Strobes.. optical or PWizard

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by bdp, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. bdp


    Just wondering as I'm in the process of purchasing strobes (White-
    Lightning) if I should just let them trip via the built in optical
    slave, or put them on PocketWizards to make sure they fire properly.

    Usage would be for a studio setting and to bring to a reception for
    ancillary lighting.

  2. Always with proprietary slave systems unless you enjoy having guests trip your lights when at a reception.
  3. Bob,

    For a studio setting, the optical slave is fine. At a reception with many guests using their point-and-shoots you're strobes will light up like the 4th of July. Get the PWs and enjoy.
  4. PocketWizard all the way.
    Samantha Bender
  5. Some of the P&S cameras use a rapid burst of flashes to help stop red-eye. If you use a photoelectric trigger with fast-cycling monolights, you may blow fuses in the power circuit or even your flash. A Pocket Wizard (or equivalent) is the only way to go.
  6. Pretty much what Edward I. said, unless using the Canon system with their ex flashes.
  7. Pocket-Wizards for the reasons posted above, and the reason you stated yourself ... " or
    put them on Pocket-Wizards to make sure they fire properly."

    "Fire properly" are the operative words. Even the best optical slaves can fail to "see" the
    trigger flash if blocked from view at a distance. Just had it happen at a location shoot
    using Profoto Mono heads.

    Another plug for that specific brand is that more and more studio generators are featuring
    built in Pocket-Wizard receivers, and Sekonic meters can be purchased with built-in

    Someday mono heads will also come with receivers built in.
  8. It's nice to have the PocketWizards if you've got plenty of money to spend on equipment. You can get by in the sudio and at the receptions with the optical slaves, I have been now for 14 years. You do need to be aware of the guests flashes triggering your system but it isn't much more than a minor annoyance. You can also help limit this problem to some extent in deciding where you are going to place your backdrop in the venue.

    I think it may be more of a worthy investment if you plan to do some multiple light coverage at the church and the hall in your future, which is what I'm planning on. For now, the PocketWizards are on my "wishlist" but they're not at the top.
  9. " ... to bring to a reception for ancillary lighting."

    I took that to mean lighting with-in the Reception Hall as opposed to shooting against a
    backdrop that you can locate away from guest P&S flash.

    Last time I tried an optical trigger at a reception I could hardly get in a shot ... and the
    strobes were popping off as soon as they recycled.

    But to each his or her own.
  10. I just re-read your post and it appears that you're wanting to use the white-lightnings for ancillary lighting at the hall. I had assumed you were talking about using as portable studio lighting for backdrop portraits at the reception....oooops, nevermind.
  11. Yeah Marc....we timed that just about right, huh? I agree, optical slaves around the venue isn't gonna be very practical. Seems like the white lightning units are a bit of an overkill for ancillary lighting though.
  12. lb-


    "Someday mono heads will also come with receivers built in."

    norman makes a couple.

    The last dynalite pack I bought had a built in PW receiver as well.

  13. Thanks Lucas. I know a bunch of pack makers are offering Pocket Wizard receivers built in,
    the Profoto generators we use do, but I didn't know if there was any mono heads with it. The
    Profoto Monos I just got didn't have them, so now I'm out another $500. to radio slave them :
  14. lb-


    "The Profoto Monos I just got didn't have them, so now I'm out another $500. to radio
    slave them : -( "

    ha, you're not getting any sympathy from me :)

    I think photogenic is also selling some mono's with built in PW receivers.

    I'd love a Pro-7B kit but my old norman 200 and 400B's won't break so I've no excuse to
    pony up for the profotos :)
  15. Had to go Profoto Lucas. Not for weddings as much as commercial location assignments. All
    the studio lighting is Profoto so I couldn't mix systems and then have to get duplicate
    accessories like all the light modifiers we already have.

    Nothing wrong with the Norman stuff, and now they come with Pocket Wizard built in !!! In
    fact, that's the system I'd go for for weddings and location portraits if that's all I was doing.
  16. lb-


    My favorite thing about the normans is the cost. The last used 200b I bought was $150 or
    so with 2 new batts and a new charger!

    Plus the only weddings I shoot are on the beach so when I drop another one in the
    water I
    won't be too upset :)

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