RadioPoppers next generation holds promise

New RadioPopper transmitters & receivers announced!

After this weekend's announcement of a new generation of RadioPoppers, I may just end up selling off my Pocket Wizards. All 10 of 'em.


If the promise holds true, and I suspect it will, this next iteration of Poppers will not only let me control my SB-800's, but will also let me remotely adjust the power output from my Alien Bees.

Since getting the Poppers I haven't used my Bees very much, in part because I was just having fun playing with the Poppers and also because I was able to shoot my D3 at higher ISO's than I used to be comfortable using.

So, in the past, I had a somewhat complicated setup whenever I wanted to combine the two.

I rigged up my Pocket Wizard transmitters so that they would screw in to the 1/4-20 tripod socket on the bottom of my camera. This was done with a nylon screw that went partly in to the transmitter's socket and then the whole unit was spun in to the camera's socket. Then I ran a modified PC cord made from a Nikon SC-11 onto which I soldered a miniphone plug to the camera's PC socket. If I'm just using the Bees, I'm good to go, or I could add in the SB-800's on a transmitter and have my assistant adjust them based on our complex system of hand signals.

Lots to carry, even without a lens.

When I wanted to mix in on-axis fill with that or use the first generation of RadioPoppers with this setup, I could put an SB-800 or an SU-800 in the hot shoe and go to town. But this had a couple disadvantages: for one, it gets heavy, especially if I've got the flash mounted, and secondly it ends up being a lot of stuff hooked on to your camera and it can get awkward trying to use it with any sort of panache.

But the new Poppers say they will work with BOTH my SB-800's and my Alien Bees AT THE SAME TIME. So i can continue to use the Bees to create a base level of ambient light and then use the SB-800's to augment that light in a creative way.

So what will I have gained?

The ability to adjust the power of the Bees without having to physically go over to them (and they're often waaaaay out of the way, like tucked away on a balcony or clamped to something near the ceiling) to make the change.

And instead of, say, three devices buckled on to the top and bottom of my camera, I'll only have one. Or Two. But that's less than three, right? (Confirmed by looking at my fingers and subtracting) Right.


Brian Sullivan said...

These do look attractive. I am considering getting the px units. One of my concerns though, is that I like to use my Demb Flip it with my on camera flash. Just not sure if the trasmitter will fit once I wrap the velcro from the flip it around the flash head? Any thoughts?


Thomas said...

Hi, Brian. I'm not familiar with the Demb Flip products,so it's a little hard to tell how their mounting setup might interact with the PX transmitter. From what I understand, the transmitter actually senses the electromagnetic pulse that accompanies the tube discharge, and it doesn't need to actually be in line-of-sight contact with the flash face. But you might contact the RadioPopper people to ask them. Let me know what you find out!