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A7Rii with PocketWizard

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On my Canons, I use PocketWizard triggers - a MiniTT1 and 2x FlexTT5's...  

 

From blogs, online discussions, etc... I've seen plenty of references to people successfully using PW's on A7 cameras.  However, when I try to use them on my A7Rii, it just doesn't work.  I do see a blink on the trigger's LED when the shutter is pressed (so it seems to be sensing the actuation), but nothing registers on the receiver.   

 

I've obviously checked to make sure the trigger and receivers are on the same channel.  I've tried every Flash Mode available in the R2 settings.  Have also tried my 580EXII speedlight mounted directly on the camera, and it works.  But no matter what I try with the pocketwizards, they just won't seem to fire.  Anyone have any experience or ideas on why this might be happening?  Some setting I've just overlooked probably?

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I don't have experience with the PocketWizards in the Sony hot shoe specifically, but I have found with other triggers that getting it seated in the hot shoe just right is key, making sure that center pin is making proper contact.  For instance, however you're inserting the trigger now, try turning it around and inserting it "backwards".  Depending on how the mount for the PW is designed, it might align the pin better in that orientation.  Good luck.

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I just confirmed my PocketWizard Plus III works fine on my A7R2. Syncs full frame at 1/200th sec and lower with off-camera flash. (I'm not trying to adjust the exposure, my flash is in manual mode). Also note, it does not fire in silent mode.

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I've been able to use the Pocket Wizard tt1 on the A7RII.  I used the MC2 reciever on an Einstein stobe.  I also had an AC3 attached to the tt1.  I was able to fire the flash in manual mode - the AC3 allowed me to go from full to 1/128 power from the camera position.  Set your flash up with the tt5 receiver and see if you can trigger it from the test button on the tt1 from off the camera.  If it doesn't work with the tt1 off camera, the problem isn't with the camera.   If the 580 still won't fire, check the little switch on the base of the flash that moves from master to slave.  I don't remember the setting you need, but if it isn't right the flash doesn't fire.

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Just a note to clarify, in case anyone stumbles here with the same or similar problem.

 

I did figure this out.  Just had to plug them all in via USB, and used the PocketWizard utility program to switch them over to "Basic Trigger Mode".  Now they work like a charm.

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I never used a PW, so the question: will it support TTL in this "basic trigger mode" (I have an A7II)?

If not, is there any flash trigger brand which will support TTL on the Sony A7II?

Thank you.

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I never used a PW, so the question: will it support TTL in this "basic trigger mode" (I have an A7II)?

If not, is there any flash trigger brand which will support TTL on the Sony A7II?

Thank you.

Yes ... almost ... soon ....

You an always use a small Sony flash to trigger large Sony flashes ...

Or, the nissin Di700A system has an Air Commander as trigger, and will soon have a small slave available (I hope)

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FYI: This is what Pocket Wizard tech support says about using MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 on A7RII:


For the most mirrorless cameras and other non-compatible cameras like Hasselblads, Mamiya Leaf cameras, and others, using manual power control with your ControlTL radios and remote speedlights is simple. You will need a MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 with an AC3 ZoneController on your camera. You will need FlexTT5s attached to your remote speedlights. The basic procedure on how to set your radios up is below:

1.) Put a MiniTT1 (or FlexTT5) in the hot shoe of your non-Canon or non-Nikon camera.

2.) Slide your AC3 ZoneController into the top shoe of the radio on your camera. Make sure all Zones are set to M or 0. A mode is not supported for non-compatible cameras.

3.) Place your remote speedlights into the top shoes of the receiving FlexTT5s.

4.) Set remote speedlights to TTL mode on the back of the flashes.

5.) Turn on your remote speedlights, and then the receiving FlexTT5s

6.) Turn on your transmitting radio, and then the camera.

7.) Use the camera to fire the flashes! You can adjust the AC3 dials for remote manual power.


Some of these notes may also be helpful:

* Update your firmware! The ability to use an AC3 and ControlTL radio on a non-compatible camera was added in a recent firmware update, and this feature will not work using old radio firmware.

* Make sure your camera has flash usage enabled. Some cameras (like the Fuji X-10 and X100 cameras) cannot use flash when Silent Mode is enabled.

* If the smaller TTL pins in the hot shoe of your camera line up with the radios’ TTL pins, the radios try to communicate with the camera, which can result in bad exposures. Use tape to cover all but the large center pin in your camera’s hot shoe if you see problems with your radios or flashes.

* The MiniTT1 has an auto-standby feature that is enabled after 180 seconds when an AC3 is mounted in the top shoe. You may need to press the “TEST” button on the side of your MiniTT1 if you experience missed exposures after this time period.

