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MMA Photography UnderGround >> you guys use 3rd party flashes?


9/18/09 10:18 AM
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cluster
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Member Since: 2/1/07
Posts: 1166
 
Was gonna pick up a 430 EXII, but just for fun did some checking on 3rd party flashes. The reviews all seemed to go something like:

Review from 3 months ago: "wow, new off-brand/rebadging of vivitars, these things are awesome and only $120. Sweet. Screw a speedlight, I'm going to buy 3."

Review from last week: "goddamn crap. One didn't work out of the box, one started a fire while on location and killed the model and i'm afraid to use the third"

Then the next rebadging comes along and reviews follow the same pattern.

So, I'm fine with paying a premium for the primary flash that I know will work, I'm curious if anyone has experience with 3rd party flashes - maybe I'll pick up some up for slave units some day and have the luxury of being able to retake failed shots.
9/18/09 11:47 AM
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CombatCaptured
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Member Since: 5/4/09
Posts: 93
I have no experiance with 3rd party anything sorry, I just wanted to respond so you don't think you're being ignored, there's just not a lot of us in the Photography Forum.

Plus I like having the Big Yellow Nikon tag on everything!
9/25/09 11:51 AM
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backfistmedia
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Member Since: 7/1/08
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 Never used/seen one, sorry
:(
9/28/09 2:22 AM
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Bunnymonster
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 Depends what you want to do with them.

Will you be shooting in manual mode (flash exposure)? If not the metering will probably be a bit shonky, TTL will definitely be troublesome.

How do you plan on triggering the flashes, on camera from the hotshoe? Via sync cords? Be sure it has the right connections for your triggers.

Is build quality important to you. I've bounced nikon flashes repeatedly, immersed them in water, had them trodden on and they still work fine. I am not convinced a cheaper manufacturer would stand up to the abuse...
9/30/09 4:30 PM
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Enfektious
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Member Since: 4/8/04
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If your intent is to go strobist (w/o TTL), triggered wirelessly, then I think you will be fine with a Vivitar. Or any other 3rd party flash.

If you want some super cheap flashes, I've heard some OK reviews from the Yonguo flashes. They are about $60 bucks brand new on ebay. Great for learning Off-Camera Flash.

For what it's worth, I use both Canon & Nikon speedlights with cheap Yonguo triggers, and the triggers work great.
10/11/09 11:11 AM
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greenknght
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Check out http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/ for reviews on off-brand from people who shoot every day.

Also, check out ebay for older used name brand stuff. I got a pair of Nikon SB-24's for a little over $100 each, and they work similarly to my SB-600, only more primitive, so there's no learning curve. I'm just getting started with off-camera flash, but there's plenty of advice on purchasing equipment in the "Lighting 101" section of Strobist. Good luck to you.
10/16/09 4:50 PM
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cluster
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Got the flash...now looking for triggers.

Seems to be all about quality control/luck when getting the "poverty wizards." I'll probably go with the Cactus v4s since those seem to have the least bad reviews (then again, they're the newest). And my google skills can't help me find the Yonguos for some reason.
10/21/09 4:22 PM
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Enfektious
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Member Since: 4/8/04
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Go to Ebay. Look for this seller : hkyongnuophotoequipment

I bought the CTR-301P (Trigger + 2 receivers Kit). They work solid, no misfires yet. The RF-602 units are suppose to be good too (I would have bought those, but they just came out).

If you don't trust the cheapy ebay stuff, then get some Cybersyncs.
11/10/09 11:12 AM
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cluster
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I got the Cactus V4s and so far so good. Fired off about 300 shots and no problems at all. Granted, I was mostly doing product photography and the flash was never more than 4' from the camera (their stated range is ~100' and most people report having to drop down below the max synch to account for lag), but I was rocking it at max synch speed the entire time.

The only bad thing was that the shipping took the entire two weeks they anticipated :(. But, because they told me it would take two weeks and I was too cheap to pay for faster shipping, I can't blame them....

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