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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Pocket Wizard MiniTT1
Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 5:19 PM on 08.10.09
->> I've followed the various threads about problems with the new Pocket Wizard units. I'm on the waiting list for the Nikon version. It's my impression from reading the threads that most of the issues center around the Flex TT5. I am interested in only the TT1 and almost exclusively because of hyper-sync feature. (I could count on one hand the number of times a year I need TTL flash.) So my questions for those out there using these new units:

1. Have you used the MiniTT1 with a conventional Pocket Wizard as the receiver, and if so, any range issues?

2. Is the hyper-sync feature brand-specific? Could I get a Canon TT1 and have hyper-sync functionality with a Nikon? Delivery of the Nikon units is still at least a few months away. Sigh.
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Christian del Rosario, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 7:42 PM on 08.11.09
->> I was also looking at the TT1 due to the high-speed sync. The way it's supposed to work is you program an offset time where the TT1 would trip the sync'd flash milliseconds ahead before the camera starts the exposure. Theory is to catch the flash at a duration where you can properly expose the frame at the given high shutter speeds. It's supposed to work with many brands/types of strobes. Awesome, right?

Sounds great on paper. But I've come across a bunch of online threads which discusses poor range as well as inconsistent performance with the TT1/TT5.

If you haven't seen this, check out this comprehensive (if a bit too long) comparison of the PW vs. Radio Popper systems:
http://is.gd/2ctw4

This test was pretty recent and it seems the TT1 still has some problems with range. Makes me hesitant to try the TT1 for long range flash sync.

However, it seems if you are OK with shooting within a 30-40ft range (sans RF interference), THIS user makes me want to still try the TT1 as it seems to work brilliantly with Profotos:

http://is.gd/2ctKI
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Christian del Rosario, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 7:47 PM on 08.11.09
->> Oops, sorry, you were interested in syncing the TT1 with conventional PWs...haven't seen anyone doing that. Should work but not sure if range would be any different/better. Still on the fence. If I get the TT1 I can let you know.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 10:26 PM on 08.11.09
->> Yes, as has been discussed many times on the message board and among a lot of working photographers ... range and consistency with Pocket Wizards is an issue.

Some find they work as advertised.

Many do not.

But there is not a company out there making a better built product.

Whether it is worth the $$$ to buy these, only you can be the judge. It seems depending on what, where and how you work, these products can work well.

Or not.
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 10:32 PM on 08.11.09
->> Dang, 35 feet! that is scary bad
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 10:38 PM on 08.11.09
->> At the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trails last year we couldn't get them to work at 10 feet.

At Staples Center during a Lakers games in March, they worked fine for an overhead remote in the catwalks. But across the court on the opposite basket, it didn't work.

During a World Series game we ran zip line so we could move the transmitter closer to a home plate remote, maybe 20 feet, never worked.

At a Yankees - Angels game in Anaheim last month on a remote behind plate, it worked fine from the outside first box.

Go figure.

I could go on and on ... as could a number of other working photogs I know.
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Dan Bannister, Photographer
Calgary | AB | Canada | Posted: 8:55 AM on 08.12.09
->> Matt,

I can answer your question specifically. Myself and two other photogs just spent the last two days doing a stock shoot where we had a bunch of different set ups/models etc and we rotated through them and tweaked them to our personal taste throughout the day. Each of us had TT1's on cameras and Plus II's on each pack and we had a ton of problems, bushes obscuring signals, stands in the way, water seemed to be a problem, trees, you name it, we had trouble. Worse still, all the light was on battery packs and we were killing them because of inconsistent firing. One shooter switched to a multi max as his sending unit and thing improved dramatically for him.

Bottom line is, with the tt1, we were not getting anything reliable outside of 25 feet. Even then, it was a crapshoot.

They might be the best out there but, in my opinion, they are not yet ready for prime time. They dont work as advertised and are not professional tools. Plus II's are more reliable the range is better, too bad the connection to Canon flashes is so poor as I find the sync cable connection to 580's to be of questionable reliability as well.

Hope this helps
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 9:04 AM on 08.12.09
->> Robert,

with that high of a failure rate, how come you continue to use them? Are they tweaking them and having you test them?
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Christian del Rosario, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 11:09 AM on 08.12.09
->> I just picked up the TT1 (Canon) last night and played around with them for a little bit. Learned a couple of channels from a PlusII tranceiver and was using the TT! to trigger a PlusII as well as an older PW receiver. Both connected to Canon 540EZs.

In my house I had no problems triggering the strobes, even through walls. I then tested with myself outside on the lawn and had no issues firing the strobes inside the house from about 60 ft. I think I must have gotten lucky.

Hopefully this will be consistent performance. I'll try several more times this week to see if this is repeatable...
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 11:38 AM on 08.12.09
->> Disappointing news as I was really excited about the potential of this product but as is often the case, what sounds good on paper, er.. on the manufacturer website rather, doesn't always translate to what works in real life.

Sounds like its best to stick with using the Multimaxs for triggering remote cameras and for manual flash work and stick with using the SU800 and Nikon CLS system for wireless iTTL flash work. I just learned you could hook together a few SC28 cables if you need to move the SU800 close to the slave flashes so that might help overcome its range/line of sight issues.

