Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

FM Forum Rules
Wedding Resource List
  

FM Forums | Wedding Photographer | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2012 · PWs at reception
  
 
Gene Schilling
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · PWs at reception


Posting this here thinking my issues might be a common problem amongst wedding photographers.

Shot my first wedding this past weekend where I decided to go with off camera flashes at the reception hall. I recently upgraded from the AB Cybersync solution to a PocketWizard family of PW3's and the mini/flexTTL for my Canon's. I started simple with a speedlight on camera with the mini, and another speedlight on a stand with the flex. It was endless frustration. Here are some things I experienced:

- remote flash would only pop when I was very close by, within 15 feet, say.
- no TTL half the time, so flash would regularly be overpowered, blowing out the scene.
- flash would be totally unresponsive, that is until I powered everything down, then up again.
- no change when I switched to a manual set up with PW3's instead of mini/flex
- when I moved the remote flash from the dining area, down to the dance area, things became much better.

Some things I've considered that might be root cause:

- recently upgraded firmware so I could shoot TTL with my 5D Mark 3. But no change when I switched to my back up Mark 2.
- fresh batteries were in everything.
- something changed when I went to the dance floor, not sure if it was closer distances, interference up in the dining area or what, but all of a sudden it was 100% reliable.
- settings on the speedlights, maybe I needed to change something that I didn't.
- I didn't bring along the hot shoe / black bag thing for the speedlight that is supposed to cut down on interference, maybe that's it.


If anyone can offer any insight or past experience that might be relevant, that would be very helpful.

Thanks so much.



Oct 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
cineski
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · PWs at reception


I've done a lot of tinkering with different ways to trigger remote strobes at receptions. I've personally found it's best to simplify. I use regular pocket wizards and adjust the power of the strobes by hand. The thought of having full, reliable control of remote strobes wherever I may roam in a reception was the root of my experimentation, but every time I tried to make it easier it became harder. That's just my personal experience.


Oct 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM
TTLKurtis
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · PWs at reception


Your problem is Canon + PW Flex = nothing but trouble. I wasn't thrilled with RadioPoppers either. People seem happy with cybersyncs and some of the other cheap radio solutions, ironically.

On the Nikon side of things, the PW Flex system + SB900/SB910 is an absolute dream.

The problem you're having is with interference between Canon's flashes and the PW units.


Save yourself the trouble, return or sell the PWs now and get something else, for Canon.



Oct 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
JR Magat
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · PWs at reception


TTLKurtis wrote:
Your problem is Canon + PW Flex = nothing but trouble. I wasn't thrilled with RadioPoppers either. People seem happy with cybersyncs and some of the other cheap radio solutions, ironically.

On the Nikon side of things, the PW Flex system + SB900/SB910 is an absolute dream.

The problem you're having is with interference between Canon's flashes and the PW units.

Save yourself the trouble, return or sell the PWs now and get something else, for Canon.


+1
That was my experience as well, though I never used the PW's for a wedding. I sold them and bought Phottix Stratto II's which have been 100% reliable for receptions and saved some $$ in the process

I 2nd shot a wedding a few weeks ago & the guy i shot for couldn't get his PW's to fire at the reception, and yes, he was a Canon shooter... PW flex system + Canon flashes especially the 580EX II (and a few other models) don't cooperate very well



Oct 22, 2012 at 05:15 PM
WNStudio
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · PWs at reception


Phottix Strato works for me as well. I always use manual settings- from what I understand using TTL is not consistent- it meters people when there are some in front of flash, when flash "sees" wall on the other side of reception hall it fires like hell to reach that side. And it always happens when something interesting is happening


Oct 22, 2012 at 05:23 PM
amonline
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · PWs at reception


Yup. I've used them all too. PW sucks. RP sucks. Strattos II's FTW. 100% reliable.

Never use TTL for receptions. It's too much on the batteries. Shoot manual.



Oct 22, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Gene Schilling
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · PWs at reception


Wow !! And here I thought PW's were the gold standard. Not good news after sinking some coin. They've honestly been great for me in a more controlled environment like portraits, both indoor and outdoor. I will look into the Strattos for sure.

Any other opinions, or suggestions on how I may need to tweak the PW's?



Oct 22, 2012 at 05:27 PM
amonline
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · PWs at reception


Shooting manual, and moving stands when you have issues, are about the only reliable tweaks there are with PWs. I'm not saying that as a jab; it's true. There are usually a lot of things going on at receptions that can interfere. One of my seconds stuggles with it constantly. I "used" to.


Oct 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
TTLKurtis
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · PWs at reception


Gene, seriously there is no tweaking the PWs that will help you. When I said save yourself the trouble, I really meant save yourself the prolonged disappointment and frustration. Just return them or sell them, trust me on that one.


