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Photography Question 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member
robyngphotography.com

member since: 7/15/2005
 

ST-E2 vs. Pocket Wizard system


Hi. I've got studio lights, and 2 x 580 EX flashes, which I quite enjoy using in a smaller environment and would like to do more 'strobism'.... I'm looking at the ST-E2 vs. the Pocket Wizard system and wondering what is the difference? Can I use the ST-E2 to fire my 2 studio lights, or will I outgrow it if I add more lights/580Ex's, or do I spend more on the Pocket Wizard, and use it on the lights and the 580s? It seems the Pocket Wizard can get quite complicated, in that the more lights you have the more Pocket Wizards you need? Can anyone 'throw some light' on this for me?
Thanks

11/24/2009 12:24:24 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Robyn,
Ok, so maybe I am some sort of a throwback here. All I need a device to do is trigger the strobe. I donít need it to exchange information about exposure with the strobe. I set the strobe manually. I use cheap radio slaves from China. The last set I bought off eBay was $45 for one sender and 4 receivers. You can search digital radio slaves at eBay and see a bunch of these things. They do the job and donít break the bank.
Thanks,
John

11/28/2009 12:32:42 PM

 
Paul Stewart
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/14/2006
  I use Pocket Wizards. They are extremely dependable. I have never had one fail...ever. Pocket Wizards will fire up to 1600 feet away. For kicks I hit the test button on my transmitter while I was downstairs one time. The strobes fired upstairs. The signal went through walls and celings to get there. You can get started with two PWs and let the remaining strobes/flash guns fire in slave mode. Pocket Wizards are made in America, thats pretty important to me these days.

12/1/2009 11:27:34 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member
robyngphotography.com

member since: 7/15/2005
  Thanks John and Paul. So, if I have the transmitter on my camera, and my 580 flashes (both in slave mode?) that'll fire them? The transmitter I currently use with my lights, only triggers my lights (or am I doing something wrong on my flash settings. The other thing is, how do I get around the fact that when I have my lights set up at a function, other people quickly stand behind me, to pop off one or two shot, which in turn sets off my lights :( Paul, I'm based in South Africa, so made in the US doesn't help me if things go wrong, and with our exchange rate at about R7.5/USD everything is pricey! :)

12/1/2009 11:39:41 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Robyn,
The ST-E2 offers auto exposure function with your strobes, which is good. The Chinese salves donít. If you arenít shooting weddings this doesnít matter much, but weddings require rapid changes. So the ttl automation is good. I think the ST-2 is infrared, so it might be triggered by other strobes. The Pocket Wizard and the Chinese units are radio, so they arenít triggered by other strobes. I am not sure how much automation the Pocket Wizards off at this point.

I shoot commercially. I have over 15 strobes and often need to trigger most or all off them. I think expensive slaves are not as good an investment, for me, as strobes. The situation is different for a wedding shooter. The Chinese radio slaves go at least twenty feet, which is far enough. When I need longer distance I use an optical slave. You can use them together.

You might want to check out this article on slaves: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine/zpdf/sync.pdf
Thanks, John Siskin

12/1/2009 12:09:12 PM

 

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