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RF-603II and Olympus not firing?

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by cyrax83, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Dec 8, 2014
    Hi Guys,

    I bought the Yongnuo RF-603 II (canon version) radio triggers to use with my external flash. If i hook it all up and press it manually, the flash fires fine, but I can't get it fired from the E-M1 camera.

    FYI this is what I bought:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/321432177960?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    The setup is I have one module on TRX mode on the flash, the other on TX mode on the hot shoe. I enable flash through the super control menu to either Fill In or Manual (tried both). I fire a shot and nothing happens on the hot shoe module or the flash. If I press the test button on the transmitter, it fires the flash so obviously the unit works but it's not recieving the signal from the hot shoe. Any ideas?

    I know there was some hacks required to get it working with the RF-603 but from everything I read it's meant to be plug and play with the RF-603 II...

    FYI the included cable is unused as I believe thats a canon cable.
     
  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    It's a different standard, Canon and Nikon both use the hot shoe plate as a contact where as Four Thirds / m4/3 does not and rather uses a side contact between the plate and the locking ring for the same function. The underside and sides of the hot shoe arms are actually insulated to prevent contact.

    You need to get a file/something pointy and hardish metal and scratch the under side of the hot shoe on the camera. If you look at the metal hot shoe on the camera you will see two bare metal contact points on the inside sides that the flash slides into (this is what 4/3 flashes use), scratch the underside/sides of these metal arms to make an exposed contact which the plate can make contact with.

    It doesn't take much to expose the metal, mounting and unmounting a flash with a pressed metal shoe while pushing it at an angle to force the plate into the metal a hundred times or so will do the same thing.
     
  3. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    I only know SONY a6000 needs the scratching work on the hot shoe, but maybe that's the reason. However on my E-M5, there is no problem at all using RF603II, just make sure your camera is in Manual mode and shutter speed is below 1/250.
     
  4. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    The E-M1 has the same issue, I've had to do it to both of my bodies several times (one has had the top replaced due to dial failure). Without doing so I couldn't always get reliable flash sync.
     
  5. jaclu

    jaclu Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Mar 17, 2014
    If you use the RF-603C trigger, you need to move one pin to make it work.
    Looking at the hot shoe from above, top right is "ready" on canon, on m43 this is on lower right.
    I changed one of the triggers using a soldering iron, I guess you could do the same with a piece of metal or something, see picture for my hack - (not elegant but works :) ). Since I soldered two connectors together, I removed the not needed pin in order to avoid short circuiting the camera. Then I put a sticker m43 on that trigger.
    The other I use as is, so when I shoot on my Fujis the un-hacked trigger goes on the camera, and when i shoot m43 the hacked trigger goes on the camera.
    As a side bonus, by connecting the ready pin, trigger is auto detected and can shoot at any speed, however over 320 you start to loose light, so whilst the flash still triggers at 1/1000 it is not meaningfull...
    M5II1720.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  6. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    My Canon version 603II works great without any modifications on E-M5, x100s, X-E2, a7, etc. But getting 1/1000 is great, you said "loose light", why is that? When I use the 603II on x100s with 1/1000 sec, it is just very normal.
     
  7. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    This may explain why my 3rd party flash extension cable didn't work. e-TTL and zoom setting were communicated with the flash, but it wouldn't fire. I'll have to try this. Thanks!
     
  8. jaclu

    jaclu Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Mar 17, 2014
    the x100 family uses a leaf shutter, so they can use flash at any speed, cameras with traditional shutters usually have a max shutter speed for flash (sync speed), above that the closing shutter has already started to close when the flash triggers so only parts of the image is exposed to the light
     
  9. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    Thanks! I just remembered. :)
     
  10. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Dec 8, 2014
    I still don't understand the scratching work and why I'd need to scratch the hot shoe on my E-M1 :/

    Did some more testing:

    1. Receiver on flash, transmitter not on camera. I press the transmitter button and the flash does go off.

    2. I also tested just having the flash in the hot shoe directly without any radio transmitters to test if the hot shoe is fine, the flash goes off fine in hot shoe

    3. Once I put the transmitter in the hot shoe, the flash doesn't go off with the camera (if I press the button on the transmitter the flash still goes off).

    Question: When I have the flash directly on the hot shoe, the thunderbolt flash icon is solid white on the LCD screen, when I have the transmitter on the hot shoe with the flash setting on "Fill In" or "Manual" the thunderbolt icon is only slightly greyed.

    I'm in manual mode with shutter speed less than 1/250

    edit 2: I also tested on an E-M5 body. Same issue, no firing of flash on hot-shoe but test button works fine

    Here are some pictures of E-M5 testing, can anyone see if I'm doing anything wrong?

    http://imgur.com/a/60fCF
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  11. jaclu

    jaclu Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Mar 17, 2014
    I wouldnt scratch the camera, triggers are much cheaper...
     
  12. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Dec 8, 2014
    This still doesn't make sense to me as others have reported no issues with the RF-603 II on E-M5 (which I've tested above and not working). Any tips from the images I posted?
     
  13. jaclu

    jaclu Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Mar 17, 2014
    Maybe the rf-603 II is different from the 603C?
     
  14. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Dec 8, 2014
  15. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    You're scratching paint off the inside of a hotshoe, you can do the same by wearing the paint away by remounting a flash over and over.

    Excuse the cell phone picture as I can't be bothered to walk out to the car on a cold morning such as this.
    20150822_110246-as-Smart-Object-1.
    To the right and left of the yellow lines on the side of the metal shoe is the m4/3 standard contact points, I have further removed paint from under these areas so the lower side of the shoe also makes contact with non standard flashes.

