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slave flash setup

Forums Forums Get Technical Hardware slave flash setup

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    I’m thinking about getting a slave flash/lightstand/umbrella setup for portrait photos, but want to make sure I understand everything correctly…

    If I get an external flash and set it on slave function, then set it up on the light stand, how exactly is it triggered? I know that traditionally they are triggered by seeing the flash off my camera first, but how do you guarantee the flash will reach the flash in the umbrella if you’re, say, standing with it slightly behind you? Is there some other trigger system that people use?

    As far as equipment, I just need a light stand, umbrella, and another external flash with hotshoe adapter to hold the pieces together, right?


    I’ll add a corollary:

    I know a lot of farktographers here are do-it-yourselfers; I’m looking more for that sort of feedback. I know there’s equipment out there to get wireless signals to nikon-brand flashes, but that means I’ll have to buy really expensive equipment. I’m wondering if there’s a roundabout way of doing it with off-brand flashes and cheap equipment – i.e. right now I have a Vivitar external flash, and am looking at getting a second, cheap one to work as the slave in the light stand.


    If you just want to trigger them, you can get really long flash cords and a splitter dirt cheap.

    I’ve run 3 from a generic Chinese hotshoe adapter with no problem at all.
    You could run the cords from a light sensor trigger in the path of your flash, if you don’t want to run around with 50 cords hanging from your camera.


    The Yongnuo line of flashes and radio triggers are both cheap and useful. (I use a pair of YN560’s and the Yongnuo wireless triggers). I think my only complaint is how fast they use batteries (in the triggers particularly) but for the price you can’t beat them.


    I’m thinking about getting a slave flash/lightstand/umbrellaAs far as equipment, I just need a light stand, umbrella, and another external flash with hotshoe adapter to hold the pieces together, right?

    You’re missing an umbrella swivel from your list, there.

    It’s the piece that goes between the light stand and the flash.


    I found this article to be helpful in terms of recommendations for equipment.

    Best Flash Photography Gear (Off-camera flash)


    I’d also recommend the Strobist Lighting 101 pages. Not just recommendations on equipment, but why and how to use it.

    Avoid the Flickr Strobist group. It’s degenerated over time, and the signal-to-noise is no longer acceptable to me…


    I’ll second caradoc’s strobist link, excellent reference. I just went through this my self. I did have some of the Yongnuo-like triggers and even modded them with better antennas but was never happy with the range and reliability. I bought two sets of Cactus V5 (total of 4 ea) and a camera specific shutter trigger cable and could not be more pleased. It’s about $30 per node and the V5’s have a few other bells to boot. Worth reading up on if its in your $ range.

    bought mine from (along with other things like stands and umbrellas):


    This is why I love you lot so much. So much good advice for me to look through. Thanks for all the tips, everyone 🙂 I’ll give you an update once I get it all sorted out – probably post-Christmas.

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