Monday, August 30, 2010

How to justify buying Mini TTL

Flash being held by the subject's Dad who
graciously helped out after the flash foot
snapped off...
I've been thinking about buying the new PocketWizard TTL remotes for my flashes.  Every other week I will go online and read the reviews again, eventually deciding to wait because they're a little pricey and I have perfectly good Cybersync remotes.  Then something happened yesterday to force my hand (at least that's what I keep telling myself.)

I was shooting a Bar Mitzvah boy on Clearwater Beach.  Normally, my assistant Jodi is along on these sessions but she had a pile of homework so I went solo.  Instead of using a shoot-thru umbrella, I decided to use a Lumiquest III mini-softbox.  The umbrella would just be too dangerous on a semi-windy beach without Jodi there to hold it.  The softbox wouldn't be a problem.

I was wrong about that.

About half way through the session my tripod fell over and snapped the foot off my Canon 580EX flash.  The base of that flash has been replaced with one that has a built in socket for my radio receiver.  It costs $45.  So, now I'm looking at a $45 fix for my flash. 

Cheers to my subject's Dad, who stepped in and held my flash for me the rest of the session!

However, I still have the original base for that flash.  I can put that one back on and save $45... but then I won't have a way to connect my radio receiver....unless, perhaps, I don't need to connect the receiver because I am using a Mini TTL which is a hotshoe mount and requires no cord!  AH-HA!  Now I have the justification I need to buy the Mini TTLI'm saving $45!  (This is how my mind works.)

Add to this the fact that Pocket Wizard is offering a $25 rebate on each unit (I need two, transmitter and receiver) and the fact that Amazon has started selling them at a discount... plus, I'm an Amazon Prime Member which means I get next-day-air shipping for $3.95.  Why, I'm practically MAKING money!  Woo-hoo!!

So, I put my old base back on my flash and ordered the remotes.  I have a Senior Model shoot tomorrow and they should be here in time to test them out.

There was one other thing that pushed me to finally make the switch.  After the flash broke, I switched to Canon's infrared system.  I rarely use this system because of the sight-line restrictions but yesterday I worked around it.  It was so much faster to not have to manually adjust my off-camera flash.  I thought, "Wow, it would be great to shoot this fast all the time."  Of course, with the Mini TTL I will be able to do just that.

I'll write a review once I've tested them out.

Booray Perry is a Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer.  See his work at