Lighting Radio & Optical Triggers

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Radio Slaves and Audio Slaves for Photography

Many photographers rely on radio slaves or optical slaves during shoots. These wireless flash triggers shine in situations such as wedding photos, portraits, and product photography. With these devices, you'll have even more control over external flash systems. This helps you create a range of precise lighting effects, such as bouncing light in a studio or creating toned lighting.

Trigger Flash Systems

A radio slave sends a signal to your lighting setup and triggers the flash. You can create multiple lighting systems and trigger them with the same trigger or transmitter. With this method, you won't need to spend time moving your lights around to create multiple setups. The radio slave connects to the flash, and then you trigger the flash using a radio transmitter. Most trigger buttons on transmitters have numerous channels, and you can set up many lighting setups on these different channels. You can even use test buttons on some models to make sure your lighting systems are working before taking photographs. You can also adjust the flash settings with some transmitters, changing the power of the flash.

An optical slave represents another method that you can use to trigger your flash setup. When your camera flash ignites, an optical slave detects the change in light, and then triggers connected flash systems to ignite as well. With a single press of your shutter release button, you'll light up the whole room with the flash. You don't need any remote control trigger to use an optical slave.

Setting Up Radio Slaves and Optical Slaves

The most common way to connect your radio slave or optical slave is to shoe-mount flashes with hot shoes. To connect via hot shoe, you may need hot shoe adapters. For more creative control, you can adjust the flash angle and height when setting up your radio slave. You can also add beauty dishes and umbrellas to create unique lighting effects that aren't possible with on-camera flashes.

With an optical slave, your camera flash needs to be able to trigger the optical slave. This means you need to take distance and line of sight into consideration when setting up this system. Other than that, setting up your optical slave is very similar to setting up your radio slave.

Whether you're in search of optical slaves, radio slaves, radio transmitters, or slave accessories, you'll find everything you need at B&H Photo and Video.