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Quick Test: Fotodiox Wonderburst HSS-8000 Radio Triggers (Do They Work?)

by Chris Gampat on 12/15/2012

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (1 of 1)ISO 800

We recently reported on the new Fotodiox Wonderburst HSS8000 radio triggers. The little triggers made a very big claim: high speed sync radio triggering capabilities with any hot-shoe flash or studio strobe. Plus, they’re doing it at a very affordable price. Right after reporting on the story, I called in a trigger and two receivers to test with my speedlites and the Paul C Buff Einstein R640.

And the results? Well…

 

Gear Used

To do this test, we used the Fotodiox Wonderburst HSS8000 radio triggers designed for the 5D Mk II with said camera, Sigma 35mm f1.4, the Einstein E640, 580 EX II, and 430 EX II.

Setup and Performance

Setting up these triggers is really quite annoying. First you need to connect the transmitter with the HSS cable to the camera. Then turn on the transmitter and then turn on the camera. You’ll then see the transmitter’s bulb blink three times. Then to calibrate the two, you need to set your camera to 1/60th and manual focus. Then take two or three shots, and the two should ideally be synced together.

Then your studio strobe/flash and the receiver need to be connected. The light needs to be turned on first and then the receiver needs to be turned on.

If you’ve done everything right, the two will sync and fire together in unison. The problem is that the connection between the two (or three) can fall in and out. Or sometimes, it may not work at all. One of my triggers may indeed be faulty as well.

This test was done a couple of times to ensure that the monolight had finished recharging, and so that I could try to gain consistent results. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get those.

Results

So here’s what happened when tested with the Paul C Buff Einstein E640.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (1 of 16)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 1.4

Initial sync image test: ISO 100 1-60 sec at f – 1.4

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (2 of 16)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-60 sec at f – 1.4

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (3 of 16)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-125 sec at f – 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (4 of 16)ISO 1001-250 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-250 sec at f – 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (5 of 16)ISO 1001-500 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-500 sec at f – 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (6 of 16)ISO 1001-500 sec at f - 4.0

ISO 100 1-500 sec at f – 4.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (7 of 16)ISO 1001-500 sec at f - 6.3

ISO 100 1-500 sec at f – 6.3

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (8 of 16)ISO 1001-1000 sec at f - 6.3

ISO 100 1-1000 sec at f – 6.3

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (9 of 16)ISO 1001-2000 sec at f - 6.3

ISO 100 1-2000 sec at f – 6.3

 

 

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (10 of 16)ISO 1001-2000 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-2000 sec at f – 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (11 of 16)ISO 1001-4000 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-4000 sec at f – 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (12 of 16)ISO 1001-8000 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-8000 sec at f – 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (13 of 16)ISO 1001-8000 sec at f - 5.0

ISO 100 1-8000 sec at f – 5.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (14 of 16)ISO 1001-6400 sec at f - 5.0

ISO 100 1-6400 sec at f – 5.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (15 of 16)ISO 1001-6400 sec at f - 5.0

ISO 100 1-6400 sec at f – 5.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fotodiox wonderburst hss8000 (16 of 16)ISO 1001-3200 sec at f - 1.4

ISO 100 1-3200 sec at f – 1.4

 

We’re going to contact the company on Monday to troubleshoot. But after two hours of experimenting with the units, we still weren’t able to gain consistent results.

So far, our opinions seem to favor PocketWizard and Phottix more.

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