* You may notice a lower overall maximum sync speed when using manual power control on your non-compatible camera. If you want faster flash firing, use Basic Trigger mode. Basic Trigger Mode disables manual power control. To enable Basic Trigger Mode, connect the radio to your computer with a USB cable. In PocketWizard Utility, navigate to the "Misc" tab, and then check "Basic Trigger Mode." Navigate back to the "Channel" tab, and select your desired Channels. When you are satisfied, click "Apply Changes."

* Power control with non-compatible cameras is only possible if the radio brand matches the speedlight brand. For example, you need to use Canon radios if you have Canon Speedlights. This feature will not work with flashes that are not compatible with the ControlTL system.

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I was having the same problem with the miniTT1 on my A7Rii and mounting a canon 580ex on a flexTT5 until i went in and set my C1 to basic trigger. If I had an AC3 it would make for a more remote controllable setup, but for now I am very happy to have a functioning speedlight. Thanks to all above for suggestions.

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I'm going to attend a photo workshop that says they'll be using Pocket Wizards to trigger their studio flash setups. I'm an A7Rii owner but I don't have a PW to test ahead of time. They'll loan me one there, so I'd like to know what A7Rii settings will work with PW. Sony tech support was of no help today and could tell me nothing about "basic trigger mode", or "manual flash", or even non-ttl mode. Searches of the Sony User Manual pdf yielded nothing for these terms. So my questions to the forum are as follows:

 

Has anyone here attached a Pocket Wizard trigger to an A7rii camera to use with studio flashes? If so can anyone tell me in simple terms what settings I need on the A7rii to function as a manual flash in non-ttl mode?

 

Thanks in advance

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1) Manual Exposure Mode with a synch speed of 1/250 sec or slower ( could be less since in Manual flash there may be a delay so 1/200 or 1/160sec should be OK): all of this since the triggers are not telling the camera there will be a flash burst

 

2) White Balance to Daylight or Flash setting (or custom setting for someone really knowing his stuff): again the camera does not know there is a flash about to burst so it can't make proper adjustment compared to what it is seeing with ambient light only

 

3) LiveView setting to OFF: this will allow you to see your scene in a more realistic way and confirm focus more easily since in darker environments you would see an image that is either too dark or even pitch black

 

4) Fixed ISO to something the workshop teacher will probably mention since the flash units will be set in a way that requires a fixed exposure/ flash power.

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michelb, I'm thinking you've only addressed a portion of my question. My previous camera was a Canon 5D mkII where the menu allowed me to select a manual flash mode specifically for the purpose of negating any default ttl or pre flash communications between camera and flash unit. If this was not set properly results would be a darkened image. I'm familiar with these discussions in the Canon manual, but found no corresponding references in Sony's A7Rii User Manual. I'd like to confirm that my Sony camera has a manual flash mode, but neither Sony's tech support, nor Sony's documentation, (nor your answer, michelb) gives me any indication.

 

Specifically I'll be using a borrowed Pocket Wizard at my studio workshop, and I was hoping someone could tell me about camera settings. What michelb be has offered me in his response are generic settings for a workshop, but I note there is no mention of Pocket Wizard. I've seen some previous discussion indicating the fill-flash mode "might" be what is needed to best communicate with a Pocket Wizard. Personally I was thinking the wireless flash mode "might" apply. Again I've had no luck with Sony's tech support or documentation, so I'd really like to confirm with someone who's attached a Pocket Wizard to an A7Rii in a studio session as to what their settings were.

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On Sony/Minolta cameras, there is no such thing as a manual flash mode. To use manual flash with a dedicated flash, you need to put the flash itself in M-Mode and this can be used in A, S or S-modes. You will not be using a dedicated(communicaring) flash or trigger since the Pochet Wizards are not likely to be Sony dedicated.

 

With a generic non-communicating flash or trigger (anything that does not communicate properly with the body ie: any Canon,Nikon or other either not designed for your Sony or in this case pocket wizards), you first need ro apply the settings i mentioned otherwise you won't get proper exposure settings relative to the flash power and ISO setting , won't get proper WB due to body not knowing there is an approximately 5000 degree Kelvin light about to happen and Live view off to help with viewing your subject (try looking through your finder with a shutter speed of 1/250 sec at F8 at ISO 100 in M-mode in a night/dark scene)

 

I don't know how old/young you are but this would be a bit like going back to flash bulb flash of the 1950-60's but using radio trigger so your camera settings will have to be made in a similar fashion as back then.

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michelb, if I've been remiss in thanking you for taking the time effort to offer reasonable response to my questions, then let me thank you now on no uncertain terms. However, can I ask whether you've an A7Rii together with a Pocket Wizard? I've been watching a couple of boards and getting mixed answers. One confusing posting suggested that something about the center pin of the Sony hot shoe will "likely" work best with camera set to "fill-flash". Sony's User Manual also describes (and provides no details) for a "wireless" flash mode. Admittedly I don't own a Pocket Wizard, and I'm trusting those who run the workshop will be well aware of what settings work for Nikon and Canon. Increasingly I'm finding in the Sony world there either are few photographers working in studios with otherwise "standard" lighting, or at least few that are willing to share relevant details.

