A few years ago I bought two Yongnuo RF-602 RX receivers and a Yongnuo RF-600 TX transmitter for my Canon flash units. Recently they started misbehaving. Sometimes the flash didn’t fire, sometimes it fired to late. When using the test button however, the transmitter worked fine. What I noticed was that the green light on the front of the transmitter was flashing more or less continuously (when connected to a camera and the camera was on).
The green light is supposed to light up when the shutter button is half-pressed, and I assume it sends a signal to the receivers to wake up the flash. I also suspect that this behaviour, where the green light is on for no apparent reason, is “jamming” the other signal.
If you have this problem, the easiest way to verify is to block all the pins on the hot shoe except the one in the middle, which is transmitting the trigger signal. I used a thin piece of plastic to test this. This silenced the false signal and allowed the real trigger signal to function.
The more permanent solution is to open up the RF-600TX and remove the wiring to the offending pin. The unit has 3 wires. One for the trigger signal, in my case the wire in the middle, one wire for the base of the hot shoe, let us call it ground, and a third wire going to one of the other pins. This will vary depending if you have the Canon or the Nikon model.
Figure out which wire goes to the center pin, and which goes to the ground. Cut the third wire. Or take a soldering iron and gently remove it, in case you want to reattach it. That is what I did. To figure out what’s what I used a multimeter.
By the way, this might slow down the sync speed. But in my case it never worked with anything higher then 1/160 anyways…
Update: I just thought about this. To wake up the flash unit(s) you can half-press the test button instead of the shutter button. Or just force the flash units from going into sleep mode.
Just a short post about camera flashes and trigger voltage.
Canon specifies a safe trigger voltage up to 6 volts using the hotshoe on their digital cameras. If it’s higher, it might damage the camera. So I have measured the trigger voltage on two older flashes I have lying around, since I didn’t get (m)any hits searching the interewebz.
Pentax AF-330FTZ has a trigger voltage of 3.14V Hanimex 325AZ has a trigger voltage of 110V
So the Pentax AF-330FTZ should be safe. Hanimex 325 however, isn’t. What’s kind of scary is that I have used the Hanimex on several occasions on my 350D. Luckily no harm done (as far as I can tell).
Update: Found this web page explaining some more around this issue.
I take this to mean that all Canons DSLRs newer than the 350D, as well as all the professional models, can use flash with trigger voltages up to 250 volts in their hot-shoe. However, 6 volts is the safe limit for the D30, D60, 10D, 300D, and Canon’s digital compact cameras.
A self portrait taken with my new (second hand) Canon 5D.
What can I say other than ‘Wow’. This is an amazing piece of equipment, and definitely a step up from my four year old Canon 350D. Although the previous owner had it for almost 2 years (1 year and 10 months), it’s in mint condition.
One of the ‘rules’ in photography is to invest in good optics. But now that the marked is packed with people upgrading to Canon 5D MkII, it’s the perfect time to get the hand on a used MkI for a reasonable price. In fact, for the price I paid for the 5D, I couldn’t even get a new 500D. Sure, the 500D has more mega pixel and full 1080p video. But I’m not interested in video, and the camera is to small for my hands. And that is also my biggest regret on buying the 350D in the first place, but it’s also the only one. Always buy a camera that fits your hand.
Today I was processing some images in Adobe Lightroom so I could send them to my brother. After the images was done, I did a quick preview of them. The default program on Windows Vista is Windows Photo Gallery. I was not pleased with the result, so I entered Lightroom and checked the export settings only to find them being set to maximum quality.
Then I opened the images in both Adobe Photoshop and QuickTime PictureViewer and to my surprise I discovered that the photo was looking better there.
Take a look at the sample image for comparison:
Before you start complaining about the photo being totally awful, and that this has nothing to do with Windows Photo Gallery, but more my camera or my skills. Let me explain to you that this is not the photo itself as a whole. This is a crop of the top right corner of the image. In other words, it’s the background, not the main subject.
From this crop you can clearly see that Windows Photo Gallery renders the dark areas differently than QuickTime PictureViewer (and Adobe Photoshop).
I guess this has something to do with Windows using it’s own JPEG-library which differs from the real deal.