An extra long TTL cord, ten metres in length, has been released by Lastolite. Using it, it is possible to position a flashgun a long distance away from the photographer while still retaining full electronic communication with the camera. Thus, one can experiment with different lighting while still relying on automatic through-the-lens metering.
“Cables?!” I hear you scoff. “Who wants to trip over trailing wires at their photoshoot when new radio-based flash triggering systems are being announced all the time?” Well, there are some benefits to using twentieth century copper wire. As well as the obvious fact that it is cheaper (see below), a TTL cord is much simpler to use than some of the more complicated radio triggers available — many of which are arguably overkill for any photographers and enthusiasts using off-camera flash only infrequently in basic lighting setups.
Additionally, there is no need to change batteries on a TTL cord. And it will run even with a million WiFi networks running at once in your building, without them interfering. So for studio photographers who need some sort of TTL metering off the camera, a cord could be a dependable choice.
The Lastolite 10m Off-Camera Cord has a single hotshoe and comes in versions dedicated to either Canon E-TTL or Nikon i-TTL flash systems. The recommended retail price is £63 including VAT and you can find your nearest Lastolite dealer here.
Some of you might balk at the price, since ten-metre-long generic TTL cords are already widely available on eBay for £20–£30 ($30–$50) or less. However, many of these have the curly telephone-style cables, which are liable to become a tangled mess in your studio bag (as well as not extending to their full ten metre length easily). This advantage of Lastolite’s is only scuppered by the Interfit STR137 10m Multi-Fit Cord, which is still cheaper, just as long and straight and has an extra hotshoe.
Would you buy a 10-metre TTL cord, are radio triggers the future or have you abandoned TTL entirely? Share your thoughts.