Aputure Trigmaster Plus 2.4G Review

Here is my long over due review of a wireless flash trigger system I have been using for the past year. I was lucky to get in touch with Jesse from Aputure (yes, Chinese brand), and I was given samples of the Aputure Trigmaster Plus 2.4G transceivers for my Canon system to review. They work exactly like my previous Pocketwizard Plus II system, each device can perform either as a transmitter or receiver. The purpose of a wireless trigger system is to use off-camera flash for either a more flattering, natural, or even dramatic lighting – basically anything but on-board camera flash! The system allows for 1 or more flash, in my case I use up to 3 flashes.

I had been using Pocketwizard Plus II system for a few years, but I always noticed the flash would misfire on occasion, sometimes missing a moment at a wedding. I usually noticed the misfire when my camera is low to the ground and the flash is high up, and when there were too many people blocking line of sight from the trigger. Even though it’s a radio system, walls and enough people can still affect the signal. Radio dynamics is one of the trickiest topics to understand, but elevation and angles are a major concern for radios and antenna signals. The 2.5ghz spec of the Trigmaster seemed promising, instead of the 500mhz rated Plus II.

The setup of the Trigmaster is also significantly easier than Plus II’s. If you see the comparison photo below, the Plus II setup required three additional parts that can take extra time to setup during a wedding event. The Trigmaster requires no additional parts. I have seen other new brands with the same simple setup with thread mount and hotshoe. This would also not be a concern if you’re able to upgrade to a Pocketwizard FlexTT system.

A bonus feature with the Trigmaster is being able to use it as a remote shutter, you just need to attach an included cable from the Trigmaster to the camera’s remote shutter connection, and you can remotely set off the camera and flash system all at once.

Pros

At only $60 for 2 devices, it’s an extremely good deal compared to PLUS II’s. The system is very easy to setup. Screw the remote onto a light stand, slide the flash into the hotshoe and you’re done. You can scroll through 6 channels with the button labeled Channel, and you can trigger the flash or camera remote with the large round button. The 2xAAA batteries last a very long time in the Trigmaster. The range and reliability of the trigger is very good – except when moving the system around, I’ll cover that next.

Cons

My only big concern about the Trigmaster is the channel selection changing. When talking to Jesse, he could not replicate the issue, but it happens to some of my triggers. When attached to the light stand and flash, any bump or wobble of the stand would cause the trigger body to compress and would change the channel. This issue is easily reproduced when when I compress the trigger with my fingers, it would change channels. The solution would just be to keep some sandbags on the light stands to prevent any major movement. Whenever the flash did not trigger, I knew someone had kicked the stand and I have to change it back to the correct channel. I would have preferred a trigger with manual binary switches to prevent accidental button presses.

You can see Mila’s photo shoot with the Trigmasters here.















20 Comments

  1. kerry July 30, 2012

    I have also tried this product, and also satisfied with it, it can work with all Aputure triggers, and it could also work for multiple cameras at the same time. I like this function.

  2. Tony October 16, 2012

    I just puchased 3 trigmater plus units for my Olypus OM-D. I have 2 flashes that I use manually (a Nikon SB26 and an old Sunpack 433D). The setup was easy enough and lo and behold, these babies flashed when called upon…and the autofocus/shutter trigger also worked great.

    BUT after a short period of inactivity, I noticed that the flashes stopped firing. I checked the channels and they did not change (still set to 1). After much experimentation I found that I needed to “reboot” the receivers attached to the flashes by turning them off/on. By doing this “reboot” it seems that the Trigmasters once again fired the flashes. Of course this not acceptable.

    My question; is this normal behavior (powering these units off/on)? Am I doing something wrong? Are these particular units defective? Is there a better alternative for about the same price (I paid less than $100 US for three Trigmasters).

    Thanks

  3. Samuel November 20, 2012

    This is a beauty indeed. Like how you photograph them to such details. In Malaysia, I bought them for RM140 from Camera2U. It’s considered an economic option in our country given the prices of other brands with similiar function.

  4. Jlim January 13, 2013

    Can anyone please advise whether it is possible to change the flash settings remotely using the Aputure Trigmaster Plus? On the canon 5D Mk II and Mk III, the flash settings can be changed from the on camera flash menu. Therefore if the Aputure Trigmaster Plus is connected to the flash unit/s will the change of the flash settings using the camera flash settings menu register? I am contemplating acquiring the Apture Plus transceivers but do not want to have the set each of the flash units manually particularly when I have a few flash units hooked up. Appreciate any advice or information.

  5. Tony Yang January 15, 2013

    Hi, you cannot change the flash settings remotely. I still have to go up to each flash and change the manual power by hand.

  6. Jlim January 15, 2013

    On a cheeky note, you must get very fit trotting up and down to each flash unit changing the settings and output. Thanks, I think I will go for one which you can remotely change the settings and has group settings.

