Cape Town Wedding Photographer | Eric Uys | Blog » Artistic Wedding Photographer based in Cape Town

Love PocketWizard, Elinchrom Ranger Quadra & Alien Bees & Profoto! (update!)

I have the AC3 Zone controller, the FlexTT5 and the MiniTT1 pocket wizard units. I love that fact that I can shoot high sync flash during the day at a f/stop that is all the way open, just blurrrr that background to smithereens! What I don’t like is the power output of the strobe units that do work with the systems, I can almost never use a softbox and I have to keep my subject in the shade for the best effect. I then read that they had brought out the ST4 controller unit that will work with Elinchrom units and as a bonus due in fact them being all genius, it would sync your standard studio strobe at whatever speed you wanted it to sync to. IN OTHER WORDS, I could shoot with a full power studio strobe at f2.0 at a shutter speed of 1/8000 s. There were no words in my mind, just a big fat overgrown WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE going through every fibre in my body.

After dashing over to Orms in town, I sadly discovered that the PW ST4 Elinchrom unit does not work with my Elinchrom set, another set of words went flying through my mind but I would be banned from the internet for life if I displayed them here. I was shattered, almost heart broken with dispair. How could this be? I crave the power of full power studio strobe light but light from yonder window breaks! Yes I became all poetic and melancholic, I even bought a cape on eBay and howled at the moon.

2 weeks later, I dragged my bed ridden corpse out of the bathroom when the doorbell rang. I forgot that I had ordered a new power pack unit for my AlienBees strobe unit, the new vagabond mini. A smile creeped onto my face, I was content with joy. Plugged it in and low and behold it worked out of box, perfectly. Mini high 5’ed myself and I was good to go. But go where? Nowhere for the time being, too much work to catchup on. Then I noticed something, that made me notice something else, so I noticed that I had noticed something. My brain went: “Hmmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I stuck this thingy in that there hole?”

Ok for the non perverts I was referring to the mini strobe jack also known as the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Alienbees flash unit and the FlexTT5 sporting the same plug. So I connected the FlexTT5 to the flash port on the Alienbees unit with a male to male 3.5mm headphone cable. I mounted my MiniTT1 onto my Nikon D3 and pressed the button, I liked it and pressed it again and again and again and this is what happened…

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Yes that is correct! ISO200, f2.8 at 1/500 sec on a Nikon D3! SYNCHRONIZING with an ALienbees flash unit AND an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra. YES YES YES, can you feel it?? HUH HUH HUH (You have to imagine the scene in Ace Ventura Pet Detective where he solves the crime in the hotel room, where Roger Pedactor fell to his death from. I was able to sync all the way upto 1/8000 s!
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The next set of images have been shot with sunlight coming in through the window. The exposure for the sunlight was exactly at 1/2000 sec at f2.0, ISO 200 and the flash synced perfectly to balance the two. My Alienbees unit was set at an 1/8th of  full power. The MiniTT1 unit was on my Nikon and the FlexTT5 was connected to the Alienbees unit via a 3.5mm cable. That’s it!

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So in short, I was able to sync my Pocketwizard units with studio strobe units at 1/8000 of a second!! Think of the possibilities!!

UPDATE!: Added some photos I took of my brother with my Elinchrom flash at various settings.

Elinchrom and pocket wizard

Elinchrom Ranger Quadra

UPDATE!:

Since being appointed as an official Profoto Brand Ambassador I have had the opportunity to play around and test the syncing abilities of Profoto gear. I am happy to announce that the Pocketwizards sync amazingly well with the Acute B 600R battery packs. They work all the way upto 1/8000th of a second at full power! You might have to play around with the offset timing in the configuration settings of your Flex TT5 unit but it’s very quick and easy. Remember that you have to have the Hypersync function switched on in the configuration settings via the Pocketwizard utility program.

 

July 11, 2013 - 15:15

Eric - Hello Mike, in the centre photo above the flash was not at full power. If I remember correctly it was around 3/4 power

June 27, 2013 - 21:12

Mike - Hi again In the centre photo above, when you are Hypersynching are you setting your Flash power to FULL?
Thanks.

