Triopo TR-120 – $99 TTL & Bare Bulb Speedlight – Now Available !

The Triopo TR-120 bare bulb and TTL speedlite is now available on Amazon for just $99 – in the re-branded form of a Polaroid PL-135, in Canon and Nikon versions.

The TR-120, up until now only sold in China, was promising not only to be the first inexpensive bare bulb speedlight, but also the first TTL enabled bare bulb speedlight!

EDIT – the Polaroid version sold like hot cakes on Amazon for the first few batches, but there were a number of quality control issues. They stopped selling them for a short while but are now listed again. We have no idea if, or what, has been updated, but they continue to sell constantly, and are now listed Amazon fulfilled.

 

The TR-120 has TTL, Manual, Multi, and S1, S2 slave modes.

But even regardless of TTL the TR-120 is a fully equipped manual flash ideal for off camera use with –

  • Full manual power levels from 1/128 to full in 1/3rd stop adjustments.
  • External battery port (Nikon socket, in both Canon and Nikon versions)
  • PC sync port
  • S1 & S2 optic slave modes
  • High Guide Number GN54@ ISO100, 105mm
  • 3.5 second recycle
  • 360 degree swivel head

This is a regular speedlite with a bare bulb head added, so its powered by 4 AA batteries inside like most other speedlites. The bare bulb should, at least to some degree, also reduce the overheating issue regular speedlites face, allowing more flashes in row or higher power levels to be used.

Polaroid PL-135

As an on camera TTL flash the Triopo even appears to have good compatibility with most Canon and Nikon digital SLR cameras.

  • Focus assist light
  • Full 360 degree swivel, and 90 degree tilt.

 

What the TR-120 doesn’t have is HSS (which you couldn’t expect for a flash this price), or optic wireless master or slave modes for the Canon or Nikon system. Manual and TTL radio triggers are fast leaving the limited optic systems obsolete though anyway.

Its highly likely most manual radio triggers will work fine, the very interesting question will be how TTL triggers like the YN-622C and YN-622N etc cooperate with the TR-120 (possibly providing inexpensive remote manual control as well).

Polaroid PL-135

What also makes the price of the TR-120 even more impressive, is the fact that bare bulb flashes require some extra gear. The bulbs themselves separately can cost around $50 alone. With the TR-120 you also get the standard reflector, diffuser, bag, strap and base stand.

Polaroid PL-135

 

There is an external High Voltage battery port in the front of the flash (both Triopo and Polaroid versions) , and that uses the Nikon style socket for both Canon and Nikon TTL compatible versions of the flash.

Triopo even have their own battery pack available with twin ports (not many details on that as yet), but the standard Nikon compatible 8 AA cell packs should work fine as well.

The Chinese price for the TR-120 flash unit is around US$130, while the kit with battery pack is aproximately $280.
Triopo TR-120

Power

Unlike the original Sunpak 120j (which the Triopo was no doubt named after), the TR-120 is just a regular speedlight with no extra capacitor added. So if it had the regular Fresnel speedlite head it would be fairly similar in power to a YN-560 III etc.

But the Bare bulb disperses the light producing a softer more even coverage when used in umbrellas and softboxes etc. So you have to expect the light output is going to be lower than a regular speedlight, though it is a nicer quality of light.

If you look at it this way, using a stofen style cap or flip down wide angle diffuser on a regular speedlite is going to cut the light down more than this bare bulb version will. So comparing similar light quality the bare bulb is really ahead in light output.

You  can see some direct comparisons with a YN-560 etc in the image here. And also comparisons between a speedlight and the recent bare bulb Godox Witstro here.

 

Triopo TR-120

 

So the Triopo TR-120 (or Polariod PL-135) is very likely the start of the bare bulb speedlite revolution. And its really started with a bang!, packing a whole lot into an incredibly low price. Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly no Godox Witstro, but its going to allow a lot of people to get started with inexpensive and compact bare bulb flash units.

The TR-120 is currently only available as the Polariod PL-135 on Amazon (with local US shipping ) but these won’t last long –

Amazon – Polaroid PL-135 Canon and Nikon

 

22 Comments
  1. ken 4 years ago

    Does this have Quench pin support for radiopopper JrX support?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Ken,

      That’s a good question, I really don’t know. And now that you mention it I don’t know if any of the YongNuo flashes do either, I have heard reports at least some YN don’t work. The only way we a likely going to find out for sure is if someone tries them. So if you hear of anything please let us know. Thanks.

  2. Moshe 4 years ago

    I can’t see them on eBay.
    Any particular reason?
    TNX

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Moshe,

      They are only new. The Amazon listings were the first (and only) ones available so far. Well just have to wait for more sellers now. Thanks.

