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Old July 14th, 2013, 07:16 PM
no16caddis's Avatar
no16caddis no16caddis is offline
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Yongnuo gear switchout

I wrote this article for my blog - thought some of you might want to see it. Last Thursday I took 72 corporate head shots. Not a single failure ....


Yongnuo
First of all this isn’t necessarily a ringing endorsement of Yongnuo – although the more I use this system the harder it is for me to find anything wrong with it. What this really is about is money – of course! I’ve had a need now for a few more speedlites – especially as I grow my OCF portfolio. What I can’t do is plop down 600 bucks on a single light at the moment. So what am I doing here?:
What you see is the Yongnuo 560-III GN of 58 and a wireless receiver built in to boot. The transceiver shown at the bottom of the image is exactly like the one plugged into the hot shoe of the 5DmIII. I bought these transceivers as a set because you can also trigger your camera with these things as well as triggering your flash. That blue light you see at the bottom left on the flash is the ‘sleep’ light – another cool feature. I digress.
Why would I let go of two Canon 580 exII flashes?
I had in my kit – one 430 ex, and two 580 ex II speedlites. As I mentioned before, I really need four 580 ex II equivalents. What I didn’t need necessarily were all the bells and whistles such as ETTL and HSS. Enter the Yongnuo – Specifically the 560-III with a built in 2.4 Ghz. receiver! My old kit also had Pocket Wizard Mini tt1 and two Flex tt5′s in it. So why let all this go? Reliability – and I know that sounds funny going to the relatively unproven Yongnuo system. But – these haven’t failed me yet (over 100 pops and counting). They have triggered every single time. Every time. Even when they are sitting in the next room – every time. The range is everything that I could ask for. The guide number is essentially the same (o.k. about 1/3 stop less than the 580′s). The features on these units are exactly what I wanted.
Why weren’t the 580′s reliable?
Essentially, they were. So are the Pocket Wizards. So let me explain. The 580 exII was put out by Canon in 2008 – a year before the good folks at Pocket Wizard put out their Mini tt1 and Flex tt5 system. The Canon flash spews out a radio frequency as a byproduct of it’s electronic internals (RF) and unfortunately it’s roughly the same frequency used by the Pocket Wizard system (that frequency is mandated by the FCC). The result – unreliability as the RF from the flash would interfere with the radio signal from the Pocket Wizards. Sure, there were screens (looked like a sock) and hard shelled cases and all kinds of stuff that they put out to try and contain the RF that those flashes were throwing out – but for what I do I have to have the flash fire. No excuses. The stuff that they tried pretty much failed in my case. I’m not one to give up easily – I looked at this from as many angles as I could. I could have just bought the 622c triggers and kept on using the 580 ex II’s, but my goal was to get to four speedlites with little or no cash outlay. The new Canon flashes that just came out with built in radio technology are about $600 ea. The money wasn’t adding up to the reliability.
Obviously my take on all of this was to cut my losses and walk away.
I didn’t cut them too far though – I still have my pocket wizards. Those will come in handy with my AlienBee studio lights (no interference there!) Here is what I did do though: I sold my two 580 exII’s on Ebay. The money I got from those purchased two 560-III’s and two 568-exII from Yongnuo. In addition I also picked up two 622c transceivers and two 603c transceivers. So for the price of two old 580 exII’s I got four flashes – two that will do ETTL and HSS if I want – and two that are manual only with built in receivers and the transmitter(s) and transceivers to run all of them – as a bonus I got a separate trigger that will trigger my camera via radio. Pretty cool.
Stay tuned for more on this system – I’ve just started. I’ll post some shots with my new Yongnuo lights – you can determine for yourself if they meet the Canon quality of light that my 580′s were throwing out.
Cheers
~Larry
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~Larry

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'Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product. ' ..... Edward Steichen
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Old July 18th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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Re: Yongnuo gear switchout

When you have your full review complete, can I post it to the Corner Resource Center?
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Old September 11th, 2013, 01:54 PM
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no16caddis no16caddis is offline
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Re: Yongnuo gear switchout

Absolutely!
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~Larry

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'Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product. ' ..... Edward Steichen
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Old September 11th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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no16caddis no16caddis is offline
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Re: Yongnuo gear switchout

Switching out the gear – a follow up


It’s been awhile – and a few thousand flash pictures later ….

