Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gadget Infinity Cactus V4 Long-Term Update

When they work, they work pretty much 98% of the time in studio setting at 1/200th synch speed with the Nikon D3 and AlienBees AB800's. With the SB-800's they're good for 1/250th sync speed. Not bad for a set that costs less than $120 where you get 4 receivers and a trigger.

The bad things about them? Well first of all, the little antenna on the trigger sometimes doesn't stand up because it's flimsy. It's held down by the two pieces of the case (the top and bottom) which is held together by only 1 screw in the front. Which means in the back, it's starting to split open which means the antenna is going to be loose and floppy. That's fine when you don't need distance, but anytime you need distance and your antenna isn't erect, you're not triggering.

Sometimes they don't work. And when they don't work it's like they just decide to stop working. It's never the batteries because I have a voltmeter and check the batteries. They're still good. It's like sometimes the receiver just stops receiving the signal. I don't know why this happens. It just happens sometimes out of the blue. Then when it happens it's like 5-10 shots of blackness because they won't trigger. After playing around with both the receiver and the trigger, they'll sync up again. But you just wasted some time and a few opportunities of shots.

Sometimes when they sync, they don't sync all the way. Like even at 1/200th sometimes the shutter is too fast for the sync and you get 1/2 black on the frame. Dunno why. It just happens. Sometimes it's because the antenna isn't raised, other times it just happens out of the blue.

Do I like them? Yeah, they're good for what you pay for. Beyond that, don't expect 100% reliability. When the new PocketWizards come out for the Nikon system, you can bet your asses that I'm getting a set of those. Incidentally I dropped the 1st receiver in the picture (from left to right). It no longer fires when the trigger goes off. Something seems loose in there... and it wasn't a big fall or anything. Oh well.

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