Remote Flash Triggers for Nikon D600

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
blink667 Contributing Member • Posts: 743
Remote Flash Triggers for Nikon D600

I have a D600, two Nikon SB80DXs and one SB25. I'm looking for kit to trigger the flashes remotely. I was recommended Yongnuo RF-603N II, I think primarily because the flashes are older and don't support TTL. Another brand I'm looking at is the Phottix Ares which is a bit more expensive but might be more reliable and durable.  I would be grateful for any recommendations or advice concerning this.  Thank you

Nikon D600
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fotowbert
fotowbert Veteran Member • Posts: 3,050
YN RF-603II vs Phottix Ares
1

blink667 wrote:

I have a D600, two Nikon SB80DXs and one SB25. I'm looking for kit to trigger the flashes remotely. I was recommended Yongnuo RF-603N II, I think primarily because the flashes are older and don't support TTL. Another brand I'm looking at is the Phottix Ares which is a bit more expensive but might be more reliable and durable. I would be grateful for any recommendations or advice concerning this. Thank you

Both the YN RF-603II and Phottix Ares are described in this Manual Trigger Gear Guide on flashhavoc.com.

IMO the noteworthy distinctions to me between the two models are listed below but they may not be important to you.  (I only have the RF-603II-N triggers so can't comment of any quirks the Ares may have.)

1. The RF-603II are transceivers while the Ares are dedicated TX and RX units. Transceiver units offer more redundancy should a unit fail.  Having only a single TX unit would make me nervous.

2. Should you desire to remotely trip your camera's shutter while using off-camera flash the RF-603II units have an advantage. They include a remote shutter circuit that is independent from their flash circuit allowing a single unit in the camera's hot-shoe to function as both a TX of flash triggering and as RX for remote shutter operation on a single RF channel. This feature is convenient for static situations because I like the freedom to fire the tripod mounted camera remotely.

With the Ares additional gear is needed to have remote shutter when using the Ares for flash. If this is another pair of Ares TX/RX units they need to be on a different channel from your flash Ares. Otherwise you could just use any of the many remote shutter outfits currently available .

I am satisfied with my 2 pr of YN RF-603II triggers for Nikon for my occasional off-camera flash work as a hobbyist. I especially like the fact that they integrate well with the YN 560-TX and my three YN 560III speedlights.

Operation of the side switch on the RF-603II triggers is somewhat confusing. The newer RF-605 triggers from YN incorporate an LCD interface which I expect would be better. The RF-650 Is described in the linked Gear Guide also.

Unfortunately at the RF-603II price point there are some defective units in the supply chain so I recommend purchasing from a vendor with a easy return policy.

  • John
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"[If you don't sweat the details] the magic doesn't work." Brooks, F. P., The Mythical Man-Month, Addison-Wesley, 1975, page 8.

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OP blink667 Contributing Member • Posts: 743
Re: YN RF-603II vs Phottix Ares

fotowbert wrote:

blink667 wrote:

I have a D600, two Nikon SB80DXs and one SB25. I'm looking for kit to trigger the flashes remotely. I was recommended Yongnuo RF-603N II, I think primarily because the flashes are older and don't support TTL. Another brand I'm looking at is the Phottix Ares which is a bit more expensive but might be more reliable and durable. I would be grateful for any recommendations or advice concerning this. Thank you

Both the YN RF-603II and Phottix Ares are described in this Manual Trigger Gear Guide on flashhavoc.com.

IMO the noteworthy distinctions to me between the two models are listed below but they may not be important to you. (I only have the RF-603II-N triggers so can't comment of any quirks the Ares may have.)

1. The RF-603II are transceivers while the Ares are dedicated TX and RX units. Transceiver units offer more redundancy should a unit fail. Having only a single TX unit would make me nervous.

2. Should you desire to remotely trip your camera's shutter while using off-camera flash the RF-603II units have an advantage. They include a remote shutter circuit that is independent from their flash circuit allowing a single unit in the camera's hot-shoe to function as both a TX of flash triggering and as RX for remote shutter operation on a single RF channel. This feature is convenient for static situations because I like the freedom to fire the tripod mounted camera remotely.

With the Ares additional gear is needed to have remote shutter when using the Ares for flash. If this is another pair of Ares TX/RX units they need to be on a different channel from your flash Ares. Otherwise you could just use any of the many remote shutter outfits currently available .

