What do you want Paul C Buff to do ?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by walker_angell, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. Debating Pocketwizard vs Cybersync. A couple of things I'd really like to see in the Cybersyncs;
    - Support for TTL of sorts. Would be really nice to have somewhat similar control over speedlights as with Einsteins & ABs. Having the same TTL capability as pocketwizard has should allow that. I don't really care that much for TTL from the camera, just from the cybercommander.
    - A hotshoe on the CSRB+. Having a Flex TT5 stuck on the bottom of a speedlight is really handy for being able to have someone hold it up on location. A bit more cumbersome with a CSRB+ tethered to a flash with a cable.
    I'd thought an IOS app with cybercommander capability would be nice but not sure how necessary that is since you'd still need/want a cybercommander for metering.
    Other stuff ?
  2. AJG


    I'd like a Cyber Commander that does less! It seems to be able to do everything except your laundry, if you can figure out which sequence of tiny buttons to push, and in what order. I've spent several hours on this but haven't cracked the code so that I could use a light on a boom and control flash output, while controlling output on a couple of other lights. For the moment I'm still relying on their earliest remote control for a boom light that connects via a telephone cord, and I like everything about it except the cord.
    TTL exposure control has no interest for me, my work is in a studio and I like my Sekonic incident meters for exposure control. The product shots I've been working on recently are on a backlit plexiglass table, and TTL flash would be a disaster for that--the meter would be trying to make my nice white background 18% grey. I can see your point about a hotshot on the CSRB--that would be convenient. But if you want TTL control with that, be prepared for the multiple versions you will need for Nikon,Canon and anyone else they want to be compatible with.
  3. I also have the Cyber Commander, and while it is indeed useful, it's a bit wee for my taste. I recommend they make a simple little black box with the same brains and bluetooth, and create a phone/tablet app that provides a larger, richer interface to do all the same tricks, relayed by bluetooth through the faceless version of the CC. But, that's just me.

    And: I'd like to see Buff turn is attention to video lighting. If he can hit the same utility/price sweet spot on powerful LED gear for video work, I'd be all over that.
  4. The Nikon/Canon versions is interesting. I wonder if there's any way to sense which is attached?
    For that matter I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of standardization. Something like wireless DMX or ANT for strobes and built in to bodies, flashes, strobes, etc. This antiquated business we've got today would seem to leave the door open for a bunch of folks in the Apple photog club to introduce their own DSLR camera system.
  5. I'd think the blackbox functionality could be built in to the CST. Reliable Bluetooth and Wifi chipsets are readily available, small, and cheap. High school kids are building them in to things. Do a tie-in with Sekonic or Gossen (or write a standardized protocol and tell them to write their stuff to you), write a good IOS app, and they might have something.
    Given Buff's background it's kind of surprising that they've not done anything with video. Then again they may not see the same market niche opportunity with folks like ADJ around.
  6. AJG


    The standardization issue is one you'll have to take up with the camera companies, and good luck with that. Once dedicated flash units became common in the early 1980's with the first auto exposure film SLRs, incompatibility was engineered in so that you would feel you had to buy the camera company's flash. In fairness, TTL flash works well most of the time, and better than what came before (auto thyristor units like the Vivitar 283/285), but the lack of a standard placement of the contacts other than sync is nuisance for independent manufacturers and photographers alike.
    As for using a smart phone/tablet in conjunction with the Buff Cyber Commander, count me out. I'm tired of dealing with wireless networks that time out or suck batteries dry in a hurry. I would like a version that is physically larger and has larger, clearer controls for basic functions, not a do everything device that requires two years of study to use it. I don't need or want a built in meter, but I would like to be able to readily change power levels or modeling light levels without endless menu diving. In nearly 25 years of using Buff products with great success, and flawless service on the rare occasions when I have needed it, this is their only product I haven't liked or found intuitively easy to use.
  7. Andrew, like any new computer systems, using the cyber commander involves less than a dozen pathways. I didn't shoot for 6 months because of a relocation and when started using it a couple of weeks ago had to get used to it again. It became so automatic that after about a week I asked my self consciously to describe what I do, and I really had to think because it is completely out of the way and just lets me concentrate on the real goal, getting my vision. How much is it worth to me. I just had my smoke alarm start chirping late at night and for the second time, the last time hanging seamless, I stepped off the 3rd step of my ladder thinking it was the first. No fractures either time but I rarely climb ladders in studio now because of the cyber commanders and an expan system chain driven system for seamless. The cyber commander makes changing bg darkness in steps instantaneous, giving several different looks and once the bg goes nearly black, a click and two kickers are on and a whole other series can be done. More variety, more images equals more sales. Plus no fractures, priceless. As for service, I rarely see service come close elsewhere. I thought it would be helpful for Buff to have it fired by my sekonic meter but because I have the commander in my other hand and am turning lights on and off and adjusting them from the subject position, I don't know if that would be that advantageous. That has become automatic as well working two hands at a time and I am not terribly ambidextrous. After ratios dialed in, it takes seconds to fine tune from the camera position without leaving my stool and examining the monitor. Again, more shots in a given appointment slot and I can maintain subject rappport rather than breaking the rhythm of the session to go mess with lights.
  8. How about a command line interface, perhaps using a terminal session on a smartphone, and a general purpose microprocessor no more expensive or complicated than a Raspberry Pi built into the device? There is I think a point at which the advantages of having dedicated buttons for key purposes becomes less than the advantage of giving - and saving and reusing - specific commands in something slightly similar to English.
    (For me modern televisions and digital video recorders are beyond that point)
  9. rdm


    What do you want Paul C Buff to do ?​
    Well, I would like Paul C Buff to donate (2) Studio Strobes [ preferably white lightning ultra 1800 or 1200], and any other old unneeded equipment laying around, to a Poor, out of work student (I mean Me).

Share This Page