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Gene's Pentax 6:45am, 28 January 2008
$150s for a set of Flashwaves trigger and receiver. For many of us, that’s an affordable alternative to Pocket Wizard. Better quality than the E-Bay Cactus triggers. I’ve been testing it for 2 weeks now. It’s working out quite well.

PROS
1. Built-in hot shoe. This is a definite plus. That’s a feature I liked about the Cactus triggers … except that Cactus wasn’t very reliable.
2. Small size. Receiver is basically same size as MicroSync. Transmitter is basically same length and height as MicroSync's, but is wider. Because of its small height, this keeps the flash very close to the center of the umbrella when using one.
3. Light weight. Very light. But not flimsy. Receiver is only 1.5oz (41g) without batteries or 2.25oz (65g) with batteries. (MicroSync's receiver is 2oz (55g)/3.6oz (103g) without/with batteries.) FlashWaves' Transmitter (with battery) is 1oz (28g) vs MicroSync's transmitter 0.6oz (18g).
4. Build quality. Good. Made out of plastic, but pretty good. Much better quality than the Cactus brand plastic.
5. Sync Speed. 1/180s according to SM. But during my test, it synced up to 1/250s. See my test photos. I was syncing at 1/250s at 3 FPS.
6. Price. $150 from g9chon.com. More than the Chinese made triggers. But definitely less than Elinchrom, MicroSync, or Pocket Wizard. Considering performance, feature and alternatives, I’m happy with the price.
7. Triggers multiple flashes with just one receiver! Triggers multiple flashes with just one receiver! I connected two flashes to one receiver via the hot shoe and 3.5mm phone jack. When I can get my hands on another flash, I’m going to try it with 3 flashes on one receiver.
8. 10 Channels. Dial control is good. More direct than 0110 or 0101, etc.
9. Includes cables and adapters. No need to go buy more adapters and cables.
10. Mounting option. Includes a sticky which you can use to stick it onto a studio flash or other surfaces.
11. Range. SM claims 50 to 60 meters. I haven’t tested the max range yet. But within the house, it’s no problem. Also, I was able to trigger it from two floors above in a parking garage.

CONS
1. Range. 100 meters would’ve been great. But still better than my MicroSync and more than I need for my use.
2. Sync Speed. It'd be great if it can sync at 1/500s also. But for $150, it's great. And again, more than I need or more than my camera can sync.

Conclusion Over all, quite satisfied. Will have to wait for the weather to warm up so I can go outside to test the max range. Because I can set up the flash without any cables (unlike my MicroSync) because it has a hot shoe and 1/4" thread, it's very quick and easy to set up.

Hope this helps.
Gene

Edit: When it was first introduced, the seller had an introductory price of something like $159 + $20 for shipping. Since then, the price has risen and something even cheaper came out. AB's CyberSync is cheaper, but it still doesn't have built-in hot shoes. So, given the features, I think Flashwaves is still a good product.
brinlloyd 14 years ago
Gene

Google can't find the web site, more info would be appreciated

B
cprogrammer 14 years ago
Jon_Senior 14 years ago
...and here.
Hartsord 14 years ago
Gene's Pentax 14 years ago
brinlloyd,

Their website is www.g9chon.com. They are pretty new. They didn't have it up when I bought from them.

You can see my test photos here.

flickr.com/photos/8430822@N06/sets/72157603743281849/

Hope it helps.

Gene
smoggy birds [deleted] 14 years ago
Well, I'm sold. This is the trigger/receiver system that I want to get. I went out to the website and noticed that you can purchase a pack of two receivers for just under $100 as well.

After looking at Gene's test shots, I'm sold as well. That's pretty good coverage in my opinion. I can't wait to get mine now. :-)
josh.r Posted 14 years ago. Edited by josh.r (member) 14 years ago
So why wouldn't you just spend a little more for a name brand with better functionality [i.e. fast sync speeds]. The Elinchrome skyports are $185 for a set from Amazon.
Mike Tchaplin 14 years ago
note for any canon user FlashWaves cause the 430EX to just keep firing, would only work as a dance strobe!
Airchinapilot 14 years ago
I wrote a post a while back in one of the threads Jon quoted.

