Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

  1. #1

    Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Anyone experience different exposures when using ir vs pocket wizards with the same settings on flashes?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Need more info I'm afraid. What model camera? What model PWs? What model flash(es)? ETTL II or manual?

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,368
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    I shoot with a PocketWizard miniTT and Pocket Wizard Plus II with my Nikon camera and Speedlights as well as Pocket Wizard PowerMC2 on my studio lights. I don't know the details of the Canon integrated system, but if it works more or less the same way as the Nikon CLS, I would not expect the same results in some of the modes using the automated modes using the Commander system. If you are shooting in manual mode, there would be no difference.

    The main difference between the in camera and using the Pocket Wizards is that there is no two-way communications between the camera and the flash units when using the PocketWizard and the Speedlights. To a large extent the best level of automation one can expect is what really amounts to semi-automatic shooting, similar what was achieved with the old thyristor style flashes. The flash can be programmed to cut off the light output based on measurements made at the flash. The lighting measured at the flash is not going to give you the same result as measuring the flash at the camera.

    When the integrated system is used, the functionality and communications between the flash and camera are similar to when shooting the flash mounted on the hot shoe. The TTL metering system can be used and a pre-flash is fired by the flash unit, which is read and analysed by the camera and the exposure and flash are adjusted based on the light reading. Any flash compensation that you have dialled into the camera will be taken into account during the exposure.

    When I shoot and use Speedlights, I usually use the built in integration, whenever possible. The only time that I usually resort to using the PocketWizard is when I am having problems with getting the flash to fire consistently in the working environment.

    With studio lights, it’s a totally different story. With the Pocket Wizard miniTT with the AC3 controller I can remotely adjust my flashes because of the integration with the PowerMX2 units and the lights. No tripping over synch cables and no climbing up to adjust the power settings on the lights manually; it’s great.

  4. #4
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    1,009
    Real Name
    Lex

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    I use both the Canon IR system and a trio of Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 radios, mostly for indoor action with my 580EXIIs. Each system has its ups and downs.

    IR System
    • In-camera ratio control is great.
    • Seems to keep up with rapid-fire shooting very well.
    • Vulnerable to obstructions.
    • One of your flashes will be used up as the master on the camera (built-in flashes work, but since they're pointed straight ahead, they limit where you can place remotes).
    • Range is frequently cited as an IR weakness, but if you have a good line of sight to the flash, you can put them surprisingly far away.
    • Needing to maintain line of sight may prevent you from placing lights where you want them.


    Pocket Wizards
    • No in-camera ratio control (an AC3 zone controller like Manfred uses can replace this function at additional cost).
    • Sometimes drops a shot when going full-auto (possibly due to spotty reception).
    • No worries about line of sight, but still vulnerable to obstructions. You can't trigger through concrete, thick walls, etc.
    • Frees up all of your flashes for use as remotes. Note that three FlexTT5s cost slightly more than one 580EXII, which is a critical point in this question's economics.
    • Range is good, but extremely sensitive to the environment. Radios don't work as well when placed close to the ground. You may find yourself buying remote cords, ferrite chokes, and RF shields to get more range.
    • More batteries.
    • No cables.


    At the end of the day, both systems will work just fine in the studio. In the field, things are trickier. I use the Pocket Wizards for shooting roller derby, because the audience can sometimes block IR transmission. That said, it's basically a question of which headache I'm in the mood for. Are the Pocket Wizards worth the cost? Sometimes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    By the way folks, Canon don't use infra-red -- it actually works in the visible light spectrum. On flash masters like the 580 the control flashes come from the main flash head (the red LEDs are just AF assist) and on units like the ST-E2 they actually have a white mini flash tube behind the red perspex (the red perspex just makes it distracting to the naked eye).

    Best of all is Canon's new 600EX-RT / ST-E3-RT combination that I've recently upgraded all of my flashes to - many many advantages when using it with a 2012+ year camera.

  6. #6
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,398
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    BTW, should I mention the cheapie Yongnuo YN-622c, here? $45 per unit. 2.4GHz. TTL. control over flash mode, power, zoom, 2nd curtain, and HSS, via camera menus if the camera has the flash control menu, and the flash is menu commandable. The YN-622n Nikon units may have less capability, without a flash control menu.

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    Pocket Wizards
    • No in-camera ratio control (an AC3 zone controller like Manfred uses can replace this function at additional cost).
    YN-622c triggers can do in-camera ratio control, as well as mixed control where TTL or M is set on the flash, without requiring an additional/different master unit on the hotshoe. Not quite the same as groups control on the 2012 Canon RF setup, but not bad.

