(This post is exclusively about the Nikon Based Pocktwizard Flex TT5 and MiniTT1 units)
In the past Sekonic light meters with transmitter triggers were not capable of triggering PocketWizard mounted remote Nikon Speedlights to output the light values specified by PockeWizard mounted on camera commander units.
If one wanted to trigger the speedlights with a Sekonic light meter, light output had to be specified manually from the Speedlights themselves. The way around was to specify the light output with the on-camera commander unit and to take a “dummy shot” to fire the speedlights.
Sekonic’s latest Radio Trigger RT-32CTL and the firmware updates for the Sekonic lightmeters and PocketWizards Flex and Mini units address this issue and make the entire process much more convenient for photographers.
For example; If you place a Nikon Speedlight on a PocketWizard FlexTT5, and then mount a commander unit (AC3/SU800/SB800-910) on to an OFF CAMERA transmitter FlexTT5 or MiniTT1 and choose the output from the AC3, now you can fire the setup from the your Sekonic and get the light output specified by the AC3.
Photographers can now place three lights (groups) wherever they want, walk up to the subject and fire the lights from Sekonic and make the changes from TT5/TT1 mounted OFF CAMERA commander unit and measure the light output.
How is that for convenience? No more running up and down, lowering light stands or opening up soft boxes.
Yes there are one or two bugs – but at the time of writing this post the firmware for PockeWizard Flex TT5 and Mini TT1 units are beta versions (3.110)
I have updated my Sekonic L758DR, all my Flex TT5 units and tested them with my seven Nikon speedlights.
Here is how to update and configure the Lightmeter, Flex TT5 and Mini TT1 to work with the new Transmitter unit RT-32CTL
This is how I configured the system to work for what I do – channels and configuration settings are interchangeable.
For this example I have used
- Sekonic L-758 Light meter fitted with NEW RT-32CTL Transmitter
- PocketWizard FlexTT5 unit with the beta firmware (3.110)as the remote receiver
- PocketWizard MiniTT1 unit with the beta firmware (3.110) as the on camera transmitter (A Flex unit can be used for this)
- PocketWizard AC-3 Zone Controller as a commander unit to change the light output level.
- Nikon SU-800 Commander unit as another commander unit change the light output level.
My configuration settings were as follows
- C1 configured to communicate via ControlTL channels. (For CLS and to use the new system)
- C2 configured to communicate and trigger via standard channels
(Configuring C1/C2 to communicate via Standard Channels gives the user the ability to use extra Speedlights in manual mode if required.)
Start with the Light Meter
- (We are going to use ControlTL Transmit Channel 1 to trigger our Speedlights in Configuration C1, and Standard Channel 32 for Configuration C2)
- Insert the the New RT-32CTL Transmitter unit to your Sekonic L-758
- Download the latest firmware for your light meter and update the meter via Sekonic Data Transfer Software
Once the firmware is updated and the Wireless Flash Radio Triggering Mode is selected (Pages 28-30 of the L-758 Manual) the display starts to show light meter’s new acquired ability to trigger ControlTL channels.
Note the CH1 before the A,B,C (ControlTL 1 is selected/left alone at default)
Radio Trigger Module is designed to emit both the ControlTL transmit channel and Standard transmit channel signals at the same time.
L-758’s display automatically toggles to show the standard channels as well. Note the selected standard channel (32) before the A,B,C,D
Download the latest firmware and update your PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 units
Configure the PocketWizard Transmitter Unit
I have used a PockeWizard MiniTT1 as my transmitter unit. Mini TT1, despite it’s lack of “receiving” ability was able to act as the transmitter module – well done PW!
C1 was configured for Control TL, Note the selected ControlTL transmit Channel (1).
Configuration C2 of the transmitter unit MiniTT1, as stated above, was configured for standard Channel 32. Note the selected Standard Channel (32)
Finally, Configure the remote receiving PocketWizard FlexTT5 unit
Note: Since this is the receiving unit, concentrate only on the lower “Receive” box, “Transmit” box area is of no importance unless you want to use this unit as a transmitter.
Configure C1 to Receive ControlTL signal
Make Sure to tick “Use ControlTL for Recieve Channel” check box
Configure C2, to receive Standard Channel 32
Note: Configuration C2 is selected and “Use Control TL for Receive Channel” is UNCHECKED
Now you are ready to rock & roll.
The system works only in Manual mode, meaning you need to select “M” mode on your AC3 or SU800/SB800-910
I have checked the system with my PocketWizard AC3 Zone Controller and Nikon SU800 on a PocketWizard MiniTT1 on and off the camera. Yes it did work off the camera – which was the whole point!
At this stage, based on my testing the firing is about 95% reliable. Due to some strange reason the system was quite adamant at the start, and refused to fire. However, after the test button on the MiniTT1 was pressed just once, everything started to work fine.
At least couple of times the system “forgot” to change the power output once it was re-set with the commander unit, but one extra test trigger from the light meter sorted everything.
Hopefully PocketWizard will crush the bugs when they release the official firmware!
Disclaimer: Everything stated on this blog post was based on my personal testing and what worked for me during a single test shoot- your mileage will vary . It is your responsibility to check your system before a shoot. I take absolutely no responsibility for the way you set up your system or the reliability of it.