Oct 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM
amonline
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · PWs at reception


^^ Agreed 1000%.


Oct 22, 2012 at 05:55 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Mitch W
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · PWs at reception


I use these with my Canon and yongnuo speedlights - http://www.cowboystudio.com/product_p/npt-04+extra%20receiver.htm. Very low priced. But it's no frills - no ttl or other bells and whistles. It just works. I buy them on Amazon.


Oct 22, 2012 at 06:14 PM
vtec44
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · PWs at reception


All manual PW3's for me and I've never had 1 single issue. Well, other than that 1 time where my flash got over heated and wouldn't fire but that was because I shared the same channel with my 2nd shooter and we got over excited.


Oct 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
jcolman
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · PWs at reception


Gene Schilling wrote:
Wow !! And here I thought PW's were the gold standard. Not good news after sinking some coin. They've honestly been great for me in a more controlled environment like portraits, both indoor and outdoor. I will look into the Strattos for sure.

Any other opinions, or suggestions on how I may need to tweak the PW's?


I've been shooting receptions using PW's for a few years. I love them. I found that my "mis-fires" dropped to near 0 when I mounted the PW's on top of my lights instead of on the light stands. I also shoot in manual mode.



Oct 22, 2012 at 07:27 PM
TTLKurtis
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · PWs at reception


We're talking about Flex system, Jim, not the Plus IIs


Oct 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
mccallmedia
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · PWs at reception


I've never heard anything good about trying to use OCF with TTL. It's why I decided to save some bucks and go with Yongnuo rf-603 triggers. They've been insanely reliable for me. The only time I use ttl is occasionally when the flash is mounted on my hotshoe. Only one of my strobes has TTL capabilities anyway.


Oct 22, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Robin Usagani
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · PWs at reception


Phottix strato II here. All in manual including the flash attached to the camera. I could still run ETTL but I like manual a lot better.


Oct 22, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Prettym1k3
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · PWs at reception


I just bought three PW Plus3's. I returned them for a TT1 and two TT5's. A little more pricey, but I wanted high-speed sync (just because).

The long and short of this, and maybe it's because I'm on Nikon, these are an absolute dream. SB-700 on one stand with a TT5. SB-600 on another with a TT5. They fired EVERY-SINGLE-TIME no matter where I was. I even stepped outside to get a back-light foggy shot of the bride and groom and forgot to change channels. My flash inside the barn 150 feet away popped flawlessly.

I manually set power to a decent level. Usually something like 1/8 or 1/16th. Up the ISO as necessary. Get my shutter speed wherever the ambient light is where I want it. Then adjust aperture to make sure the OCF isn't blowing out my shot, or destroying my subjects. TTL worked well in a few of my tests, but when you're rim lighting someone, or back-lighting someone, it's hit or miss. I'd rather dial it in where I know it'll be good 4 out of 5 shots, than miss a bunch in a row because TTL is thinking something that's totally off.

I couldn't be happier with my TT1/TT5 PW purchase. Amazing stuff.

I looked into the Phottix Odin, but they felt a little flimsy to me. I also had a set of Yongnuo's a few years ago that died on their own, with hardly any use, in less than a year. I've heard good things about Cybersyncs. And my associate shooter loves his RadioPoppers. They operate somehow using Nikon's CLS system so you can still control power from your CLS menu on camera.

Edited on Oct 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM · View previous versions



Oct 22, 2012 at 10:10 PM
TTLKurtis
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · PWs at reception


^^ It has everything to do with you using Nikon


Oct 22, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Ian Ivey
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · PWs at reception


I'm a Nikon user, and have found the Cybersyncs to be extremely reliable and effective. The only problems I've ever had with them have come from me dropping them or doing something else that was my fault. Cables, for example, may stop working if you torque them too hard or something like that. Otherwise, they are inexpensive and reliable.

I understand the Phottix are every bit as reliable, and provide more control, but I continue to use the Cybersyncs because I also use Einstein monolights in some cases.

But since you're on Canon, I don't understand why you don't just upgrade your flashes to the 600EX units that have radio control built in. I shot with Scott in Philly a few weeks ago, and he was using these things and just could not say enough about how awesome they were. Now he doesn't have to worry about triggers and plugs and cables and crap.

Oh, Nikon, when will you do what was obviously needed three years ago?



Oct 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Prettym1k3
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · PWs at reception


Ian Ivey wrote:
...Oh, Nikon, when will you do what was obviously needed three years ago?


I'm still wondering why Nikon sticks with IR instead of radio. Drives me nuts.



Oct 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Wedding Photographer | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password