    • Sometimes drops a shot when going full-auto (possibly due to spotty reception).
    • No worries about line of sight, but still vulnerable to obstructions. You can't trigger through concrete, thick walls, etc. ...
    • Range is good, but extremely sensitive to the environment. Radios don't work as well when placed close to the ground. You may find yourself buying remote cords, ferrite chokes, and RF shields to get more range.
    Like the Canon RF units, the 622c triggers are on 2.4 GHz. Sure, you're fighting wi-fi, bluetooth, and microwaves in that spectrum, but you won't be fighting the 580EXII. PocketWizard in the US uses a much lower 340354 MHz frequency range--has to for backwards compatibility with their other older triggers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ... Best of all is Canon's new 600EX-RT / ST-E3-RT combination that I've recently upgraded all of my flashes to - many many advantages when using it with a 2012+ year camera.
    Just to list a few of these:
    • Wireless IDs [security codes for your channels]
    • 16 channels (vs. 4)
    • 5 groups (A-E), (vs. 3: A-C)
    • groups control [mixing various groups of flashes in various modes; being able to turn groups on and off]
    • RT units can be used as a remote shutter release for one or more cameras connected to RT units.

    The YN-622c can't do any of these. But then, the PWs and YN-622c can do tail-sync, trip studio strobes and manual lights, and can do 2nd curtain sync wireless. All things the Canon RT gear can't.

    The Yongnuo gear is obviously not going to be as reliable, well-built, or usable as the PW or Canon gear. But for a hobbyist on a budget, they can do a lot of the same function at a much lower cost.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    The YN-622c can't do any of these. But then, the PWs and YN-622c can do tail-sync, trip studio strobes and manual lights, and can do 2nd curtain sync wireless. All things the Canon RT gear can't.
    Then again, most studio heads have a magic eye that triggers the unit when it detects a flash

    Plus - speedlights are generally so under-powered compared to studio heads its hardly worth using them (one of my studio heads puts out more light than 20 600EX flashes - and I've got 5 studio heads ... ).

    Still don't know why 2nd curtain synch wasn't a go though

  8. #8
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,861
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    ahhh but colin, you dont take your studio lights out on location do you? i thought you use 4 speed lights in a soft box with PW's or have you invested in a quadra system now?

  9. #9
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,398
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Then again, most studio heads have a magic eye that triggers the unit when it detects a flash
    So do most YN speedlights. And the magic eye on the YN speedlights can ignore a pre-flash.

    ... Still don't know why 2nd curtain synch wasn't a go though
    Yeah, if Nikon's CLS can do it....

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    ahhh but colin, you dont take your studio lights out on location do you? i thought you use 4 speed lights in a soft box with PW's or have you invested in a quadra system now?
    I've got 3 inverter generators, so I can take my studio heads out into the field - and run a heater - and microwave dinner

    Mostly I don't bother though - I've got 5x 600EX-RTs and they're more than adequate most of the time (plus I can shoot at up to 1/8000th -- try doing that with studio heads!)

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    So do most YN speedlights. And the magic eye on the YN speedlights can ignore a pre-flash.
    Preflash is a good thing though

    Yeah, if Nikon's CLS can do it....
    Perhaps they did it so PocketWizard could stay in business

  12. #12
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,398
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ... (plus I can shoot at up to 1/8000th -- try doing that with studio heads!)
    Isn't that what hypersync/tail sync is for?

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Isn't that what hypersync/tail sync is for?
    Hypersync may get you to a little bit higher, but still only to around 1/320 to 1/500th if your lucky.

    Above that you need HSS - and studio heads don't support it.

  14. #14
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,861
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    I've got 3 inverter generators, so I can take my studio heads out into the field - and run a heater - and microwave dinner
    PMSL! you brightened up my day, thanks

    Hypersync may get you to a little bit higher, but still only to around 1/320 to 1/500th if your lucky.

    Above that you need HSS - and studio heads don't support it.
    Quadras do colin, go on , you know you NEED them!!

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark von Kanel View Post
    Quadras do colin, go on , you know you NEED them!!
    Pass. The rig I have has about the same power, but is more versatile. I used to use PocketWizard TT1 / TT5's, but sold them when Canon announced the 600EX-RT range, which is definitely a step up from the quadras (I use 4x 600EX-RT in a 4-Square rig) - I can do right up to 1/8000th - full manual - full ETTL II - or mix.

  16. #16
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    1,009
    Real Name
    Lex

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    I was sort of ticked off when Canon released the 600EX-RT literally days after I got my Pocket Wizards. But I need second-curtain sync for fire dancer photography, so the Canon radio and visible-light trigger systems (cheers for the correction, Colin) are non-starters. Pity, since I'd imagine their triggering is much more reliable than with Pocket Wizards. No 2CS seems like a major oversight, considering that Nikon offers it, and I know of no technical obstacle to including it. Possibly related to the fact that Canon flashes don't have slave eyes (SU-4 mode with Nikons).
    Last edited by RustBeltRaw; 22nd March 2013 at 01:26 PM.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    I was sort of ticked off when Canon released the 600EX-RT literally days after I got my Pocket Wizards. But I need second-curtain sync for fire dancer photography, so the Canon radio and visible-light trigger systems (cheers for the correction, Kathy) are non-starters. Pity, since I'd imagine their triggering is much more reliable than with Pocket Wizards. No 2CS seems like a major oversight, considering that Nikon offers it, and I know of no technical obstacle to including it. Possibly related to the fact that Canon flashes don't have slave eyes (SU-4 mode with Nikons).
    Um, I'll take the credit for the visible light correction, but Kathy gets the kudos for the LL link

    Yeah - hard to know the reason for the lack of 2nd curtain sync. They'll still do that on-camera though, so not all is completely lost.

