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Subject: "Sekonic Meter & CLS" Previous topic | Next topic
chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Mon 12-Sep-11 04:47 PM
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"Sekonic Meter & CLS"


Commerce, US
          

I would like to get a meter (Sekonic L-758 likely,maybe L-358) to take flash readings at the subject using the meter to trip the speedlights w/o having to trip the shutter.

My ? is would the CLS pre-flashes interfere with the meter?

I'd like to use TTL to control the speedlights (3-SB900s & 1-SB600).

I plan to get the new PW if all this will work with CLS & TTL.

Any and all help appreciated,

Steve

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberMon 12-Sep-11 10:57 PM
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#1. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 12-Sep-11 11:03 PM by HBB

Phoenix, US
          

Steve:

Welcome to Nikonians. Please fill out your profile when you get a minute. It will help us provide more accurate answers to your questions. Example: we do not know what camera you will be using with your speedlights, and what on-camera unit (Popup, hot shoe speedlight, SU800, etc.) you will be using as the master/commander. Thanks in advance.

1) The Sekonic meters will trigger on the the first preflash sequence that appears in the CLS TTL mode.

2) With multiple groups of remote speedlights, there will be multiiple preflash sequences, milliseconds apart.

3) When using front-curtain sync, the meters will not see the image capture pulse as it is only milliseconds behind the preflash pulse.

4) When using rear-curtain sync, if the shutter time is long enough, you may be able to reset the meter in time to capture the image capture pulse. There is a low power "Fire Now" pulse that appears just before the image capture pulse that may be included in the meter's reading, depending on the location of the meter relative to the on-camera master/commander unit. This "Fire Now" pulse may, or may not, affect the meter's overall reading, depending on the number of remotes, placement, and power levels.

5) The only way the Sekonic meters will provide an accurate measurement, without preflash and "Fire Now" pulses, is to place the on-camera master unit (SB900, SB800, SB700, SU800) and all remote units in the SU-4 mode, which eliminates all preflash and "Fire Now" pulses. If using the built-in popup, it must be set to full manual mode, not commander. Do not use CLS manual mode, as this also includes one or more preflash sequences (to convey selected manual power levels to remote groups of speedlights) and a low power "Fire Now" pulse for image capture.

Note: The SB600 does not include the SU-4 option, and it cannot be used as the on-camera master.

5) The preflash and "Fire Now" pulse sequences will be the same, whether using IR CLS signaling, or RF PW signaling.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Tue 13-Sep-11 02:58 AM
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#2. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 1


Commerce, US
          

Thanks for the reply, I updated my profile.

A. It seems odd to have all this expensive gear and not be able to use TTL.

B. Why does Nikon use IR instead of RF????????

Steve

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberTue 13-Sep-11 04:00 AM
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#3. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 2


Phoenix, US
          

Steve:

I'm guessing ... Nikon is very good at keeping corporate secrets.

IR does not require any international RF frequency licensing. RF involves at least three such agencies: North America, Europe, and Japan. Simple economics.

You can use TTL. Your proposed Sekonic meter cannot track it ... yet.

Regards,


Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Tue 13-Sep-11 12:43 PM
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#4. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 2


Commerce, US
          

Yeah, its just disappointing at the least.
I guess I could use everything and shoot in manual and just get the PW Plus II series?

They have a good reputation. I could still use my SU-800 with the Plus II correct?

Thanks for your help,

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberTue 13-Sep-11 02:39 PM
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#5. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 0


Powder Springs, US
          

I don't know if PW will ever be able to get it to work without tripping the shutter. All of the CLS/CTL commands have to issue from the camera, or at least the light has to be metered off of a sensor with the shutter open? Not sure here.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Thu 15-Sep-11 02:11 AM
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#6. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 5


Commerce, US
          

>I don't know if PW will ever be able to get it to work
>without tripping the shutter. All of the CLS/CTL commands have
>to issue from the camera, or at least the light has to be
>metered off of a sensor with the shutter open? Not sure here.


Good point.
So I could trip the speedlights in manual mode with the lightmeter using the PW Plus II?

Thank you,

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 15-Sep-11 12:17 PM
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#7. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 6


Powder Springs, US
          

Definitely.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 15-Sep-11 12:50 PM
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#8. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 6


Powder Springs, US
          

The more I think about it, I believe the preflashes are metered with the shutter closed. I was thinking of OTF metering which adjusts for changes during the exposure. Flash wouldn't do this.

