Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #57696
View in linear mode

Subject: "Pocket wizard?" Previous topic | Next topic
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 05-Mar-12 04:14 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"Pocket wizard?"


Great Falls, US
          

Just got done with learning indoor and outdoor lighting working group. The photographer did not show us how to use the TTL settings installed on our SB800/900 and so on. instead, he mentioned that he primarily uses a set of pocket wizards, which is what i used the entire day. He also mentioned how its much harder to use the SB800 as a commander and its hard to bind to another speed light or fixed lights for studio lighting.

What do you guys suggest? how do you rate the pocket wizard flex TT5? also what do ou use or suggest? I wish i did get to learn to use my speedlight as a commander or as a slave but i didnt..i did however use it with a set of pocket wizards and it was dead easy to do. Basically plugged in any lights or speedlight and it automatically adjusted the lights with camera settings. you can also apply adjustments from the remote...seems like the same exact features as what the speedlight is suppose to do.

i guess instead of jotting down an entire list of experiences, my main question is what do you guys use or suggest?

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
05th Mar 2012
1
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
MEMcD Moderator
05th Mar 2012
2
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
05th Mar 2012
3
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
06th Mar 2012
4
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
07th Mar 2012
7
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
07th Mar 2012
10
          Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
07th Mar 2012
14
               Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
MEMcD Moderator
08th Mar 2012
20
                    Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
08th Mar 2012
21
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
07th Mar 2012
15
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
MEMcD Moderator
06th Mar 2012
6
          Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
07th Mar 2012
8
               Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
07th Mar 2012
11
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
06th Mar 2012
5
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
07th Mar 2012
9
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
07th Mar 2012
12
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
07th Mar 2012
13
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
wcguy Silver Member
08th Mar 2012
16
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
08th Mar 2012
17
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
08th Mar 2012
18
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
MEMcD Moderator
08th Mar 2012
19
          Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
09th Mar 2012
22
               Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
MEMcD Moderator
10th Mar 2012
23
                    Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
10th Mar 2012
24
                         Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
MEMcD Moderator
11th Mar 2012
25
                              Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
12th Mar 2012
27
                                   Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
12th Mar 2012
31
                                        Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
12th Mar 2012
32
                                        Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
12th Mar 2012
34
                                             Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
12th Mar 2012
35
                                             Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
12th Mar 2012
36
                                             Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
12th Mar 2012
37
                                             Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
12th Mar 2012
38
                                        Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
12th Mar 2012
33
                                        Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blw Moderator
13th Mar 2012
42
                                        Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Howard Oechsner Silver Member
14th Mar 2012
43
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
blosbog
12th Mar 2012
26
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
12th Mar 2012
28
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
12th Mar 2012
30
Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
12th Mar 2012
29
     Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
13th Mar 2012
39
          Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
Ned_L Moderator
13th Mar 2012
40
               Reply message RE: Pocket wizard?
jesse101
13th Mar 2012
41

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 05-Mar-12 04:39 PM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#1. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I haven't spent the approximately $1100 to convert my flashes from IR to radio, but I can say this: if I don't need the range (and so far I haven't ever failed indoors), it's pretty easy to control the whole thing using iTTL. I use an SB-900 as a commander and several SB-600s as remotes. It is straightforward to change all of the parameters (except, I think, zoom) on the remotes right from the commander.

Setting up the 700/800/900 as a commander and the remotes as slaves is easy to do - just allow about an hour to do it the first time, assuming you aren't under pressure in front of a client. (If the latter, count on at least twice as much, courtesy of Mrs Murphy.) I leave my SB-600s configured as remotes and with low-discharge batteries, so they're ready to go on a moment's notice. Then it's just a matter of flicking around the SB-900 UI to adjust their levels. Seriously, it takes about as long to set them up on light stands as to set the exposure configuration, assuming in fact that you know what you're aiming for to begin with. With three remotes I can go from flashes packed in the bag and stands collapsed to ready to shoot in about five minutes.

I would guess that with non-iTTL flashes, the Pocket Wizards are a real convenience. But for iTTL stuff, my personal opinion is that the PW's are only necessary for outdoor work, and for real distance.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Mon 05-Mar-12 07:42 PM
25564 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#2. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Jesse,

>Just got done with learning indoor and outdoor lighting
>working group. The photographer did not show us how to use the
>TTL settings installed on our SB800/900 and so on. instead, he
>mentioned that he primarily uses a set of pocket wizards,
>which is what i used the entire day. He also mentioned how its
>much harder to use the SB800 as a commander and its hard to
>bind to another speed light or fixed lights for studio
>lighting.

Were you using the PW MiniTT1 and FlexTT5's and Control TL or Manual flash settings?

>What do you guys suggest?

I find it just as easy to use Nikon CLS Wireless flash control as it is to use the PW Control TL RF Wireless system. The PW system has an advantage in range, especially outdoors and has the ability to allow integrating strobes and TTL flash control though I prefer to use Manual flash control when using strobes, or strobes combined with Speedlights.

>how do you rate the pocket wizard flex TT5?

They work well, but so does CLS wireless flash control.
As stated above, the primary advantage is the ability to shoot outdoors in bright light and the extended range.

> what do ou use or suggest? I wish i did get to
>learn to use my speedlight as a commander or as a slave but i
>didnt..i did however use it with a set of pocket wizards and
>it was dead easy to do. Basically plugged in any lights or
>speedlight and it automatically adjusted the lights with
>camera settings. you can also apply adjustments from the
>remote...seems like the same exact features as what the
>speedlight is suppose to do.
>
>i guess instead of jotting down an entire list of experiences,
>my main question is what do you guys use or suggest?

It depends on the ambient conditions that you shoot in and the distance from your shooting position to the position of your remote Speedlights.
I would recommend learning CLS wireless flash control and determine if it provides enough capability to suite your requirements. If it does, stick with it and don't look back.
If you need the extended range that the PW Control TL system provides, get the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5's and don't look back.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 05-Mar-12 08:25 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#3. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 2


Great Falls, US
          

Thanks guys for the quick replies!

