Paul C. Buff - Cyber Commander Interference

I was using Cyber Commander at a client location when my Einstein flashes started to fire intermittently.  I thought it must be the batteries getting low, so I changed them, but no change.  I then pulled out my backup Cyber Commander but that didn't help.  I then thought it was the hot shoe on my Nikon D4, so I swapped it out for my Nikon D3s.  Still no change.

So I switched to my backup Pocket Wizards and they worked fine.

While on the shoot it occurred to me that a similar thing happened about a year ago.  Both times I was at a client who was a high tech software consulting and programming shop.  My guess is that these clients have some very powerful wireless networks.  I have used the Cyber Commanders at dozens of low tech clients with no problem.

My assumption is that the heavy radio traffic at these locations was interfering with my Cyber Commander's radio frequency and that caused them to fail.  I didn't try to change the frequency of the Cyber Commander.  So I don't know if that would help.  Fortunately I had a backup system, I also have a sync cord in case all heck brakes loose and neither wireless system works. 

 

PocketWizard TT5 Problems with Nikon D4

I was trying to use the PocketWizard TT5 with the Nikon D4 with my Paul Buff Einstein Strobes and the PowerMC2 and I noticed a slight delay when I hit the shutter release button.  It was about a one second delay.  I changed up to my Nikon D3S and I had no such problem.  I have sent an email to PocketWizard to see if they know of this problem and see if there is  a fix on the way.

Here is their response:  (net ... net ... it will be a couple months ... July 2012 or so).

Thank you for your inquiry about the D4.  There is a lot of new and exciting equipment hitting the market from both Canon and Nikon and we know many of you are hoping to use them with your PocketWizard ControlTL radios as soon as you can.  Like you, we’ve been waiting patiently for them to show up (yes, we have to wait for them just like everyone else).

Once they arrive, we start the process to make our system compatible with the new gear.  This requires reverse engineering the signals coming up through the hot shoe of the radio, followed by lots of compatibility testing.  This is a complex process that can take a fair amount of time and testing depending on how different the new equipment operates compared to earlier models.

Adding compatibility requires a new version of the ControlTL firmware.  We are trying to include the D4 compatibility in a future firmware update.  With so much new equipment coming out, this may take a couple months and require a few revisions of firmware. Each revision will be released as a beta version that is available to the public first. 

We will announce the availability of beta versions and official firmware releases via our Facebook page and

Twitter feed as well as on PocketWizard.com.  You may also find some feedback from other photographers who have experimented with the equipment, as many have posted their results.

 Here is the link to our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pocketwizards

and our Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/#!/PocketWizard

 

Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 for Nikon Problem with VR Lenses

I had a problem on a shoot the other day with my Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 on my Nikon D3S with a Nikon 70-200MM F2.8 with VR II.  Even though I saw a flash of light come out of my flash, the photo was almost completely dark.  I called the engineering support staff at Pocket Wizard and he said that they have a problem syncing the TT5 when VR is on.  The problem also occoured with my Nikon 105MM F2.8 VR lens.  When I switched to a non-VR lens the problem went away.

THE FIX - while in manual mode, switch your shutter speed to 1/200 and take a photo and then you can change the shutter speed to whatever you want.  For some reason they can get in sync at 1/200 and once they do that they are good to go.