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Full Version: Advice Needed: PocketWizard FlexTT5 Worth it? Or Even Good? Seems like Lots of
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xknowonex
I recently started to to venture into the off-camera lighting world with Canon Speedlites.

Initially, against many people's advice from veterans on here and elsewhere (yes, Sean, you were right on this), I purchased a 2 sets of Cactus V5 triggers (4 receivers/transceivers total) for $140 bucks total. Not a bad price at all compared to a set of (4) PocketWizards FlexTT5 with a hotshoe ($230 retail x 4 = $920). I figured, if one stopped working, I would just buy a new one for how cheap they are. I know Cactus had a poor reputation for the previous models

I went out on a paid shoot at an event and spent literally half day fumbling around with them since they misfired due to heat on a 95f day. Everytime, I shot through the viewfinder, I had to ask my assistant if they fired up. It wasn't just an issue with one trigger but all four. Worst, by noon, they refuse to power up in the heat but they work fine flawless at home or dusk when its cool 200 feet away.

Needless to say, after corresponding back and forth with the manufacturer, they considered the units defective and offered to send out a replacement if I send my sets back to Hong Kong. I didn't want to risk it and said, "No thanks", and sent it back for a refund for $20 International First Class Mail. In the end, it costed me almost $40 + misery and headache.

So after this whole debacle, I went out to look for a different set. Here are some of the options that I considered

(a) AlienBee CyberSync -

Pros: Bulletproof reliability. Reasonably Priced. Reputable Brand. Holds Value

Cons: Does not use a hotshoe. I do mainly photojournalism so Having a hotshoe on both the transceivers and receivers is important to me because I do use an on-camera flash a lot too. So the ability to throw have an ETTL flash on my camera is pretty important. And most of my older Speedlights do not have a PC Sync port so just sliding a flash onto the hotshoe of the receiver is a major convenience for me.

(a) Pocket Wizard Plus II -

Pros: Bulletproof reliability. Reasonably Priced. Reputable Brand. Holds Value

Cons: Same limitations as the CyberSyncs above.



© Phottix Strato II -

http://www.phottix.com/en/studio-accessori...sh-trigger.html
http://flashraw.com/review-phottix-strato-...-flash-trigger/

Pros: Reasonably Priced. Transceiver's Hotshoe Passes ETTL information and Receivers have Hot Shoes. Some say they are built better than Pocket Wizards. Backwards & Forward Compatibility w/ Older & New Models. Upcoming Model will have ETTL and High Speed Sync.

Cons: Unknown Long Term Reliability.

(d) PocketWizard FlexTT5 -

Pros: Pocketwizard brand is the gold standard. Excellent Resell Value. Has all the high-tech features that no other company has yet

Cons: Extremely Expensive. Polarizing reviews.

At this point, I think I am going to bit the bullet and go with PocketWizard TT5 but some of the terrible reviews on BH are very concerning. If they are that bad, its probably no better than the other options. The Speedlites that I have in my bag is the older 430ex and 540ez non-ETTL. Not sure if there will range and interference issues with those

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/6057...r-header-605720

So what is your guys opinions on them????










Seethegrim
I would throw another option in there.

The Phottix Atlas triggers. They half the price of the PWz, but they look exactly the same & they rock. Been using them for about 6 months now & been loving them. Of course, the long term solution is to just buy the PWz as their lifespan is huge from what I've heard. But for a slightly cheaper (and as powerful & reliable option), the Atlas Transrecievers are awesome. Just google "Phottix Atlas vs Pocket Wizard" and you'll be surprised how many side-by-side tests have been done with them (particularly in the Dubai desert! I was sold on that one).
Jacob Photo
I have cybersync's, and have been a fan. I definitely don't push the limits of them, but they work quite well for me. The only time I've had problems is when the batteries were low. I bought some hotshoe adapters online from FlashZebra.com for pretty cheap, so I can use them with regular flashes if I need to.

Nike SB'd
my .02

I have never used the Flex TT5, but if it didn't work I don't know why Pocketwizard would have introduced it.

I personally use PW +IIs (I have five of them) and they've always worked exactly as intended, and have the longest range of any radio trigger available. Yes they are "expensive" but you only have to buy them once. As your skill level grows and your gear is updated you will still be using the same PWs you bought ten years ago. Not sure if you can say that about the knock off brands. Another positive side to PWs, as you mentioned, is that they are basically the industry standard - go into any studio or production set and they will be using PWs. Lots of newer gear, like Sekonic light meters and Profoto packs have built-in PW technology. Not to mention if you ever decide to get out of photography PWs will sell like hot-cakes.
xknowonex
Thanks for the reply and help guys.