The Flashwaves were nice but they were more expensive than Elinchrom Skyports AND they didn't trigger my 430ex. The decision was made.
Gene's Pentax Posted 14 years ago. Edited by Gene's Pentax (member) 14 years ago
Josh,

I actually did consider getting Elinchrome Skyport. I was using MicroSync and was thinking about getting another MicroSync receiver ... with cable + hot shoe adapter, etc ... it would've been another $180.

But the price wasn't the only thing I considered. Sure, when FlashWaves was (I guess it still is with some vendors) at $250 (rather than at $150) as Airchinapilot reported, FlashWaves just wasn't a real option. At that time, I was ready to get and try Skyport. But two things about Skyport held me back.

1. Skyport uses rechargeable battery ... which means I may need to carry the charger with me when I go on a trip. Ability to use AAA battery, whether it's rechargeable AAA, alkaline AAA, or lithium AAA, is a plus for me.
2. Skyport does not have hot shoe built in.
3. Finally, the cost consideration. I wanted to get a set with 2 receivers. With shipping, Skyport would've cost me $300. MicroSync (with the necessary cable & adapter) would've cost another $190. FlashWaves cost me $250. So, it was worth trying out.

Skyport does have faster sync speed and longer range (up to 100 meters). But having used MicroSync (only 30 meters), the long range wasn't a real issue for me (at least not yet). I still need to go outside and test FlashWaves' max range. But even if it's at 50 meters, I'd be ok with it.

I was looking for something small with a hot shoe built in. The Chinese made Cactus had built in hot shoe. That was great. But the Cactus just didn't work with my flashes and cameras beyond 1/100 or 1/125s.

BTW - I still have my MicroSync kit (it was $200). But since getting FlashWaves, I just don't use it. (Anyone interested in buying it?) Setting up light with FlashWaves is just more simple and fast ... don't have to worry about ANY cables.

As for the problem with 430EXs, it looks like that's no longer an issue according to the vendor ... although it looks like it still doesn't work with some flashes made for Canon.

Gene
Lick My Lens Cap 14 years ago
I have tested out flashwaves with canon 420EX, 430EX, and 580EX flashes and all of them have just fired off repeatedly. Not worth the time or the hassle. Looks good on paper, though.

I have pocket wizards now. Much better, and more reliable. Then again, I'm using Nikon speedlites now mostly, too.
brinlloyd 14 years ago
Gene

thanks

b
Gene's Pentax Posted 14 years ago. Edited by Gene's Pentax (member) 14 years ago
Hi JaMmCat,

I guess the older version of FlashWaves had problem with Canon 430EX, but that does not seem to be the case anymore. A friend of mine is a Canon user with 430EX and 580EX and has FlashWaves also. She's the one that told me about FlashWaves. Clearly, she doesn't have a problem using it with his Canon. Below is a test photo with 430EX ... seems to be working fine.

brinlloyd -- Your welcome. Did you get one also? I'd like to hear your experience with it and your test results. I wonder, am I (and my friend) the only ones that are happy with this thing? I still haven't done a distance testing yet ... as soon as I get a chance, I'll go out to a football field to verify SM's claim. Has anyone done one?

Gene
hushed table [deleted] 14 years ago
@Gene's Pentax

I'm curious what your relationship is with FlashWaves. I've done a little research into the FlashWaves recently and everywhere I find reference to them I see you praising them.

This seems a little over the top for someone who just likes the product and wants to mention it to others. If you work for them or have some financial interest in the product I wouldn't have a problem with that if you would disclose it.

What appears to be happening is astroturfing. This doesn't mean the product is bad, but it makes me suspicious. I'm interested in FlashWaves but am not willing to order from Korea (which seems to be the only option I can find) while I have concerns about the integrity of the company's advertising methods.

Could you please clarify your relationship with Flashwaves?
Airchinapilot 14 years ago
Brian,
I found Flashwaves in my local camera store and distributed through Cameron in Canada, for what it's worth.

I think if I did find that the Flashwaves worked with my 430ex at the time, I would have considered keeping them instead of returning them.
hushed table [deleted] 14 years ago
@Airchinapilot
If I could find them at a local store I'd test them. But since I have a 430ex I'm not going to order from outside the US for any reason. If B&H had them I would have already ordered them.

