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Yongnuo YN-560 II Speedlight Flash for Canon and Nikon. GN58.
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- GN58 @ ISO100, 105mm
- Large LCD panel, you can look into and set the functions on the LCD panel clearly and directly.
- YN 560II the new benchmark in the industry of high-end manual flash
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LARGE LCD PANEL
Large LCD panel, you can look into and set the functions on the LCD panel clearly.
MULTI FLASH SUPPORTED
YN560-II is the first manual speedlite supports Multi flash.
GN58 @ ISO100, 105mm
YONGNUO new large guide number manual speedlite, supporting M/Multi modes.
POWER ZOOM FUNCTION
By pushing the zoom button on the speedlite, it can make the flash covered focal length range from 24 to 105mm.
THE HIGH SENSITIVITY WIRELESS TRIGGERING SENSOR
The high sensitivity wireless triggering sensor inherits from YN560, which makes the S1 and S2 mode can be used in outdoor environment and the wireless triggering distance is as long as 15m, as well as 25m indoors.
SOUND PROMPT SYSTEM
Turn on the sound prompt function, different sounds indicate working situations help you focus on shooting
(Note: the sound can be turned off).
PROVIDES CHARGING SOCKET FOR EXTERNAL POWER PACK
YN560-II provides charging socket for external power pack.
PC PORT SUPPORTED
YN560-II provides PC port you can make the flash synchronously by connecting to the PC port.
SUPER SPEED OF CHARGING RECYCLE
It only takes 3 seconds in charging after full power output. In addition, you can use the external power pack to accelerate the charging speed.
POWER SAVING MODE
In the power saving mode, the speedlite will get automatic shutdown sooner; in the non-saving mode, it will take a longer time before automatic shutdown.
THE AUTOMATIC SETTING SAVING
YN560-II can automatically save your current setting.
IMPROVED BUTTONS DESIGN
It is sensitivity and better feeling to control.
Metal Hot Shoe stand
Top customer reviews
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Low price (Canon can kiss my butt)
Simple to use
Work with my Canon 5d Mark iii
Works with my cheapo cowboy studios remote triggers
Great recycle time
Works with rechargeable batteries
It's 8x cheaper than Canon...enough said!!
For comparison, the Canon 580EXII does have a similar issue but not nearly as bad. Tilting it 90 degrees forward it is still easily readable.
Over the last couple years, YONGNUO has made a name for themselves in the photography world. They've released some very nice, high quality alternatives to the "name brand" products out there as VERY nice prices. One of their better lines of items are their Speedlites (portable flashes).
I own and use many of their Speedlites - the YN460, YN460-II, YN465, YN560 and now the YN560II. I've used them for years and they all still work perfectly (the only issue was with a YN560 (original) that arrived with a broken zoom). For the prices they sell for, I find them to be very reliable. I have dropped them onto concrete from small heights (2-3 feet) and they continued to work fine.
Owning several of these, I'd like to compare them for anyone who was in the same situation as I was when looking for a flash. For the record, these units were purchased for:
YN560 - 70 bucks
YN560II - 100 bucks (NOTE: That was the price from a US Seller. From China they can be found for about 70 bucks, the same as the YN560)
580EXII - 500 bucks
Right off the bat, all 3 pretty much look the exact same. YONGNUO basically made a copy of the 580EXII mold (right down to including fake buttons on the sides which are REAL buttons on the 580EXII). The nice thing about this is that it means all accessories designed to fit the Canon 580EXII will work just fine with the Yongnuo YN560 (and 560II).
The obvious difference is the back of the flash. The original YN560 uses a LED system to indicate the power and zoom range - this means if 1 LED is lit, it's 1/128 power.. if 2 are lit, it's 1/64.. 1/32.. 1/16.. 1/8.. 1/4.. 1/2.. 1/1. This makes it easy to glance at from a distance and see "All the lights are lit, it's full power" opposed to an LCD screen which can be tough to read in the dark or from a distance.
The YN560II and 580EXII use an LCD screen which tells you the actual power: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, etc..
The better option for back display (LCD vs. LED Lights) comes down to preference - I have no issues with either. Both LCD screens (YN560II and 580EXII) have a backlight option - the Canon 580EXII has a specific "light" button which will turn the backlight (green) on for a few seconds. The YN560II will automatically turn the backlight (red/orange) on whenever any button is pressed. I like the YN560II's method as you can easily see the information no matter wherever you are when adjusting power - lit or dark areas (with the 580EXII you need to press the light button to see the light - so if you're in a dark area and changing power, you need to press the LIGHT then change the power (or vice versa) to see what level it's at - the YN560II will light up as soon as you start adjusting the power). The YN560II does not, however, have a dedicated LIGHT button but you can press any button (even the "enter" button which won't have any effect on the settings) to turn on the light for a few seconds.
