hypnotic month [deleted] 11:51pm, 2 January 2009
I'm going to be buying some lighting this weekend, and have done a bit of research, although I haven't actually seen the equipment in real life, so it's hard to know what to buy. I have it narrowed down to either nikon strobes and pocket wizards, or white lightning and pocket wizards (they do work with pocket wizards, right?...even though they have some other type of built in sensor?). I want something that I'll buy once and use for a long time (don't want to have to upgrade any time soon). I plan to start shooting more portrait and weird street photography portraits and model type stuff, so it will be used in a studio setting and also be dragged out to locations. Can you guys/girls who have used both, or are familiar with both, throw out some pros and cons for each option?
Noreeyay 10 years ago
What Nikon do you have? All I saw in you stream said Canon. Certain Nikon's don't need pocket wizards as they have commander mode.
hypnotic month [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by hypnotic month (member) 10 years ago
I don't have a Nikon, and I'm not sure what type of camera I'll get when I upgrade. I'd planned on using a hot shoe/pc adapter on my Canon camera from which I can connect to a pocket wizard (pw). My thinking around the pw was that then I don't need to worry about camera/strobe compatibility, as long as whatever strobe I'm using has a pc connection to hook up to another pw.
MOD
Drew C 10 years ago
i would absolutely recommend white lightnings if you plan on buying once (that being said i use nikon strobes and do just fine). instead of spending all the cash on the pocketwizards though, get paul c. buff's (the company that makes white lightning) cybersyncs... they've been getting rave reviews ever since they came out recently and you can ask shawn t. for a little review as he just got his.
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Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
Cybersyncs in my opinion are great and when paired with a couple Hot Shoe Flashes, you can really learn a lot about lighting on the cheap.
Let me know if you have Questions.
If you want to try em out, let me know. I am always up for a shoot.
hypnotic month [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by hypnotic month (member) 10 years ago
Drew: In what way do you think the white lightnings (x800 is what I'm thinking) are better than strobes? Do they put out about the same amount of light? I know there is some standard measure (lume-somethings) that I don't fully understand. How do they compare when it comes to shooting a ton really quickly?

Shawn T. : Did you get the battery powered or AC cybersyncs? Do you get as much range out of them as is claimed? I'd take you up on that offer to check them out but I need to get this stuff by the end of next week, before I leave on my massive, epic road-trip (which I've already delayed for a week so I can come check out lighting techniques with ya'll on the 10th.)
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Drew C 10 years ago
x800 puts out about 320 watt/seconds of light (also known as joules) they're built strong, and have a strong following which means a full range of options in accesories. for comparison i believe the strongest nikon speedlight puts out an equivalent of less than 60 watt/seconds (approximation)... for shooting FAST as in continuous shooting, you simply cannot be shooting at a high power setting. lower power will warant 3 frames per second. faster in some cases with most any type of light (nikon speedlights included. (pulled off 6 frames per second for a special shoot a while back with nikon speedlights at 1/16 and 1/32 power settings) lemme know if you have any more questions! and good luck with whatever decision you make!
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Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
Brynn, I ordered the Battery Powered cybersyncs.

Here is what I found so far.


Out of the box, These seem well put together, solid, easy to use pieces of equipment.

alienbees.com/remotes.html

I bought 1 CyberSync™ CST Transmitter and 2 CyberSync™ CSRB Receivers
With 2 day shipping it came to $219 for the set.

First Range/Obstruction test.

I went downstairs to the main level of the house and had my cousin watch the flash on the second story, It fired when i hit the test button. I then went to the basement and hit the test button twice and it fired both times on the second level.
That, in my opinion is pretty awesome.

If you order these, go to Ebay and order some Cell phone Lanyards. It works awesome for hanging these.
www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157606604046267/...

Longer review to come.

Also, I bought the Battery powered for versatility. I don't want to be tangled up using wires, power packs, etc.
These can be used with Speedlights (hot shoe flashes) studio strobes such as AlienBees, white lightning's, Dynalights, etc...
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Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
People are claiming 100% functionality from 0 to 350 feet and spotty at 400 feet.
The way I see it is, how often will I need to fire a strobe at 400 feet?

If you need to trigger from a 1/4 mile away or you can swing the price, I would say go for pocket wizards. They are the industry standard. I did a lot of reading on forums and various review sites and the Cybersyncs are supposed to never miss up to 350 feet.

I hope this info helps you more than confuse.
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JustinSinks 10 years ago
I would suggest getting the cybersyncs, and with the money you save over getting the PWs, get both a couple white lightnings and a few small strobes. That way youre ready for anything!
hypnotic month [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by hypnotic month (member) 10 years ago
Shawn: Thanks for the great info! And I can't really imagine a scenario where I'd need a light a quarter mile away, so cybersyncs might be the way to go for me.

Justin: My plan, regardless of the remote control system, was to either go with two white lightning X800's (which is what I'm leaning towards) and then get a supplementary strobe of some type, or just get three speedlights right off the bat.

One final question then I'll leave ya'll alone. :) Do pocket wizards allow for the same functionality and control over each light in a setup that includes more than one type/brand of light? (IE: X800 + nikon speedlight)
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Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
Yes, the Pocket Wizards and Cybersyncs are just "Dumb" triggers. They offer no other controls, they simply trip the flash no matter if it is a speedlight or studio head.
admin
If you can afford the 2 x800s go for it and if you can add a speedlight, do that too. You will have one hell of a setup.
MOD
Drew C 10 years ago
i'll agree, 2x800's plus 1 nikon strobe and even just 1 trigger/receiver will be enough (in most circumstances) to trigger the whole trio. and would be a very nice rig. the more receivers, the more reliable the setup. have a look through my stuff and you'll see setup shots including triggering methods. sometimes radio frequency, sometimes optical triggers (whats built into the x800's)
hypnotic month [deleted] 10 years ago
Awesome. Thanks so much for all the advice everyone!! It was hard to know what to do having just read product descriptions. Talking with people who know what they're doing and have used the stuff is much, much better. Thanks!
admin
Let us know what you end up with.
hypnotic month [deleted] 9 years ago
Here's what I ended up going with! Thanks for all the advice everyone! :D
Lights! Yay!
admin
Comment left in your stream. Again, nice setup!
admin
HBRstudios 9 years ago
With a boom arm, even -- nice! This will do you very well.
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