Off Camera Flash

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Bokeh Diem, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 14, 2010
    Toronto
    I am interested in going off camera with my flashes (I own two Panasonic units.. the 500 and 360, mated to the Panasonic G1) and am looking at Flash Wave and Pocket Wizard wireless transmitter systems.

    Has anyone had any experience with these products?

    I know PW makes a reliable and recognized system, but the FWII is just out and getting some rumble on the Internet. The PW system reaches further in terms of product development and support, even with dedicated systems for Canon and Nikon pro shooters, offering full TTL in those cases. And it partners with some decent lighting manufacturers also. The Flash Wave system is MUCH less expensive.

    I don't think that either make a dedicated system for Panasonic.

    I need to develop an approach to O/C flash in the field. I may have to forgo camera-to-flash communication as a result.

    Bokeh D
     
  2. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    I used Pocket Wizard in the Studio, they are exceptional, but overpriced for the average person. However when I bought them there was nothing else available.

    For location work, I swear by CTR-301 P (seach on ebay), these are cheap reliable wireless triggers....they work exactly like my Pocket Wizards, but are tiny in comparison.

    The PW biggest selling point is their range (1600 meters), but I never venture more than a few feet from my lights and subject.

    I have used the GF1 with the CTR-301 P system (my latest uploads where a quick test as I have also just invested in several cheap flashes for location (sick of my SB-800 hitting the deck in a gust of wind).

    Let me know any specifics you need to know, I would mention that whilst I own D700, SB-900's SB-800's I never use iTTL off camera, I always use manual, which is why I find it easy to use the same on a camera like the GF1....although I have found a serious flaw that the GF1 when you plug a trigger in the hotshoe its maximum sync speed is 1/160 second which is seriously limiting in a lot of circumstances.
     
  3. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 14, 2010
    Toronto
    Yes, cstevens, I was hoping that I would be able to do hi-speed and rear curtain sync, but even though the Pocket Wizard MultiMax is set up for it, we seem to be limited by max sync speeds on our Panys.

    I have spent most of the day here trying to figure this out and it seems just a cheaper wireless system will do, as a trigger, and work in complete manual mode for the best effect.

    Are you metering off camera, or just setting up remote flash units and taking photos until you get the power levels right? In my case the flash might be quite a walk away from my station, unless I have a remote trigger back to the camera on a trip which will then allow me to tend to the flashes nearer the subject (imagine, for instance, that I am shooting a theatre under construction and the camera is is the Gods).

    The CTR-301 P is certainly inexpensive!
     
  4. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    454
    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    I use pocket wizards as well, however u could pick up some cheapo chinese made triggers. I use a sekonic 358 for all my metering, with the PWs i can trigger them with the meter so works well...
     
  5. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I use pocket wizards with my profoto lights at my little home studio. I've had one set for years, just keeps on working.
     
  6. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    I used to use a meter, but as you get more comfortable with your lighting, then you use a meter less and less. Today I rarely use a meter apart from on Hair Salon shoots.

    You tend to find in the studio its very easy to setup lighting, and I can pretty much turn up at a client and setup and be ready after 2 or 3 test shots.

    Outdoors, about the same, you find a starting point that normally works with flash to subject distance, flash power and you take a few test shots...normally takes me a couple of minutes on location to nail it. Outdoors you just need to be a bit more careful with lighting changing all the time, but then I move my models and sets quite often anyway....I rarely adjust light power though, just move your light to adjust.

     
  7. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    Craig, would you know if the CTR-301 units can be triggered via Sekonic meters? Thx.
     
  8. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    The CTR-301 no, but the CTR-301 P yes, it has a sync port on the receiver, it would mean plugging the Sekonic via sync cable to one of the receivers.
     
  9. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    454
    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    Craig, I'm not a fan of using the histogram to meter in studio... I use multiple lights and have to average out for the style i'm looking for... I also have a profoto set up with tons of modifiers.. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
     
  10. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    Yeah thats fair enough, like I said, I pretty much know my setup for most styles that I do. However for things like hair shoots, and more in depth fashion shoots, I do meter.

    But again, I pretty much know the settings for flash power to distance already, so find things only need tweeking.
     
  11. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 14, 2010
    Toronto
    Congrats Craig on the new bairn! Very nice pics too.

    From Pocket Wizard tonight...

    Thanks for your inquiry. We don't currently have a radio system designed to work with TTL and Panasonic cameras. You can use any of our current radios with that camera with the flashes in manual mode. We may consider developing TTL radios for other camera systems after we release our ControlTL radios for Nikon. We don't have a specific timeframe or roadmap for it yet.

    If you have further questions, please reply to this email and keep the case number in the subject line.


    Zachary Gauthier
    PocketWizard Technical Support Specialist

    LPA Design
    41 IDX Drive
    Suite 265
    South Burlington, VT 05403
    (802) 658-0038 x209
     
  12. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    Thx Craig.


    I just ordered a Yongnuo YN-04 Mk.II set for casual use (can lend to someone when in a group etc), as they are quite cheap. Will keep my Pocketwizard MiniTT1/FlexTT5 setup for production work with my DSLRs. Cheers.
     
  13. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 14, 2010
    Toronto
    Just picked up the FLashWave III System..

    Three receivers and a trigger, eBay. Wireless, but manual setting as no manufacturer makes anything that 'talks' to the Pany TTL. PocketWizards will do so in the Canon systems, but that is about it. However, I am really quite chuffed now, as going off camera is a big deal for me in terms of lighting and composition.

    I will post some images as I develop myself with this approach.

    Bokeh D
     

    Attached Files:

  14. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    Great news, look forward to seeing some results :)