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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 04 Sep 2009 (Friday) 21:48
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CyberSync / 580EX II / Sekonic L-358 Review

 
pcunite
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Sep 04, 2009 21:48 |  #1

CyberSync / 580EX II / Sekonic L-358 Review

580EX II in slave wireless manual mode.

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For ages now I have been making use of five 580EX II flashes. One was always on camera acting as master. Using manual power control the 580EX II gives excellent shot to shot performance in a light weight, small, fast recycling (using Maha PowerEX batteries) package. Probably the best buy without going to SunPak 622 Super/Normal 400B/Elinchrom Quantra units.

Two 580EXII units working together. Master on camera, slave on the stand.
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There are two downsides to using 580EX II flashes in manual/ETTL modes:

* Light pulses are used by the master to tell the slave to fire. Outside or in a large room was nerve racking lining up the master flash to the infrared receiver window on the slaves. Sometimes because of distance or other environment elements you can not get them to see each other.

* There was no good way to meter the slave power output by yourself. In order for a Sekonic L-358 to not react to the pre-flash (sent even in manual mode) you need to press the Test button on the back of the master flash to fire all slaves, or you could press the Test button on each slave to measure a single slave's power output. Of course pressing that button and holding the Sekonic in the right position is not always practical. Thus you need to place the Sekonic carefully on something or ask your subject to hold it. Again not always possible.

The only real solution is to use wireless RF triggers to fix both problems.

Two CyberSync units working together. CST on camera, CSRB on stand.
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PRO:
* Made in USA.
* AA batteries for the receiver.
* 2.4Ghz RF band compatible with 580EX II.
* Fairly priced.
* Remote camera trigger support.
* Repeater mode for unlimited range.
* Super small Transmitter.
* Transmitter compatible with Sekonic L-358.

CON:
* No manual on/off switch.
* No selective quad triggering.

Using the CyberSync in practice is a wonderful feeling of freedom. With my second CST transmitter I purchased I just walk around anywhere in my scene I wish to meter and press a button. Easy as pie!

Sekonic in Cord Flash Mode. You can set it to Auto Reset Cordless Flash Mode if you don't want to use a cable.
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As wonderful as RF triggers are they come with one downside. Attaching them to your flashes! I hate tape, I hate Velcro, I hate things dangling from cords. The solution was to purchase a Female Hotshoe with Miniphone (3.5mm) Jack and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm adapter. This provides for a very elegant, safer solution.

Hotshoe with a 3.5mm and 3.5mm adapter to the CyberSync.
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Other Options:
* It is true that I could have gone with RadioPopper JrX units as they are in the same price range as CyberSync. I could have also even gone with RadioPopper PX units (double the price) to remotely control the power level from the camera. For ETTL flash work I think the RadioPopper PX is a good idea. For manual flash work... not so much. For manual work you need to be at the subject location to meter and at that point your so close to the slave flash you might as well just change the power right there. Also until a sophisticated master control panel comes out it is a bear trying to remember which slave is set to which power. The rudimentary controls to change the power I find frustrating with current designs.

* I don't consider the illegal Chinese triggers worthy of professional use. Your mileage may vary.

* Pocket Wizards would have cost me $1,190 for seven units or $2,065 for the MultiMax versions. Nuff said...

Please don't take this as a bash of other products. I am just reporting what works for me and how I arrived at this conclusion.

Thanks

My daughter sends special thanks to Paul C. Buff at Alien Bee, Lon Coleman at FlashZerba, and John Doe at Canon for your excellent products, service and support. Take care!

Isn't she cute!
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DerekW
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Sep 04, 2009 22:01 |  #2

She's cute and has almost the same color hair as PCB himself :)

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Can you provide a link to those hotshoes and adapters. That is a cool setup



  
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medic583
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Sep 04, 2009 22:06 |  #3

pcunite... great little write up :)

I've got a 580ex II and 580ex that I'm running with the sekonic and cybersyncs as well...


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jeromego
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Sep 05, 2009 00:53 as a reply to  @ medic583's post |  #4

that is a pretty smart way of plugging the receiver instead of using lanyards.

just curious, why didn't you plug the receiver directly into the 580EX2 ?


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manipula
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Sep 05, 2009 01:00 |  #5

I have to confess that method of attaching the receivers to the flash as opposed to the useless supplied cables/580 sync socket setup appeals to me too. And I'm presuming the hotshoe with 3.5mm jack itself would also fire any other flash, and by the looks of it has a tripod socket in the base...

