231 of 238 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2011
I haven't shot enough with it to determine consistency, but I'm pleased so far. Flash is a bit large for the output, but it is still decent. I did some test shots and was getting f8 at 18 ft. This tells me that the GN is just about 144. The specs put it at just 58. (Maybe that was supposed to be meters and not feet). This is almost as good as I got from the Sunpak PZ42XC at full on manual.
Build is similar to the Sunpak flashes. Swivel and bounce feel no less solid and click into place just fine without shifting. The built in diffuser AND mini bounce card are nice although small. My sunpak PZ42XC doesn't have that. There is a PC sync and a power supply connection on the side which my sunpak doesn't have either. Then there is the optical slave which works well with two levels of sensitivity and of course my sunpak lacks that as well.
With all of that said, this flash isn't for just anybody. This is just a plain dumb manual flash without TTL or even a thyristor. THERE IS NO AUTO FUNCTION. If your intent is to use this as a camera mounted flash for candids, forget it unless you know how to manually setup for every shot by adjusting your aperture as needed. It is not intended for that purpose.
The flash came with a base that has a threaded hole in the bottom so it can be mounted to a stand. It would do a terrific job providing fill or backlight capability. It swivels 180 degrees and straight up so bouncing into an umbrella or through a diffuser while the slave sensor faces forward for a stationary photo shoot are ideal uses of this flash. So is placing it behind a subject for a backlight. My Lumiquest gel holder fits very tight due to the large flash head, but it fits.
The controls and lights on the back seem a bit confusing and the manual isn't a lot of help since the translation from Chinese to English is about the same quality as you get from Google translate..... I was able to figure it out but it took some time experimenting with the unit.
Recharge is quick - even at full power. I was very impressed. Of course it has less output than the Sunpak and uses the same number of batteries but still, I was pleased.
One other note. When i first tried to turn it on it wouldn't do anything and I was immediately afraid it was DOA. I found that to turn it on, you must hold the on-off button for a couple seconds. When you press it down, the lights on the bar progress from left to right and if you don't hold it down till the lights get to the far right, it just shuts off. Awkward, but easy to deal with if you are aware of it.
Altogether, I'm quite pleased with what I have assuming it lasts a a while. The build seems solid so I'll just have to wait and see. I'm confident enough in the product that I'm going to buy a second one so I can have one for fill and the other for a backlight for impromptu studio shots.
If you need a slave flash with some power and manual controls I really think this is the best thing out there. Almost everything else in this price range is a single power or auto-flash without the ability to make manual output adjustments. You can get this output with no slave, the slave with no manual,or you can spend twice as much. But if you need a speedlight with auto functions for camera mounted shots, get something with auto functions.
174 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2011
So I already own a canon 430ex II, and was trying to determine whether this flash was worth it. I am so glad that I bought it. I am a professional photographer who shoots mainly natural light, but wanted another flash for flexibility with off camera lighting scenarios. This thing rocks! In one job, I had accidentally turned off a remote receiver and thought that it was dead. This would have ruined the shoot, but thankfully the yn560 has a built-in optical slave that worked flawlessly and saved my neck! I have been using it with my canon 430 ex II (both off camera) with great results. I don't recommend this flash to people with the following needs:
1. TTL - it doesn't have it, manual only.
2. An LCD screen with menus and lots of options - this flash is pretty simple in terms of features.
3. A person new to flash photography intending to use it on camera with subjects of varying distances - if you don't know what you are doing with flash, it is a better idea to just buy the ttl flash first and then play with the manual flashes when you've had more time for study and experience.
4. People just trying to get a cheap flash. - this flash is certainly inexpensive, but the named brand flashes from Canon and Nikon are very nice. If you are going to own one flash, get a good one first with ttl and more features.
Lastly, don't let the comparisons of canon or Nikon flashes trick you. Those flashes are durable, reliable, and feature rich. This flash is great for manual flash work and off camera lighting. I love how it works for those things. I am even considering buying another one or two down the road.
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
Color Name: YN-560 IVerified Purchase
This flash is excellent for various reasons. If you are just beginning in photography, you should check out this flash. If you are a pro and you need either a back-up, a slave, and/or if you love to work in manual, you should check out this flash. Yes, it doesn't have any automatic functions, but for the price to feature ratio, you get more than enough to up your game with flash photography.