I think there would have to be some serious collaboration between Nikon and PW to get Nikon to fire the system without tripping the shutter AND getting Sekonic/PW to count the preflashes and command flash and ignore them. It would be nice to dial the number of flashes used into the meter and have it ignore n+1 flashes (to include the command flash).

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Thu 15-Sep-11 04:02 PM
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#9. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 8


Commerce, US
          

Thanks again, I'm just trying to get the theory/principles through my skull. I don't want to spend a lot of $$$$ and not have it work as I had hoped.


Now shooting portraits I guess I will take a meter reading - hopefully using my new Sekonic L-358 (did I mention I bought one?) to fire the speedlights then from the camera - hopefully using my SU-800, adjust flash output???

Can anybody confirm this before I order a bunch of PW Plus IIs?

I used to shoot a lot of weddings part time and always got asked/refused portraits or anything else.

Now years later I want (am in the process) of learning to shoot portraits and light ala strobist.
After shooting a bunch of good looking friends I may start to charge a little, maybe even shoot a wedding here & there. I'd like to pass my lifetime learning skills onto to my 7yr old son & 9yr old daughter. If nothing else photography is a great skill to fall back on if you need to pay the rent.

I know lots of full time shooters doing very well. I have been told countless times that I should have stayed in photography (I used to work in commercial photo labs printing for the city's top photograhers)and not gotten into the medical field but I'm not a business person and you have to be. Also I don't want to HAVE to pay the bills with my hobby.

Anyway keep the info coming and to repeat I can use & control the PW Plus IIs from the camera using my SU-800 to fire the speedlights and take a meter reading w/o tripping the shutter? correct?

Its really important that I can use the SU-800 and also to take meter readings w/o tripping the shutter otherwise my poor D90 will go from 9k shutter actuations to 90k in no time!!

Thanks to those of you who share their skills,knowledge (and patience)with the rest of us, Karma is a wonderful thing!

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 15-Sep-11 05:35 PM
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#10. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 9


Powder Springs, US
          

I don't think so. The instant CLS enters the picture (you mentioned SU-800) the L-358 is out the door. I have that meter and it works wonderfully in straight manual mode (no CLS).

With CLS, the instant you release the shutter (which you don't want to do), a cacaophony of preflashes and flashes ensue. Each flash fires a preflash to judge the appropriate exposure for that flash. Then the command flash pulse fires instructing all flashes to fire as metered. Then, finally, they all fire in unison.

There are issues here. Since all flashes are metered individually, where they overlap, they will be technically overexposed. In practice, I have not found this to be too bad. The very first preflash will trigger the light meter and the reading will be meaningless.

You could set your camera to rear sync with a slow shutter and set the meter to read when it detects a flash. You could trip the shutter (which you do not want to do) and walk to the subject. By then, the preflashes are over (except the command flash Hal mentions) and you could activate the meter and wait for the real light show when the rear sync trips the flash.

You could probably use that method to meter each flash individually, but you would have to keep changing the settings to have only one flash on at a time.

Or....you could use standard PW PlusII radios and shoot strictly in manual mode.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Thu 15-Sep-11 06:53 PM
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#11. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 10
Thu 15-Sep-11 11:29 PM by chesterdawg

Commerce, US
          

Thanks Scott.

So just to make sure I'm straight.

I get the PW Plus II and with my SU-800 mounted atop my D90 I use my Sekonic L-358 to trigger the speedlights which are all set to manual and take a reading w/o the shutter having been tripped and follow by making adjustments to each strobes power via the SU-800?

I thought I had read elsewhere that you can't do this using the PW Plus II but could with the newer PW mini/flex system???

If it is possible, how do I attach both the PW Plus II and the SU-800?

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 15-Sep-11 10:25 PM
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#12. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 11


Powder Springs, US
          

Steve,

Re-read Hal's first post's number 5. I do not have an SU-800 and I don't use CLS in manual mode, so I am not sure exactly how it works. What I don't know is whether CLS power levels permanently change the power level of the remote flash or whether that level reverts to it's setting before the shot.

If it just sends a command for the current shot, then triggering the flash with the meter might give random results. I don't know what mode or power level a flash will fire at when it is set to remote and triggered by a slave. That's probably why Hal suggested SU4 mode.

