Sunday, May 31, 2009

PocketWizard FlexTT5 + Plus II HyperSync Test

I finally got a FlexTT5 to test with our Plus II. We actually ordered a pair of FlexTT5 from Chadwick, initially (still waiting). The test unit is his sample. Jessie and I don't trust Canon's E-TTL II system very much. Full manual is faster sometimes when you know what you are doing. Other than the IR connection problem, the inconsistency of Canon's flash system made us to use PocketWizard's system. However, we are limited to 1/250s x-sync shutter speed. When we need high speed sync, we have to use E-TTL II IR connection again.

When I saw FlexTT5 at Las Vegas's WPPI Convention, I was very excited about something called "HyperSync" instead of its radio E-TTL II feature. At the same time, the hotshoe on top of FlexTT5 is a good thing too. We don't need to tie Plus II with our 580EX II anymore.

Today, I tested a few things. First thing was the max shutter speed I could get with HyperSync. 1D Mark II N's x-sync is 1/250s. So, I started with that shutter speed.

From the test result, 1/500s was the max speed I could get without setting anything in FlexTT5's software. For 5D Mark II, its x-sync is 1/200s. The max speed was found to be 1/320s (not shown) under HyperSync. I expected this result because 5D Mark II is not a fast camera like 1-Series.

My another concern was the range after replacing my on camera Plus II with a FlexTT5. It was because TriCoast Photography did a detail test on YouTube. They pointed out on-camera MiniTT1 could only control a remote FlexTT5 from 35' to 38' distance. So, what about controlling a remote Plus II from a on-camera FlexTT5? I'm not greedy. We only need 100'.

The test result was over 150' (good enough). Under a bright sun, I didn't need to use f/13 or smaller. One of my perfect test shot was 1/500s f/9 @ ISO100.

Another thing... When we mounted a flash on top of FlexTT5, we had to use 580EX I or II to trigger remote Plus II or another FlexTT5 in E-TTL II mode. Moreover, 580EX I/II must be in Master mode. When it was not in Master mode, remote unit(s) didn't work (like we mounted 420EX on top). 580EX or 420EX on top of FlexTT5 worked normally (like directly on-camera) no matter the remotes worked or not.

My conclusion is... We won't buy MiniTT1 and we won't give up Plus II. I will test FlexTT5 more when I get ours.

P.S. I wish I could have a pair of RadioPoppers to compare and test


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scarlet + Ringo: Pre-Wedding Session

I really enjoy working in Vancouver's Summer. After the long period of cold weather, we finally got a bright and sunny day. Yesterday's photo session was fast and easy with Scarlet and Ringo. We will be shooting their wedding in October.

Jessie and I are still waiting for our new PocketWizard FlexTT5. As I know, it should have complicated operation in E-TTL mode. I hope I don't need to read its instruction for hours before using it.


Katrina + Colin Slideshow

This slideshow was made for the Hong Kong reception of Katrina and Colin. It was completed within 4 days after their Vancouver wedding. What a rush!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chinese Dancer + Commercial Session

Cecilia is a sweet girl and professional Chinese dancer. She will be a spokeperson of a new series of jewelery (Christine Jewellers Ltd.). Today, we worked with her for 2.5 hours. This photo session was the part 1 of the whole assignment. You will see what we are going to do in the next month.

Although the location wasn't a real stage, we made it look like one. Actually, it was a martial art gym with mirror on wall. Dramatic and spot lighting were the key to achieve the visual effect. Action shots were done with my 1D Mark II N and the rest were shot by Jessie's 5D Mark II. I'm pretty happy with the light and versatile EF 70-200mm f/4L IS. It's a razor sharp lens with light weight. This time, we mixed Pocket Wizard triggered strobes and ST-E2 (E-TTL II) triggered strobes. The effect came out great. However, I found my blue gel got a hole (burnt by 580EX II) afterward.

Next week, we will jump back to wedding related session.


After you look at all photos, it's time to show you the reality... The wide wall mounted mirror was located at the background. Sunlight came in from everywhere through windows.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Katrina + Colin: Wedding

Katrine and Colin's wedding was our longest Chinese wedding assignment. We shot 2 pre-wedding sessions and worked on her wedding day for 17 hours. However, the day passed so fast with their great helpers, videographers, and the entertainment of pole dancing (performed by guys). This time we had a wonderful time working with the videopgraphers Ringo and Terry from Hong Kong. They did an amazing job in the same-day edited video. I hope we will have chance to work with them again in the future (either in Hong Kong or Canada). At the same time, Sara did great jobs in Katrina's makeups, for her pre-weddings and the wedding day. We will see her very soon in other weddings.


Terry was editing video. He hided at a corner for hours...

Ringo, Jessie, Katrina, Colin, Terry, Raymond (I'm most out of frame)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Katrina + Colin: Pre-Wedding Session II

Tomorrow will be Katrina and Colin's big day. We met their video team: Terry & Ringo (One Shot Production) from Hong Kong. During their video session, we took another set of pre-wedding for them.

I hope tomorrow will have nice weather.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Katrina + Colin: Pre-Wedding Session

Yesterday night's rain was very heavy. We expected to have a wet photo session today. I prepared to get some plastic bags for wrapping our SB-800s. Katrina and Colin came from Hong Kong (they booked us on phone) and their wedding will be on next Sunday in Vancouver. Therefore, we couldn't reschedule the pre-wedding session. Luck was on our side. We got sunshine!

Their photo session is one of the smoothest one in 2009. Time went really fast. We spent couple hours at UBC and took a lot of good shots. We will shoot another session for them one day before the wedding day.