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Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger For Canon Shooters

March 21st, 2012

Reader Jim Black asked me today if I know anything about Phottix Odin TTL Flash Triggers. As I told Jim, what I’d really like to do is build a page that has all the various wireless triggers on it an allow readers to review their experiences with various triggers because wireless triggers is a big subject. There are probably 15 or more triggers and the only way to get reliable information on them all would be to have a way to let readers summarize their experiences with various triggers. I’m researching a WordPress plugin that will allow me to build a page that will summarize reader reviews, kind if like Amazon.

In the mean time I did some research on the Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger and the reviews are very positive. In fact, I couldn’t find anything negative on these triggers. Apparently they are in the process of doing a version of these for Nikon.

In the process of researching this I ran into this video that is a really nice overview of the whole wireless trigger landscape right now. Doesn’t include Phottix because it just came out late last year.

It’s worth pointing out that using Canon E-TTL is not the ideal approach for shooting interiors. Scott Hargis describes the general approach that works best in his post Interior Lighting with multiple strobes. Scott advocates using a wireless trigger like this for one flash that intern triggers the rest of the multiple strobes optically. This approach results in a much cheaper triggering scheme than triggering all your strobes wirelessly. But it also requires that you have some strobes like the Nikon SB-80dx strobes that have great optical triggering.

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9 Responses to “Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger For Canon Shooters”

  • I use the Phottix Strato for Nikon (http://www.phottix.com/en/phottix-strato-ii-multi-5-in-1-wireless-flash-trigger.html) and have never had even one misfire. I have the transmitter and 4 receivers. It has 4 groups and 4 channels. Typically, I shoot with 2 groups each with 2 flashes so as you walk through the house if you need less power you just push a button to disable the flashes you don’t need. The only hassle is that you have to walk to each flash and set the power manually on each flash, but this isn’t as bad as it seems. After shooting a couple of houses in various conditions, it becomes pretty easy to dial in the right amount of power for each flash unit. It really only gets tricky when you need one in a small space like a hall where 1 stop of light can either blow out the room or leave it completely dark. Even then, after doing it a few times, it’s pretty easy to get very close in the first shot. Coupled with Lightroom 4 and the very powerful adjustment brush, even missing a small space in the frame because trivial to correct in 30 seconds. That said, it would still be faster and more convenient to control the power of each flash from the command on the camera’s hot shoe…

    If they make a Nikon model and it works with the current receivers, I will buy one as soon as it becomes available.

  • Larry : happy to write about Elinchrom Skyport when your wordpress page is up : these wireless triggers are non TTL type but are cheaper by far than pocket wizard. While made for the Swiss made Elinchrom flash units, you can fire any cobra-type / speedlight flashgun by means of a small hotshoe foot with 1/4 inch tripod/lightstand mount by Kaiser: flash sits in this and the receiver connects to it. Only thing I have found is that the 2.5mm connector cables that come with the Kaiser shoe to connect it to the receiver are very flimsy : so I replaced them with stronger pocket wizard cables. The transmitter can sit in the hotshoe of the camera or if your camera has X sync option it can connect to this : very useful if you are using the hot shoe already for spirit level or as I do, seven inch video monitor for showing previews to clients. Being wireless, they work round corners and up to 60 ft possibly more outdoors . Theoretically you could just buy the transmitter and one receiver unit (they come as a very reasonably priced kit) and fire one gun wirelessly and the others via slave, but I have little faith in optical/ infra red slave cells as I often “hide” flash units behind doors/ pillars etc. In harsh sun they can be fooled as they need to see a change in light to work. On a shot I want to know everything is going to fire, every time. So I have one transmitter and four receivers : about the price of a Canon flash gun and the best money I ever spent. I can fire old Nikon guns, third party guns or brand new Canon guns with this system. Sure you can’t control flash outputs from camera position with the transmitter (you need to set them all manually) but I don’t find this to be too much of a hindrance. Perhaps I don’t need to add what an inspiration Scott’s book has been re the whole subject of off-camera flash, but there I’ve done it ! Thanks as ever for the daily emails. Simon.

  • I have the Odin and a couple receivers. So far, I’ve only had time to test them, but they work as advertised. Nice to be able to adjust power in +/-EV rather than ratios.

  • Timely article as I am just about to dump my Cactus V5 and going through the PW vs all others debate. Basicly narrowed it down to two categories – on-camera control vs run around manual like doing now.TTL not important in RE, but would be a side benefit for other shoots-but not a limiting priority. On camera contol is either the Radio Popper Studio Jr, or PW Flex with the optional controller. Also, the Photix Odin for Nikon may be an option if ever available. Likewise with the Pixel Kings. Also, possibly Paul Buff’s Cybersyncs…but I may be wrong, but it appears that their controller only adjusts Paul’s line of strobe, and not speedlights. SB900’s lack of quench pin is an issue for controllers on-camera and may require a different flash. For full manual, Cybersyncs and Phottix Stratos vs the manual
    pw’s.

    Larry, it is a good idea to to develop a page on triggers. Also,don’t overlook how can also trigger the camera shutter which I use extensively in pole photography, and on twilight shots when painting with light,later masking ones self out.

    Trouble with the Cactus? First let me knot that other have had good performance from theirs, and customer service from Hong Kong has been great.
    1. Hot shoe screws came loose (stripped very narrow threads) rattling inside. While they sent me new screws, I also installed them with automotive loc-tite and no further problems.
    2. Hair thin wire broke from soder and I had to re-soder. I think the battery drawer may have pushed it to breaking point as I can see the wires as I look throught the battery opening. Never seen such small guage wire as hard to remove insulation for re-soder without breaking wires.
    3. Continual mis-fires, particurally with SB-600. Unlike the formed hotshoe pictured in the Phottix above (and most other triggers) the Cactus has a singe pin with a round plastic circle serving as an insulator. Unused TTL pins on the flash make contact with the metal and short with massive rapid fire of the speedlight – and the customer knows you are having “issues.” i have done the internet forum solution of putting a piece of electrical tape on the upper portion of the shoe to expand the insulated area with some success, but still am leery of the weight of the flash and those screws holding it together.

    I have gotten to the point where I don’t even use the hotshoe. I attach via PC cord (hotshoe/PC adapter for the SB600) and velcro the receiver unit to the light stands, like I would have to do with RadioPoppers. Works fairly reliable, but at times when can’t get them to work, use my expensive back-up system -Nikon CLS.

  • @LarryG- Thanks for mentioning remote camera triggering… I’ve had several request to build a page for PAP equipment. So I’m going to do to pages, one on PAP and one on triggers.

  • I also have the Odins and really like them. Adjust by ETTL or Manual without going to the flash itself.

  • Taking a very serious look at these just because you can adjust manually without having to go back and forth from camera to flash, then again and again! By the third shoot of the day my patience is running out! May only save a few mins on each shoot but when I think about the number of times I accidently knock the tripod as I squeeze out of the corner of a room surely Odin makes for a much calmer existence? Interested to know how anyone is getting on with it in real life!

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