Lastolite Flash Trigger Set
20/08/10There are many options for triggering flashguns off-camera. I had been using a Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter to do this and was really pleased with its ease of use and that it supported E-TTL metering. However, the ST-E2 is unreliable when working outdoors in bright light. It also needs line of sight with the flashgun and at times this can limit your options. Therefore I needed another method of triggering my speedlites.
For a long time now I’ve been a fan of lighting accessories from Lastolite. I use their reflectors, umbrellas and softboxes so I thought I’d try their radio-signalled flash trigger system.
Costing about £50 this triggering system is definitely at the budget end of radio triggers. First impressions were that the Lastolite flash trigger was very compact and light so it wouldn’t be a hassle to keep in the bag as a back up for the ST-E2. However, the build quality seemed quite flimsy and didn’t inspire confidence. It certainly didn’t feel like the normal Lastolite quality. For this price you don’t expect much sophistication and the Lastolite flash trigger is not designed to maintain E-TTL flash control. Instead you put the flashgun into manual mode and vary the power on the flashgun as necessary. It also only works on one radio channel so if there is someone else nearby with the same kit you may get interference and malfunctions. The stated range is 10 metres which is at the low end compared to most other manufacturers. The kit comes with a transmitter and one receiver. Additional receivers are available for multiple flashgun set ups. Also supplied in the kit is a PC cable for flashguns and a 3.5/6.3 mm jack plug for studio lights.
In practice I found this product to be very unreliable. It would often fail to fire the flash even at very close range. It also had the bizarre habit of randomly firing the flashgun when the camera was sitting untouched. Even at a range of 3 metres indoors it only had about a 50% success rate. Customer support could offer no explanations and, as equipment reliability is so essential, I looked for alternatives.
The people at Warehouse Express were very helpful and immediately exchanged the Lastolite trigger for an Interfit Strobies I sync 4 Wireless and Optical Trigger/Receiver Set which retailed at the same price. This had a better range (30 metres) and four independent radio channels. The Interfit set up has worked faultlessly.
Maybe I just had a bad unit from Lastolite. However, because of the unreliability I really cannot recommend this product.
Overall Rating: 1/5
Ease of use: 1/5
Value for money: 3/5
Build quality: 1/5