Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · PocketWizard, YN-622N and TX and Cactus V6 |
I've owned the PocketWizard TT1/TT5 system for over a year. I also own six Plus III's and I have never had an issue with anything but the CTL TT1/5 system. It did not work all the time. It had some odd issues here and there that usually mysteriously rectified itself but more than once I was somewhat embarrassed in front of customers so eventually I just used my Plus III's. I was never a huge TTL user, using the CTL TT1/5 stuff in manual mode to change my speedlight's power but I did like TTL flash with manual camera settings an FP sync at times and found it useful. I was using Nikon's CLS for that mostly since it was more reliable. But any Nikon user knows it has line of sight limits, and is tough to use outdoors in bright light.
I sold my PocketWizard TT1/5 system. I was cleaning house one day a few weeks back and figured since I had all but quit using it, why not? I also shoot Fuji X besides Nikon and have wished there was a way I could use my Nikon speedlights (two SB-800's, one SB-910 and two Phottix Mitros) with the Fuji's (and Nikon's) AND be able to change the power levels remotely. PW promised this but it never really worked 100% of the time. I read about the Cactus V6 and ordered two. In the course of reading and researching I also came upon the Yongnuo YN-622N and 622N-TX system, so what the heck, I ordered a TX and two N transceivers as well. All these triggers, the Cactus and YN's, cost just a hair more than one PW TT5.
So now the short stories. Sort of. I cannot believe how well these cheaper triggers work. Its not all perfect, and I'm working with Yongnuo support in China to try and figure out why my SB-910 won't fire while configured for TTL mode but it does work real well in Manual mode - Manual mode with the Nikon's is perfect. The YN system in TTL with the SB-800's and Phottix Mitros is, so far knock on wood, dead balls reliable although admittedly it's use is minimal having only been in my hands a week. I have been bashing/using it though everyday. But outside the SB-910 not working in TTL, the YN system is far easier to use, the TX unit is the same thing as my SU-800 only smaller and more compact with a better interface. Exposure is perfect, no issues. I did find the PW TT1/5 to over expose a bit and had to run with -.3 to -.7 EV most times. Nothing like that with the YN system.
The Cactus V6 is another remarkable trigger. Yes, I can use it on the Fuji's or the Nikon (and even a Panasonic LX5 I have laying around) to adjust the power and trigger my Nikon flashes. The V6 uses a profile embedded in it's firmware for supported flashes. If your flash is analogue TTL based, and not supported, then it's possible to have the trigger learn it and build a profile. This profile establishes the power parameters and connectivity for the given system (Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Cactus' RF60) and flash units supported within the system. You do have to set the profile for a trigger, a pretty simple procedure. So one trigger is on camera, the other has a flash attached with correct profile and you just set power and shoot. The V6 can also be put in manual flash only mode and just trigger any unit as well. As with the YN's, its not all golden. No misfires or failures but with my SB-910, and SB-800's the flash does have to be on and in the trigger hot shoe before turing the trigger on. Once they are "mated or paired" via the profile, you cannot adjust the flash manually. you can't even turn it off. you have to remove it and re-boot to make a change to say, the zoom level, but since I don't do that all that much, its not a big thing to me. Some reviewers have noted this and I think Cactus is reviewing it. The triggers are upgradeable via USB so it might get fixed. If it doesn't, I can live with it.
I've decided to keep the YN system for those times I want TTL wireless using speedlights. It's so reasonable in cost and works so well, why not? I'm also keeping the Cactus V6 for the Fuji and other camera bodies I use from time to time and can use them with my Nikon system if needed. Again, given the cost, why not? I will add two more YN622N's and at least one more V6. The build on all these units is better than average but it's not the same materials as what Nikon or Canon use plastic wise. Its on par with PW, maybe PW is a little better but some of my Pluses rattle and sound sort of hollow so it's hard to say. I'd call it even.
In the studio, I'm going to continue to use my PocketWizard Plus III's in conjunction with the Profoto Air Remote I use for my B1 and D1's. I have pack based Profoto stuff too with built in PW so I really need to use the PW/Profoto hybrid triggering there. But outside the studio its going to be Yongnuo and/or Cactus V6's. Let me know if I can answer any questions.