I’m back with that all important review that I promised. It’s been two months now – almost exactly since I received my YN-568 EX II’s and my YN-560 flash heads. As you recall, I also received a couple 603C transmitters and a couple of YN-622C transceivers. So what is my take? It’s all good….




Picture taken with a YN560 (manual flash) and the 603c Transmitter.
Canon 5dmIII 24-105 @ f4
ISO 400
Apollo Westcott Softbox and a chunk of white paper on the wall for some fill.




For the life of me, I can’t understand all the fuss ….

I’m not Joe McNally or David Hobby – that much is a given. But for the life of me – these units work as advertised and are so easy to use that I don’t understand some of the pushback of the photo community (link). Sure – the 568′s don’t have an external battery port – but I shot an entire wedding and used one YN-568 EX II for the whole wedding on one set of Eneloop batteries! Recycle time was getting slow by the time I got to the creatives – but a fresh set of batteries (which took me about 30 seconds to change) solved that problem.

Quality of light ….

Some critics are apparently concerned about the quality of light – I can assure you that I cannot see the difference. I just can’t… and neither can my customers. I wanted to expound on this … and I’ve been thinking of something to come up with … but again I just can’t. These units are very close to the Kelvin of the Canon 580 ex II…. I simply can’t see it. Maybe after I’ve shot with them for 5 years or so… :: shrugs ::

Some great features – and one feature that’s there, and not there ….

Let’s do this in a couple of sections – First the YN-560 . Absolutely LOVE the built in wireless receiver. Imagine – you don’t have to put anything on this flash – just turn it on – stick it on a lightstand – or use the included (but cheap) foot -put the transmitter on your camera – and you are ready to go. — The YN-560 is manual only. The GN is about the same as the Canon 580 ex II. My standard practice is to meter the background, underexpose that by about 2 stops (all camera settings in manual) – then lift the shadows with flash. That is exactly what I did on the above shot. So the great feature here is the built in wireless. The feature that’s there – but not there – is one that you’ll have to ask Yongnuo about. On the functions of this flash there is one that is a mystery … that is when you hit it – the display will just go to bars. The common theory is that Yongnuo will be bringing out a new trigger for these with a built in zone controller. I’m kind of banking on that and I really hope that happens. Imagine a new transmitter that would also be a zone controller!

The YN-568 exII -

This flash head is full ETTL – including HSS. You must use a transceiver with this unit. The 622C transceivers have three channels and allows all options available through the flash control menu on camera. You can control up to 3 groups of flashes in ETTL with ratios, or manual power control in 1/3rd stops. As you change the menu on camera – you can see the changes taking place on the flash display. Speaking of displays – the displays on the flashes are big – and well lit. You can easily see exactly what these units are set at. Both the Yn-568 and Yn-560 have ready beeps – so very handy when they are stuffed into a soft box. During the shoot above, I had people lined up – it was nice just to hear the beep and know I was ready to go instead of trying to look for a light through a diffuser! The Yn-568 has a recycle time of about three seconds – and one freshly charged set of Eneloop batteries carried me through an entire wedding. I see no need for the battery pack at this time – maybe if I was doing studio stuff – and didn’t want to stop – but I haven’t used them yet in a studio.

The results

I’m glad that I changed. It was kind of hard for me to let go of the name brand gear – but these units are inexpensive – and very reliable (as far as I’m concerned – again… I’ve had absolutely NO misfires since I’ve received them). Did I have to learn some new menu’s? Absolutely. Was I frustrated at first because the button layout/function wasn’t what I was used to? Yes. Once you learn these flashes though – it comes as second nature. A question I get is ‘yeah, but what happens when Yongnuo comes out with something new? These can’t be updated!’ – and to that I say – they are cheap – so go get yourself a couple of the new wizbang’s if you want them (you can never have enough speedlites!)…. Again – I got four lights, and four triggers for the price of two used 580′s. For the record I can’t wait to see what Yongnuo comes up with next. My take is that it will be some sort of controller extraordinaire with a zone controller. I hope so!
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'Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product. ' ..... Edward Steichen
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