Last year in May I was entered into a competition by Aputure following a photo (see below) I posted into their group on Flickr. Having won that initial competition, I eventually received a single TXII-S flash trigger through the post (mid-February). On its own though, the trigger is pretty-much useless (it does feature a cable shutter-release button but does not come with a Sony adaptor and based on the cable may not work with Sony anyway).
As a result of having won the monthly competition though, I was entered into the end-of-year competition, which I was fortunate enough to have won. The prize in the end was two more of these flash triggers, resulting in a total of three.
I’ve been meaning to pick up some triggers for some time, but have never really been able to justify the cost. Partly because Sony does of course have its own built-in wireless flash system. I do have other flashes though, which is why a triggering system has always been something I have wanted to own.
Until now, I had been triggering my Sony flash using the wireless trigger system and had been triggering a second Minolta flash using an optical slave trigger. I have found this to be a pretty unreliable option though. With Sony’s wireless mode, the on-camera flash seems to do a pre-flash (even if pre-flash TTL is turned off), which would trigger the Minolta. I am pretty convinced that the recycle time was too long for the flash to subsequently trigger a second time. I’m looking forward to having some properly-made tools for the job.
Aputure have a number of triggers on the market, from their most basic range, the Trigmaster II, to the more capable Trigmaster Plus, to the model featured in this article, the Trigmaster Plus II. Note that Aputure claim that any one of these triggers will be able to work with others as they all trigger in the same radio frequency band. Had I been buying the triggers, I expect that I would have tried the Trigmaster II to start with. For starters, they are a fair bit cheaper, but also Aputure have helpfully made the Sony version in the Sony mount. Although you will see in the image above that the models I have been sent are For Sony, all this really means is that they have an adaptor to go from the Minolta hotshoe to an ISO hotshoe mount. This is not such a bad thing as it does seem as though the newer Sony cameras have adopted the ISO hotshoe now.
For my Sony camera flash, I have also had to buy an adaptor to go from ISO to the Minolta mount. Thankfully my Minolta flash is already an ISO mount. These are relatively inexpensive, and I chose to buy one from a company that I have heard of in the past; Pixel. This is not ideal, but again, given that the future of Sony seems to be in utilising the ISO hotshoe mount, it’s probably better to have something that will remain compatible in the longer-term.
Aside from a brief test (in which everything worked well), I have not had the chance to make proper use of the triggers. Once I have, I will make a more detailed post. The triggers themselves are very capable (perhaps trying to achieve too much), and I don’t expect that I will be able to test them to the extreme. For example, in relay mode and over large distances. I will give them a decent going over though, trying them in a number of different scenarios including studio and macro.
Above everything else, I wanted to say a big thank you to Aputure for their kindness in running the competition and giving prizes.