I was using..well from what i saw him do, is he set it to TTL, and yes we were basically using 2 Flex TT5's and one ontop of the TT5 mounted to my camera mini TT1. we were not using any manual settings. What i liked about it the most, it actually sensed my distance. I positioned my SB800 45 degrees from the subject at the same distance from where i am shooting, either off slightly to the right or left (as a fill) depending where the key light was at..and just set it to TTL and it was pretty much spot on every time, it was more so my in camera settings that needed adjustment, but i am thinking that wasnt good for learning purposes. for instance, if i am in a situation to where i dont have a pocket wizard..i know where to place my speedlights, but i will be running back and forth as to what works and what doesnt work, instead of getting it in the general idea and so on.

I saw the entire setup for 600 dollars !! thats about half way to a new D7000 lol

what do you guys suggest for a nice reflector? I thought that was awesome and dead simple..with an assistant of course lol but man..i was sold after a couple of shots using a reflector. I am trying to find one that is flat black on the back and reflective on the other...thats so i can use one to attract and bounce and take it with me over seas when i leave on the 6th..that and my SB800/tripod for OCF i should be good for most situations i would think.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 06-Mar-12 08:08 AM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#4. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond, US
          

> 2 Flex TT5's and one ontop of the TT5 mounted to my camera mini TT1.

That's exactly the setup I don't have yet. And you can do exactly this indoors without the Pocket Wizard stuff - you would be using IR instead of radio. It's like the difference between a phone at home and a phone on an airplane: you use it the same way, but the way the sound gets from one place to another varies.

> i know where to place my speedlights, but i will be running back and forth as to what works and what doesnt work

Standard iTTL remotes work exactly the same way, except that they don't need the radio bits. Your D3100 cannot act as a commander, though, so you'd need something that does. (A miniTT1 does this for radio.) Commanders are SB-700/800/900/910 or SU-800, so you're part of the way there already. You can add an SB-600 as a remote and you're there with one remote for about $200, not including the light stand. Add a second SB-600 and that's another $200 + light stand, and you'll be doing pretty much exactly what you were in the workshop with the Pocket Wizards, although the user interface of the SB-800 is different. This is exactly what I use: an SB-900 as commander (my camera doesn't even have a popup flash so it cannot possibly be a commander; yours does but isn't a commander), and three SB-600 remotes, with a Manfrotto stand for each. Converting this to radio with PW would be about $1100 (I'd be able to use the SB-900 as a remote, so I'd be adding a little functionality), and note that I already have the stands. PWs are not inexpensive.

> what do you guys suggest for a nice reflector?

I use this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/196998-REG/Photoflex_DL_22MULTI_MultiDisc_Circular_Reflector_5.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

> I am trying to find one that is flat black on the back and reflective on the other...

Black? That's a new one on me, but I see that pretty much this is what the Westcott does: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/279427-REG/Westcott_1032_Illuminator_Reflector_Kit_6_in_1.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/ (Note that this one is noticeably bigger than mine, although I think you're shooting larger subjects than I usually do.) What is the purpose of the black? It has never occurred to me to want black. For nature stuff I usually use either the silver/gold mixed surface on my Photoflex, the silver surface, or most often the diffuser. I'm not sure if you can get one today before you leave for overseas, though. I guess Denver Pro Photo would have something like one of these on the shelf.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 07-Mar-12 05:54 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 4


Great Falls, US
          

what i basically did was place the reflector (black side) on the left side of the model (pic was added and i am referring to the models right side) it basically attracted the sun more so from the right side of the model (the models left side)without it, the sun went right through, and when i used the reflector side, she was lit up a bit too much. It was just like another option, which seemed to work ok when i gave it a whirl. here is the pic i am referring to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73141335@N06/6805460906/

I am getting lost when you guys are referring to the speed lights, and how to set them up and so on. I am going to read the manual more in depth and i am also going to figure out what does what so i can hopefully teach myself about the settings on my SB800.

on a side note, i ordered a SB700 for 299 dollars, and i found the PW complete setup for 418 dollars. Its on sale as a package deal at Best Buy. i have 45 days to return it if i am not satisfied (silver member) so if i can figure out how to use my SB700, SB800 together as i was in the studio..i would be stoked and gracefully return the PW setup lol or i should say swiftly.

as i stated earlier, i wish he could have taught me how to use my SB800 as a commander and so on..but i am not too sure if he knew considering all he used were 600's and the PW setup.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 07-Mar-12 09:15 AM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#10. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 7


Richmond, US
          

Using the 700 as a commander and the 800 as a remote is actually pretty easy. Although your manual does tell you, I'd recommend investing in Mike Hagen's book The Nikon Creative Lighting System. It's (much) easier to follow and has a lot more stuff in it than the manual does.

At its most basic level, iTTL is a system that has a commander send information to the remotes. Everything is controlled from the commander, whether that is a camera that has a built-in flash (D700, for example) or an external unit such as an SB-700/800/etc. By default, the commander sends that information using coded infrared pulses, and of course the remotes know how to detect and interpret them. The commander says "anyone listening on channel 2 as group B, please fire NOW at 40%" and any remote that detects that message acts accordingly.

The main thing that the PWs do in an iTTL setup is to convert the transmission mechanism from infrared to radio. The commander still sends the same info and the remotes still receive the same info. Because the radio waves go through things like solid brick walls, and because they're reasonably powerful, they can go much, much further (more than a quarter of a mile, compared to ~50 feet). But in a studio, you aren't likely to be going further than 50 feet, and unless you like to bury your flashes entirely inside of softboxes or something like that, it doesn't take much to arrange for the IR pulses to get where they need to go.

> black reflector

Oh I get it. Never thought of doing that, but it makes sense.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                    
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 07-Mar-12 08:03 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#14. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 10
Wed 07-Mar-12 08:29 PM by jesse101

Great Falls, US
          

Gotcha, that sounds pretty easy actually. I will give it a whirl. I guess the PW will be nice to place both my 800/700 and regulate them remotely without having to buy another speedlight to be used as a commander. I am sure i will be probably buying another and a softbox here in the near future for sure.

