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pico23


Oct 25, 2007, 9:44 PM
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Elinchrom SkyPorts
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been waiting for some time for someone to step up and produce something that challenges pocket wizard for real world use.

I know the PWs are good, but is the price that hight because they are good, or because they are the only game in town?

enter the skyport. so far it seems legit. anyone using this?

http://www.aifo.se/...hrom/pdf/Skyport.pdf

basically, you get a transmitter and 2 receivers for a little more than a single PW (about $300 for a 2 flash setup). Range looks legit, lots of reviews but most seem to be based on the RX system and not the universal.

The RX setup looks sweet, if you use it with Elinchom lights. You control the whole setup, uncluding output from a laptop and can save your settings.

For me, my setup is a little more budget. A bunch of Vivitar 283s with make shift lithium power packs that make use of the AC adapter on the 283's. cheap compact and totally wireless. lights up an average sized high school or small college gym.

Nice to see some legit comepetition to PWs monopolySmile


hrtmnstrfr


Oct 26, 2007, 6:41 AM
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Re: [pico23] Elinchrom SkyPorts [In reply to]
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I too am pretty pumped about these. I hoping to get a set soon.


roy_hinkley_jr


Oct 26, 2007, 7:38 AM
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pico23 wrote:
Nice to see some legit comepetition to PWs monopolySmile

Huh? I've been using the Wein SSR system for years. Works great with my Lumadynes for totally wireless high-power flash. Much cheaper and even more compact than PocketWiz. Never had any problems with range even shooting outdoors.


pico23


Oct 28, 2007, 2:12 AM
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roy_hinkley_jr wrote:
pico23 wrote:
Nice to see some legit comepetition to PWs monopolySmile

Huh? I've been using the Wein SSR system for years. Works great with my Lumadynes for totally wireless high-power flash. Much cheaper and even more compact than PocketWiz. Never had any problems with range even shooting outdoors.

There are lots of alternatives, but non work as well.

I've been using cheap Ebay wizards for about 8 months and they work but like I said when we debated about this on the site, if I was getting paid for there use I'd shell out for something reliable, or have a backup plan.

Alien Bees also make a wizard that works with their lights, perhaps others, but most people who use them and PWs say the wizards are still better for most uses, although ABs wireless has some control over the ABs lights that PWs don't give you.

These seem like the first legit competion to come along and challenge the price of wizards. Competition is good, so I hope they are awesome and do well.


esqueleto


Nov 3, 2007, 6:59 PM
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Re: [pico23] Elinchrom SkyPorts [In reply to]
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Does anyone have these or have used them? Or if someone is planning on getting them, can you post a field test?

I get PWs from my schools checkout all the time and I really hate PWs. These look like they are smaller and weigh less than PW.


pico23


Nov 6, 2007, 10:07 PM
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esqueleto wrote:
Does anyone have these or have used them? Or if someone is planning on getting them, can you post a field test?

I get PWs from my schools checkout all the time and I really hate PWs. These look like they are smaller and weigh less than PW.

I'll have them within a few months. Not a current priority as I turned down shooting basketball this season.

I'll post, but I know someone has them and I'd love to hear their thoughts, as well as how durable they are considering the size and weight.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Nov 6, 2007, 10:08 PM)


Smikey


Nov 14, 2007, 5:46 AM
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The soon to be launched Radio Popper JR will sure shake things up.

Ebay price, PW quality.

http://www.radiopopper.com/model_jr.php


Paul_Y


Nov 14, 2007, 7:39 AM
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Re: [Smikey] Elinchrom SkyPorts [In reply to]
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I've been following their development for a while now. Have you ever had the feeling about something being too good to be true? I just hope its not some big hoax!


(This post was edited by Paul_Y on Nov 14, 2007, 7:43 AM)


pico23


Nov 16, 2007, 5:01 PM
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Smikey wrote:
The soon to be launched Radio Popper JR will sure shake things up.

