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Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1
  
 
alpinekiwi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


I currently use Pocket Wizard's Plus III to trigger my off camera flashes, but I'm interested in looking at the Flex TT5 and Mini TT1 combo.

Anyone use this system for action sports? Worthwhile trading in my Plus IIIs?



Aug 29, 2014 at 06:15 AM
Widgic
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


I have some PW II but for iTTL stuff I got some Yongnuo YN-622N - They are cheap and work pretty well.

Denis
www.widgic.com



Aug 29, 2014 at 04:00 PM
SargentRay
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


Hello alpinekiwi, i do have this set up which i use quite often with my Nikon SB900 and SB600 flashes, i also have the power MC2 antennas for my Einstein heads. To be honest the 1st brand new TT5 i got failed terribly once on the field the 1st time. For some reason other photographers could trigger my flashes but not me. I had taken the precaution of programming 2 different channels (7 and 14) before hand exactly to avoid this but to no avail. I wrote PW support and they changed the electronic board altogether without any further explanation. I had of course to use my back up system (cheap Chinese triggers but who always work) to complete the shoot that day.

Since then both my TT5s and my mini worked flawlessly, guess i was just unlucky with the 1st unit. I even got an ACC cable to wirelessly trigger my camera once i fit a TT5 on the camera's hot shoe which i trigger with my mini. But what i appreciate the most is the AC-3 zone controller, this is really a breeze to operate in the field when using multiple flashes. From camera position i can adjust any of the flashes' power output in seconds.

The only downside of the TT5s in my opinion is that contrary to the Plus III it is more complicated to change the channels; Indeed you have to set channels before hand in the PW's software on your computer, you can only program 2 channels. Usually this is enough to avoid having other photogs take control of you flashes but if you're really bad lucky and other photographers on site are already using both the same channels you are it is a bit of a hassle to switch channels. If you have a laptop you can do it on site and go in the software an change for other channels again. If you don't have a lap top you can also set the TT5's in learning mode and force a new channel to be "learned" by the unit, but i'll be honest i was never able to do it when i tried it with the 1st defective unit. Perhaps if i tried it again i could get it to work but compared to the Plus III this operation is more complex and takes more time.

On this aspect the Plus III have the upper hand but for everything else the versatility of the TT5s is impressive, they are after all transceivers, and they can be used in relay mode to trigger the camera like i have explained (i don't know if the Plus III do this).

Also there's 2 aspects the folks at PW have worked really hard to improve when using the TT5s

1st they have optimized the Hyper sync functions especially with the Paul c Buff Alien Bees flash heads in order to get the most out of hyper sync almost out of the box. If you have those flashes it is an even better choice to get TT5s. On a side note because of the Einsteins flash heads conception's it is almost impossible to hyper sync these flash since they have almost no tail fallout part in their flash duration leaving no time for the TT5s to optimize hyper sync possibilities but that's a different story which i won't elaborate on.

2nd, when using speedlights again PW tech's have worked hard to optimize FP sync (High speed sync). In essence when working at speeds over the max body sync speed company flashes wether it be Nikon or Canon will release a burst of flashes in order to send light (resembling continuous light) on the sensor throughout the movement of 1st and 2nd shutters rather than trying to send one flash at exactly the right time which is impossible and produces the dark banding on the pictures. These bursts of light is what allow us to sync flashes at speeds exceeding max sync speed but the price to pay is shorten battery life. I mean if you are going to shoot in High speed mode which is often necessary in sports shooting you will most likely change batteries often during the shoot. Well with the TT5s this operation is optimized and just the right amount of flash is included in the bursts so no energy is wasted. The company claims you can save up to 70% power when using the TT5s. This means even if you don't have to use your flash remotely you're better off putting a TT5 between the camera and the flash on the the hot shoe in order to save energy (This is called pass through method). For a sports shooter this is really to be considered.

All this being said the TT5s are a more complex piece of technology and i have learned from experience nothing is perfect in this world, things break. For this reason i have always kept my Chinese triggers as back up even if they dont have TTL/HSS capabilities, at least they always trigger. So my advice to you is if you don't have to sell you Plus IIIs keep em ! They are reliable and allow for quick channel changes. Then get a pair of TT5s and experiment with them they work really well once you get the hang of it :-)

Hope this helps, keep shooting sir :-)

Edited on Aug 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM · View previous versions



Aug 29, 2014 at 04:16 PM
alpinekiwi
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


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 any disadvantages of using this system over 3x PlusIII? Or can the Flex/Mini system do everything the PlusIII can and more?

FYI, the PlusIII can remote trigger the camera with leads.

Cheers again!



Aug 29, 2014 at 05:12 PM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


What kind of sports are you talking about?

I shoot both sporting events and sport portraits.

As far as sporting events goes, Im not a big fan of the flex/mini. I say that because to me it doesnt seem like the connect as well as when I was using my plus2s. I usually shoot in a very large high school gym, and my strobes are pretty much near the rafters. I have Einsteins with the MC2. With the mini as a trigger, life sucked. With the Flex, it was ok. I missed 2 out of 10 shots. With the Plus2 as my trigger, im back to 10 for 10. This is all shot on manual. I dont need to worry about using hypersync or high speed sync. I am using the flash duration to freeze the action.

For any sport portraits, then this is where I do like using the mini/flex system. Well any portrait session, let alone sports portraits. Combined with the AC3 controller, I have had great success with it.



Aug 29, 2014 at 07:55 PM
SargentRay
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


alpinekiwi wrote:
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.




Aug 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM
 

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alpinekiwi
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


That's great. It sounds like the Flex & Mini system is for me then.

Anyone want to buy 3x Plus IIIs?



Aug 30, 2014 at 02:23 PM
gschlact
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


Ray-
do you know / have you tried any Yongnuo flashes that have the have hyper / high speed sync HSS? Which models? How we'll did they work?
Also, do they let you adjust power remotely for the camera menu?



Sep 02, 2014 at 02:31 PM
BillyHurst
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


Alpine,
I am interested in the PWIII's and I have 3 TT5's and 2 TT1's I'd be willing to discuss trading. We could help each other out.

Billy-



Sep 02, 2014 at 03:03 PM
SargentRay
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


gschlact wrote:
Ray-
do you know / have you tried any Yongnuo flashes that have the have hyper / high speed sync HSS? Which models? How we'll did they work?
Also, do they let you adjust power remotely for the camera menu?



Hello gschlact, can't say i know the Yuongos all that much aside from what i've heard with some friends who got the first non TTL/HSS capable editions. All seem very happy with this low cost option.

A quick google search turned a nice overview of the latest more evolved YN_568EX, although this release is only Canon compatible the article seems to say a Nikon version was very likely to be released.

Check it out: http://flashhavoc.com/yongnuo-yn-568ex-review/



Sep 02, 2014 at 03:52 PM
SargentRay
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


double post (sorry)

Edited on Sep 03, 2014 at 10:14 AM · View previous versions



Sep 02, 2014 at 03:53 PM
alpinekiwi
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Action sports and Flex TT5/Mini TT1


BillyHurst wrote:
Alpine,
I am interested in the PWIII's and I have 3 TT5's and 2 TT1's I'd be willing to discuss trading. We could help each other out.

Billy-


Hey Billy

I'm in France, but if you are happy and your setup is for Canon, I'm sure we can do a swap.

Send me a PM...



Sep 03, 2014 at 09:59 AM





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