I will only qualify myself as an extreme enthusiast because I still lack years and years of experience that other professionals have. I've been serious about perusing a professional career in photography for almost 2 years now, however, the majority has been studying the field and collecting equipment. My first flash was the Canon Speedlite 270EX Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras. Even though it helped, this flash really did not help THAT much, however, my knowledge of strobist photography was non-existent at the time. After a while, I graduated to the Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras. When I got the 580EX II, I realized that I missed out on sooooo much just shooting with the 270EX. After a while I ended up getting the Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras and the Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites. After studying this book, my photography has not been the same since.
I love my 580 and 430, however, I could not afford to buy 2 or 3 more of those flashes and even if a miracle happened, how much harder would it be for me to replace those flashes if one or more is lost or damaged. So I did my research and came upon the YN560. For a cheap flash, it had the best reviews I came across, especially for a flash under $100. I was skeptical at first because I was so used to Canon equipment, however, I thought $70 couldn't hurt me toooo bad.
When I finally got one I was COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY!!!!! This is EXACTLY what I needed as a slave only flash! The build quality is similar to the 580, they take the same accessories, and it is just as powerful as the 580. I bought a second one that same day.
If you are a pro looking for a cheap flash, here are my reasons why I would recommend this flash to you:
1. YN560 has 2 built in optical slaves modes, 580 has no built in optical slave mode.
2. YN560 has a simpler interface for adjusting the zoom and power levels.
3. Cheaper to replace and cheaper to add additional flashes.
4. Provides a sound when the flash has charged to fire again.
5. Similar build quality as the 580.
6. Accepts the same accessories as the 580.
7. Just as powerful as the 580.
If you are a beginner, and/or someone who is considering the cheap route when it comes to buying your first flash:
1. The YN560 can be triggered by ANY on-camera flash, whether you have a professional camera or a simple point-and-shoot camera. Unless you have a Canon 7D, 60D, or T3i, you cannot trigger any of the Canon flashes with a point-and-shoot nor your on-camera flash.
2. Price to feature ratio.
3. Pretty much the same reasons why a pro would buy this flash!
If you are a beginner and are not aware of the 580EX II, it is one of the best flashes Canon currently offers with the 600EX-RT being #1 at the moment. Take away the automatic functions and the weather sealing, you pretty much have the YN560. If you are a pro, yet again, the YN560 is just a cheaper and manual-only version of the 580.
The majority of situations I shoot in require me to use manual settings anyway, so I'm not necessarily required to shoot in ETTL and automatic. If I needed to, my 580 and 430 have done all I've needed thus far when it comes to automatic settings. Also, I like the challenge and consistency of shooting in manual.
This flash is great! I thank God for blessing me with the knowledge of this brand of flash. I use my YN560s much more than my Canon flashes. I even gave one of my YN560s to a friend of mine who shoots with a Nikon D7000, and he was BLOWN AWAY AS WELL! Of course, I had to replace that one I gave away. Another note, the YN560 is compatible with BOTH Nikon and Canon, mounted either on the camera or off.
I've used the YN560s for almost 4 months now. They really have changed the way I shoot. My zoom works perfectly. All of the functions work like they are supposed to. The only thing I wish it had is high-speed sync. Also, the "Pilot" or flash test button is hard to press, however, it works on my flashes. Heck, I hardly ever use the test button.
Check out this flash. Trust me. It's worth the investment!
I can't believe it's been a year and a half since I wrote this review! My flashes are still working and I now have 4 YN560s. I also have the YN560 Version II as well as the YN568EX and the awesome YN622 Triggers!
These flashes continue to impress me as I have a number of success stories with Yongnuo products! I have been published in two magazines and have had the opportunity to do a commercial shoot for Harley-Davidson all thanks to the knowledge of flash photography and the YN560s! I did have one flash that stopped working since this review however, I was able to get that one replaced do to Amazon's amazing customer service! I have also recommended the YN560s to colleagues and they absolutely love them, including a friend of mine who purchased some for his Pentax DSLR!
These flashes work really well at weddings and events when you need multiple off-camera flashes to bounce light off of the ceiling to illuminate dark venues. Because they are relatively in-expensive, being able to purchase multiple YN560s and triggers (Like the Cactus V5 Wireless Flash Trigger) take the stress out of shooting in poorly lit conditions. Also, I've found that the more flashes I have, the more creative options I have like overpowering the sun, applying color gels, etc.! Make sure you look up tutorials and books on strobist photography to learn this stuff! :-)
Truly, these flashes have transformed the way I shoot and I am very grateful to be able to continue to share success stories after all of this time! Stay blessed and keep shooting!
