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4.7 out of 5 stars31
4.7 out of 5 stars
Style Name: Receiver for Nikon|Change
Price:£78.39 - £109.99
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Although Sony Alpha has an optical wireless system, it relies on an optical pulse system. That's fine most of the time, but it requires all slaves to be able to see the master pulse, something that won't happen if some of your Flash's are housed in softboxes or you are shooting in high ambient light outside a studio setting. That's where these wireless triggers come in. Wireless triggers also allow you to use non-Sony flashes, especially cheaper ones that fit the Sony mount but don't have the Sony optical system.

Cheaper options (such as iShoot) perform the same function as Phottix for less, but the trigger casing is simply not strong enough to hold something as big as a HVL-F58 (I tried iShoots and they simply broke in half even with the smaller '43 - it's a good job they were cheap!), and they tend to be either too tight or too loose on the mount.

So if you are on Sony and can't (or won't) use the Sony optical triggering system, then the Phottix triggers are actually your only quality, cost effective option. They work well, always fire (unlike the Sony optical system!), and are generally rugged enough for purpose (i.e. they are as physically strong as the Flashes you will be using them with, unlike cheap eBay no-name triggers).

One very important feature of Phottix is that although the wireless doesn't send TTL, the transmitter does have TTL passthrough, meaning that you can place a Sony flash on top of the transmitter (its actually a straight through dumb pass-through because it works even when the Phottix transmitter is turned off). That passed-through flash will be able to transmit Sony optical wireless... which in turn means you can have Sony optical AND Phottix wireless working at the same time.

Few additional points:

1. The Flashes on the Phottix wireless won't see the TTL information so you have to set all those Flash power ratios manually.

2. The test buttons don't work on the receivers (at least, not on the HVL-F43 or HVL-F58). Only the ones on the transmitter work. I'm guessing there's some Sony specific incompatibility/Phottix bug there, but not a biggie.

3. The receivers don't have a Sony style connector at the bottom, so you can't use the stands that are included with most Sony Flashes: you have to use a standard tripod thread.

4. The Phottix system works well with Eneloop rechargeable batteries (and so for that matter do Sony Flashes). A saving of millions in batteries!

5 The Phottix system can be configured as a remote shutter release. A nice-to-have addition!

So, for Sony cameras, the Phottix trigger is useful if you are using non-Sony Flashes (Nissin, Opteka, Yongnuo, etc) that don't use Sony's own optical wireless system, or when you are using Sony wireless and one or more Flash doesn't fire because it doesn't have line-of-sight, or when you want to use electrical signalling rather than Sony's optical signalling because it is simply more reliable over long distances or in outdoor lighting. Phottix is also useful if you have to use non-Sony mount Flashes, assuming you have bought some Nikon/Canon mount Phottix transmitters.

** Setup used in this review **

I use a Sony Alpha A77 with two HVL-F58s (setup as key and fill lights) and a HVL-F43 (setup as hair/rim or backlight). To trigger all three lights, I use the Phottix strato II set up with the transmitter off camera (via a cable), and one flash on an additional Strato II receiver that I had to buy separately. I also use Flashbender light modifiers on the Flash heads.

My preference is to use Sony optical triggering (because it allows auto exposure and ratio control), and I use the Phottix transmitters only when I can't go optical because of distance, location or high ambient.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 October 2012
This trigger set is awesome. If you are considering buying, nay investing in, flash triggers for your Canon then this set is the one to go for. Can't praise Phottix enough for this. I've also had compliments on its performance from my peers too. My advice, don't skimp on cheaper versions these are reliable and sturdy. I haven't tested up to the maximum advertised range yet (150+ metres), but they certainly work up to 40+ metres.
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on 9 November 2012
I think that these receivers are excellent although on two or three occasions I have had to reset my SB700 as it has frozen, don't know if this is the receivers fault or the flash.

They are also a little tricky to sync but I think that is just me turning things on in the wrong order.

