sports photographers with pocket wizards

Discussion in 'Sports' started by abdul smith, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. ive noticed while watching a few ncaa and nba games that there are photogs
    covering who seem to have a pocket wizard or some sort of wireless transmitter
    attached to their camera...just wondering what the purpose would be since
    obviously a sporting event is an uncontrolled environment where strobes can't be
    used...or am i wrong?

    just curious..
  2. The strobes are mounted on catwalks, on the backboards etc.
  3. interesting..never considered it.
  4. they used to use the Pocketwizards older , now discontinued big brother, the Flashwizard. Basically the Pocketwizard MultiMAX does everything the much larger Flashwizard system did (And maybe more) for about 1/2 - 1/3rd the price.
  5. I use off-camera strobes at basketball games all the time. Why would you think strobes or flash couldn't be used?
  6. Not sure about the OP, but I know that I can't use flash or strobes at all here in FL.

  7. >> Not sure about the OP, but I know that I can't use flash or strobes at all here in FL.

    I think you'll find plenty of photographers in Florida that use strobes and flashes.
  8. For those of you that do use strobes, what is it that you are using? and how are they mounted and powered?
    I have yet to see strobes without modeling lights and I would be sincerely interested to know what everyone is using, as I shoot rodeos at night and indoors.

    Larry V.V.
  9. Ideally, this is something you'll want for large arenas for overhead strobes triggered by PWs. However, smaller, simpler solutions are available for smaller venues such as using your existing speedlights.
    Also, PWs are used to trigger remote cameras for various creative vantage points. Most commonly seen are over the rim basketball shots and overhead volleyball and gymnastic photos. Check out for that and is also a good resource.
  10. I typically use two 580EXs when shooting basketball and wrestling. Here is a writeup from my blog showing my setup for a basketball game. Follow the Bouncing Ball
    Who knew that earlier this season UMBC would make it to the NCAA Tournament?
  11. I'm gonna be using a remote camera for baseball this year - I'll be shooting from outside the outfield fence with the 500 lens, and will have remote camera with 50mm lens mounted on fence and aimed at home plate to catch the steals and slides. Just using a wireless trigger. No idea how it'll work out, but expect it will be good.
  12. For hockey if I'm justing hanging around and taking "snapshots", (or I'm lazy), I use a couple or 3 SB800/28s hanging off the glass bounced off the ceiling fired by PW's.

    If I'm being more serious or somebody wants something specific (and I'm not too lazy:) ) I use 3 WL1600's (should have 1 more so I can have 2 in each end - goalline and bluelineish) again fired by PW's and again bounced off the ceiling.
  13. Stay away from those strobes that mounted in indoor arenas. They don't belong to you and if you using them without authorization you will be escorted out from the event.
    These strobes mounted by professional photographers, having contract with the arena and events and bought by the very same photographers.
  14. Don't know what the last poster meant. How can someone use the strobes in the areana if they don't belong to them?

    BTW - One can also use the PW to trigger the remotely mounted camera.
  15. Vishi, Sometimes people use other photogs lights without getting permission. It's easy to do (sometimes) if you own a pocket wizard and find the channel that the lights are used on.
    Read more about the problem here.
  16. Some of you people are getting a little off topic.
    I asked the question about the strobes because it's an idea I could use.
    No mater where I'm shooting, I have permission to be there and do anything I want, because I'm the official photographer for that event.
    I'm the one that would probably ask someone else to cease what they are doing, although I usually don't, unless they are in my way.
  17. Larry,

    I use White-Lightnings (and sometimes remote canon speedlights). I use superclamps to mount them. Once in a while I will use lightstands. I bring extension cords and try to find the nearest outlets to plug into. Either turn off the modeling lights or take out the modeling light bulb.
  18. Forgot to mention safety cables and insurance.
  19. I liked the idea of the Super clamps, the Vivatar flashes from the strobist or Nikon SB800's with the radio transmitters and receivers or pocketwizard II transceivers.
    Thanks a lot everyone.
  20. I might add that using the SB800's and a Nikon D200, they are already wireless with each other.
    The drawback is, if I'm using a wizard or flash in my hot shoe, the PC plug on the camera body is over ridden and doesn't work.
    I do like to use my Metz CT60 handle mount flash and might purchase the digital version, Metz 76 MZ-5, digital handle mount flash.

  21. HI Larry

    Not sure what your doing but the PC works just fine on the D200 with a flash in the hot-shoe. I do it all quite regularly.

    I have a SB800 in the hotshoe and plug my PW into the PC port. Works like a charm.

    My PW's fire SB28s so the remote function of the D200 won't work with them.

  22. Oops, my mistake.

    The PC doesn't work if you use the built in flash, not the hot shoe.

  23. LArry,


    Mostly what are used are 2400 watt-second Speedotron Blackline packs and Speedotron 140 quad-tube heads. Quad tube heads are used as you can either hook each tube to its own pack so you can shoot 4 full power shots in very quick succession (each pack with it's own receiver and channel and the transmitter set to rotate A>B>C>D ) or so you can divide the power up from one or maybe two packs between the 4 tubes and get very short flash duration. The heads may be fitted with high intensity narrow angle "sports reflectors" to throw a lot of light a long distance.

    In basketball arenas there are usually one such set up over the net and maybe another over mid-court. Same with boxing matches.

    If you can find a copy of it there was a great book by newspaper photographer Jon Falk that had a chapter that outlined how to set up up these kinds of rigs for basketball and indoor track meets.

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