Tether Tools and USB-C Cables

Posted by: on Nov 23, 2016 | 24 Comments
Photo courtesy of Apple

UPDATE: Our USB-C cables are coming very soon. Please sign up here to be notified when they are available for order.

Apple’s latest announcement that their MacBook Pro line will have only USB-C port connections is a very exciting development as USB-C will bring faster speed and more robust power solutions to the marketplace. As the new MacBook Pros only have USB-C ports, we’ve been getting many inquiries about development timelines for TetherPro USB-C cables. Let me first say that we are and have been developing USB-C cables. However, as with all our gear, we strive to bring our customers only the highest quality products that will simplify your life and keep your gear working seamlessly.

USB-C to USB-A Adapter by Apple
USB-C to USB-A Adapter by Apple

Since their introduction, other USB-C devices have had varying issues. From inconsistent power to Apple’s latest recall of their original cables, USB-C is not quite yet a mature and stable environment.  Tether Tools wants to ensure that photographers’ cameras and devices are not damaged by any USB-C adapter or cable. Currently, the majority of camera manufacturers have USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports in their cameras and as such, there is no real advantage to using a USB-C cable. While there are many benefits to the USB-C protocol, owners of existing USB2 and USB3 cameras will not see an increase in speed or performance.

It is our recommendation that if you have, or are considering purchasing, a computer equipped with only USB-C ports that you use the USB-C to USB-A adapter, such as the Apple adapter currently retailing for $9. With this USB-C to USB-A adapter you can safely use your existing TetherPro cable and still maximize all of the performance of your camera.

Let us reiterate that Tether Tools wants to provide only the highest quality gear to our customers to help them innovate, collaborate and create. That’s our focus and has been for the last 8 years. As soon as we finish our development and testing phase and feel confident with a product that meets our standards, we will announce its release. You can stay in touch by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on social media.

Thank you for your support,


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24 thoughts on “Tether Tools and USB-C Cables”

  1. Hi: I’m using a Macbook. I like it’s diminutive size when tethering on-location. The Macbook has only one port, so I must use Apple’s USB-C Digital AV Multipart Adapter. I need the pass-thru power port on the dongle. This dongle has worked tethering into my Macbook, by specifying a hot folder in Lightroom.

  2. We just upgraded one of our laptops to the new Macbook Pro, but even with the adapter, we cannot get the camera to tether to the laptop. We even tried ordering a cable with the correct USB connectors on it and it still won’t tether. Any thoughts on what we can do?

  3. I had the same problem, shooting NIkon D810. Updated LR6 and Firmware (Nikon D810 to C 1.10) and it works perfectly even with a USB A / USB-C adaptor.
    Good luck!

  4. We just upgraded to the late 2016 MacBooks with the USB-C ports. We have been able to shoot with our Nikon D800 using the Apple dongle and the Tether tools 15 foot usb 3 cords. But now if I add in the 15 foot Tether Tool USB extension cable the camera cannot connect. This worked on our previous MacBooks (same cables) minus the Apple USB-C dongle. Any thoughts on how to fix this? We need the 30ft range that using the 2 usb cables afforded us before.

  5. @Jeff,

    Do you have a Tether Tools TetherBoost? If you put a TetherBoost between the 15′ cable and the extension cable, it should provide you enough power to maintain the connection.

  6. Any thoughts about new cables? I’m using the new macbook pro and have severals issues on unstable connection. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. D800 and D500.

  7. Nope. I’m a little bit unsure getting one cause it still will need an adapter.
    Got two adapters, one thats has three USB a ports and Ethernet and some that just adapt the USB c to a. You can find tons of them on amazon. Both have the problems, some more some less.

    What about a new version of your cables?

  8. Patrick,

    The cables are still a little bit out. We’re trying to figure out how to do them at length longer than USB specifications for USB-C. However, I’m not sure that it will fix your issue. USB 3 requires more power than USB 2 and computer manufacturers are only pushing enough USB 3 and, it appears, USB-C power for short connections (3-6′). The TetherBoost Pro provide more power in the line for longer connections like 15′.

