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


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