We also used a set of approx 40" umbrellas, i think he said they were westcott? I hate bothering you guys for suggestions on what to buy, but what do you suggest to buy as far as a stand to hold a speedlight with an umbrella? And what umbrellas do you guys use?

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                        
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 08-Mar-12 03:43 PM
25564 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#20. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 14


US
          

Hi Jesse,

I would recommend getting Air Cushioned stands.
If you plan on traveling with the light stands check out the Manfrotto: 1051BAC 83", 1005BAC 107", or 1004BAC 144" Air Cushioned light stands. They nest together compactly to make them easier to pack. Swivel umbrella brackets with adjustable flash mount are available for between about $15.00 - $30.00 depending on brand. I have a few by Manfrotto and Calumet.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Thu 08-Mar-12 09:38 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#21. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 20


Great Falls, US
          

Thank you for the info on the umbrellas! They seemed to have worked really well, pretty close to the soft box we used.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 07-Mar-12 08:50 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#15. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 4


Great Falls, US
          

That is the exact reflector i am looking for, thanks for the link!

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Tue 06-Mar-12 03:13 PM
25564 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

Hi Jesse,

>I was using..well from what i saw him do, is he set it to TTL,
>and yes we were basically using 2 Flex TT5's and one ontop of
>the TT5 mounted to my camera mini TT1. we were not using any
>manual settings.

Ok, you had a Speedlight in each of the FlexTT5's in TTL mode and a MiniTT1 in your cameras hotshoe. Did you have another Speedlight in the MiniTT1's hotshoe, an AC3 Zone Controller, or nothing?
If you had an SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, or SU-800 in the MiniTT1's hotshoe set in Commander mode to control the output of the two remote Speedlights separately, you were using CLS flash control via RF signal instead of IR signal.

What i liked about it the most, it actually
>sensed my distance. I positioned my SB800 45 degrees from the
>subject at the same distance from where i am shooting, either
>off slightly to the right or left (as a fill) depending where
>the key light was at..and just set it to TTL and it was pretty
>much spot on every time, it was more so my in camera settings
>that needed adjustment, but i am thinking that wasnt good for
>learning purposes. for instance, if i am in a situation to
>where i dont have a pocket wizard..i know where to place my
>speedlights, but i will be running back and forth as to what
>works and what doesnt work, instead of getting it in the
>general idea and so on.

When using Nikon CLS Wireless flash control, you can easily adjust the output of each remote group from the camera position without moving at all. This is true when using i-TTL flash control or Manual flash control.

>I saw the entire setup for 600 dollars !! thats about half way
>to a new D7000 lol

It works out to $637.00 or $716.00 if you add the AC3 Zone Controller.

>what do you guys suggest for a nice reflector? I thought that
>was awesome and dead simple..with an assistant of course lol
>but man..i was sold after a couple of shots using a reflector.
>I am trying to find one that is flat black on the back and
>reflective on the other...thats so i can use one to attract
>and bounce and take it with me over seas when i leave on the
>6th..that and my SB800/tripod for OCF i should be good for
>most situations i would think.

The reflector Brian recommend is a good choice for what you are looking for and it gives you options.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 07-Mar-12 06:04 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#8. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 6


Great Falls, US
          

what i had exactly was a Flex TT5 with a AC3 Zone Controller mounted to my D3100...then i had a TT5 with my SB800, then we used either a reflector or a bounce on the left side..at most, we would have 1 key light and 2 fill ins..but most of the shots were taken with just one key light and one fill in coupled with either a reflector or bounce. we used the mini TT1 once or twice with a SB600 as a fill in. then we removed the speedlights and used regular studio lights (forgot the part name) to practice set lighting situations.

i need to read what each of the settings do on my SB800 and SB700..once i can figure it out, i will try it out. Thing is, i dont know what i can do to use OCF for both 700/800 without having one installed on my D3100.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 07-Mar-12 09:24 AM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#11. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 8


Richmond, US
          

> i dont know what i can do to use OCF for both 700/800 without having one installed on my D3100.

Your D3100 cannot be a commander, so SOMETHING has to be a commander, and it pretty much has to be connected to your camera. To have two remotes with a D3100 (or with my D3, for that matter), one has to have another unit with the camera. I generally use my SB-900, but alternatives are SU-800, another commander flash, or a miniTT1. One way or another somebody ends up selling you something to act as a commander! I have four flashes for specifically the case where I need a commander, a key light, a fill light, and a hair light.

In a studio, you may well be able to use the commander as something like a fill light, especially if you have a reflector and a stand for it.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberTue 06-Mar-12 12:29 PM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 0


Philadelphia, US
          

Jesse, I'm in general agreement with Brian and Marty. I've been using the Nikon CLS using the SB-800, SB-900, or SU-800 (I don't own an SB-700) for studio (generally for events with my portable studio) work. It's not at all hard to use the system, no harder or easier to use Pocket Wizards, such as the Flex and Mini units.

Whether you're using Nikon CLS or Pocket Wizards, the setup isn't at all hard, once it's understood. Neither one or the other, in my opinion, are easier or harder than the other to use.

Whether or not Nikon CLS will work well for you depends on where you are using the system, and the distance from the master unit to the remotes.

Most of the time my studio work has been inside at events, or for corporate portrait work. These uses have been generally indoors, and the distance from the master to remote less than 30 feet. In these cases Nikon CLS has worked exceedingly well.

The Nikon CLS system, based on IR light signals between the master and remotes works well if you understand its limitations. If you're inside you can utilize the light reflecting off walls and other surfaces (unless the room is too large to accommodate reflection, such as in a large hall with a very high ceiling) to aid in the signal light moving between master and remotes, otherwise you need line of sight between the master and remotes. The distance between the master and remotes is important too. The light signals aren't strong enough much past 30 feet, although I've gotten good results up to about 40 feet.

When you have to go outside, reflection no longer helps you. You've got to setup the units strictly with line of sight for Nikon CLS to work. This makes it a little more difficult than when you're inside, but not much, but can alter the placement of some flash units. For example, I often put a light on the floor to light up the background. Sometimes, it's completely out of line of sight, but works on reflection. Outside I can't do that.

With the advent of the Pocket Wizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 we now can piggyback the flexibility and ease of use of the Nikon CLS system with radio transmission. The downside of the addition of the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 is, of course, cost. The MiniTT1 goes for $199 and the FlexTT5 for $219. The upside is that line of sight is no longer needed indoors or out, and the range between master and remotes is increased to about 800 feet.

I continue to use my SU800, SB-800 or SB-900 as the master with the MiniTT1, so all the settings I've been using to choose how the remotes work remain the same. The only difference now is the remotes, sitting on the FlexTT5 units are no longer set to remote, as the FlexTT5 units take care of that.

So, I don't agree with the photographer who ran your workshop. Using only Nikon CLS is not harder than using Pocket Wizards, and it has a distinct advantage in that it's much less expensive. It's disadvantage is effective range and the need for line of sight operation outside, and in large rooms where signal reflection isn't possible.

If you need the extra range, or if your lighting setups are such that line of sight isn't generally possible, then the extra expense of the Mini/Flex Pocket Wizard add-on makes sense. I've moved to the Mini/Flex add-on because I'm doing more event work where my portable studio is outside, where the Pocket Wizards really come through, so the expense is justified.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 07-Mar-12 06:09 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#9. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 5


Great Falls, US
          

that makes sense...if i would have known ahead of time that i wasnt going to learn the settings on my speedlight, i might have taken it a second thought. I agree, i wish he would have instructed the nikon setup first, but i do not think he could have considering all i saw were pocket wizards..and all i had at the time was my 800. then again, he could have taught me by using it with his 600..and use my 800 as a commander. then again, i should have asked him to do that which i am sure he would have done it if i did ask...i was just trying not to be rude with the other individual that attended. but if i could have done it all over again, i would have asked before the day was over. now i guess i better try and teach myself.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberWed 07-Mar-12 09:48 AM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#12. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 9


Philadelphia, US
          

Jesse, if you want a great book to learn about all the Nikon Speedlights, and Nikon CLS, I highly recommend "The Nikon Creative Lighting System: Using the SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, and R1C1 Flashes," by Nikonians' Academy Director, Mike Hagen. I've known Mike for a number of years and he's an incredible teacher. His knowledge of the Speedlights, CLS, and flash photography is second to none.

I also highly recommend the Nikonians' workshop "Master Nikon i-TTL Wireless Flash, CLS." Moreover, I don't know how close you live to Denver, but on April 7th, Winston C. Hall is teaching the workshop in Denver. There are seats available. Take a look at the workshop area of the website for details and to sign up, should you so desire.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Wed 07-Mar-12 01:39 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#13. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 12
Wed 07-Mar-12 01:44 PM by jesse101

Great Falls, US
          

I saw that, but i leave to Japan on April 6. That was my original choice...till i found out when i was leaving so i picked other working groups. I will give the book suggested along with the info provided on this site a try. Im sure i will give it a try, i havent given it a whirl as of yet considering i have only had my SB800. Once my 700 gets in i will take 100 test shots playing with each setting lol

I might still keep my pocket wizards, considering i got the set for so cheap (418 dollars). Then again, depending how much i can actually do with the onboard system, i mught be sending it back.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
wcguy Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Nov 2009Thu 08-Mar-12 02:45 AM
43 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#16. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 5


CA
          

>Jesse, I'm in general agreement with Brian and Marty. I've
>been using the Nikon CLS using the SB-800, SB-900, or SU-800
>(I don't own an SB-700) for studio (generally for events with
>my portable studio) work. It's not at all hard to use the
>system, no harder or easier to use Pocket Wizards, such as the
>Flex and Mini units.
>
>Whether you're using Nikon CLS or Pocket Wizards, the setup
>isn't at all hard, once it's understood. Neither one or the
>other, in my opinion, are easier or harder than the other to
>use.
>
>Whether or not Nikon CLS will work well for you depends on
>where you are using the system, and the distance from the
>master unit to the remotes.
>
>Most of the time my studio work has been inside at events, or
>for corporate portrait work. These uses have been generally
>indoors, and the distance from the master to remote less than
>30 feet. In these cases Nikon CLS has worked exceedingly
>well.
>
>The Nikon CLS system, based on IR light signals between the
>master and remotes works well if you understand its
>limitations. If you're inside you can utilize the light
>reflecting off walls and other surfaces (unless the room is
>too large to accommodate reflection, such as in a large hall
>with a very high ceiling) to aid in the signal light moving
>between master and remotes, otherwise you need line of sight
>between the master and remotes. The distance between the
>master and remotes is important too. The light signals aren't
>strong enough much past 30 feet, although I've gotten good
>results up to about 40 feet.
>
>When you have to go outside, reflection no longer helps you.
>You've got to setup the units strictly with line of sight for
>Nikon CLS to work. This makes it a little more difficult than
>when you're inside, but not much, but can alter the placement
>of some flash units. For example, I often put a light on the
>floor to light up the background. Sometimes, it's completely
>out of line of sight, but works on reflection. Outside I can't
>do that.
>
>With the advent of the Pocket Wizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 we
>now can piggyback the flexibility and ease of use of the Nikon
>CLS system with radio transmission. The downside of the
>addition of the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 is, of course, cost. The
>MiniTT1 goes for $199 and the FlexTT5 for $219. The upside is
>that line of sight is no longer needed indoors or out, and the
>range between master and remotes is increased to about 800
>feet.
>
>I continue to use my SU800, SB-800 or SB-900 as the master
>with the MiniTT1, so all the settings I've been using to
>choose how the remotes work remain the same. The only
>difference now is the remotes, sitting on the FlexTT5 units
>are no longer set to remote, as the FlexTT5 units take care of
>that.
>
>So, I don't agree with the photographer who ran your workshop.
>Using only Nikon CLS is not harder than using Pocket Wizards,
>and it has a distinct advantage in that it's much less
>expensive. It's disadvantage is effective range and the need
>for line of sight operation outside, and in large rooms where
>signal reflection isn't possible.
>
>If you need the extra range, or if your lighting setups are
>such that line of sight isn't generally possible, then the
>extra expense of the Mini/Flex Pocket Wizard add-on makes
>sense. I've moved to the Mini/Flex add-on because I'm doing
>more event work where my portable studio is outside, where the
>Pocket Wizards really come through, so the expense is
>justified.


