Wednesday, July 8, 2009

PocketWizard Issue Resolved

On my last post I mentioned that I ran into a slight problem during a shoot I was on a couple of weeks ago. The problem was with the MiniTT1. Here's a recap to my problem:

I'm was using 2 PW PlusIIs, 1 MiniTT1, 1-430EX, 1-430EXII & 1-580EXII. The MiniTT1 is mounted on the camera as a receiver. The 430EXII & 580EXII are being triggered with with the PlusIIs. All PW are on channel 1. At this point everything is working and flashes are firing. I then hook up a 430EX via an OC-E3 cord to the MiniTT1. The 430EX is attached to my DIY ring light. Should work great with the rest of my setup. Except the ring light goes off, but the PlusII don't. While I wanted to trigger 3 flashes, I could only trigger the flash that was directly connected to the camera.

I sent an e-mail to PocketWizard support last week. I quickly got an automatic reply that stated they would answer my questions in a day or two. I guess due to the 4th of July holiday weekend it took an extra day. Still, I'm impressed that I got a reply rather quickly. Here's their response.

Try using "Forced Master Mode". In the PocketWizard Utility under the "Misc." tab, select "Force TTL Master Mode". This will designate any flash mounted to your Mini TT1 as the "Master" flash.
Dan Cirillo

PocketWizard Support

I plugged the MiniTT1 to my Mac and started up the application. Sure enough, under the Misc. tab, there was a check box for "Force TTL Master Mode". I saved the settings and proceeded to replicate the setup and test out the new settings. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it worked, problem solved. I'm not really sure why you would have the option to turn it off. I would assume that it should always be in this state regardless of whether you're using a 580EX or 430EX.

Either way I'm please that I got this resolved. I'm also going to double check this setup again before my next shoot. It's something I've gotten in the habit of doing the night before. Always charge up your camera batteries, back enough spare AA batteries for each device that requires them and test out all your equipment. Murphy's Law always comes into play, but you can at least be prepared incase it does.

If you're a Canon shooter, like I am, you might want to head on over to Syl Arena's Blog and read his latest blog on his Canon Speedlite Wish List. Syl just spent 2 weeks helping out Joe McNally during his workshops. If you've heard or seen any of Joe's work, you know he's a Nikon shooter. Syl was able to gain a better understanding of the differences between Canon & Nikon's lighting systems. I happen to agree with everything on his wish list. These are some of the things that you don't hear a lot about when you're trying to decide which camera to buy. If you're just taking family vacation pictures, it doesn't really matter, but if you're planning on making a career out of photography, it matters... a lot. Recently I've been considering switching over to Nikon. Keep in mind that this is a very expensive when you've invested in several lenses and flash units. As I was doing my research, I realized that Nikon doesn't make the same range of lenses Canon does and that's not getting into the FX & DX lens issues if you decide to latter upgrade to a full frame camera. I'll cover this in a latter post. So for now, I'm sticking with Canon, hoping that they'll listen to their clients and improve their product line. I'm looking forward to a new camera (DSLR - 60D maybe), but doubt that flash units will get any attention for a couple of years.

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