I am satisfied with my 2 pr of YN RF-603II triggers for Nikon for my occasional off-camera flash work as a hobbyist. I especially like the fact that they integrate well with the YN 560-TX and my three YN 560III speedlights.

Operation of the side switch on the RF-603II triggers is somewhat confusing. The newer RF-605 triggers from YN incorporate an LCD interface which I expect would be better. The RF-650 Is described in the linked Gear Guide also.

Unfortunately at the RF-603II price point there are some defective units in the supply chain so I recommend purchasing from a vendor with a easy return policy.

  • John

Thanks for the answer John; based your great info, I think I’ll go for the Younguo.

john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 3,534
Re: YN RF-603II vs Phottix Ares

fotowbert wrote:

blink667 wrote:

I have a D600, two Nikon SB80DXs and one SB25. I'm looking for kit to trigger the flashes remotely. I was recommended Yongnuo RF-603N II, I think primarily because the flashes are older and don't support TTL. Another brand I'm looking at is the Phottix Ares which is a bit more expensive but might be more reliable and durable. I would be grateful for any recommendations or advice concerning this. Thank you

Both the YN RF-603II and Phottix Ares are described in this Manual Trigger Gear Guide on flashhavoc.com.

IMO the noteworthy distinctions to me between the two models are listed below but they may not be important to you. (I only have the RF-603II-N triggers so can't comment of any quirks the Ares may have.)

1. The RF-603II are transceivers while the Ares are dedicated TX and RX units. Transceiver units offer more redundancy should a unit fail. Having only a single TX unit would make me nervous.

2. Should you desire to remotely trip your camera's shutter while using off-camera flash the RF-603II units have an advantage. They include a remote shutter circuit that is independent from their flash circuit allowing a single unit in the camera's hot-shoe to function as both a TX of flash triggering and as RX for remote shutter operation on a single RF channel. This feature is convenient for static situations because I like the freedom to fire the tripod mounted camera remotely.

With the Ares additional gear is needed to have remote shutter when using the Ares for flash. If this is another pair of Ares TX/RX units they need to be on a different channel from your flash Ares. Otherwise you could just use any of the many remote shutter outfits currently available .

I am satisfied with my 2 pr of YN RF-603II triggers for Nikon for my occasional off-camera flash work as a hobbyist. I especially like the fact that they integrate well with the YN 560-TX and my three YN 560III speedlights.

Operation of the side switch on the RF-603II triggers is somewhat confusing. The newer RF-605 triggers from YN incorporate an LCD interface which I expect would be better. The RF-650 Is described in the linked Gear Guide also.

Unfortunately at the RF-603II price point there are some defective units in the supply chain so I recommend purchasing from a vendor with a easy return policy.

  • John

The Cactus V6 v1 can remotely control the power of the SB80DX flashes (and possibly the SB25).  I have used both together, and they work very well.  Cactus V6 is a transceiver, switchable between transmitter and receiver.  I highly recommend them.  They will work with a number of flash models; and you can mix/match in a given setup.  I still use them with Nikon, Olympus, and Quantum flashes.

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Dak on cam
Dak on cam Senior Member • Posts: 1,637
Re: YN RF-603II vs Phottix Ares

john isaacs wrote:

The Cactus V6 v1 can remotely control the power of the SB80DX flashes (and possibly the SB25). I have used both together, and they work very well. Cactus V6 is a transceiver, switchable between transmitter and receiver. I highly recommend them. They will work with a number of flash models; and you can mix/match in a given setup. I still use them with Nikon, Olympus, and Quantum flashes.

The RF-603II in TRX mode is both transmitter and receiver at the same time.  I can press the button on unit 1 and have unit 2 trigger my camera which (through the unit 2 mounted in its hotshoe) will then fire both a flash in unit 1 and a flash in unit 2.

I don't think that the Cactus does this kind of crisscross operation.

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kli
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 3,236
Re: YN RF-603II vs Phottix Ares

blink667 wrote:

fotowbert wrote:

1. The RF-603II are transceivers while the Ares are dedicated TX and RX units. Transceiver units offer more redundancy should a unit fail. Having only a single TX unit would make me nervous.

