Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pocket Wizard MiniTT1. It'sd a love/hate thing...

Is it possible to covet something and resent it at the same time?

That's how I feel about the new Pocket Wizard Control TL remote triggers.  Here's the way my brain works:

Pocket Wizard has released new remote triggers that send the TTL signal to your remote flash by radio.  This means that you can place your flash up to 30 ft away from your camera and have it still act as if it's attached to your camera.  In the past the only way to do this was to use a long flash cord or use the Canon built-in infrared remote trigger which requires line-of-sight to work and can has problems in bright sunlight.  In the past if you wanted a radio remote it had to be a dumb-fire device that just triggered the flash with no power management at all (everything was done manual).

Now, pocket Wizard has released a new remote that does it all for you.  They have, so far, only released the Canon version (Nikon can suck it).  Radio Popper already had something simiar on the market but the Pocket Wizard seems better for several reason, not the least of which is the fact that it mounts to your hotshoe and not to your flash.

I want a set of these remotes badly.  Shooting with manual remote flash settings is easy when you are in a dark place but it gets quite a bit trickier when you are shooting outside in sunlight since the ambient light affects your total exposure.  This all becomes a piece of cake when you are using TTL because the camera does the adjusting for you.  Also, there's the benefit of being able to adjust your flash settings from across the room.

That's the covet part.

Now comes the resent part:

You mean to tell me that any dweeb who has $500 to shell out for these remotes can now shoot off-camera lighting setups without having to spend the time it takes to learn proper manual lighting?  Any guy with $500 can now come pretty close to replicating the work of the guys who spent 100 hours working out the math with their manual triggers so that they could shoot anywhere in any light?  I resent that.

I know it's progress.  I'm sure that many photographers were annoyed when they invented auto-focus!  Still, part of what makes you proud to be a professional photographer is knowing that you put in the time to learn how to do this tricky stuff. 

Everytime they make it easier a little part of me dies.  :)

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