OK, so you’ve read strobist.com, and joined the Strobist Flickr group. You’ve gone on eBay and bought your “Cactus Triggers” or “Poverty Wizards”. Now it’s time to put it all together – Just how does tab A slot into tab B? Well here’s what I have settled on.
I currently have the Phottix PT-04TM wireless flash triggers, bought from HKSupplies on eBay. These triggers may not be 100% reliable, but I am getting very few non fires and even fewer miss fires. They are no Pocket Wizard, but they only cost pocket money.
The PT-04TMs are intended to mount onto your cold shoe or umbrella bracket or screw onto the standard thread atop a light stand with the flash mounted on top. The trouble is, this makes the whole assembly very tall and unwieldy and I found the flash would flop forwards and finish up illuminating my light stand very nicely!
So I set out to try and find a way of lowering the overall height to reduce the leverage. Here’s what I came up with:
Obviously there’s the flash. Then there’s the PT-04TM, with the plastic foot removed, velcro’d on top (you do have velcro on your flash head don’t you?)
Attached to the hotshoe on the receiver is a cheap hotshoe to PC sync adapter (designed to let you use a PC sync cord with a camera that has a hotshoe but no PC sync port) bought for a few pounds from eBay. If you have the slightly newer receiver that has a PC sync port on the side, you don’t need this.
Moving down to the bottom of the flash we have a Kaiser 1301 Hotshoe Adapter (designed to let you use a flash that has no PC sync port on a camera that has no hotshoe).
So basically, when the receiver triggers, instead of going straight over a hotshoe to flash connection, it travels over 6″ of wire first. There’s nothing clever happening, it just makes everything more convenient. The Kaiser 1301 Hotshoe Adapter has another benefit: It has a normal foot so you can use it with all your other umbrella mounts, but it also has a standard 1/4″ screw thread on the bottom for mounting onto any standard light stand, tripod, or in my case, a very small, very cheap Hama 5011 ball head. It may not be the tidiest setup, but it work for me… at least untill I can get my hands on some of those Pocket Wizard Flex/Minis!