Phottix Atlas isn't available here in the United States. Out of all the new cheap knock off brands from Asia, I think Phottix will be the company to pay close attention to.

They seem to have much better quality than Cactus or Yongnuo and a little more support as well with the triggers being forward and backward compatible.

They are currently beta testing a trigger set with ETTL and High Speed Sync. Pretty promising on paper




http://journal.phottix.com/company-news/ph...in-ttl-trigger/





QUOTE(Jacob Photo @ Jul 5 2011, 09:51 AM) *
I have cybersync's, and have been a fan. I definitely don't push the limits of them, but they work quite well for me. The only time I've had problems is when the batteries were low. I bought some hotshoe adapters online from FlashZebra.com for pretty cheap, so I can use them with regular flashes if I need to.


Jacob, do you use AlienBee strobes too? I was seriously considering CyberSyncs but the biggest detractor was the batteries. I have about 70 dollars worth of Sanyo Eneloops here in size aa and aaa. Plus, the system seems to fullfill their needs for their studio strobes, as Alien Bees are their main product line, so it doesnt seem like they really pay too much attention to the Speedlite users.

QUOTE(Nike SB'd @ Jul 5 2011, 12:08 PM) *
my .02

I have never used the Flex TT5, but if it didn't work I don't know why Pocketwizard would have introduced it.

I personally use PW +IIs (I have five of them) and they've always worked exactly as intended, and have the longest range of any radio trigger available. Yes they are "expensive" but you only have to buy them once. As your skill level grows and your gear is updated you will still be using the same PWs you bought ten years ago. Not sure if you can say that about the knock off brands. Another positive side to PWs, as you mentioned, is that they are basically the industry standard - go into any studio or production set and they will be using PWs. Lots of newer gear, like Sekonic light meters and Profoto packs have built-in PW technology. Not to mention if you ever decide to get out of photography PWs will sell like hot-cakes.



I learned my lesson from saving money so I set aside about 600 dollar budget maximum for the triggers, and at first the FlexTT5 seems like a perfect, most versatile system for my needs on paper. After some research, it seems that they do have alot of problems with Canon flashes due to some radio interferences. Pocketwizard came up with some improvised solutions like a sock with metallic fibers, selling the them for 30 bucks or so, to fix the problem. It is obviously far from being reliable like the PW Plus II and MultiMax, which is sort of unacceptable for costing $230 each.

Given the pros of the PW Plus II and what you have said, I think I will pick up 3x PW Plus and just get the Flash Zebra
link
we got a set of the PW Flex's not long ago.... they work as advertised as expected from PW

I agree with Sean.... as you progress and acquire gear you're still going to have the same old PWs you always had. I've got a bunch of Plus II Transceivers and they're bulletproof. I've dropped them down steps, out of a window, sat on them, stepped on them, left them in the woods at a rally overnight, they haven't failed me yet.
Jacob Photo
QUOTE(xknowonex @ Jul 7 2011, 06:28 PM) *
Jacob, do you use AlienBee strobes too? I was seriously considering CyberSyncs but the biggest detractor was the batteries. I have about 70 dollars worth of Sanyo Eneloops here in size aa and aaa. Plus, the system seems to fullfill their needs for their studio strobes, as Alien Bees are their main product line, so it doesnt seem like they really pay too much attention to the Speedlite users.


Nope, I have a Novatron system similar to this one - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/9829...Ws_3_Light.html . The receivers take AA's, the trigger uses a watch battery that is at most Walmarts. I have 2 triggers (mistake in ordering but now it's nice for duel wielding), and always carry an extra battery just in case. I've only gone thru 2 batteries in using the triggers once or twice a month for almost 2 years, so they last a long time.
xknowonex
I went with PocketWizard and picked up a few good bargains on Craigslist and eBay



I went with the MiniTT1 trigger since it is small, requires no wires, and capable of triggering everything on Pocket Wizard's lineup and went w the Plus I / Plus II receivers/transceivers since my off camera flashes are not ETTL Capable.





Blue Devil
I have cybersync and in a wide open field they will fire from way far away... now... once you start getting into a place with trees/cars/houses then that distance goes down... but it will fire everytime as long as you don't push it... it has not failed me... so for the price you can't beat it. smile.gif
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