Ebay price, PW quality.

http://www.radiopopper.com/model_jr.php

Hmm, interesting. Honestly, I'd probably opt for the sky ports just because of Pauls sentiment below. Now, those ebay wizards are almost usuable (they usually work, I just wouldn't trust them if I was getting paid, or was doing more than messing around) so you'd figure for 2x the price you could make something that rivaled a PW, which is why I feel like there is a whole market to be exploited and PW is about to feel some pain.


wes_allen


Jun 6, 2008, 9:03 PM
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Happy email today:

In reply to:
Your RadioPopper order has shipped! Please reference the UPS tracking number below.

Just got one transmitter and one receiver. They are not the jr.'s, but the ttl ones. Bummer they won't be here for the wedding I am shooting tomorrow, but will try to get them out to the steaming, bug infested jungle that is the rrg in the summer to test them with some climbing photos pretty soon. Everything I have read on them says they are really damn good. ETTL, HSS, and remote control of the strobe from the camera sounds like a pretty good thing to have.


melekzek


Jun 7, 2008, 12:53 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] Elinchrom SkyPorts [In reply to]
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i got a set of elinchroms, they work very well... On my 20D I had no problems at 1/250s. With g9 I got synch upto 1/1000s without any problem. They are tiny and work great, imho...

As an added bonus, I sliced and diced and old cable trigger for my 20D, and attached it to one of the receivers... Now I have a real remote shutter as well, yeah...

One note though, I have read a couple of reviews where the users complain about random firings. Here is the deal, they use 2.4 Ghz, the same range as 802.11, so I think it might be an interferance with a nearby wifi router. I have not observed any random firings myself though...


(This post was edited by melekzek on Jun 7, 2008, 12:53 AM)


fiend


Jun 7, 2008, 6:42 PM
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I've got a set of the Skyport Universals. I'm new to off-camera flash, so can't speak about how they compare to other models, but so far they've been great.

After I got a faulty transmitter replaced, they've been 100% reliable. Range hasn't been an issue for me yet, but I haven't wandered beyond 15m.

Negatives, the receivers need to be charged rather than accepting batteries. Sucks if you're not near an outlet when one dies. Because of button style on the receivers, it's relatively easy to have them accidentally turn on inside the case. I've seen mods that protect the power button though, and will probably adapt mine soon.

The big upside so far seems to be the small form-factor. These guys are light and compact. 1/2 the price of PW's and probably 4/5ths of the performance and reliability.

Synching at 1/250 with my D300. Apparently you can fool the D300 to synch higher if you throw an SB-800 on the hotshoe, plug your trigger into the PC port, and enable 1/250 (Auto FP), but this is camera specific so obviously works with PWs as well.


deepplaymedia


Jun 9, 2008, 4:01 AM
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check out the quantums as well


esqueleto


Jun 10, 2008, 8:09 PM
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how long do the batteries usually last for?


pico23


Jun 11, 2008, 9:03 PM
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I got these for Christmas and they work well.

As Melezek said they are tiny but they do have decent range. Currently I haven't done much with them as I haven't finished off the strobe system and I still need another receiver.

I cannot comment on the batteries yet since i haven't used them enough. But overall I am very happy with them and while Wizards are still the gold standard for hard core strobist, these are so much easier to handle, especially if you are someone who prefers compact camera systems. If you are already shooting a 1D or D3 than wizards are just a bit more weight, but if your shooting a compact SLR/DSLR or a G series canon type camera these just make sense to me.


wes_allen


Jun 15, 2008, 4:33 PM
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Got a chance to play with them a little bit yesterday, but from what I have seen so far - they will be a nice tool to have in the bag, no doubt. The big draw for me was the ability to use high speed sync with the wireless remote, because I like to shoot at wide apertures and seem to find myself in the sun quite a bit. Played around a little bit with Pocket wizards to fire the remote, but ended up at like f/16 or worse to keep it under 1/250th. Though I know I can add filters and stuff to cut out the light, that is just a pain when you are moving around alot. The RP seem to be the real deal, they worked like they said they will. I did get a couple no flash fired shots, but overall not that many. HSS works perfectly. And one of the really cool things is that you can control the flash power of the remote from the on camera master, even if you are using full manual flash control, or you can use ettl with fec / ec to taste. As most people notice, ettl can be a bit flaky sometimes, but overall, it does a good enough job for just quick setup shots. Anyway, though some of you all might be interested in checking them out.

