the mail today too. I tested everything out and it works like a champ. I had some problems with the JrX studio, but it turns out that in storage, the flash bulb in my AB400 came loose, after putting it back into place, everything was just fine (for a second, I thought I would have to turn in one of my units back already).

I think I'm gonna need to find some gaffer's tape and some velcro to mount my units (I like being able to keep it clean without hassle)




  
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DerekW
Goldmember
Avatar
1,211 posts
Joined May 2007
Location: Sarnia Ontario Canada
     
Aug 29, 2009 10:52 |  #3

Thanks for the mini reciew, I'd love to see some with the high speed andd increaed power to strobe. A useable 1/1250 would be nice




  
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Radio Popper JrX Studio Receiver Mini Review
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