Pocket Wizards FlexTT5 & MiniTT1 first impressions

PW_fail

This is the fourth time I am writing this post and it is going to be the last. Between the time I received the Pocket Wizards, did some test in my kitchen and finally tried them out in the open, my perception of the product changed drastically. To make it short, the ETTL Pocket Wizards are going back to the store and will be replaced by the old school PW that actually work as advertised.

Of course, as faith would have it, I have the worst possible flashes to work with the MiniTT1 & FlexTT5: 1x 580EXII and 2x 430EX but that is something you learn after reading the manual and they fail to give any range mesurements, knowing how stupid these would look.

To be fair, the remotes work perfectly as advertised, when I am 15” away. After that, it is hit or miss until 30” which is the point where they are less reliable than my eBay triggers.

After reading the documentation, it seems like Pocket Wizards is blaming the IR from the flash as the source of the interferences. Since the IR is used only for ETTL data transmission (as far as I know), switching to manual mode should solve the issue and give me the fantastic range I was expecting when I bought these. But, nope, it does not change anything. I did some test by changing the position of the antenna of the TT5 without much success and needless to say that I never managed to shoot around corners!

The suggested alternative is to buy a hot shoe cable (OC-E3) and put the remote as far away as possible from the flash. I might try that with the ferrite clamp but honestly, I dont feel like spending any more money to fix something that should have been working straight out of the box.

So, unless one of you, knowledgeable readers, has managed to have these things working with the same equipment as mine, I am going back to the technology from the 90s (aka walkie talkie PW).

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • Mike Hall

    Yep… I’m not quite to the point where I’ll say ‘Fail’, but I’m pretty close to it. We’ve been using Mini TT1s with our 580EXs, Nikon SB800s, Sunpaks, and the old school PW transceivers. It has been hit or miss, even after the latest firmware upgrade. I’ll be doing some more testing, but the Mini TT1s may be listed for sell in the near future if we’re outside the refund period! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • Ryan Crocker

    Rob Galbraith has an article about shielding the RF on the Flex and the Mini. Don’t know if you’ve seen it, but worth a look.
    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-9991-10008

    • admin

      Thanks for the link I will check that out.

      Tomorrow I am going back to the store and do some testing with the reps and try the various techniques outlined in the manual. If I am not satisfied I will go with the old school PW.

  • Andy

    hi,
    I wonder if the miniTT1 & flexTT5 u got have the updated firmware which pocketwizard claims has addressed issues with 5DmkII ?

  • admin

    Yep, both Flex and Mini were updated with the latest and greatest firmware, unfortunately.