elv0000 3:44pm, 8 January 2012
I'm not sure if anyone saw this, but PocketWizard appear to have done some viral leak shenanigans with the coming Plus III

More details here -

Nothing more seems to have emerged as yet but no doubt Rob Galbraith and Mr Hobby have probably had them for a while now.

Compact size looks welcome though, and LCD means more features, but still no hotshoe?
strobist PRO 4 years ago
Probably just a rumor, or one of those fake stealth fighter kinda photos.
pat22043 PRO 4 years ago
Sure, DH, since you just posted a review of the PW III on the main Strobist site.
Nionyn_ PRO 4 years ago
Wil Cohen 4 years ago
I'm sticking with my II's. Nice & Simple and no menus.
snapfactory 4 years ago
Total rumors. ;)
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
Yep! Just rumours. But nice pix too!


Zones! Finally! Price drop! Finally! Battery meter! Nice!

I'm too rough on bumping things to use a trigger hotshoe anyway.

Only thing I don't see is HSS like the Ojecoco. But maybe that's what the USB upgrade port is for? HSS would seal the deal for me. Already got several PCB/RP simple triggers.

Gotta agree these jump to the top of the list of new standard of the industry for a simple (non-TTL) trigger!

edit: the Zones look so-o-o-o easy to see & use in the PW site video.
DB-UK PRO 4 years ago
They do look nice. Although as I use the Multimax for "dumb trigger" duties all the new functionality is already coverd as far as I can see. Nice upgrade from Plus IIs though.
Kris This Is Posted 4 years ago. Edited by Kris This Is (member) 4 years ago

Good to get rid of the twangy antenna plus a few other minor improvements, but as Mr Elv says, still no hotshoe mount? Still have to fiddle with silly little cables? Still cant wake up remote flashes, but can remote cameras with two position switch (which YN have had for some time)? Still have to rely on flashes with pc inputs? Still no ttl pass through. Still have to put up with dangly triggers whacking against lightstands? Cant see any reverse images anywhere, so not 100% sure.

Aren't hotshoe mounts the most reliable standard nowadays for many reasons?

Didn't they learn anything from Phottix? ;)
tyler.worman 4 years ago
Awesome. I just saved up and splurged on the Plus 2's, and a week later they come out with a new one.
Daniel | rapturedmind.com PRO Posted 4 years ago. Edited by Daniel | rapturedmind.com (member) 4 years ago
Is there a release date known? Anybody an Idea? I really would like to exchange at least two new once for my old Plus IIs.
MrDAT 4 years ago
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
They were NOT on B&H or Amazon six hours ago!! How quickly the world changes! :)
MrDAT 4 years ago
Yeah, I got the tweet from nikonrumors and then posted the above. :)
Kris This Is 4 years ago
Customers are always the last to know because they dont want to kill sales of current stock.

Just ask tyler.worman...
Jerry P. H. 4 years ago
David pretty much nailed down all the important info on them. If someone already has either the Plus II's or ControlTL units, the Plus III's are not likely in your future, but given the budget, they are once again setting the standard, though again, they are obviously not interested in playing the penny pinching game.

I like them, but as an owner of both 5 Plus II's and 5 FlexTT5s and 2 MiniTT1's, I doubt I will be looking at these units anytime soon.
Kris This Is 4 years ago
Many of the new features are not backwards compatible unfortunately, and rely on channels that are not on PWPlusII.
Ranger_9 4 years ago
But those channels ARE on the MultiMax, allowing the new unit to be backward-compatible with that.
Kris This Is 4 years ago
Tell it to plusII owners. The new features require another complete set.

Having said that, I think they are one of the few that are conscious of previous customers, but for the 'investment required' they should be. Or rather it was until today.
josh.r 4 years ago
they still work just fine with PlusII's in the same way that the Multimax work with PlusII's.
^M^ 4 years ago
"Rumor my butt :)"

...OK.. if you insist ... 's butt is brown and furry, and he likes to sniff it ... pass it on ...

(evil grin)
^M^ 4 years ago
Here's the link that PW put on my FB wall blog.pocketwizard.com/?p=3770
`Mark&Manna Photography PRO 4 years ago
What kills these for me is lack of hotshoe. My SB600's don't have a sync port.
The RF602's have a hotshoe. Yes,they're cheap,and they work......and the only real issue I have with them is that they don't stay secure in the umbrella bracket.
Kris This Is Posted 4 years ago. Edited by Kris This Is (member) 4 years ago
They do in these types:

You're right, if Phottix can make a PW shaped item with hotshoe fitting, why not PW?
strobist PRO 4 years ago
From what I have heard, you can thank the engineers who designed the Canon flashes for the no hot shoe stuff. It is a very vulnerable physical location when a flash's design is such that it puts out a lot of hash RF.