Here are a few shots from yesterday (also posted in the non climbing photo thread) - full afternoon sun, ISO 100, F2.8 and 1/8000 with a remote 580 II, and some have a little bit of fill from the on camera flash as well. Just the usual post converting from RAW, bump contrast and vibrancy a bit.











1/5000



deepplaymedia


Jun 16, 2008, 1:37 AM
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Whats wrong with f16? That's what those of us without 1/8000th synch speeds have to do & it works great!

As a very general rule of thumb, for shots like those I (and many many other people!) like to underexpose the ambient by about 2-2 1/2 stops.
Of course change this depending on what you are trying to achieve but that gives a nice balance in many situations.

With the TTL, I find that it really needs to be in manual to have control over whats going on. I'm sure you'll figure it all out, have fun playing with the new toys!!


(This post was edited by deepplaymedia on Jun 16, 2008, 1:38 AM)


GeneralBenson


Jun 16, 2008, 8:02 PM
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How in the world are you getting 1/8000th x-sync speeds?


wes_allen


Jun 17, 2008, 5:28 AM
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Nothing wrong with f16, I just like the shallow DOF for some stuff. Most of these are at -3EC / +2 or +3 fec, so I do try to control the flash and exposure some, just not as much as with full manual. Since the flash to subject distance is a big part of getting the exposure right, it helps having the camera do the basic calculations, then just spin a dial to get it just right. So, really, the hope is to be able to mostly use ettl, but manual isn't a problem either, esp. for more static setups. And I am pretty sure I can still use hss, even in manual, since the flashes are still talking. Guess I will have to check into that next.

General Benson, you can use high speed synch at 1/8000 with the built in wireless functions of the flashes, but it doesn't usually work all that well in bright light. These guys, http://radiopopper.com/.../view/radiopopper_p1 have a hybrid solution.


pico23


Jul 13, 2008, 12:57 AM
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wes_allen wrote:
Nothing wrong with f16, I just like the shallow DOF for some stuff. Most of these are at -3EC / +2 or +3 fec, so I do try to control the flash and exposure some, just not as much as with full manual. Since the flash to subject distance is a big part of getting the exposure right, it helps having the camera do the basic calculations, then just spin a dial to get it just right. So, really, the hope is to be able to mostly use ettl, but manual isn't a problem either, esp. for more static setups. And I am pretty sure I can still use hss, even in manual, since the flashes are still talking. Guess I will have to check into that next.

General Benson, you can use high speed synch at 1/8000 with the built in wireless functions of the flashes, but it doesn't usually work all that well in bright light. These guys, http://radiopopper.com/.../view/radiopopper_p1 have a hybrid solution.

Well it looks like the Skyports bite compared to the Radio Poppers in terms of P/E/i/TTL (or whatever your brand of choice calls it).

However, the Skyports aren't camera specific, so I can use them on both my Nikon and Pentax gear. This is a big plus. Likewise, if my uncle dies and leaves me his Leica collection, yep, I can use the skyports.

Also, my Nikon has unlimited sync speed as well so no issues in manual mode. Pentax is yanking my pee pump with horsing around at 1/180th. Considering my last Pentax film camera came with 1/250th and a 1/8000th shutter I see no reason why they keep putting off. My guess is it's cheaper (more reliable) to put a 1/4000th and 1/180th shutter in when you want it
to hit 100,000+ actuations.

