Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Good Alternative To Wizards

Recommended Posts

This is a quick hands-on review of the YHPT-6045 radio flash trigger purchased from the ebay reseller “Link Delight.”

[b]What they are, what they do[/b]
As the name implies, a wireless flash trigger is a device used to syncronize or trigger a flash unit that’s not attached to your camera, and without using a long PC cable. Olympus does have a couple of hot-shoe PC cables (FL-CB02, FL-CB05) that allow the FL-50 to be used off camera, but in exchange for the ability to use TTL flash, you’re limited to the short length of the cable. Not to mention that they’re pretty expensive. Further having TTL ability isn’t very meaningful for me when doing a fixed setup with multiple flashes, since I use manual flash settings and a flash meter to balance the flash ratio, and TTL would merely confuse things..

As the “Strobist” notes, the professional way to go about this is the Pocket Wizard ™; but a pair of them costs nearly $400, and that’s far too much for me at this experimental stage of shooting menu settings for some friends’ little pub. If these shots come out well and it were to turn into some kind of regular gig (we have lots of artists in the town who need product shots), I might later shell out for the PW, and if your professional income depends on it, that’s the obvious way to go.

In addition to the YHPT-604, a YHPT-601 model is also available. The difference is the number of channels provided, and in the net ads you have to look carefully to tell the difference. One is equipped with a single channel, while the other has four. The single-channel model is cheaper by a couple of dollars, but I got the four-channel model. Link-Delight sells these flash triggers via numerous auctions on e-bay, with prices in various currencies. If one of the auctions has ended just pick another one. I don’t recall why I picked the auction I did (it was available?), but mine was priced in Australian dollars, $29.99 plus $13.00 shipping to Japan.


The package arrived about a week after payment; It was a small padded envelope that contained the product box. The box was a bit mashed from transit, but the items inside appeared undamaged. Inside the box was the receiver (left), transmitter (right), a PC connection cord to allow connecting an additional flash (or flash without a hotshoe), and a CR2 battery for the receiver (not shown in the photo here). The transmitter’s battery was already installed when I got it. I assume this is because the two sides of the transmitter case are held together by a tiny screw that requires a Phillips eyeglass screwdriver to remove. Don’t be caught in the field without a screwdriver. Notable missing was any kind of instructions.


The transmitter battery is a Chinese-made Vinnic Alkaline L1028 23A (12v), apparently only rarely found in the West, mostly in such devices as auto burglar alarms, key locks, and garage-door openers. Searching the Web I discovered that an equivalent is available in the Panasonic LR-V08, so I’m relieved that it won’t be hard to find replacement batteries..


As I noted, the receiver uses a standard CR2 Lithium battery, which was included separately. To load that battery, you pry open the compartment lid on the back of the receiver. Also inside the receiver case, visible in the photograph, are the two tiny DIP toggles to set the channel on the receiver side. Corresponding DIP switches are located on the underside of the transmitter; the two switches allow the channel to be changed in four possible combinations.


As you can see from the photos, the innards of these things are completely exposed when the covers are off, and almost no insulation is placed between parts, so be very careful not to poke around and touch something with a screwdriver that might cause a short. Also note the bolt head for the aluminum mounting bracket on the right side; it’s very close to some electrical circuits, so take care when loosening it. Obviously there’s no water resistance in the casing. Enough said.

The transmitter has a hotfoot that fits into the camera’s hotshoe and contacts the center electrode. This gives the unit a simple manual FLASH/NO FLASH operation, so as I said earlier, you’re limited to manual or thyristor (AUTO) operation. On the top of the transmitter is a test button and LED indicator. When the test button is pressed or the shutter is activated, the test LED lights. If the hotshoe connection is bad to the camera the LED won’t light when you press the camera shutter, which allows you to confirm proper hotshoe connection. In fact, the central electrode pin on the transmitter isn’t very long, and when I first mounted it on my E-300, it didn’t fire. Taking it off and putting it back on solved the problem, so connections should be checked well.

The receiver has a tiny ON/OFF switch, which obviously should be left in the OFF position when not in use. People with big hands and fingers may need to use the tip of a small stick or toothpick to set the switch. My hunch (I’ll be glad if I’m wrong) is that these things eat up batteries pretty fast when ON, and may have some leakage current when off, so I am planning to remove the batteries whenever I’m not doing flash work.

