Up until very recently I was quite happily and successfully using some Yongnuo RF-602 triggers and receivers. They are a very cheap alternative to Pocket Wizards which are a great introduction into triggering multiple light sources wirelessly. They have survived being dropped in the sea (twice), dropped on the floor and have served me well. Until now…
Firstly I started having problems firing some Bowens 250 monolights I bought on e-Bay. They supposedly have a 15v sync voltage and for some reason my trusty Yongnuo’s just wouldn’t fire them at all. Even though my Bowens Gemini 500C worked fine.
So I went into my local Calumet and they let me try out some Calumet Pro Series 4 channel wireless triggers which, low and behold, worked perfectly. So I bought them rather than replace the two Bowens 250s I had recently got cheaply on e-Bay.
Opening the box you notice that these triggers really do look the part, they look and feel well made and solid. So a big thumbs up in this department. You also get several different connector cables to connect from trigger to studio flash, trigger to speedlight and trigger to camera. Also included are some wrist straps which are a nice touch.
Thankfully both the triggers and receivers use standard AAA batteries which is a big plus over the Yongnuo’s as the RF602 trigger uses an expensive and not so easily available CR2. Also a big plus over the Yongnuos are the presence of power switches on both the transmitters and receivers.
Another great feature is the fact the trigger locks onto the hotshoe, this is a big plus over the Yongnuos and will hopefully prevent me from accidentally knocking the trigger off the top of the camera (and landing in the sea) which has happened to me on several occasions with the Yongnuos.
In use – well they are spot on, they haven’t missed a beat, they trigger upto 1/250th of a second if the camera shutter allows, on my 5Dmk2 they work at 1/200th which is fantastic. On the Yongnuo’s I had to shoot at 1/125th – 1/160th most of the time. As I mentioned previous they trigger all my studio lights and my speedlights and any combination of.
Although I haven’t tried it yet, it says they can trigger a TTL flash mounted on the top of the transmitter in sync with some manual flashes via the triggers. This could have alot of potential for me to use in conjunction with my Orbis ringflash with a TTL cable and triggering some hairlights or rim lights whilst still having the flexibility of being able to move around with the ringflash without re-metering each time. I can’t wait to try that out…
On the top of all the pluses, they aren’t too expensive either. I picked up 1 x Transmitter and 3 x Receivers for £114.95. (1xTrigger & 1x Receiver Kit is £55 and each receiver is £30). So they don’t break the bank.