    In comparison with the PW, the 600EX-RT triggering is bomb-proof - absolutely rock-solid. Can't recall even a single mis-fire. And the ETTL is flawless as well - very hard to fool it.

  18. #18
    inkista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1,398
    Real Name
    Kathy Li

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Yeah, it was Colin whut mentioned the visible light thang.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hypersync may get you to a little bit higher, but still only to around 1/320 to 1/500th if your lucky....
    Actually, some folks have been successfully hypersyncing with manual lights up to 1/8000s with the YN-622c triggers, though how much light they're getting is probably the issue you're talking about. I was surprised to get up to 1/8000 with "supersync" using the 580EX's PC port.

    But then, HSS is gonna rob you of two stops, anyhoo. Why the hell we can't just have a special sync mode in-camera where we say we want electronic shutters (i.e., shutter curtains open, and the sensor turns on and off for the shutter speed control) for superfast flash syncing ticks me off.

    As for the wireless 2nd curtain thing, I don't get it either, but a person on POTN explained it this way:

    That Canon's optical wireless slave system can't use 2nd curtain sync is due to how the communication is designed.
    When using slave flashes in E-TTL, the sequence is like this.

    1. Master flash sends two byte instruction sequence for flash group(s) to fire their E-TTL metering flash.
    2. Slaves fire metering flash, camera meters and compute proper flash power.
    3. Five byte signal is sent out to tell flash group(s) which power level to use, and to get ready to trigger on the next flash.
    4. Camera opens shutter and fires master slave in sync.
    5. Slaves react and fire simultaneously.
    6. Slaves go back to listening to the command sequences again.

    Now if for some reason step 4 doesn't happen, or a slave doesn't see that sync flash, although it did see the setup command flashes the moment before, the slave flash must time out from waiting to fire in sync with the trigger flash. It must execute step 6, so it can be re-started and fire again.
    Since there's no way of knowing for how long the slaves have to wait for the 2nd sync trigger flash, this can't be combined with a timeout which brings them back to be able to start from step 1 again (or step 3, if used in manual mode).
    But to my mind, simply communicating that we're in 2nd curtain and what the shutter speed setting on the camera is pretty much negates this issue--unless there's no room left to add this information in the 5-byte signal (likely). How the RF system manages to tack in things like the ID code, etc. though, then begs the question why they didn't just add information needed for 2nd curtain, too?

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Actually, some folks have been successfully hypersyncing with manual lights up to 1/8000s with the YN-622c triggers, though how much light they're getting is probably the issue you're talking about. I was surprised to get up to 1/8000 with "supersync" using the 580EX's PC port.
    It's good to be able to just "set and forget" HSS on the 600EX-RT / ST-E3-RT

    But then, HSS is gonna rob you of two stops, anyhoo.
    I hear this quite often, but folks seem to forget that one only needs HSS at higher shutterspeeds - and at higher shutterspeeds less ambient light is let in anyway. So in reality it's just not the issue many expect it to be. The way some harp on about it you'd think it was so unuseable that you'd wonder why anybody would even bother to try it, but in reality, it works just fine.

    Why the hell we can't just have a special sync mode in-camera where we say we want electronic shutters (i.e., shutter curtains open, and the sensor
    turns on and off for the shutter speed control) for superfast flash syncing ticks me off.
    Dunno - well above my pay grade Once again - in practice - existing technology works just fine IMO.

    As for the wireless 2nd curtain thing, I don't get it either, but a person on POTN explained it this way:
    Very interesting - thanks for that. I doubt Steve Jobs would have accepted that -- I could just imagine him saying "I don't care - that flash WILL ship - on time - with 2nd curtain wireless synch - fix it or I'll hire someone who can".

  20. #20
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    1,009
    Real Name
    Lex

    Re: Canon ir vs pocketwizard mini/flex

    If third-party, often-flighty Pocket Wizards can send shutter speed information, then Canon can probably handle it too. I have my PWs set to run 2CS at all times, because I either want it, or having it on doesn't hurt. Really, I'm not sure why 2CS isn't the default setting for on-camera and slave flashes. The explanation Kathy posted makes sense, but it's still an oversight on Canon's part.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •