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Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 07:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
JohnPaul
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Ok.... I've been using Quantum 4i radio slaves since the ice age,....and when I bought them...there weren't nearly as many options to chose from.. and...the ones I am using now, are rather "quirky".. I do know for a fact that my whole building is "haunted"...and "it" likes to interfere with radio signals...as well as all the other things it does.... and that seems like it will happen no matter what, however...when on location..I have problems with cell phone signals, and or turning the camera to a vertical position may have an effect on some recievers but not others.... Yesterday, I reached my breaking point with these.. For one, I feel they are designed poorly... the batteries fit too tightly in them, and the tape they loop around the battery insert often rips and you are stuck with having to **** around, wasting time to pull the batteries out,....and then the wires are constantly getting bent around every time you open the battery door, and you have wire cracking..and can short out the unit.. Oh,...another thing.... when I was at ModEX last year, I was shooting in a room full of photographers most of whom were using some sort of radio triggering system like I was, although I was the only one with the exact type of frequency which shouldn't have allowed anyone else to trigger my lights like they so claim....well,....that wasn't exactly the case....nope... my lights were being set off by someone else's ...I think there were two photographers who were setting off my lights..one dude brought a 1D body, and I guess he just had to show off how fast he could shoot a still standing subject, and at 8fps, he'd pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop ....my f'ing lights!! So, that didn't work out very well.. and....now, I am looking into replacing them with a set of units that aren't such a pain in the buttox to work with..

Has anyone had experience with more than one type of unit? (Not interested in IR devices...I have to be able to trigger through walls).. I like the idea of having the remote and receiver built into one unit... however, I'm looking for effectiveness more than anything..

JP
 
 
Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 08:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Only one answer: Pocket Wizards. If you need more options, choose the MultiMax transceivers. I use the PW plus-----extremely dependable in studio and on location. And, if you dump one in the ocean (it happens...) you can get a replacement from Pocket Wizard for $119 including post!---much cheaper than full retail.

There is also a new wireless system on the market that I saw at WPPI in Las Veags. If I can find the flyer I'll drop you the name. It had a very nice small profile, but as I recall didn't have all the features of the PW or the range.

best regards,
ken
www.kendoophotography.com
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Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 08:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Only one answer: Pocket Wizards. If you need more options, choose the MultiMax transceivers. I use the PW plus-----extremely dependable in studio and on location. And, if you dump one in the ocean (it happens...) you can get a replacement from Pocket Wizard for $119 including post!---much cheaper than full retail.

There is also a new wireless system on the market that I saw at WPPI in Las Veags. If I can find the flyer I'll drop you the name. It had a very nice small profile, but as I recall didn't have all the features of the PW or the range.

best regards,
ken
www.kendoophotography.com

[/ QUOTE ]

That's good to hear...

Please send me what ever info you have,.. much appreciated! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

JP
 
 
Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 09:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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pocketwizard
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Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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PocketWizards..
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Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Pocket wizards multimax... 32x4 plus bonus features. best price I have found is at keh.com. i also have the sekonics meter with the pocket wizard module... awesome way to go for studio or lacation.
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Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 10:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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PocketWizard plus kits, 4 channels. Multimax PW's, 32 channels. Much better then the microsync's that were all over WPPI (I don't like the range)

For S&G's, the range on the Pocketwizards, well lets just say, in maxing it out.... would be somewhat comic [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Go with a plus kit imho, and look into packs in the future with WI technology, or some light meters now compatible with it to so that you may fire wireless.

GPCB
JasonNJ
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Re: Radio Slaves..
Old 04-10-2005, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You have several options. As others have stated you can go the PocketWizard route, which is a really good choice. You can also go with radio slaves made by Bowens, MicroSync, and others. Hensel just introduced a 4 channel-code system. Apparently, the range is only 50-75 feet, but I haven't seen or evalutated it. There are 1 channel systems out there, but I haven't spent any time with them either.

Regarding your 4I's: that series is notorious for frequency drift. You can send them in and have them fixed, but friends of mine who have them say they eventually fall out of spec again.

One of the things you should know about wireless trasmission of any type that may help you is to keep the antennas aligned, either both vertical or both horizontal. You can run into erratic behavior (limited range and misfire) if the antennas are perpendicular to one another. You may want to consider a bracket of some sort if you turn your camera to shoot verticals.

Below is a summary of the major systems I've used:

PocketWizard MultiMax -- Channel Codes: 32, Sync: 1/500 (1/1000 leaf shutter), Frequency: 344-354 MHz, Range: 1600 ft.
PocketWizard Plus -- Channel Codes: 4, Sync: 1/250 (1/500), Frequency: 344 MHz, Range: 1600 ft.
Bowens Pulsar -- Channel Codes: 6, Sync: 1/250, Frequency: 433 MHz, Range: 350 ft.
MicroSync Digital -- Channel Codes: 4, Sync: 1/180, Frequency: 433 MHz, Range: 350 ft.
Quantum Freewire -- Channel Codes: 8, Sync: 1/500 (1/1000), Frequency: ??? (somewhere between 344 and 433 MHz), Range: 600 ft.

The channel codes give you an indication of how many units could potentially co-exist in the same area. The MultiMax, Bowens, and Quantum units allow you to divide the signal into sub-groups, so you can selectively fire strobes that are grouped together. You could, for instance, put the main and fill lights on one "sub-channel", a hairlight on a second "sub-channel", and a background light on a third "sub-channel" and meter/fire each sub-channel seperately by selecting which group you want to fire.

The MicroSync unit is the smallest of the group, but it's a pain in the butt to use because you have to use the end of a paperclip to change channels. The PocketWizard Plus units are more convenient and feature-laden.

The Bowens Pulsar is pretty small too, and might be a good choice unless you have a Sekonic Meter with the PocketWizard module. It was my second-favorite, after the PocketWizard products.

The Quantum Freewire has a lot of features, but they're big/bulky and I was nervous about their long-term reliability.

I personally use a PocketWizard MultiMax Transceiver and PocketWizard Plus receivers.

Hope this helped.

-Chip
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$50 NO-Name Hong Kong Imports
Old 04-10-2005, 11:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i've been using IR for some time. recently. i decided to go radio. but there's so many other things i want to buy that, imo, helps expand the things i can do. so, just for the heck of it and cuz they're real cheap, i bought a cheapo $50 set--xmitter and receiver--from some ebay powerseller. very small profile!! very cheap!!! low voltage safe for digital. and guess what, so far they've fired EVERY TIME and i can't find a place in my studio where i can't fire from. haven't tried them outside yet. they have four channels. i think the range is around 100 feet which is all i need. i'm almost never around other shooters where i have to worry about other guys popping my gear.
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Re: $50 NO-Name Hong Kong Imports
Old 04-10-2005, 03:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I used Robert Pichler's no name import from Ebay in South Padre at Super Shoots Surf and Turf. Liked it so much picked one up for myself, and have had no problems! Thinking of picking up a second set just in case...
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