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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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 ūüėČ

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 ¬†received 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





Mixing Pocket Wizard and Profoto Air sync

21 02 2012

So, here’s the question I think a lot of people are asking. Could it be possible to mix strobes fired by Pocket Wizard devices along with others fired by Profoto proprietary Air Sync radio system in a studio setup? I was VERY glad to find out last week that yes, it is totally possible. However, if this kind of setup appeals to you, read on to be sure you fully understand how to succesfully mix both system.
First of all, it is very important to understand that a Pocket Wizard radio cannot trigger a Air Sync radio and vice versa, simply because they don’t transmit on the same frequency. So let’s say you have a Pocket Wizard Plus II on your camera and you want to trigger a Profoto acute b2 equiped With Air Sync, it’s not going to work.
The way to make everything work together is to have both systems in parallel at the same time. Let me explain.
To do this, you will need at least a pocket wizard transmitter and one receiver and one Profoto tranciever (Air Sync or Air Remote) and one receiver.
The simplest setup would be to slide the Profoto tranciever into the hot shoe of a Mini TT1 or Flex TT5 and then slide that combo into the hot shoe of your camera.

That way, the pocket wizard will relay the signal to the Profoto tranciever just like it does when there’s a speedlite instead of the Profoto. You can now fire your two systems at the same time without delay. Pretty cool don’t you think? It eliminates the need to attached another PW to your already radio compatible Profoto.

You can see my images here:





Another quick behind the scenes of a simple studio product shot

15 01 2012

Hey all,

Here’s another really quick post about the setup I used to make a few editorial product shots for iStockphoto. At the beginning, this was just a lightning test, so the shots are not that creatives, but I tried to add a little something for the last one. First, Here’s the studio setup.

I used 4 strobes. the key light is a Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 with a umbrella. The kicker is a AlienBees B800 with a small square Lastolite Easy box. The fill is a Einstein E640 in a 64 inch silver PLM with front diffuser fabric, overhead. Finally, the background is illuminated with a Canon Speedlight 430EXII with a blue gel. I used a Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS. The flashes were triggered with Pocket Wizards Mini TT1, Flex TT5, Zone controller AC3, Power MC2 or simply by optical slave for the AB800.

And here’s the shots:

For the last one, I decided to try the shortest flash duration of the Profoto¬†Acuteb2 AirS 600 which is supposed to be around 1/6800 at t 0.5. I replaced the AB800 by the Einstein as the kicker and set the Profoto to -4 and Max (fastest flash duration setting). I removed the overhead fill. I’m pretty satisfied with the results. At 100%, the flash tail is still visible, but it is very usable if the subject isn’t moving too fast. For this shot, I used old gliding wax scrapes to ¬ęsimulate¬Ľ snow.

So here it is, your comments and questions are always welcome.

www.pocketwizard.com

www.profoto.com

www.paulcbuff.com





Behind the scenes of a simple cross-country ski studio shot.

10 12 2011

Hey,

I’ve been away from the blog for a loooooong time, but decided today to post a short behind the scene article on a simple studio shot that I made for microstock photography.

Since there are not a lot of photos out there about cross-country ski and even less about wax preparation, I decided to do some tests in studio and it turned out pretty well.

It is a really simple setup with 3 strobes. First, here’s the final image.

And here’s the studio setup:

The main light is a Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 in a PLM umbrella with a front diffuser (I Love this umbrella, especially for portrait). Second light is a backlight. Alien Bees AB800 with a 10 degree grid. I had to put a ND 0.3 gel in front because I wanted a pretty small depth of field.

Finally, the background light was a Canon Speedlight 430EX II zoomed at 24mm with a blue gel to give the nice cold color. A small white foamcore was used to bounce some light in the front.

All flashes ecxept the AB800 were triggered with Pocket Wizard radios. On the camera, I had a Mini TT1 + AC3. The Einstein had his own MC2 and the Canon was on a Flex TT5. The AB800 was triggered with its own slave.

The camera was a Canon 7D with a Canon 50mm F/1.4 attached.

Settings:

ISO 100
1/125 sec
F/3.2

Thanks and see you soon with a few more behind the scenes.

www.paulcbuff.com
www.pocketwizard.com





Fitness photos with Canon and Pocket Wizards.

29 04 2010

Hey everyone,

Today, I’m posting two photographs I made last sunday on the Mount-Royal, in Montreal.

The two photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1D MARK II N and a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I used to hate this lens and came very close to sell it because it gave me crappy results wide open at F/ 1.4. I got used to the Zeiss 50mm Planar F2 on my Leica M8 and I can say that this lens beat the Canon by far for the sharpness wide open (for me, the Canon is unusable at 1.4). HOWEVER, I now realize that the Canon 50mm has a wonderful bokeh in comparison to the Zeiss. I sort of figured out that the best way to use this lens is by starting it at F2. That way, I can get decent sharpness AND a really beautiful bokeh.

By the way, those two shots were taken using the Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5 with a Canon Speedlite 580EX. I first got some range problems with the radio remote. I’ll have to test it to find out if my problems were caused bye the noise emitted bye the 580EX or simply because my radios were to low, close to the ground.

Here are the photographs.

Thanks

PL





Some thoughts about the Pocket Wizard’s Mini TT1 and Flex TT5

17 04 2010

Hey!

Today, I’m posting some thoughts about the Pocket Wizard’s Mini TT1 and Flex TT5 for Canon. I bought them 2 weeks ago because I have been so frustrated with the Canon own wireless system. The Canon STE-2 worked fine indoor for studio like shots, but as soon as I brought it outside, what a pain….!!! To be honest, you just can’t rely on infrared outside and I’m sure a lot of you reading this already know that. Solution? Mini and Flex. I really need to do more testing outside with those, but so far, it is pretty awsome!

Another great thing about those Pocket Wizards is that I can use my very old 540 EZ Canon flash that I still own because nobody wants to buy it! It works just fine with my Canon EOS 1D MARK II N. Of course, TTL is not working, but it can be used as a hairlight or a background light. It even works fine in manual mode, mixed  with my 580 EX in TTL mode.

Here’s a studio shot I did today ¬†with this setup. The 540EZ pointed on the white background with a Flex TT5 attached to it. The main light was a 580EX in slave TTL mode. On the camera, a Canon STE-2 was mounted on a Mini TT1. The STE-2 for the 580 and the Mini for the 540.

Thanks for watching!

PL