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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Feb 2011 (Saturday) 12:29
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NOt impressed with bowens, not impressed with pocketwizard

 
Gel
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Feb 05, 2011 12:29 |  #1

Right, a little bit annoyed with the whole situation.

I bought a new set of 4 Bowens 500R pros.

Nice lights, fans in to combat heat, generally very good. One of the nice things that attracted me was the slot in wireless cards.

So.....as a pulsar user I bought the pulsar cards. They were crap, basically. I had a simple setup of a lastolite pop up background with a light in, card inserted and two fill lights in front. So all carded up.

Despite this, totally at random any one of these lights didn't fire. They'd be fine at first then go wrong, then be fine, then go wrong. I can't operate like this and call myself a pro. The furthest any light was away from me at any one time was 2 metres.

I thought to myself, that's it, over to pocketwizards.
I ordered the PW slot in cards, bought myself a Multimax transceiver and thought this would be it. But it wasn't.

When I finally got the cards to recognize the trigger (and remember the setting) 25% of the time one of the lights wouldn't fire.

For those familiar with the multimax, 'A' on the lcd would be one light, 'B' would be the other. with A + B selected B wouldn't fire 25% of the time. In some cases it would IF I moved closer to the lights. I can't really call it interference because I ftested flash A by walking 6 metres away from it and it still fired.

So, basically, what the hell?

I'm content in staying with pocketwizards now but want to know the BEST wireless receiver option for the multimax other than the cards. Because today I had a shoot using the old Pulsars, which were fine but often they can be problematic and I need something 99.9% reliable if it exists.


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PacAce
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Feb 05, 2011 12:52 |  #2

Your best bet would be to get MultiMax units for each strobe although that could get very expensive. But at least you can set them to specific channels and zones and not have to worry about them drifting off frequency.

I've never used radio cards before so I have no experience with them. But don't they set their channels by "learning" it from a nearby transmitter? I'm just wondering how reliable that method is or if there's a tendency for the cards to relearn another frequency, or just forget what it's learned, when there's RF interference nearby. I'm not saying that's what's happening. I'm just wondering because I've never had issues with any of my MultiMax units or the PW RF module in my Sekonic light meter.


...Leo

  
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EL_PIC
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Feb 05, 2011 13:04 |  #3
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[QUOTE=Gel;11782443] So, basically, what the hell?

/[QUOTE]

Hell is a place of torment.
The Bowens fourm will help you out more than this place.

FWIW - I use older 500WS Bowens Esprit II with Pulsar and the only negative issue
is you need good clean contact with trans/rec and fresh good batteries.
But thats true for all equipment - its std. operating proceedure ...


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Gel
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Feb 05, 2011 13:17 |  #4

I considered giving Bowens a chance on this but to be fair. The signal isn't reaching the receiver, for whatever reason. If they suddenly stopped firing and wouldn't start again it would be more obvious as to why.

PacAce, yes they are the learning sort. I ruled that issue out by 'teaching' them individually so the other lights weren't on to pick up a different signal.

Interference can cause an issue but I've tried several channels now and if I can't fire a correctly programmed card from 2 metres away that really sucks. 4 more multimax's it is...$$$$$$$$


Chris Giles Photography

  
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drdiesel1
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Feb 05, 2011 13:20 as a reply to  @ EL_PIC's post |  #5

I use PWII's and never have a problem. Why not get a few PWII's to run the lights instead of the cards.


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Gel
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Feb 05, 2011 13:25 |  #6

Can you fire them individually from the multimax unit though?
So, if I had 4 I could fire 1,2 and 4 but not 3?


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PacAce
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Feb 05, 2011 13:53 |  #7

Gel wrote in post #11782667 (external link)
Can you fire them individually from the multimax unit though?
So, if I had 4 I could fire 1,2 and 4 but not 3?

No, the PW Plus II units won't allow you to do that. The Elinchrom Skyports will (of course, not with the MultiMax) although I'm reluctant to recommend Skyports because they have other issues, at least with the original versions. Not sure if it's still true with the newer Speed versions.


...Leo

  
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Gel
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Feb 05, 2011 14:40 |  #8

Multimax it is then. I don't mind paying out for them, they just have to work. It's embarassing asking a couple to go back for another take because the flash refuses to fire.


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drdiesel1
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Feb 05, 2011 15:04 |  #9

Gel wrote in post #11783040 (external link)
Multimax it is then. I don't mind paying out for them, they just have to work. It's embarassing asking a couple to go back for another take because the flash refuses to fire.


The multimax will work for all of them :cool:


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NOt impressed with bowens, not impressed with pocketwizard
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