ASK BRIAN: Using Pocket Wizards on Sony Alpha?

Q: Hi Brian, First time I met a pro working with a900 Sony Body. I own one too and happy with it. Just might be a little bad when in low light … I saw your using PW, which one are u using and How do you connect both body and flash ? What about Elinchrom ?
asked by danysimon

A: Yes Dany, I’m using PocketWizard Plus II Transceivers with my Sony a900. All you need is an adapter like the Sony FA-HS1AM Hot Shoe Adapter to convert the Sony shoe to standard. Many of the Profoto strobe packs I use have built in PocketWizard circuitry . I trigger the packs that don’t using a PocketWizard Plus II Transceiver with PocketWizard Miniphone to Monoplug cord.

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20 thoughts on “ASK BRIAN: Using Pocket Wizards on Sony Alpha?”

  1. Hi Brian,
    I am a professional portrait photographer using an a850 as my primary body. The PocketWizard Plus II transceivers were recommended to me for use to trigger my 2 Sony flashes avoiding having to use the iffy IR communication which will work fine with those or with other strobes, but I was given the indication that hooking them up would not allow full TTL modes to function on remote flashes as Canon/Nikon users are currently using with flashes off-camera in conjunction with newer PocketWizards that are TTL enabled. Is it correct then that anything hooked to the PocketWizard Plus II transceivers will simply operate as a strobe at whatever power it is set at? I may be missing something I’m sure.

    1. There are separate dedicated TTL Pocket Wizards for Canon & Nikon build on the each protocols for each. PocketWizard and Sony have spoken about adding a dedicated Sony version. Until then, Pocket Wizard Trancievers can trigger Sony flashes – though I believe you are correct when you say not in TTL mode or since the a850 does not have a pop-up flash the wireless flash will work if you have a flash on the hotshoe. Even the small Sony HVLF20AM Flash will work fine for this purpose.

  2. Hello sir, I’m ervan student from indonesian. i really like photography and really love your work and had your book secret of great portrait photography, thats really awesome and inspired me a lot. by the way, i just see your example work using a99 and RX1 with pocket wizard III and i see elinchrom ranger quadra on
    here the link:

    what i want to ask to you is:
    1. what wireless trigger you use on that camera when you use RX1 and A99 to fire elinchrom ranger quadra? are you use skylite/sky port transmitter or pocket wizard III?
    2. when using skylite/ skyport transmitter/PWIII on RX1 and A99 what maximal sync speed you can reach to fire up your elinchrom ranger quadra?
    3. when you using RX1/A99 and elinchrom ranger quadra for main lighting, are you can using HVL flash or SB800/SB900 to be slave flash in high speed sync?
    4. are RX1 internal flash can connecting with elinchrom ranger quadra when you want to play strobist?
    5. when you using PWIII/skylite/skyport transmitter for your A99/RX1, are you using PC cord? what i know is RX1 doesn’t have PC cord, how to use it on RX1?

    apologise for my many ask and my bad english, hope you want to help me because i want to buy RX1 and elinchrom ranger quadra but want to know how it work for strobist. many thanks ๐Ÿ˜€ god bless you sir ๐Ÿ™‚ i hope you visit in indonesian again ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hello Ervan,

      I’m using Pocket Wizard IIIs in the hotshoe. I haven’t tried the Elinchrom skyports, but I have successfully used Profoto Air triggers and Adorama Flashpoint Transcievers – so I’d imagine the Elinchrom triggers would work. I’d only use on camera flash to trigger as an absolute last resort and if I did, I’d direct it away from the subject and toward the off-camera flash that I wanted to trigger.

      1. thank you very much sir ๐Ÿ˜€ your answer really really strengthen me ๐Ÿ˜€ thank you sir. god bless you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. HI. I’m a sony user and beginner in flash photography. I have some questions concerning the pocketwizard iii :
    -what’s the max sync speed i can get with rx1r et alpha99? i found people on the web said it was 1/2000 with rx1?
    -if speed is 1/2000, is it with a specific flash or any flash can do that?
    -what kind of flash is compatible? do i have to buy a flash for sony system or can i buy buy any flash (for example a flash for canon or nikon?)

    1. With Pocket Wizard’s I’ve found 1/1250th sec to be the max x-sync on RX1 though it’s likely 1/2000th for Sony flashes. You’re always best using native flashes for any system. You could use Canonikon flashes – but only in manual mode.

  4. I have the new Sony Alpha R7 II. Can I use PWs made for Nikon on this (hotshot seems to fit) albeit only in slave mode? I use SB 800s or Einsteins with the PW insert for strobes. Or might this burn up something. What are the correct menu settings?

    Or perhaps just go slaves via strobe light attaching a flash to the camera and setting to low power sons to keep on axis as low as possible.

  5. Hello I was contemplating buying Flashpoint StreakLight 360 Ws Flash with Blast Power Pack (Manual) Because i couldn’t really find Sony compatible
    And I have a couple Pocket Wizards Plus II and I know this package on Adorama has an R1 flashpoint and receiver but was wondering if the pocket wizards plus II would work with my sony a7 series. Thanks!

  6. Awesome thank you. Is it possible to mix and match? Use both the pocket wizards and the R1s together? Or any transmitter and receivers in general? Thanks again

  7. Hello Brian,
    I’m here again ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Is it possible to shoot a remote Sony A7RII camera using pocketwizard plus III?
    When I tried it worked out in my hand. When I put the second pocketwizard unit in the shoe of the other camera, it did not fire again.
    Can you help me?
    Thank you

  8. Hello Brian,

    I recently purchased a set of Pocket Wizard X’s. I currently own a sony a1 and a9 and am trying to set up a remote camera to shoot from my primary camera. When I use the remote in my hand it fires perfectly to the remote camera but when I place the secondary transmitter on the hotshoe of my primary camera, it doesn’t communicate with the secondary camera. Do you know if I need to run a cable to both cameras or is there a setting that needs to be changed in my camera?

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