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I've just purchased my first external flash, the YN560 III.

Context: Macro work, Nikon D3200, Sigma 70mm. My subjects are generally fish, and occasionally reptiles. This is to give you an idea of what shutter speeds I will be using and how I need to bring out the color in my subjects.

My question: I'm torn about whether I need a YN-560TX or an RF-603. What do you recommend?

The only benefit I see of the YN560-TX is that it can control power and some other settings. But do you'll really think I need this for reptile and fish? However I do feel that the YN560-TX might be a better investment to get serious, in case I pick up a third flash and go pro.

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First off, don't get an RF-603 if you're going to get an RF-603. Get an RF-603 Mk II or RF-605. :) There are some big advantages to the RF-603 II over the Mark I version, such as being able to be used on non-Canikon hotshoes, having an on/off switch where you can reach it when a flash is sitting on top of it, a locking ring on the trigger foot (great if you want to stack a flash on top), a much higher sync voltage limit (300V vs. 11V), and the test button now works with the trigger off the camera hotshoe (good for use with external light meters). The 605 added group control.

But I'd still say get the 560-TX.

Remote power control might not seem that useful in a macro situation where all your lights are relatively close-at-hand, but having remote power/zoom/group control over your lights can be handy with certain types of modifiers, like, say, a Westcott Apollo softbox, where you have to open the softbox to get to the flash. And the LCD screen makes it easier to see what your lights are set to. And, of course, the more lights you end up using, the more convenient it gets when you have remote control. For a $15 price difference, I think it's worth it. YMMV.

I will also caution you that going down the Yongnuo path is great if you're a hobbyist, but less so if you're planning on going pro and need to grow/expand your system. Yongnuo's triggering systems don't play well together. The YN-560, YN-622, and RX triggering protocols are all kind of mutually exclusive. If you want to switch triggers later on, you have to do it wholesale, not piecemeal. Other systems, like triggers from PocketWizard, RadioPopper, and Phottix are better at having manual and TTL triggers that interoperate, and can have a toehold in the studio strobe and Sekonic meters as well.

See also: What are the Yongnuo flash naming conventions? for information on the YN-560IV and YN-660.

  • Hello! thank you for your response! By going Pro I mostly mean shoot stock photos of animals as background etc. Nothing to serious, no nightlife/clubbing or weddings. But I will buy an OEM one day. I will go with the 560 TX then, the price difference is quite small especially if I would have more than 2 flashes in the future. And for reptiles that would be handy, as I would move more than with fish. However, could you tell me more about the inaccessible ON/OFF switch, Lock ring ? I can't seem to spot the difference in the photos. – Chai Apr 1 '16 at 20:12
  • Another follow up question: What is the use of the inbuilt Master of the Yn560 4? Can this substitute the YN560 TX? – Chai Apr 1 '16 at 20:14
  • I don't think you received the notification so tagging again :) @Inkista – Chai Apr 4 '16 at 7:06
  • @user2440943 If you have an additional question, it's generally best to ask it as an additional question. This isn't a messageboard, but a Q&A database. Please have a look at the Tour if you plan to stick around. We aim to make a repository of useful answers for everyone, not to be your information personal concierge service. :) – inkista Apr 4 '16 at 16:24
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Yes, the YN-560TX is a better investment because it offers remote manual control that the RF-603 does not. That is reason enough to pay a little extra for it.

If you add additional flash units it will become even more convenient to set the power level on the camera rather than going to each flash individually to make changes.

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