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Author Topic: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)  (Read 8599 times)

Malte_P

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how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« on: March 09, 2013, 07:26:25 AM »
im thinkig of buying a second flash.
a Yongnuo YN-560 II or YN-565.

i have a 430 EX II and i want/need a second flash.

has someone really put the yongnuo flashes to the test?
i mean on a real shoot that stresses the flash.

should i go fore a cheap one or better stick to canon?

ps: i shoot manual, not ETTL, most of the time.



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how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« on: March 09, 2013, 07:26:25 AM »

Knut Skywalker

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 08:29:02 AM »
I like the stuff Yongnuo makes very much! The reviews I've read and watched about the YN-560 are very good and it has some very useful features like a beep when its ready to fire again. They are also easier to use than Canons in my opinion. On my 430EX II you have to push the Set-button long to change the flash output, with the Yongnuos you have a four-way-dial for full-stop or 1/3rd-stop increments.

Today i had my YN-622c eTTL trigger in the mail and they feel very durable and well built, they also look very nice with the shiny surface on top. The feature set is impressive for 80€ triggers. Now I can change my flash output from the camera and won't need to go to the flash and fiddle with the buttons, which (let's be honest) looks not very professional on a portrait shoot.

I will buy a YN-565 with another set of triggers in the future when one light isn't enough anymore. :P
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JBGibsonImages

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 09:24:48 AM »
Ive got 3 of the yn-560, non ettl . They have served well w/o any miss fires. Ill continue to purchace their products at a great cost savings to me!

siegsAR

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 09:51:59 AM »
http://speedlights.net/ A good source for YN flash reviews, nvm of you've read it already.

I just recently own one, but for the past 4 yrs. I have borrowed from a friend whenever I needed it. That unit is still alive btw.
I've yet to come across issues like the flash unit(for the lack of a technical term) itself broke down.
YN is becoming a household name among photographers from where I'm from, for one thing a decent bang for the buck Canon alternative; not just their flash but also their triggers and some accessories.
Plastic parts/constructions was a concern in the past, specially a certain models' 467? battery lid as it breaks easily.
Also, some models used to have plastic base on the hot shoe but YN is relatively quick with revisions having metal ones.

The budget card; go with Canon else the YN is cheaper and a decent alternative.
Tsk! Come on son..

Stewbyyy

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 10:29:10 AM »
I have 3 Yongnuo YN-560 II's and they're absolutely amazing. I prefer them over my 430 EX II, they're much more user friendly, the only reason I have the 430 EX II is for ETTL purposes.

I've used the Yongnuo flashes consistently for a year now and I haven't had a misfire or anything wrong happen, I use them with Yongnuo triggers as well.

Rat

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 10:50:53 AM »
I bought a 568 and it offers a lot of bang for the buck. However, when I took ETTL burst shots - with the Yongnuo, the first one was properly lighted, the second one pitch black because the flash hadn't cycled yet. When I repeated that with a Canon 430EXII, the first one was properly lighted, but when the flash didn't expose the second shot, the camera adjusted shutter time so I got a properly lighted shot anyway. That's the sort of thing that makes you realize that there is only one brand that doesn't rely on reverse engineering.

Long story short: Yongnuo's are ideal if you can get another shot in. I'll be chimping a lot with this thing, though: you want mission critical stuff, buy Canon. I'm still more than a little happy with the 568, but the next one is going to be a Canon :)
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Malte_P

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 10:56:28 AM »
that sounds all very good. :)

thought i have read about two issues a few times on the net.

1) the zoom seems to be a weak point and stops working on some units.
maybe relied to point 2.
some say the zoom stops working if the batterys are low, but the flash will still fire.

2) some mentioned the YN don´t like 1.2v rechargeable batterys.
it´s not that they don´t work with them but they can show erratic behavior, that´s what i read.
like refusing to turn on sometimes, menu not functioning etc.

can someone say something about that?
i have a lot of eneloops and it would suck if i can´t use them.