88 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
For the money, I am amazed at how powerful, useful, and effective the 560's are. Since I bought mine, Yongnuo has added a metal shoe foot which is an even better reason to get these for strobist work. Beyond the fine manual control (full to 1/128th power w/micro adjustments between stops, zooms from 24-105mm) there's two variants of optical slave control built in - one simple and the other which ignores pre-flash, and this can be helpful if you don't have wireless receivers.
~ weird interface that is not immediately user friendly but becomes so after study and experience
~ inconsistent recycles both in terms of power and timing (variance in output is more than I'd hope, and even when the power is turned down to 1/64th or 1/128th high speed continuous is hit and miss) but this isn't an issue when not shooting high frame rate or when half second intervals or longer are employed
~ base/front is so deep that my particular wireless receivers must be powered on/off only when removed from the flash itself, but this isn't a knock when using other receivers
~ sometimes I turn the annoying beep feature off and it comes back on after restarting the flash
Despite those knocks, I still give it five stars due to the overwhelming upside. Full power is nearly at the high end of what flashguns can do, and it does recycle at full faster than most too. The fit and finish is a copy of Canon's 580EXII and so exceeds this price point. The ability to accept external power packs as well as a PC sync cable is really nice. Anyone who's looking to add more remote lights that are reliable and accepting of multiple ways of triggering should grab a couple of these.
FYI...I have used several Nikon SB800's and Sigma EF500 DG Super flashguns for years, and these complement what we do.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
I'm using it on a canon xsi with tamron 18~270 lens.
- the flash feels solid even though made of plastic.
- controls are well laid out and with pro features like settings save on power down.
- external battery pack connector.
- motorized 'zoom' via two buttons.
- pull out diffuser for front flash and bounce card for up flash.
- power save mode by holding 'sound' button.
- pc connector plus hot shoe.
- has remote 's1' and 's2' mode.
- the manual has some english translation issues, minor though.
- test button (which is the flash ready led) needs to be pushed a little harder than expected.
guide number seems to be as stated, via a quick test of 30feet away from dark corner of the room, 1/250 sec with 420mm(effective) lens at f6.3, flash set to full power, flash set for 105mm max zoom, image looked well exposed.
used the flash's built-in pull out 'soften' lens on a remote cord held 90deg to macro close up subject and image had a very nice soft light/shadow/.
so far after a day of learn/use/play this is keeper and at the guide number per cost ratio, this beats most other, if not all other flashes.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
I was in a pinch and needed a flash for an event I was shooting. I didn't have the $500 to go buy a speed-lite, so I figured what the heck, and bought this.
Its constructed well, it works okay, and has an array of nice features.
Its not awesome, but its also WELL below $100. I did not find it quite as easy to use as many other reviewers, but this is also my first manual flash - so its taken some time. I thought the instructions could have been a bit more helpful - but as many things with photography it is both trial and error, and getting to know your gear.
Not the worlds best kept secret as many would claim, but not bad to have. What made it a for sure sale for me is being able to sync with other flashes meant that when I upgraded, this would still be functional for my set up! A big plus for someone like me.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2011
I bought a pair of these to use for a couple of portrait shoots and was very impressed with the speed, power, and capability of them. If you're looking for a couple of flash heads to run in slave mode, or with a radio trigger, these will do all you could want. You set the power level (64 different increments), the mode (manual - for a hotshoe or PC trigger, slave1 or slave2), and it's ready to go.
A couple of things I was surprised at:
(1) The battery door is solid and spring-loaded, unlike the cheap plastic-tab style doors on other flashes in this price range.
(2) It comes with a little foot-stand with a threaded mount hole on the bottom, a nice touch.
(3) The recycle time is *fast*. I haven't timed it out, but even at full power, recharge time is less than a second.
(4) You get a classy felt drawstring bag for it. Because I like to carry around my flash heads the same way that I do my Crown Royal
(5) There's a popup diffuser and flash bounce card. Nice to have in a pinch.
So yeah, very happy with this unit. Thinking of picking up another pair just to have around when I need to zap shadows. Would definitely recommend this flash head for anyone looking to light up an umbrella or softbox without spending big bucks on an expensive TTL unit.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
This is a great flash! I have the YN 468 while it is a nice flash with eTTL for Canon, it is not built nearly as well as the YN 560.
(Note: I do lots of commercial and event photography and will only use off-camera or bounce -- unless I'm forced to do otherwise)
First it is very powerful and in full power mode you can hear it go off - BOOM! (not really but it is impressive)
Zoom works very well.
