When the MiniTT1 Transmitter and FlexTT5 Transceiver first came out, US photographers struggled with limited range performance when the FlexTT5 (340 - 354 MHz FCC model) was paired with a Canon 430EX, 580EX or 580EX II Speedlite. Radio frequency interference emanating from these flashes around the PocketWizard reception frequency was the crux of the problem. After extensive development and testing there are now two solutions to this RF interference issue.
To enhance the ControlTL™ System range performance when paired with the Canon 580EX, 580EX II and 430EX flashes, PocketWizard developed the AC7 shield.
The body of the AC7 shield is made with a material that effectively blocks RF interference (EMI) from clouding the FlexTT5 antenna. To block noise traveling through connections in the hot shoe, an electronic filter has been added to a hot shoe built into the AC7. Combined, the AC7 shield allows the FlexTT5 to receive transmissions at distances 300 to 500% farther than before and well within the range of most off-camera lighting needs.
A GREAT LIGHTING ACCESSORY
With two ¼-20 mounting points, the AC7 can be mounted both vertically and horizontally on light stands, clamps, brackets or simply handheld. The back of the flash remains open for complete access to the LCD and flash controls and there is access to the remote power port. The flash head can be rotated when using the AC7 shield due to a small cut-away in the side of the shield.
When used with an umbrella, the AC7’s lay-flat design places the flash more in the center of the umbrella than usual and produces a symmetrical light shape for incredibly even light dispersion. Most of the popular diffusers, grids, snoots and reflectors can still be used with the AC7 shield in place.
For photographers who want to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 Radios when using the Canon 580EX, 580EX II and 430EX flashes, the AC7 shield provides a solution for working ranges that meet or exceed those typical of off-camera flash photography. The Canon 550EX, 270EX and newer 430EX II emit relatively low EMI and work well with the FlexTT5 without shielding. PocketWizard is committed to exploring other solutions to maximize the performance of the ControlTL system.
The AC7 RF Shield is now available in the US and Canada and is starting to ship worldwide. Please contact your local retailer for availability.
A connector for Quantum and Canon external battery packs is being developed but is still a few months from delivery.
The AC5 RF Soft Shield is a simple solution to reduce interference and improve performance of the FlexTT5 Transceiver. Special RF fabric and a shoe filter shields the FlexTT5 Transceiver from RF noise emitted by some Canon Speedlites (580EX II, 580EX and 430EX). The Canon 550EX, 270EX and newer 430EX II emit relatively low EMI and work well with the FlexTT5 without shielding. The AC5 allows easy access to all flash controls as well as a full range of flash positions. The AC5 can either be stored on the flash or it can be removed and rolled up making it easily storable in your camera bag. Its portability makes it an attractive RF noise solution. The AC5 RF Soft Shield can be used when using a high-power external battery.
The AC5 is for use with receiving flashes only and is not for use with your on-camera flash.
NOTE: The AC5 is not designed for horizontal use on a boom mount or light pole; for these situations please see the AC7 RF Hard Shield above. The AC7 is also the perfect solution for use with an umbrella with its centered umbrella mount.
For an AC5 video tutorial, click here.
Click here to view a video of Mark Wallace range testing the AC5 RF Soft Shield in New York City.