My issue with Gene's Pentax is that he talks like an ad and seems to be everywhere Flashwaves are mentioned and spends a lot of time promoting the product, yet claims to just be a happy customer. I don't buy it. It doesn't pass the smell test.

I've been wrong before, but this feels like deceptive advertising.
Gene's Pentax Posted 14 years ago. Edited by Gene's Pentax (member) 14 years ago
Hi Brian,

Obviously, I like this thing. So, having found something good that nobody else knew much about, I got excited about it. I learned about FlashWaves through a friend's friend in Korea. I'm in the Army and have been stationed in Korea for 2 years (currently stationed in the Washington DC area). Also, I am fluent in Korean and am an ethnic Korean which means my ancestors come from Korea. So, FlashWaves being a Korean product, I guess FlashWaves and I are somewhat related.

Anyhow, it really struck me that this thing wasn't well known. When I searched on line, I found very few info or places selling FlashWaves. So, I told the vendor that they ought to try selling it on-line because the Canadian vendors I contacted quoted the price of $250 for a set while the vendors in Korea were selling for 160,000 won (about $170 depending on the exchange rate).

I've posted my review of FlashWaves here and on dpreview.com (also Genes Pentax there) where I've been posting since 2005. I post mostly in Pentax DSLR forum on dpreview because I use Pentax (surprise?). I've been reading Strobist since last spring and thought you guys would naturally be interested in FlashWaves. (I should've thought about the possible "xenophobia" about a new guy coming along and making noise.)

Anyhow, while in my advertising mode, I also build computers. So, if you guys are interested in custom made PCs (much better than Dell), let me know.

Thanks.
Gene
HighMark Adventures 14 years ago
Will pass on my experience with the flashwaves system. Picked it up at Lens and Shutter. Starting to experiment with off camera flash so the price was right. Tried it on my 580exII and like stated it just kept firing all by itself. It worked fine on my 420ex and my vivtar 283/285`s. Also works fine with my studio strobes?

Like also mentioned can sync up to 250th/sec. I have tested it just over 200 ft and it fired every time.
knowing middle [deleted] 14 years ago
Hmm... Sounds like the Ebay triggers. I had some - complete and utter junk!
pmoriarty 14 years ago
@rhys_sage Care to elaborate on why you find the eBay triggers to be "complete and utter junk"?

The eBay triggers do have some limitations, but for the most part, people here (including me) seem to be happy with them. They aren't Pocket Wizards. In my experience with the eBay triggers, you get what you pay for, perhaps a bit more than you pay for, but you're not getting PW's.
Airchinapilot 14 years ago
@rhys, they are not junk. I was impressed by their build, UI. But they happen not to work with my Canon flashes and the Skyports were less $$ so that made the decision.
Mista Fitz 14 years ago
I'm curious about these FlashWaves... The Gadget Infinity triggers were ok for the first while, but I'm pretty sick of their build quality/misfires/weird things like shaking the unit lightly sets the flash off?

Pocket Wizards are just out of reach money wise.. and to be honest, I really like the hotshoe design of the flashwaves, the GI triggers with all the extra wire and connectors is a bit clumsy.. and I guess it would be relatively the same with PW's --- I LIKE that hotshoe mount on these flashwaves.

I just feel like I've already hucked out money on the GI triggers... will I be making the same mistake on these units?
wybnormal 14 years ago
Funny.. my "junk" works well each time I use it. For the price, I think I am doing pretty well. The reality is that pocket wizards are way out of reach for now and the near future so I will happily keep flashing my SB800 and imported strobes with my imported junk until something better and cheap comes along. Like the open source trigger project I keep reading about here.
knowing middle [deleted] 14 years ago
pmoriarty

I had some ebay triggers and they would not work at all with my 580EX2. They would barely work with my 430EX but the transmitter had to be 10-12 feet from the receiver. Additionally, any extra receivers had to be 10-12 feet from the other receivers. Failure to do so would result in spontaneous firing.

In the end I sold them to somebody else who found they were equally crap with their Nikon system.

Based on this I'm not inclined to think of ebay triggers as anything more than crap. Look at the price - if they were any good then they'd cost as much as Pocket Wizards.