  9. Ok thanks.
    Will give it a try. What’s the main difference between your product and those active hubs with external
    power I can get on amazon? There are USB-c version with power delivery as well. Of course at a fraction cost of your gear. So there might be a difference.
    Kind regards Patrick

  10. Thanks for the article and wealth of good comments. I’m about to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro and I’m not looking forward to troubleshooting my tethering set-up. I’ll be referencing this info. – Michael

  11. Hey Tether Team,

    I just recently updated my laptop to a 15″ 2017 MacBook Pro w/Touchbar (USB-C/TB3) and unfortunately I have run into all sorts of tethering issues with connection drop outs, corrupt files etc.

    I had previously been tethering to a 13″ 2013 MacBook Pro (USB-3) and never had any issues (with Capture One anyway)

    My Old setup was as follows. (worked perfectly)
    13″ 2013 MacBook Pro (USB-3) > TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Active Extension Cable (16ft/5m) > Nikon UC-E22 USB 3.0 Cable > Nikon D5

    My New setup is as follows. (Constant connection drops. camera seems to flicker in and out of connection)
    15″ 2017 MacBook Pro w/Touchbar (USB-C/TB3) > Apple USB-C to USB 3.0 adaptor > TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Active Extension Cable (16ft/5m) > Nikon UC-E22 USB 3.0 Cable > Nikon D5

    I also tried introducing the old Tether Boost core controller (without ac adaptor) and had better luck, however I think the USB 3.0 Micro-B connection is the weak point as I had lots of drops with movement of the cable setup despite being gaffed in.

    Setup is as follows. (works best of all the setups, still has connection drops)
    15″ 2017 MacBook Pro w/Touchbar (USB-C/TB3) > Apple USB-C to USB 3.0 adaptor > USB 3.0 (A-Male to Micro-B) > Tetherboost Core Controller (old version) > TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Active Extension Cable (16ft/5m) > Nikon UC-E22 USB 3.0 Cable > Nikon D5

    If you guys can make a USB-C to USB 3 SuperSpeed Active Extension Cable I will be the first to buy 3 of them!

    Love to hear if anyone has any simpler setups with better results as I’m in tether and connection hell at the moment.


  12. Ben,

    We are in final stages of USB-C testing and hope to have the cables available in the last quarter of this year. In our testing, we have found that the new TetherBoost Pro between the Extension and the USB 3.0 cable (in this case the Nikon cable) will fix the issue. The new TetherBoost Pro does away with the thin USB 3.0 connection in the middle of the chain creating a better connection.

  13. please let me know when you get a usb-c to usb-c cable. I want to use it for my Hasselblad. I have the laptop and the camera with usb-c ports but no simple cable to shoot with.

  14. Josh – that’s music for my ears. Can’t wait for the USB-C tether cables.

    I’m running a 2016 full-spec Macbook Pro with zero problems tethering to any PhaseOne / Nikon / Canon camera, but it will be great to have straight cables without the need for dongles.

  15. Thanks Josh, will give the new TetherBoost Pro cable a shot in the interim.
    In your testing, did you require the AC adaptor to be plugged in for a solid connection ?
    And one last question, were you not able to get good results with the TetherBoost Pro between the USB-C to USB-3 adaptor and the extension ? as apposed to between extension and usb cable into the camera?

  16. Ben,

    We didn’t need any extra power in our testing and went without the AC adaptor plugged in. It only worked for us when it was between the extension and the USB cable. The new TetherBoost Pro does come with an extension lock to hold one side locked. You can add a second one to the other side as well.

  17. Hey Josh, thats really interesting, I wouldn’t have ever thought that where you place the TetherBoost in the line would have made a difference.
    One last question!
    With the USB-C to USB 3 extension you are developing, will you still require a Tetherboost pro in the line, or will it be inbuilt to the new cable?

  18. Hi,

    Do you have a date when the USB-C tethering cables are available? I’ve just signed up for the newsletter and I will be one of the buyers of a tethering cable which will be used between a MacBook Pro retina with touch bar and an Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II.

    Thank you,

  19. Hi Guys, just wondered if the USBC (MACBOOK PRO TIUCHBAR 2018) – USB3 (1DXMKII) cable I would like to purchase would work without the need for a Tetherboost Pro (which I don’t think you yet sell terminating in USBC. Thanks

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