Shape of the light on the subject is likewise as good.
The construction is solid, not as good a Canon but close. (if you wanted to do a drop test I'm sure this flash would hold up well against a Canon, but if I'm wrong it is not like I'm out $500.00 for the same amount of light.)
Refresh rate is very speedy on rechargeable batt. less than 2sec at full power, and just as fast as my 60D can go at 1/8 and below.
Simple interface that is rather fast to use. Unlike the YN 468 where you have to shuffle between every power setting, the YN560 allows you to make eight major jumps, then choose fine adjustments to suit, this is much faster.
The battery door is great--huge improvement over the YN468.
Let me put it this way, next paycheck I'm ordering three more, with a few more wireless triggers.
Cons: No TTL, but I do not use that anyway. Lame instructions, but you'll figure it out.
Pros: 270 degrees bounce swivel :)
Charger input--thats great for studio work
Well built--this is rugged flash
Good looking compared to YN468
Crazy Cheap when compared to the Canon 580 ( considering I would not use most of its features)
No LCD screen to break, just some very bright led lights that are very easy to read from afar.
Also the power-saver mode is easy to notice as it blinks so you won't forget to turn it off a the end of a shoot.
If you do off-camera strobe-work, and you should, this is a no-brainer. I'll stack this flash against my buddy's Canon 580 anytime, anyplace. However I will have 4 four of them for less money than his one. The great thing about having a simple, CHEAP, rugged, powerful flash like the YN560 is that I'm willing to do things with it that I would never do with a Canon 580 ex II, such as set it down on wet grass, behind a rock/tree, round around with it in my pocket, place it in an engine compartment of car, etc. Anyone want to buy a used YN-468? :)
PS: I bought my YN 468 from SimpleStudioLighting (Amazon Vendor) and it failed in two days, called Todd up and he replaced, no questions asked, lightning quick. Got my new YN560 from him too, fast! Thanks Todd.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
Had this flash for a couple of months along with 3 of their external power packs. I already had to swap out one of their power packs which they did after I paid the $12 to send back to factory. When the flash quit working I sent it back along with another power pack ($25 this time) with the promise from Yongnuo in my ebay mail that they would indeed replace them. "Do not worry we will replace" they said. They never did. It's been 6 months now and after repeated attempts they finally stopped promising and then stopped replying. The flashes were guaranteed for a year from the company. You deal with China and they poop on your head, you have no recourse.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
Color Name: YN-560 IVerified Purchase
If you're looking for a great manual flash alternative to expensive dedicated strobes like Canon 580ex or Nikon SB-900, this YN560 is definitely worth considering. As for iTTL, CLS, and automatic features - if you need automatic, this is NOT your flash. Obviously there's no comparison for using dedicated flash units mounted on your camera. That's not what the YN560 is about. It's about quick and easy off-camera 'strobist' work where the more strobes you have, the more you can do. Since you can get about 7 of these for the price of 1 single name-brand strobe, this pretty much kills comparisons of reliability or flexibility. I'm not sure of long term reliability yet, but at this price just buy a spare... or 3!
I just ran 2 of these on radio triggers along with a Canon 430ex (which the YN560 is very close to in power) and powered by Energizer 2300 NiMH's. It was a 5 hour shoot, and in over 600 frames not once did these ever misfire.
Pros: Recycle time with NiMHs is crazy fast. The 'beep' on recharge is a perfect way to verify they went off. Build quality is jaw-dropping for the price. Head is the same size as the Canon 580 so it takes the same size Stofen and other size-specific accessories. LED Lights for power level can be seen and adjusted easily WHILE mounted high on a light stand. (Canon units with the LCD always need to be lowered on their stands to adjust them). Level/zoom adjustments on the YN560 are one or two button presses (compared to Canon's where you have to hold down the select button for 1-2 seconds, then make adjustment, then 'select' to set).
Cons: slightly strange power-up on both units I received - if the zoom is set at anything other than 105mm setting AND the flash is being turned on from a cold start, it powers back off requiring another power-on cycle. Once they've been turned on though, it doesn't do this. Since both of mine do exactly the same thing I guess it's normal. Only other slight negative is the level display is not marked 1/128, 1/64, 1/32, etc. it's just a row of 8 lights (marked for zoom setting). What does it matter really? It's manual flash so you're doing test pops anyways, and when you change a power level you're just going up or down in power by a number of steps. I didn't have any problem getting them set exactly where I needed, I just had trouble thinking what the Canon needed to be set in comparison.