I prefer the extra TT5 on the camera with a AC3.
There is more control using the AC3 on top of a TT5, no need to use a mini, the TT5 is both a receiver and transmitter so you can use it either way, the mini is smaller but limited. Also as you stated if anything is in the line of Nikon's CLS then the flash won't shoot, with the TT5's it doesn't matter.If you use a enclosed deflecter CLS won't get through, but TT5 will. WC

'ITS WHAT YOU LEARN AFTER YOU KNOW IT ALL THAT COUNTS'

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberThu 08-Mar-12 04:07 AM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#17. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 16


Philadelphia, US
          

Hi Warren. Actually, as I mentioned in my post, it's often not necessary to have "line of sight" when using Nikon CLS inside, according to the room. I have often had excellent success with the IR light bouncing around in a room to activate a Speedlight that was definitely not in "line of sight."

I've attended a Nikonians' workshop on Nikon CLS. One of the things we did in the workshop is proved to ourselves that in an indoor setting where wall and ceiling reflectivity was possible that we could consistently fire off Speedlights with reflective signal lights. We had Speedlights behind desks and under chairs and they all fired.

You said the AC3 on top of a TT5 gives you more control. What did you mean? What does it give you more control of? My preference is to use either a Nikon Speedlight as a master on top of a mini, or the SU-800 on top of a mini, and not purchase the extra AC3. The AC3, doesn't give any more control than an SB-800, SB-900, or SU-800 that I can see, but I'm willing to learn more from you.

In fact, there can be a distinct advantage in using a Speedlight as the master, not the AC3. You can get 4 zones, instead of 3. Here's what I mean. You use the Speedlight as the Master, and use it as a flash too, so that's zone M. Then you have your remotes being used as zones A, B, and C. So I can have an SB-900 on a mini connected to my camera via a modified SC-28 (longer cord) to the side of my camera for my key light. The my zone A, B, and C speedlights on a flex for my fill light, hair light, and background light. Zone M could also be right on top of my camera too. That still gives me 4 zones, and the AC3 can't do that.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 08-Mar-12 01:18 PM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#18. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 16
Thu 08-Mar-12 01:19 PM by blw

Richmond, US
          

> if anything is in the line of Nikon's CLS then the flash won't shoot

Outdoors I generally agree with this statement. Indoors in a studio, I definitely do not. Yes, that's the theory. However, I did real estate photography for a while before the real estate market tanked here, and I hid iTTL remotes in lampshades, under and behind couches, around corners, on top of book cases behind vases and probably a few other odd places. That was now a few years ago so I've probably forgotten a few details, but certainly I never had any trouble with getting the remotes to fire in those cases. The IR beams bounce off of walls very effectively, and at least the SB-800 and SB-900 are powerful enough IR transmitters that it takes almost completely enclosing the remote to prevent it from firing.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 08-Mar-12 02:03 PM
25564 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#19. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 16


US
          

Hi Warren,

Battery life and the ability to trigger the camera remotely are the primary advantage of using a FlexTT5 on camera instead of a MiniTT1.
Like the others, I have rarely had an issue using CLS Wireless flash control indoors even when the remote Speedlights were not positioned in line of sight. The spaces that I did have problems with the remotes not being set up in line of sight had flat black ceilings, walls, and dark floors as well.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Fri 09-Mar-12 10:54 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#22. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 19


Great Falls, US
          

i did some homework, and found this link to be extremely helpful to help me better understand how to apply in certain situations.

http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2009/12/camera-flash-cookbook-for-any-lighting.html

i ran a couple of test shots...and its pretty close to be used as a starting point for sure. I also never thought of using "P" mode, but the pics came out fairly decent to where i will be using it in the future if need be lol i did notice it just helped me find a good set point for shutter speed for the background..then i can click back over to manual and adjust from there if need be.

you guys were right, its pretty easy to control (either the 800 or 700) for the same purpose as what the PW do. however, considering i only have 2 speedlights, its nice to be able to use both OCF and control with the PW indoors and outdoors.

im on the edge to return my PW setup..i havent gotten it in as of yet, but i also only paid 480 bucks for 2 TT5's, one TT1, and the AC3 zone controller...and a bag for everything to go in. I guess that 480 can go towards another flash unit, like another SB800 and the extra cash can be used for a light stand or something along those lines?

i will be shooting outdoors mostly in the summer months, and not so much studio. in the winter i will be shooting indoor studio, so i dont know, i am against the fence on this one lol what do you guys suggest? send it back and get my 480 dollars back? or keep it and learn both setups to better enhance my overall capabilities?

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sat 10-Mar-12 03:32 PM
25564 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#23. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 22


US
          

Hi Jesse,

You got a Great Deal on the PW's!
Given that you plan on doing a lot of outdoor shooting and the huge discount on the PW's, I would just keep them. For your indoor work, it would be worthwhile to learn CLS Wireless flash control, but for outdoor use, the PW's win hands down.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                    
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Sat 10-Mar-12 06:44 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#24. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 23


Great Falls, US
          

Yea i agree. I am almost thinking its too good to be true kinda price. The description just shows 2 pics and a part number. The part number goes to the complete set with a bad, mini and so on...but i saw a different set for 418 dollars elsewhere where it only includes a mini and transceiver. But the way they have it advertised, it should come as a complete set..so we will see, as i am crossing fingers here lol.