  3. Earle 4 years ago

    So my time with the Triopo/Polaroid was brief and borderline dangerous. It did fire up with the batteries but wouldn’t trigger. That was the least of my problems. I’d mounted it in one of my Pocket Wizard Flex TT5s. Then could barely remove it because I had major trouble with the locking in. I did get it off (thankfully the Flex was undamaged) but I shudder to think what would happen if I’d tried it in my DSLR hot shoe.

    It may prove to be a wonderful unit for others. The risk doesn’t equal the potential reward for me though.

  4. Nagananda 4 years ago

    How can i purchase this product in India??

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi There,

      These are currently only available under the Polaroid brand from the Amazon seller linked to in the post. It appears they have them back in stock again. When the Triopo version is released there will likely be more sellers worldwide. Thanks.

  5. Meddin Studios 3 years ago

    Do Cheetah/Quantum accessories work on this for example the reflectors or snoots? These would be great to complement the Cheetahs. Too bad they don’t have a simple remote power option like the cheetahs or a matching external power port so we could just use our 4500 packs.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      I don’t think the Cheetah / Norman / Quantum accessories will fit, but they would not hold in place properly anyway as this flash has a fine thread inside, so the reflector is actually screwed in place.

      This mount was one thing a number of people had issues with the first batch, so I’m not sure if this mount may be revised in the next flash version. Thanks.

    • Jacques 3 years ago

      The 4500 pack seems to be identical to the Godox PB960, for which you can get cables to power Canon and Nikon flash units. Since the Triopo/Polaroid unit has a Nikon-style HV input, I’d think you could power it from the 4500 pack with a Nikon-style cable.

  6. David C 3 years ago

    Any word on YN-622N compatibility yet?

  7. Greig 3 years ago

    A number of theTriopo 120’s are appearing on eBay at the moment.

    Ebay Link

    Are these the upgraded models?
    Are the Polaroid 135’s and Triopo 120’s the same thing with different branding?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Greig,

      Thanks for that. They appear to be the same units as the Polaroid 135’s. It looks like Triopo have just finally put some out under their own brand name.

      I’m not sure if anything has been updated or not. Triopo flashes are not the highest quality, but the 135 has been selling on Amazon for the last 8 months or so, and I haven’t had anyone complain or comment here since the first units had some issues.

  8. Greig 2 years ago

    Above you mention;
    Its highly likely most manual radio triggers will work fine, the very interesting question will be how TTL triggers like the YN-622C and YN-622N etc cooperate with the TR-120 (possibly providing inexpensive remote manual control as well).

    Have you had the chance to test whether the YN-622C or N triggers allow you to remotely control the power of the Triopo TR-120’s or not?

  9. Author
    Flash Havoc 2 years ago

    Hi Greig,

    Sorry no, I’ve been waiting on the revised version (now available as the Sunpack 120J II).

    It may be a while before the original Triopo version are available though (likely at better prices).

    • Greig 2 years ago

      I’ll be interested in what wireless TTL triggering will work with the new Sunpak 120J II.
      AWL/CLS or is it proprietary?
      Not a bad price at $299 from B&H.
      Will you be getting one to test?

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 2 years ago

        Hi Greig,

        I’ll likely wait for the Triopo version to be available, or possible try and get a sample if possible.

        Yes the wireless TTL is very likely the Canon and Nikon Optic Wireless slave mode (AWL/CLS for Nikon), as you can see the new sensor panel on the front of the flash. It wouldn’t be a proprietary system unless it was via radio.

  10. max 2 years ago

    Thinking of getting this model does anyone have an updates on problems. Is the polaroid the problem flash and is the output gn comporable to some of the yongnuo flashes. Which to get triopo or polaroid. Can i use my wireless trigger yn-622c to fire these bare bulb flashes.

  11. Yuppa 2 years ago

    The optical flash control systems–despite their well known shortcomings–will never be rendered fully obsolete until a camera manufacturer integrates a radio transmitter in the BODY–now that would be neat..

    There is NO faster and lightweight way to do off camera flash than the optical system. I have a Canon 60D with a Yougnuo YN500 EX on top of it–which s a great, small(er), lightweight flash.

    All I have to do is remove the flash, turn it on, press the mode button for about a second (to get into Sc slave mode), popup my on camera flash and I’m good-to-go. Yes, hand holding the flash a few feet to my left makes a World of difference.

    No radio system currently made is that simple, lightweight and FAST.

  12. Katie 2 years ago

    Do these get along well with the Flex Pocketwizards?

    Thanks!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Katie,

      Sorry I’m not sure about that.

  13. yohanes 2 years ago

    I see that the TR-120 is offered again via amazon. Do you have any idea if they already solved QC and reliability problem of the first batch?
    Thank you.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz:

©2016 FlashHavoc.com - PRIVACY POLICY

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?