The LCD screen on the YN560II is much more basic. You get the MODE you're in (M/S1/S2/MULTI (more on these later), the power (1/1, 1/2, 1/4...), the zoom level (24mm, 28mm, 35mm, etc..), the AUDIO indicator (more on this later..) and some others which will come on from time to time. One of the most helpful is the LOW BATTERY icon - unfortunately it doesn't give a constant indicator of battery life, only when it's "low". The 580EXII, on the other hand, has the same information but it's laid out in a much nicer presentation.
I will say that I prefer the YN560II LCD somewhat as everything is VERY BIG ON THE SCREEN. The power level is about 3 times as big as that on the 580EXII (so you can easily see the power level from a distance).. same for the zoom level. Doesn't look as fancy, but the information is easier to read on the YN560II. Again, the YN560 does not use an LCD, only light up LED lights - you can even say that the YN560 is easiest to get an idea of the power level from a distance since you can see how many LED's are lit from almost any angle.
The CANON 580EXII includes: MANUAL, ETTL (automatic flash exposure), MULTI (a strobelight-like effect where you can control how many times it flashes and how frequently), a MASTER mode (to control other CANON flashes) and a SLAVE mode (to be controlled by a camera like the 7D, a transmitter like the ST-E2 or another 580EXII flash).
The YN560 and YN560-II include: MANUAL, SLAVE1, SLAVE2 (and the YN560II includes MULTI). SLAVE1 and SLAVE2 on the Yongnuo are nice as they let you trigger these flashes using any other flash (SLAVE1 is for other manual flashes (or flashes without an ETTL metering), SLAVE2 is for cameras that use ETTL metering). These are great modes to have and are not on the CANON 580EXII. On the same hand, the 580EXII includes the ETTL ("automatic") and High-Speed sync mode for the flash while the YONGNUO models are all automatic and do not include high-speed sync (YONGNUO makes the YN565 flash which does include ETTL, but not high-speed sync)
All 3 have roughly the same amount of power output. They can be adjusted anywhere from 1/1 (full power) down to 1/128. I believe some of the earlier Yongnuo flashes only went down to 1/64 power. You can also fine-tune the power, so if you want something between 1/2 and 1/1 power, you can set it to 1/2 and then add +0.3, +0.5 or +0.7 compensation - this is done with the up/down buttons on the YN560 and YN560II. It is MUCH easier to read on the YN560II since it will say: "1/2 +0.3" while the YN560 only has 1 set of LED lights (which display flash power output, zoom level and flash exposure compensation, depending which one you're looking at. The YN560II will display all at once).
All 3 flashes have a zoom function on the flash - the YONGNUO are the easiest to operate as they have dedicated +/- buttons (canon requires you to press a button first and then change the zoom).
The YONGNUO flashes also allow easier control of the power (also a +/- button while the 580EXII requires you to press the SET button and then turn a wheel). This is a toss-up on who wins - the YONGNUO ones are easier to adjust, but that also makes them easier to hit by accident and change the power levels when you didn't want to.
The YN560II and YN560 have similar looking buttons (rubber-like), but the YN560 buttons are somewhat mushy/soft while the YN560II has firm buttons which feel a bit nicer. Both are usable.
The YN560II uses similar buttons to the 580EXII, except the 580EXII uses a wheel instead of the left/right/up/down/SET button on the YN560II. I actually prefer the buttons on the YN560II as they're easier to pick up and use, but all 3 work fine.
The YN560 and YN560II have a metal hotshoe (the YN560 originally released with a plastic hotshoe, but was quickly replaced). They also use the turn-to-lock clamp for the hotshoe while the Canon 580EXII uses a rubber gasket with a switch you flip to lock it down (this also keeps it somewhat water-sealed on the hotshoe). I prefer the 580EXII style lock for sure, but the others do work fine.
All 3 have a PC-Sync input and a high-voltage battery socket to connect an external battery pack to (such as the CP-E4). I use the Pixel TD-381 battery Power Pack for for Canon Speedlites 580EX II, EX580, EX550, MR-14EX,MT-24EX, extremely stable fast recycle time 1.24S and highly recommend it! These greatly speed up recycle times and give you a longer battery life.
I loaded fresh rechargable batteries (same brand, all bought at the same time and freshly charged) into all 3 flashes, connected them to a radio trigger to set all 3 off at the same time. The YN560 recycled the faster (barely beating out the YN560II), and the 580EXII slightly slower than all 3. The difference was about 1/2 to 3/4 seconds difference between all 3. With the external battery pack (above) connected, all were fully recycled and ready for the next shot within about 1-2 seconds from full power (and all ready about the same time).
The YN560 and 580EXII both go from lowest power (all the way left) to highest power (all the way right) and stop at each. If you go to full power (1/1) and press right, nothing happens. If you go to lowest power (1/128) and press left, nothing happens. The YN560II changes this - if you go to full power and press Right, it goes back to 1/128 (and if on 1/128 and pressing left, it goes to 1/1). I'm not sure how much I like this, since you can easily change the flash power greatly without noticing it if you press a button.
All 3 flashes have a Pilot light which indicates Charging (green) and Ready (red). When ready, you can press the light in to trigger the flash -- this is very easy to do on the 580EXII and YN560II, but with the older button types on the YN560, it's a bit tougher.