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Please bear with me for a minute.

 

I have:

- A7r and A7II (plus an assortment of A-Mount bodies)

- All of the Sony/Minolta dedicated flash units that work (and still do with the proper adapter ) that were made as far back as 1999. They kept their original features in spite of all of the changes that occurred in flash technology over the years. 

- Quite a few older flash units that can still work in Manual mode, on Dumb triggers.

- A set of Elinchrom D-Lite it 4 and 2 

 

- A full set of Phottix Odin/Mitros+ and Strato II Multi WL triggers that can work in combination of WL TTL/ HSS for some and Manual for others and i can even mix TTL and Manual in combination. The compatibility with some off-brand flash units is however impossible but ALL of my above mentioned Sony/Minolta flash units work as they should.

- The Elinchrom Skyport that came with the D-Lites that can be considered "Dumb Triggers"

- A full set of iShoot PT-04 WL dumb triggers ( about 10$ for trigger and 12-15$ for each receiver) that i use often in combination with my older flash units from 1977-1983. These are sometimes limited in X-synch speed to 1/2 stop below X-Synch ( 1/125 sec versus the body capable 1/160 sec ) but they have provided me with unparraleled reliability and worry free use. ( If i drop one or break one, 12$ is not a big deal ). Sorry to say but the Pocket Wizards you are about to use, will be the equivalent of these since they will not be able to talk to the camera the way advanced models should.

 

Please don't ask me to buy some pocket Wizards over and above what i have !

 

About what you saw about placing the body in fill-flash mode ( i only see OFF, Auto, Forced, Slow,  Rear and WL as options on my body), i see no use for this since this would be an advanced feature to be used with a dedicated flash only. Forced Flash would be the one to choose.

 

About using WL Mode, this only works with dedicated flash units that have this capability and only a few models have the capacity to be used as a WL Controller. If you place the body at that setting with any non communicating unit in the shoe, things may not work at all since the WL setting will be looking to communicate with the controller flash it is expecting and may not even trigger a flash when you release the shutter. A good book like Gary freedman's eBooks would let you see how simple it is.

 

Pocket wizards from what i saw on the internet are either "Dumb triggers" or dedicated to a particular camera brand (and i only saw Canon or Nikon compatible on their site for their advanced triggers) 

 

( please note i am calling the triggers as dumb here for the sake of explaining that when they do not communicate with the camera body through the proper hot shoe contacts, they can not be used in advanced TTL or other modes sometimes. I am not calling anyone dumb here since flash can be complicated or for some advanced operation either, they only act as flash trigger when the shutter gets released. There was an issue on another site about this expression and i just want to clarify before anybody makes any interpretation of the term when used with WL triggers or non-dedicated flash units)

 

Canon or Nikon compatible triggers will only work with the brand they were designed for in advanced modes. They become dumb triggers when used with a camera that has a different array of contacts in the hot shoe. Notice that the flash contacts on a Canon camera does not match those of a Nikon Flash and this will become obvious. Sony's new shoe called MIS shoe has most of the contacts in the front portion hidden under the front lip of the shoe so there is no way the camera body will communicate anything with any flash or triggers that don't have this type of contacts. By the way the Nikon shoe is apparently not standard in that it got lengthened over the years to increase the number of contacts and sometimes the central contact does not align well with some flash units or triggers. If at your workgroup, they use Nikon triggers, they may or may not work at all unless the front of the shoe on the trigger gets shaved a bit. Maybe you want to inquire about which model they will be using at the workshop.

 

Because of all of the above, this is why you need to set-up the body with the 4 settings i mentioned in my earlier post.

 

Long time Sony users that use flash in a professional matter are likely to be posting on another site like Dyxum since this site is kind of new and long time users have the habit of staying on their regular site for sharing information. This flash system is an evolution of the former Minolta technology that Sony purchased 10 years ago and the changes that occurred since then were followed by these old timer users and to use a studio set-up, these people are accustomed to using dumb triggers with a simple adapter.

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............ is there any flash trigger brand which will support TTL on the Sony A7II? ....

 

 

Yes.

 

 

I have the Godox TT685s ("s" for Sony) which I use as an off-camera flash, but it can also be used as a "commander" on the camera. Additionally I have the (smallish) Godox X1Ts which I use as a commander on my A7R2. TTL works as it should. I paid a total of UK Pounds 150 for the two items, including shipping from the UK to France.

 

I can adjust flash power output (down only) from the controller, but not the flash zoom. Zoom has to be set on the flash.

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I can confirm that DLP's description works on my a7RII with AC3/MiniTT1 on my camera and FLEXTT5/SB900 (nikon speed light) with output from the speed light controlled by the AC3.  I will check later how well this will work to trigger my Einsteins 640 with the PowerMC2.

 

THANKS DLP!

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