Callum McInerney-Riley tests the Hähnel Tuff TTL, a rugged and affordable TTL metering flash trigger for both Canon and Nikon cameras
Hähnel Tuff TTL flash trigger at a glance:
- Rugged design with rubber cases
- Available for both Canon and Nikon cameras
- Takes AA batteries
- Price: £99
- Website: www.hahnel.ie
Hähnel Tuff TTL wireless triggers were released back in 2012, but they are still very well regarded as reliable off-camera flash-triggering kits. This particular kit comes as a pair, comprising a transmitter and a receiver, and is available in Canon or Nikon fit. The receiver attaches to a flashgun and the transmitter attaches to the camera’s shoe.
When the shutter is pressed, the transmitter sends an ISM 2.4GHz wireless signal to the receiver that can fire the flash from a distance of up to 200 metres.
The real highlight, though, is that the flash trigger works with TTL metering. This means the flash sends a small pre-flash, calculates how much power output is required with your chosen camera settings, and then meters it accordingly.
TTL metering is invaluable in situations where your subject is moving, a shot needs to be taken quickly or there’s no time to set a manually determined flash power output. I often rely on it for candid photos at weddings when it’s dark, or if it’s hard to shoot with ambient light.
The large button on the front of the transmitter tests the flash, while one below it allows users to switch between normal high-speed sync and second-curtain sync modes.
High-speed sync ensures the flash fires at shutter speeds up to 1/8,000sec for capturing action. Second-curtain sync allows the flash to fire at the end of an exposure, ideal for capturing ambient light while using flash. The bottom of the receiver features a 1/4in tripod thread, but if you have a shoe-mounting flash modifier you’ll need to buy a tripod-to-shoe adapter.
Hähnel Tuff TTL flash trigger – Key features
It’s possible to supply external power to the Tuff TTL Trigger via Mini USB, although the rubber covers need to be removed to access the port.
There are removable covers surrounding the trigger set to further protect the rugged design from damage.
The transmitter and receiver use two AA batteries each.
I was disappointed that the Hänhel Tuff TTL comes without an included shoe adapter, as it makes pairing it with shoe-mounted softboxes rather difficult. There’s also no functionality to adjust exposure compensation on the remote. However, it is exceptionally good value for money, well built and gives consistently good results in use without any misfiring issues.
SCORE: 4 out of 5
You may also consider:
Phottix Odin TTL Flash trigger set
This trigger set allows users to run multiple off-camera flashes on different groups and channels. The system can be used in manual or with TTL metering. The transmitter also lets users individually configure the lighting set-up, including adjusting exposure compensation for TTL flashguns.
PocketWizard Mini Flex and AC3 kit
Often the flash trigger of choice for many professional photographers, the PocketWizard kit works manually or TTL, with the option to adjust ±3EV using the AC3 accessory. However, it comes at a steep price.
Price: £50 each
Although these triggers don’t feature TTL metering, the Cactus V6 can be used to fire off-camera flashes and change the power setting from another V6 unit. As an added bonus, they can handily also be used on any camera using any type of flash.