Why to pay a fortune for PW system?

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions
wint
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Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
Jan 25, 2013

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

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tundracamper
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to wint, Jan 25, 2013

Besides the easy to use interface, they allow use with studio strobes AND the ability to adjust the output from the camera.  Plus, with some of those strobes, there is HSS, which allows shutter speeds faster than 1/250.  I do not have the PW, but these are a few of the things I know about.

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drh681
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to wint, Jan 25, 2013

Only the people who have crashed a shoot when their cheapy triggers pack it in.

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LincolnB
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to wint, Jan 25, 2013

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

I have the cheap triggers but I can see why some folks buy the PWs, yeah. I'd love to have remote control over flash levels, for example.

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RobertMartinu
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to wint, Jan 26, 2013

The venue assigns  the PW channel number I have to use if I want radio triggers.

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kgbruce01
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Obviously you should'nt
In reply to wint, Jan 26, 2013

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

... but others should. So yo? Don't. Easy.

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UKphotographers
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to wint, Jan 26, 2013

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

I do think that keeping things in proportion is important.

If you can guarantee that you will never NEED TTL, or you will never NEED sequencing, or you will never NEED to synchronise two cameras to a sync signal, or you will never NEED Hypersync or ever NEED to obtain an optimised (higher output) HSS... then you might be OK with chinese.

If you DO think that spending a fortune on triggering underpowered Speedlights/Speedlites is justified, then go for it.

I find Speedlights/Speedlites convenient yet still underpowered, so I spent a fortune on better quality light, higher output light, and a portable, versatile lighting system with its own integrated expandable radio system capable of more than I need which will control any amount of TTL output (if required), and provides real beneficial products which make my life easy as a working photographer. Before buying the radios, I bought the lighting.. fortunately for me I bought Quantum lighting and the FreeXwire radio system which comes with it is brilliant, convenient and simple.

Theres nothing wrong with chinese.. its probably marginally better than the built-in optical slaves that my speedlights possess and I use frequently.

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Ian.
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Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

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wint
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to UKphotographers, Jan 27, 2013

UKphotographers wrote:

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

I do think that keeping things in proportion is important.

If you can guarantee that you will never NEED TTL, or you will never NEED sequencing, or you will never NEED to synchronise two cameras to a sync signal, or you will never NEED Hypersync or ever NEED to obtain an optimised (higher output) HSS... then you might be OK with chinese.

If you DO think that spending a fortune on triggering underpowered Speedlights/Speedlites is justified, then go for it.

I find Speedlights/Speedlites convenient yet still underpowered, so I spent a fortune on better quality light, higher output light, and a portable, versatile lighting system with its own integrated expandable radio system capable of more than I need which will control any amount of TTL output (if required), and provides real beneficial products which make my life easy as a working photographer. Before buying the radios, I bought the lighting.. fortunately for me I bought Quantum lighting and the FreeXwire radio system which comes with it is brilliant, convenient and simple.

Theres nothing wrong with chinese.. its probably marginally better than the built-in optical slaves that my speedlights possess and I use frequently.

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Ian.
http://www.commercialphotographer.co.uk
Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

Could you please talk more about your Quantum lighting and the FreeXwire radio system?

Is it good also for on location? What about portability?

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UKphotographers
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The Quantum QFlash system
In reply to wint, Jan 27, 2013

wint wrote:

Could you please talk more about your Quantum lighting and the FreeXwire radio system?

Is it good also for on location? What about portability?

Quantum lighting is a whole system from a 'Basic' hotshoe Trio without built-in radio (as well as a built -in radio option) to higher powered 'T' series flashes which are all powered by 'Turbo' batteries - through to the 'X' series flashes powered by a power pack controller. The power pack controller is a base 200Ws unit but you can add additional 200Ws packs to that up to a total of 800Ws which then can be split between two heads at up to 400Ws each with each head being capable of individual control. Commonly with the X system, a 400Ws setup is used, but with all these options you get to configure your system the way you want it.

The FreeXwire system is Quantum's radio system. You can use it to control remote TTL, Auto or Manual Q-flashes of 80Ws, 160Ws, 200Ws, 400Ws or multiples of the same. Quantum have been providing remote power control and TTL for years, far longer than any of the other radio companies and they have a host of features designed with professional's in mind rather than enthusiasts. Not happy with just keeping control within the Quantum system they have options for their flashes to be controlled by Canon or Nikon optical as well as providing the ability to control remote Canon and Nikon flashes as part of a Quantum setup.

The radios are fast, built-in or plug-in, can trigger remote studio flashes alongside TTL setups, have long range options, sequencing, relaying and you trigger cameras from them. Their plug-in radios and receivers can be used by both Canon and Nikon meaning that any change in camera system won't necessitate a change of lighting equipment.

All said, it is beneficial to have all your system working together and be able to pick and choose the way you want to work. There are four different ways to control remote flashes ranging from from hotshoe mounted CoPilot controller through the Pilot controller and the radio enabled Trio flash to the more powerful T and X range flashes used as controllers in conjunction with their hotshoe adapters and/or radios. 'And/or' - because radio control can be via a built-in controller/radio or via an add-on radio... just another option. As well as these there are numerous ways 'just' to trigger remotes too.

