The Aputure Trigmaster Plus is a non-TTL transceiver system built into a unit the size and model of the much more expensive PocketWizard Plus III. The Auto-Sensing technology analyses the status of the Trigmaster Plus’ connection to determine which mode to utilise (transmitter or receiver).
The Trigmaster Plus comes with a technology called “Interlink triggering mode”, which enables one Trigmaster Plus to receive and transmit signals at the same time. Users can remotely trigger their camera, while the camera then relays the signal to remote flashes, enabling the whole system to work simultaneously.
I tested the Aputure Trigmaster Plus with two speedlights. The Trigmaster Plus can wirelessly control a speedlight flash from up to 100 metres. Aditionally, the Trigmaster Plus can wirelessly control your camera shutter. I did nit test this feature.
The Trigmaster range of products is made in China, but sold exclusively by Fotodiox in the USA. In Europe, it is sold by a variety of distributors.
The Trigmaster Plus is a radio trigger for Flash, Strobe and Camera with six channels, using an encrypted 2.4 GHz wireless Radio Frequency with and a sync speed of 1/250 sec when in “flash” mode.
The box came with the Trigmaster Plus itself, camera connection trigger cable (my test units were all Canons, so I didn’t test with my Sony Alphas), a studio flash sync cord & PC sync cord, a miniplug to 1/4″ jack adapter and two AAA batteries and an instruction manual.
The device made in China and the instruction manual in Chinese first, English second, made me expect the worst in terms of performance and durability. However, the instructions were surprisingly clear and readable.
Because my test units were all Canon models, Fotodiox was kind enough to include a hot-shoe converter. I was given the choice (this is truly exceptional; if Fotodiox takes care of its customers as it did of me, then their customer support must be brilliant) between a regular one and one with Safe Sync. I chose the latter and received a SMDV SM-601 adapter. Compared to the one I got from Jobo many years back, this one looks and feels much more robust. It has a battery inside and protects the camera against power surges from bad behaving speedlights.
Back to the Trigmaster Plus. I tested it the way I always do: I have this concrete-walled building inside which I can separate the transmitting device from the receiving one at a distance of 35 metres with two concrete walls of approx. one foot in-between. The Trigmasters all performed like a charm.
I also tested the channels feature and that as well performed perfectly. I did run into a problem the second day, oddly enough with two Trigmasters side-by-side. The receiver was laid flat on a metal surface, while the transmitter was about one metre away. The flash wouldn’t fire. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t. I reseated the batteries and that worked for one shot. Then again nothing.
When I removed the Trigmaster from the metal (inox) surface, all was well again. It was a strange experience and after that — using the test units under normal circumstances — they never failed again. Perhaps the metal interfered with the radio transmission.
Whatever caused this, I’m sure few photographers will lay their flash flat on a metal surface!
The Trigmaster Plus can also work as a remote trigger device. I tried this with one flash, the camera-Trigmaster combination, and then the Trigmaster as trigger in my hands. That worked well too, although I can’t see that I would use this often.
I can’t say much about durability in terms of how long it would take to break a Trigmaster Plus. It’s been said a PocketWizard is virtually indestructible, but at roughly 30.00 Euros for a Trigmaster Plus, I can’t see why you wouldn’t buy one extra just in case… It sure won’t break the bank!