I wish i had the set already as i am shooting a friends new shelby for him, but i guess i will be putting the Nikon system to test outdoors for sure.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                        
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sun 11-Mar-12 12:39 AM
25564 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#25. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 24


US
          

Hi Jesse,

About a 1/3rd. ($236.00) discount does sound too good to be true.
If you have not purchased them, or are waiting for them to arrive, I would check the dealer at www.resellerratings.com.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 02:47 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#27. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 25


Great Falls, US
          

Its best buy...so im guessing if i call them and the images show a bag, transmitter and 2 transceivers, they might work with me considering i have spent i dont know how much with their store lol (im doubtful though) tracking number shows it being delivered tomorrow..so we will see.

Going back to the main subject..i tested teh Nikon system with outdoor photography. Maybe i am doing it incorrectly..but it was hit or miss with the remote flash firing. I had my SB800 as my master and the 700 as the remote/slave. This setup worked flawlessly indoors..no issues at all. Outside, i missed more than a handful of shots due to the flash not firing. it only worked when i had my subject in front of a bush..but when i had the same setup by a tree..no luck at all. i even pointed the SB800 directly at the SB700..and it wouldnt kick off. i moved my setup back by the brushes..and bam, shot every time.

I will say i took some really nice shots, putting my new lighting skills to test lol but i will say 50% of my exposures were a miss, or fail considering the flash didnt fire as it was suppose to.

With the pocket wizards, i had zero issues during the working group, i could have that thing hanging from a tree, and it will fire every time. Indoors, its awesome, and im stoked to know i will always have that as an option...outdoors, i will need a brick wall to be 100% sure lol (over exaggerated, but its not something i would solely rely on).

I also did find the SB700 to be much easier to use as a master, and its lighter..plus the lock/unlock on my SB800 hits my face when im chasing my histogram lol at any rate, im impressed. here are some of the "good shots" using the Nikon CLS onboard with my SB800 and 700, which these shots came out better than my working group outdoor shots..as i followed the instructions listed in the blog that i posted earlier.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73141335@N06/6825618266/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73141335@N06/6971738061/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73141335@N06/6825619892/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73141335@N06/6974881531/

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 12-Mar-12 06:21 AM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#31. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 27


Richmond, US
          

> i tested teh Nikon system with outdoor photography. Maybe i am doing it incorrectly..but it was hit or miss with the remote flash firing. I had my SB800 as my master and the 700 as the remote/slave. This setup worked flawlessly indoors..no issues at all. Outside, i missed more than a handful of shots due to the flash not firing.

Sure sounds to me like you're doing it right. This is exactly the same kind of thing that Marty, Ned and I have all had: indoors it's bulletproof; outdoors, not so much.

The only obvious thing to check is whether or not you have the IR sensor on the remotes pointing back to the commander. There's a little (?round?) window on the flashes that marks where the IR sensor is. If it's not pointed in the right direction, outdoors you're sure to have trouble. Fortunately with SB-700 and 900's, you can rotate pretty much 360 degrees, so you can point the head where it needs to go while still arranging for the IR sensor to point back at the commander. The 800s and 600s are not quite as flexible; the 600 only covers 270 degrees, and my recollection is that the 800 probably has the same limitation.

At any rate, you're clearly experiencing the reason for the PW's, so I think you have a very clear idea now of why one would want them, and what they do - and what the CLS does by itself.

> I also did find the SB700 to be much easier to use as a master, and its lighter.

If you work with the 800 enough, it becomes pretty easy. Hal (HBB) can certainly make them sing. If one only uses the setup occasionally - my situation - the 700/900's are a lot easier.

> I will say i took some really nice shots, putting my new lighting skills to test

Those look pretty good. The highlights are a tad hot, but they're easily within adjustment range and you can surely adjust your technique just a little to tone them down. I think most people would definitely NOT be thinking "entry level body and almost kit lens" when handed a print.

> $418... PWs

I hope you're right and that's two TT5s, a TT1 and an AC3. That'd be about a 35% discount, which I can't ever remember seeing before!

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                    
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 12-Mar-12 12:46 PM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#32. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 31


Philadelphia, US
          

Brian summarized the points beautifully. I just wanted to add a bit to what he said.

You said, "I also did find the SB700 to be much easier to use as a master, and its lighter." It's lighter than the SB-800, SB-900, and SB910, but not lighter than the SU-800, by the way. The downside of the SU-800 is mostly that it isn't a flash unit, but of course, that's its upside too.

The major downside of the SB-700, for Nikon CLS, which is significant, in my opinion, compared directly to the SB-800, SB-900, and SB-910 is that it can only control itself and 2 groups, while the others can themselves and 3 groups. That's a very large loss of flexibility and productivity. (The SU-800 can control 3 groups, but as mentioned doesn't provide light for the exposure itself.)

Sure the SB-700 has the updated menu system along with the SB-900 and SB-910, so it's a bit more straight forward than the SB-800 to set it as master, but I've found once I learned it, it's no big deal. I had no choice, of course, as when I learn Nikon CLS the only Speedlight which could be a master was the SB-800. Frankly, I personally wouldn't give up the flexibility of having the extra group for the slight edge in the ease of using the SB-700.

As far as lightness goes, yes the SB-700 is lighter, but then again, it's also not as powerful. The SB-800 has a guide number of 38 m/125 ft. (at ISO 100, 35mm zoom-head position) while the SB-700 has a guide number of 28 m/92 ft. (at ISO 100, 35mm zoom head position) That's a darn significant drop-off in potential power when you use the SB-700 vs. the SB-800. For my work it's why I don't own the old SB-600 (can't be a master) or the SB-700. For many it's fine, but I'm using them at distance at events too often to lose the flexibility of having the extra power when needed.

