Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Remote flash trigger for the Fuji X-T1

Now that the Fuji X-T1 is moving into my regular workflow, I am beginning to set it up to work with the various lighting situations we encounter in our lifestyle shooting. Today we needed to trigger both a studio strobe light and a Nikon SB-900 flash unit. With my Nikon cameras I use Pocket Wizards for the studio flash and a Nikon Commander unit to connect the D4 with the SB-900's. I wanted something a little smaller and portable for the X-T1 and I wanted it to be able to trigger the studio strobes, the Nikon flash units, and also the small Fuji EF-20.

The wireless triggers I ended up with were the Yongnuo 603 RF-NII. They are small, simple and uncomplicated, and fit nicely on the X-T1. They connect to the studio strobe via a sync cord, and to the Nikon and Fuji flash units via the hot shoe. They work in manual mode or A mode with the Nikon flash, which is fine by me. Thanks to the instant viewing convenience of digital photography, I pretty much only use my flash units only in manual mode anyway.

I find the small EF-20 flash to be a convenient size for filling in a tight area with a little bit of light, and now I can fire it off camera with a wireless trigger. All in all, these are handy and inexpensive wireless units to keep on hand. I use them with both the Fuji and Nikon, but they are also made for Canon. You just have to be certain to order the correct model. I have listed some of them at the bottom of this post.

The Yongnuo transmitter will work on the other Fuji X cameras -- X-Pro1, X-E2, X-E1 --  also.

The X-T1 and a Nikon SB-900 flash connected to two Yongnuo wireless transmitters. This is the setup used to take the photo below of the girl texting on her cell phone.

Each RF-603 unit can be set to either transmit or receive. They are sold individually, in pairs, or sets of four. A pair costs around $35. An "N" or "C" within the model name indicates if it is intended for Nikon or Canon. Either type will trigger a Fuji flash also. 

I constantly see people's faces lit up by cell phones and tablets in dark restaurants and night spots, and decided to do a series of lifestyle photos on that theme. Below are a couple of samples from our most recent shooting. 

A Nikon SB-900 set to 1/128 power was placed on the keyboard of the laptop computer and aimed at the screen. We put a silver reflector card in front of the screen to redirect the light back onto the model's face. The exposure was set for the girl's face and the  room exposure adjusted by altering the shutter speed. 

A similar technique was used here except that we had to place the flash -- in this case a studio strobe -- behind the model's head where it shone onto a small silver card attached to the phone screen and reflected light back to the model's face. The beam needed to be narrowed down considerably with a snoot on the light and some black cine-foil molded to the shape of the screen on the phone. 
A step-by-step, Part II sequel to this article has been posted here.

Any of these units will work with the X-T1 or any other Fuji X-camera, but only designated units can also be controlled by a Nikon or Canon camera. It gets confusing and the prices vary slightly, but here is a list with a link to their availability on Amazon.

I have received several comments from photographers who have not been able to get the Yongnuo flash triggers to work with their Fuji X-camera, and have concluded that what I am saying is untrue. So I prepared this video demonstrating the Yongnuo flash triggers on Fuji X-T1, X100T, and X-Pro1 camers and setting off Nikon flash units. I have no doubts that they will work with all Fuji X cameras, if properly set up.

video


For pro Nikon cameras and the X-T1:
Yongnuo RF-603NII-N1 Wireless Flash Trigger Kit for Nikon D700, D750, D800, D810, D1 D2 D3 D4, D4s

For amateur Nikon cameras and D610 series, and the X-T1:
Yongnuo RF-603NII-N3 Wireless Flash Trigger Kit for Nikon Nikon D90 / D7000 / D7100 / D5000-5500/ D3100 - D3300 / D600 / D610 


For Canon cameras and Fuji X-camera:

49 comments :

  1. Nice article. The Yongnuo triggers, of course, come into their own when paired with YN560III flashguns with in-built radio receiver plus there are rumours of a new Yongnuo trigger soon which will unlock the Groups and hopefully power settings within the YN560IIIs

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right. I didn't mention the Yongnuo flash units here because I am planning a future post specifically about them. I have them and use them in conjunction with my Nikon SB-900's -- for a fraction of the cost,of course.

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    2. The new YN560 Mk IV flash units are working fine with my X-t1. Just added the YN560 TX controller. Nice to set power levels of the flash units without walking over to them. Especially when the flash is buried behind a prop.

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  2. Nice write-up. Quick question -- you briefly mention wanting to be able to use the Fuji EF-20 as part of the rig. Are you using it remotely? If so, are you able to maintain TTL flash?

