This past weekend, Monica and I finally had a chance to test out the Radio Popper by "freakin' genius," Kevin King. If you don't know what a Radio Popper is, it simply addresses the key issue of the reliability of the “line of sight” infrared system by “bridging” the infrared light signal over a radio link. This translates into a beautifully simple solution to a very complex problem. AWESOME!!!
As you scroll down, I'll walk you through with my honest feedback regarding the Radio Popper.
You may remember my first time ever toying with the Radio Popper during WPPI, along with photographers I have been "stalking" and consider "Off-Camera Flash Kings & Queens!" For a refresher posted by Matt Adcock on flashflavor.com, please click here.
However, what I started seeing that could be a minor issue is, if you don't have a dedicated flash, the"permanent connection" of the fiber optic to the flash can be a hassle to remove and put back on again since the only way the optics can be connected to the flash is through tape. But this is a such a tiny issue when you actually use the product and see the potential of what it can do for you as a photographer. And why take the popper off anyway? I don't mind dedicating a flash to this puppy since I'm sure I'll be using it plenty!
A closer look at the Popper:
Each flash has a different placement of the optic ball. Below is the actual placement of where it needs to be for the 580ex speedlite.
I've provided images with actual specs... You'll also be able to view/download individual images to check out the full exif data of each individual image for your information. Keep an eye out for the sync speed and aperture settings... it's amazing!
After enjoying a very filling and de-lish meal of crepes with our friend Dave Wong at Squat & Gobble, we headed down the street to meet up with his photog partner, Greg Bartning, at his jealousy-enducing studio. Thanks guys for letting us invade your space for the afternoon! We tested the popper's ettl capabilities with the 580ex speedlite, triggered by the ST-E2. I made sure that the 580 was only being triggered via radio frequencies instead of the infrared line of site by completely covering the 580ex's reciever. I took several shots with the popper turned off to make sure the infrared signal of the ST-E2 is not triggering the speedlite. Once I turned the popper on, the flashes started flashing. Can you say "AWESOME!!!"
Once ON, the poppers worked 100% of the time indoors, regardless of the camera settings. Once I upped my sync speed, we automatically saw a huge difference in the ambient light. This opens up SO many doors of where you can shoot. You don't need a super dark studio anymore because worrying about ambient light affecting the colors is now out of the equation.
There's Dave. Where's Monica?
the test crew: dave, greg, me, and monica