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Thread: Phase One and TTL Flash

  1. #1
    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Phase One and TTL Flash

    I have a Phase One Camera with an IQ back.

    Because MF requires a smaller aperture and lower ISO than DSLR adding light during a location portrait shoot is usually necessary.

    At present I am using either a Pocket Wizard TT5 as a sender unit and a Profoto AcuteB and one or more 580Ex2 flash units triggered by Pocket Wizard to add and control the light. That works OK but is time consuming with all units having to be controlled manually.

    On some occasions, to save time I am using a 580Ex2 mounted to the hotshoe of the camera to add some fill flash - yes you are right this is not ideal - but I do what I have to do, when time is really tight.

    I read in the Phase One 645DF manual that I could use a Metz Flash with a SCA unit to get TTL auto flash.

    Is anyone using a Metz flash on their Phase One camera? I would be very interested to hear of your experience.


    mal

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    Re: Phase One and TTL Flash

    Mal, I went through a similar search for TTL. Looked at the Quantum and Metz units. It appears that most people use the Metz in A mode, using an older SCA connector. Both seem a little flakey on TTL, at least as far as my research goes.

    In the end, I decided to forget TTL and go for power and flexibility, and went with a Quadra setup. These lights are super light and have built in wireless. You can also adjust ratios fromthe wireless adapter on-camera so don't have to touch the flashes if you have them setup out-of-reach etc.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31888

    This setup works well for me and also integrates nicely with the 600RX strobes i have. I still use the Canon 580EX if I want something even quicker and dirtier.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One and TTL Flash

    Thank You for your input.

    With the Quadra set up, I am assuming you mean the 400W set up, or are you using a different arrangement?

    I have actually seen your other thread, thank you for sharing your experience.

    I am going to have a test run with the Metz 76 Mz5 if I can secure a SCA3952 (I think I have one located) - then if that doesnt work, I will certainly have a look at the Quadra set up.

    Can you have on camera flash plus wireless control of the Quadra set up you mention?


    Regards.


    Mal

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    Re: Phase One and TTL Flash

    Mal, yes I am referring to the 400WS units.

    I don't see why you can't have wireless control and an on-camera flash.

    1. The wireless transmitter, off-camera hot-shoe, can still control the flash units for power settings

    2. For triggering you can set off optically in sync with your hot-shoe/on-camera flash.

    Never tried it, but can't see why it would'nt work.

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    Re: Phase One and TTL Flash

    I struggled with the Metz off-camera TTL system for ages and never got it to work reliably, especially under pressure while shooting something like a wedding, fashion stuff, or portraits. Who needs to be fiddling with this and that?

    It's all sitting around here somewhere in my studio, and I'll sell it to you if you insist

    Besides, I think the big Metz Potato-mashers only put out about 125w/s at full power, if even that, AND they're a nightmare to adapt to stands and use light modifiers ... all kinds of fiddly parts and gerry-rigging.

    I have a Profoto system studio, and naturally went to the B600 at first ... which I sold because it can't be controlled at the camera. BTW, either can the new B600 AIR ... the AIR sender just triggers the B600 and nothing else.

    So, I also went for the little Elinchrom Quadra with it's teeny-tiny heads, but nice 400w/s punch. Super easy to set-up and use. My go to solution is the Quadra as Key directional light, and a speed-light in the hot shoe set to TTL. To facilitate using the Elinchrom sender, I got a Kirk grip and mounted it on the grip handle with a sync cord going to the camera sync port. In fact I got a second Quadra for more involved location work. Still super small.

    Full up-and-down control of the Quadra power right at the camera, and the TTL shoe mount speed-light as fill does the rest, plus, I can ride the compensation buttons on the speed-light if I want to boost or cut the fill.

    Here's a page from a lighting tutorial I did showing how this set-up works ... in this case it was a studio set-up to demonstrate a key light, and using a speed-light as fill ... this time, I was using Profoto/Pocket Wizards ... but the concept is the same no matter what lights are used. Note the Kirk grip which makes it super easy to hand-hold and be mobile rather than be on a tripod ... I actually don't use this set-up in studio ... this was just a demonstration, I usually hand hold using this two light approach for fast paced work.

    The Bride on couch was done with the Quadra up high, camera right, controlled and triggered from the camera with a Skyport sender in the Kirk grip shoe ... and a Metz speed-light in the camera's hot shoe set to TTL for fill.

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    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One and TTL Flash

    fotografz

    Thank you very much for taking the time to pass on your experience.

    I finally found a dealer in Brisbane (CameraPro) who was interested in getting down to the finer deatail re portable flash set ups.