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    Replies
    1. Geren - There is no way I know of to do a wireless remote TTL flash with any Fuji X camera. I use the EF-20 unit because it has an adjustable +/- EV on it. I also sometimes tape ND gel over it to cut the light even more. I like the EF-20 because it is so small and can be tucked into situations like I illustrated above.

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    2. That's what I thought, Tom. But the way it was worded, I thought you'd found something that worked. No biggie. I really like my EF-20, too, for the same reasons. I'm also amazed at how well it works when it's stuck right on the top of the camera!

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  3. This is very helpful article. I have 4 pcs yongnuo RF 603 for canon which is work well on my X-E1... but does not work on my new X-T1... am I missing something ? Thanks for sharing...

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  4. Made, the answer to your issue is here - http://www.fujix-forum.com/index.php/topic/18891-yongnuo-rf-603c-transmitter-does-not-work-on-x-t1/

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  5. with mirrorless what we see on the screen before we take the pic is what we get with the current setting.

    problem is when doing strobing i set my camera to a low iso n fast shutter and the screen went dark and i can only see for a few second when it tries to focus.

    is there anyway we can set up the evf to make it easier to see in low light regardless of the settings?

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    Replies
    1. Shoot menu blue tool 1 > screen setup > turn off preview exp

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  6. Yes. On the Setup menu go to the "Screen Set-Up" > "Preview Exp. in Manual Mode". You can set this to ON/OFF. In the OFF position the EVF will always show a bright images. In the ON position the EVF will show the images as over or under exposed. When using the strobe you want it set to OFF.

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  7. Hi Tom,

    Will the YN 560 TX or YN-622C-TX E-TTL work on the Fuji X-T1

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    Replies
    1. im using the yn560 even w/ my yongnuo trigger n yeah also my nikon flash

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    2. Thanks... So the YN 560 TX does work on the XT1 with no modifications.

      Thanks for the info. No one I have found that sells them can tell if they will work.

      With using the YN 560 TX I'm thinking I would be good using the YN 560 III over the YN 560 IV.

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  8. I have not tested these units, but I think they should work with the X-T1 in manual mode only. They can control connection to the remote flash units is direct to the flash and does not go through the camera at all. So there should not be a problem. The X-T1 will trigger a unit made for either Nikon or Canon. I hope to give them a test in the near future and will do a blog post on it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Tom,

      Does it make sense that the YN 560III would be a better fit with the YN 560 TX than using the YN 560 IV with it? Since the TX and the IV both control the other flashes.

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  9. very usefull,
    any idea if aI can fire a YN560III and another Nikon SB900, with the RF603II?
    or can I fire the YN560III from the SB700 attached to the XT-1, (or vise versa)
    thanks

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  10. Yes to both questions. Just set your Nikon flash up as a "Master", either on or off the camera, and it will fire the RF603II as the remote.

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  11. Hi i just bought the yongnuo rf-603 II c1 set for my fujifilm xt-1 and the 2 modes of wireless and wired remote work but cant trigger my flash sb-910 the tx mode isn't working i set the 2 units on the same channel but they just seem not to pair with each other, i tried the same setup on my nikon d3100 and same result not working if i could get some help would be nice :D thanks in advance

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    Replies
    1. I have the same problem. Keep me informed.
      Thanks,
      Charlie

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    2. Set the camera unit to TX and the remote flash unit to TRX. Make sure the Fuji X camera is set to single shot (S) shooting mode. It will not trigger a flash in any other mode, such as CL or CH.

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    3. There is an new Upgrade model of the 603 for Canon. Wonder if that one will work.

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  12. I have the same problem with a canon flash. Anyone resolve this?

    Larry
    Lselman@got.net

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  13. Hallo,
    I use a Fuji XT-1 with Yongnuo RF603 C2 wich works very nice with a strobist "mid-pin/contact" flash. The problem I have is that in the Exif Data the Flash is always off, even if I turn it in the menu on, turn it off, turnit to commander, ...
    The flash always fires when the transmiter is on. I simply turn the transmitter off when I don't want a flash for a shot. But it is annoing that Lightroom always says "Flash off/supressed"

    Does anyone have a solution to this problem?
    Thanks and best regards
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, this happens on many cameras that are using a remote trigger. The Flash Fired is only indicated when using a proprietary flash unit that can deliver a feedback to the camera. In essence, it is the remote not the camera that is triggering the flash.

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  14. Help? 603nll can't be fired from my XT 1 in manuel mode. They work with my nikon d800 and 910. any suggestions? Thanks Charlie

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  15. I have given up solving this problem with the youngnuo transvers. I bought the Cactus V5 and they work fine with the Fujifilm X-T1 but are larger and not as ergonomic

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  16. Check that your X-T1 is set to photograph in S, for single shot mode. The camera will not trigger a flash in CL or CH shooting modes.

