/////Profoto air vs Pocket wizards
Profoto air vs Pocket wizards2009-11-20T10:18:41+02:00

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Profoto air vs Pocket wizards

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  • Ryan Drummond
    Participant
    Post count: 1344

    Need a set of triggers and was told of the new Profoto air system http://www.profoto.com/air/air-kit.php#kit35

    What are the thoughts on these vs the venerable Pocket wizards.

    The use is for both studio flash and off camera flash.

    Thank you
    Ryan

  • janosa
    Participant
    Post count: 575

    Well, I think it depends largely on what lighting gear you already have. If you have a Profoto 8A pack or the Air monolights, I’d definately go for the Air as it adds a lot of functionality. If you own older Profoto gear or other brands of lighting, then you have to start looking at specific features and decide what you realy need. Then you can make a decision.

    If we look at price alone, the basic Air unit is priced between the PW plus II and the Multimax. Appropriately so as it has some of the grouping features of the Multimax but not as extensive a feature set. If using your lights in different groups is necesary, the Air is a cheaper alternative to the Multimax so would be a very tempting option. If grouping is not an issue then the PW plusII is cheaper still. If you have no intention to purchase a top of the line Profoto pack then the PlusII might be the better option. If you want to do rear curtain sync and use Canon gear, PW is your only option.

    Another consideration is availability and usability in different areas. The Air utilizes 2.4 gHz which is internationally usable without restricion and the same model is available everywhere if you work internationally and need to buy or rent an extra unit in a pinch. Also, from many reviews the 2.4 gHz range seems to be slightly more reliable, but I can’t say to what extent. It should also be noted that many radio devices have started adopting that frequency, even the cheaper Chinese manufacturers & I’m guessing its for a good reason (other than the antenna being smaller). The PW frequencies are country specific with three variants available and using a unit not specified for your country being “illegal”. Also, PW’s are starting to be widely available in many shops in SA which again might also be a factor if you need an extra unit in a hurry. Don’t believe Profoto is as widely available in SA.

    I think the Profoto units is quite attractive with much the same functionality as the Elinchrom Skyports, only better with much more range & without the issue of struggling with odd or rechargeable batteries that might become a problem, though at a much higher price point. I think the only thing stopping it from being a major contender is price. It is also unlikely to dethrone the old king for professional use. If I were in the market for triggers and didn’t own Profoto gear already, I’d be looking elsewhere. I’d be looking at either the newer generation 2.4 gHz Chinese triggers that have recieved glowing reviews (Yungnuo RF-602), Pocket Wizards or Alien Bees. Depending on budget and application.

  • Ryan Drummond
    Participant
    Post count: 1344

    Hi Janosa

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply, I do shoot Canon and want the option of second curtain sync. I dont intend to work internationaly and taking your advice into account the PW is the one I will go for.

    Thank you for the advice
    Ryan

  • janosa
    Participant
    Post count: 575

    Glad I could be of some help. Just remember if you do want rear curtain sync with PW’s, you will have to use at least one Multimax. The Multimax has to be on the camera with the rest of the units being either Multimax or PlusII depending on the features you require and budget:).

  • Ryan Drummond
    Participant
    Post count: 1344

    Thank you Janosa, I am thinking to get 1 Multimax and one Plus2, and that I can get aditional recievers as I need.

  • Niklas
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Hi guys,

    Don’t want to be too much of a sales person, bit can I make a correction? 🙂

    The Profoto Air Sync’s provide pretty much exactly what the old, reliable PWII’s does. The main difference is, as janosa pointed out, the frequency.

    Other reasons to go for the Profoto units is the fact that they’ll give you twice as many channels as the PWII’s and three times the range.

    However, they do not provide any functionality like the Multimax, so if that’s what you need, then Multimax is the way to go.

    Price wise, Profoto Air is cheaper than both the Multimax and the PWII.

    Hope that helped a bit.

    Niklas

  • Andre2
    Participant
    Post count: 198

    I use these Triggers no wires and it have a great range. No misfires so far

  • QuickPic
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    If TTL is a consideration, these might be worth a look –

    http://www.pixelhk.com/en/prolist.asp?c_id=322

  • Sean van Tonder
    Participant
    Post count: 395

    @andre2 181402 wrote:

    I use these Triggers no wires and it have a great range. No misfires so far

    And where did you buy them?

  • QuickPic
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    @sean van Tonder 181760 wrote:

    And where did you buy them?

    Those look like the CTR-301’s. A better choice might be the RF-602’s (by the same manufacturer). Best place I’ve found them is http://www.ebay.com.

  • Jaco Fourie
    Participant
    Post count: 509

    If you don’t want any problems then PW is your bet. I have a Radio Popper set as well to get TTL in direct sun light. But you can only bay them in the USA not here.

    Here is a shot with the Radio Popper PX system. shot at F2.8 in direct sun light.

    RC_0040.jpg

  • Forgiss – Sean Nel
    Participant
    Post count: 6513

    @niklas 181355 wrote:

    Other reasons to go for the Profoto units is the fact that they’ll give you twice as many channels as the PWII’s and three times the range.

    Really?! are you sure?

    The Profoto site says the range is 300m and Pocketwizard PlusII is 500m (plus, you can bounce their signal, ie… use one as a repeater)

    My personal opinion is to go PocketWizard.

    PW’s can handle up to 12fps shooting or receiving and switch on the fly. If you need more channels, buy an extra multimax unit. If you need TTL buy one or two Flex units… the system can expand with your future needs.

    Most importantly, they work both ways. Camera can trigger lights, lights can trigger camera, a third can trigger lights and camera, or camera can trigger another camera, etc, etc, etc…

    They also work on virtually every lighting system available… from stock standard studio to strobist builds.

  • Ryan Drummond
    Participant
    Post count: 1344

    Thank you For posting your experiences,

    JDP thank you for your great info and for posting an image for me.
    Forgiss, as usual, great info, Thank you

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