I too hope you're right about the cost of the Pocket Wizards. I too have never seen a discount like that anywhere. I wish I had, if the sale is legitimate. I would like to save the cash and pick up more Flex units.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                        
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 01:20 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#34. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 32


Great Falls, US
          

I agree with what you said. More than likely i will be either picking up a SB800 in the future when i need another speedlight. until then, i like having my SB700 on camera..off camera, SB800 hands down.

I will be doing a retirement ceremony at the end of May. I will be posting for any advice when i get back from my travels. I can only use one onboard flash, as i cant have any strobes placed around the ceremony, as the color guard may run into them when posting the flag, or just the view of flash units by the stage will look obstructed. They gave me free reign of whatever i need to do, but if it was up to me, i would use no flash, but my 3100 ISO is sketchy with anything above 800 ISO..it will work at 1600, but you will see distortion in the blacks and background, and post editing becomes a challenge lol. I am still debating to either use the flash as a fill in or primary, i guess it will be all dependant when i get there and run a couple of test shots. I will also need to get the script ahead of time, so i know when to run up and snap some presentation shots..this will be my first event to do on my own, and its a scary one considering you only retire once in your military career..so i dont want to screw this one up for sure..

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                            
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 12-Mar-12 04:05 PM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#35. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 34


Philadelphia, US
          

I offer one piece of advice for sure, when shooting people with an on-board flash. Get it on a bracket further away from the lens than the hotshoe. And make sure the bracket flips.

First you don't want to have to use the red-eye setting on the flash to get rid of red-eye. I find those pre-flashes for getting rid of red-eye worse than having to fix red-eye in post processing. Getting the Speedlight higher over the lens eliminates the light parallax problem where the flash's light reflects back into the camera from the subject's retina.

Yes you can bounce your light and that will eliminate the red-eye too (Yes you can eliminate it in post-process, but it never looks as good as not having it in the first place.), but sometimes you can't bounce the light, and sometimes the bounced light illuminates the subject so poorly you don't want to bounce the light.

Second, you want your Speedlight to be over your lens vertically, not to the side of your camera if you turn your camera to portrait orientation. Having the flash on the side can produce shadowing which is displeasing to many. If your flash can be flipped when in portrait orientation so that it stays above your lens, that problem is eliminated.

I use the RRS Wedding Bracket which is the best one I've found for a variety of reasons, but it does require your camera to have an L Bracket on it. Since I always have an L Bracket on my camera, this is no problem for me. There are many good brackets that flip.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                            
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 12-Mar-12 04:39 PM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#36. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 34


Philadelphia, US
          

I forgot to mention that for detailed questions about using Speedlights, your best place to post is in the "Nikon Speedlights & Lighting" forum.

While you still might get answers from Marty, Brian and me, as we know these products well and are reading and posting in that forum too, you will get answers from others, many of whom use these devices more often than me (I can't speak for Marty or Brian.) and could easily have details we've overlooked (highly doubtful, but possible I guess (LOL)).

It's really the best place for questions about Speedlights, PocketWizards, and artificial lighting in general, rather than this forum.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                            
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 06:31 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#37. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 36


Great Falls, US
          

when i get a chance i might post the question on that side fo the forums. I just didnt want to flood the forums with the same question in multiple areas..

What i will probably do is have one of the guys at work be my assistant lol show him real quick where to place the flash and so on..i just dont want to have a contraption on the top of my camera...then again, if i have no other choice, i guess it will have to do. I might get one of those mini soft boxes to place ontop, or just use my diffuser, we will see. I just need to get ready to gear up to call Best buy and complain about their false advertisement whenever my PW decide to arrive lol.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                            
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 12-Mar-12 07:07 PM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#38. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 37


Philadelphia, US
          

And we very much appreciate that about multiple posts. Psst, don't tell anyone this, but posting the same thing in multiple forums is against our rules. Some post a second time in a different forum after getting no answers to their post after sufficient time (several days), and that's fine with us.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                    
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 01:07 PM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#33. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 31
Mon 12-Mar-12 01:25 PM by jesse101

Great Falls, US
          

Thanks Brian for the info.

With the pocket wizards, i purchased the AC3 seperately, so essentially its 480 some odd dollars, still a major discount none the less. We will see what i get in the mail today, and if it isnt anything as described, i am guessing Best Buy will have to cut the bill for an extra TT5 and a bag as described in their images and part number they posted.

I agee, on my PC (screen calibration problem here) the images didnt seem as warm..or too vibrant, but when i looked at the images through flickr on my Ipad, they do. I noticed this with a majority of my images. I also found a major flaw due to my own mistake. I had the flashes as "fill" by setting my camera to center weighted. But i still had my WB set to flash...when i should have set it to natural light. so i am sure that contributed to the problem as well..basically need more experience lol

I guess you guys were telling the truth when saying the 3100 is capable. At the working group, an individual that attended has a Canon 5D Mark II. The individual was getting frustrated with the results, as most of the images were washed out or WB seemed off, even when set corectly. The photographer could have been Nikon only type of individual, but he kept mentioning that Canon's sensors just cant match Nikons? i was eager to grab that camera and compare the results..as it might have just been the photographer not the equipment. But then again, my images are ok, but nothing great, so its hard for me to say either or.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                        
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 13-Mar-12 12:42 PM
26541 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#42. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 33


Richmond, US
          

> At the working group, an individual that attended has a Canon 5D Mark II. The individual was getting frustrated with the results, as most of the images were washed out or WB seemed off, even when set corectly.

Canon's flash system is widely reputed to be not as good as Nikon's, but I've got a friend who seems not to know that, and his results are pretty similar to what I get. He's got a 5D Mk II also, but I don't remember which flashes he's using. I can't speak to the issues in your workshop as of course I didn't see them or how they got made, but in general I would think that at the basic workshop level it is unlikely to be the products but (mostly) behind the viewfinder. I suppose it wouldn't surprise me, though, if the Nikon system were a little easier to use "straight out of the box." My friend is highly technical and would easily overwhelm a usability error if present.

> he kept mentioning that Canon's sensors just cant match Nikons?