Where others say the PW-CLT works might be due to the fact that you use remote flashes in regular modes (neither master nor remote). So if you shoot with standard channels, the flash will fire in manual mode at the power level you have set. Of course CTL won't work as you have to set the FlexTT5 units to be triggered by a CTL signal or a standard signal, but not both. I don't think this would be any different than using Plus II units, except for the convenience of having a hot shoe mount.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Fri 16-Sep-11 12:26 AM
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#13. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 12


Commerce, US
          

I want to be able to control the power of the speedlights with my SU-800 mounted on the camera.

I also want to be able to use my Sekonic L-358 to take a meter reading at the subject w/o tripping the shutter.

Can I do this with the Pocket Wizard Plus II and/or the mini/flex?

I know I can't do it using CLS (pre-flashes effect meter reading) and am o.k. with that as long as I can use/adjust the speedlights in manual from the SU-800.

I hope this makes sense.

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 01:14 AM
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#14. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 13


Powder Springs, US
          

No, unfortunately, you cannot.

In a previous thread, I argued that I cannot see why one would realistically want to do that, since you can dial in your lighting ratios and check the overall exposure with a target or histogram. It's much quicker than messing around with a light meter, running around turning units off and on.

Dinil said he flys his lights and cannot reach them to change his manual settings, so I can see where CTL and metering in manual mode could be nice.

The other point is that once you know the settings using TTL and CTL/CLS, you don't have to meter the next time.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Fri 16-Sep-11 01:06 PM
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#15. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 14


Commerce, US
          

I want to do that to avoid tripping shutter to get a flash meter reading.

If I'm playing/learning a lot I could shutter actuations racking up quickly.

Its not just the control, being a technologist I actually enjoy the process.

I guess I could still use the meter to take a flash reading with speedlights in manual then adjust each one seperately?

I know in time that I'll be able to pretty much nail the exposures setting each strobe manually but I was hoping to use the SU-800 to do it from camera.

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 02:48 PM
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#16. "RE: Sekonic Meter & CLS"
In response to Reply # 15


Powder Springs, US
          

>I guess I could still use the meter to take a flash reading
>with speedlights in manual then adjust each one separately?

Yes, with the flashes in normal operating mode and set to manual, you will have no problem. Standard PW Plus II units would be easier to use, I think.

>I know in time that I'll be able to pretty much nail the
>exposures setting each strobe manually but I was hoping to use
>the SU-800 to do it from camera.

Yeah, I don't think you can, because you cannot fire each flash individually or without preflashes.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Fri 16-Sep-11 03:43 PM
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#17. "BEATING A DEAD HORSE?"
In response to Reply # 16


Commerce, US
          

If I went the mini/flex route and got the AC3 would I only be able to control speedlights from the camera when shooting TTL?

It would be nice if I could control them when shooting in manual from the camera but I think I'm getting the fact that I can only control from camera when shooting TTL.

Keep the info tips coming please. I'm going to figure out which system soon and place an order.

Hopefully there is a 30 day return/exchange if I stll manage to order the wrong system and change for the other.

I will get whichever allows me to fire the strobes from the subject using the Sekonic L-358 and not have to trip the shutter.

Thanks for your patience and teaching,

Steve

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 05:16 PM
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#18. "RE: BEATING A DEAD HORSE?"
In response to Reply # 17


Phoenix, US
          

Steve:

You said:

"I will get whichever allows me to fire the strobes from the subject using the Sekonic L-358 and not have to trip the shutter."

One way to do this is:

1) Place a Pocket Wizard Plus II or MultiMax on the camera, and one on each remote SB900 speedlight.

2) Make sure your L-358 includes the radio frequency transmitter module.

3) Set the Pocket Wizards and the L-358 to the same channel.

4) Place all remote SB900 speedlights in SU-4 mode. The SB600 does not include SU-4 mode.

5) Set the L-358 to cordless flash mode, hold it in front of the subject and press the button. The L-358 will trigger the speedlights at the manually selected power level, and display shutter speed, or aperture, depending on your preference.

6) You will be in complete manual mode with the remote SB900s. You will have to set their power levels individually and manually.

Metering technology has not advanced to the point where they can ignore the preflash sequence and image capture trigger pulse, and capture just the synchronized image capture pulse from the remote speedlight groups. For one thing, there will be one set of preflash pulses for each remote group, plus the image capture trigger pulse. How would the meter know how many groups to count before capturing the image capture pulse alone? Also, it is doubtful that meter manufacturers will build a meter to a specific camera's specs any time in the near future.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Fri 16-Sep-11 05:32 PM
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#19. "Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 18


Commerce, US
          

I got it now, thanks. I'll get the PW module for my meter.

