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Archive 2013 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)
  
 
Jess Edward
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p.1 #1 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


I have a question about PocketWizards. I use PocketWizard Plus II Tranceivers. Recently I have been using them to fire an off camera flash while shooting events. Since I still want to use a flash on my camera's hotshoe I plug the pocket wizard Plus II into my camera's PC port. The only issue with this is that as soon as I plug the cable into the camera/flash port on the transceiver the signal is very weak. It only seems to fire if there is a direct line of sight between the two transceivers.

Any idea what would cause this or a way around this issue? Im not interested in upgrading to the FlexTT5 PocketWizards since I found they made my hotshoe flash sit way too high on my camera.




Aug 06, 2013 at 03:12 AM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #2 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


Im sure there is an easier way, but I use 2 PW on the camera. One to trigger the camera, the other in the hot shoe to fire the strobes. I just have the PW triggering the camera on a different channel than the PW triggering the lights.

Ive had much better luck with this set up vs only using one PW to trigger both the camera and lights. Only drawback is having to use one extra PW.



Aug 06, 2013 at 03:27 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #3 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


Jess Edward wrote:
...I have been using them to fire an off camera flash while shooting events. Since I still want to use a flash on my camera's hotshoe I plug the pocket wizard Plus II into my camera's PC port. The only issue with this is that as soon as I plug the cable into the camera/flash port on the transceiver the signal is very weak.


Does the antenna orientation on the transmitter change when you move it from the hot shoe to the PC socket? If so, you need to change the antenna on the receiver so that the polarizations of the two radios match in order to get the strongest signal.

If that's not it, is there some metal, like a bracket, that's getting in the way in one mode and not the other?



Aug 06, 2013 at 03:43 AM
rico
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p.1 #4 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


I believe Canon disables the PC port when the hot shoe is used.


Aug 06, 2013 at 04:27 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


rico wrote:
I believe Canon disables the PC port when the hot shoe is used.


I had once been told that as well but found it not to be true, at least from the 20D onward.



Aug 06, 2013 at 04:52 AM
Jess Edward
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p.1 #6 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


rico wrote:
I believe Canon disables the PC port when the hot shoe is used.


This isnt true. The flash still fires and the setup works fine as long as I am close to the external flash and there is nothing blocking the line of sight. I have done test where I press the test button on the PW and nothing happens, then I unplug the cable from the Camera/Flash port and press test again and it works fine.

If I put the PW on the hotshoe it fires every time no matter how far away I am. I can use it that way and still fire the flash from another room no problem.



basehorhonda wrote:
Im sure there is an easier way, but I use 2 PW on the camera. One to trigger the camera, the other in the hot shoe to fire the strobes. I just have the PW triggering the camera on a different channel than the PW triggering the lights.

Ive had much better luck with this set up vs only using one PW to trigger both the camera and lights. Only drawback is having to use one extra PW.


Im not sure what this has to do with my original question. Im not trying to use a Pocket Wizard to fire my camera. Im trying to take photos with a hot shoe flash while firing one external flash.

The overall effect that I am ending up with for the photos is this



Eventually I will end up just upgrading my flashes to the 600EX which can accomplish this without the extra burden of the Pocket Wizards but for now I would like to figure out why it seems to not work. I used to use Elinchrom Skyports to do this and had no issues. I was under the impression that Pocket Wizards were supposed to have a much stronger signal than the Skyports so I cant figure out why if Im in the same room it wont fire sometimes.


Edited on Aug 06, 2013 at 06:13 PM · View previous versions



Aug 06, 2013 at 02:26 PM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #7 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


my bad, I must have mis-read your post.


Aug 06, 2013 at 05:42 PM
 

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rico
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p.1 #8 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


Jess Edward wrote:
Eventually I will end up just upgrading my flashes to the 600EX which can accomplish this without the extra burden of the Pocket Wizards but for now I would like to figure out why it seems to not work.

Perhaps you're using one of the Canon EX flashes in the "bad" category. See this link for the specific models, and for various workarounds: http://www.pocketwizard.com/inspirations/technology/range/



Aug 07, 2013 at 04:23 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #9 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


rico wrote:
Perhaps you're using one of the Canon EX flashes in the "bad" category. See this link for the specific models, and for various workarounds: http://www.pocketwizard.com/inspirations/technology/range/


That only applies to the ControlTL Pocket Wizards. The Plus II radios that are at issue here have never been affected by the RFI that I am aware of.


Edited on Aug 07, 2013 at 07:46 AM · View previous versions



Aug 07, 2013 at 04:29 AM
rico
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p.1 #10 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


The key problem is Canon-flash RFI affecting frequencies used by PW. That should affect all radio models, Plus II included. Not that OP has any trivial recourse: he needs to buy that RF shield, or switch EX flash. I have the "bad" 430EX, the "good" 550EX, and four PW classic radios, so I'll test them this weekend.



Aug 07, 2013 at 06:30 AM
Jess Edward
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p.1 #11 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


Is it the flash on the receiving end that causes the problem? I have a Canon 540EZ I can use as the remote flash if the off camera 580EX II is causing the issue.


Aug 08, 2013 at 06:05 AM
rico
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p.1 #12 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


Good question. I interpret the noisy Canon flash to disrupt the area, not just the attached PW. You can experiment with the EZ. The company (LPA) mentioned a long cable, so that's another test point for you.


Aug 08, 2013 at 06:22 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #13 · Pocketwizard Question (plugging into cameras PC port)


Jess Edward wrote:
Is it the flash on the receiving end that causes the problem? I have a Canon 540EZ I can use as the remote flash if the off camera 580EX II is causing the issue.


Yes, it's the flash at the receiving end, which is why you can cure the problem by putting an RFI shield on the receiving Speedlite, or using a longer cable between the receiver and the Speedlite, or re-orienting the antenna of the receiver.

But it ONLY affects the FlexTT5, not the Plus II radios. It's due to the more-complex signaling needed for ETTL/iTTL control. People have been using the Plus IIs for years without RFI problems from the exact same Speedlites that fail when used with the FlexTT5s.



Aug 08, 2013 at 07:59 AM





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