Another recent purchase to replace some old kit. So another Darkslide Review!
This time some Wansen PT-16 GY Wireless flash Trigger and receivers sets.
Until recently i’ve been using a 16 channel JYC set of triggers and receivers for strobist work. But over time some have taken a beating, got damaged, covered in mud, water and all sorts working on location so i bit the bullet and decided to pick up some replacements.
After looking around i decided on a couple of sets of Wansen PT-16 triggers and receivers. Both purchased from a popular online auction site, one from a UK seller, and one set from a HK seller.
From the UK seller they cost £17.99 inc delivery for one hotshoe trigger and 3 receivers, all with an extra adapter for using studio umbrellas on them. From the HK seller, it was just under £15 for the same set, minus the umbrella adapters. Shipping from the UK one took around 3 working days, from the HK seller it was around 4 weeks from when the order was placed until they arrived.
As i use Sony equipment they have their own proprietary hotshoe on the bodies, but adaptors can be purchased for around £4 online to convert them to a standard hotshoe mount. I already have a few of these which is fortunate as unlike the JYC sets, there is no dedicated Sony / Minolta trigger for the Wansen Pt-16 sets.
Spec below taken from the auction :
Universal hot shoe interface, compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Olympus, Pentax, etc.
Globally univeral 433Mhz frequency, 16 channels.
With studio flash interface, can trigger several kinds of studio flashes.
Transmitting distance up to 30M, no limits with directions or angles.
1/4″ nut design to be connected with tripod for stable flashlight.
Speedy frequency regulation, convinient for photographers to shoot.
Energy-saving design with 12V 23A battery of transmitter and 2 AAA batteries(not included) of receiver.
Comes with a PC sync cord for cameras without hot shoe socket.
Adds an umbrella holder, no need extra flash socket.
Note: This trigger do not support TTL.
* Canon 580EX II, 580EX, 550EX, 540EZ, 520EZ, 430EX/EXII, 430EZ, 420EX, 420EZ, 380EX;
* Nikon SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-28, SB-27, SB-26, SB-25, SB-24;
* Olympus FL-50, FL36;
* Pentax AF-540 FGZ, AF-360 FGZ, AF-400 FT, AF-240 FT;
* Sunpak Auto 2000DZ, 622 Pro, 433AF, 433D, 383, 355AFm 344D, 333D;
* Vivitar 285HV (Older Vivitar 285/283 works only with PC sync cord);
* Other flash models with a trigger voltage of 12V or lower.
* Work with flash units using universal hot shoe like Nikon, Sigma, Olympus, Pentax (except Minolta SONY, for they use a special hot shoe).
Power of the signal transmitter: 23A 12V mini battery(included)
Power of the receiver(AC): 2 * 1.5V AAA Battery(not included)
Outdoor working distance: max. 30m / 90feet (open area, no fraise)
Indoor operating distance: max. 25m / 75feet
Channel: 16 channels
Synchronous speed: Max. 1/250sec
Umbrella socket: approx. 0.8cm / 0.24in
Material: metal + plastic
Package size: approx. 7.6 * 6.6 * 4.5cm / 2.28 * 1.98 * 1.35in
Package weight: 98g / 3.45oz
As these run on a 433mhz frequency, sadly they are not compatible with my older JYC sets as they run on 2.4ghz. no huge issue to me as i have 6 new receivers and my JYC set can be used as a backup.
Some interesting things to note regarding the official specs. They state a 1/250s sync speed. However i could get only a reliable 200/s sync speed, any faster and black bars would appear the top half of the captured image. With that said, this is an improvement over my older set which would only sync reliably at 160/s.
Range wise, they are pretty good. I’ve yet to test at the full 30m range it quotes, but for location work around 15-20m they are pretty reliable, maybe around 1 in 30 it will not trigger the flash, but that is also down to the flash gun recycle times. In a studio indoor setting, i’ve yet to experience them misfire at close range of about 5-10 metres.
Running off 2x AAA batteries each. I use Duracell rechargeables at 800 mAh, and thus far i’ve yet to have to change a set in about 4 weeks of use.
On the top they come with a standard hotshoe mount, which grip well with the Sunpak 30dx guns i use regularly. They hold the guns solid and in place which is an improvement over the JYC ones which always felt a little too loose and would often stop working if knocked or moved.
The triggers themselves also come with a standard sync port as well as the receiver has a 2.5mm sync jack if needed. But i’ve yet to find a need for these.
On the underside, again there is a hotshoe mount and also a standard 1/4″ light stand or tripod screw mount. trying out both mounting on hotshoe brackets and light stands, they hold solid, especially as the hotshoe mount is made of plastic. I suspect over time this would be susceptible to wear and tear, however the screw mount is metal so would be the more practical option in the long term.
So are they worth the money?
The short answer is yes! For strobist work on a budget and especially with all the location work i do, if any do fail or get damaged they are cheap and easy to replace. Obviously when compared to more expensive triggers like Pocketwizards and Interfit Strobies, they do feel a bit cheaper in hand and are theoretically less reliable. But for a photographer on a budget like myself they are an excellent choice.
Thanks for reading and i hope this has been informative for you.