New Life for Old Flashes with Cowboy Studio Wireless

Have an older flash that you really like, but it just doesn't fit with your new camera gear? For less than $25 you can use that light again with the Cowboy Studio Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger/Receiverkit. It brings wireless flash photography to just about any flash/camera combination.

cowboy_studio_trigger.jpg The NPT-04 Cowboy Studio kit (Canon flash not included!)

In my case, I have a cool little Canon Speedlite 270EX that isn't much bigger than a deck of cards. I hadn't been using it because it doesn't have the wireless capability of the newer Canon Speedlite 270EX IIflash. So in a drawer it sat.

Thanks to the Cowboy Studio radio trigger set, however, I'm now carrying the 270 EX in my "bum around" backpack and using it with the new Olympus OM-D E-M5camera. This rig also works with my Canon 5D Mark II, which doesn't have a flash or a flash trigger built in to the body.

The Cowboy Studio trigger operates on a 433 MHZ radio frequency and has four different channels. You can use shutter speeds up to 1/250th of a second with the kit. The receiver uses 2 AAA batteries and the transmitter includes a 23A, 12V battery. The kit is light and compact. And it works great. There's even a PC socket on the receiver.

What you don't get is ETTL capability. In other words, no dedicated flash. For some, this may be a deal breaker. But I've been using manual flash most of the time anyway. With digital cameras, where you can check your results immediately on the LCD, it really isn't a problem.

For indoor shoots, I usually start with these settings:

  • ISO 400 or 800
  • Manual exposure mode, 1/30th at f/5.6
  • If the subject is too bright, I stop down to f/8 or more
  • If the subject is too dark, I open up to f/4 or more

I'm having a blast with the Cowboy Studio Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger/Receiverkit. It's great knowing that I have off-camera flash capability with just about any camera/flash combination in my bag.

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I've been thinking of buying this package for my speedlite. Thanks for sharing the info!

I just picked up a set of these after you mentioned them on TWiP. They just shipped, can't wait to try them!

Also, I found your video on off-camera flash on Lynda and its been very helpful.