The YN560 and YN560II have an optional sound function - this means you hear a "beep beep" when the flash fires and a long "BEEEEEEEP" when it's ready again. This is helpful to know if a flash fired (sometimes looking through the viewfinder you can't tell) and to tell when it's ready to go again (so you don't take a shot before it's charged). The 580EXII does not have this feature.
The YN560II seems noticeably louder than the YN560, making it somewhat hard to hear the YN560 (if using one of each flash) - it can also be quite loud if used in quieter areas (to the point you wish it had a volume control -- I never had this issue with the YN560).
The YN560II and Canon 580EXII include a nice nylon carrying pouch to hold the flash and the coldshoe (more on that later..), the YN560 just comes in a thin carrying bag.
All 3 include a coldshoe (so you can set the flash on the ground, standing up). The YN560 included a nice one with metal around certain areas (like the tripod threading) while the 580EXII and even the YN560II included an all-plastic cold-shoe.
All 3 include a wide-angle diffuser panel and a popout bounce card.
The 580EXII can swivel 360 degrees (180 degrees left, 180 degrees right), the YN560 and YN560 are limited to 180 degrees left or 90 degrees right.
So overall, what do I recommend?
The 580EXII is obviously in a different class (and a much different price range!). I didn't want to compare it against the Yn560II directly to determine which is better, but I owned it and wanted to throw in some comparisons - I'm not expecting the YN560 and YN560II to be the 580EXII, but they both held up very well against it (and even exceeded in some areas)!
Some of the features in the YN560 and YN560II are great, and not even part of the much more expensive 580EXII (such as the sound indicator, low battery indicator and slave-modes).
With both YN560 and YN560II being very close in price, it's up to you whether you find the few new features on the YN560II (the LCD screen and MULTI option) to be worth the extra money. I own 2 YN560's, a handful of YN460's, YN460II's and YN465's and am considering getting another YN560II due to the low price and great features. Highly recommended - either the Yn560 or YN560II.
EDIT: Just bought another YN560II. Love this thing!
The Elinchrom fill provided nice, vibrant color in the model's blonde hair. The Yongnuo key light created an odd, muted cast in her hair that was very muddy and unattractive. One half of her face looked great and the other half looked terrible. This is the first time I noticed it so I decided to do a color comparison between my six flashes (Two Canons, three Yongnuo's and a studio unit). I shot an Xrite colorchecker chart with each flash using the same exposure (measured by the histogram as the each unit's power output is slightly different). I then loaded the photograph in Photoshop and used the eyedropper tool to extract the RGB values of the white square for a very accurate, numerical comparison.
Interestingly enough, one of the Yongnuos provided a color balance that almost exactly matched my studio flash. The other two were SIGNIFICANTLY bluer which explains the muddy look in the model's hair on the Yongnuo side. The two Canon flashes (a 580 EX II and 430 EX II) were almost exactly the same with each other, and very slightly cooler than the Elinchrom. I attached a 1/4 CTO gel to the two very blue Yongnuos and remeasured. One of the two now almost exactly matches my two Canon's and the other is slightly warmer. I am much happier now as all my flashes are now close enough in color balance to each other to not be noticeable if I combine them in a shot - but I have to keep the gels on them permanently. Adjusting the power will probably change the color balance (more light through a gel reduces the color it gives the light), so I will need to remember which flashes I use for what purpose in a shoot, and try not to mix them where it will be noticeable.
Bottom line: What you pay for in the more expensive Canon's are matched and uniform color balance. Although the Yongnuo's are reliable, the money savings show in the unmatched and very different color balance between units. If you only use a single flash the impact will not be noticeable as there will not be a color mismatch. Fixing a color mismatch in post is difficult and time consuming at best.
For those that are interested, here are the results of the tests:
B:185 (Note how balanced the color is - the values are almost exactly the same)
Canon 580 EX II
B:198 (Note that is a touch cooler than the Elinchrom, but not by a whole lot. Probably hard to notice in a photograph. Also not as beautifully balanced as the Elinchrom)
Canon 430 EX II
B:197 (Notice how amazingly close the two Canons are to each other)
B: 184 (Surprisingly well balanced. Better than both the Canons in fact. Also very close to the Elinchrom - this is VERY good and it needs no gelling. Will always use it with the Elinchrom)
B: 200 (Terrible balance - the spread between the numbers R,G,B. MUCH cooler than anything else. This creates the muddy color). Can't use it in combination with other flashes in the same shot
B: 215 (Terrible balance. significantly cooler than anything else) Can't use it in combination with other flashes in the same shot
After adding the 1/4 CTO gels to units #2 and #3, here are the results
Yongnuo 2 + 1/4 CTO
B: 182 (Much closer to the other flashes now, but slightly warmer)
Yongnuo 3 + 1/4 CTO
B: 192 (Very close to the Canons now, I can combine it with the two Canons if I need three strobes for a shot without getting a noticeable color mismatch)