I'll decide if the price difference between the PW Plus II and the Mini/Flex is worth having TTL.

Even though I'm knocking on the door of my 5th decade in life, I find that photography is still stimulating on many levels.

Time to find some pretty faces & learn some new skills. Hopefully create some nice permanent images along the way,

Steve

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 06:29 PM
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#20. "RE: Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 19


Powder Springs, US
          


>I'll decide if the price difference between the PW Plus II and
>the Mini/Flex is worth it


It is worth it, unless the Plus II units have dropped and I have not noticed. You will want CTL, I bet. You'll want to configure one setting to CTL and the other to Standard on your FlexTT5 units, assuming you get them.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Fri 16-Sep-11 07:45 PM
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#22. "RE: Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 20


Commerce, US
          

With the Mini/Flex system are the "bugs" "issues" that I have read about corrected with firmware upgrades? or really not much of an issue.

Also with this system I could use my SU-800 when shooting TTL correct?,



Steve

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 06:52 PM
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#21. "RE: Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 19


Phoenix, US
          

Steve:

Before purchasing the Mini/Flex units, check to see if they are compatible with the Sekonic L-358 radio frequencies.

Earlier this year I reviewed a set of the Mini/Flex units for the MAC Group. While I did not check all frequencies, I could not find any that worked with the transmitter module in my Sekonic L-758DR meter.

Unless something has changed, all four frequencies on the PW Plus II units, and all 32 frequencies on the PW MultiMax units are compatible with the Sekonic North American transmitter modules. I have six Plus II and seven MultiMax units. If I were doing it again, I would purchase all MultiMax units, as they are much more flexible.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 08:59 PM
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#23. "RE: Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 21


Powder Springs, US
          

Hal,

I'm not sure why the Sekonic could not trigger using legacy channels, they should. In transmit mode both a CTL and Standard signal are sent, but in receive mode you have to set the FlexTT5 to receive one or the other, but not both. Maybe you were using the default CTL mode?

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 11:02 PM
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#24. "RE: Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 23


Phoenix, US
          

Scott:

Since I finished the review for the MAC group, I no longer have any Flex/Mini units to play with, and have no interest in acquiring any. Since almost all my speedlight work is now full manual, my herd of PW Plus II and MultiMax units provide much more flexibility, as each of the twelve SB800s can be configured independently ... I am not constrained to three remote groups. The classic four-light portrait setup (Main, Shadow-side, Hair and Background) is an example. In full manual mode (SU-4) incident metering with my Sekonic L758DR, without having to trip the shutter, is a given.

With my roll of Cinefoil, I can quickly configure snoots to rubber band onto SB800s as required, for small spots of light, at the precise power level required. Impossible to do with CLS mode and the three group limit. For the increasingly rare times (almost never) that CLS and the three group limit is useful, the IR signaling works fine.

From another, related, perspective, I am moving more into incident, as opposed to reflected exposure metering, and more precise color temperature management. My Sekonic L-758DR exposure and C-500R color temperature meters are both equipped with the PW compatible RF modules. With this pair of meters, I can achieve precise exposure settings, and custom white balance within +/- five mired. Plus, the L-758DR gives me the ratio between ambient and speedlight illumination, when used in the speedlight mode.

I spent some time looking for compatible channels, and didn't find any. I don't recall which channels I explored, and have sinced tossed all my notes. By now, you have more experience with the PW Mini/Flex units than I do, so I'll toss the football back to you. Perhaps you could rent a Sekonic L358 or L758 with the RF module for a weekend and test it yourself? Then we'll all know.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberFri 16-Sep-11 11:48 PM
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#25. "RE: Again Thank You!"
In response to Reply # 24


Powder Springs, US
          

Hal,

I have had the L-358 with module for several years now, I just haven't tried it with CTL, because it would be a hassle just to test it. You have to disable CTL in the FlexTT5 and you have to plug it into a computer to do that. I also have Plus and Plus II units and use them for manual shooting.

I personally never got the PW-CTL radios to shoot manually. I got them for indoor shots when a flash is out of sight and for quick portraiture, because I DIDN'T want to fuss with the light meter. Oh well.

