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I watched a Kelby One lesson and per course purchased a Yongnuo YN560-TX manual controller to trigger my Nikon SB900 off camera with a softbox. Do I need to purchase something else to make this work (R-603 II or something). New to this and didn't mention in class. I have searched everywhere trying to figure this out because it doesn't work as is with D600, SB900, and the YN560-TX II manual controller.

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The YN-560-TX, as a dedicated radio transmitter requires a radio receiver to trigger a remote flash. The SB-900 does not have one built-in, so you need to add one onto the foot of the flash. You can use the RF-602, RF-603, RF-603 II, or RF-605. But all you will be able to do is fire the flash remotely. The YN-560-TX and an RF-60x cannot communicate TTL, HSS (use a faster shutter speed than your camera body's sync speed), or remote power/settings control. This gear is manual-only.

You would actually have more control (TTL, remote settings control) over an SB-900 if you used it as a "smart" optical (CLS/AWL) off-camera flash while using the D600's pop-up flash as your CLS commander.

To get similar control over radio, you could also use iTTL-capable radio triggers: the Yongnuo YN-622N, Godox X1R-N, Phottix Odin II, etc. etc. There are dozens of these types of radio triggers on the market today.

The YN-560-TX is actually best paired with the YN-560 III, YN-560IV, YN-660, or YN-560Li units, which have built-in radio triggers that allow for remote zoom and power control. But. In Yongnuo's system, you cannot mix manual and TTL gear, as you can in Godox or Phottix's systems.

  • Very comprehensive reply. If you want to use your SB-900 I suggest to just start with a pair of RF-603 IIs. Later you can extend your system with the YN-560 III or newer YN-660 and then it makes sense to get an YN 560-TX. One addition: Having one TTL flash helps. You can also control the TTL flash YN-685 using the YN-560TX in manual mode. However for off-camera flash I see no reason to use TTL anyway. As you already have the SB-900 this tip comes to late for you of course. – Yaba Apr 8 at 8:29
  • @Yaba, I'd actually say return the YN-560-TX, sell the SB-900 and go get a Godox TT685N and Flashpoint R2 Pro II-Nikon transmitter. :) Yongnuo just dead-ends very quickly when it comes to expansion. Also, a Godox TT600 and X1T transmitter cost the same a YN-560-TX and YN-560IV, but give you HSS, and much more room for expansion, including TTL and bigger-than-speedlight options in the same system. – inkista Apr 8 at 19:51
  • AS said, TTL is of no use for off-camera flash. HSS is nice, but you loose way too much power. I have better experience using an ND filter. But yes, if you want to extend your flash portfolio to bigger flashes, Godox is a very good option. If you want to stay with speedlights however Godox is about twice the price for a more complex system, where you do not need most of the features. – Yaba Apr 10 at 8:57
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    @Yaba, it's not more expensive, if you only want manual-only gear. The TT600 and X1T combo costs the same as the YN-560IV/YN-560-TX combo. But you get HSS. And TTL is of use for off-camera flash if you have a triggering system with TTL lock. But most folks don't know this because affordable systems that do this only got released last year. – inkista Apr 10 at 23:42
  • Thank you @Inkista. Didn't had the TT600 on my radar. Yes, that looks like a very good alternative to Yonguo indeed. Especially with the added HSS at the same price. You got me convinced. – Yaba Apr 12 at 15:00
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The Yongnuo YN560-TX II has a radio transmitter made to communicate with Yongnuo manual flashes with built in radio receivers that use the YN560/RF605/RF603 protocol.

Your SB900 has an optical receiver for Nikon's CLS/AWL wireless flash protocol.

Although the Yongnuo YN560/RF605/RF603 manual protocol and the YN622 TTL protocols are mostly incompatible, YN622 devices made since the end of 2014 can be set to receive YN560-TX signals to control manual flash power and manual zoom head settings as well as fire the flash. If you set a YN622N II to 'YN560 Rx' mode and attach it to your SB900 it should allow you to control the power and zoom head setting manually from the YN560N-TX attached to your camera and fire the flash in sync.

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