SUNPAK 120J II / TRIOPO TR-180 – Now Available

The new Sunpak 120J II bare bulb TTL Flash Kits for Canon and Nikon are now available from B&H Photo for $299.

The kits include an external Lithium-ion battery pack, though the flash requires 4 internal AA batteries, and can run off these internal batteries alone like most regular speedlites.

 

Sunpak 120J II

 

The original Sunpak 120j were fairly legendary flashes. Built on the simple and solid Sunpak speedlite body, with a second capacitor added into the head, doubling the light output to approximately 120WS, and adding a bare bulb and reflector mount.

As with the classic Vivitar flash units, the original Japanese Sunpak speeldlites have long since discontinued production. And the Sunpak 120j II are really more a product of opportunistic naming rights than a comparable alternative to the original Sunpak models.

The 120J II are now based on the Chinese Triopo flashes, and do not include any extra capacitor to boost the power over that of a regular speedlight.

Nevertheless bare bulb alternatives to the current popular speedlite models are in high demand, though still strangely something many manufactures have constantly put on the back burner.

So the 120j II may not exactly be a real alternative to the original classic, though they will have their place, and even add some significant features, like full TTL metering, and Optic Wireless Slave Modes for the Canon or Nikon systems.

 

Sunpak 120j II

 

There is not much information available on the original Triopo version of the Sunpak 120J II, though they do appear to listed by Triopo on Ebay as the Triopo TR-180.

The main notable difference being the TR-180 adding HSS (High Speed Sync), which the Sunpak 120j II specs do not mention.

Triopo TR-180

Features –

 

  • Guide Number – 54m (ISO 100, 105mm Equivalent)
  • Bare Bulb Head and Reflector Mount
  • ETTL or I-TTL Metering
  • TTL, Manual, and Multi Modes
  • FEC, FEB, FEL
  • Canon or Nikon Optic Wireless Slave Modes
  • S1 & S2 Optic Slave Modes
  • HSS to 1/8000th (Possibly Triopo TR-180 Flash Model Only)
  • Second Curtain Sync
  • Manual Power Levels From 1/128 to Full (In 1/3rd Stop Adjustments)
  • AF Assist Light
  • Full Tilt and Swivel Head
  • Large LCD Display
  • Powered By 4 AA Batteries
  • External Battery Port (Nikon plug for both Canon & Nikon versions)
  • 2.9 Second Recycle (1 Second with External Battery Pack)
  • Flash Duration – 1/200s~1/20000s
  • Sound Prompt
  • Power Save Mode
  • Overheat Protection
  • PC Sync Port
  • Flash Comes with Stand, Reflector, and Bag.

 

The Sunpak 120J II provide an external high voltage battery port which accept the Sunpak / Triopo TR-2800 Lithium-ion pack, and likely any regular Nikon compatible high voltage speedlite battery pack as well.

The socket in the flash uses the Nikon style plug for both the Canon and Nikon version of the flash.

 

Sunpak 120J

 

The only other port provided is an original style PC sync port –

 

Sunpak 120J II

 

 

TR-2800 Battery Pack

 

The Sunpack 120J II are really just like a regular speedlite and will run off their 4 internal AA batteries alone. Though Sunpak at least are selling the flash as a kit with the Tripop TR-2800 Lithium-ion battery pack included.

The TR-2800 are 2500mAh 11.1V Lithium-ion packs, which should provide over 1200 full power shots with the Sunpak 120J II, or most regular speedlites (with an external battery port).

Full power recycle time is around 1 second. And there is a second port provided to run a second flash as well (likely with some increase on that 1 second recycle time).

 

  • Type – Lithium-ion
  • Capacity – 11.1 V – 2500 mAh
  • Output – 310 V
  • Input – 12.6 V, 1.0 A
  • Size – 80x40x120 mm
  • Weight – 430 g

 

Triopo TR-2800

 

The cord supplied for the Sunpak 120J II are the Nikon style plug. Though the battery pack end of the cord uses the standard DIN plugs, so other cords can also be used for other flash models.

 

Triopo TR-2800 Cord

 

 

Polaroid PL-135 / Tripo TR-120

 

The Sunpak 120J II are not actually Triopo’s first bare bulb flash unit. Over 12 months ago, in March 2013 the first Triopo bare bulb flash units emerged under the Polaroid PL-135 name, and shortly after as the Triopo TR-120.

The main difference with the new Sunpak 120J II being the change to the later Triopo flash body, as well as the addition of Canon and Nikon Optic Wireless Slave Modes. And also HSS capability with the new TR-180 model.

The Polariod flashes were originally released for just $99 on Amazon, leading to a bit of a rush of purchases. As is not uncommon though, the first batches had some teething issues, and it was incorrectly reported by some that they were quickly discontinued.

That was never really the case, and they are still available and have been selling steadily for over a year now on Amazon (still $99), and Ebay as the Triopo TR-120.

 

Polaroid PL-135

 

The new Sunpak and Triopo models do also have an updated reflector mount though. Which now clamps the reflector, instead of having it screw into place.

As the fine threads on the reflector base were one of the main issues with the first batch of Polaroid flashes.

 

Sunpak 120J II

 

Triopo in general have been a little behind other brands like YongNuo etc in the build quality of their flashes, and this is pretty well reflected in some very low prices. (Though they have been well ahead with some features, like the bare bulb, and built in radio for example).

