Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 328
Go TTL wireless or PocketWizard?

I'm having a dilemma. I was at a seminar with Joe McNally who is a wizard at lighting. During the day he showed haw to use the wireless TTL of his N*kon to shoot and still control the ratios. I know full well that the Pentax TTL wireless is nowhere as good (but then again it beats C*non's butt too!) but I decided to try it during a photo shoot I had last week.

All in all it went rather well (kept my K200D in manual mode for consistency) but as the day went on it started to fluster. I figure because the batteries in my grip started to go. The shots got underexposed a lot! I switched over to my Cactus triggers and everything went fine after that.

The dilemma is this. I have a 3 light setup already (2 af 360 and a Sigma 530 Super) and I'd like to get 2 more. Thing is my budget at this time precludes me from getting another 530 or Pentax 540, I'd really like to have them swivel say they can easily pick up the source flash. Right now, getting the Vivitar 285 HV or even getting a N*kon SB 26 or 28 would be good since theyre inexpensive and swivel but then I'd lose the TTL wireless with them and would have to shoot manual with either my Cactus, Pocketwizards or just dumb slave.

Do you guys think its worth the extra money to keep it all consistent or be more financially prudent (gf want big Xmas gift, LOL!) and just have to improvise more with manual?

The attached image is using Wireless TTL and "clamshell" lighting.

Thanks, and this is probably my longest post!

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K200D  Photo 

Last edited by jboyde; 11-24-2009 at 10:45 AM.
11-24-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 21
I too have the K200d as well as the AF540FGZ. With the 540 on a stand and set to wireless, and the on-camera flash set to both flash & command, I get some really interesting shots. It's fun to play with the ratios... BUT... "consistency" is not a term I would use for this setup. In my experience, whenever the machinery starts making decisions, I most often am disappointed with the results. I usually have little idea what to expect... or how to repeat the feat. While the exposures are quite often technically more correct I think we make a fundamental error to expect a set of computers to satisfy the human need for art.

So... I drag out an assortment of flashes, hook 'em up to PW IIs, set everything on MANUAL and fire away until I stumble upon the "look" that satisfies my soul. It often takes 15 minutes and a couple of dozen tries to get all the ducks in a row - not something to try while your model/client is looking on - doesn't instill confidence, you know what I mean?

But I don't give a damn. It's my hobby and working manually to find the setup I want is more than half the fun. I don't really get much of a kick out of sitting the 540 on top of the camera, turn everything on to P-TTL and auto, and fire away. Almost anyone can get snapshots that way.

My biggest beef with the high end flashes is they're TOO automatic. As I said, I use the 540 on a stand. It shuts down every 3 minutes (on manual) which is bad enough but then to reset it and I have to go to the stand, usually lower it, turn the flash off then on again, and then with freezing fingers, punch a bunch of buttons and fiddle with that stupid little dial to get back to the 1/8 setting I want. I HATE using that flash for that reason - so I don't. I have an ancient AF200T (GN 20) which is almost always plenty of power for the stuff I do, and it NEVER shuts down. I LOVE it.

Anway... sorry for going on so long. What was the question?
12-02-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
Junior Member




Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brno, CZ
Posts: 30
@Rae2 there is a way to disable the autopower off feature if you really want. I did that for my own 540fgz and I`m happy i did that.

Anyway I have, just in case, additional 12 spare batteries with me almost all the time.

It`s in the manual if you want to stop the auto power off, somethoing like press the "Light" button for 2 seconds, then select some option to "2".

If I`d have the manual with me I could be exact, but I have it at home.

Anyway, it`s very easy and you finished with the 3 minutes shutdown feature.


EDIT:
http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/Web_AF540FGZ_Eng.pdf

Page 17, exact combination of buttons / selections for the power off setting.


@jboyde
As for the main question, I opted for the cheapo version of PockeWizards (the ebay ones also called as PowertyWizards :-D ) and quite happy with them.

Depending on what your budget is and your requirements are. I actually like staying full manual for consistency reason.

Last edited by levyfulop; 12-02-2009 at 07:59 AM. Reason: update with link
12-06-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
New Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: So Cal
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 18
I run my 540 off flash all the time with a 25 year old Vivitar Auto Thrystor as back up, using Alien Bees as the triggers. I run the 540 on no Auto Power off, and always run manual when I shoot. Occaisionally I'll have to adjust power during a shoot, but mostly not. 1/4 or 1/8 usually works good, and I'm happy with the results. That being said I have never tried the flash off camera using TTl settings, so I don't know how it would work. But it also doesn't take me 15 minutes and dozens and dozens of shots to find the combo (not a dig on you at all, maybe I should take more time). Mostly because I don't always have the luxury of time in setting up most of the shots I take (musicians in strange venues).

Any way, to boil down my post
1. remove the auto power off
2. get good triggers. Alien Bees or Radio Poppers are very cost effective and work awesome.

Shot Saturday, short setup time

Carmin Appice - rock legend


12-07-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 3,206
QuoteOriginally posted by rae2 Quote
...With the 540 on a stand and set to wireless, and the on-camera flash set to both flash & command, I get some really interesting shots. It's fun to play with the ratios... BUT... "consistency" is not a term I would use for this setup.
I'm a recent victim of this "consistency."

I was photographing a Thanksgiving dinner. Before the guests arrived, I tested my setup (2 Pentax 540 units on stands, controlled by the built-in flash of my K10D in p-TTL mode) at the dinner table. The exposure was perfect.

2 hours later....

When all the guests had sat down, I was horrified to find that I had to change the camera's EC to +2 to get decent exposure. The photos were still about 0.5 stop underexposed. Thanks God I shot RAW and thanks God for LightRoom!

I will be shooting Christmas dinner at the same table, but with 2 or 3 Metz 45 CT-1 units controlled by RF.
12-08-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 328
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I'm a recent victim of this "consistency."

I was photographing a Thanksgiving dinner. Before the guests arrived, I tested my setup (2 Pentax 540 units on stands, controlled by the built-in flash of my K10D in p-TTL mode) at the dinner table. The exposure was perfect.

2 hours later....

When all the guests had sat down, I was horrified to find that I had to change the camera's EC to +2 to get decent exposure. The photos were still about 0.5 stop underexposed. Thanks God I shot RAW and thanks God for LightRoom!

I will be shooting Christmas dinner at the same table, but with 2 or 3 Metz 45 CT-1 units controlled by RF.
Wow! Not only did they eat the turkey, they ate the light!!!

Were you in AV mode? I'm curious.

I like the fact that I can dial in the changes in wireless TTL since itll save me the time of having to adjust each flash. But at the cost of consistency? I dunno.
12-10-2009, 11:50 AM   #7
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Alternative to PW

I'm testing a new trigger. I bought a Wein IR Sync-Link. So far, so good. It's 60 bucks. It triggers the 540. I'm getting ready to check it with some Westcott strobes.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
cactus, day, dilemma, lighting, pentax, tripod, ttl
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wireless TTL with Nikon Flashes! dlacouture Pentax Film SLR Discussion 2 11-04-2010 04:32 PM
Wireless P-TTL test results adamfogerty Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 3 06-20-2010 05:18 PM
Wireless P-TTL Question Kazy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 01-27-2010 02:59 AM
Metz 48 P-TTL wireless display Arpe Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 4 12-12-2009 08:19 AM
Dual 540fgz - *NON*wireless ttl EdZarts Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 5 04-16-2007 09:48 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:48 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top