There are still more Canon pros out there than Nikon pros, so I'd say that this is less true than we'd like to believe.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                                    
Howard Oechsner Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Jul 2008Wed 14-Mar-12 04:35 PM
19 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#43. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 31


Santa Fe, US
          

Jesse wrote: >> i tested teh Nikon system with outdoor photography.
>Maybe i am doing it incorrectly..but it was hit or miss with
>the remote flash firing. I had my SB800 as my master and the
>700 as the remote/slave. This setup worked flawlessly
>indoors..no issues at all. Outside, i missed more than a
>handful of shots due to the flash not firing.


Brian replied: >Sure sounds to me like you're doing it right. This is exactly
>the same kind of thing that Marty, Ned and I have all had:
>indoors it's bulletproof; outdoors, not so much.
>
>The only obvious thing to check is whether or not you have the
>IR sensor on the remotes pointing back to the commander.
>There's a little (?round?) window on the flashes that marks
>where the IR sensor is. If it's not pointed in the right
>direction, outdoors you're sure to have trouble. Fortunately
>with SB-700 and 900's, you can rotate pretty much 360 degrees,
>so you can point the head where it needs to go while still
>arranging for the IR sensor to point back at the commander.
>The 800s and 600s are not quite as flexible; the 600 only
>covers 270 degrees, and my recollection is that the 800
>probably has the same limitation.


I'm a novice with using OCF, CLS, etc., but have another thought on Jesse's inconsistent results with outdoor CLS shooting. In addition to Brian's good reminder about rotating the Remote flash body and strobe head to be sure the IR sensor is facing the Commander, is there also the possibility that direct sunlight may be falling on that sensor on the Remote flash as well? Since sunlight includes IR light, could this sunlight consistently falling on the IR sensor of the Remote negate or overpower the IR signal being sent from the Commander? (I've read of this suggestion in other strobist forums but don't know of its validity.)

Could something as simple as some folded Post-It Notes provide shade from the direct sunlight while still allowing an opening for the Commander IR signal to reach its target on the Remote flash? (This is probably not something you want to use when working with clients, but might be fine when practicing out in the back yard with your pup!)

BTW - I've been learning A LOT in reading the replies to this post! Thanks much to those who have given me the "Aha!" experience when writing about the possibility of the Commander's IR signal bouncing off of indoor objects thereby increasing our potential usage situations beyond just simple line-of-sight shooting. Thanks for the free education!

Howard O

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

blosbog Registered since 24th Nov 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 02:38 AM
11 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#26. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

well just to throw another wrench into the works, after alot of further research I came across what looks like a nice radio controll set-up. the Photixx Odin, they are preparing to send out the Odin for Nikon very soon.
the reviews I have read have been very good and the are cheaper in cost than the flex system.
supposedly they have photographers around the world testing them now before going on market, the Odin for cannon has been on the market for months and reviews are good.
so another choice will soon be in the mix.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 02:48 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#28. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 26


Great Falls, US
          

im wondering if those will be compatible with the PW? if not..i guess there wont be any turning back for myself.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 12-Mar-12 04:28 AM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#30. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 28


Philadelphia, US
          

You never know, but it's highly unlikely they will be compatible.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 12-Mar-12 04:25 AM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#29. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 26


Philadelphia, US
          

While I will test the Photixx units once out, I'm not holding my breath for a couple of reasons.

First, while it could be released tomorrow, they've been saying the Nikon version will be out in a few months since September of last year. That's about 6 months ago. So it's not coming out a few months after the September release of the Canon units.

Second, if the design is the same as the Canon system, it's much less flexible than the Nikon CLS system and the Flex from PocketWizard which allows the CLS system to function completely. The Photixx for Canon system allows 3 groups, but doesn't allow for a master, which would make 4 groups. With the PocketWizard, you can have a master on the camera, or off, connected via a cable such as an SC-28 (I have a modified SC-28 of greater length than the standard.) to the camera, plus 3 groups.

I'm taking a wait and see attitude. By the way, the range reported for the Photixx is about 330 feet, but the Flex range is over 700 feet. That's a big deal for many.

Right now it's useless discussing this as the product isn't out yet, and the specs are totally unknow.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Tue 13-Mar-12 02:59 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#39. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 29


Great Falls, US
          

Well I got my PW setup today..been busy playing with it. I had to do a firmware update...I was pissed when either the SB800 or 700 was not responding, had to manually adjust each flash. Then I read online to perform a firmware update and all is well.

I still think the Nikon System is just as easy indoors, if not easier considering you just set the on camera flash to master and hit the others as remotes and it adjust pretty nicely. This one works just as well...but it's nice to know I will be just fine outdoors with this setup, so I have no worries on missing anything.

My setup was missing a transceiver, so I called best buy and they were unaware of the error noted on their website. They apologized and offered me a 150 dollar gift certificate, which will go towards a new TT5...so in the end, I still got a great deal for everything...just minus 150 dollars, so I paid 489 for it all, minus the AC3. Now onto the AC3...

When I opened the box, I noticed it says for "Canon" with that in mind...I tried calling the store back but I got no answer, so I need to call them back tomorrow to return it or exchange. Hopefully they will just send out the correct AC3.

My next question is, can this get a firmware update to be used as a Nikon? I honestly don't want to go through the hassle to put it in a box, go to the ups store, or even pay for the shipping charges and waiting 10 days to even get my AC3 back in time for April 6. I am doubting it can be used for anything but a paper weight considering its for canons not Nikon...but I'm being hopeful here.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberTue 13-Mar-12 03:23 AM
6574 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#40. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 39


Philadelphia, US
          

No. Canon units are for Canon and Nikon are for Nikon.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
jesse101 Registered since 28th Dec 2011Tue 13-Mar-12 03:46 AM
562 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#41. "RE: Pocket wizard?"
In response to Reply # 40


Great Falls, US
          

That's what I figured, thanks Ned.

My Gallery:

http://jessemartinez.zenfolio.com

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #57696 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.