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Just to let you know, I am only a beginner in flash photography, and DSLR photography as well in fact, and am interested in buying a YN-560 III flash, and a pair of RF-603s.

I would like to be able to use the flash for high speed photography, like water drops, and water balloons popping etc. This would mean off camera.

From what I've read, rather than trigger the shutter, as there is too much lag etc, it is best to capture such shots in a dark room, with a 2 second or so shutter duration, and fire the flash at low power (and thus speed) to freeze the motion.

What I plan on doing, is buying (or making) an acoustic trigger, that triggers the flash, based on a sound, like the pop of a balloon. What I'm trying to work out, before I go ahead and buy the flash and triggers, is whether or not the RF-603 can trigger the flash remotely, if I plug a PC sync cable from the acoustic trigger into the RF-603. If not, is there any way, ANY way that I can trigger either the RF-603 (or the flash itself) from the output of the acoustic trigger?

Perhaps by having a hotshoe cord from the acoustic trigger?? That the RF-603 sits in, and takes its input from?

I really appreciate your time everybody, I hope I can make these pieces of equipment work, and start making some high speed shots!

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No. You can't. The PC sync port on the RF-603 is output-only for receiver mode to connect to the flash, not an input. I know, because I tested it with an optical sensor that worked just fine on my very very old RF-602-TX unit (no longer sold as part of the RF-602 sets--they removed the PC port).

If you have an iPhone, the Triggertrap Mobile app, a dongle, and flash adapter could do the trick for you. They've finally gotten the latency down to where it can be useful for high-speed photography. Unfortunately, the Android version still has the latency.

Or, if you don't mind going corded, just sending the output from the acoustic sensor directly to the flash via its PC port over a cable would work. If you're having a hard time sourcing PC connectors/cables, you can also consider modding the YN-560III to add a 3.5 miniphone connector (or just buying a flash with a 3.5mm jack, like a LumoPro LP 120/160/180), or use a hotshoe-to-3.5mm adapter. The 3.5mm miniplugs are more robust than PC connectors, anyway.

  • I'm an android man... Too bad the PC sync port can only be used for output 😢 – technotron101 Jan 27 '16 at 4:31
  • @technotron101 Well, I'm sure there are other solutions. That's just the one I know about. – inkista Jan 27 '16 at 4:36
  • I was thinking that because the camera hotshoe triggers the flash or trigger via the pins, if I used a hotshoe cable from the acoustic trigger, then I would be able to achieve the same as if the trigger was on the camera, right? – technotron101 Jan 27 '16 at 5:02
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    The PC sync cord would plug directly into the flash unit. It does not need the radio trigger. You can get an inexpensive Y connector to connect PC cord to both flashes. – WayneF Jan 27 '16 at 5:52
  • @WayneF good thought. I'll add it to my answer. – inkista Jan 27 '16 at 18:19
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If you want to trigger the RF-603, I'd recommend getting a hot shoe adapter like the ones inkista mentioned at the end of her answer. There are various brands and models that accept all sorts of connections (pc port, 3.5 mm stereo, 1/4" stereo, etc.), and it should be easy to find one that matches whatever your acoustic trigger provides. They're simple devices and only cost $10 or so. You would wire your acoustic trigger to the port on the hot shoe and mount the radio trigger on the hot shoe. When the acoustic trigger fires, it will transmit that signal to the hot shoe adapter and fire the radio trigger.

Note that you'll introduce some delay when triggering the flash with a radio trigger instead of directly wiring to the flash. Then again, using a radio trigger makes it simple to expand your setup to trigger multiple lights.

  • Hmm. I see your reasoning. I'm only planning on buying one flash, so do you think it would be best if I completely skipped buying the radio trigger altogether, and just wired the acoustic trigger direct to the one flash? That would make the setup a lot cheaper obviously, which is great. – technotron101 Jan 28 '16 at 9:55
  • Well, if you really get into off camera flash photography, I suspect that you'll eventually buy the radio triggers anyway! :-) But in the short term, I think getting a long PC cord (or whatever type of cord you need to trigger your flash) is a reasonable starting place. The cord will be inexpensive, and it's nice to have as a fall back anyway in case you have problems with your radio triggers during a shoot. See, for example, strobist.blogspot.com/2014/09/choosing-triggers.html. or strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/…. – Tom Bryan Jan 28 '16 at 16:31

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