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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Works in most modes for Nikon D5100 and Nikon SB-600
on February 14, 2012
Okay, as several reviews have noted this remote (Yongnuo RF-603 N/N3) will only work for manual exposure/power control with the Nikon SB-600 (or for that matter, with any flash that offers TTL exposure control) and that's perfectly fine (you now know that limitation). However, I've also found that at least one mode of the remote trigger does not work with my Nikon D5100/SB-600. Here is what works (remote A being one of the two remotes, with the other being remote B):
1.) Remote A attached to the camera and the flash attached to that same remote (on camera), you can trigger the camera and flash using remote B which can be at some distance from the camera (wirelessly, remote B acts like simple RF remote).
2.) Remote A attached to the camera but now with the flash attached to remote B which is at some distance from the camera, you can trigger the flash connected to remote B by pressing the shutter button on the camera (this is probably the most commonly used mode and it seems to work well).
However, the following does NOT work (at least not reliably, maybe a 50% success rate):
3.) Remote A attached to the camera and the flash attached to remote B which is at some distance from the camera and you want to sync/fire the remote flash by pressing the trigger button on remote B that is NOT attached to the camera (this is the same remote that is connected to the off-camera flash). This is somewhat like case #1 and indeed the camera shutter always releases but the flash that is off-camera, attached to remote B, will often not fire.
Thus, case 3 (and variations like it ) does not really work although this mode of operation is described in the instruction manual (page 10, called the "Function extend" mode).
So, if you're still with me I have a somewhat compromised workaround for this problem. Program the camera for a shutter delay and then you can use any shutter speed that is supported for flash sync. The problem with the latter is that there will be an approximate 2 second delay from the time you press the shutter release on remote B until the picture is taken.
This kind of makes sense if you assume that these remotes have a problem in switching between send and receive quickly enough to satisfy a bi-directional signal transfer. Note that the modes that work (#1 & #2) only require each remote to send OR receive (not both). Thus, in case #1 remote B sends and remote A receives, while in case #2 remote A sends while remote B only receives. However, in case #3 (which fails) remote B must send, then remote A receives and then must switch right bact to send so that remote B can receive the flash sync signal from the camera. So in this latter case each remote must both send and receive in fairly quick order for the flash to fire. I suspect that the problem is that they can't make this switch quickly enough to satisfy this more complex signal path (either because of a switching delay or signal interference). This means that the more complex cases involving more than two remotes may also not work if you expect one of the remotes that is off-camera to start the sequence (I can't test that because I only have two remotes).
I can't know whether this failure will affect all users/cameras but it's certainly possible that I am one of the few people who have ever tried to operate the remotes in the manner (it's probably not a common use mode). So, I guess I'd say that if you plan on trying to use the remote in this fashion (case #3) you are now warned that it may not work.
There is also one other problem (which could be pretty serious), if the SB-600 does an auto power down after several minutes of nonuse the remote will stop working until you disconnect the remote from the flash, you can't just turn the flash unit back on. In fact, I've noticed that if you attempt to turn the flash back on before you disconnect it from the remote the flash MAY enter a mode where it seems to discharge constantly (you can hear a very faint pop-pop-pop like the flash is discharging without really having enough power to fire the flash). This (discharging) doesn't appear to happen every time you attempt to re-power the flash, but it's a behavior that seems a little worrisome.
Again, I don't know how widespread this behavior could be, it may depend upon the particular make and model of your flash so YMMV (I'm using an approximately eight-year-old Nikon SB-600).
I've considered returning the product but frankly I don't think I will have much need for case #3 or any of its variations and if I really, really want to use that mode I think the shutter delay workaround will satisfy my urge. As for the problem with the APPARENT power cycling on my particular sample of the Nikon SB-600, I'll just have to be careful about letting the flash remain in that mode (it would be pretty difficult to overlook the conditions under which this might happen since the remote/flash will stop working until you disconnect the remote from the flash).