Is there a difference between a Speedlite and a Speedlight?

Canon makes Speedlites.
Nikon makes Speedlights.

What is ETTL and ITTL?

Canon’s ETTL (Evaluative Through-The-Lens) technology and Nikon’s ITTL (Intellegent Through-The-Lens) technology are automatic systems for calculating flash power. It starts with the Speedlite(s) firing a low-power pre-flash so that the camera can measure the amount and location of the light returning. The camera then evaluates these readings and instantaneously sends the power level instructions to the Speedlite(s). ETTL/ITTL is also the basis for wireless control of multiple Speedlites viaa master/commander flash.

How does an ETTL/ITTL cord work?

An ETTL/ITTL cord is wired to carry the full communication between the camera and the Speedlite–just as if the Speedlite were sitting in the hotshoe. Other cord designs, such as the old-school PC-sync cord, only carry the “fire now!” command.

Can an ETTL/ITTL cord control a Speedlite in Manual Mode?

Yes, our cords are compatible with all Speedlite modes–ETTL/ITTL, Manual, and Multi/Stroboscopic.

Why is getting a Speedlite off of the camera’s hotshoe a good idea?

“To create interesting light, you have to create interesting shadows”–Syl Arena. When the Speedlite fires from the hotshoe, it lights both sides of the subject equally–so the light appears very flat. By moving the Speedlite to the side of the camera, it creates shadows that add shape and depth to the image.

Will an ETTL cord work for Nikon? Will an ITTL cord works for Canon?

Our cords are wired to match the configuration of a specific manufacturer. Canon Speedlites have five pins. Nikon Speedlights have four pins. So you will not get ITTL control through one of our ETTL cords (and vice versa). You can, however, fire the other brand’s flash in old-school manual mode (which does not enable wireless control of other flashes).

Can I use a third-party flash, like Yongnuo or Sigma?

Our cords are designed to work with Canon or Nikon flashes. We have received reports of inconsistent results with third-party flashes — like those by Yongnuo and Sigma. Thereby, we cannot guarantee full compatibility with non-Canon or non-Nikon units. If you find that our cord does not work with your third-party flash, you may return it in like-new condition within 30 days of your purchase for a full refund (details here).

How long are your straight cords?

The OCF33 cord is 33′/10m long. The OCF16 cord is 16′/5m long. Remember that the cord will drop from the Speedlite to the floor, run across to the shooter, and then up to the camera. The OCF33 provides about 22′/7m of working distance. The OCF16 provides about 6′/2m of working distance. Of course you can get a bit more working distance if the cord swings through the air — but make sure that you don’t pull your light stand over!

Why is a straight cord better than a coiled cord?

Coiled cords are very convenient for short cords–such as our OCF 3′/1m cord. For long cords, straight is the way to go as it will give you a much longer working distance. To extend a long coiled cord to its full length requires a considerable pull– which will topple the light stand. Also, a long coiled cord will swing between the stand and the photographer–creating a potential hazard during the shoot. A straight cord will drop straight to the floor and minimizes the potential for tripping.

What about radio triggers?

ETTL/ITTL radio triggers, such as RadioPopper’s PX system and PocketWizard’s TT1 and TT5, have the great advantage of being able to send ETTL/ITTL instructions over long distances. This convenience has a high price–typically $200 per Speedlite. So, if you’re firing three Speedlites, then you need $600 in ETTL/ITTL radio triggers. The one market where the price of ETTL/ITTL radio triggers seems like a bargain is wedding and event photography. So, if you’re getting paid to shoot in crowded locations, then ETTL/ITTL radio triggers offer wireless control. If you’re starting out with a few Speedlites or don’t shoot in crowded locations, then our ETTL/ITTL cords are the perfect and affordable solution.

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