Pocket Wizard Flex TT1
Although I’ve owned these little fellows for more than a year, I never used them for a wedding or for any kind of job.
Why? Because I didn’t trust the TTL functionality. In the past I noticed I was having erratic results when using light modifiers. I think what actually happened is that the pre-flash (which is needed for TTL measuring) wasn’t strong enough and weakened by the shoot-through umbrella or softbox. Using the speedlight without any light modifier would give me good results but that’s not what I was looking after and I could have used normal Pocket Wizards Plus for this kind of job. So my two TT5 and one TT1 ended their “early” carreer in a drawer of my desk.
Fortunately, a few weeks ago I read on PW’s website that a new firmware (v5.000) had been released with the following features:
1) Automatic camera detection
2) Optimized HSS Crossover Auto detect
3) Rear curtain sync
4) Pre-flash boost mode.
Even if all four features sounded interesting the last one looked like the answer to my problem. So I downloaded the new firmware and intalled the utility to make the upgrade.
I arranged a photo session with Carla and David to try this new firmware and we headed to the “Abbaye de la Cambre” for some couple shots.
Here are the results, taken with combo Canon 1DmarkIII and Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 USM IS on one hand and Pocket Wizard TT5 + Canon 580EXII + softbox on the other side:
As you can notice from the EXIF files, the shutter speeds from these two pictures were respectively 1/800 sec and 1/500 sec. This is more than the sync speed allowed by the camera (1/300). This is IMHO a great feature which allows you to get shallow DOF (due to the aperture of f/2.8) even in great daylight.
Conclusion: As you can see, the results are stunning and I’m now happy with these Pocket Wizards, I think they’ll be useful for weddings, events and other things that I shoot a lot. Their retirement is now over and they are now more than welcome in my camera bag.