Some background about my radio trigger
Until last week I used some 10 years old radio triggers to trigger external flashes. These are now replaced with a kit, consisting of a Youngnuo YN622N-TX controller unit and two Youngnuo YN622N transceivers. I am planning to buy more transceivers now that I know these work well.
Note that this post is not intended to be a review of these units, just some information that these units work very well, not only on my D800 in iTTL modes, but also on the Nikon 1 V1, V2 and V3, which can use these together with the V2-F1A flash adapter, but of course, only in manual mode, since TTL is not supported by the adapter.
Two major reasons why I bought this kit
One is that my old triggers are far too old and deserves to be replaced. There is not much to write about this reason, other than of course, my new triggers are miles ahead in functionality and build quality, compared with the old $15 triggers I used before. No surprise there, I would be very disappointed otherwise. I will not compare them or discuss all the new functions, just a short summary that with the D800 the triggers in iTTL mode support not only normal TTL, but also high speed (Super FP) mode. Both the YN622N-TX controller and the YN622N transceiver has also built in AF assist LED and this works very well also, as opposed to the AF assist LED in the Nikon original SB-900 I also have. Of course, none of these functions are available if the triggers are used on a Nikon 1 camera because iTTL mode is not supported by the V2-F1A.
The other, even stronger reason why I bought this kit for is that I received a report from one of my customers complaining about the V2-F1A and saying that it is not working on his V3. Fortunately I know now that these work very well with the V2-F1A adapter. Though I still at this moment have no idea why he has some problems, since it seems that the problem is not very high on his priority list, so he is not very active in self help. Never the less, I decided to buy a kit just to make sure I can test it and see the problem for myself if there is one.
The video below shows how to use the V2-F1A and YN622N remote flash triggers on a Nikon 1 V1, V2 or V3 camera.
I am convinced that the problem this user sadly experiences depends on something else, not caused by these triggers or the V2-F1A, but without his assistance I can't solve the problem. The V2-F1A adapter works on the Nikon 1 V3, just as well as on the other two models, this is confirmed by several other Nikon 1 V3 users. The YN622N as said before, works on my camera and since all the other camera models trigger the flash the same way, I have no reason to believe that they would present a problem for the YN622N.
When I put a flash trigger on the V2-F1A (when on the V3) and make a picture, I see that the remote trigger gets some kind of signal. But it doesn't fire the flash. When I push the test button on the trigger on the V2-F1A, the flash does flash.
There is one condition when the YN622N kit behaves this way. This situation is shown at the 1 minute 20 second mark in the above video. At this time mark I turn off the group and Group A does not have a mode allocated to it after that. When the shutter release button on the camera is pressed the transmitter is triggered, the receivers sense the signal and the LEDs will flash normally but the flash on the triggers are not fired. When any of the Test buttons are pushed the flashes will fire normally.
This is not an error
It is a normal condition. If the user does not select a mode for a group than that group will not be triggered. The LEDs in the transceivers and the transmitter indicate that something is going on, a trigger signal is sent/received but they also look at the "address" the signals been sent to, and they interpret that the trigger was not meant to be sent to their flash, so they don't fire the flash.
Normally it is enough to select the right mode for that group again and the flash will fire. If the units end up in an unknown state it is best to reset to factory default condition. All groups are set to TTL and everything ends up in channel 1 as default. In this condition the controller will send the signal to all transceivers and they will trigger the flashes and everything should be fine after that.
Please read the manual
This can not be emphasized enough. Unfortunately it seems that we live in a world with more and more complicated equipment but less and less interest for reading manuals and understanding the equipment we spend money on buying.
It is very important to know the equipment we use, which is why I try to convince everybody to read the manual, and which is why I include a short manual with every adapter. This is the case, not just for the adapter, but also for everything connected to it. Though it is not always easy to understand every manual, it is important to understand every equipment. It is in the best interest of each user of any equipment, otherwise the equipment can be damaged, or in some cases even personal injury can occur. Some manuals are longer than others, some are harder to understand than others, but never the less, that is where most information is gathered and that is where we can learn the basics about the equipment we use. Some parts of a manual are more important than others, but there is a reason for why the writer spent time in writing.
Important points in the manual of V2-F1A
- Always read the manual of the equipment before use.
- Always attach the flash or the trigger to the adapter first, before pushing the adapter in the camera hot shoe.
- Always attach a heavy flash via a PC cord.
- Never put anything heavy in the V2-F1A hot shoe.
- Never exceed the maximum weight of 120 g (4.2 oz) in the hot shoe, including batteries
- Never use a high voltage flash.
- Always attach the PC cord before pushing the adapter in the camera hot shoe if a PC cord is used.
- Always handle the adapter with care, especially the contact which is used for triggering is very delicate. Nothing I can help, since the original Nikon design does not allow stronger, more robust contact.
The Youngnuo YN622N-TX controller unit and the Youngnuo YN622N transceivers are very nice pair. Easy to set up, very reliable in use and the only thing to watch out for is that the right group must be set up on both the transmitter (the controller) and the receivers (also called transceivers), and that there are fresh batteries in all the units.
A few words about batteries
I no longer use rechargeable batteries because they all, regardless of brand, cause trouble sooner or later. Also, they have lower voltage, and actually not suitable for equipment which consumes low current, like these remote triggers. They can also discharge without warning and the self discharging is always a problem. This is not the case with ordinary high quality alkaline batteries, and my advice is always to use alkaline batteries, especially in remote controllers or other low current consumer products. Personally I prefer always to use alkaline, even in the flash guns.