Flash tr ig­gers

When flash is used off-cam­era you need some way to trig­ger it from the cam­era: here are the op­tions

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Cre­ative Light­ing Sys­tem

Nikon’s Cre­ative Light­ing sys­tem is effective and ver­sa­tile (see the pre­vi­ous page), but it has some dis­ad­van­tages, prin­ci­pally cost and range. You’d need to in­vest heav­ily in Speed­lights to get the same level of power as pro flash sys­tems, and the in­frared com­mu­ni­ca­tion is lim­it­ing.

Op­ti­cal slave

This is the sys­tem used by most stu­dio flash. Each flash head has a sen­sor which is trig­gered in­stan­ta­neously by the flash from an­other unit – the ‘mas­ter’. This means you only need to con­nect one flash to the cam­era be­cause this flash will then trig­ger the rest.

Ca­ble con­nec­tion

Even with op­ti­cal trig­ger­ing you need to con­nect at least one flash di­rectly to the cam­era. The sim­plest way is with a tra­di­tional flash sync ca­ble that plugs into a socket on the cam­era. Pro Nikons have this built in, but you can get in­ex­pen­sive hot­shoe adap­tors for other Nikon mod­els.

Wire­less (ra­dio)

This is the most pop­u­lar op­tion among pro­fes­sion­als, es­pe­cially those who shoot with flash out­doors. The Pock­etWizard range is held in high re­gard, though it’s not par­tic­u­larly cheap and there are more af­ford­able al­ter­na­tives from mak­ers like Häh­nel and Phot­tix.

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