Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Pocket Wizard Saga Continues...

Aly at sunset, originally uploaded by photogeek21.

Well I've mentioned that I picked up a set of PW Flex TT5 triggers before and now that I've had a couple weeks with them and done about 5 shoots my opinion is quickly solidifying, unfortunately it's not very positive.
Fist off, while the build quality is good, the Flex units do not appear to be very robust in design compared to the PWIIs I've used. In particular the antenna design appears to be quite fragile, I know I'm gonna rip one completely off someday, in fact I've already bent one after just my second location shoot with them.
My biggest gripe though is their functionality - They are just not reliable. I had high hopes for the units based the reputation of the PWIIs I've used in the past which were rock solid. I knew there were issues with the range of the units when used with the 580exII that I use but I would still expect them to work reliably at closer range. Well that just hasn't been the case - No matter what configuration I've used, ETTL, Manual, with or without the AC3 controller or which flash 580exII, 550 ex, or even my Photogenic 600W studio strobes - These things just won't fire 100% of the time. Of the 5 shoots I've done since getting these, only one has been done without a misfire - the other 4 had between 10 and 40% of the shots where the strobes didn't trigger. It's quite embarrassing to be fighting with your gear on a gig.

I love the idea of using TTL remotely outdoors at range, In fact, when they're working, they're awesome - so much so that I kept these past the 30 day return policy with the hopes that PocketWizard will figure out how to fix these problems. And to that effect the have been publishing regular firmware updates (which was another reason for me choosing the PWs)

So I'm sure to be posting my woes and wins with this things from time time here - I'm hoping for the best.

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