Anybody tried the Paul C Buff flash triggers?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by jbm, May 18, 2009.

  1. jbm


    Hey y'all...I am building my home studio and am looking for a slightly less expensive alternative to PocketWizards for triggering studio lights and speedlights. Has anyone used the Paul C Buff Cybertriggers (same manufacturer as AlienBees)? Pros, cons, considerations?
    Also, some specific considerations: can they be used to trigger Nikon speedlights, other speedlights, and are they compatible with all brands of studio flash?
    I know PocketWizards are a no-brainer, but they are also a wallet drainer and the forthcoming CyberCommander looks promising. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Heya Jay--

    Yeah, you can use the Buff triggers just as you could the PWs, in terms of connecting them to any given strobe. The Nikon speedlights require a moment's thought, though: the SB-800 and SB-900 have a PC connector you can use, or you can just put them in SU-4 mode, and let them be simple optical slaves. The SB-600 will require you to buy a hot-shoe adapter.

    Pretty much any monolight or other studio strobe is going to have a simple circuit-closing mechanism to trigger (when you're not using their optical slave sensors). There will be some with 1/8" connectors, some with 1/4" connectors, some with two-prong blade connectors... but triggering them (electically) is pretty much the same, all the way around. If Buff's included cables don't do the job, you can usually solve the problem at Radio Shack for a few dollars.

    Remember: in a studio setting, you might be able to get away with one or two of your lights optically slaving, and save some early expense/trouble. How well that works depends on how you position lights, and what sort of modifiers you bury them in. I rarely have to have more than one radio trigger out in a studio settings (not counting the one on the camera).

    I'm a PW guy, mostly because I like having the matching transmitter in my Sekonic meter able to fire the lights for me while I'm setting up. That's more a convenience than anything else, of course. I'll admit that Buff's forthcoming commander widget looks pretty damn sexy. It's nice not to have to get on a step stool to adjust the power on a high-altitude monolight.

    Have fun! You'll have to remind yourself to go back outside once in a while.
  3. The CyberSync's work well in general.
    (I have 4)
    From what I've read, they work fine with Canon Speedlite's, but haven't read anything on Nikon's...
  4. The Cybersync works as well as any other trigger. At least the pair that I have works well. I have used them with studio flash and camera flash of different brands and they worked fine.
  5. I like mine. I use the Cybersync with my studio strobes and my small flash. Very nice to be able to get the strobe off the camera at a reasonable price. I love them but I just could not justify spending the cash on pocketwizards, at least for where I am with my phototgraphy. The Cybersync triggers are a nice option.
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  6. I am very pleased with mine (I have 3 that I use with both my strobes and my SB-800). One thing that I ran into with them was that I had originally purchased the AC line powered version of the triggers I was going to use with my Interfit strobes, and they didn't work. A quick call to Buff and they verified that what I needed was the battery powered version of the triggers. We did a swap (they are the same price) and all worked fine. Also worth mentioning that I found the technical staff that answered the phone to be very pleasant and knowledgeable.
    From my experience, I'd certainly recommend them.
  7. jbm


    Thanks for the help, amigos! I think I will invest in them as an alternative to PW.
    I hope all is well.

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