As you may be aware, if you're familiar with my portrait work, I like to play with lights. I like to shoot at sunset and use my speedlights or strobes to overpower the sun or balance the ambient light with artificial lighting.
I was in the market for some new wireless triggers to power my off camera lights and came across the Wansen, Chinese brand of ultra cheap triggers. There are many inexpensive triggers out there but these top them all.
I took the plunge and ordered a set, consisting of trigger and receiver. This set me back the grand price of around €10.00 delivered to Malta. Expectations were not great for such an inexpensive product but I didn't really care as for that price it was worth the risk.
After unboxing the product I was amused at the appearance of my new acquisition. They had a cheap plastic feel and were almost toy like. I definitely did not expect to get much mileage from this new product and judging from first impressions I had my doubts as to whether they would even work at all.
Skip forward about six months and I now own about 4 sets of these. I have used them thousands of times for various photo shoots and in all kinds of conditions. I use them indoors, outdoors on location, in the wind, rain and harsh sunlight. I have never had any issues and rarely experience a misfire. Impressive, considering how inexpensive these are.
I have also used these triggers successfully in group photo shoots where there were about 15 other photographers. Once I found a free channel I had no issues with other photographers firing off my strobes.
On the downside, the product is like a cheap Chinese toy. You need to know how to work your lights in Manual mode as these triggers do not support TTL. Handle them with care and they will treat you right. If you knock them or drop them they will break. I broke the cold shoe mount on one of the receivers whilst trying to pull it off a light stand in a rush. The mount just snapped off. I've also smashed a trigger when I knocked my camera against the corner of a wall. It was in the hot shoe mount and took the impact from the hit. I guess it saved my camera as it absorbed the hit but smashed the trigger, splitting it in half. No big deal, 10 Euros gets me another set!
Finally, even though these are radio triggers I find when line of sight is blocked they tend not to work. This is not really a problem for the type of work I do except for example if I want to shoot a backlit silhouette and have to place a light directly behind my subject. In this scenario they sometimes fail to fire when the line of sight is blocked. I've worked around this issue by only triggering the key light and setting the other lights in slave mode. This way I can shoot around corners and maintain line of sight.
All in all Wansen brand of wireless triggers are well worth the investment. Anyone wanting to add wireless triggers to their kit or for someone starting out in off camera lighting, this is a good place to start. I got mine on eBay but I'm sure they are available on Amazon too. I'll soon be upgrading to TTL capable triggers but it's been a good ride and one that will not break your bank.
Photographer in Malta. Portraits, events, parties, natural light photogrpahy. Black and white photos Malta. Creative Light photographer Malta.