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Phenomenal answer SargentRay. Cheers.
I am never around other shooters, so hijacking my lights wouldn't be an issue.
I love the Plus IIIs, but would like to have the option of high speed syncing. Fast paced sports like mountain biking and skiing/snowboarding a still require a faster shutter speed than my setup can handle. For this, I'd love to try the Flex/mini combo.
Also, for weddings, having the TTL would be great.
So. I shoot Canon (1D3) and use their 580EX II flashes (x2). Do I need 1x Mini and 2x Flex? Would that give me the correct setup?
Are there...Show more →
Hello again alpinekiwi, you're quite welcome,
To answer your questions 1st yes a mini with a TT5 on each flash is an adequate set up but it won't allow you to remotely trigger a camera, for that you need to put a TT5 on the camera's hot shoe along with the proper ACC cable.
2nd, i don't know the Plus IIIs all that much for i have never used them myself, only saw fellow photogs handle them and they seem simpler but 100% reliable. This being said after looking quickly at a few tutorials i just discovered interesting functions on the Plus IIIs, namely a quad zone controller so compared to the TT5s no need for a separate zone controller unit and one can handle 4 zones as opposed to 3 zones with the TT5s. But you can add as many TT5 connected flashes as you want per zone so if you have more than 3 flashes one zone will control more than one flash and might mean you'll have to manually adjust these extra flashes (walk to them and press buttons on the flashes, or live with the same adjustment of this zone for every flashes). Also there is a repeater mode enabling the photographer to trigger flashes at greater distances (could be an interesting feature).
All and all the only significant difference between the Plus IIIs and the TT5 seems to be the lack of TTL/HSS capabilities on the plus IIIs since they are also transceivers which can be programmed to either only transmit or only receive signal, much like the TT5s, but it is an important feature to have indeed when you really need to High Speed sync.
Also connecting Plus IIIs on speedlight flashes involve sync cables, none of that with the TT5 units which have hot shoes on them. On weddings or portrait shoots i usually set up either a soft box or beauty dish on a cheap flash holder set up on top of a monopod and have an assistant carry it around following me all day throughout the shoot. It is a clean, safe set up with no wires dangling from the flash and i never worry about anything becoming unplugged, nor do i have to use gaffer tape or rubber bands to keep everything in place.
It is true though i do have occasional miss fires but most times (heck every time) it is my fault; without realizing it i will turn off the camera by habit and when i turn it on again the camera won't recognize the flash and TT5, the power up routine is critical with the TT5, you always have to start from the flash then the TT5 and mini and lastly turn on the camera for everything to work. Also you have to program the wake up sequence in the software in order for the flash to wake up when pressing halfway on the shutter button.
In conclusion the plus IIIs are great but lack the TTL/HSS capabilities, this is why i went for what i thought was the most evolved PW system although it is quite expensive. My rationel was you only buy this stuff once and might as well go for the best, peace of mind when working in the field has a price, but it is one less thing i have to worry about. I can live with an occasional miss fire but i couldn't go about without TTL/HSS capabilities for my needs that's for sure.