Though I have not heard any complaints about the original Polaroid flashes since the first batch. And you would expect the build quality is making progress at lease to some degree in new models like this as well.

Purchasing from B&H Photo at least you can be fairly reassured they will look after any issues. Though they only have the kits with battery pack available at this stage.

 

If you’re after something more like the original Sunpak 120j, then the Godox AD180 are really more comparable, and leave the original 120J a long way behind in virtually every respect. And prices are now coming down to as low as $330 for AD180 and PB960 battery pack kits.

The Jinbei MF-200 would also be another option.

The Sunpak 120J II offer a more compact flash unit though, which can be more nimble without the need for an external battery pack attached. And they offer TTL capabilities for on and off-camera use, as well as Optic Wireless Slave Modes for Canon or Nikon.

And the Triopo version at least will likely be available eventually at some very affordable prices.

 

 

Price and Availability –

 

The Sunpak 120J II Flash Kit with Battery Pack are available now from B&H Photo for $299.

Triopo TR-180 flash – Ebay.

Triopo TR-2800 Battery Pack – Ebay.

Triopo TR-120 / Polaroid PL135 – Amazon, Ebay.

 

Triopo TR-120 / Polaroid PL135 – Original Post.

Sunpak – Website.

Triopo – Website.

.

16 Comments
  1. jeff 3 years ago

    Interesting alternative….

    Is the battery pack DIN cable compatible with a quantum turbo or godox pb960?

    If they work with yn-622n triggers in iTTL and HSS that what would be great, as the bare bulb can do nicely inside a softbox….

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Jeff,

      I have not tried the Triopo packs, though I would be surprised if the Godox cords etc do not fit as well.

      Yes TTL trigger compatibility will be the big question. As this could provide remote manual control options etc for these flashes as well.

  2. Randy Morris 3 years ago

    Has anyone had a chance to test to see if the Sunpak 120J II or Triopo 180 C would work with the ODIN for canon

  3. Earle 3 years ago

    As an early purchaser who promptly returned a Polaroid bare bulb. I think I’ll hold out t see if Gdx is indeed introducing a TTL version of its flash first.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Earl,

      Godox are definitely releasing TTL versions of the Witstros (likely unveiled at Photokina).

      Though bare bulb versions of regular speedlites like this would be a great option to have as well. A bare bulb YN-560 III for example would be hugely popular.

      The Godox V850 / V860 would really be ideal candidates as well, though with Godox already having the Witstro available they will likely be followers rather than leaders into regular bare bulb speedlites like this.

      • Craig 3 years ago

        A bare bulb V850 / V860 would be ideal, espeically with the Li-Ion battery pack.

  4. Ian Cheung 3 years ago

    The type of TTL that really excites me (workflow wise) is Profoto’s one. One shot in TTL, switch to manual while locking in the power settings.

  5. ramun5 3 years ago

    hi~! Flash Havoc

    http://flashhavoc.com/godox-witstro-ad180-ad360-review/

    The accessories in this review,for example, ad-s6 or ad-s3 or ad-s7….

    is it possible to mount 120J II???

    Taught to appreciate

  6. Terry 3 years ago

    Whatever happened to Sunpak selling the Triopo TR180? I still see it being sold under Triopo on ebay, but no sign of this flash anywhere else. Also, there has been “0” reviews on this unit since it has came out, does the manufacturer somehow keep reviews off the net?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Terry,

      The Sunpack 120J II are available from B&H Photo. And they have just started selling the flash by themselves so they will likely be a lot more popular now you don’t have to pay $120 for a battery pack if you don’t want one.

      If you do want a battery pack though, and don’t need TTL, $350 for the Godox AD180 are a much better deal here while that lasts.

  7. Terry 3 years ago

    I have seen this flash selling on ebay through chinese companies, but it doesn’t appear that many people are purchasing it in the U.S. I received a Godox AD 360 two weeks ago and I’m sold, out with old and in with the new. Any new information on Godox coming out with a TTL version yet? Or maybe a different trigger for the flash system?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      The Triopo flashes are not the greatest flashes available, they are built similar to YongNuo a number of years ago. Its just that they are the only option like this available at the moment. B&H should look after any warranty issues though.

      The Witstro are far better built, and the AD360 have a solid advantage in power. They’re much more popular than the AD180.

      Sorry I don’t know where Godox are up to, though I’d think they will drop the complete TTL flashes and new trigger system some time this year.

  8. Mohandes 3 years ago

    Hi
    Does it work work with sony A6000 in S1 and S2 modes?

  9. nixland 3 years ago

    Any info on YN622C or TX compatibility with this flash?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi nixland,

      Sorry no I haven’t picked up one of these flashes yet to test.

      Hopefully someone may have tried this already though.

  10. Billy-Bob 2 years ago

    My TRIOPO TR-180 just arrived today. I put some batteries in and started firing away. So far I am impressed. I bought it through an Ebay Seller. It took about three weeks to get here from China. I-TTL on camera works well [D200]. High Speed sync on camera works fine. Then I tried the wireless I-ttl slave mode. Guess what, that worked fine also. It is capable of high speed wireless i-ttl sync up to 1/8000th more or less depending on distance and aperture. The Godox AD-s7 and Quantum T2 accessories will not lock down in the mount. I’m stuck with just using the included reflector for now.

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