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Yongnuo RF-603 II

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4 10,443 Wed December 17, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $23.50 9.00
Yongnuo RF-603 II

Yongnuo RF-603 II
Yongnuo RF-603 II
Yongnuo RF-603 II
Yongnuo RF-603 II

2.4 GHz wireless trigger / transceiver for Canon (RF-603C II) and Nikon (RF-603N II).

Sixteen channels, selectable by DIP-switch inside battery compartment. Uses two AAA batteries. PC-sync connector and 2.5mm shutter release connector.
Price History:

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Senior Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 126
Review Date: December 17, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $18.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, reliable, transmits through walls (yes, really!), decent range, takes readily available AAA batteries.
Cons: None if you're happy with manual control.

I took delivery of my first pair of transceivers a few days ago. I had already been warned that Pentax users need to buy either the non-dedicated version (which is almost impossible to find) or the Nikon version, since the Canon-dedicated version won't work with Pentax cameras. I bought the Nikon version as I was unable to source the non-dedicated version.

Before using them for taking pictures I decided to make a few tests just to get used to them, find any quirks I needed to know about, and see what their limits were. First simple test was to put one with a flashgun mounted in the bedroom and then try firing it from the living room, with a structural wall in between the two rooms this is a reasonable test of the obstacle penetration. The flash fired every time I tried it. Next I set up a flashgun in my living room window and wandered down the street, testing at regular intervals. I got to about sixty yards or so and had to stop because there's a bend in the road and I would no longer be able to see the flash. It was still firing reliably. Since I am never likely to need to fire a flash at sixty yards I had to regard this as a pass with flying colours.

So far so good.

When I first opened the package I was a little worried by the very light weight, as I thought they might turn out to be excessively fragile. In fact the units have quite a good solid feel to them, and they don't flex during normal handling at all. The channel selector switches are micro-switches which should be operated with a ball-point pen or your fingernails if you're careful, and those are fragile and will need to be used with care, but that's true of all micro-switches. Since you don't need to use them often it's not likely to be a problem. Having 16 channels to choose from means you can work in an area where other photographers are working with identical units and not find yourselves triggering each others' flashes.

So far I'm happy with these and I will certainly buy more. For the price they are excellent.

Edited to add:

Since my original review was posted I have bought two more pairs and have used them on several shoots. They have been extremely reliable, to the point where I haven't had a single failure to trigger except ones caused by my own errors. Being able to trigger multiple flashguns and having such reliability at this price is amazing. In actual use they have lived up to the expectations I developed after testing them.
New Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Rome (Italy)
Posts: 16
Review Date: November 30, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, solid, 603N-II functional on K5-II w/ AF-540 FGZ
Cons: no P-TTL (obviously)

I bought a pair of RF-603N II w/ C1 cable and I see they are fully functional with my K5-II and AF-540 FGZ.
Ask your seller for a C1 cable (jack 2,5mm on both ends), not N1 or N3, because that's needed for shutter release on a Pentax camera.
You can use 2 triggers in different ways, always turn on your flash in "A" mode (not "M" mode as written in the trigger's manual)

- first trigger in TX mode on hot shoe of the Pentax camera
- second trigger on flash in TRX mode
- no cable C1 needed
this configuration triggers the flash when you press the shutter button on camera

- first trigger in TRX mode on hot shoe of the Pentax camera
- second trigger on flash in TRX mode
- cable C1 connected to socket of the Pentax camera
this configuration triggers the flash when you press the shutter release button on camera; when you half-press one trigger's main button you act AF on the camera; when you full-press one trigger's main button you get the shutter release on the camera and flash lamp, this means you can take a shot by hand-holding your flash remotely from camera.

C) using Pentax wireless remote control shutter release
- first trigger in TRX mode on hot shoe of the Pentax camera
- second trigger on flash in TRX mode
- cable C1 connected to socket of the Pentax camera
- on Camera select wireless remote control (shutter release, not flash), delay 3s or multi-shot
this configuration triggers the flash also when you press the shutter release button on remote control !

This is a workaround on the fact that using Pentax wireless remote control shutter release the P-TTL wireless flsh function is disabled. I think this is a good feature for using this triggers.

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 13, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $32.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Current Nikon version works on K-5 & K5IIs
Cons: Current Canon Version doesn't work on K-5 & K5IIs

1. Had two Pentax 540's go wrong, sent for repair.
2. Needed something more than the Yongnou 560 I had left to cover events. .
3. Discovered Yongnou 560 III with built-in receiver. About $70.
4. Discovered Yongnou 603 II Transceivers. About $32.
5. Have used NPT-04 triggers from Cowboy studio for years. Saw opportunity to:
a. Eliminate separate receiver to flash with new flashes. .
b, Eliminate different transmitter battery type
c. Eliminate separate shutter trigger device and its two types of batteries.
d. Improve range & reliability with 2.4 GHz technology.

