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Yongnuo RF-603C II : the best trigger for tube light-painting?

11 Mar 2018

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It's no secret, the trigger is my least favorite part of equipment. I tried all brands. I have somewhere between 20 and 30 models/brands at the studio. The Yongnuo RF-603C II has been the go to one for years (they replaced my ridiculous PocketWizard literally the day they came out in 2014 I think!). I did many successful trips with them, then I started to have problems. I bought new units, and still had problems. I'm not sure if I had bad units, but there's one thing I learned recently that helped a lot, and it's to use non-rechargeable batteries. The voltage on those is a bit higher and doesn't draw back as fast. It seems to be the best solution. I just spent 10 days in the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (again!), and things went quite well. I had to change the batteries only once, at the last day (when communication started to become glitchy between the two units).

Now what about my Impact triggers? The Impact PowerSync 16-80 is the high end solution I have been using for the last 20 months. They cost 100$ each (instead of 15$ for the Yongnuo). The range is much much better, but it is so frustrating working with those. They offer tons of options that are useless for light-painting, meaning there are more electronic components. This is probably the reason why they are more sensitive to humidity and cold. The mode keeps changing on the receiver for no reason (the one on the camera!). This happened with most of the 8 units I have been working with. I also continuously change mode on the one I have in my hand (by hitting buttons by error while doing other things) - HEY, I work in the dark in super harsh conditions, and these little moments where suddenly a group is activated, blocking all communications between the 2 triggers are so frustrating, especially when it's super windy and we can't hear the trigger (so many wasted images).

I'm glad to say that the Impact are going to stop travelling. They'll stay at the studio and I'm officially back at Yongnuo for goods. It's making me pretty happy as I prefer to recommend an affordable solution for you, the tube tribe members.

And what about the other triggers I have experimented with? Here is a common list of problems that make most of them useless

Some of the other triggers I have been testing over the past 3 years:

If you ended up here trying to find info about the light-painting tubes, search no more, everything fully explained here: