I purchased the Yong Nuo RF-602 Wireless Trigger over a month ago after hearing and reading rave reviews about it. I decided that I’d wait until I’ve used it in a number of shoots and situations before I’d write my experiences on it. The final need to purchase a remote triggering system came about from two problems. The first being some frustrations with getting my studio strobes to fire reliably during outdoor location shoots. The other reason being able to isolate the strobes firing to my camera only when in a room full of people with cameras and flashes.
Most studio strobes have an optical slave cell built in which causes it to fire every time it detects a flash. In a studio or indoor location light tends to bounce off all around the room from walls, ceilings, to clothes and furnishings. This makes it easy to get almost all the strobes to fire together. I use one of my 580ex or 550ex Speedlites with Stofen diffuser cap pointed up or back and set on manual to the lowest setting as the trigger. This gives me the flexibility to work without sync cords but only works well when there is only one camera with flash being used at the location. If you are in a room where other cameras might be used (especially P&S) then the constant triggering could overload the flash and cause it to blow in a bad smoking fashion.
Now with outdoor location shoots we get the opposite problem – light has a lot less number of surfaces for light to bounce from. I can point a speedlite or use a sync cord to fire one strobe but as that light is most probably pointed to the subject it has a good chance not to trigger most of the other slaves. This was a frustration with some of my first location shoots using studio strobes as repositioning them close enough in a scene to be triggered wasn’t always ideal placements. Sometimes I would go as far as using 5 strobes – anywhere main light, fill light, hair light, and kicker/rim lights to background lights. There was a lot of wasted time and effort trying to get all these to work together and so I did a little research on the latest wireless trigger systems and the Yong Nuo RF-602 stood out for performance and value for money. I purchased a 4 receiver + transmitter kit ($110AU) and 6.35mm sync plugs (approx $7AU) from their online eBay store. Additionally I bought two Elinchom to Inexpensive Radio Slave Adapter cables ($18US each) from FlashZebra.com so I can connect my older pair of Elinchrom classics (approx 15 years old and still kicking hard).
Just more on the RF-602 specs taken from their site
|Type||FSK 2.4GHz wireless remote system|
|Channel||15 difference channels and All channels|
|Release||Half-way press, Full-way Press|
|Transmitter Terminal||PC 3-Pin input terminal|
|Receiver Terminal||Yongnuo 3-pin output terminal|
|Time of shooting||Up to 20000 times (Using CR2 Lithium battery)|
|Receiver Stand-by time||Up to 45hours (Using AAA battery)|
|Dimensions||Transmitter : 38.4 x 48 x 27mm (W x H x D)|
|Receiver : 33 x 78 x 26mm (W x H x D)|
The receiver can be connected to the camera and the transmitter be used as a remote wireless trigger.
Although the transmitter range says 100 meters other have found it to work well over it. I have triggered from around 120meters in open field without any misfires and have read about others getting it working at 150-200meters.
Most of the cheap eBay triggers had a 10-30meter range and were more prone to misfiring from interference. The RF-602 ran on 2.4 GHz and in my household with a small number of devices running at this range I’ve not encountered any interference as of yet. Also as they use radio frequencies they are not limited to line of site or light to trigger and thus will trigger behind a wall or enclosure without problems.
The transmitter itself is light and small and main thing I would like changed on it would be the inclusion of a hot shoe lock. It’s easy to misalign or knock it off the hot shoe completely if you bump it. The receivers just dangle off the coiled cords when attached to the strobes sync outlets. I think using Velcro stickers to attach it to the strobes when in use would extend the life of the cords as well as minimise the chances of anything of it getting loose or disconnected during a shoot.
Overall I’m very happy with the reliability, price and quality of the system. The top end triggers out there are the PocketWizards and although they are great – price wise is a massive difference and I mean massive.