You all would know by now that I love LumoPro lighting products. Whenever I get a question about lighting I usually no of a LumoPro product that would suite the reason for this is I honestly believe LumoPro offer amazing value for money, and I have yet to have any of of their products let me down in the field. One question I get often is usually from people starting out in event photography where they are looking for an alternative TTL flash to the proprietary speedlites from Canon or Nikon. Unfortunately this is one area that I can’t offer a LumoPro solution however my friends over at Aputure have a new TTL speedlite out that I have been playing with over the past few weeks.
Some of you might have heard of Aputure from this blog. I use and swear by their triggers, and I’ve also been able to use their third-party battery grips. Both of these products have never let me down and those triggers I have been recommending around for quite sometime.
On with the show….
There are two type of the Magnum, the 68 & the 68TL. The only difference is that the 68TL is TTL enabled and has a nice LCD screen, the features are exactly the same in terms of power output, look and feel. Here are the specs: Italics indicate the additional 68TL specifications.
- Guide Number: 48 ( at 105mm ISO100)
- Flash Modes: TTL/M/S1/S2
- Vertical Rotation: 0-90 degrees
- Horizontal Rotation: 0-270 degrees
- Power: 4 AA batteries
- Flash Cycles: 100-1500 times
- Flash Recycling: 4sec
- Colour Temperature: 5600K
- Flash Time: 1/200-1/2000s
- Wireless Coverage: 20-25m indoors, 10-15m outdoors
- Brightness: 8 levels from 1/128 to 1/1 (+ 1/3rd stop intervals)
- Ports: Hot shoe, PC port, external power port
- Weight: 340g/350g
- Extra functions: PC sync, power saving mode, over-heating protection, manual flash coverage(zoom), eexposure compensation, exposure bracketing, Zoom adjustments(manual or automatic)
- Dimensions: 200x75x57mm / 190x60x78mm
The package from Aputure with both the 68 and 68TL arrived a day before a booked magazine shoot so I thought the best way to test out this TTL flash would be to take it along a take a few behind the scene photos. I unpacked the boxes and was pleasantly surprised. Both units come with a nice soft case, stand, bounce card and diffuser. The unit itself feels quite nice and refined.
Me being male, with an aversion to help manuals or instructions I popped in some batteries and pretty much had it all worked out in a couple of minutes. I think this is one of the best bits about this speedlite, the UI is simple enough, so you can get straight into it. To be honest up until this 68TL arrived I could count on one hand how many times I had used a TTL flash. It’s just something that I never really needed. I don’t shoot events, weddings or anything that really requires me to have a flash on the camera. I can say that I have used the 68TL quite a few times since receiving it, and it’s becoming a constant in my bag.
A TTL flash should be in everyone’s bag as I’ve come to realise it’s extremely handy for those behind the scene shots, or spur of the moment team get together’s after a long shoot. If you’re getting into the event photography sector, even weddings a TTL flash is a definite must have, and I’m more than happy to recommend the Aputure 68TL.
The Price!! Current scheduled pricing, which of course could change is:
- Magnum 68 – $79.00
- Magnum 68TL – $129.00
Speelites are a great tool for any photographer and for those starting out it offers a low cost way of getting into off camera flash and unleashing your creativity. With products like the Magnum 68/68TL you are now getting low cost options that don’t skimp on quality.