IR Flash Trigger Questions

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by craigclu, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

    Sep 8, 2002
    Rice Lake, Wisconsin
    Multi Format
    I get talked into an occasional wedding (very occasional and for friends, only). I use my Multiblitz monolights and have had great results in lighting a church area but it seems that the last couple of weddings I've done, everyone in the crowd has a pocketable digital and have my strobes going cycle/bang constantly. I've been looking for affordable alternatives and came upon this:

    IR Trigger

    What is doing the receiving for this type of device? The answer I got from the seller was:

    Thank you for your question.

    There are two cases:

    1. If you use multiple strobes operated by AC main, there usually be optical receivers (triggers) equipped on top of them. You do not need any slave optical receivers (triggers). The IR bean from YS-100 will trigger one or all of them. If one is triggered by IR bean, the others will also be triggered at the same time by the flash came from the one being triggered by IR bean.

    2. If you use flash units operated by battery or any strobes without any optical receivers, you need to buy a slave (optical-sensitive type) trigger for each of the flash units. This type of slave trigger is cheap and can be purchased in most of photographic stores. The scenario will like the case 1 then.

    Hope this information is helpful. Let me know if you have further queries.

    It seems that my light slaves on my units would still need to be active and I wouldn't gain anything here.... What am I missing? I suppose I can find a used Quantum radio set or something but I was intrigued by how these IR's really work.
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 9, 2002
    Bergen, Norway
    Large Format
    What you're missing is gaffer tape. One little bit over the flash slave sensor, then plug the strobe into the IR trigger.
  3. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    SF & Surroun
    Medium Format
    I use the Canon ST-E2 with their strobes, the IR works great. I recall that Nikon's and Minolta's wireless systems are also IR. Isn't this also true of Metz and Sigma wireless?

    In a large open space like a dark church, be sure that the receivers are getting a clear view of the transmitter -- there may be nothing for the signal to reflect against (it's just a light, after all). I hear that sunlight can interfere, though I've not had such a problem myself.

    That is darned cheap for a kit -- but it's just a simple trigger, no metering (right?)
  4. DKT

    DKT Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    one problem with infrared is that a camera flash can trigger them as well--in fact, if the sensor is sensitive enough, even a change in room lighting will set them off. I use wein IR stuff in the studio where I work, and have done some events work with it as well--but mostly use pocket wizards for that. The IR stuff can be set off in a dark room (the wein, anyways, it's very sensitive) if you flip the room lights on. In fact, last week we had a speedo pack that was firing at random almost with a wein IR slave in it--it was picking up a flickering fluorescent light about 50 feet away....

    The radio slaves are the way to go.I use pocket wizards for my own stuff, and they're great. I actually bring them into work to use for events, because the wein IR stuff is too finicky--and if anyone else is shooting, you can't use IR.....

    The nikon stuff---I used that SU4 slave and used the SB26 system as well--for shooting events. One guy would use a strobe on a pole as the main or fill, and the shooter would use a flash on camera to trigger it. Depending on the ratios, you'd be filling from the camera, or using the second light to light up the background etc. We used to do this on manual actually, because all the automatic stuff, even the SU4 is too buggy. You get into line of sight problems with the sensors. Radio slaves are great for this work though. You can put a strobe behind a wall and trigger it. You can stick them outside and fire through windows, you can isolate channels and set up lights for different zones, etc.

    the IR triggers, are just little on camera flashes with a neutral density gel almost. in a pinch, you can just use the slaves and use a little strobe to trigger them. They work great in a controlled area, not so great if anyone else is around shooting with strobe. OTOH--I used to perversely get a kick out of this.We'd light a stage area with strobes to shoot some function, and someone in the audience would try to take a shot with a point & shoot and all this speedotron stuff would go'd be annoying really, but then again, you knew that exposure was just toast.