Anyone Using The PocketWizard FlexTT5/MiniTT1 Flash Triggers For Interiors?

September 4th, 2011

John Quarles asked an interesting question:

When I use flash, I normally use the SU-4 mode or the older Pocket Wizards with a Nikon D3. I do a lot of large homes and spend most of my time running around adjusting the power levels when I use flash. On night photography I may use 6 or more older Pocket Wizards. I heard that the Nikon ones had a lot of bugs when they first came out.

Before the slump in real estate, I use to have an assistant that did all the running around. Now it is just me, and I am getting wore out! If these new ones work as advertised, they are well worth the money in time savings on each job alone.

I would not use them for CLS, just for manuel power level adjustments. Have  you gotten any feedback on how these work?

I could not answer Johns question but I’ll bet there is someone out there that is using the FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 with Nikon equipment. The research I’ve done suggests that, yes you appear to be able to control the power settings of all your flashes from your camera. The Nikon version of these triggers has been out for over a year so I would think most of the initial bugs have been fixed by now. Here is a review that David Hobby did when they first came out. Also, there is a Pocket Wizard flickr group.

By the way there is a version of these triggers for the Canon system too. Before you fall in love with these triggers, you should be award that these little guys are not priced like Cactus triggers. We are talking around $200 USD for each one but the have way more capibilities than Cactus triggers.

18 Responses to “Anyone Using The PocketWizard FlexTT5/MiniTT1 Flash Triggers For Interiors?”

  • My question would be if by the time you get into this expensive of a control combined with a TTL flash is something like an Einstein or Alien Bees flash with the Cybersync controller a better option? Yes you have to plug the flash in but there is the Vagabond power supply available as well if AC power isn’t available.

  • I’ve been using the Canon version for almost three years now. Yes, you can adjust the power levels using flash exposure compensation from your camera. But if you want to set different levels on different flashes, you’ll need the AC3 Zone Controller. It lets you adjust the power levels on 3 different zones.

  • I have PocketWizard FlexTT5/MiniTT1 Flash Triggers for Nikon – trigger on camera and 2 receivers for remote flashes. I use a Nikon d300 with 1 sb900 and 2 x sb600.

    You can manually control the power from M, A, B and C from the back of the sb900, the pocket wizard does the thinking and fires all the flashes as you request.

    It is important to setup the system according to the manual, then you have the freedom to position your remote flashes and chimp away to your hearts content.

    I highly recommend them, the radio has an excellent range, I have never tried it beyond about 20 metres, they are very reliable, its a good idea to carry spare AAs and a spare trigger battery.

  • John,
    First I wanted to tell you how nice your website is and love the beautiful quality of your interior shots.
    Since I have 2 pocket wizard transceivers, I just purchased the FlexTT5 (no mini) so I can mount a flash on my Nikon D-300 or 700 and fire my off camera flash units. I heard with the mini and an adaptor, (if you are using TTL Nikon or Canon flash units) you could set the power of each remote strobe from your camera.

    Since my off camera flash units are quantum Q-Flash, I use my flash units on manual because my auto exposures were inconsistent and all over the place. I too am worn out after changing the settings.

  • I use them – honestly couldn’t live without them. The ability to set your lights and shoot a room without leaving the camera saves so much time.

  • Too expensive. Yonguno (sp?) works great at 1/10th the price.

    Michael

  • Michael, that’s irrelevant, as the yonguno do not have the same functionality, ie no remote control of power settings.

    There’s also the radio popper PX system that’s been around for a while, http://radiopopper.com/products and offers the same control

  • Marcus, actually it may be relavent within the context of the original post. Specifically – “I would not use them for CLS, just for manuel power level adjustments.” The question then becomes why PocketWizards? Particurally the TT5/TT1 models.

    I am actually going through that right now as am totally fed up with Cactus, particurally the misfiring despite the electrical tape trick, and the failure to anchor resulting in either a no-fire as flash pin misalligned when moving or worse flash falling off like my Saturday shoot. May try them pc cord/velcro attached (like Radiopoppers would be) and skip the hotshoe. Most other brands, budget and premium, their hotshoe is designed to accept the locking pin from the flash. Pocketwizard @ $200 each are just flat out too expensive for manual only, particurally when can get an entire system for $200 or less.

