Home > Blog > Photography > Using a PocketWizard AC3 Canon SpeedLite 580EXII and Profoto AcuteB
I have been testing the new PocketWizard AC3 ZoneController to see if this little device will help me complete the finishing touches on my ultra portable field mobile flash kit.
My first impression is that I am amazed at how ultra simple this little guy is.The AC3 requires no power and just slides onto the shoe of a FlexTT5 or a TT1.The AC3 is powered via the hot shoe connection of a MiniTT1 or MiniTT5.When the MiniTT1 goes to sleep, the AC3 goes to sleep as well.There are three wheels on the AC3 that individually control the output of up to three Speedlites attached to FlexTT5s.
Each Zone has a wheel and a switch. The wheels are easy to spin and each step is a 1/3 step increment from +3 to =3.Spinning the wheel clockwise is 0 to +3 and counter clockwise is 0 to -3. It took just a little bit to figure out the simple ratio and how it correlated to the Speedlite power.
Zone Selector Switch:
Manual Mode will use the manual power output value set on the Power Dial
Auto (PowerTracking/E-TTL II
Auto Mode will use the Flash exposure compenstion as set on the Power Dial.The ISO and aperture changes will track and be adjusted automatically.
One thing I really love about the AC3 is being able to quickly shut off multiple Speedlites all from the Camera to use natural light, or pre stage them to use later.
Integrating with my Profoto kit:
The nice thing is that a PocketWizard is already integrated on my AcuteB and a have a PocketWizard Plus II on my Profoto 7Bs. Now that I have the AC3 I can set up my key flash as my Profoto AcuteB and quickly dial the other Speedlite’s in with the AC3. Having a quick manual knob on my Profoto kit and now the AC3 effectively gives each of my Speedlites a quick manual knob.This makes using the Speedlites in remote locations much more easy and it saves time for you or your assistant fumbling though flash menus on each Canon Speedlite.
I wish I could control the AcuteB or 7B power output with the AC3 (Which I hear PocketWizard is working on) but it is not a showstopper for me. PocketWizard has already released the AC9 AlienBee and the PowerST4 for Elinchrom RX.
– Great field mobile flash system using 2 Canon 580EXII, Profoto AcuteB, 2 PcoketWizard TT5, 1 TT1 and AC3
The AC3 will defiantly take place of my Speedlite ST-E2 Transmitter, which is a pain to use compared to how easy the AC3 is.If you own more than one PocketWizard TT5 and want to have more control over your lights, the new PocketWizard is a must have at only $69!
– Using PocketWizards TT1, TT5 and Canon Speedlites to light the forground and pillars at Mount Rushmore.