Its a real shame though this new line isn't living up to its potential as it would of been quite awesome to have the total integration of wireless iTTL flash control as well as remote triggering capability for a do-it-all, all-in-one system with PW's typically class leading range and reliability.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:11 AM on 08.13.09
->> As I say in the remote classes at the Sports Shooter Academy: - Never count on a remote photo
- Use a hardline whenever you can or whenever you want to insure your remote will fire

'Nuff Said!
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 9:00 PM on 08.13.09
->> Hey Dan Bannister--thanks for answering one part of my question...Just so happens I got the other part answered today. I mentioned this question to the owner of my local camera store and the next thing I know I am meeting with his Mamiya America rep who had a couple sets of the Canon TT1 and TT5 units. The Canon unit did function on my D3...but no hyper-sync. Rats. The rep said the release of the Nikon-specific units had now been pushed back to Q4. Double-rats.
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Matthew Putney, Photo Editor, Photographer
Waterloo | IA | USA | Posted: 11:37 AM on 02.04.10
->> Has anyone tried using a MiniTT1 on the camera and two multi max units set up to relay the signal next to you. I as thinking that it may cut down on interference and problems but still get you to the 1/500 sync. Maybe I am wrong and it won't even work when you try and relay the lights.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:56 AM on 02.04.10
->> I've been very pleased with the Radio Popper line. The first generation was a little crude to setup, but they worked great. The new ones are a much slicker install and have even more range.
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Randy Abrams, Photographer
Bath | NY | US | Posted: 11:59 AM on 02.04.10
->> How many of you out there are using the Radio Poppers to fire strobes (do they have the ability to trigger a remote camera?)?
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Randy Sartin, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 12:23 PM on 02.04.10
->> I've not used them to trigger a remote yet, but have been told that they will and see no reason why they would not. This is a pretty good page to start learning about them. http://www.radiopopper.com/docs/radiopopper_x_compatibility_guide.pdf
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Peter Quinn, Photographer
Pine Bush | NY | USA | Posted: 1:50 PM on 02.04.10
->> @ Randy - I have both the PX and JrX lines of the Radiopoppers and love them. I shoot Canon and they work great for me and they allow you to integrate studio strobes into the mix quite easily. And if you have Alien Bees the PX transmitter will allow remote control (not ettl) of the power of your Bees with the correct JrX Studio receiver. They also just updated the firmware of the PX receivers so that you can control the power (non TTL) of Canon 580's from their JrX transmitter. Basically it's like this, no matter which side of their system you start with PX for speedlights or JrX for studio type strobes you can add in the other side of things if you need/want to, and in the case of Alien Bee and Canon integration, control the strobe power remotely.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 4:17 PM on 02.04.10
->> @ Peter - We probably need to start a Radio Popper thread, apologies to the OP. Right now I'm using the Jr's both in studio and for basketball, being able to control the AB's isn't a huge deal in the studio but it's wonderful for basketball. I built my own "RP Cubes" to control my SB-800's with, and that is pretty darn handy as well. I find myself using TTL less and less as I learn more, but I still use the PX's at wedding receptions and such.

I think one of the biggest problems with Radio Poppers is understanding what they are capable of and which products work with each other.
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Philip Johnson, Photographer
Garland | TX | USA | Posted: 4:41 PM on 02.04.10
->> For those using the Flex TT5 are you using the soft shield that use sent out. I just received my and haven't tested it yet.
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Dan Root, Photographer
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 12:13 AM on 02.05.10
->> I guess I am in the minority. I used them, the Canon ones, on two ProFoto mono blocks, hooked up to two Vagabond batteries last weekend, and had one strobe the length of a rugby field away from me, and it was firing just fine. I just got them two weeks ago. Make sure to update the firmware. I had the TT1 on my camera, and the TT5's on my ProFoto heads. No problems with them so far. In case you don't know, once you have them "trained" and turned on with your strobes, you should not turn them off until you are done with your shoot. Just take the TT1 off the hot shoe, and keep it on, or you have to reset it again once you turn it back on. Also, in case anyone does not know, you need to turn the TTL's on last after you turn on your camera and your strobes. I hope this helps.

With respect to using them with Canon flashes, no problems either, but I have not used them far away from my camera. I do use a cord to connect the TT5 to the head, and keep them away from each other. I have heard good things about the shield, and there is a new beta firmware update that addresses the distance issues with the Canon strobes.

BTW, if anyone lives in Hawaii and sees a TT1 and a TT5 for sale without a box, cable, disk, and instructions, please let me know, for those might be mine. They were stolen while I was shooting on the North Shore of Oahu on 1/13/10. Good thing I have good insurance.
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Paul Stackhouse, Photographer
Cary | NC | USA | Posted: 8:25 PM on 03.10.10
->> First FlexTT5 Nikon Prototype Test -
http://www.pocketwizard.com/news_events/news/wallace_nikon_update/
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 8:29 PM on 03.10.10
->> I just noticed that the Nikon version of the Mini has been on one of my photo retailer wishlists for a full year now.

Siiigggghhhh...
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Thread Title: Pocket Wizard MiniTT1
Thread Started By: Matt Cashore
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