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Archive 2012 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs ...
  
 
basehorhonda
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


I just went from PW Plus 2s to the mini and flex's. I wanted the ability to use high speed sync from my speedlights and to hypersync my Einsteins. While I dont use TTL very often, it is nice to have that ability when I want to do so. For me also, by using the AC3 or my SU800, I can control the light very quickly and easily.

Yea the mini and flex's are a bit more pricy than the PW plus 3's, but for what I can do with them I enjoy them.



Jan 12, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Michael White
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


I think you did right.


Jan 13, 2013 at 07:46 AM
Michael White
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


I have an assortment of Pocket Wizard radio triggers and found them reliable if used IAW PW recommendations. My inventory consists of 1 mini, 2 plus IIs, and 5 flexes. I still need a MultiMax and a couple more flexes to complete my needs.


Jan 23, 2013 at 03:40 AM
ChrisDM
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


Did anybody suggest Phottix Odin yet? I recently had my PW MiniFlex system stolen, and replaced them with the Odins, which I prefer. Plus they're cheaper than the Minis.


Jan 23, 2013 at 05:59 PM
cgardner
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


I second BrianO's suggestion to take a step back from what you have convinced yourself you need to consider the 600EX-RT. It will be far simpler logistically than any mis-mash of third party triggers and flashes and allow fingertip control from the camera via a Master 600EX-RT or ST-E3 in ETTL ratio, Manual, a mix of both, and allow the use of high speed sync (HHS) with multiple flashes outdoors in either ETTL ratio or Manual mode.

The only disadvantage is cost, but amortized over the life of the flash compared to camera bodies and lenses they are one of the best long term investments. I used my Vivitars in an optically triggered key:fill dual flash configuration for 30+ years and only stopped using them because a pair of 580ex flashes gave me more creative control and where easier to use when I finally bit the bullet and bought a DSLR system.

As for the need for radio control in general? It is more reliable certainly, but the Canon optical systems also works quite well if used with a Master on camera and the slave in it's footprint of direct or bounced light. These were taken in ETTL ratio mode with no signaling problems:












I've used the 580ex flashes optically since 2004 without any problems by slightly modifying my shooting strategies to address need to not block the sensor on the slave and keep it oriented toward's the Master's light within 30-40 feet indoors and 25 ft outdoors. I also have PW radio triggers I use with my studio lights and occasionally with the Vivitars but never found the need to use them with the Canon flashes.

That said if I was where you sit today with one 580ex I'd keep it as a spare and invest in a 600EX-RT system for PJ style mobile shooting.

If I wanted a totally manual location solution for use on stand with large modifiers I'd go with Einsteins and Vagabond mini power. The logistics are the same in terms of hauling, setting up and use as speedlights (give or take a few pound) and the studio monolights have more power, faster recycle, modeling light and a simple means to attach any large modifer.

If I were shooting professionally I'd want both. If I was shooting professionally and couldn't afford both I'd take a serious look at the business plan



Jan 23, 2013 at 07:28 PM
 

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Wobble
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


I was in a similar dilemma and had decided to get a couple more flashes and the Pocket Wizard Flexes including the on camera control units. But on the B&S Board, many people seemed to be dumping the Pocket Wizards in favor of the 600 EX-RT which is what I bought for essentially the same money as the Pocket Wizard solution. There are certainly some less expensive options, but Santa was nice this year.


Jan 23, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Michael White
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


While we are talking the canon optical trigger system which camera with built in flash can control off camera speedlites?


Jan 26, 2013 at 03:30 AM
BrianO
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


Michael White wrote:
While we are talking the canon optical trigger system which camera with built in flash can control off camera speedlites?


7D for sure (I do it all the time), and I believe 60D, T4i, and T3i.



Jan 26, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Michael White
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


Good I just received a 7D and thought it would but haven't finished read/learning the manual yet.


Jan 26, 2013 at 07:31 AM
BrianO
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Picking a Radio Trigger: Manual vs E-TTL (aka PW Mini vs Plus III)


Michael White wrote:
Good I just received a 7D and thought it would...


I hope you like yours as much as I like mine.

I love being able to control multiple off-camera Speedlites right from the camera menu; it's so much easier to use than the on-flash menus of the 580EX.

In typical home-sized rooms there's enough power in the built-in flash that light bouncing from the walls and ceiling can reach a Speedlite inside my Apollo soft box, reliably triggering it in wireless slave mode.

One of my common setups it a 580EX in the soft box for fill, another 580EX in a 20" beauty dish as key, and a 430EX in an 11" gridded dish as a hair light, all controlled from the pop-up flash.

Some people are very sensitive to flash, and the preflashes (which are needed for command and control even when using Manual flash exposure) will make them blink if they're looking right at the camera as in a portrait, causing them to have eyes that look partlially or even completely closed in the capture. When that happens I'll have them close their eyes; I'll press the * button, triggering the preflashes; then I'll have them open their eyes as I press the shutter release. I use rear-curtain sync even at normal shutter speeds, and using this method I never get "blink-eyes" in the shots. (For candid shots of activities, where they're not looking right toward the flash, it's never been a problem for me.)

The Canon manuals don't do a great job explaining wireless. Chuck Gardner's tutorials do a better job, and Blue Crane Digital has a very good video on Speedlite use that covers everything from how High Speed Sync works, to what hard and soft light actually are, to using A:B+C wireless groups, and much more. The DVD costs $24.99, or you can watch on-line for $19.99.

Here's a link to their site that includes a preview of the video:

http://bluecranedigital.com/Understanding-the-Canon-Speedlite-580EX-II-430EX-II



Jan 26, 2013 at 10:11 PM
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