What to use for firing Alien Bee's B800 + ABR800 simultaneously?
January 9, 2011 2:40 PM   Subscribe

What to use for firing Alien Bee's B800 + ABR800 simultaneously?

Hi all,

I am somewhat new to the photography would so I appreciate any advice I may get!

I own a Canon7D with an ABR800 Ringflash (alienbees.com/abr800.html) which I absolutely love and a friend of mine has two B800s ()alienbees.com/b800.htmlfrom Alien Bees as well. I would like to use his two B800s along with my ABR000 Ring simultaneously.

I've used my rinfglash directly from my camera at times but its truly getting a bit too heavy. I'd like to put the ringflash on a lightstand and fire that along with two B800s at the same time.

Would this Pocket Wizard Plus II (lensrentals.com/rent/nikon/lighting/strobe-triggers/pocketwizard-plus-ii) be the only accessory I need atop of my camera to fire all three lights? I am not sure if I need an additional component or how exactly all three lights will be synced. I see the pocket wizard has a slider for 4 different channels so I am assuming in works on that principle but I am unsure if I need something else. Please advise!

Thanks so much!
posted by bostonhill to Technology (2 answers total)
You have a number of options here, but if you plan to use all three external lights in reasonable proximity to each other, like an interior "same room" location or studio situation, you could simply set your camera's built in flash to fire at its most minimal manual power setting, and this will generally trigger the built in optical slaves of at least one of the Buff lights. Its flash will provide light to trigger the optical slaves of the others. If you work at a low enough power setting on the built in flash it will have virtually no effect on the image othjer than to fire the remotes.

In my opinion Pocket Wizards are the gold standard of remote flash triggers. You'd need one unit on the camera and at least one unit (with appropriate cord) on at least one of the Buff lights , relying once again on the built in optical slaves of the other two to fire them. Only if the other two lights were well out of optical slave range would you need PW's on everything.

Bear in mind that there are a lot of cheap remote triggers on the market these days, and you might find a set that you could buy for the price of renting the PW's. Brands like Cactus come to mind but I'm a PW guy and have no real world experience with Cactus, or the other very inexpensive triggers.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:11 PM on January 9, 2011

I use PW's on my monolights and love them. I know there are other options that are cheaper but I haven't used them either. I have White Lightnings and in my experience trying to use the optical slave is unreliable unless the slave sensor is in the line of fire of another light which limits what you can do with them. I would get some kind of wireless trigger, it makes life easier.
posted by bradbane at 6:38 PM on January 9, 2011

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