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Thread: Pocket Wizard & Canon 580 EX II

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    Pocket Wizard & Canon 580 EX II

    I'm interested in purchasing a PW Mini TT1 and some Flex TT5s.

    However, I've heard there are some issues between these and the Canon 580 EX II speedlights.
    Can anyone tell me whether these problems have been rectified with firmware upgrades or not?

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    I have not heard of any problems - but I am interested why you want to purchase these? Is it to fire the speedlights in ETTL mode? They are very expensive compared to other brands on the market?
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

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    Thanks for your response, Brian.

    Yes, the reason for my interest in the latest PW series is the ETTL communication.
    I am aware that a good number of cheaper models from various manufacturers (including PW) perform very reliably in manual mode.

    Some internet videos I've watched show the Mini TT1 / Flex TT5 combo failing to reliably fire the flash at distances greater than about 11 metres.
    This improved marginally when the Flex unit was dangled down the lightstand on an off shoe cord and the flash was clad with an RF sock to lessen
    the radio noise emitted by the 580 EX. The 430 EX seemed to create fewer problems with interference and the flash unit could be placed further from
    the camera and still work reliably. Perhaps the problem is confined to the frequencies used in the US models?

    As a result, I'm giving favourable consideration to a set of Radio Poppers PX units.
    Last edited by Babu; 23-04-2011 at 10:07pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    I use my speedlights extensively when I am on location shoots. When I want ETTL mode I just use a speedlight on the camera as a trigger and put the others in slave mode. I set the speedlights to High speed shutter and that way I have control of shutter speed and hence aperature.

    If i want to go to manual i just use the cheaper ebay triggers which have never let me down.

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    Doesn't your ETTL setup require your slave units to be set in line of sight of the master?

    I've often used an ST-E2 on my 5D II or my 7D as the commander and my 580 EX IIs as slaves in line of sight outdoors,
    though direct sunlight can cause hassles.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    You may be correct on the line of sight theory, I normally turn the head of the speedlight towards the subject and the red sensor towards the camera and I don't recall having any problems. I believe the ST-E2 works differently as a trigger than a 580 working as a trigger. I have read the ST-E2 does suffer somewhat outdoors.

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    During a recent stay at a quaint old B&B, I wanted to take a shot of my partner through stained glass doors when she was standing on the verandah outside our room.
    Through the viewfinder, all I could see was her silhouette and I knew that direct flash through the glass would be a disaster.
    It occurred to me that ETTL control of two flash units sitting on verandah tables outside line of sight would have provided the fill flash required for an interesting pic with
    no messy reflections. I suppose I could have messed around with cheaper wireless triggers ( the older PWs, Yongnuos, Cactus Vs, Flashwaves, Pixel Knights, Alien Bees, Skyports) and manual settings to capture satisfactory exposures but being able to use ETTL would (to me) seem to be a better way to go.
    Given the problems I've read about with the PW ETTL units, should I invest in the Radio Poppers or await further developments?

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