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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger for Nikon

Portland Oregon Photographer Jayesunn Krump-0005

I have been shooting with the Odin trigger system from Phottix for a couple of months now and I have yet to encounter any issues with the system what so ever. To date this is my favorite trigger system.

Portland Oregon Photographer Jayesunn Krump-0011

The Odin trigger system is comprised of a Transmitter Control Unit (TCU) and the Receiver Unit. The TCU attaches to the hot shoe of the camera and the receiver mounts to the shoe of a TTL flash unit.

The TCU has a very easy and intuitive layout that is a breeze to navigate. Located on the back of the unit are all of the controls and the LCD display. The screen will show you all of your settings at a glance. All of the buttons are located under the display and are very responsive to the touch. Here is a breakdown of the buttons and their functions:

Option Button – This button allows you to toggle between the standard control mode and the TTL Ratio Mode.

Mode Button – Changes between TTL, M (manual) or --- (off) modes for the selected group.

Zoom Button – You can change the zoom mode of the flash from TTL (where the camera is auto responsive to the focal length of the lens mounted on the camera) to Manual where you set the flash head zoom length manually.

Power Button – Turns the TCU power on and off.

+/- Buttons – You use these buttons to set option levels.

Clear Button – When held down this button resets power levels back to zero.

Autofocus Assist Illuminator (AF-ILL) Function Button – With this function you can turn the IR AF assist beam of the flash on and off from the controller.

Modeling Light Button – This fires the flash continually for one second to simulate modeling light from the flash unit.

Test Button – Test fires the groups in order one at a time from A to C.

Ready LED Light – Not a button, but nested in the mist of all of the others, this is the status light indicator for the control unit.

On the front of the Transmitter Control Unit is the battery compartment. I am so happy that this controller takes standard AA batteries.
Portland Oregon Photographer Jayesunn Krump-0010
On the right side there is a mini USB port for future firmware updates for added functions and future camera compatibility.

On the underside is the metal hot shoe mount and locking ring.
Portland Oregon Photographer Jayesunn Krump-0014
The receiver unit also has a pretty simple layout. On the top of the unit is the metal Hot Shoe Mount and status LED light.

Over on the left side is the Channel selection switch where you can choose from channels one through four, a Mini USB port, and a 5V DC power Port.

Portland Oregon Photographer Jayesunn Krump-0018

The right side of the receiver has the power button and Group selection switch that allows you to choose from group A, B, or C.

A 3.5mm Output port is the only thing on the back of the unit. On the underside is not only the Cold Foot mount with locking ring but also a ¼” female thread for mounting the receiver on a light stand.

To get up and shooting with the Odin all you need to do is attach the TCU to your camera, connect a TTL compatible flash to the receiver, and turn it all on. As long as all of your channels and groups are synced, you are good to go.

Now you can use either TTL or manual flashes with the Odin trigger system. If you want to be able to use wireless TTL or have remote power level control, you have to use a compatible TTL flash. When I tested this system, I used the Mitros TTL flash for Nikon from Phottix, a Nikon SB-910, a LumoPro LP160, and the new LumoPro LP180. All of the flashes performed flawlessly with the Odin. The power levels of the TTL flashes could be controlled remotely and the other manual flashes fired every time without fail. The Odin system was able to handle multiple flashes from different manufacturers in both manual and TTL modes without any problems whatsoever. Please note that only the TTL flashes were able to be used in TTL mode. The Odin does not make a manual flash a TTL flash.

Another great future of the Odin trigger system is its backward compatibility with the Phottix Strato and Strato II series flash triggers. As the Strato triggers are manual only flashes, they will not transmit TTL data or have remote power level control; they will function just as manual triggers with the Odin system. If you have some of the Strato or Strato II triggers, then they can be integrated into the Odin system as manual triggers.

Something a little different for Nikon shooters is the A:B Ratio functions. When you hit the Option button on the back of the Transmitter Control Unit it brings up the TTL Ratio screen. If you hit the Select Button, the TTL Ratio scale is highlighted so you can adjust the A:B ratio by hitting the + or – buttons. There is also an exposure compensation option as well to help dial in your flash exposure to your personal taste. The Ratio function is pretty easy to use and if you are a TTL shooter with multiple flashes then this is a very simple option for you.

By far my favorite feature of the Phottix Odin is the FP High Speed Sync mode! I love the fact that I am no longer restricted to 1/250 of a second shutter speed. In fact I have the High Speed Sync mode always activated, so that when I want to cut just a bit more of the ambient light I have that option ready to go. This function falls into the remote power control category in a manner of speaking. In order for the FP High Speed Sync Mode to function you need to be using a TTL compatible flash unit. So, in my testing set up with the Mitros as my main light I was able to get all the way up to 1/8000 of a second shutter speed. However when I used my LumoPro LP180 I was not able to get a fast shutter speed than 1/320 of a second due to the fact that the LP180 is a manual flash and is not capable of some of the more advanced functions that the Odin offers.

Is the Odin from Phottix the perfect flash control system? I can definitively say that it is the greatest trigger system that I have ever put on my camera. It is everything that I could ask for: great design and build, radio transmitter and receivers, remote power control, and FP High Sync Mode just to name a few of the available options. In the few months that I have been using the Odin system I have yet to be let down by it. It is a rock solid trigger system that has proven itself time and time again. I simply cannot recommend this trigger system enough.

For more information on the Odin and products from Phottix visit their site at http://www.phottixstore.com and also read their blog http://journal.phottix.com. You can also find Phottix on:

FaceBook -  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phottix-Professional-Photo-Accessories/107825772585728

Twitter - https://twitter.com/phottixjournal

Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/groups/phottix

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