I should point out, however, that the RF-603II triggers are incompatible with Yongnuo's TTL gear for the most part (unless you turn the TTL triggers/flashes into manual only ones). If you were, say, to add an SB-700 into the mix or something, use either of these triggers would be a problem

But. Phottix is rolling out the Odin Z system, and the Ares II triggers are included in it, and that would let you use your older SB units as manual slaves, and a newer Nikon iTTL flash on an Odin II receiver, or the Phottix Juno TTL in TTL in conjunction with them. Like Godox gear, the Odin Z system allows for cross-brand TTL support, as well as TTL and manual gear working together. Yongnuo's systems don't allow for either yet.

... Operation of the side switch on the RF-603II triggers is somewhat confusing.

? OFF / TX / TRX isn't that hard to figure out.

  • OFF: power off.
  • TX: forced transmitter mode.
  • TRX: automatic assignment of transmitter/receiver for Canon/Nikon cameras; RX (receiver) assignment for everybody else.

The Mark I could only be used on Canon/Nikon hotshoes as a transmitter, so you'd have to crack them open and modify them (typically by shorting one pin signal to another) to get them to work on non-Canikon hotshoes). And the power switch was up top exactly where you couldn't reach it when a flash was mounted on top. The Mark II's side switch is much much nicer.

The newer RF-605 triggers from YN incorporate an LCD interface which I expect would be better.

The main feature the RF-605 units have over the 603 II is group assignment. But. If you're using a 603 II as your transmitter, instead of a YN-560-TX, you can't really take advantage of this feature.

Thanks for the answer John; based your great info, I think I’ll go for the Younguo.

This is just me, but I'd consider selling the SB-28 and trading it in for a Godox TT600 ($65)  or TT685-N ($110), and try using the SB80DXs' built-in "dumb" optical slave mode and your pop-up flash to see if optical triggering will work for you.  If you later need radio triggering, then you can use the Godox speedlights with a Godox transmitter. And the TT685-N gives you the option of TTL and both the TT600 and TT685-N can offer HSS/FP as an off-camera radio slave.

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Dak on cam
Dak on cam Senior Member • Posts: 1,637
Re: YN RF-603II vs Phottix Ares

kli wrote:

blink667 wrote:

fotowbert wrote:

1. The RF-603II are transceivers while the Ares are dedicated TX and RX units. Transceiver units offer more redundancy should a unit fail. Having only a single TX unit would make me nervous.

I should point out, however, that the RF-603II triggers are incompatible with Yongnuo's TTL gear for the most part (unless you turn the TTL triggers/flashes into manual only ones). If you were, say, to add an SB-700 into the mix or something, use either of these triggers would be a problem

But. Phottix is rolling out the Odin Z system, and the Ares II triggers are included in it, and that would let you use your older SB units as manual slaves, and a newer Nikon iTTL flash on an Odin II receiver, or the Phottix Juno TTL in TTL in conjunction with them. Like Godox gear, the Odin Z system allows for cross-brand TTL support, as well as TTL and manual gear working together. Yongnuo's systems don't allow for either yet.

... Operation of the side switch on the RF-603II triggers is somewhat confusing.

? OFF / TX / TRX isn't that hard to figure out.

  • OFF: power off.
  • TX: forced transmitter mode.
  • TRX: automatic assignment of transmitter/receiver for Canon/Nikon cameras; RX (receiver) assignment for everybody else.

Not having a Canon/Nikon camera but an RF-603IIC I have to disagree: TRX mode is a bit complex but works with cameras other than Canon (Sony DSC-R1 here)

In either mode (except OFF but that's sort of a given), having the transceiver's hotfoot triggered causes its own hotshoe to trigger as well as the hotshoe of every other transceiver on the same channel in TRX setting.

In TX setting, the button on the transceiver has the same function, so you can use it for checking your flash setup (for example, whether any additional flashes on optical slave trigger fire).

In TRX mode, the transceiver button changes its function from triggering all hotshoes on this and other transceivers in TRX configuration to triggering all camera trigger outputs (the 2.5mm TRS socket) on this and other transceivers in TRX configuration.

TX uses less current than TRX so you'd use it for a simple remote flash setup on the camera-mounted transceiver.  If the camera is to be remote-triggered, you'll use TRX on all transceivers.  Whatever trigger you use for triggering the camera (whether with a flash of its own mounted or not), switching it to TX instead of TRX temporarily will allow you to just trigger the flashes with the button without triggering the camera.

If the camera trigger output turned into a camera trigger input in TX mode (I haven't checked but the manual does not mention anything like it so it's unlikely), one could use the transceivers for extending an existing remote trigger connection without having to use the button.  Maybe in some future model.  But I am already impressed either way.

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