Anyway, channels 1 through 4 can be set as the second signal sent by the transmitter. It sends a CTL and standard signal at the same time. This is true for both the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5. In receive mode, the Flex has to be set to process either a CTL signal or a standard signal, but not both.

It would be nice to trigger flash units individually and in unison in CTL mode, but I don't see a big difference between walking back and forth to the camera to change settings or to the flash units.

When Dinil said he wanted it to adjust flash heads that were mounted out of reach, I saw perhaps one legitimate need for having the capability to trigger and meter a CTL setup with a Sekonic.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Sat 17-Sep-11 04:18 PM
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#26. "Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 25


Commerce, US
          

I have read that the Multi allows for rear curtain synch but are there any other reasons to justify the price difference?

Its great to be so fully informed before making this purchase.

Thanks again,

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSat 17-Sep-11 09:08 PM
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#27. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 26


Powder Springs, US
          

I don't have a Multi, but they have more channels AND groups. Withe the Sekonic, you can meter groups. That " might" let you meter individual lights and groups of lights without turning the receivers or flashes off and on. I know my L-358 will select groups for metering.

Hal knows the MultiMax inside and out. Maybe he can weigh in here.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberSat 17-Sep-11 11:49 PM
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#28. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 26


Phoenix, US
          

Steve:

Brief summary of major PW MultiMax units:

1) 32 channels

2) Four remote zones: A, B, C, and D; plus on-camera unit (Equivalent to Nikon's three remote CLS Groups, plus on-camera unit.)

3) Quad-triggering allows up to four zones (A, B, C, D) on an individual channel.

4) Rear curtain sync.

5) Precision delays up to 9.9999 seconds.

6) Intervalometer (Time Lapse Photography) Up to 99 hrs 59 mins 59 secs.

7) Multipop: Triggers remote units multiple times per trigger. User selects interval between 0.01 and 999.9 seconds in 0.01 second increments. Trigger interval usually selected to allow speedlight(s) to recycle. Typically 2.0 seconds for full dump on an SB800 with fresh batteries.

8) Speed Cycler: Used to cycle rapidly through multiple remote units at cyclic rate faster than individual unit recycle rate. Can also be used to cycle through remote cameras.

9) Compatible with older PW units: 10 Channel Classic; 16 Channel Classic; Plus; Plus II; Sekonic Digital Radio transmitters RR-4 (four channels) and RR-32 (32 channels) ... and other systems, including; Calumet, Profoto, Norman, Dynalite, selected Kodak and Nikon cameras equipped with Pocket Wizard upgrade.

10) Synchronizing multiple cameras to set of remote speedlights. Permits measurement of shutter lag time in cameras and adjusting MultiMax timing such that all cameras have shutters open when speedlights fire. Shutter lag times are variable between cameras, and even between identical cameras of same model.

There is much more to the MultiMax units. Example: If you think you will be into moving vehicle shots with long shutter times (e.g., ten to fifteen seconds and more) and desire to illuminate them at various points in their travel, the MultiMax units are for you. If your needs will not extend beyond four remote zones/groups of speedlights, all firing in sync, then stick with the Plus II units. As mentioned earlier, if I were doing it again, I would have purchased thirteen MultiMax units instead of six Plus II and seven MultiMax units.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Sun 18-Sep-11 03:09 AM
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#29. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 28


Commerce, US
          

Its surprising to me that the mini/flex units don't come into the mix here, I guess they are for TTL shooting w/o all the capabilities of these 2.

Normally I would expect the latest models to do everything the prior models could do only better.

Anyway with using these remote triggers a new venture for me I'll re-read these posts until I figure out what I really will end up doing.

The only other thing on my (photo) bucket list is to photograph waterdrops and I think I can do that with just 1 or 2 speedlights.

I mainly plan to shoot portraits having shot weddings part time for years in the past using only a Metz 60CT4 in aperture priority auto mode. At the time I thought it was awesome to shoot just about all day at 1/60 & f5.6 and let the flash do the thinking.

Then along comes TTL metering & digital cameras. Keeping photography as a hobby with maybe a few for pay jobs is very enjoyable to me.
Learning how to use new tools to compliment my photos is just as fun.

Thanks for all of your help, very informative.

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSun 18-Sep-11 10:34 AM
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#30. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 29
Sun 18-Sep-11 10:51 AM by ScottChapin

Powder Springs, US
          

Steve,

Exactly, PW-CTL was designed to put CLS on steroids. We can now position flash heads behind the controller, around corners out of sight, and outdoors in bright sun light. It is backward compatible with non-MultiMax units, but MultiMax are manual units on steroids.

