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I'm having a hard time figuring out how to expand my flash system which is currently very modest - it only consists of Canon 430EX III-RT flash.

I'm planning to buy 2 Yongnuo YN-560 IV flashes and some receivers/transmitters. The question is: which receivers/transmitters do I need to control the power and fire all 3 flashes off-camera at the same time?

I spend some time investigating the differences between devices and I think I should consider some of these:

Most of the answers on the internet seem to be outdated (before these two flashes were released) or don't address this particular setup.

I've also read that a flash cannot be a slave and master at the same time.

What is currently relevant for me:

  • to be able to fire and control Canon 430EX III-RT power
  • to be able to fire and control Yongnuo YN-560 IV power

What is currently irrelevant for me:

  • E-TTL support
  • HSS support
  • 2nd curtain
  • remote shutter

What is currently undesired for me:

  • optical triggering
  • having a flash unit mounted on hot shoe

The setup I found which is the closest to desired is:

  • RF-603 mounted with 430EX III-RT
  • YN560-TX mounted on camera's hot shoe to trigger RF-603 and both YN-560 IV

But it does not allow me to control Canon 430EX III-RT power.

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I'm planning to buy 2 Yongnuo YN-560 IV flashes and some receivers/transmitters.

You need to decide which triggering system you want to use and then commit to dealing with its limitations. Here are your choices:

  • Use optical triggering with the 430EX II-RT and the YN560-IV, in which case you only need an optical master unit to trigger everything.

  • Use Yongnuo's radio triggers, and accept the limitations that has for controlling your 430EX II-RT.

  • Use Canon's radio triggering system, and either choose a receiver for the YN560-IV that works with the RT system, or choose a different flash that works with the RT system.

What you can't do is mix Yongnuo's simple radio triggers with Canon's much more complete radio system. The reason the YN-E3-RT can't fire the YN-560 IV is that the former is a transmitter compatible with Canon's RT system, and the latter has a receiver that's part of Yongnuo's system.

If it were me, I'd pick Canon's RT system, even if I were choosing Yongnuo products. For example, you could buy two YN600EX-RT II and a YN-E3-RT, and then you'd have a system that doesn't need any separate triggers and which gives you full control over power settings for each unit. Or, if you really want to go with the YN560EX-IV, you could trigger that with a YN-E3-RX. But since the cost of those two together is nearly as much as that of a much more capable YN600EX-RT II, that doesn't seem like a great option.

If you choose Yongnuo's radio system, then you need to accept the fact that the RF-603 can't control power on the 430EX II-RT. Consider replacing the 430EX II-RT with a third YN560EX-IV, and throw in a YN560-TX, and you've got a three-flash system with radio triggering and control over power for each one.

  • Thank you, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your answer! But to be clear: a) when using the first option mentioned by you - the optical triggering - I won't be able to control the power of the Canon nor Yongnuo flashes remotely, right? b) when using the option of sticking with Canon RT system using Yongnuo gear, where I mount each YN-560IV on YN-E3-RX, I still need to go to the YN-560IV lamp to set the power or will the YN-E3-RX receive the power setting from YN-E3-RT mounted on the camera? – Mariusz Ignatowicz Jan 20 '18 at 18:18
  • @MariuszIgnatowicz a) Yes, the optical triggering system lets you control power for each group. With three flashes, you can have one in each group, so you get individual control over each one. b) My understanding is that the YN-E3-RX lets you control power remotely. But again, why put a YN-E3-RX on a YN560EX-IV when the combined price of those is only slightly less than that of a YN600EX-RT II? – Caleb Jan 20 '18 at 19:26
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    Yes, you're completely right. It's just that I've heard everyone saying that YN-560IVs are great and cheap so much that I forgot to analyse the higher price segment of Yongnuo products. But it looks like it would be better to invest some more money now to fully utilize current gear and to be able to upgrade it even more in the future for less costs. Also when I will finally need TTL or HSS with multilight setup the gear will already support it. Thanks again for your hints! – Mariusz Ignatowicz Jan 20 '18 at 20:48

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