Mixing three different lightning systems together. Profoto Air, Pocket Wizard and Canon optical sync.

15 05 2013

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Hey everybody!

Today I thought I might share a great thing I finally made work yesterday. I’ve tried this a few times before and either it didn’t work of it was unreliable. However, I thought of something different yesterday and it worked just fine. It is also very reliable. I was able to sync a flash triggered by Profoto Air system, another one triggered by Pocket Wizard and finally, I was also able to triggered speedlites with Canon proprietary optical line of sight triggering. All this in sync!!

First, I tried to put the Pocket Wizard TT1 in the hot shoe of the camera and the master flash, a 600EX-RT, in the hot shoe of the Pocket Wizard TT1. That’s the scenario in which I had unreliable results. I then had an idea to put the Pocket Wizard TT1 in a separate hot shoe triggered via a PC cord plugged in the PC Sync port of the 5D Mark III, and then I put the 600EX-RT in the hot shoe of the camera where it belongs. Magic!!! everything fired in sync. I even have TTL with the speedlites!

This setup let me with another option. The hot shoe of the Pocket Wizard TT1 was still unused! That’s why I slide the Profoto Air Remote in it. Magic again!!! Three very different systems, all working together even if they weren’t design to do so!

I’ll try to shoot something worth showing and I’ll come back with some exemples.

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Powering a Canon 5D Mark III with a Vagabond mini!!

3 10 2012

Over the last year, I’ve worked on a few projects as a DP for my friend Chris. Over that year I have acquired a lot of knowledge in video production, which I had never done before.

One thing that I realized is that power comsuption is very high in video mode for all HDSLR ( obviously). That means that you have to change batteries about three times on a normal shoot day. That also means that you have one more thing to worry about on a already over busy day. There are a few solutions out there to take care of that problem, but they often involve a lot of money:

You can buy a battery grip for your camera.
There are very nice but very pricey solutions from Anton Bauer.
Etc
Or…

You can buy an ACK E6 adapter from Canon and a Vagabond mini from Paul C buff and you have a very nice and acfordable battery solution for your HDSLR (around 350$ CAD).
It can be a little bulky, but you now have the opportunity to plug another device in the mini (let’s say a monitor) since you have two sockets.

With only the 5D plugged in, I’ve never depleted the battery more than a 1/3 of it’s power for a total of 4.5 hours of footage (on and off). Pretty impressive!!

And if you’re a photographer, it will double as an awesome battery solution for your strobes, or a great source of power for timelapse photography.

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Astonishing 5D Mark III

30 07 2012

Hey all,

I got my Canon 5D Mark III back in March in the first pre-order batch and I’ve been amazed ever since I started using it. I’ve always held back on the 5D Mark II because of its lack of speed. I used to shoot a 1D Mark IIN. So last summer, knowing that a Mark II replacement was coming, I bought a 7D to keep me waiting. I must say that the body feels pretty good and it is a very nice camera for speed work and video also. However, I was never satisfied with the image quality of this camera. Above all, I discovered recently that it front focused!!.

So here comes the 5D Mark III! What a perfect camera for my needs. It is small (compared to a 1D series body), fast (relatively), the IQ is awesome (especially with some lenses) and the high ISO is just insane (really!!!).

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35L f1.4 ISO 8000

I did a wedding early July. As there is still no support for the 5D Mark III within the Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 and Mini TT1 (as of July 2012), I decided to go completely available light, knowing that the Mark III did awesome in earlier events that I did. As you can Imagine, the reception room was pretty low in available light. I had with me the Canons 35L 1.4 and the 85L 1.2, but I wanted a fast shutter speed (who doesn’t?). To be comfortable, I pushed the ISO up to 8000 !!! Really, 8000! Whoever tried that on a Mark IIN or a 7D know what I’m talking about! This high ISO is just impossible to use on these two camera and I guess it is the same for the 5D Mark II. But with this new baby, it is not only possible, but remarkably good for events (I wouldn’t shoot stock at ISO 8000!) Add a little noise reduction in Lightroom 4 (about 30) and the file looks really nice.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35L f1.4 ISO 8000

I’m glad I didn’t used flashes at the reception, because it would have killed most of the nice pinkish bluish ambiance. Here are three photos taken during the dinner/party at ISO 8000 so you can judge for yourself.

Thanks!

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35L f1.4 ISO 8000

Thanks for reading. You can find my images on my iStockphoto portfolio by cliking on the banner below.





One strobe and the new Canon 5D Mark III

16 04 2012


Hey,

Last week-end, I went to my parent’s for the easter holiday. I know a really cool place there where I used to go bouldering when I was in high school. I knew it would be a perfect spot to do a few trail running photos. It would also be a very good opportunity to test my brand new Canon 5D Mark III in a real shooting situation.

My lovely light stand ­čśë

So I brought with me the 5D III, a few lenses and my Profoto AcuteB2 AirS kit with a 60 inch shoot thru umbrella. This is the exact same setup that in this other post, but the umbrella is bigger and it made a big difference in the final images. How? because it lit the entire scene, thanks to the very wide beam spread of the shoot thru umbrella. Here’s a good example in the next photo. The trees and the subject all ┬áreceived the light they needed and were adjusted in post.


Even if the 5D Mark III has a maximum sync speed of 1/200 sec and the flash duration of the Profoto Acute B2 is not short enough to ”catch” a runner. I think it did a very good job showing just enough motion to be great.

I used a combination of Pocket Wizard Mini tt1, Flex tt5 and Profoto Air sync trigger. The Pocket Wizard were used to trigger the camera while the Profoto Air Sync fired the flash. (I was the runner, so I had to use a remote solution).

In this case, the ambiant was about 2 stops under the main flash, giving just enough fill light to complete the shot.

In this photo, the ambiant was probably about 2/3 stops under.

Thanks for reading. You can find my images on my iStockphoto portfolio by cliking on the banner below.

www.profoto.com

www.Pocketwizard.com