Saturday, August 18, 2007

Duncan Babbage's Ghetto Trigger Test!

For those of you who can't afford or refuse to part with the big bucks for Pocket Wizards Wireless Flash Triggers, there is always the less expensive, Chinese made 'Ghetto Triggers'. Notoriously cheap, poorly made and somewhat unreliable, they are nevertheless very popular items on E-bay that have made their way into most retail photography shops and a lot of Pro Shooter's camera bags. Some Remote Trigger Units being more dependable than others, you have to ask around on the photographers net forums to find a batch from a manufacturer / seller that has proven itself in daily use. The remotes currently offered on E-bay are hands down, more powerful and reliable than the units being produced just a few years ago. I own one myself and use it frequently with very few problems. Best 70 bucks I ever spent!

A few quick tips:

  • Test the unit in different locations / situations that best reflect the type of photography work that you do on a daily basis. Small rooms, large studios, factory floor or outdoor shooting in close proximity to your lights, whatever situation most representative of your average work setting.
  • Test different battery brands / types in each Remote Unit, lithium, alkaline, Duracell, Eveready etc... I have found that my Chinese made Remote Trigger is 98-99 percent reliable in most situations if I use Fresh Duracell Batteries. The Cheap Dollar Store Double-A's just don't seem to work. I guess it has something to do with continuous average Voltage or Amps......who knows!
  • After a PC Connector came loose inside my Remote Trigger, I dismantled it, fixed the problem and filled the guts of the unit with High Strength Hot Glue. Problem Solved!
  • Whatever you do.................Don't drop it! Trust me, they don't bounce.
Duncan Babbage, Photographer and New Zealand Native has extensively tested the Ghetto Remotes and found some interesting things about the Channel Frequencies and overall reliability.

Thanks to Duncan and to the Strobist Website for pointing us to his article.

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