Guide to Quantum Instruments Trio QF8 System Situational Setups

By Stan Sholik

The Quantum Instruments Trio QF8/Pilot QF9/Qflash T5d-R equipment forms a powerful and versatile wireless system that can handle many of the tasks that up until now have required larger, less portable lighting equipment. I found that the system will perform extremely well when it has been set up properly. But I also encountered a fairly steep learning curve in setting the units up to perform the way I wanted.

For others who may be trying to work out settings for some common photographic situations, here is what I have found.

1) How to set up a Trio on the camera hot shoe and a T5d-R as a remote to use the camera’s built-in TTL system to determine the exposure.

The T5d-R remote flash must be set to the same Wireless Group and Channel as the Trio, in this case Wireless Group R1 and Channel 1. The remote flash must ALWAYS be set up before the on-camera Trio is turned on.

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On the Trio, you set the mode to QTTL, the first setting in the menu bar at the top of the LCD.

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Pressing the SET button brings up an info screen showing your camera settings. Pressing the SET button again allows you to adjust the FILL setting. In this mode both the on-camera flash and the remote flash will have the same exposure compensation. You cannot adjust each separately.

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You must also press the RADIO button and check that it is set to QTTL.

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2) How to set up a Trio on the camera hot shoe and a T5d-R as a remote to use the camera's built-in TTL system to determine the exposure, but have different exposure compensations for each flash.

The T5d-R remote flash must be set to the same Wireless Group and Channel as the TRIO, in this case Wireless Group R1 and Channel 1. The remote will see the on-camera flash and QTTLwR is displayed on the LCD. The remote flash must ALWAYS be set up before the on-camera Trio is turned on. 

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On the Trio, you set the mode to QTTL RATIO, the fourth setting in the menu bar at the top of the LCD.

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Pressing the SET button brings up an info screen showing your camera settings and the flash unit settings. The on-camera Trio is listed first, the first remote (R1) is next and a second remote, if used, is third (R2). Pressing the "SET" button again allows you to adjust the FILL setting for the Trio, and the compensation settings for R1 and R2. If the FILL setting is -1, as it is here, then the R1 setting must be +1 in order for the R1 light to deliver the full QTTL exposure.

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If you press the RADIO button you will see that it has been set up automatically.

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3) How to shoot fast with consistent exposures by using the manual settings for the on-camera Trio and the remote T5d-R. 

The T5d-R remote flash must be set to the same Wireless Group and Channel as the TRIO, in this case Wireless Group R1 and Channel 1. The remote will see the on-camera flash and TTLwR is displayed on the LCD. The remote flash must ALWAYS be set up before the on-camera Trio is turned on. 

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On the Trio, you set the mode to ADVANCED MULTI, the last setting in the menu bar at the top of the LCD.

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Pressing the SET button brings up an info screen showing your camera settings and the flash unit settings. The on-camera Trio is listed as LOCAL, the first remote (R1) is next and a second remote if used is third (R2). Pressing the SET button and the + and – buttons allow you to navigate from one flash unit to another and set the modes to manual. Pressing the SET button once more and the + and – buttons allows you to adjust the power setting for the Trio and the remotes. 

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If you press the RADIO button you will see that it has been set up automatically.

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4) How to set up a Pilot on the camera hot shoe and use a Trio as a remote main light, bounced into an umbrella or with its reflector with no on-camera fill, using the camera's built-in TTL system to determine the exposure.

Set the remote Trio to RL, Remote Linked operation in Group R1. The remote flash must ALWAYS be set up before the on-camera Pilot is turned on. 

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The camera settings are shown in the top line of the Pilot in the camera's hot shoe. Using the left SELECT button, set R1 on the Pilot to QTTL. Using the right SELECT button, set the remote flash compensation relative to the camera meter reading.

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There are seemingly endless possible combinations of settings. Since each of the Groups can contain an unlimited number of flash units, it is difficult to imagine a lighting situation that the system couldn't handle. The only limitation is your ability to set up the system correctly.

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