    Radiopoppers Jr Studio looks inviting but looks like the power adjustment feature only works with strobes, not speedlight. I may be wrong, it is just that their literature always references Paul Buff’s line of strobes. In that case, Youngnou and Phottix become viable.

  • I have one of each in the mail. I did my typical compulsive research and thought these would be a perfect match with the Canon 580EXII on the TT5 and using two optical slaves. Between 7 conversations with Pocketwizard and reading everything a human can find these seemed just right. I surely hope so for the price.

  • I have to agree with Marcus about the Yonguno’s being irrelavant. As Marcus points out, they do not have the same functionality. The OP is asking for a way to control manual flash adjustments FROM THE CAMERA. The Flex TT5’s/TT1’s combined with the AC3 Zone Controller, let you make all your remote, manual flash power adjustments from the camera, without the need to run around to all your speedlights to make power adjustments. This is a HUGE time saver, particularly when using 5 or more remote lights. It is a game-changer when photographing large, high end homes. Try running up and down a large staircase a dozen times when trying to dial your remote lights in to get the perfect shot. Then do that another 15-20 times while photographing the other large areas of the home, and you are totally worn out after shooting just one home, running around from speedlight to speedlight, to make the necessary power changes. Yes, the Pocketwizards are EXPENSIVE, but so is the rest of my gear. Their functionality, and the time savings, is definately worth the price if you shoot large, high end homes often like I do.

  • Tony gets it.
    Now we just need the manufacturers to offer us more than 3 groups.

  • I use the TT1 and 3 of the TT5’s with the AC3 controler and love being able to control everything right from the camera. Too hot in the far room? Just dial down the AC3 for that zone and PERFECT!

  • I use 3-TT5’s with 1-SB900 and 2-SB800’s. I have another TT5 with a AC-3 on a Nikon D300. When everything works, it is a joy to use. The problem is getting everything to work at the same time. The TT5 on camera must sit EXACTLY in the right position. You MUST cut the units on in the proper sequence. Sometimes after making exposure changes on the camera or master TT5, communications is lost to the off-camera flash units necessitating shutting everything off and then back on. I have also run into a situation when adding a monobloc to the group with a Pocket Wizard II, there is a sync problem with the monoblc. It fires about 1/2 sec after the SB’s.

  • I am also experiencing reliability issues as described by Ted. I am using a Canon system however. I have heard of others online experiencing dropped communication between units. For me it is always the farthest units. I recently had a 580EXII repaired, which improved things, however things are still not perfect. Anyone else experiencing misfires and dropped communication using TT5’s? Even with the reliability issues, they still save me time. I might also add, that at short range, in smaller rooms, they fire all the time.

  • I remember reading early on that these units have distance-related problems, mostly from the excessive RFI put out by the 580-series flashes (Canon). They are not supposed to have these problems with other flashes. I have experienced similar problems with mine, getting only about 60-70 ft range with my 530s before losing the signal all together. I’d suspect that at near that range, the signal may start dropping out because of the RFI noise problems. There is supposedly a “fix” for that – a “cradle” that will surround the flash to reduce the RFI emissions but I haven’t purchased one of those yet. Not sure if this is related to the issues mentioned here but I thought I’d mention it just in case.

  • I think the real world distance is very noticeable between the mini and flex compared to the plus ll and multimax, however the mini and flex do give you complete control and the others do not.

  • Whatever. I view the climbing of the stairs, etc. and good execise. And then I save about $900.

    Michael

  • I use four TT5 and skipped the mini. It is a little larger footprint on the hotshoe, however, there is more versatility having the TT5. I think it also has more range as a trigger. I use the SU-800 to control my power and like it, I owned this before the AC3 was even a thought. I like it but the battery can be an issue- always carry a spare. Once you get them dialed in and figure out how they work they are really indispensable. Working in tight spaces and having to leave your camera to tweak a light is costly and punishing- after a while we just think “fix it later”.
    Someone asked about using studio lights instead- I own both and unless I have to, I am not pulling those guys out. Weight, size, and ac power make them less desirable on the job- and remember after the job you have to pack all this stuff up. I do like them for their modifiers, grids, etc… though

    doug stroud