In other words, "Fool me once..."

It would most definitely affect the range to have a hot shoe mount. Plus, the fact that the antenna would be exactly on the wrong axis with a hot shoe mount would force a redesign into a true omnidirectional antenna, which would also hurt range for a given xmission wattage.

Thus, the cabled receivers.
Kris This Is 4 years ago
Makes sense.

But... isnt this further proof that PW are seriously hamstrung over their frequency?
`Mark&Manna Photography PRO 4 years ago
Something like these would adapt to SB600's, but that adds cost,too.
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
M&M: Good choice! That foot would use a mini-mini plug. Easy!

Or you could mod your SB600?
`Mark&Manna Photography PRO 4 years ago
Yeah...I'm not going to mod mine. They work good right now.....:-)
Nionyn_ PRO 4 years ago
I have half a dozen of those adaptors. They're very good and very useful. I've never liked mounting hotshoe flashes directly on a trigger. Things can get very wobbly if you then mount the whole business on something like a ballhead, and even worse if that's on an umbrella bracket (yes, I sometimes do, if I need the flash head centrally in an umbrella :-) ).
Tom Pappa 4 years ago
M&M I have this one for the SB600 from flash zebra. Works quite well. flashzebra.com/products/0126/index.shtml
`Mark&Manna Photography PRO 4 years ago
This one wuld give you connections for sync cable ,or mini-plug....
That would be useful for triggering flash for meter readings,too.
brettmaxwell 4 years ago
do any of those adapters from Flash Zebra have a means to hold a Nikon SB600 or 800 in the hotshoe? There's no side clamp, and I don't see a hole at the front for the pin to drop into...
`Mark&Manna Photography PRO 4 years ago
Drill a little hole. easy-peasy
MrDAT 4 years ago
Doesn't the SB-600 also clamp on the sides?
Will people still pay 135 dollars for a dummy trigger?
I don't think these will sell extremely well, they probably will sell a bunch
MrDAT 4 years ago
If they need reliability and a US company that can support them, YES!

See also: www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157629108876899/
Hahah touché
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
I may not need *just* the trigger, but that tremendous ease of both seeing & selecting Zones is way better than anything else I've seen. I'm considering getting one just as a *switchbox* (with super distance & reliability, of course). But till these are proven, I'll probably stick with one zone of on/off manual levels, & three zones of manual control with the RP JrXs. I keep wishing for a modern reliable flash with easy manual controls, and a quench pin. Is that too much to ask?

edit: All this thinking about trigger features made me realize I would be helped by a more tactile & visible knob *bump* on the RP JrX. These discussions can be very thought provoking. Along with a shoe locking system.
strobist PRO 4 years ago
FWIW, I use PW -- and have used them for 20 yrs -- because they have long been the most reliable triggers on the market. If money is an issue, some people are going to choose other stuff. Simple economics. But the vast majority of pros I know whose income depends on that flash firing use PW.

Also, the new PWs will trigger every single PW ever made -- again, that's going back 20 years. Many of these Johnny-come-latelys change RF protocol more often than I change socks.

Some decisions in photo (Nikon/Canon, 35/MF, Profoto/Elinchrom/Einstein, etc.) have been tough. The choice -- for me -- to go (and stay) PW has been very easy.
brettmaxwell 4 years ago
After 2 years with Cybersyncs and 1 year with Strato IIs, it's funny, the only thing about the PlusIII that tempts me is the battery meter.
Jerry P. H. 4 years ago
I went from Cactus V2s to modified V2s straight to Plus II's because of the same reasons DH mentioned. I decided to turn pro and missing a shot was unacceptable... I looked around for the best and just stuck with the PW product from that point on and have no intention of ever switching. :-)
petepixxx 4 years ago
I'm wondering how do you read/trust any battery meter with a NiMH battery that has a discharge curve that is flat then like falling off a cliff?

ya, you're missing something here for sure.

the user of the plus3 is getting a discount on an improved version of the plus2, with added benefits as they grow their kit...
FrankAG 4 years ago
I am going to start with two PW III's to get the remote trigger function and use them with my existing PWII. I don't think I will need the zone feature any time soon but you never know.
MrDAT 4 years ago
It's not always about "Backward compatibility", but also forward compatibility!