After that debaucle I went for the STE-2 and have no problems with it whatsoever.
alvinj88 13 years ago
get Alienbees Cybersyncs..they're better. in my opinion
frantic notebook [deleted] 13 years ago
is anyone having probleme with them with the 430 and the 580 II?

i can't fire anything. after reading some review its like night and day with them. some say they are working just fine some say the opposite, i'm on the opposite side....
Scheimpflug Rules 13 years ago
They do work sometimes, but they are eccentric. Sometimes they just go berserk and fire repeatedly for no reason. Might be on a local Toronto RF band that triggers them accidentally. I would never trust them in a professional situation.

They're probably great for hobby applications.

I returned mine to the original retailer and upgraded to PW's.

Not one problem since then.
Gene's Pentax Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Gene's Pentax (member) 13 years ago
Cedric -- Where did you get yours? Just wondering which version it is.

From what I've heard, the original version operating on 315Mhz have issues with Canon flashes. These seem to be mostly sold in Canada.

But the newer version operating on 433Mhz are just fine.
frantic notebook [deleted] 13 years ago
i read about it too, on the manuel it's 433mhz, but it looks like they just change the manuel but not the materiel. i'm going back to the shop today and try an other box..
tommyvon 12 years ago
ive heard they have corrected the problems with canon's in the new generations that are out now. Anyone confirm this? also.. where is everyone finding these for under $150?
CotswoldPhoto 12 years ago
These are in the UK under the Fomei brand for $157 plus Tax.
JRPhotographyBC 12 years ago
@tommyvon, I have been shooting with the FlashWaves "Pro" version for about 10 months now, which is said to have improved circuitry for new flashes.

My only complaint is that the hotshoe fits standard flashes very well, like my 285's, or my SB26, but my SB80dx, SB600 or SB800.. Nikon seems to have changed their hotshoe just slightly, and it is a little sloppy, and doesn't always trigger. Which I worked my way around, by using a PC cord to trigger the latter flashes.

I have tried it on a SB900 without fail thus far, so what ever Nikon did to the hotshoe of the early DX flashes, has been changed back.

But when you look into the FlashWaves, see if it is a 'Pro" version, and it should work fine.

Cheers
JR
savory treatment [deleted] 12 years ago
Actually the website is www.smdv.co.kr - I've just bought it - it is written on the top of the box...
Derrick Young 12 years ago
I too have bought these here in Ontario Canada. But really not that much cheaper that the PW if you are buying more. I believe the extra receivers were $170.00cdn each. Pocket Wizards were on sale for 219.99 for the plus II
wukevinc 12 years ago
The G9 site is down, and the SMDV site is still under construction.

I want these triggers, where can I get them in Vancouver, BC?
tommyvon 12 years ago
Me too.. still looking for one of these.
Harrison Lansing 12 years ago
Would be great if I could figure out a way to have the FW unit trigger my pocket wizard.
Chris Dowswell 12 years ago
I've got The Flash Waves trigger and receiver.... The First version.... for both as a kit it was about 250.... the hotshoe is a godsend.... no cables from a pw, etc. Batteries last a long time... My other photo friends keep borrowing mine.
Check em out.
built-in hotshoe is a downside, imo.
they break off and are made pretty cheap in most rigs.
fuzzy cart [deleted] Posted 12 years ago. Edited by fuzzy cart (member) 12 years ago
SMDV FlashWave 3 on eBay:
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120544906079

$180
2.4GHz, 16 channels, 180m range
Looks like it has flash wake-up too, but the description is in Korean.
NickMilton 12 years ago
ETTL and flash sync at 1/8000 still only with a pw TT1 AND TT5

still worth the money i think.
eightythreephoto 11 years ago
If i had the transmitter on my camera, and one receiver on my 580ex, could the 580 trigger my 430ex without a receiver on it?
AustinThrowaway 11 years ago
First of all, these triggers are 3 years old, which is quite dated for electronics. A better choice these days would be the Yongnuo RF-602. $50 a set and solid as a rock.

To answer your original question, with any trigger of this type (and most, if not all) will require a receiver for each flash.
dannyt. 11 years ago
Ans also this thread is that old too...Please read more recent threads.

:)
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