    My Phase One dealer in Sydney has suggested I wait re the SCA unit for getting TTL functionality from the Metz units on the basis that a new unit is being developed for Phase One cameras to improve the TTL functioning of the Metz units.

    The lower than might be expected power output from the Metz units is not of large concern, because I really want that as a fill light but not my main light - which I expect to be able to trigger via Pocket Wizard or such from the camera.

    The real problem, short of full TTL that really works via wireless like the TT5s do for Canon and Nikon - is to be able to adjust the power of portable units from the camera on at least two channels.

    I assume the Asymmetric Quadra units allow the output power to be adjusted from the camera, but the balance between the two heads remains at 2 to 1 or some such ratio?

    Thank you again.


    mal

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    Re: Phase One and TTL Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by malmac View Post
    fotografz

    Thank you very much for taking the time to pass on your experience.

    I finally found a dealer in Brisbane (CameraPro) who was interested in getting down to the finer deatail re portable flash set ups.

    My Phase One dealer in Sydney has suggested I wait re the SCA unit for getting TTL functionality from the Metz units on the basis that a new unit is being developed for Phase One cameras to improve the TTL functioning of the Metz units.

    The lower than might be expected power output from the Metz units is not of large concern, because I really want that as a fill light but not my main light - which I expect to be able to trigger via Pocket Wizard or such from the camera.

    The real problem, short of full TTL that really works via wireless like the TT5s do for Canon and Nikon - is to be able to adjust the power of portable units from the camera on at least two channels.

    I assume the Asymmetric Quadra units allow the output power to be adjusted from the camera, but the balance between the two heads remains at 2 to 1 or some such ratio?

    Thank you again.

    mal
    I'm confused as to what you are looking to accomplish. Your original post seemed to be asking about location work, which I assumed to be a portable battery driven application. And you seemed to be searching for a solution that allowed control of the Key light from the camera. The key light control, and shoe mount speed-light TTL for fill, are two different issues.

    I do understand that you were asking about Metz TTL function on your Phase One camera ... which I took to mean as used in the camera's hot shoe. If that currently doesn't work well, and there is a new SCA module coming from Metz that will work better with Phase One, then I cannot comment on that because I use a Hasselblad H4D/60. The Metz/Hasselblad SCA module works great on that system. I use a Metz MZ54 shoe-mount and Metz 75 handle type speed-lights all the time with the H cameras, which assumes full camera control of the TTL flash in-camera, and I do not have to fiddle around with the little buttons on the speed-light itself to adjust TTL compensation.

    The portable main or key light is a different matter altogether. The issues here are 1) Size/Handling/Portability 2) Degree of control from the camera position ... multi-channel AND adjustment of output from the sender (which are two different controls).

    To my knowledge there is no major strobe system that provides TTL control ... however, ALL major radio sending solutions offer multi-channel control, while only some offer control of levels from the camera position.

    While Pocket Wizards allow selection of different channels, they do not allow adjustments of output levels from the camera position ... which means you have to adjust levels at the pack location ... or adjust the settings on the head itself if you are using a monolights with a separate battery to power it.

    Profoto has the multi-channel AIR system which also allows control of levels with select generators, and the D1 monolights with a separate battery to provide power. None of these options are small, and their small B600 AIR battery generator does NOT allow adjustment of output levels from the camera position.

    Elinchrom offers a few portable battery solutions: The larger, 1100 w/s Ranger RX and the much smaller 400 w/s Ranger Quadra. Both are triggered by the multi-channel Skyport radio sender which also allows control of the output levels at the camera position. The two outlet RX speed unit is available asymmetrical via A or B socket, or symmetrical. The Quadra is a two outlet fixed classic 2:1 asymmetrical distribution ... However, because they are so small, many like me have two Quadra batteries to allow full asymmetrical control using channels to adjust each light location ...providing up to 800 w/s of light.

    IMO, and that of others, the very best balance of size/portability, power, and control is the Hensel Porty 1200 Lithium battery system. This small very fast 1200 w/s unit has three different radio receivers built in ... the Hensel Strobe Wizard, the Profoto AIR, and the special application Freemask system ... and of course one can use a Pocket Wizard by just pluging a receiver into the sync port. The Hensel Strobe Wizard and Profoto AIR radio senders are both multi-channel and and allow control of the levels. Asymmetrical or symmetrical distribution is available via selection of A or B socket.

    Both Profoto and Bron offer other battery kits, but they are not small. Profoto B generators take the more expensive Pro or Pro B heads, and are VERY expensive.

    Sorry for the long post, but these selections are not simple.

    -Marc

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