Sunday, January 31, 2010

PocketWizard Tour | davem photography

Last weekend I got the opportunity to sit in on a PocketWizard demo/lighting workshop conducted by Mark Wallace. Mark has been touring the country and demonstrating these new radio triggers. The tour stopped at Ambient Plus Studios.
The MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 have been out for about a year, but have had some issues with reliability. The tour is to address these issues and provide a solution. Most importantly, it's not a problem with the triggers.
I'll cover all the details in a later post. Here's just a quick summary of the issues. There's been a lot of confusion and a lot of unhappy customers. First of all, these new triggers are only available for Canon right now. So the Nikon shooters are not happy, and at this point there is still no official release date. The Canon shooters are upset because these new triggers have been unreliable. Which is true, but not because PocketWizard designed an inferior product, but because certain Canon flashes emit noisy or unfiltered radio noise.

The 580EXII has problems when positioned around 20-25 feet from the transmitter. The 430EX is the worst. I've had problems at 8-10 feet. PocketWizard found a solution in the form of what is called a sock. It's a Radio Frequency shield (AC5) that prevents interference with the triggers. If you attended one of these events and have already purchased a FlexTT5, you could pick up the AC5 shield for free and even upgrade to the latest firmware. I believe new units will be shipping with the AC5 at no additional costs. If you already own a FlexTT5 you can go to the site and sign up to receive your free AC5 shield.

As I already mentioned, I'll go into a further analysis of the MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 in the next post.

Mark started out with a very basic lighting seminar, explaining the difference between hard & soft light as well as demonstrating differences in small and larger strobe units. He also covered some basics of working with models. There were 5 stations setup with the new triggers along with the models that we got to work with. Here are a couple from that day.
A couple of the models had long hair that I knew would make great images if they flipped their hair.

I put together another little video/slideshow from the day. More info on the MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 coming up later this week.

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