It's great for location use. I use it all the time and sometimes add Lumedyne to the mix when my Quantum head count are used up. (Sharing modifier fittings makes this easy). Portability is always an issue. At one end you have PORTABILITY and at the other end you have POWER. Every situation demands something different and my solution ranges from a Trio and CoPilot/FreeXwire in my camera bag with a couple of Speedlights to a couple of T5d-Rs and batteries and stands in a shoulder bag to 3 cases containing 6 self contained QPaq 400Ws packs and head kits. With all those radio receivers to keep powered up, its useful to know that they all take their power from the flash heads, meaning that it all saves time from messing with gear so that you can just get on with shooting.

Theres a whole bunch of information at the Quantum site here: http://www.qtm.com

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Ian.
http://www.commercialphotographer.co.uk
Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

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wint
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Re: The Quantum QFlash system
In reply to UKphotographers, Jan 27, 2013

wint wrote:

Could you please talk more about your Quantum lighting and the FreeXwire radio system?

Is it good also for on location? What about portability?

Quantum lighting is a whole system from a 'Basic' hotshoe Trio without built-in radio (as well as a built -in radio option) to higher powered 'T' series flashes which are all powered by 'Turbo' batteries - through to the 'X' series flashes powered by a power pack controller. The power pack controller is a base 200Ws unit but you can add additional 200Ws packs to that up to a total of 800Ws which then can be split between two heads at up to 400Ws each with each head being capable of individual control. Commonly with the X system, a 400Ws setup is used, but with all these options you get to configure your system the way you want it.

The FreeXwire system is Quantum's radio system. You can use it to control remote TTL, Auto or Manual Q-flashes of 80Ws, 160Ws, 200Ws, 400Ws or multiples of the same. Quantum have been providing remote power control and TTL for years, far longer than any of the other radio companies and they have a host of features designed with professional's in mind rather than enthusiasts. Not happy with just keeping control within the Quantum system they have options for their flashes to be controlled by Canon or Nikon optical as well as providing the ability to control remote Canon and Nikon flashes as part of a Quantum setup.

The radios are fast, built-in or plug-in, can trigger remote studio flashes alongside TTL setups, have long range options, sequencing, relaying and you trigger cameras from them. Their plug-in radios and receivers can be used by both Canon and Nikon meaning that any change in camera system won't necessitate a change of lighting equipment.

All said, it is beneficial to have all your system working together and be able to pick and choose the way you want to work. There are four different ways to control remote flashes ranging from from hotshoe mounted CoPilot controller through the Pilot controller and the radio enabled Trio flash to the more powerful T and X range flashes used as controllers in conjunction with their hotshoe adapters and/or radios. 'And/or' - because radio control can be via a built-in controller/radio or via an add-on radio... just another option. As well as these there are numerous ways 'just' to trigger remotes too.

It's great for location use. I use it all the time and sometimes add Lumedyne to the mix when my Quantum head count are used up. (Sharing modifier fittings makes this easy). Portability is always an issue. At one end you have PORTABILITY and at the other end you have POWER. Every situation demands something different and my solution ranges from a Trio and CoPilot/FreeXwire in my camera bag with a couple of Speedlights to a couple of T5d-Rs and batteries and stands in a shoulder bag to 3 cases containing 6 self contained QPaq 400Ws packs and head kits. With all those radio receivers to keep powered up, its useful to know that they all take their power from the flash heads, meaning that it all saves time from messing with gear so that you can just get on with shooting.

Theres a whole bunch of information at the Quantum site here: http://www.qtm.com

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Ian.
http://www.commercialphotographer.co.uk
Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

So, is the Quantum the all in one lighting solution for location and studio?

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UKphotographers
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Re: The Quantum QFlash system
In reply to wint, Jan 27, 2013

You could use it in the studio. I use it on location.

In the studio I use AC powered pack/head/monolights.

The drawback for studio use is that there is no adequate modelling light.

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Ian.
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Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

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Ellis Vener
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Re: The Quantum QFlash system
In reply to wint, Jan 28, 2013

"So, is the Quantum the all in one lighting solution for location and studio?"

Depending on the kind of work you do: Maybe. For the range of work I do, no it isn't. The best thing Quantim makes is the Turbo 3battery which is awesome. I've used their flash system. It's good but I prefer working with Canon or Nikon (depending on the system I am using) TTL controlled "smart flash" systems.

I use and prefer Pocketwizard triggering systems for a very simple reason: reliability.

If you are making your living from photography you need to deliver results not excuses and you also need to be able to use your time and more importantly your client's time efficiently. I've been using radio triggering systems since the mid 1980s and switched to Pocketwizards in the mid '90s. I now use MultiMAX and ControlTL systems. My experience over thousands of commercial and professional assignments, many in extremely challenging industrial situations, is that they are 99.999% reliable.

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UKphotographers
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Re: The Quantum QFlash system
In reply to Ellis Vener, Jan 28, 2013

I tried the Pocket Wizard ControlTL system for Nikon after it had gone through its numerous beta testers. It was the most buggy, unreliable trigger I have ever used and I wouldn't wish anybody's life away for them to keep up with the continual firmware updates to get it working.

