In this Photography tutorial you will learn about he cactus v2s wireless flash trigger system. includes two modifications ...
to the flash trigger system part 1/4.
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Hi. My name is Roy Niswanger, owner and operator of motleypixel.com. The purpose of the upcoming for videos is just to describe my experiences with some wireless flash triggers for camera flashes. They are commonly known as E-bay triggers. There proper name is Cactus V2s flash trigger system.
Okay, so again the product that I choice was the Cactus Wireless Flash Trigger system, just to give a quick glimpsed here of the packaging. The transmitter receiver package comes nicely pack, also comes with the same cable, one receiver. This is the other receiver I purchase for $20 and of course the transmitter here, the channel select on the transmitter. Transmitter runs off from a 12-volt battery. One of those photo type batteries and the Cactus V2s runs off a 3.3-volt lefty and battery.
Okay, this is what the transmitter looks like on camera. Okay, here what the receiver looks like on my unbalance swivel and that’s a 580EX fully loaded with four AA batteries. What I noticed I think, I think that the system is a little wobble. You can see there, see how it wobbles, it tilts back. You don’t have any support here on this side.
So, I came up with the quick solution that helps stabilize the system a little better. Okay folks, this is really simple. Though of a descent idea, these are a quarter inch pan head bolts. Length on this guys half inch. Here what I thought I could do is, since this has a tripod mouth I believe this is a quarter inch. I thought that I could screw in from the top here and have the head of this bolt rest up on that, on the receiver.
Okay, I ended up taking a quarter inch using a hack say, cutting of the quarter inch is pretty sew still so it wasn’t hard to cut. Now what I’m going to do is add this quarter inch pan head bolt to make it more stable, I’ll take off the bracket here. I had to file it of a little bit of a burst on the end of the pan head. I just want to make sure that we don’t protrude too far. You’re going to have to keep adjusting that depth to your desired depth there so it just supports the receiver.
I recommend using some lock tight on the threads. This is non-permanent lock tight, be a good idea. I think we’ve got it here. Yeah, that looks good. What it works nice to its wobble pan head. You’re still going to be able to squabbles the receiver some but I found that we probably won’t do that much. I’ll keep it straight up and down because my umbrella’s we’re little unaccomplished at for me not unless you get a little bit of movement with this set up.
Okay, there it is. I find this a lot more stable so there’s no more flex so easy. Again, it’s a quarter inch pan head. I believe it’s coarse through and that’s 20 threads per inch. Okay, we’re indoors. I’ve got both flashes sitting ahead of us, one to the right, one to the left both of the receivers on, there approximately four ½ feet apart. I have a transmitter on the camera; I’ve done some initial test so I found that we have a descent percentage of failure of one of the flashes to fire at times.
I’m standing approximately; I would say eight to ten feet back from the flashes. Here’s one shut, looks like only the right flash fired. Here’s another shut, both flashes fired on that shut. Third shut, both flashes fired. Fourth shut, both fired. Fifth shut, both fired. Sixth shut, only the left fired. Seventh shut, only the right fired. Eight shut, both fired. We have three missed fires. Night shut, both fired. Tenth shut, both fired.
So, just in this quick test we have a 30% failure, right? One of the flashes didn’t fire. I kind of also notice this intermittently once in a while, they’ll trigger on there own. I’m indoor, I did some test off camera, change the channel.
Okay, now I’m going to do an outdoor test. This is my wife Christine, say hello. She’s holding my 580EX with the receiver on it and I have the camera. We’re going to do a range test. This is outdoors only one flash. The first test is going to be 20 feet from the camera.
Okay, first test at 20 feet that the spray can there on the ground is 20 feet and we have a fire. Okay, head on down to 40 feet, okay, this is 40 feet; one, two, three fire. We got another fire on the flash, it’s 40 feet. All right, head on down to 60, okay 60 feet; one, two, three fire, it looks like we have a flash there. We got a flash right because that’s all right, wait there. Okay, we didn’t get a flash at 60 feet, no flash at 60, common up ten feet.
All right, we’re going to try 50 feet and those 50 feet we got a flash. Okay, go on back to 60 feet, try 60 feet; one, two, and three at 60 feet we got a flash. Go on to 80 feet. We’re at 80 feet, 1-2-3 fire, no flash at 80, come on up 10 feet to 70. All right, we’re at 70 feet, one, two, three fire, no flash. Common up to 60, now at 60 feet; one, two, three fire; we got a flash at 60 feet.
All right, so what I found is, outdoor roughly 60 feet is going to be your distance. We have one fire at 70 feet but I really think that safe distance is at 60 for closure.
Okay, this concludes my initial test of the Cactus V2s watch quarter system. What I found in indoors, I don’t what it was but I did further test outside of what you saw in these video. I’d used all four-channel combinations. I tried moving the flashes a little further apart but I hoping around a 30% failure rate. I just saw moved outside the house to get additional outside testing off camera and what I found was about a 30% failure rate at 60 feet but that’s quite far, 60 feet.
So, I was moving it more into a distance of 10-15 feet to simulate what you would do in outside portrait photography and I was actually doing a little better than inside roughly 15 to 10 % failure rates in missed fires there.
So, what I’ve done is, I’ve done some research on the net and I came across Jeremy Kuster’s blog. That’s K-U-S-T-E-R, Jeremykuster.blogspot.com. His got a great tutorial on how to modify the Cactus V2s. It’s that two modification, two-step modification. He adds a 433-megahertz quarter wave with antenna to the transmitter and he adds an AA battery pack to the receivers.
I think I’m going to start with the transmitter modification with the antenna and wait on the battery pack. First do some test with the transmitter antenna modification. So, stay tuned for that in the next video and thank you for watching. Please visit motleypixel.com for further information and additional pictures and tutorials. Goodbye.