    The red circles show wear from mounting and dismounting flashes a few hundred times, wear such as this is enough for intermittent contact as the lower surrounding plate is grounded to the shoe. Scratching the paint from under the arms (as marked in yellow) is a more reliable method however.



    If you're too afraid of putting a few tiny scratches on your camera to improve usage in a place which is expected to take normal wear and tear when you mount devices I suggest you better put the camera back in it's display cabinet before you do something silly and actually use it.
     
  16. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Dec 8, 2014
    Thanks I just had a look at the camera and can see the 2 metal contacts you are referring to - on the E-M1 the underside of the contacts are already exposed because I've been using hot shoe flash on this camera previously...

    Any other ideas? :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  17. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    It's been mentioned in other places however I suspect most users never use wireless triggers and tend to stick with branded equipment. I've gone into detail on this in the past however the hotshoe on the E-M1 is a different standard to what Canon and Nikon use, while it's broadly the same in shape they have always used side contacts rather than the plate as it provides more positive contact and lowers the chance of shorting when mounting or dismounting. They first started using it on their film cameras as it lowered the chance of electrocution due to having a contact with 300v potential in the open.


    Mind the dust.

    Metz AF-58-1
    _8220683-as-Smart-Object-1.

    They're not the only brand to adopt this technique, the Fujifilm standard is broadly based on 4/3 and has many things in common.
    _8220684-as-Smart-Object-1.

    To prevent shorting Canon uses a different system involving a microswitch under a small metal tab which is pushed down when you mount a flash, failure of this microswitch results in flash being inoperable (either the pop up if present on camera, or mounted otherwise).
     
  18. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/69928/

    Another thread with more pictures, it comes up once every 6 months or so at a guess.

    Normal wear and tear is normally enough to take some paint off so that enough contact is made, it doesn't take much so basically any camera that's been used for flash a few dozen times will probably work... it's just the rarer cases when this isn't enough.
     
  19. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Hello All,

    First time poster. I was actually looking at buying these triggers the other day, so naturally this thread caught my eye. So reading the above and looking at photos and then looking at my E-M1, the problem seems fairly straight forward and alluded to above.

    As Eteless points out above in photos. the flashes for Oly have the return/case/ground contact built into the neck of the hotshoe and the plate part of the hotshoe is all plastic. His photo showing the yellow lines shows where the exposed sections are on the SIDES you can not see from that angle facing each other. On my E-M1, looking closely at the hotshoe, the majority of it is painted but on the inside lip of each side there is a bare strip. Those bare parts face each other and are designed to contact the side of the flash contacting the "neck" contact of the flash. If it helps visualize, cup your hand in a C and visualize that being the hotshoe on the camera. The only exposed metal are on your finger/thumb tips where they would pinch together.

    Looking at cyrax83's photos of the trigger mounted on the camera, the hotshoe plate is all metal but the neck is plastic. Again, visualizing your cupped hand, if you slid the trigger under your fingers the metal plate of the trigger contacts the pads of your fingers (where your fingerprints are), but not the tips of your fingers. So there is no connection.

    And easy test would be to take a small piece of tinfoil, and wrap it over either the left or right side of the E-M1 hotshoe mount so it curls slightly under the lip. Now put the trigger on and try again. I bet it fires. (by wrapping it down around the lip and under you are contacting the exposed sides of the E-M1 hotshoe and then contacting the top of the metal plate on the trigger).

    Patrick
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    S'what? I--I can't even... OMFG!!!

    NO. No, no, no, no, NO!!!!!

    The side contacts for the rails are because the rails are ground.

    The sync signal is a simple short between the sync source voltage and ground. So you need both of those contacts. The sync signal is ALWAYS the contact in the center of the hotshoe "square", and the pin in the center of the "square" of the foot is always the sync signal on the flash. The plate on the floor of the foot as a whole cannot conduct, or all your signals would short each other out. Only the little round silver circles on the shoe are contacts that matter.

    The rails-as-ground and center pin/contact as sync and the physical dimensions are part of the ISO standard (ISO:518) for flash hotshoes.

    Scratching paint or not scratching paint doesn't matter jack, other than that you may have adjusted the fit of the foot in the shoe enough so that the proper pin is making contact.

    Check the seating of the trigger on the shoe. Chances are good it's simply not far enough forward for the pin to make contact.

    The only hotshoe that is using contacts on the side for signalling are those of the new ISO-compliant Sony cameras, and they're on the front of the foot, not on the sides above the foot, where the rails come in contact. They have 21 contacts, and some of those are undoubtedly for use to add-on EVFs.

    Very much so. The RF-603 (Mark I) units "auto-sensed" if they were on the camera (to be used as a transmitter) or on a flash (to be used as a receiver) by a signal on one of the TTL (non-sync) pins. This signal is specific to Canon or Nikon, and is not a signal received when on an mft or Fuji X or Sony E hotshoe. So the units never autoswitched into transmit mode on the camera hotshoe, but stayed in receiver mode. So they never worked, unless you could short a signal that did work to the one the 603 was expecting.

    The RF-603II units, otoh, were updated to have a slider switch on the side that can set the transceiver into three modes: OFF, TRX (auto sense TX/RX), or TX (transmit only). This way, you a) can explicitly set the unit to be a transmitter on a non-Canikon hotshoe, and b) you can actually operate the #$@*&ing ON/OFF switch (you 602/603MkI owners know what I'm talking about) when there's a flash sitting on top of the unit. It's a more than worthwhile upgrade to move from the 603s to the 603IIs, especially if you shoot mirrorless.

    Assuming you don't want groups control from a YN-560-TX with the 605s, or forego external triggers altogether with the YN-560III/IV (or reputedly, the upcoming YN-685) flashes. [grin].
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015