Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pocket Wizard Meet Up

One Canon 580EXII flash into an umbrella. That's it!

As some of you may know, I have been testing and using the new Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5 system now for several months. What has been consistent is the inconsistency of the system. When it works, it is truly great. But when it doesn't work, it makes you look like an idiot in front of your client.

Pocket Wizard has been sponsoring events all over the country to get photographers on board with this radio transmission system. They admit there has been problems since the launch but they've been pro-active working on solutions. Like all new technology there is a learning curve. Some of the problems could be user issues but that is limited compared to the larger issues of misfires, inconsistent bursts and limited range.

As of Dec. 19, the Pocket Wizard evangelist Mark Wallace has insured us to believe the problems are behind us. We now have a radio frequency noise eliminating sock to put over the flash unit, in addition to a noise insulated hot shoe adapter and new beta software for better up-to-date radio communication with the 5D Mark II and other new Canon Camera's.

I was only able to attend the last 40 minutes of the meet-up where I received the noise socks and a tech downloaded the latest beta software into my units. I was given instruction on the proper use of the new equipment and given tips on how to get the best out of the equipment.

The photograph above was shot at the event where there were several models available. I took about 100 frames. I had no misfires from a distance range of 6 feet to 80 feet using a 70 to 200 2.8 zoom lens on a 5D Mark II. I had very consistent frames but I did experience about 4 or 5 typical Canon full capacitor flash dumps. A flash dump blows out your subject by overexposing the image.

Compared to before, I can live with an occasional dump. As long as I have been using Canon gear (20 years) the flash units have always had the occasional full capacitor dump.

I used my Pocket Wizard units today for the first time on an assignment and they worked flawlessly. I hope this remains the case.