Anyway, HSS sucks monkey ... The P/E/I-ttl systems never work as well as good ole fashioned manual. I wish they did, but all I use em for is low level daylight fill. For everything else, manual works 10X better.


wes_allen


Jul 13, 2008, 12:44 PM
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The RP's units will work with Nikon or Canon, which would cover about 99% of the people who would need something like them, I would think. I also have PW's for my White Lightnings (used them at a wedding Saturday), and to me, the poppers and pw/sky ports, etc are two totally different things/ideas/concepts. The RP's really shine in dynamic situations, or where you don't or can't really spend the time to set things up. I have used them on a few shoots now, and really love them (enough that I will now be paying for a third person at weddings to just hold the light stick). I can work almost like I do with on camera flash, but with the look and power of a remote flash. I don't have to mess around with getting the *right* combo of settings like with the PW and manual flash. Which is nice when you are doing casual engagement sessions and want to keep the flow going, or if the light and flash to subject distance is changing.

The other really cool thing, and something that I also use if the situation requires, is I can use the flashes in full manual with the RP, and, I can change the power setting on the remote from the on camera flash, which again, makes things move much quicker and allowing better results.

I kinda like HSS, and it works just fine for me. Same with E-TTL: once you learn it's quirks, it is pretty predictable.

The one, real drawback is the $$$. Buying new, you would spend around $1,000.00 for a canon flash RP setup, since you need a 580ex II as master and at least a 430 ex as a slave. You can find some bargains used though. And I have heard the RP will work with the on camera pop up flash for the nikon users, so you would just need the remote flash. This isn't much of an issue to me though, since I already have and use the 580 series flashes, though I am also probably going to buy another 580 to use as more a dedicated remote, and maybe another receiver so I can use two remotes.

If you are into, or want to get into, off camera strobes, and you use canon/nikon, I really recommend trying the rp's out. You can use full manual, strobist style if you want, or if you know or are OK learning, Ettl, then you can do some cool work.


(This post was edited by wes_allen on Jul 13, 2008, 1:15 PM)


guangzhou


Jul 13, 2008, 9:35 PM
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Why aren't you guys just using the built in remote trigger in your cameras?

Very reliable with my Nikon stuff.

Cheers
Eman


wes_allen


Jul 14, 2008, 10:15 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
Why aren't you guys just using the built in remote trigger in your cameras?

Very reliable with my Nikon stuff.

Cheers
Eman

The built in wireless flash works OK in the right conditions, but seems to have issues with sunlight, range and you have to make sure the slave receiver is pointed at the master at all times when outside. Inside, in small rooms it does work well though. From what I have read, most people that really used the wireless ettl have moved to the RP's for the advantages that they provide or just the built in functions.

Will try to post some of the photos I have been getting using the RP's in the non climbing photo thread later today.


fiend


Jul 14, 2008, 10:26 PM
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guangzhou wrote:
Why aren't you guys just using the built in remote trigger in your cameras?

Dave Hobby wrote:
The Nikon CLS has a stated range of 33 feet. But that 33 feet also limited in direction, as flash placement is supposed to be within 30 degrees of the shooting axis.


http://flickr.com/...feenstra/2667108216/

I was 15 feet away with the SB-24 (not CLS compatible) pointed in the opposite direction at roughly 5pm with heavy ambient light that probably would have given the D300's pre-flash some serious trouble. I was also mildly drunk, so it's not the best photo, but what else are you going to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon?

I've never used CLS, so I'm not going to argue its benefits or drawbacks, but going with PWs, Skyports, or RPs is going to allow you to do certain things that CLS just doesn't. Especially in the adventure sports category.


kriso9tails


Jul 14, 2008, 10:28 PM
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fiend wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
Especially in the adventure sports category.

Finally Sunday afternoon drinking gets the recognition as a sport that it deserves.

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