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New PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver

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If you've been considering making an investment in a radio triggering system to open yourself up to a new world of creative options, and grant yourself freedom from cables both in the studio and in the field, the new PocketWizard Plus III gives you an awfully good reason to pull the trigger. It's an excellent tool for both new and advanced users who desire a high-quality (yet budget-friendly) wireless system to remotely control flashes and cameras, and thanks to its selective quad zone triggering capability, it's also a great new tool for more people who use the PocketWizard MultiMAX.

The PocketWizard Plus III has 32 standard channels (as opposed to four digitally coded channels on the previous generation). This means you can control more elaborate setups, and it gives you the ability to find a free channel when you're working an event where other photographers may be causing traffic in the airwaves. However, things really get interesting when you take into account that it features four groups.

When you look at the controls on the PocketWizard Plus III, you see four distinct buttons marked A, B, C, and D (and it's no accident that they look and operate like buttons on the back of a DSLR). These are your groups. Here's an example of how they can be used: you're shooting a wedding ceremony, and you have four remote cameras and flash systems set up around the area. Pressing one of the group buttons enables you to select and control one of your four remote camera systems (as well as the camera you have in your hands). This is selective quad zone triggering, and it gives you an enormous amount of flexibility.

If you're a user of the PocketWizard MultiMAX (which is still the most advanced radio trigger around), the quad zone triggering ability makes the new Plus III an excellent low-cost remote receiver that you can add to your system. The Plus III is also compatible with Sekonic light meters and select Profoto, Dynalite, Norman and Photogenic flashes.

All of the merits that made the previous generation a big hit with photographers are present in the new PocketWizard Plus III: its drop-dead simple ease of use (which has been made even easier), its auto-sensing capability and its auto relay triggering ability. Perhaps more importantly, it also carries the tradition of being totally reliable, and completely compatible with other PocketWizard equipment and popular flashes and camera systems.

When you mount a PocketWizard Plus III to your camera, it has a much slimmer profile than the previous generation. The thin side of the device faces forward, so the photographer can more easily see the subject. The controls have been designed to be adjusted quickly and easily with a single finger, and they're large enough to be pushed with a thumb. Whether you're shooting with one hand under your lens, or one hand on the grip, the controls on the PocketWizard Plus III are easy to get to, and they aren't in your face when you're trying to compose your image and communicate with your subject.

Like the previous generation, the "Auto Sensing" capability enables the PocketWizard Plus III to automatically designate itself as either a transmitter or a receiver. This can make setting up less complicated, and give you more options on how to configure your gear. The "Auto Relay Triggering" enables you to do things like remotely trigger your camera with a transceiver, while a second camera-mounted transceiver will both fire the shutter and relay the wireless signal to a third transceiver on a remote flash.

Also like previous generations, the PocketWizard Plus III is sold individually. However, more than one transceiver is required to control remote equipment (so you're going to need more than one). Because it utilizes wireless radio frequencies, you have to be mindful of the country you're operating it in. Different countries have different laws that regulate the airwaves, so using a remote trigger in a foreign country could potentially be illegal, and could cause compatibility issues if you try to use it with wireless equipment from other countries.  

There are many more new features that have been added to the PocketWizard Plus III. It now ships with three different kinds of cables that will ensure compatibility with most of your gear, right out of the box. An illuminated LCD has been added to make operating the unit even easier. It also has a USB port that allows you to connect an external power source. This way a remote camera can be set up and stay powered even longer than its two AA batteries can provide. The "Test" button acts similarly to your camera's shutter button. A half press can remotely wake up and focus a camera, a full press can fire off a shot. All told, the new PocketWizard Plus III is a great reason to pull that wireless trigger, and to tap into some awesome new possibilities.

For more information about the PocketWizard Plus III, please see the B&H InDepth Hands-On Review.

Frequency FCC/IC model: 340 - 354 MHz
Channels 32 Channels, 1-16 standard, 17-32 selective Quad-Zone
Zones A - B - C - D, compatible with other Quad-Zone PocketWizard radios
Antenna Precision tuned internal coil
Display Backlit 1.0" (2.5cm) LCD
Range Up to 1,640 feet (500 meters)
Sync Speed Up to 1/250 for focal plane shutters, up to 1/500 for leaf shutters
Triggering Speed Up to 14.5 fps
Contact Time 62 milliseconds in normal operation, 2 milliseconds in HSR Mode
Status Indicator LED: green, amber, red status indicator
Transmit Output Power Less than 1 milliwatt (0.001 watt)
Power 2 x AA batteries (alkaline recommended), USB
Battery Life Up to 50 hours (with alkaline)
Max. Port Sync Voltage 300 Volts (camera/flash port)
Max. Current Handling 1.0 A peak, 0.2 A (1/5 amp or 200 milliamp) continuous current limited
Voltage Present  3 volts, safe for use with all digital and film cameras
USB USB 2.0 Mini-B connector
Housing High-impact plastic with captive battery door
Operating Temperature Above 5 degrees F (-15 C), below 120 degrees F (50 C)
Storage Temperature Above -22 F (-30 C), below 185 F (85 C)
Input/Output 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo mini phone jack, hot shoe
Mounting Hot shoe, lanyard/D-Ring loop, 1/4-20 thread
Dimensions (H x W x D) 5.25 x 2 x 1.25" (13.3 x 5.1 x 3.2 cm)
Weight (with batteries) 4 oz (120 g)

Items discussed in article

Discussion 34

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I have a Canon 5D Mark ii and I also have a Canon 430ex speedlite, I was wondering does the trigger work with both or is there something else I need to make it work? I have been researching and everyone keeps telling me that this item will make the 430ex fire off camera.
 