Otherwise these are excellent for what I require and they come with loads of wires for compatibility.

I have used them successfully for off camera flash and studio work with no misfires.

All the channels are also a real bonus but I have not needed these functions yet.

Would highly recommend. They are going for double the price on Jessops and WEX!!!!
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on 26 December 2012
I have been using these triggers with an ancient chinon non-ttl flash gun. They have been 100% reliable. Build quality is good and they are intuitive to use out of the box. Delivered ahead of dates given by Amazon. very pleased with purchase.
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on 15 February 2013
Had these for about a year now and find they work consistently over realistic distances. BUT the on/off switch slides far too easily, and I have lost count of the number of times I have found one of the units has switched itself on while I have been carrying it in my camera bag. And no matter how good the units are, they're completely useless with discharged batteries. I've taken to putting a bit of LX tape over the switches to stop them moving, not the most elegant solution in front of a client. So come on Phottix, redesign that switch with a much more positive action and I'll be delighted to award you five stars.
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on 20 May 2013
Having researched flash triggering the obvious choice seemed to be Pocketwizard FlexTT5's (the TT1 just seems to be smaller, using 'coin' batteries with a built in antenna and transmitter only). If like me, you set up the lights and then use a meter, the only thing missing using these at one third the cost of the PW's is the ability to reduce output remotely and 'auto'. Having recently moved from Nikon to Canon I was pleased that the Canon version (with a Speedlite 430 EX II on the camera) remotely fires a Nikon SB-600 on the slave and probably other makes too.
The shoe on the camera transmitter is metal and on the slave is 'plastic', with slave/receivers being available separately. I read somewhere that the power switches are easily to accidentally turn on and cause drain - I haven't found this to be the case. Other uses are remote camera triggering, wired camera remote, firing stobes remotely via supplied sync lead and camera PC out.
For the money these take some beating, good range, AAA batteries, reliable and adequately built, if you can live without auto or don't use it in the studio, then these will do the job. Phottix do make a more expensive auto range, at which price the Phottix/PW argument is less clear...
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on 21 August 2015
These triggers are hands down the best basic manual triggers around.

I have used these for the past 3 years with zero problems both with Canon and other brand speedlites and also studio flash via a sync cable. No miss fires and they last for months in the bag powered by Sanyo (now Panasonic) Eneloops.

Recently I picked up a set of the Cactus V6 triggers as they allow remote power control of multiple brands of speedlite, whilst nice and they work the battery life sucked so I came back to using the Phottix triggers. No power control but to be honest I am not really that fussed any more.

Solid triggers that will run circles round Pocket Wizards.

The only thing that I would improve would be the power switch as it it a little too easy to knock when in the bag.
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on 21 April 2013
I just wanted a remote wireless trigger for my studio flash strobes. This one had great reviews for the price and it does everything I expected. It also has many features I didn't. It has separate groups and channels you can select in case anyone else is using the same trigger where you are photographing. It will also work with my on-camera Speedlight and my strobes at the same time. It can also be used as a wireless camera trigger - I have been using that feature very successfully during my studio portrait shoots. The build quality is very good and both sender and receiver use AAA batteries - no looking around for those odd little camera batteries any more. It works. It feels good and I can thoroughly recommend it.
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on 31 October 2013
I have been really pleased with this trigger set. It's a really nice quality product despite people seeing it as a cheap alternative to pw's. It works really well with both my Canon and Fuji x equipment
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on 14 March 2014
Great product. I can’t afford studio lighting. But over the years I have managed to obtain camera flash heads. This item will let me use all of the heads with a Sony camera. Plus there are threads on the underside of the receivers which allows them to be mounted directly onto a tripod or similar. This allows me to use a flexible tripod, (named after a jungle animal), with a flash head mounted to it via the receiver. The flexible tripod can be mounted anywhere with one of these tripods and so far by using the Phottix Strato I don’t see a need for me to buy studio lighting even if I could afford. Oh, the transmitter and receivers work a treat!
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