May be a better solution than the screw-lock sync cables I'm looking at currently, and would work for any flash unit. *eyes light up* :D


Cheers, Dave.
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pcunite
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Sep 05, 2009 08:15 |  #6

DerekW wrote in post #8586389 (external link)
Can you provide a link to those hotshoes and adapters. That is a cool setup

In the writeup I used these. I wanted to make sure everything worked first.
http://flashzebra.com/​products/0128/index.sh​tml (external link)

I recommended these however so that the pins on the 580EX have some clearance going in.
http://flashzebra.com/​products/0135/index.sh​tml (external link)

jeromego wrote in post #8587082 (external link)
just curious, why didn't you plug the receiver directly into the 580EX2 ?

The receiver accepts a 3.5mm plug, the 580EX II takes a PC plug. PC plug are worthless as they are very loose, the slightest thing will cause it to pull out. Thus you need a screw lock PC cord. I don't know of a Screwlock PC to 3.5mm adapter that is short and stubby, they all are 5 inches long or so. Also a Screwlock PC connection has to be screwed. I am not sure I want to take the time to screw it in. Also a fall could damage the expensive flash.




  
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manipula
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Sep 05, 2009 08:20 |  #7

Are the jack to jack connectors from FZ too?


Cheers, Dave.
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george ­ m ­ w
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Sep 05, 2009 09:04 |  #8

The solution was to purchase a Female Hotshoe with Miniphone (3.5mm) Jack and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm adapter. This provides for a very elegant, safer solution.

....That's looks pretty clean....however, I'm not sure I would agree that it's a 'safer' solution. I see that as a pretty quick way to break pieces and parts when the time comes that is falls over. In the event of a tumble I'd rather have a 'flexible' connection rather than a rigid connection. Hopefully you won't be testing my 'falling over' theory.

And yes, your daughter is super cute ! Nice hat !


regards, george w

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pcunite
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Sep 05, 2009 09:43 |  #9

george m w wrote in post #8588207 (external link)
....That's looks pretty clean....however, I'm not sure I would agree that it's a 'safer' solution. I see that as a pretty quick way to break pieces and parts when the time comes that it falls over. In the event of a tumble I'd rather have a 'flexible' connection rather than a rigid connection. Hopefully you won't be testing my 'falling over' theory.

I know... I went round and round with this in my mind about what would be safer. For me... I move my lights allot which means that the CyberSync was always crashing into the stand... of course I could use tape or Velcro... but I won't :)

I plan to stay with 580EX II for another year before maybe going with Elinchrom Quantra units or perhaps AB Max units. I will need a clean solution for them as well and I am sure I will find something!




  
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mufutau55
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Sep 05, 2009 16:21 |  #10

Where did you get the adapter you used to connect the Cybersync with the flashzebra adapter for the 580EXII?
I mean the small adapter with 35.mm to 3.5mm connection. The link will be very helpful. Thank you

Mufutau

pcunite wrote in post #8588028 (external link)
In the writeup I used these. I wanted to make sure everything worked first.
http://flashzebra.com/​products/0128/index.sh​tml (external link)

I recommended these however so that the pins on the 580EX have some clearance going in.
http://flashzebra.com/​products/0135/index.sh​tml (external link)

The receiver accepts a 3.5mm plug, the 580EX II takes a PC plug. PC plug are worthless as they are very loose, the slightest thing will cause it to pull out. Thus you need a screw lock PC cord. I don't know of a Screwlock PC to 3.5mm adapter that is short and stubby, they all are 5 inches long or so. Also a Screwlock PC connection has to be screwed. I am not sure I want to take the time to screw it in. Also a fall could damage the expensive flash.




  
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m3rdpwr
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Sep 05, 2009 16:46 |  #11

I prefer the lanyard and short cord.

Something sticking out like that is asking for trouble IMHO.

I would think it would stress it constantly...

-Mario


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pcunite
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Sep 08, 2009 10:37 |  #12

mufutau55 wrote in post #8590072 (external link)
Where did you get the adapter you used to connect the Cybersync with the flashzebra adapter for the 580EXII?
I mean the small adapter with 35.mm to 3.5mm connection.

Contact FlashZebra.com. They don't have a link.




  
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fungry
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Sep 08, 2009 10:46 |  #13

Constructive write up, thank you! Great pictures and the 35 to 35 adapter is neat. Makes the setup very streamlined.


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mufutau55
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Sep 08, 2009 15:23 |  #14

Ok. Thanks. Now that everyone is interested in those adapter, may be Lon of flashzebra.com will add them to his product link.

Mufutau

pcunite wrote in post #8605123 (external link)
Contact FlashZebra.com. They don't have a link.




  
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TMR ­ Design
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Sep 08, 2009 15:33 as a reply to  @ mufutau55's post |  #15

He might have them but I guarantee Lon won't endorse that setup. I can understand the OP wanting a clean setup and not liking velcro or hanging components but using the adapter like that provides no strain relief and it's an accident waiting to happen.

Personally I think it's a bad idea that happens to look good.


Robert
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