  7. crossmr February 9, 2013

    I’d highly recommend against purchasing this product. I’ve spent the last month trying to purchase a working aputure product to no avail.
    Initially I purchased a standard trigmaster receiver/trigger combo set with an additional receiver. Initially they worked great out of the box, after about 120 pictures each, both receivers lost the ability to fire the flash. The red light was coming on indicating it was receiving a signal it just stopped firing the flash. Nothing I could do would make it fire, batteries, reseating the flash, etc. Eventually I found that running a patch cable from camera socket to the flash socket on the same receiver caused the flash to fire. It could accept the signal send it out its socket and take it back in the other socket and then fire the flash, but not fire it directly as it just had done 120 times. They worked to fire the camera shutter but not the flash.

    After receiving a refund from Amazon I chose instead to order to Trigmaster Pros, these were wonky right out of the box. Opened the box (not damaged, clearly new as they had plastic on the units), and popped the batteries in both set one Tx/Rx and the other Rx and nothing.. no red light.. nada. I still had the original defective set (amazon deemed it too expensive to ship back and just gave a refund), and putting a pro into Rx and using the regular trigger it would fire no problem. They could fire camera shutters fine, but neither one of them work as a flash trigger. Right out of the box before I did anything to them except put in batteries and turn them on. Didn’t attach them to a single piece of equipment. I did discover that waving the pro trigger around and clicking madly you could find one sweet spot where they would actually talk and you could fire the flash. Move it a couple mm up or down and it would stop working. Extremely useful for studio work. It seems like both of them (from the same batch according to their in box cards) came with defective flash units. They can’t send a signal to trigger flash on anything, but they can trigger camera on each other, or on those older defective receivers. A month in, out extra shipping (don’t live in the states, so I have to pay extra to get the items and they aren’t covered by the refunds) and I still can’t get working product from them through 4 defective pieces of equipment.

  8. Mike February 15, 2013

    I can confirm the behavior described by Tony for the Olympus OM-D. These triggers work initially, but after a minute or so of inactivity they go into some sort of sleep mode. Once this happens the only way to get them to work reliably is to turn them off and on again. Obviously this will not work for most people. While you set up your flashes or work with a model, the system will go to sleep and not recover. I’m going to try the Phottix Strato system next. It’s more expensive, but I hope it will be reliable.

  9. Zoran March 28, 2013

    Can anybody please confirm that Aputure Trigmaster Plus works on Canon 1Ds mk ii? I can not get mine working. They work fine on Canon 40D.
    Thank you.

  10. Kurtz A June 12, 2013

    Can you also use this to remotely sync with a strobe from camera like paul buff or pocket??

  11. Tony Yang June 12, 2013

    Yes, I use my Trigmasters to trigger my Alienbees B400’s and ringflash. The triggers come with all the necessary cables.

  12. Kurtz A June 12, 2013

    Thank you! i just ordered mine was gonna go for cybersyncs but this has more features!

  13. Kurtz A June 24, 2013

    @Crosmr, i dont know about your luck with this product but i just got mine and it work great with my strobes and flashes, great review btw, thanks again

  14. Pat January 30, 2014

    Very frustrated, have tried for 3 weeks to get this to fire my shutter on my canon t4i. I have swapped emails back and forth and their “simple” instructions do not work. I cannot get it to fire my shutter and take a picture no matter what I do…

    Dear Pat,

    a. In the situation you mentioned in your last email, please place the receiver (Trigmaster II receiver )on the camera ‘s shoe amount and connect the camera via shutter cable, then turn on the power and turn it to Flash mode.
    Hold Trigmaster Plus in hand, turn on power and switch to TX/RX mode, then you would able to control the camera via pressing the shutter button on the Trigmaster Plus.(please keep them on the same channel)

  15. Tony Yang February 1, 2014

    The Trigmaster works on my 1D and 5D as a remote shutter trigger. Unfortunately I don’t have a Rebel to test with.

  16. ronny March 2, 2014

    are the cables supplied, is one for the canon 5d mk 3? as the ones supplied do not fit the camera,the mk 3 in camera has a three pin fitting

  17. Tony Yang March 3, 2014

    The Trigmaster comes with a 3 prong female cable.

  18. Justin Arrington November 15, 2014

    Tony Yang, I have Aputure Trigmaster Plus II 2.4G and I shoot with Nikon D800 and have Alien bee flashes. I hooked up the units to the Aputure and one to the camera with the D800 cable, but the camera was focusing but wouldn’t fire. The flashes fired though. What do you do?

  19. Tony Yang November 15, 2014

    Make sure you’re properly set at Tx for the camera trigger, and Rx for the trigger attached to the flash. Otherwise you would have to contact support for your specific case, since I shoot with Canon.

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