It didn't last a day in my hands before all the bugs became evident - it was so bad.

I'll stick to what I know works.

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Ian.
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Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

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DecibelPhoto
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Because there is nothing better, and it is the industry standard
In reply to wint, Jan 29, 2013

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

The majority of PW's used in the industry are the PLUS-II models, without TTL.  This is what you will see at almost any fashion, editorial, or advertising shoot.  When it comes to performance and reliability, no other option has proven superior over years of use at any cost.  These are slowly being replaced by the PLUS-III models.  I only know of one photographer that uses a TT-Mini on camera along with his PLUS-IIs.  I don't know a single professional photographer who uses TTL with studio lighting.

For most professional photographers, paying $140 for anything is pretty cheap.  Buying some Chinese brand that may or may not work well and that might not be around in 3 years to save $100 isn't very appealing.

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Karamany
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Re: Why to pay a fortune for PW system?
In reply to wint, Jan 29, 2013

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

Had the same question... why PW are so expensive, and I was really thinking to buy Pixel King because they had lots of positive reviews and much more cheaper for someone like me who is taking it as a hobby and not earning any money from it.

PW software is buggy, and yes, sometimes you face un-justified behavior of the units and you need to switch everything (the camera, the flash & the units) off and then ON again to solve it.

From marketing videos, you see things so straight forward and easy, in reality they are not.

Still I bought PW for a single reason: Because my light meter integrates only with PW, this enables me to trigger my Flashes as well as control their power from the meter itself.

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wint
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Re: Because there is nothing better, and it is the industry standard
In reply to DecibelPhoto, Jan 29, 2013

DecibelPhoto wrote:

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

The majority of PW's used in the industry are the PLUS-II models, without TTL. This is what you will see at almost any fashion, editorial, or advertising shoot. When it comes to performance and reliability, no other option has proven superior over years of use at any cost. These are slowly being replaced by the PLUS-III models. I only know of one photographer that uses a TT-Mini on camera along with his PLUS-IIs. I don't know a single professional photographer who uses TTL with studio lighting.

For most professional photographers, paying $140 for anything is pretty cheap. Buying some Chinese brand that may or may not work well and that might not be around in 3 years to save $100 isn't very appealing.

For studio only I understand and what about events, weddings when TTL is essential?

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DecibelPhoto
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Re: Because there is nothing better, and it is the industry standard
In reply to wint, Jan 30, 2013

Well for one, I would say that TTL is not essential for events and weddings, especially for off-camera flash. What do you think everyone did before the PW flex system?

But I do understand that many people use it for that purpose these days, and I'm sure this is the type of situation where it is more often used.

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Port Royal Dad
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I paid a kings ransom for my Radio Popper PX, with my 580EX's
In reply to wint, Jan 31, 2013

wint wrote:

Those who buy PW and pay a fortune, I understand that justifies only the TTL version tt5 and tt1 because over previous versions without TTL, today chinese has many good solutions at a fraction of the price.

Does anyone disagree with me?

It's a personal preference for how you/anyone wants to approach lighting, or what your work flow requires.

But Ohhhhhhh Boy....do I love my RP PX's. Love the fact that my 580EX's are always sync'd, all controlled from the on-camera master- manual, Ettl, ratios, plus HSS.

I'm just some amateur schmuck-ah-tellie, but I do love my Radio Popper PX system.  Never got bitten by the PW bug.

Regards, Mike

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shooter2
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Re: I paid a kings ransom for my Radio Popper PX, with my 580EX's
In reply to Port Royal Dad, Jan 31, 2013

My old blue PW were purchsed in 2001. They still work just fine. Only issues I have had were when I dropped a camera and broke the transmitter shoe. Since I had a spare, it got me through the day. Swapped shoe from a receiver that nite and ordered 2 replacemts from PW. One is still in lighting case

I have also been researching a TTL solution for events when it is not possible to meter every time. Every chinese one seems to have an achilles heel. Pocket wizards seem to be quirky at times. I watched a buddy tear his hair out at an event with them. Quantums would be nice, but the cost and learning curve are daunting. I know UK has been using them for years and they are second nature to him. But I think starting fresh with them (2-3 flashes and getting 2 turbos fixed) would be costly in time and money. The turbos have new cells and need to go to Quantum. But they quoted me 6 weeks. So I just re-celled my Sunpak tr2000 at batteries plus and they are lighter and last longer than my 2 working turbos.

So, with the new lower price of RP and no real learning curve, I think they are in my crystal ball. And I wont have to sell my beloved SB800s

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Port Royal Dad
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And that was the key for me!!! Great point!
In reply to shooter2, Jan 31, 2013

shooter2 wrote:

So, with the new lower price of RP and no real learning curve, I think they are in my crystal ball. And I wont have to sell my beloved SB800s

Being a speedlight junkie, I simply loved the fact that the Radio Popper PX attached to my 580EX's and there was no learning curve.  Just set them for either Canon or Nikon flash...and you're up and shooting.  I had forgotten about that...it was the key deciding factor for me....

Regards, Mike

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