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| p.1 #7 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system |
I have been very happy with the PocketWizard Mini TT1 mounted on my Canon cameras for remote flash control, and the Flex TT5 units on the remote flashes. The Mini TT1 is very small, and you get complete freedom to move around and shoot with no flash and no protruding antenna. I happen to use Canon 580EX original version flashes for my remotes, and I do not shoot past about 40 feet for range, but with that situation I have no trigger problems for ETTL shooting.
One tip to consider is to use the right turn on sequence, starting with the remote flashes and working your way back to the camera. Another tip is to set the sleep mode of the PocketWizard units to long times to avoid sleep start up issues. And a third tip is to look at the instructions and pick channels with frequencies that are less likely to cause interference problems caused by the Canon flashes.
Remember that each specific flash can be different for interference, and there were actually some early 580EX II flashes that had no problems. PocketWizard used early units to check out the system, and then Canon changed minor details of the internal design, which caused interference issues. So there is a small chance your 580EX II might work OK, or that you can find a channel that makes it work better. But a used 580EX is a better bet if you can find one.
Depending on how you want to mount or hold your remote flash, the PocketWizard AC7 shield can work out to help with interference, and at the same time provide a mounting solution for a flash. That could be a fast way to get your 580EX II working right away, and it is much nicer that the soft shield. But the AC7 does not allow you to use the built in flash tilt to do bounce, so you would need another tilt head to adjust for that. An umbrella tilt adapter could work out to solve that issue for bounce tilt, and would of course work fine for reflecting off an umbrella.
I do not know much about the alternative ETTL flash control products, but I am very happy with the PocketWizard Flex system. It is not cheap, but it works for me, and has met my expectations. It is a little complex to set things up and keep them working, but the latest firmware recognizes all my current cameras so I can move my TT1 from a 5D2 to a 1D4 and back with no problem. On a final note, be sure to use the latest firmware from PocketWizard, and to have all the firmware matching on all units.