Thanks to my budget eBay wireless flash triggers dying on me during my last shoot, I have recently been scouring the net for a better alternative. Like most photographers, my first gander was at the infamous Pocketwizards. As amazing as they may be, the ball park figure of £300 per set was a bit too steep for my pocket and so I went in search for something a little more cash friendly. In the end I went with Seculine’s Twinlink T2D set, bought from warehouseexpress.com for a more reasonable £119.99.
The first thing I liked about the T2D set was its “straight out of the box” setup. The box itself is fairly sleek with little wasteful packaging and includes everything you need to set-up and shoot within 5 minutes. Inside you will find:
• T2D 16-channel transmitter
• T2D 16-channel receiver
• Transmitter batteries (3x AAA)
• Receiver batteries (2x CR2032)
• Mains power supply for receiver
• Tripod/magnetic mount adapter for receiver
• Adhesive metal plate for mounting receiver magnetically on non-metallic surfaces
• Adhesive hotshoe adapter for transmitter remote fitting
• Flash sync to transmitter cable
• Receiver to studio flash 3.5mm jack connector
• 3.5mm jack input to 7.5mm jack adapter
The obvious pros you can see from the above list includes the 16 channel settings on both units, the common batteries used to power them and one of my favourite details: the magnetic mount for the receiver that I can just slap on the side of my Bowens flash heads. Another feature of the T2D set is that they use IF triggering along with the RF and direct connections though I can’t say I’ve so far had a need for it. The antennae for the units are removable so be careful not to lose them! Otherwise the units are lightweight and the build quality seems pretty decent.
Something you may wish to consider however is the 2.4 GHz radio frequency at which the T2D’s operate. Other users have reported slight interference of the units from baby monitors and even wireless internet however I have yet to encounter such problems. The only other bug bear experienced by myself and other togs is the fact that you can’t turn the transmitter off like you can the receiver. The transmitter has a sleep mode which you can set for different durations, the minimum being of 5 minutes. Though the advantage of this is that if you forget to turn it off it will do so automatically after the set period of time, it also means that every time you don’t want to trigger the remote flash, you need to take the unit off the camera’s hotshoe.
The first road test I took the T2Ds on was to an industrial estate to shoot stuntman, Andy Lister. The units worked perfectly, even around corners and with objects blocking the line of sight. There was an occasional mis-fire and a couple of spontaneous flashes however I’d say the triggers did what they were told 9/10 times. In terms of range, though they fired perfectly for my needs, the furthest I ever took the transmitter from the receiver was about 5/6m (this was the distance at which I was shooting around corners).
Though it’s early days yet, my experience with Seculine’s Twinlink T2Ds has so far been positive. Sure, it doesn’t have all the nifty features of a Pocketwizard, but I’d definitely recommend it to togs looking for a middle-of-the-road, reliable remote trigger at a fraction of the cost of a PW.