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  17. I assume that if the flash ie. Lightning bolt is illuminated in the "q" mode the flash is firing and should activate the hot shoe. The youngnuo does not fire the remote flash but the Cactus does.

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    Replies
    1. same for me, it doesn't work...
      (RF603 II N1 .. i have a d700, they work with it...). Did you find a solution ?

      Delete
  18. The Fuji camera must also be in Mechanical Shutter only mode

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  19. Hello, good article, thanks a lot.

    I bought this yongnuo on amaz** ( this famous website you know...) :)
    "Yongnuo RF 603 II /N1 (version II) nikon d2x/D700/D3/D800... "

    i have d700 + XT1 + Flash fuji ef-42.

    is it the good one ? i hope, but now it's too late, the order is coming, and i read it's not working on the commentary on this famous website... ;)

    marco

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    Replies
    1. i have it : my duet yongnuo II N1 is arrived...doesn't work with x-t1 :(
      With the d700 and ef-42 it's ok, with x-pro1 it's ok (but there's a strange contact), but with x-t1... it does'nt work at all !!!!!!!!
      If i forget something just tell me !

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  20. The X-T1 cannot be in silent mode and must be used with single shot. It won't work when the camera is set to continuous shooting. I keep forgetting to switch it over.

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    1. my flash setup is OK on xt1 (the EF-42 works when is on the camera).
      triggers works with d700 (so TX/TRX are fine), but doesn't works with xt1 i have only one light on...

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  21. The X-T1 cannot be in silent mode and must be used with single shot. It won't work when the camera is set to continuous shooting. I keep forgetting to switch it over.

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  22. The X-T1 cannot be in silent mode and must be used with single shot. It won't work when the camera is set to continuous shooting. I keep forgetting to switch it over.

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  23. you should correct and update all your pages on this subject, yongnuo RF603 II N(xxx) (nikon Version doesn't work for XT1... i tested it, everybody knows that, only the canon version works...).
    Now i have another model that works fine...

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  24. My 603N II units work all the time on my Fuji X cameras with NIkon SB-900 flash units. They also work to trigger my Fuji EF-20. Plus they work with a Yongnuo YN568EX in unison with the Nikon flash units. All the flash photos in this blog post were taken with the 603N II on an X-T1. The Nikon YN system does work the way I mentioned in the blog -- no apologies or corrections needed.

    From what I hear, the Canon versions also work this way. I don't use Canon flash units so I don't have firsthand evidence.

    You mention using a Fuji EF-42. I don't have one and haven't tried it, but I make no claims that it will work with that unit. I have a feeling you may have had a bad Yongnuo unit that mal-functioned or is not making contact, or had some other problem.

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  25. I tried this with my Canon Speedlite 580EX II and did not work :-(

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  26. What am I doing wrong? X-E1, E2 & Pro1 hot shoe's not triggering 603 CII. Flash mounted on second 603 will fire when the manual button on the camera 603 is pressed, so I conclude the camera 603 isn't receiving trigger signal from camera. Cameras set to S mode and silent mode is off. Tried in both auto and manual. Please help.

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  27. Hello,

    Have you tried same triggers with Xt-10. I am gonna buy a XT-10 and kinds confused in this.

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    Replies
    1. I tried with my x-T10 and X-E2 and I couldn't get the 603 NII to work. the receiver and the transmitter seem to work fine by themselves, meaning one would trigger the other and even trigger the flash mounted on the receiver one. however when the transmitter is mounted on the cameras, set up in single mode; manual shutter speed (1/125) and silent mode off with the forced flash mode setup, well it does not work. the camera doesn't seem to power the transmitter which would send the signal to the receiver. Tried over and over and checked all the settings and no luck so far :(

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  28. YONGNUO doesn't work with fuji...
    I have x100 : NOT WORKING
    X-e2 : NOT WORKING
    X-T1 : NOT WORKING
    X-PRO1 : NOT WORKING
    ... all my fujis work with cactus v4 or v5...

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  29. Sorry it doesn't work for you, Marco, but the YONGNUO units do work perfectly fine for me on all the cameras you mention. Take a look at the video I include in the blog post. It shows the YONGNUO triggering Nikon SB-900 flash units on an X-T1, X100T, and X-Pro1. It should work on all Fuji X cameras if you set the camera up correctly You must set the camera to shoot in single-drive mode, make sure sound is not silent, use manual shutter. On a camera with built-in flash, use the external flash selection. I use these units all the time for professional work. They work fine.

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  30. www.diegoeidelman.comFebruary 16, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    I can't use my X-t1 with the TN 603C II. They just don't fit on the X-T1 hotshoe. This model I have (two units) has a thicker metal base than my others YN 603C (version 1)

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