Sometimes it makes sense to have separate tools for separate jobs. I think this is one of those times. Having the MultiMax built into CTL would create a need for bigger and bulkier units that did not have to be plugged into a computer to change settings. That's not what CLS shooters need.

That's not to mention how expensive an all in one unitight be.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Sun 18-Sep-11 02:55 PM
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#31. "Summary"
In response to Reply # 30


Commerce, US
          

So I will need one for each speedlight, one on the camera and one in my hand?

When I want to take a flash reading w/o tripping the shutter do I just turn the camera off?

Then turn the camera off to take the photo?

Basic, redundant ?s I know but I'm new to this game and I'm sure this thread will be useful to others down the road.


Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSun 18-Sep-11 04:23 PM
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#32. "RE: Summary"
In response to Reply # 31
Sun 18-Sep-11 04:24 PM by ScottChapin

Powder Springs, US
          

If you get Plus II units, you need one for each flash and one for the camera. The Sekonic has a triggering module buit in, if you buy it along with the meter.

I don't turn the camera off, just the receivers for the flashes that I don't want to meter.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Sun 18-Sep-11 06:59 PM
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#33. "RE: Summary"
In response to Reply # 32


Commerce, US
          

Thats right, thanks for reminding me.
I forgot about the module.

If I leave the camera on can I still trip only the speedlights and not the shutter for a reading?

Steve

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camelcase Registered since 02nd Sep 2009Sun 18-Sep-11 08:35 PM
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#34. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 29


GB
          

>Its surprising to me that the mini/flex units don't come into
>the mix here, I guess they are for TTL shooting w/o all the
>capabilities of these 2.

The mini/flex units can do both classic radio trigger or CLS once configured via the usb cable.

The units have a C1/C2 slider switch, this is confusingly named because the settings do not relate to radio channel numbers but instead refer to programmable configured states 1 and 2.

This afternoon I got my flex units up and running with CLS on the C1 slider position and C2 equates to classic radio pop channel 17.

I have not used all this in anger yet but the intention is that when I want the convenience of CLS/TTL I will use config C1, when I want to setup a scene carefully I can pop the remote flashes from the Sekonic without moving from the subject. Through a few fiddly button presses on the Sekonic I can meter all flashes together or individually on group A B or C.

If you do go for mini/flex get the extra AC3 camera clip-on control unit. The AC3 would be very helpful in a small studio situation.

p.s. the SB900 problem discussed around the internet has been fixed in a PW software version upgrade.

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSun 18-Sep-11 09:28 PM
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#35. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 34


Powder Springs, US
          

>
>I have not used all this in anger yet but the intention is
>that when I want the convenience of CLS/TTL I will use config
>C1, when I want to setup a scene carefully I can pop the
>remote flashes from the Sekonic without moving from the
>subject. Through a few fiddly button presses on the Sekonic I
>can meter all flashes together or individually on group A B or
>C.

You can do this with a standard signal not using CTL and there are no preflashes? I thought the groups had to be controlled by the master unit.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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camelcase Registered since 02nd Sep 2009Sun 18-Sep-11 11:00 PM
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#36. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 35


GB
          

>You can do this with a standard signal not using CTL and there
>are no preflashes? I thought the groups had to be controlled
>by the master unit.

I have only owned the mini/flex units for a week and I am new to off-camera flash so I don't want to mislead folks here. After reading your message I ran through a set off tests on my desk.

With the D5100 camera and the camera mounted PW mini on the camera both powered off and I can selectively fire two remote flash units from the Sekonic. The WP flex units are in the (C2) quad channel 17 listening mode (setup once in the PC software config process).

I am not experienced enough to spot a pre-flash but during my Sekonic trigger tests at M1/64 I hear a single crisp crack from the flash. I left one flash on TTL by accident during this test and the Sekonic triggered it with a mega flash.

If I had to guess I reckon that channels 17 to 32 are actually subdivided into 4 sub channels and the Sekonic pulses any combination of Chan 17 A/B/C/D according to user selection.

Its a Sekonic L-358.

I would be happy to run any other tests of interest.

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSun 18-Sep-11 11:54 PM
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#37. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 36


Powder Springs, US
          

With the camera off and no TX on it , mount a flash in normal mode and set manually to full power in a FlexTT5. Set the Sekonic to channel 17 as well as the PW. Be sure CTL is disabled in the PW.

