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10-11-2021, 04:17 PM   #1
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AF 540 FGZ remote triggering - Feature, failure, or User Error?

I have a photo shoot tomorrow evening of our community chorus.

I am planning to use my K-1 along with my AF540FGZ flash gun as well as a couple of auxiliary smaller flash units for bounce fill.

I have some Yongnuo RF603N II remote control units to fire all 3 of the flashes. These recently-acquired units work great for firing remote dumb flashes, except as noted just below.

My problem seems to be that the Ď540 will not fire in manual (M) mode if it is mounted on one of the remote units.

It seems to work as expected in A mode - both when the flash and remote are completely off camera and triggered by a seprate remote mounted on the camera, or when the flash is mounted on a remote which is mounted directly on the camera hot shoe (i.e. just one remote in the system, in feed-through mode).

If I mount the Ď540 directly on the K-1 hot shoe, i.e. NO remote, it works just fine in M mode.

I would have thought that M was the ďdumbestĒ possible mode, and the flash would be happy to just fire when triggered via any input, but that doesnít seem to be the case. Does the flash have to have some direct "contact" with the camera body for it to fire in M mode?

Any ideas on what I am doing wrong? Or does this combination (Ď540 attached to a remote unit, whether on camera or off camera) just not work in M mode?

Thanks for any words of wisdom!

10-11-2021, 05:21 PM   #2
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Well thatís weird. I could swear Iíve used mine with the 603N dumb triggers in manual mode. Iím not where I can test this tonight however.
10-11-2021, 05:33 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I would expect that when in "M" mode, the AF540FGZ when mounted to the remote RF603N II should behave the same as if it were mounted to an ME Super, meaning wake up on half-press and fire on full-press.
Assuming:
  • On-camera RF603N II in TX mode
  • Off-camera RF603N II in TRX mode
  • Added:AF540FGZ is set to use leading curtain sync
There is the outside chance that the flash is getting mixed signals from the left contact on the RF603N II. Try masking that contact on the remote RF603N II. If that does not work, mask both left and right contacts.

Added: If you have a Pentax film camera with shoe layout similar to the RF603N II, check the AF540FGZ behavior on it as a reference.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-11-2021 at 06:01 PM.
10-12-2021, 01:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I would expect that when in "M" mode, the AF540FGZ when mounted to the remote RF603N II should behave the same as if it were mounted to an ME Super, meaning wake up on half-press and fire on full-press.
Assuming:

On-camera RF603N II in TX mode
Off-camera RF603N II in TRX mode
Added:AF540FGZ is set to use leading curtain sync

There is the outside chance that the flash is getting mixed signals from the left contact on the RF603N II. Try masking that contact on the remote RF603N II. If that does not work, mask both left and right contacts.
Tried it this way, and No Go! I even tried making a contact mask for the flash with just a center hole (via hole punch) - that doesn't help.

I do see the green light on the remote light up when I turn on the camera - so the Yongnuo units are talking to each other.

I do have an ME Super to play with, but not enough time at the moment - I've got to get all my equipment (cameras, remotes, flashes, tripods, SD cards, ...) ready for this evening.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'd love to hear what UncleVanya discovers if he has chance to try this.

It's fine in A mode, which I can work with - I'll just turn up the request on A to have it make a full blast fire (i.e. tell it I'm shooting at f/16 and ISO 100 !).

10-12-2021, 02:08 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
Thanks for the suggestions. I'd love to hear what UncleVanya discovers if he has chance to try this.
Did you see the two notes I added? Make sure the sync mode is set to leading curtain.


Steve
10-12-2021, 02:56 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
I'll just turn up the request on A to have it make a full blast fire (i.e. tell it I'm shooting at f/16 and ISO 100 !).
Dumb me! I just realized that "A mode" means using the flash's built-in sensor for intensity control. What is strange is that "M mode" should work the same as "A mode" from a sync perspective. There is something subtle at work here.

Just to confirm flash settings:
  • M mode
  • Leading curtain sync
  • Power switch at ON position (white dot), not at wireless position (yellow dot)
  • Flash ready lamp is lit

BTW...setting A mode to f/16 and ISO 100 only changes the range graphic on the flash display. Hacking A mode for full discharge involves masking the flash's sensor.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-12-2021 at 03:08 PM.
10-12-2021, 03:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
Thanks for the suggestions. I'd love to hear what UncleVanya discovers if he has chance to try this.
Well. This is embarrassing. I went and dug out my flash kit and I have no RF603 triggers. I had three. I have my Cactus triggers but no others. I donít know if I stuck them in the wrong place or what.

Iím totally unable to try recreating this at this time.

---------- Post added 10-12-21 at 06:23 PM ----------

Thinking back I may have had batteries leak in them and tossed them. But that may just be my imagination.

10-12-2021, 03:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Just to confirm flash settings:

M mode
Leading curtain sync
Power switch at ON position (white dot), not at wireless position (yellow dot)
Flash ready lamp is lit


BTW...setting A mode to f/16 and ISO 100 only changes the range graphic on the flash display. Hacking A mode for full discharge involves masking the flash's sensor.
Yep - all of the above, and no M firing.

Masking - doh! I did that to one of the little flashes already (the other has a "full blast, no matter what" setting), but forgot about it here ... ! Blue painters' tape, here I come.
10-12-2021, 04:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
Yep - all of the above, and no M firing.
By any chance, do you still have your ME Super? If so, how does your flash behave on that camera. It should be fully compatible for both A and M modes.


Steve
10-12-2021, 10:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
By any chance, do you still have your ME Super? If so, how does your flash behave on that camera. It should be fully compatible for both A and M modes.
That's tomorrow's task - I suspect by itself on the camera, the flash should be fine (as it is on the K-1). It's with the remotes that I'm not sure what will happen.
10-18-2021, 04:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
That's tomorrow's task - I suspect by itself on the camera, the flash should be fine (as it is on the K-1). It's with the remotes that I'm not sure what will happen.
Well, let us know if you figure it out. If fires on the ME Super, it should work with the YN603.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 4 Days Ago at 06:09 PM.
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