What happens when you need another ebay trigger but that manufacture don't make that model anymore and the new models aren't compatible? Do you have to buy a whole new set just to get the amount you need.
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
Stability is nice. PW isn't bringing out a new version every year, but they put out *keepers*!. :)
Andrius Simutis 4 years ago
MrDAT, Good point about the eBay triggers and compatibility with future models. It's the one thing that really gave me pause when I bought the Odins.
MrDAT 4 years ago
Andrius Simutis Yeah, I thought about it before I bought the CTR-301p system, but for the price (2 transmitters and 6 receivers) for $110, I could later upgrade to PWs. Greatfully, the 301Ps are still being made/sold.
strobist PRO Posted 4 years ago. Edited by strobist (admin) 4 years ago
"However PW have made sure you need to buy a complete new set to enjoy any of the new features. "

Are you really harping on backwards compatibility?

AFAIC, that is the gold standard for companies who respect their clients -- and their clients' investment -- no matter what the product.

The alternatives are:

No backwards compatibility (I.e., not interested in any kind of a long-term customer).


Never, ever introduce a new feature, thus ensuring forwards compatibility (um, lessee ... oh yeah. I think the PC cord does that.)

Nikon set the gold standard for backwards compatibility with the F-mount lens. I still shoot with a 20-yr old MF 35/2 AI, one of my favorite lenses, on my D3. But to complain that it won't autofocus on my D3 would be, well, like saying, "However PW have made sure you need to buy a complete new set to enjoy any of the new features."

There are some ridiculous things said on this board (as on any board) and I have pretty much learned to just shake my head and move on to the next thread. But there was no walking past this one and leaving it alone, lest someone else read it and mistakenly think it made sense.
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
I wonder if a software upgrade could make channel 1-4 sync couple with 17-20? 1 & 17, 2 & 18, etc..

Then you could bring a gazillion users into the fold to use the +III Zone System and the Plus-IIs in perfect harmony.
shoens PRO 4 years ago
What a fun discussion!

I'm glad that I'm not shopping for triggers now that the PW 3's are out. I might have been tempted to get them.

The thing is, these days, basic triggers are a solved problem. It was different in the early days of the Strobist blog where you could get expensive PocketWizards that work or cheap triggers that you had to immediately disassemble, re-solder, and re-engineer to have a chance of working well.

Now there's a lot workable alternatives.

The PocketWizard advantages are nice. 1500 foot range? I need approximately 50 feet. Transceiver operation? Nice for redundancy. I have two transmitters and a bunch of receivers and haven't been stranded yet. I've got a long sync cord just in case. The network effect that other people have PWs? Hasn't been an issue for me yet. Never a dark frame? That's my experience as well. Zones? I don't ever need them.

And finally, compatibility? I'm out about $450 if all my triggers go poof. I'd be out 2X the expense with an equivalent bunch of Plus 3s. I'm willing to self-insure on that one.

That's just me. Perhaps for a large set of people PocketWizards are worth it. I would say however that the world has changed significantly in the past several years and I don't see the Plus 3s responding to those changes other than a small price decrease.

And if you really need the PocketWizard advantages, go for them and be merry. I mean no disrespect.
elv0000 Posted 4 years ago. Edited by elv0000 (member) 4 years ago
I think Leo Is right, it looks like you can't fire a Plus II in the mix at all if you want to use the zones. EDIT - looks like its only the zones feature that you can not use if you still want to fire any Plus II in the mix.
MrDAT 4 years ago
So if you never use zones, the III is still pointless?
elv0000 Posted 4 years ago. Edited by elv0000 (member) 4 years ago
Of course the Plus III are not pointless, its the compatibility issues with Plus II we are discussing.

EDIT again - looks like its only the zones (groups) feature that cannot be used while still firing any Plus II in the mix.
MrDAT Posted 4 years ago. Edited by MrDAT (member) 4 years ago
Of course, new features are not compatible with older technology, but as a whole, the old triggers are 100 compatible with the new ones.

