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Archive 2012 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system
  
 
Bruce
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


Ok, yes I've read posts on these so please don't tell me to go read some ! What I like about the PW's is that I don't need a flash on camera like the radio poppers.

I just want to be able to dial in flash exposure comp. from the camera and shoot spontaneously without a flash on camera and a boxy control unit attached (poppers)

I'll be using a Metz 58 af2 or a Canon 580exii. I've read I have to use a shield for the 580 flash. Sounds like a pain.

Has pocket wizard gotten these issues ironed out yet ? I'm sure they will tell me yes but what are users saying ? And is there a Chinese alternative to off camera ettl ? I probably won't be needing huge distances (just saw Pixel Knights, Polish ?)

Thanks



Mar 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM
seebeyond
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


Check phottix odin.


Mar 25, 2012 at 03:50 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


Bruce wrote:
...I've read I have to use a shield for the 580 flash. Sounds like a pain. ...Has pocket wizard gotten these issues ironed out yet ?


There's nothing for LPA Design (Pocket Wizard) to iron out; the problem is with many Canon Speedlites emiting high levels of RFI. The 580EX II is one of the worst, and the 430EX II is one of the best in that regard. I don't know if the Metz flashes have that problem.

Bruce wrote:
...I probably won't be needing huge distances...


If you don't need much beyond 50 feet, then you may not need to use one of the shieds at all.

Bruce wrote:
...is there a Chinese alternative [for] off camera ettl ?


As mentioned above, the Phottix Odin. It's getting good reviews and is a bit cheaper than the PWs. Unlike the PWs, Phottix uses the 2.4GHz radio band, and that band isn't affected by the Speedlite RFI.



Mar 25, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Bruce
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


ok, thx for the lead


Mar 25, 2012 at 07:35 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


Bruce wrote:
...is there a Chinese alternative to off camera ettl ? ...(just saw Pixel Knights, Polish ?)


Pixel Enterprises is based in Shenzhen, China. They have two systems that are supposed to be ETTL compatible; the Pixel Knight and the Pixel King. I have no experience with either, but have read reports of reliability problems.



Mar 26, 2012 at 01:52 AM
 

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Mr Kris
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


I had issues with a Metz 50 and the Nikon Flex system. Never got more than 20 feet of usable range. I run SB910s now and everything is peachy


Mar 26, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #7 · 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.



Mar 26, 2012 at 06:50 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


My experience has been the same as Roland's. Though I use 550EX flashes without any shields and they work great at great distances.


Mar 28, 2012 at 02:39 AM
RobsonF
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Advice needed on Pocket Wizard ETTL system


I just recently got a TT1, pair of TT5s and an AC3 Zone Controller (off the FM Buy / Sell) to use with my pair of 580EX IIs. My experience has been pretty similar, too, to Cordell and Roland's. So far, so good.

I've only used the system a bit but, without any shielding, it seemed to work fine indoors within a reasonable range. Probably the longest distance I tried within my house was about seven or eight metres (23 to 26 feet.) I did find that a flash unit would fail at close range when I placed it on one side of my fridge and tried to take photos from the other side of the fridge. But within a line of sight or around corners that didn't have large metallic objects in the way, they worked well.

Yesterday I tested them outdoors with the "sock" shields on. In that situation they hit a hard limit of about 28 metres (92 feet). Within that range they worked very reliably, even with trees between the camera and the flash units.

If they perform consistently like this in a variety of different settings, I'll definitely be happy with the system.



Mar 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM





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