Above the receiver’s ON/OFF switch is another LED test light that flashes when the transmitter’s test button is pressed or the camera’s shutter successfully closes the circuit. Again, this provides a test function for the receiver’s hot shoe, since if the flash doesn’t fire when the receiver’s test lamp lights, it may point to a poor hotshoe connection between flash and receiver.

The receiver has an aluminum L-bracket that can be adjusted to various angles; it is provided on the bottom with a foot that fits into a standard accessory shoe, and the foot is also drilled and tapped for a standard 1/4” tripod bolt. I wouldn’t mount a very heavy flash in anything but a vertical position, however, since the plastic body’s connection to the L-bracket doesn’t seem that sturdy.

Using the Link-Delight is simple. Mount the transmitter on the camera’s hotshoe. Then mount your flash onto the receiver’s hotshoe and attach the receiver to a light stand or tripod. Turn on the switch. Set the flash for manual (or AUTO for thyristor mode), and you’re ready to shoot. I tried using my car’s radio door opener, my cell phone, and my cordless house phone in the vicinity of the setup and no false flashes occurred on the channel I had the units set for, although I didn’t check all four possible channels.

In addition to the FL-50 on the radio trigger, I have an old Panasonic PE-381SG flash that I trigger via an optical slave. Yesterday in practice the setup worked flawlessly. I successfully synched the shutter of the E-300 up to 1/250s. At 1/320 I began to see shutter-curtain shadow on the bottom of the frame, but the flash continued to trigger normally..

I have no large softboxes, so I put my Gary Fong Lightsphere on the FL-50 and a homemade lightsphere on the Panasonic flash. I was just practicing today to get some lighting ratios down. Here's what the setup looked like on my dining table:


And here's some practice results:



With only the lightspheres on, the flash units put out too much point-source light, so I know there's too much spectral reflection in places here. I'm probably going to make some softboxes eventually week to cut down the hot spots. Anyway, this is practice for me, since I'm not exactly getting paid , but the learning is fun, and hey, that "Link-Delight" trigger really works!
(The product shots here were all done with the E-300 + ZD 50mm f2.0 macro, 1/60s @ f2.0)

Remember that when using these devices, you're limited to manual or thyristor auto modes with the flash. No super-duper TTL, so you'll have to set your camera to manual mode, shutter speed 1/60 or 1/120 or whatever your camera allows, then figure out the proper flash output setting and aperture based on a combination of the GN tables, trial-and-error, or by using flash meter. Most flashes that come with manual modes have GN charts that list the various combinations of aperture and distance.

I haven’t done any extreme distance testing of the trigger, but I found it worked when I walked from my study to the far corner of my living room, a distance of about 15 meters, which is probably as far as I’ll ever want to use it.

[b]Conclusion:[/b] Worth the relatively small price I paid. Long-term reliability not assured, and the item should be considered a use-and-discard item, since repairs will probably be more expensive than buying a new one. At this point I'm a happy camper.

EDIT: I wrote this review before finding another review on the web [url="http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=243987&highlight=review"]HERE[/url]. Although that reviewer was using a Canon camera, he tested the unit with several different flash units, information that may be of use. Overall, however, his conclusions and results were almost identical to mine, and he adds some other useful information, so I recommend seeing that review as well

If you’re interested in getting even longer range from this trigger, there are a couple of other threads about modifying it with a longer antenna; they can be found [url="http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157594463784267/"]HERE[/url]; this discussion is quite interesting, and includes some comments about possible FCC legality issues for those living in the USA..

A link also leads to [url="http://www.instructables.com/id/ESSZSXRVP3EYSYUOLA"]another set of instructions[/url] with a bit more concrete detail on the modification.

Good luck with your choices.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
i dont think so. unless he's Norm in Fujino, Japan :P

--> [url="http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29590"]http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29590[/url]

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
i ahve almost this exact same setup and it works until you want to spend money on pocket wizards
nice topic

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
these work good indoors, But outside their kind of not so good. The range on them suck. agood alterntive to pocket wizrds are skyports or alien bees. I wouldnt recommend these to anyone.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would spend more and get the v4 from gadget infinity.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this