Just like upgrading anything, some new features may not work with older stuff.
josh.r 4 years ago
The new units cost less and are a better design. So if you like your plus ii's but need more you buy a iii and everything is great. What more should there be?
Kris This Is 4 years ago
Is there anything preventing PW (or anyone else) from using two frequencies in their units on a switch - a backwards compatible frequency for all the oldies with legacy stuff and a new 2.4 frequency for those willing to eschew their old 433 or 344 (or whatever it is) and start afresh on a frequency that works far better internationally and without any risk of being stamped on from a great height by a Canon flash?

Obv, I dont mean at the same time.....

It's the only way PW will ever appeal to me.
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
KTI - One could set up an A/B/C switchbox that works like the Local, Remote and channels on the Quantum Radio Slaves. I've found the QRS very useful to use even different branded triggers together with *Zone*-like capability. But not as simple an interface to see and use as the +IIIs, especially if you are only using only simple-trigger capability.


For me, my Local switch has an RP JrX Studio on it for that *Zone*, and having three channels available each with it's own remote power control & on/off switch.

If I wasn't already functionally comfortable layering the QRS, needed more zones, and/or had the $$, and I'd layer a +III reciever on channel four to trip my RP JrX-S transmitter. Making my system physically much smaller, which would be nice.

Tho expensive (costing a +III Rcv & hotfoot, & a +II Tcv), one could *layer* a Plus-II the same way for 100% compatibility with +III & +II, still only using one of the four Zoned channels.

It may be cheaper to Y-cord your triggering signal to both Tcv's and just use both the +II & +III Rcvs from their own transmitter.
elv0000 4 years ago
Actually I think it is only the zones you would not be able to use with any Plus II in the mix.

Its hard to get your head around without having them, but I was associating the other features with the new groups which I don't think is the case.

@ MrDat & josh.r - Well for example the Strato II have 4 groups (zones) while the original Strato don't. You can still use the groups though with original Strato in the mix, it just means they will fire when any group is turned on. PW is the opposite, you can't use the groups at all if you want any Plus II to fire at all in the mix.

The reason I Iike the groups (zones) by the way is just to quickly turn lights on and off when setting up, or just to get some variation in shots with the background or fill light light turned off for example. If you use a light meter it makes it quick to meter each light separately with the others turned off. Its something you can use all the time on regular shoots, not just for elaborate remote camera set ups or the like.
brettmaxwell Posted 4 years ago. Edited by brettmaxwell (member) 4 years ago
Sometimes alternate technologies are so advantageous that it's worth implementing a widespread changeover. Records to cassettes to CDs to digital downloads, as just one example (or is that 3?). I thnk with the ControlTL units it would have been a good time to change frequencies.
pat22043 PRO 4 years ago
Leo @ IM says:Future proofing is a marketing invention IMHO. You gave an excellent example with your Nikon lenses. Sure the lenses work, but not in a modern way.

Actually, its worse than that. I have a 40 year old Nikon F and a bunch of lenses. When I went looking for a DSLR, I took 3 or 4 Nikkor lenses to the store and said "sell me a body that uses these" and none of the consumer or enthusiast Nikon bodies would use them at all. Many would not mount them (the tang for the F/FTN light coupling would not clear the pentaprism). So the Nikon claim of backward compatibility is just spin.

If you have semi-recent lenses, I bet they at least mount, and maybe work. But not my beloved 40 year old Nikkor lenses.

Kris This Is says:Is there anything preventing PW (or anyone else) from using two frequencies in their units on a switch

Mostly physics. Radio circuits are strange beasts, and using two frequencies can often mean having two radios and two antennas, which will literally double the cost, and make the size a lot bigger. If the frequencies are close, you can fudge it. But you can't go from say the 300mHz band to the 2.4Ghz band with one radio.
pat22043 PRO 4 years ago
shoens says:The thing is, these days, basic triggers are a solved problem. It was different in the early days of the Strobist blog where you could get expensive PocketWizards that work or cheap triggers that you had to immediately disassemble, re-solder, and re-engineer to have a chance of working well.

Now there's a lot workable alternatives.

I'm tempted by the new PW +3, but my budget would be a lot happier with some solid alternative that will work for my needs even if they won't work for a pro like our hero DH.
Ministrobe Posted 4 years ago. Edited by Ministrobe (member) 4 years ago
Here is a kludgy, but workable, way to create a something like the dual-frequency PW system discussed above that I reckon is useful to those who have already got a bunch of Plus2s (and have budget to acquire some Plus3s):

1) Attach a Plus2 to the camera either via hotshoe, or the camera's PC jack. Set this Plus2 to to any channel you like.

2) ALSO attach a Plus3 to your camera either via the hotshoe or the camera's PC jack. Set this Plus3 to one of the Zone-enabled channels (17-32).

3) Set up your lights with either a Plus2 or Plus3 attached to each, and consider those lights attached to Plus2s to be in "Zone E." To activate/deactivate this Zone E, simply turn the power on the camera-mounted Plus2 on or off.

I just tried this using my pair of Plus2s and my pair of MultiMaxes (I assume the MMs are a valid substitute for Plus3s for the purpose of this exercise) and it works!

The Plus2s were on Channel 1, and the Maxes were on Channel 17. I didn't do an exhaustive test of all combinations of channels, and only having two MMs on-hand, I cannot confirm that this technique doesn't interfere somehow with Zone A/B/C/D functionality, and I cannot say if range is affected since my apt is tiny, but the results I did get leave me optimistic!

Obviously it seems like a waste to use two $100+ PWs for transmission instead of one, but if you already have a set of Plus2s it is an option to be aware of, and on the plus side you get five zones instead of four, which might come in handy with complex lighting setups.

, I think you have the necessary number and types of PWs to test this thoroughly--will you do that please? And I respectfully suggest posting this interesting info on the Strobist blog itself.

Hope this helps.
Ministrobe 4 years ago
Oops! I just reread the discussion above and it seems my post may actually be redundant.

Or not--as says, it is hard to get your head around the "layering" thing if you don't have all the necessary equipment on hand to test!

I have no experience with the QRS system talks about, and after re-reading his last few parargraphs regarding (I think) a PW-only approach a few times I'm still not sure if I just repeated the same thing he said or not.

If anyone out there understands both my post and 's post and can clarify, I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance.
petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
You did the same thing as my Y-the-triggers suggestion. But took it further with selected channels & zone E. Like minds... ;-)
Ministrobe 4 years ago
theworriedshrimp 4 years ago
i'm a triggerless nikon shooter - CLS only.

I've been keen on adding the range a pw or other trigger allows.


will these new pwIII's be adjustable from the camera with the nikon AC-3 unit?

thanks for any clarity.

btw, good post David.
pat22043 PRO 4 years ago
"i'm a triggerless nikon shooter - CLS only.

The new PW Plus 3 don't do CLS
theworriedshrimp 4 years ago
thanks pat i'm aware that the pw's won't do cls.

but was curious if they will (were i to purchase them) scale powerwise up and down with the nikon AC-3 attached to the camera without the mini flex or tt5 thingy...

these pw items add up fast and i'm trying to justify purchasing pwIII's (as my first set of triggers) and still try and get some control from the camera. not necessarily TTL but at least be able to adjust power on the flashes from the camera...

will the AC-3 do this?

i already need a $24 hotshoe adapter for my sb600 to work with these pw's. fortunately i do not for my sb900 and 800.

i also have a sekonic L-358 with pw module attached for this reason alone i'm leaning towards the new improved pw III's.

thanks for your input.

petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
Everyone describes the PW IIIs as *dumb* triggers, with LCD on/off channel/zone selection.

Have you seen any indication anywhere of them having any power control, or even a connection to the AC-3? I haven't. But wouldn't it be nice? :-)


edit: as DH says *dumb (i.e., non-TTL) triggers. * ... seems a shame to call such a wonderful trigger with all these very useful features dumb.
theworriedshrimp 4 years ago
"dumb* triggers, with LCD on/off channel/zone selection..."


"Have you seen any indication anywhere of them having any power control, or even a connection to the AC-3?"

no i have not. but everything about these contraptions is vague.

also sad.

strobist PRO 4 years ago
Dumb triggers means sync only.
theworriedshrimp 4 years ago

manual adjust it is.

the group function is a helpful feature and pw reliability makes me think plus III's are the way to go.

finally a way to trigger a flash beyond a wall.

petepixxx Posted 4 years ago. Edited by petepixxx (member) 4 years ago
PW had a free webinar on vimeo. Lot of lighting details while using the +III !

Actually it's kind of sneaky how he sets up, meters (w/ Seconic 358 PW), takes a pic, changes lights, takes a pic, talks about Flex TT1/TT5 on the same channels & groups, takes a pic, etc... You don't actually notice the setup, tests & changes because especially the zones are so easy to see & do. I think I'm seeing PW in my future! :-)
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