Now set the Flex to each group and verify that it fires only when the Sekonic is set to that group. If not, you cannot meter flashes individually by setting the flashes to different groups.

Then, if the flashes trigger only when the Sekonic is set to the same group as the PW, check to see if the reading is accurate. A preflash will cause a very wide aperture reading. Divide the GN for the zoom setting/ISO by the flash to meter distance and see if the reading agrees. If it's even close, it isn't a preflash reading.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Mon 19-Sep-11 03:47 AM
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#38. "AC3 Zone Controller"
In response to Reply # 37


Commerce, US
          

Well since we're still talking/solving PW concerns I'd like to add another to see if I should consider the mini/flex kit.

On the PW website:
http://www.pocketwizard.com/products/transmitter_receiver/36/AC3/features/

It states the following about the AC3:

"SpeedCycler mode requires an AC3 ZoneController in the top hot-shoe of the on-camera PocketWizard radio. Zones A, B, and C will be triggered sequentially and individual zones can be disabled by setting the AC3’s Zone Switch to the off position. Both TTL and manual flash controls are supported."



"Flash Power Control without a Camera: Photographers can now take their AC3 and transmitting radio off-camera and use it to set power levels for any flash with a ControlTL receiver, making it more convenient to use an optically triggered light meter, or control the power levels with just a MiniTT1/FlexTT5 and AC3 in their hand while another photographer takes the pictures. Previously, an AC3 ZoneController on a MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 needed to be on camera to send manual power levels to remote flashes. Now, when connected to a MiniTT1 or FlexTT5, manual power levels are transmitted to remote flashes when the TEST button is pressed even when the transmitter is off the camera. This affects both speedlights connected to receiving FlexTT5s and larger flashes like AlienBees and Elinchrom RX units with ControlTL receivers."


Am I to understand that this means I can in fact use the mini/flex kit connected to an AC3 off camera at the subject to test fire the speedlights, take a reading with Sekonic then back to the AC3 to change manual power levels?

I would seriously consider the above setup if it would work as I desire which is to trip the speedlights, take a meter reading and not have the shutter be activated?

I'm obviously still a litte unsure about which setup would be best for what I'm wanting to do.

I'm thinking that with any of the 3 PW kits I can fire the speedlights at the subject & take a reading in the manual mode (and also trip the shutter remotely?).

In addition it seems I could also make remote adjustments to the speedlights using the AC3 & mini/flex kit?

Also with each of these 3 kits how do I actually test fire the speedlights only then trip the shutter remotely?


Thanks for adding content and sticking with me.

Steve

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Mon 19-Sep-11 04:01 AM
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#39. "RE: AC3 Zone Controller"
In response to Reply # 38


Commerce, US
          

This Wiki for PW is very informative and is updated:
http://wiki.pocketwizard.com/index.php?title=AC3_ZoneController

It says that you can use the AC3 to control the speedlights in manual.

Oddly in order to use manual control you have to set the speedlights to normal TTL NOT MANUAL.

At first I thought that it was just using TTL & flash compensation but its not. Its using the AC3 +3 to -3 (in 1/3 ev steps) to allow for manual control from 1/1 down to 1/64, check the chart on the above link.

Now I just need to find out how to shoot in manual from the subject with the AC3 & meter in hand.

Doh! its midnight and I have to go to work in the a.m.

I'll check tomorrow for replies.

Thanks all,

Steve

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camelcase Registered since 02nd Sep 2009Mon 19-Sep-11 10:26 AM
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#40. "RE: AC3 Zone Controller"
In response to Reply # 39


GB
          

>Oddly in order to use manual control you have to set the
>speedlights to normal TTL NOT MANUAL.

Which leads me to conclude the mini/flex manual setup rides on a devious interception of the CLS protocol. If so you will need to trigger the flashes via the test button on mini coupled to the AC3. The AC3 is an unpowered clip-on module.

The mini's test button is a low grade item that I doubt has the same duty cycle as the Sekonic's meter button.

Anyhow your usage scenario intrigued me, to test I took the mini+AC3 off the camera hotshoe and with two flex modules listening on CLS channel I was able to fire either flex A, flex B or both from the mini's test button.

Not sure how you could release the camera, a third in-hand gadget!

