I have been using Cactus V2 Flash Triggers, from Gadget Infinity, to control my camera flashes. I’ve had a very good experience with them firing up to three flashes at a time. They’ve been a very good investment for me. They are inexpensive and the get the job done. However, I really don’t like the L-bracket flash foot adapter.
The Cactus V2 is just a small box with the electronics for firing a flash through the flash shoe, or a PC sync cord. I’ve been using the flash shoe for firing my flashes. The Cactus V2 has a plastic L-bracket with a smaller than normal flash foot for mounting onto a flash shoe. The flash foot is also tapped for mounting onto a 1/4″ light stand head.
I see the following problems with the L-bracket:
- The L-bracket and Cactus body raise the flash too high when used with an umbrella adapter.
- The L-bracket has a tension knob which allows you to position the flash at an angle, but the knob is unable to support the weight of my flashes and falls forward all the time.
- The L-bracket is plastic and will probably break or strip the threading eventually.
- The foot on the L-bracket is really too small for use with any of my flash shoes.
Here is an example of how high my flash is raised when using the Cactus trigger with an umbrella adapter. I think the flash is aiming at an angle which does not make the best use of the umbrella.
So, I like the Cactus V2 Flash Trigger, but I don’t like how it mounts on my light stands. The Cactus trigger will allow me to use a variety of flashes, not just one brand.
I felt that I needed a better solution which would allow my flashes, which do not have PC sync ports, to be fired from a flash hotshoe but would get rid of the L-bracket from the setup. I knew Flash Zebra had a lot of options for off camera flash accessories from reading David Hobby’s blog, Strobist.com.
I was able to find a Flash Zebra PC to Flash Hotshoe Adapter. The Flash Zebra PC to Flash Hotshoe Adapter is much shorter than the Cactus V2 Flash Trigger with the L-bracket.
The adapter has a metal base which is tapped for 1/4″ light stand heads. Because it is metal I trust is more than a plastic mount. The adapters PC sync port would allow the Cactus V2 to communicate with the hotshoe.
I also got a short, 12″, PC Male to PC Male sync cord. The length probably doesn’t matter very much and could be a matter of personal preference. I got short cables because I am probably going to bungie-tie or Vecro-fasten them to my umbrella adapters.
I removed the L-bracket and replaced the tension knob to keep unwanted things out of the electronics. If you can get the bolt out without damaging the insides, a piece of gaffers tape would probably do the job. The tension knob may also give a bungie something to hold onto.
I connected the Cactus flash trigger to the Flash Zebra hotshoe with the PC sync cord. Here is how it looks:
Here is a photo of the new configuration in action. The flash is pointing toward the umbrella at a much better angle.
Everything works perfectly.