6. Watched video by forum member showing all working with Canon & Nikon versions of Yongnou 603 II Transceivers.
7. Ordered 2 Yongnou 560 III flashes and 2 pairs of Yongnou 603 CII Transceivers. Includes Pentax compatible shutter release cable.

8. Receive Yongnou 560 III flashes and Yongnou 603 CII Transceivers. Discover none will communicate with Yongnou 560 III flash on K5IIs or a K5 bodies
a. New flashes fire on camera okay
b. New flashes fire on NPT-4 triggers okay.
c. New transceivers trigger K5IIs & K5 shutter okay.

9. Stupidly put Yongnou 603 II C1 Canon Transceiver on K5IIs body backwards. Spring loaded pin drops into locking hole.
10. Slap forehead and destructively disassemble Yongnou 603 II C1 Canon Transceiver on K5IIs body.
11. Discover if I short center pin and one next to it with a metal rule, it communicates with the flash, can press test button and all works.
12. Disassemble transceiver to see if I can hot wire it. Riveted component, not accessible, re-assemble unsuccessfully, throw away.

13. Obtain return authorization form Amazon for remaining pair of transceivers.
14. Order pair of Yongnou 603 N II Transceivers after reading forum comment on DPReview.
15. Receive Yongnou 603 N II Transceivers. Both work okay. They don't test fire flash unless mounted on camera. Price of progress.

Lesson learned: Order the Nikon version and don't worry about the shutter cable.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,614

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 29, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $19.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, reliable, flexible, uses AAA batteries
Cons: No P-TTL, no HSS, no flash groups, no bells, no whistles...

Note: This review is for the second-version RF-603 II, released in late December 2013. I have a separate review for the first-version RF-603 here:

The RF-603 II is an update to Yongnuo's RF-603 transceiver. It moves the power switch to the side, and adds a dedicated TX (transmit) mode along with the original TRX (transceiver) mode. The plastic body is slightly longer and taller than the original, with a locking nut on the hotshoe.

I've tested both the Canon and Nikon versions of the RF-603 II on Pentax bodies, and they both work as triggers in TX mode. Having the power switch on the side makes it easier to reach - and to bump accidentally, but I haven't had any issues with that.

The limitations are the same as the original RF-603 - it's just a really long sync cord. There's no P-TTL, TTL, or HSS - just a dumb sync signal, suitable for a manual flash. You'll have to do some test shots to get your flash and camera settings right. Range and reliability seem to be the same as the original, which was quite good - I could trigger a flash through walls from a distance of at least 50 meters, and the only time I've missed a flash was because it hadn't recharged yet. I have not seen any black bands at 1/180 shutter speed.

You may see references to C1, C2, N1, N2 versions of the RF-603 II - these are just describing which shutter release cable comes with the set. For a Pentax, you need the C1 cable (2.5mm plugs on both ends). (Note that the K-x, K-r, and K-01 do not have a socket for an external shutter release.)

The RF-603 II is compatible with the built-in RF-602/603 receiver in the popular YN-560 III manual flash. I've had no problems with mixing the RF-603 II with the original RF-603, or with mixing Canon and Nikon versions. The RF-603 II worked fine with all of my old manual and auto-thyristor flashes.

Some users have reported issues when using RF-603 with newer flashes. I think the problem is that P-TTL flashes put information on the digital pin (the one closest to the front of the camera), also used by Nikon flashes. Since the RF-603 is not designed for Pentax, the P-TTL signal is seen as gibberish, which confuses the RF-603. A slip of tape over the digital pin seems to solve the problem.

The RF-603 II addressed all of my complaints with the original RF-603. It's not perfect, but it does everything I need at a very reasonable price. If you need groups or HSS or remote power control, this probably isn't for you. However, if you are on a budget and just need a simple RF trigger, the RF-603 II is simple, cheap, and reliable. I paid $19 for a single unit (shipping included); they cost a little less when bought in pairs.

Quick video I threw together demonstrating the RF-603 and RF-603 II on Pentax bodies:

Based on some frequent questions, here's a quick how-to:
1) Mount one RF-603 II in your camera's hotshoe, and set the power switch to the "TX" position.
2) Mount a flash on a second RF-603, set the power switch on the RF-603 to "TRX".
3) Turn on the flash.
4) Turn on the camera and set the shutter speed to 1/180 or less.
5) Fire away!
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