@RAT:

ETTL is no concern for me i will use the flash on manual.
and the YN 560 II has no ETTL anyway. :)

« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 10:58:21 AM by Malte_P »

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 10:56:28 AM »

Rat

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 10:58:47 AM »
I'm using Eneloops exclusively, no problems with the 568 so far :)
5DIII, 17-40, 24-105, 70-200/4IS, 50/1.8II, 85/1.8 and a truckload of gimmicks and bits.

FTb-n

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »
Over the past few years I've collected six YN-460ii flashes.  These are essentually the YN-560 without the zoom head.  You can typically find them for under $50 at Amazon.com (but the price sometimes spikes above $60).  I prefer the cheaper YN-460ii because I don't need the zoom when using umbrellas.

I don't shoot professionally, but I do dabble with portraits of the kids several times a year and volunteer my services at the church and school.  These have never failed me.

I prefer using two (sometimes three) per umbrella to keep the recycle time down.  I never shoot them at full power, always half or less.  I'm also using Powerex 2700 NiMH batteries.  Recycle time is very quick.  (For triggers, I use CowboyStudio NPT-04.)

There are two areas where Yongnuo could improve these:

1. The battery door is a little tricky to close which could be because the Powerex batteries are slightly bigger than alkalines.  With practice, it get easier.

2. I'd prefer a slide button for power.  With the press-n-hold buttons, I've retrieved the flash from the bag to find it was accidently turned on.  So, I generally don't store these with batteries in place.

One poster noted complaints about using rechargeable batteries.  I've never used anything but the Powerex 2700's and never had an issue.  Recycle time is very quick and they last.  (Of course, your mileage may vary.)

I also have a Canon 430EX which is a great flash for on the go.  This flash primarily lives in a Photoflex 12x16 softbox mounted to a stick for holding off camera.  But, it works nicely as an off camera key with the 60D or 7D pop-up triggering it or even as a fill.

Still, I paid roughly the same for the six YN-460ii's as I did for one 430EX.  My Yongnuo's are my primary flash and get the most use.  I don't know how they would hold up to professional use, but I find them well worth the money and the only reason I can afford to explore multi-light studio setups.  I highly recommend them.
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lion rock

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 12:02:55 PM »
I visited Hong Kong in December/January 2013 and I looked up from the web the location of Yongnuo distributer there.  And I found this, (photo).
Taken with 5d3/24-70 f/2.8
One day, when I need more flash, I may get their products.

michi

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 01:09:09 PM »
I have two Yongnuo YN560's. Usually use them manually in "studio" setups.  They have been reliable so far.  All I do is power them with whatever rechargeable AA's I have charged at the time.  No issues.

Wildfire

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 03:56:31 PM »
Never had a problem with my YN560s. I use the original one as it's cheaper than the II or III. If you need a manual hotshoe flash this is a great choice. If it fails in a year or two it's cheap enough that you can buy a new one.

smithy

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 10:10:55 AM »
I've been using a Yongnuo 568ex for the last month or two (exclusively with Eneloops), without any issues.  I use it both on and off camera (mostly off), with yn-622 triggers and ETTL.  I just set my 5D3 to manual mode, dial in the settings I want (I've shot happily at 1/4000s using HSS) and the ETTL does the rest.

I cannot imagine that a flash that is this cheap will last anywhere near as long as a top-shelf Canon equivalent though.  But hey, just look at the price.  And flashes only stay compatible for so long with newer cameras coming out all the time... my Sigma 500 DG Super doesn't work with either my 40D or 5D3 because it's too out of date.  The Sigma still works fine off camera as a manual slave though, and I've owned it for nearly 10 years (a testament to its reliability).
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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 10:10:55 AM »

SpareImp

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 11:16:54 AM »
I have the YN460 and use it on a 5DII, which means that I can’t access the flash-menu because “the flash is either incompatible or turned off”. Which also means that I can’t chose shutter curtain, and that bothers me.

If there is a way to work around this problem, which may be 5DII exclusive, then the flash is a good purchase. Doesn’t misfire at all.

1255

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 01:11:39 PM »
i just started using two extra YN560s. very happy so far.

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Re: how reliable are cheap third party flashes (yongnuo)
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 01:11:39 PM »