June 23, 2013 - 00:53

Eric - Hi Mike, no Im not able to control it from camera, its good ol fashioned manual slave labour induced :)

June 22, 2013 - 18:35

Mike - Hi Eric!
With regards to the Elinchrome Quadra setup and TT5 in Hypersynch, are you able to control the Elinchrome Battery power from the AC3 on Camera?
Regards,
Mike
(canon 5D Mk3)

June 12, 2013 - 19:45

What Can HyperSync Do for You? - [...] as he’s been using HyperSync in a lot of his portrait and wedding work. He’s done an excellent blog post on the subject but our favorite quote, which dates back to the release of the PowerST4, was this; [...]

September 26, 2012 - 11:18

Eric - Thanks. It’s just left at default settings

September 15, 2012 - 07:50

Samo Vidic - Hi Eric,

nice work!

What was offset timing on Acute B 600R?

Thx

Samo

May 17, 2012 - 16:29

Eric - Hello Camara, I have been using this setup without problems for a while. check out my recent lighting workshop for more samples. I shot those with Profoto lights but still the same concept!

April 18, 2012 - 06:20

Dave C. - Thanks for posting this! I have a Mini TT1, and a FlexTT5 on my B&H wish list right now, but before I pull the trigger, I was wondering if you have any more recent experiences with this set up with your B1600. In particular experiences in full sunlight. If all is well, I’m going to try this with my Einstein’s…

January 26, 2012 - 14:35

Eric - @Kevin, the power settings I used varied, I don’t think I used full power on any of these, depends on the light. I did not note the exact power settings.

January 17, 2012 - 18:52

kevin - eric –

what power were your AB’s and ranger heads set to in your flash examples?

thanks, kevin

December 4, 2011 - 22:47

Eric - Hello Dragan, when I get a chance I’ll update with a screen shot of what my settings are, but just for the record I didn’t change anything from factory standard. I’ll also be doing a shoot sometime soon with some Profoto gear to see if they also work with the Pocket wizards. cheers

November 29, 2011 - 23:37

Dragan - Hi Eric,
I’ve been trying the whole day to get the right settings in the TT5. I was using 1/4000sec at f4 and Iso 100 with many different combinations in the TT5 utility. My Ranger Quadra does not like the settings yet.

Your were talking about the Offset being 0. This setting has no effect on the P2 jack plug. It would be nice to see the whole Hypersync/HSS and Flash tab settings you have…

Thank you!
Dragan

November 2, 2011 - 12:14

Eric - Hi Franck, what I did was not change the factory defaults at all, I just used it as is. Please let me know if anyone else has encountered the same outcome as I did! I’ve only seen one other post on the web where someone was able to sync upto 1/2500s, I have been able to sync upto 1/8000th!

October 8, 2011 - 22:30

franck - Hello,

i just buy a ranger quadra with pocketwizard tt1 and tt5 .After some test i can not find the way to go up to 180 speed syncro with my canon 5d mark ll

Is some one can help me with the config i have to entrer in the software to go up speed like i see here.

thanks in avance

September 5, 2011 - 12:31

Eric - I have updated with more images!

September 5, 2011 - 12:09

Eric - Hello Rey, I have the S head, I have heard that the faster sync speed of the A head does not help to achieve the same results, as the slower speed flash duration is needed for the whole frame to be exposed.

August 30, 2011 - 03:47

Rey - Great review, Eric. Thanks. I will be getting a quadra this week and have been using my D700 with the minitt1/AC3 combo and flextt5s on my SB900/SB800. I was wondering what type of Quadra head have you got in the photos. Is it the S or A head? Are you able to use the AC3 on the Quadra as well? Thanks in advance.
Best regards, Rey.

August 17, 2011 - 17:37

Anthony Peyper - That’s amazing!!!! BRILLIANT even!!!!! I wonder if it will work with my Elinchroms. Strange thing is that I start seeing a faint bit of “shutter sync gradient” (or whatever you call it) in the frame when I shoot over 1/160 sec….
Ever experienced anything like that?

August 16, 2011 - 17:08

Eric - Yes Anthony, no powerST4 was involved, I don’t even have one.. I wanted to go buy one but glad I did my little experiment cause I don’t need it!

