Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yongnuo RF-603 + Olympus OM-D: Reloaded


Do you remember my RF-603 modification post? In that post I was able to modify my Canon version of the Yongnuou RF-603 trigger to make it work with my Olympus camera to trigger external flashes.

Now thanks to member Earlack and his post in this dpreview thread, I was able to further modify the camera cable of the triggers so that they can also wirelessly trigger my camera. Full details after the jump.

Below is a typical YN RF-603 kit, except that there is another transceiver. I have bought two kits, so I have four transceivers in total. With these, I can trigger up to three external flashes, and I can even trigger the camera (from one of the other triggers) using the supplied cable, however, this cable has only a Canon connector, and Yongnuo doesn't sell cables with the Olympus USB connector.

This brings us to the modification, thanks to dpreview member mentioned above, I did exactly what he did, and instead of buying a USB connector and connecting it, I bought the cheapest wired trigger for Olympus I could find, the one shown in the opening picture.


Here's the Olympus USB connector, this is what I bought the intervalometer for, to salvage the USB connector (don't feel sad for the intervalometer, I have a much better one, with an on-off switch, not fully-on-until-the-battery-runs-out like this one).


Operation begins by cutting the two ends of the RF-603 cable, and the intervalometer. Thankfully, they both have the same color code.


I connected both whites together, red with yellow and yellow with red, the picture below is not the final one, just roughly made for demonstration.
 
 
 Once done and tested, I insulated each of the wires separately.
 

And because I didn't have a good black sealing tape, I used Gaffer's tape to hold both ends of the cable together. I will be removing the ugly looking tape and using a more elegant solution.



And it works, however not fully as expected, the half-press doesn't do anything, and only a full press initiates the focus and triggers the shutter, but I don't mind since most probably, when remotely triggering the camera as such, I will use fixed focus. In case you're wondering, it doesn't matter if the RF-603 is mounted to the camera hot-shoe or not, and I also tried connecting the reds and yellows together, but when I tested it, the camera had the shutter "half-pressed" all the time.

This modification will give me two important uses:
  1. I can trigger the camera wirelessly, useful for group photos, self photos, camera positioned far away (on a pole for example with a fisheye for a unique perspective).
  2. I can trigger both the camera and flash together, for example if I'm light painting a large area with flash, I can leave the camera on the tripod, and take the flash with me and point it at different areas of the photo, and every time I trigger the flash, the camera will snap a picture. How cool is that?

Finally, all these pictures were shot handheld with the OM-D and the 12-50 lens in macro mode, ISO 3200, shutter speeds ~ 1/10 to 1/20 seconds, ACR standard noise reduction.


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Yongnuo RF-603 + Olympus OM-D