What’s That For, PocketWizard? Plus III Half-Press Function
Hi, this is Patrick. I’m the PocketWizard Tech Support Manager and I’ve been with the company a long time … longer than anyone, actually, but I’m the only one counting. When asked to write an article for the PocketWizard Blog which would be featured in the Newsletter, I thought, “Suh-weet! The eyes of millions will ogle my every proclamation! I’ll wear swanky shirts! I’ll be even more famous! Maybe even go on a date!” But then I was told that I’m not actually famous, my $6 T-shirts are not swanky, and I’d get an article near the bottom if there were 8 or 9 pixels left over on the internet somewhere. “Meh. It could be worse,” I thought, “I could be fixing the plumbing again.” No mention was made about dating, so call me, maybe?
Lots of folk know that the Plus III can trigger remote cameras. What they don’t know is that the TEST button on the Plus III is two-stage, just like a camera! With the right cable (I’ll explain that in a moment) you can half-press the remote camera before the exposure just like you would when using the camera in your hands. Wake up that grumpy camera, get the sleepy seeds out of its eyes, and let it focus and meter before it takes the shot. This feature works on Channels 17 and higher. It’s mentioned briefly on Page 7 of the Plus III Quick Guide, but novels could be written on this subject (budding novelist = date-worthy!).
Some remote camera aficionados will say, “Manual all the way, baby! Fix that focus and tape that lens!” That works for some scenarios, especially indoor sports with a sweet spot, but lots of event photography is more dynamic than that. Maybe you want beaucoups bokeh so auto-focus for wide apertures is critical. Maybe the lighting is changing a lot and you need the camera to manage the exposure. Maybe you want more control for self-portraits. Or maybe you simply want to impress your date with remote techno-wizardry! Just like hand-held photography, you can see the moment approaching and you choose when to half-press the shutter release, making sure the camera’s little robot brain has enough time to do its thing.
Now most remote cameras will still get the metering right, and possibly achieve autofocus, without this cool half-press feature. But it just doesn’t feel the same, and our photographer brains appreciate the half-press familiarity.
Tip: Jump to 32 minutes the above webinar for a video demonstration or click here!
To pull this off, you need a certain kind of remote camera cable for your Plus III: you need an –ACC cable. I apologize for this bizarro cable naming scheme – there is a long and boring explanation, and it’s mostly my fault, but that’s not important right now. Our Cable Finder will help you find the correct –ACC shutter release cable for your camera. They have a stereo miniphone connection on them, like a headphone plug for your Walkman, not a mono plug like your great-grandfather’s chest-pack hearing aid (hipster talk = guaranteed date?)
While you are picking up one of these cables, get two! With one on your remote camera and one on the camera in your hands, the remote camera will follow along with you. As you press the button on your camera half-way, the remote camera will do the same thing. When you press all the way, both cameras will trigger. It’s like that moment on a first date when you both reach for the check. So cute!
Technical Support Manager