pocket wizard problems

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by 6Speed, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. 6Speed

    6Speed TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys, I have always heard that pocket wizards are industry standard and that you can count on them to work every time. However, I find them to be very inconsistent when used with my SB-800. At first I thought it was a problem with the 1 of the 3 wizards I have, so I marked each with a number and started doing testing. I quickly found that no matter what combination I used, I always got inconsistent triggering.

    Then we got 3 more pw and have the same results with those. I started to wonder if it were a battery issue b/c some days they work phenomenal and others they only work intermittently.

    I can even manually press the button on the the pw that's attached to the strobe and it still won't fire the strobe. Or sometimes it will fire it, but it will fire it 3 times in a row really quick...like it's got a short or something.

    Today I was shooting a pretty big job and I needed them to work. I put fresh batteries in them and started shooting. I only got them to fire probably a handful of times.

    I was just wondering if anyone else had this problem with them?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have you tried testing the cords? That is probably the weakest link in the chain.

    I have used them and found that they are usually quite good but not without the occasional problem. I know many, many photographers who use them and I haven't heard of a problem as serious as yours.

    Maybe call PocketWizard directly. I heard just today that they have really good customer service...but they may be a bit bogged down at the moment because of the recent release of their new E-TTL triggers.

    I assume you are using the older units, not the brand new TL units?
     
  3. 6Speed

    6Speed TPF Noob!

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    I am using the pocketwizard plus II transceivers. I just did some more testing with them and still got inconsistent results. When I press the "test" button on one, I see the red light on the other light up simultaneously, so I know it's receiving a signal, but for some reason it isn't setting the strobe off.

    I did consider the cord might be the weak leak. I swapped the cord out with another one I had and it fired the first few times then stopped firing altogether.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You only have the one flash unit? If you are having the same problem with multiple units and even after swapping cords...it sounds like it might be the connection on your flash that is the problem.

    Or are you having the problem with multiple flash units?
     
  5. 6Speed

    6Speed TPF Noob!

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    No I tried it with several flashes with same results. I just plugged it into an alien bee and it works everytime! Now I'm really leaning towards it being the cord.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. K Mack

    K Mack TPF Noob!

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    I just stumbled upon the site, and was amazed someone else posted with the same problem! I can't count how many times those things have failed me. I'm glad I bought the Canon IR transmitter. That has saved me. I have swapped all kinds of different cord/pocket wizard combos i could think of, and sometimes I can get them to work, and sometimes not. Then, I plug it into a studio light, and works like a champ. I think its a communication error between the two, too. I also get the red light with no fire. I'm totally fed up with pocket wizard! They are not worth the money!
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bull ****.

    If you two are using cables that have PC connectors, that's entirely the cable's fault. I have a 580EX II that had the same problem until I purchased a screw lock cable and now it fires reliable as long as I don't do something stupid like trying to put the flash in a metal industrial dryer or use a PW with dead batteries. I have two 430EX II strobes that fire flawlessly because they're connected via hotshoe's with a 3.5 miniphone cable.

    Ditch the notion of relying on PC connectors. They're trash and not worth the fact that you're blaming your problem on your pocket wizards.
     
  9. Flaazz

    Flaazz TPF Noob!

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    I need someone's help please.

    I own 2 pocket wizards plus III. For some reason the red led light won't allow me to shoot...I was supposed to start shooting an hour ago. Can someone please help. I own a 5d Mark 2

    Thank You!

    Flaazz
     
  10. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have NEVER had a sync issue with my pocketwizards. I'm going to guess it's the cable, as others have said.
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What do you mean by, "The red light won't allow me to shoot"? Have you ensured that you have fresh batteries in both the transmitter and receiver? Are the batteries installed correctly? What happens when you press the test button? Are they both on the same channel? Same group? How are they connected to the lights?
     
  12. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oooooo, red light flash and no shooting happening? Sounds like dead/almost-dead batteries.
     

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