Here’s what comes in the box:
Initially I was surprised that there were only 4AAA batteries in the box, but reading the manual, it turns out that each half of the trigger will work happily on just 2AAA’s – but will take 4 each – the usable life of the batteries is just halved when using two. The box contents comprise 1 LV5 laser emitter, 1 LV5 laser detector/RF transmitter, 1 LV5 hood (for the detector), 1 PC sync lead, 1 3.5mm plug cable and settings stickers to remind you what the thumbwheel control does on the detector.
The LV5 has Duo Mode Triggering (DMT) which means it can be triggered by either blocking the transmission between the laser Emitter and Sensor, or removing the object between the laser Emitter and Sensor. It sends a control pulse either via the 3.5mm jack socket on the emitter or via wireless to a Cactus V5 transceiver (optional extra).
Since I don’t have any Cactus transceivers, I decided to use the LV5 to trigger my camera’s shutter directly. This requires an optional extra lead, which is dedicated for your camera. It wasn’t included in the box, but fortunately I had a suitable cable for my Canon EOS 7D from my CameraAxe system – although you can of course buy one from Cactus.
A while ago my Lego Diver had fun making this picture with me on Day #1258. He had to make the jump many times because we were timing the camera shutter by hand. But today I tried it again with my lady diver and the Cactus LV5 laser trigger. Here’s the setup:
The transmitter and receiver were placed just above and either side of the tank of water and carefully lined up. Initially I had some trouble with the camera continuously triggering but once I aligned the sensors properly, it was fine.
I used the camera in mirror lock-up mode to minimize the shutter lag, using my existing Yongnuo TX and RX units to fire the flashes. Of course, you can use the built-in Cactus trigger signal to fire Cactus receivers under each flash if you have them.
It was much easier than timing by hand! I made sure I dropped the diver at a point which would break the laser and adjusted the delay until I got the shot I was after. I still took a quite a few shots, but there were many more keepers and it didn’t take very long to get one where she was looking in the right direction, and in the right point in the tank.
I can certainly see the potential for using this for other high speed shots with objects dropping into liquids. I doubt I would use it for any collision or crown shots, as I have two systems already which also control the valves – essential for such work. Here are some fun shots from my session:
The triggers seem well built, although I did find it rather easy to accidentally switch them on with the flush-mount on/off switch on top of each cylinder. So probably best to store them without batteries, just in case they get switched on while putting them away. You can take the hood off and stow the two front-to-front via their handy little twist locking mechanism. The transmitter also has a slide-across cover for the laser beam too – a great idea, although you can still see a very dim red spot through the cover when closed.
Each half of the trigger has an adjustable-angle foot – a nice mechanism with click-position location and a big thumb-tightened locking screw. Underneath, it has a standard 1/4″ tripod screw thread and plastic hot shoe attachment. I used the latter to slot into some plastic feet which came with my flash guns, which made the trigger very easy to position.
The LV5 has the potential for many uses where movement detection is required. I look forward to exploring more of these, including perhaps some wildlife shots in the future, as the units will work in sunshine and up to 150m apart.