You should be able to fire the 430EX off camera by simply having one Plus III on the 5D II hot shoe, and then one Plus III attached to the flash.  Are you having troubles making this work?  If so, I would suggest sending our Photo Department an email with as much pertinent information as you can.  They could walk through trouble shooting any issues for you.  AskPhoto@bhphoto.com

We are using Plus III transceiver, is it possible to fire this unit from a Sony A500 wireless?

The PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver would be able to fire the shutter of the Sony A500 as long as it is connected by an appropriate shutter release cable like the Vello 3.5mm Remote Shutter Release Cable for Select Sony and Minolta Cameras. http://bhpho.to/1mtpjcG

Hi, does anyone know if the pocket wizard plus iii is compatible with the canon 430 ex ii speed lite? Do I need a different cable to the one supplied (the one supplied fits my 580ex ii but can't find a port on the 430).

Thanks :0)

Yes, this system could be used with the 430EX II speedlite.  To connect the flash to the transceiver you would need a special cable adapter.  See the link below for the adapter you would need:

http://bhpho.to/1espsCj

Can you tell me if it is compatible with Canon 40D camera and 580 EX II flash

Yes, they are compatible with the Canon EOS 40D camera and the 580EX II flash.  You would need one unit for each.  One to transmit from the camera, one to receive with the flash.  Keep in mind this is manual exposure (non-TTL) only. 

Is there a Pocket Wizard iii trouble shooting site? I had just purchased 2 units, used them in a wedding last night, and when I'd go shoot, they would work for a handful of shots then not anymore. I could see that the receiving unit was receiving the message from the indicator light on top but not triggering the light. I would walk over pop the test button on the receiving unit and theyd work again for a few shots, and the whole thing started again. I just gave up.

hello,
how do I get it to trigger my (much older) Receiver Plus which has 4 zones 1 trough 4? thank you!

According to the PocketWizard Plus III Quick Guide on page 5, you would use the Channel UP/DOWN buttons to set all the remotes you own to the same Channel for synchronization. There is more information on Channel and Zone settings listed on page 11 of the same manual. If you are still experiencing issues with syncing the remotes together, I would then recommend contacting PocketWizard directly at (914) 347-3300  or by e-mailing info@pocketwizard.com
 

I'm green here, so please bear with me! Would this type of Pocket Wizard work for me? I have two used (& older) Calumet 750 Monolights. Yet I have a new Nikon D600...

Thanks for the advice in advance!

An aspiring professional photographer...

I just bought 2 of the Pocketwizard Plus III's for my Canon 430EXII flash and my 5D Mark II. I had bought the Canon 0A-2 adapter for the off-camera shoe but it doesn't fit the cords that came with the Pocketwizard. Any idea what adapter I need? Thanks!

While the Paramount Miniphone (Pocket Wizard) to Female Hot Shoe Sync Cord - 1' Straight would work with the Canon 580EX II, you could also simply use the Mono 3.5mm Miniphone to Locking PC Cable that was originally included by PocketWizard with the Plus III Transceiver to connect the transceiver to the PC terminal near the external battery terminal on the Canon 580EX II Speedlite Flash.

I just bought a pocketwizard plus iii, i have a number of the older Multimax units but when i half press it does not wake the camera up or focus, will this not work with multimax?

I just bought PW plus III and tried to sync with my TT5 (canon) but not working both way.
Does anybody have same problem?

Thanks

What comes in the box?  If getting one of these for the first time, do I need to buy 2 or is everything in the box to get started straight away for one purchase.  Thanx.

What's in the BoxPocketWizard Plus III Transceiver

  • Quick Guide
  • Stereo 3.5mm Miniphone to Miniphone Cable
  • Mono 3.5mm Miniphone to Locking PC Cable
  • Stereo 3.5mm Miniphone to 1/4" Adapter
  • Lanyard
  • Operation Reference Sticker
  • 3-Year Limited Warranty

If you have no other PocketWizard equipment, then yes, you need to purchase two units.  Only one unit included in each box.  There is not a a two-transceiver kit.  You need one unit on the camera to transmit the signal, and another unit connected to the off-camera flash to receive the signal from the transmitter.

Hi there,

Does the Pocket wizard plus 3 come with a cable to connect to a bowens studio light? Meaning the big jack connection? Or it only brings cables to connect with speedlights?

The PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver comes with the stereo 3.5mm Miniphone to Miniphone Cable and the Stereo 3.5mm Miniphone to 1/4" Adapter included in the box from PocketWizard. These two items included with the unit would allow you to connect the transceiver to the 1/4" sync phono connector used on Bowens monolights. If you would like to purchase a replacement cable that would also work for your needs, the PocketWizard MP-1 Miniphone to Monoplug (1/4") Cable - Straight - 16"B&H # WIC.25M16, would work with the Bowens monolight.

The Plus III does not include a cable to connect to a speedlight (unless your speedlight uses a PC sync terminal or miniphone sync terminal).  For speedlights that do not have the above connections, you may purchase the PocketWizard HSFM3 Flash Sync Cable (3'), B&H # WIHSFM3, which would connect to the hot shoe on the bottom of the speedlight flash.

I'm having issues getting my Sekonic L358 and Plus III to sync (works fine with Plus IIs) - I've tried setting the channels, but not exactly sure what I'm doing wrong.

Both the channel on the remote and the channel on the Sekonic L-358 must be the same for the items to work together.  The instruction manual on the Sekonic L-358 indicates the setup on pages 28-29, indicated HERE.  While the online Quick Guide from PocketWizard does not list any additional information, I would recommend if you continue experiencing issues with pairing the two items, I would then recommend contacting both Sekonic and PocketWizard to see if they have more information that can assist you.

PocketWizard Phone:  914-347-3300 (same as Sekonic below)

PocketWizard E-mail:  Either click link on left or e-mail info@PocketWizard.com

Sekonic Phone:  914-347-3300 (same as PocketWizard above)

Sekonic E-mail:  info@macgroupus.com

Does the Pocket Wizard iii pair with the Pocket Wizard PowerMC2 transmitter for Paul C. Buff strobes?

Hello,

According to Pocket Wizard, The PocketWizard Plus III Transceiver is compatible with all Pocket Wizard transmitters and receivers of the same frequency, so integrating this with your existing PocketWizard workflow is a completely seamless function.

Yes the III works with the MC2's, I use mine on channel 17 with 4 groups. It also triggers my Seikonic meter which is nice.

Does PocketwizardPlus III require new Sekonic L-358 module or old "Sekonic 401-621 Transmitter Module (RT-32CE) still communicates with PocketwizardPlus III?

Yes, the PocketWizard Plus III are compatible with the Sekonic "401-621" aka (RT-32) transmitter module for the L-358 meter. 

Will this new transceiver allow for flash ratio adjustments across zones like the AC3 controller?

No, it will not.  The AC3 controller uses E-TTL II, CLS/i-TTL, and manual compatibility to adjust flash ratios across zones when added to the on-camera MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 Remote.  The PocketWizard Plus III does not have E-TTL II / i-TTL compatibility and will not adjust power from the camera.  You can set flashes in multiple zones with the Plus III Transceiver, but the power output for each flash must be set manually on the flash itself.

Does the III have any issues with the Canon 580 EX flash like the old PocketWizards did ?

To my knowledge and from my usage, I have not experienced any issues using the previous PocketWizard Plus II Radios with the Canon 580EX/580EX II Speedlite Flashes, nor do I expect any with the new PocketWizard Plus III Tranceiver Radio Remote.  The only PocketWizard Radio Remotes that have a documented issue with the Canon 580EX/580EX II was the PocketWizard FlexTT5 remote, and the issue was concerning radio frequency interference.  The 580EX/580EX II was found to emit strong RF noise across the frequency range used by PocketWizard radios, impacting both the FCC 344MHz radios used in the American market and the CE 433MHz radios used in Europe and other international markets.  While this interference significantly impedes the out-of-box range performance of the FlexTT5 Transceiver, I have not seen or experienced issues with the Plus II Tranceivers as with the FlexTT5 Tranceivers.  As the new remotes have not yet been released, and as the current previews/reviews have not indicated any issues, we will have to wait to see how the remote fares, but as the Plus II did not exhibit the same issues as the FlexTT5, I do not expect any less with the Plus III Transceiver Remotes.

Work with Sony Alpha?

Unfortuantely, it will not connect directly to the hot shoe of a Sony Alpha camera, as Sony/Minolta cameras use a non-standard ISO hot shoe connection compared with the rest of the photo industry.  You can, however, use it on your camera by using an adapter, such as the Sony FA-HS1AM Hot Shoe Adapter or the Vello Hot Shoe Adapter - Converts Sony Hot Shoe to Standard Hot Shoe + PC Socket.  Unfortunately, PocketWizard does not manufacture a pre-trigger or motor release cable for Sony/Minolta cameras to trigger the camera wirelessly.

If you obtain an adapter for Sony Alpha Hot Shoe, will the Pocket Wizard support High Speed Sync and Through The Lens for Sony cameras? Or will it just trigger the flash if it's in manual mode and up to the standard sync speeds (1/200 or 1/250)?

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