I have been thinking lately that I would like to try to get into some lighting situations.
As usual, its looking like Iím going to have to sell my soul (again) to do it!
Lighting wise, I presently have available one 580exII flash, an Interfit 16x16Ē softbox, OCF eTTL sync cable, 41Ē 5in1 reflector.
Iím looking at possibly acquiring two additional 580exIIís, a Phototek 46Ē hybrid umbrella, various and sundry stands and mounts, etc. to support these items to start. I would like to have a kit that affords portability, and easy storage. I have neither the room nor the inclination to go for big studio gear.
I also want to go eTTL radio wireless and after a dizzying amount of research, reviews, comparisonís, I find myself somewhat disoriented.
It appears the choices for this are going to be Radiopopper or Pocket Wizard. I want eTTL/manual and the ability to control my strobes from one position without having to hoof over and fiddle with each individually. Also HSS. And mostly, this is no inexpensive proposition so I hope to make the ďrightĒ choice first and not spend my life in regret with a depleted wallet to boot!
I find that at this point I am unable to make a decision between these two. So Iím not going to get in any hurry.
Am I better off looking at TT5ís all around instead of a TT1/TT5 combo? The site says its better for range, and the RF interference that is a known problem with the PW/580exII. And speaking of? Is there any known issues with using the shield sock that is now supposedly supplied with these units to abate the interference issue. And one reason I ask is because I am finding reports of these PW units burning out the 580exIIís. I wonder if this could be a reason. There are no words to describe how I would feel if these things fried three 580ís! As an aside, I would also go for an AC3 Zone controller.
Other issues I am reading about:
1. Having to take 2-3 recalibration shots after sleep, meaning all to often. And having to shut everything off and repower it from time to time to reset it?
2. Inaccurate (resulting in inaccurate exposures) firing and miss firing.
3. Inadequate build (plastic foot that appears to be a consistent weak point and lots of consistent breakage.
4. Purchasing additional accessories to make these things work (ferrite chokes, additional OC-E3 cables for each flash unit). Especially after a big initial outlay to buy into the system to begin with.
I really want to like this system, but I have visions of toasted strobes that will not be repaired under warranty because of it. Or should I just go for the 430exIIís, which I would rather not do, and which reportedly work well with PW due to their reduced noise output?
First and foremost, I am not exactly in love with the fact that I have to have a $500 piece of lighting equipment attached to my camera to get these to work. One workaround I wonder about and have found no info on (I am probably going to see if I can email RP directly about this) is if I could sync one of my off camera flashes (the closest one) with a cable and attach the Tx to it instead of having to have it on camera.
And speaking of attaching, Iím not real thrilled with having to attach the Tx with Velcro to the top of my flash. I may even want some ďattach to flash headĒ gizmos to play with.
So far, what I think Iím looking at is a reduced feature set with the RPís, and having to work off a commander flash. These are even more expensive than the PWís. However, not so much so if the PWís damage my flashes.
I just saw this, too, but have not looked into it very hard yet:
Seems like they just started shipping, but I have found a couple of favorable reviews. Any opinions on how these might play? These seem to be TTL/manual, but can control from the Tx and at a better price point. I wonder if I would I really miss eTTL so much? Plus they are upgradable via USB supposedly similar to the PWís.
I usually donít jump right into a new release until it has been around a whileÖ
I have done a lot of searching on this Forum. It looks like this is going to take more sorting than I originally thought so naturally I came here for some opinions!
As you can see, Iím a bit bewildered here. If anyone could help shed a little light (pun intended!) I would be grateful. Comments on any of the above gear, especially the radio triggers, would be most appreciated.