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Sep-11 01:23 PM
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#42. "RE: AC3 Zone Controller"
In response to Reply # 40


Powder Springs, US
          

That's good to hear, but after you fire with the test button ( to set the power levels on all units?) can you trigger Flex A, Flex B or both from the Sekonic L-358? That's what we are going for.

If this is new to v 3.000, I might go for the AC3 in a big way.

I'm sure, after you meter and adjust with the AC3 w/radio, you would put the TX in the camera's hot shoe and fire from the camera postion.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Sep-11 01:37 PM
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#45. "RE: AC3 Zone Controller"
In response to Reply # 38


Powder Springs, US
          

I'm thinking that the new firmware might let us read flash units with a meter.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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camelcase Registered since 02nd Sep 2009Mon 19-Sep-11 10:42 AM
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#41. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 37


GB
          

Scott I am going to have to ask a dumb set of questions to carry out your test.

>With the camera off and no TX on it

By TX you mean no PW attached on the hot shoe?

> mount a flash in normal mode

What is normal mode, TTL or do you mean mount a flash direct to the camera hot shoe?

>mode and set manually to full power in a FlexTT5.

Is this a remote flex?

In the mean time with the camera powered off and one free standing flex listening on c17 group B and the SB 900 in manual at 1/64, I went through the ABCD groups on the Sekonic and it only triggered the flash on B.

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Mon 19-Sep-11 01:26 PM
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#43. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 41


Commerce, US
          

So I could use the mini/flex & AC3 off camera to remotley trigger the speedlights and not trip the shutter?
I guess I could also trigger the speedlights w/light meter but can I trip the shutter remotely?

Its not important to me to trip the shutter remotely, I want to be able to take remote (at subject) light meter readings but was just curious about tripping the shutter by remote.

Anyway I think we have uncovered a few things here (at least for me) and I also know that I keep stating the same thing in most of my posts but I want to make sure that I'm clear on what I can achieve with the vaious PW choices.

Does anybody know all 3 kits and how to go about remotely triggering the strboes and not the shutter. I guess the Plus II and MultiMax are best for shooting manual? but now knowing the mini/flex w/AC3 is capable has me confused.

Keep the help coming please,

Steve

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Sep-11 01:34 PM
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#44. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 41


Powder Springs, US
          

>Scott I am going to have to ask a dumb set of questions to
>carry out your test.
>

Nothings dumb!

>>With the camera off and no TX on it
>
>By TX you mean no PW attached on the hot shoe?
>

TX means transmitter. The PW you are using in the hot shoe.

>> mount a flash in normal mode
>
>What is normal mode, TTL or do you mean mount a flash direct
>to the camera hot shoe?

This terminology gets confusing for me too. There are flash modes and then there are shooting modes (wrong terminology I'm sure). I'm refering to the three basic operating modes here; Normal, Remote and Master.

PW CTL wants all remote flashes set to Normal mode. The on camera flash can be Normal or Master, depending on how you want to use it.

>>mode and set manually to full power in a FlexTT5.
>
>Is this a remote flex?

I am not sure that the AC3 "permanently" changes the power level when it triggers a flash, or whether you have to verify the level the flash is set to before you meter it. From your previous post, it sounds like test firing the AC3 sets all the groups to their desired level and they stay there until changed again.

That would be great news and I hope Dinil is reading this.


>In the mean time with the camera powered off and one free
>standing flex listening on c17 group B and the SB 900 in
>manual at 1/64, I went through the ABCD groups on the Sekonic
>and it only triggered the flash on B.

Nice! Now does the meter reflect what you would expect at 1/64th, or is it metering a preflash? It sounds like the new firmware might have made some significant changes!!!

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberMon 19-Sep-11 09:16 PM
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#46. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 41


Powder Springs, US
          

This opens a whole new can of worms/quandary.

How can the AC3 send TTL commands when off camera? Does it only work in manual mode while off camera? Not that that wouldn't be good enough. Metering with preflashes is meaningless.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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camelcase Registered since 02nd Sep 2009Wed 21-Sep-11 07:39 PM
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#47. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 46


GB
          

Sorry Scott the last few days got busy and now I am preparing for my first serious wedding assignment.

Perhaps we can re-start this mini/flex testing in a fresh thread next week.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberWed 21-Sep-11 09:38 PM
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#48. "RE: Why Multi over Plus II ?"
In response to Reply # 47


Powder Springs, US
          

LOL, no problem. I wish I had an AC3 to test this out with.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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