Pixel Soldier TF-373 Trigger for Sony Alpha

There are a lot of flash triggers out there, and they range in from very very cheap to several hundred euro per item. I have had a variety of different trigger over the years from cheap to mid priced, and every time I buy a new set I discover another feature that is missing.

After a while I knew what I wanted/needed in a trigger set and what I was willing to pay.

  • No shoe adapters, it should have the Sony hot shoe
  • a cheap, common battery type e.g AAA CR2 etc
  • No special cables that you can’t replace
  • No miss fires or phantom firing

I didn’t think that was a lot to ask, and I can’t be the only person on the planet who’s looking for it. Then one day  in the Sony alpha forum on flickr I read about  the Pixel Soldier TF-373
3

Features

  • Professional flash trigger with simple shutter remote control
  • Wake-up function wakes compatible flashes from sleep mode
  • Transmitter can control A, B and C groups individually with 7 different flash combinations
  • Receivers can be set as group A, B or C
  • Swappable shutter release cable for your camera model
  • Power saving mode on the transmitter
  • Receiver battery life of up to 400hrs with 2xAAAs: more than 10x the life of similar products
  • Low voltage design allows use of rechargeable batteries
  • Multi-power design allows use of power socket
  • Syncs up to 1/250-1/320sec on compatible cameras

Specifications

Type FSK 2.4GHz Wireless System
Operation Range 100m
Channel 16
Transmit Power -1dB
Sensitivity -97dB
Cable length 1.2m (coiled style)
Standby Time Transmitter 3 years (2033 button battery)
Receiver 400 hours (2x AA alkaline battery)
Dimensions (L*W*H) Transmitter 66 * 37.5 * 28.5 mm
Receiver 80 * 37.5 * 30 mm

2

Impressions

I ordered 2 sets from an eBay shop. They cost €60 per set, postage inclusive + €22 Import tax. The reason I ordered 2 sets is that I am always sceptical about the quality of “Made in China”, I also wanted more that 1 receiver.  As always the seller said 4-6 weeks delivery time, and it was in my hands within 5 working days. The German “Zollampt” (customs and excise dept) opened the packet decided to impound the batteries (I still don’t know why), just as well I ordered a trigger set with cheap common battery type 😉 .

The Pixel Soldier is based on the popular Yongnuo RF-602 system. The quality of the plastic housing is much better then that of my Cactus or Yongnuo triggers.

I have shot 2 weddings and several studio sessions with them and so far have had only a single miss fire, and no phantom flash triggers. A lot better than the Yongnuo

Sync time s of up to 1/250th aren’t a problem (using the A900 and A700, please check the max sync speed of your camera first) with out any banding.

What is Wireless Flash Grouping?

Wireless Flash Grouping is the main feature added to the Soldier TF-37X since the Pawn TF-36X. In addition to 16 frequency channels (the Dip switches for which are still buried in the battery compartment) the Pixel Soldier offers three Wireless Flash Groups A, B and C. With a simple switch on the receiver you can quickly set a flash, studio light or remote camera to any of the three groups.

What’s more, the transmitter features a control panel that allows you to select and trigger multiple groups at once. This creates seven (7) different combinations which are:

  1. A only
  2. B only
  3. C only
  4. A and B
  5. A and C
  6. B and C
  7. A, B and C (all)

Wireless Flash Grouping on the Pixel Soldier can allow a photographer to control multiple lighting setups at once. It may also be used for individually metering up to three different lights without having to switch any of them off. This could even be used with remote cameras too.

Camera Remote

One feature that I found cool is there is a shutter cable included in the set. You simply plug one end of the cable into the port on your camera where you would normally plug your Sony shutter release cable, and the other end into the receiver. Now you can now fire your camera (using the test button on the trigger) wirelessly .


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About shotbyscott

Just another photography blog.. I also like all kinds of accessories
This entry was posted in I have seen the light and the dark side, lightGIANTS, pimp my camera, wow thats flash and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Pixel Soldier TF-373 Trigger for Sony Alpha

  1. Hey Scott,
    Thanks for the info. I have the CTR-301P’s and like them allot however these look very nice. I would be nice to attach my Sony/Minolta flash’s direct instead of using an ISO adapter and I like the sound of the channel selection system these have.

    Do you by chance know if the 36AM and 42AM’s are supported with the wakeup function?

    Rgds,
    Dave

  2. shotbyscott says:

    I’ve used them with the 36 and the 56 no problem ( aka 3600 and 5600). I have read that the 58 is also no problem. But you may have to do the “on the camera first” trick with the 46 will try to find out for you.

  3. shotbyscott says:

    Just tested it. If you put the 42 on your camera set it to wireless then put it on the trigger it works perfect.

    • Taylor'd Pictures says:

      I was having problems getting it to work on my 42-am. I was getting frustrated but followed your instructions and it works now. Thank you

  4. Joeone1039 says:

    Ordered a set with two extra receivers played around with them hooked up to monolights. seem to work very well, the only thing I don’t like is no release button on the transmitter. you just have to tug on it untill it comes off the camera.

  5. Dave Vaughan says:

    Thanks Scott. I am looking at a few sets on eBay now.

    Dave

  6. shotbyscott says:

    @Joeone1039 mine slide on and of easy.
    @ Dave Good luck. let me know how it goes

  7. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the review. Very informative, I’m planning to get 2 transmitters and 6 receivers (go big or go home, right?) to use with a mix of studio strobes and Sony/Minolta flashes. Figure this kit will save me about $1000 vs the Pocket Wizards and all the adapters needed. I LOVE that they do the ABC grouping, this should come in really handy for wedding receptions.

  8. Pingback: RF 602 trigger met hvl-f42am - Belgiumdigital forum - Digitale fotografie

  9. Barry says:

    Do the ttl functions work with this setup? How do you attach a receiver to a studio strobe like white lightning?

    • shotbyscott says:

      Hi Barry no there is no TTL But the new version that has just come our supports TTL . And yes i use them all the time in the studio with my Bowens Gemini flashes

  10. My set has arrived, but how do I unmount the trigger on the camera? I can’t seem to find a button for the locking pin..

  11. Dave Melges says:

    Very nice little review, good information, thank you :)) Has anyone tried them with the HVL-f20am? I was surprised that using everything I can think of I can’t get it to fire. My 58/42 flashes and even my little cheap Polaroid flash all fire every time, no luck on the 20.
    Thanks again !

    • papyrazzi says:

      To Dave Melges
      Hi. The Soldier fires all my SONY flashes but it does never fire the HVL-20-AM although the contacts of this little flash are same as those of all the other Sony flashes.

  12. downriverbob says:

    Any info on whether these work with the new HVL-F43AM? I currently have a cheap set of Yongnuo CTR-301P and i cant seem to make the flash fire off camera.
    Thanks

  13. Thanks for the review! You mention that they now support TTL, but I can’t find them where that is mentioned. How do I know if I am ordering a new model or an old, non-TTL model? Thanks!

    • papyrazzi says:

      Hello Eric Bjerke Sr.
      All the new models are now TTL. Thats normally mentioned in the ad or on the packet. But the high price stays the biggest indicator which model you’re looking.
      The other indicator is that the new model don’t emulate (or work with) the older one.

  14. ulrik says:

    Can the trigger set off other receivers? I have a bunch of old Vivitar strobes for an el cheapo strobist solution, so it would be useful to use the TF-373 on my Nex-7 and something with a generic shoe on the receiver end.

  15. Vi says:

    I just bought a set can someonemplease tell me how to get this to work with my a55 and 3600hs?

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