August 14, 2011 - 15:15

Anthony Peyper - I think I am getting confused with the PowerST4 and the FlexTT5…
Are you able to sync up to 1/8000 with the FlexTT5 on it’s own?

August 14, 2011 - 15:00

Anthony Peyper - Very interesting! Been wondering about this for a while now…tell me, how did you connect the Elinchroms to the setup – you mention the 3.5mm headphone jack (m2m) for the Alien Bees – did you use the same method?

June 30, 2011 - 12:43

Paul Mc Carthy - I would appreciate a little advice on off-camera flash mounts.

I use Pocket wizards and I recently bought a Manfrotto adapter for mounting my 580 EZ2 and an umbrella. The little plastic hot-shoe adapter is rubbish and I am looking for a stronger preferably metal hot-shoe mount.

Can anybody recommend one for me..

Thanks and I enjoy this blog a lot, very informative

Paul
paul@eskerlodge.net

June 26, 2011 - 18:46

Eric - Hi Andrew, I am not sure if that will work. I wanted to get the pocketwizard unit that controls the Elinchrom units (think it’s the ST4) only to find out the Quadra’s unfortunately do not work with that unit. I have used my SB900 to sync with my Quadras but I had to switch my SB900 to strobe mode, not TTL. Don’t know if the 580’s have that ability.

June 26, 2011 - 03:34

Andrew Collings - Hi Eric
Thank you for your information. I currently use the Canon 580 EXII’s and the RadioPopper system at weddings. In the studio I use Elinchrom. I’m interested in getting some Quadras to replace the remote 580s. Here’s my question: is there a way to sync the Quadras to my camera even if I’ve got a 580 on the camera? And I’d also like to be able to remotely control the power on the Quadras. Could I, for example, have a TT5 on camera, 580 on the TT5, and then a TT5 (or other PocketWizard product) on each of the remote quadras? If necessary, I could control the power on the quadras with a spare skyport transmitter whose only function would be to control/adjust the power of the remotes. Now that I think about it, I have 4 MultiMax units that could be used to sync the quadras. Would that work??

June 22, 2011 - 22:54

Eric - Hey Pierre, I have the 110 volt 1600 head but their new head which is a kind of all in one head, does not have that problem with it’s universal multi power selector built in, they have also made it an all in one flash, from a very weak flash output to a very powerful output, package that with a vagabond mini and it’s an awesome setup! the older flash head such as I have does have color inconsistencies from flash to flash but the new one is apparently more accurate than a profoto pack!

June 21, 2011 - 11:50

Pierre - This is a very interesting article. I will invest in the flexTT5 at a later stage. For now though I am very interested in Alienbees…how do you find them? And how do you manage with the voltage difference in SA?

June 7, 2011 - 12:57

Eric - Bart, yes that is correct, I connected my flexTT5 directly to my Quadra set with the 3.5mm jack cable. I initialy tested it to see if I could trigger my studio flashes with my pocket wizards and out of curiosity upped the shutter speed to find to my surprise that the flash was syncing all the way up. I still want to do a ful test outside and blog that but I have not had time yet but it should be up soon! just out of technical curiosity, my setting in the PW utility program are as follows: on the sync timing tab, Hypersync offset is set at 0 and the checkbox is NOT ticked and Hyper speed sync begins at 1/320th.

Application version – 2 (build 100)
Loader version – 2 (build 7)
Hardware version – 105-103

Let me know how it goes! goede dag vir jou!

June 7, 2011 - 10:46

Bart - Hi Eric,

thanks for your review. I’ve been dealing with this matter for a while now: I need to flash on a sunny day with a open aperture; so I need to flash on a fast shutter speed. I use Nikon camera’s which mean I can use the SB900 to do this but I need more power and accessoires like softboxes. So I get myself a Elinchrom Quadra set like you did.
Instead off using the AB flash head to trigger the Quadra I was wondering if you can connect the FlexTT5 direct to the Quadra and still use the fast sync speeds. Did you try this? Cause this makes me really protable and saves me buying another flash system.

Hope you can help me out.

Best regards, Bart

June 3, 2011 - 17:06

Riekert Cloete - Nou is ek offisieel jaloers. You are gonna be unstoppable.

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