Nissin Di866 Mk II

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When I decided to get an external flash for my Canon_T3i, I looked at several choices:

  • The Nissin Di866 Mark II
  • The Canon Canon 580EX II, which is a very nice flash, but rather expensive (I've never seen it lower than $400). It also has a known issue with the PocketWizard FlexTT5 remotes, seriously reducing the range because of a high RF noise floor from the high voltage circuit.
  • The LumoPro LP160 is a nicely featured flash, but only works in manual mode (no TTL).

The disadvantage of the Di866 Mark II is that the PocketWizard FlexTT5 does not support them at this time (or at least as of 2012/03/03 [1]). Hopefully they'll have added support by the time I can afford a set of PW's. If the Di866 is Canon compatible, why doesn't the PW see it as a 580 EX II?

So, looking at cost vs features vs when I'll actually have to worry about PW compatibility, and the fact I'd like to add two more flashes (most likely LumoPro LP160's or Canone 430 EX II's), I went with the Di866 Mark II. The least expensive place I found them was on eBay for $275, from the seller dzone2. They had good feedback, and although it shipped from Hong Kong, I received it in about 10 days.

One other minor note: Nissin (and some others) often talk about "Wireless Remote". This does not mean radio-frequency remotes, it means it triggers the remote flashes via the strobe. Although technically this is "wireless", most people think of "wireless" as radio-frequency, not optical.