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Author Topic: PocketWizards  (Read 6489 times)

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« on: November 14, 2009, 20:04 »
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Not a lot of gear talk here anymore, just mainly random updates about sites with a big of speculation from members of whats going on and so on.

Thought I might mix it up with a conversation about gear.

I'm looking at grabbing myself another 430EX or 580EX II in the near future to pair with my current 430EX and at the same time I want to buy the Flex5 and Mini PocketWizards combo in an effort to essentially become more creative with light.

I'm going with this type of kit because its so very portable and not as large as studio strobes, but at the same time they are powerful enough to do the job most of the time.  Also its easy to set up with interiors, which I've been getting many requests to do lately for interior decorators and such.

Another interesting piece is that they have enormous range - which I like in terms of shooting landscapes outside if I want to do something at night or want to try fancy lighting.

Anyone have any experience with these?

Does anyone use them or use the Radio Popper competitor version?

I will probably also grab an umbrella or 2 as well, and a couple of diffusers.



lisafx

« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 21:33 »
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I have the 580EX and use it with a couple of 420EX's.   I haven't needed to use the pocket wizards with that setup, as the 580 set to master trips the 420s set to slave. 

I do have pocket wizards to trip my studio strobes, though, and they work perfectly.

« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 23:56 »
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There is also a lot of talk about the new Paul Buff triggers.  I think they have been cleared now for Canada. Check the AlienBees website.

David Hobby (Strobist) wrote up on the RadioPopper and he gave them a great review. 

PocketWizards are the best investment I've made in ages.  Everthing was there to use with my strobes.  I had to ask my guy to order the cable to connect to my Nikon speedlights.  Holy crap, I think they were $39 each from PocketWizard.  So... make sure the included cables connect to your flash.  If you need cables there is some site - I think it has the word Zebra in it - that sells the same cables for a few bucks.  I'll see if I can dig it up when I am on my desktop.

I've taken a low few thousand shots with PW's this year and they are very reliable.  Better than that Booth Photo crappy triggers I had before. 

« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 00:04 »
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There is also a lot of talk about the new Paul Buff triggers.  I think they have been cleared now for Canada. Check the AlienBees website.

David Hobby (Strobist) wrote up on the RadioPopper and he gave them a great review. 

PocketWizards are the best investment I've made in ages.  Everthing was there to use with my strobes.  I had to ask my guy to order the cable to connect to my Nikon speedlights.  Holy crap, I think they were $39 each from PocketWizard.  So... make sure the included cables connect to your flash.  If you need cables there is some site - I think it has the word Zebra in it - that sells the same cables for a few bucks.  I'll see if I can dig it up when I am on my desktop.

I've taken a low few thousand shots with PW's this year and they are very reliable.  Better than that Booth Photo crappy triggers I had before. 

I will be using them with the hot-shoe design that PW released just lately.  I don't think I need cables as they work with Canon seamlessly (or so I'm reading)

« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 00:16 »
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Yeah, mine are the last generation.  Don't you still need a receiver that plugs into your flashes with the new unit?

« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 01:02 »
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 Hi Ichiro,

 Here is a powerful travel lighting set up that is an option. The light is here http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/52814-USA/Sunpak_0622SZ_622_Super_Pro_System_TTL.html the power is here  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/467222-REG/Quantum_Instruments_TSC_Turbo_SC_Battery_Pack.html  I get more power and can attach all my soft boxes and lots of accessories to these lights. They screw to the top of most light stands and we velcro the battery to th light. Very fast recycle and lots of power. Just a it more manual than a ttl system.

Good Luck on your new purchase,
Jonathan

Dook

« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 05:11 »
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There is also a lot of talk about the new Paul Buff triggers.  I think they have been cleared now for Canada. Check the AlienBees website.

David Hobby (Strobist) wrote up on the RadioPopper and he gave them a great review. 

PocketWizards are the best investment I've made in ages.  Everthing was there to use with my strobes.  I had to ask my guy to order the cable to connect to my Nikon speedlights.  Holy crap, I think they were $39 each from PocketWizard.  So... make sure the included cables connect to your flash.  If you need cables there is some site - I think it has the word Zebra in it - that sells the same cables for a few bucks.  I'll see if I can dig it up when I am on my desktop.

I've taken a low few thousand shots with PW's this year and they are very reliable.  Better than that Booth Photo crappy triggers I had before. 
FlashZebra

« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2009, 10:16 »
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Wonderful replies.  There are so many lighting options, and I want to weigh them all.  I don't see buying anything until a few months into next year but no one can say that its a bad idea to look around and do research about it now :)



« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2009, 00:12 »
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How fast can you sync them?  Fast enough to get some action shots during a hockey shoot?  I usually shoot 1/400th or 1/320th


« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2009, 01:08 »
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What's the difference between the pocketwizard and the Cactus Wireless Flash Trigger Set V4? They work fine for me on Canon cam/580 and Sigma strobes and Linkstar softboxes, for a fraction of the price.

« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2009, 05:37 »
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How fast can you sync them?  Fast enough to get some action shots during a hockey shoot?  I usually shoot 1/400th or 1/320th



The old pocket wizards (Pocket Wizard Plus II) Could only sync as fast as your camera, which is around 1/200 or 1/250 depending on the camera.

With the new TT5 and TT1 units you can now sync using high speed sync.  However this ONLY works with the Canon speedlights (and Nikon - once the nikon version comes out).  If you use the TT5 and TT1 with regular studio strobes you will be on manual settings with regular sync speeds (1/200)

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2009, 11:25 »
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Oh yeah, another bonus!  When you are walking around in a nice park and you see a photographer doing a portrait session you can flip through your channels and fire the other photographers strobes.  It's non stop entertainment as you watch him look at his gear as though it is possessed. 


Mat, you are so cruel!! ;D

« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2009, 11:33 »
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How fast can you sync them?  Fast enough to get some action shots during a hockey shoot?  I usually shoot 1/400th or 1/320th


Hey Ichiro, if you have any tips on balancing the light in a sodium halide arena, please share!  Do you add an 85 to the flash?  Unless you are shooting in those dreamy pro stadiums with lights balanced for tv! My god, what a difference in the light.  The ambient light in these community areans and gyms is just GROSS.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 11:40 »
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I sure miss my Tri-X.   ;D

« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 12:32 »
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How fast can you sync them?  Fast enough to get some action shots during a hockey shoot?  I usually shoot 1/400th or 1/320th


Hey Ichiro, if you have any tips on balancing the light in a sodium halide arena, please share!  Do you add an 85 to the flash?  Unless you are shooting in those dreamy pro stadiums with lights balanced for tv! My god, what a difference in the light.  The ambient light in these community areans and gyms is just GROSS.

No idea how to balance it, I've gotten some great pics and some horrible ones in arenas.  I have my favourite arenas and I just use high ISO and PP in PS until I can't look at a screen anymore

I wish I'd get an opportunity to shoot in a pro arena, those are fantastically lit

« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2009, 13:55 »
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As someone else pointed out, if you always have one on the hot shoe you don't need any of the transmitter/receiver, set it as master and others as slaves you are done.
If you set it off camera and want TTL/High Speed Sync, you have two choices, Canon's ST-E2 system or PW's Flex. Be aware that there is a radio interference from the flash when use Flex, that's why PW provided a free shield for the SpeedLite (some people call it SpeedLite Condom, photo can be seen here: http://blog.robertsimaging.com/2009/10/pocketwizard-ac5-rf-soft-shield-alleviates-flextt5-for-canon-woes/)
If you are shooting static stuff like OP's interior, you don't need any of these setups. Get few PW Plus IIs, one time investment, never fail (no I don't work for them). For 580EX II or Nikon's with the pc socket, get the FlashZebra screw lock cable, rock solid (I don't work for them either). Or you can try ebay cheap radio triggers for 6 months, slap on you face a dozen times because you missed the money shots, then sell it for half of the price to fund your PWs.

« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2009, 14:42 »
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How fast can you sync them?  Fast enough to get some action shots during a hockey shoot?  I usually shoot 1/400th or 1/320th



Hey Ichiro, if you have any tips on balancing the light in a sodium halide arena, please share!  Do you add an 85 to the flash?  Unless you are shooting in those dreamy pro stadiums with lights balanced for tv! My god, what a difference in the light.  The ambient light in these community areans and gyms is just GROSS.


I recommend the Custom White Balance reflector Ed Pierce offers here..  http://www.photovisionvideo.com/store/shop.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=DCT

I've shot in some seriously funky mixed lighting scenarios and this thing has never let me down.  Even with sports situations, if you are shooting RAW and don't have an opportunity to set your custom white balance before, wait until the game is over then take a shot of the target to set your white balance in post.  Just click the gray portion and you are good to go. 

Mat

« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2009, 15:29 »
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What's the difference between the pocketwizard and the Cactus Wireless Flash Trigger Set V4? They work fine for me on Canon cam/580 and Sigma strobes and Linkstar softboxes, for a fraction of the price.

I tried those first and then switched to the new Pocket Wizards (Flex TT5). I did that because the Cactus stuff was so hit and miss. Sometimes it worked fine; other times it didn't. I got fed up farting around trying to get lights to work vs staging and shooting what I wanted (and I don't work with non-family models; heaven knows how fed up people would be if they were hanging around).

The pocket wizards aren't cheap, but they work - reliably. I haven't yet tried the high speed sync via ETT-L but plan to.

« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2009, 17:01 »
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Oh yeah, another bonus!  When you are walking around in a nice park and you see a photographer doing a portrait session you can flip through your channels and fire the other photographers strobes.  It's non stop entertainment as you watch him look at his gear as though it is possessed. 


So that was you, was it?  Just wait---I'll get even...mwaah-hah-hah-hah-haaaaahh!!!


 

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