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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good cost effective flash for off camera work
Customer Video Review     Length:: 7:08 Mins
Picked up one of these to use in combination with my Metz flash for off camera work.
I'm overally very pleased with the flash it is both well built, powerful and with a quick recycle time.

But it is important to know what you are getting with this flash, and where it might be useful to you/type of shooting you do...
Published 18 months ago by Mr Baz

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Broke down. Wouldn't switch on half way through first assignment.
Published 11 months ago by Jack Thompson


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good cost effective flash for off camera work, 1 Jan. 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
Length:: 7:08 Mins

Picked up one of these to use in combination with my Metz flash for off camera work.
I'm overally very pleased with the flash it is both well built, powerful and with a quick recycle time.

But it is important to know what you are getting with this flash, and where it might be useful to you/type of shooting you do etc etc.

I'll do my usual good/bad list first though:

Pros:
+ Excellent price/bang per buck - For a manual flash for off camera work (main use) it is unbeatable value.
+ Good build quality, solid plastics and firm contruction with no obvious creaking, very respectable at this price point. Buttons are solid plastic (not rubber) and feel decently made and responsive
+ Fast recycle times on the flash about 2.5 seconds at full power
+ Powerful output, more than enough power here for your needs, and a lot more power than say an SB700 or 430EXII Canon flash (and a lot cheaper too)
+ Has a pc sync socked and a port for adding an external power pack
+ Comes with a decent padded case, and stand
+ Metal hinge on battery door feels solid and has not caused any problems to date
+ Easy to use and set up with a logical layout and large back lit LCD
+ Audio beep confirm/power saving modes and fine tuning of output in 1/3 stop increments
+ Built in WA panel and white card
+ Has a multi strobe flash output (can be adjusted for no. of flashes and frequency - depending on power output
+ S1 and S2 modes allow for no pre flash suppression and pre flash suppression - range is excellent indoors and out
+ Metal hoe shoe base (not Sony version though has quick release on that model)

Cons:
- This is a full manual flash only, it is NOT a TTL dedicated flash so bear that in mind if you are thinking of picking up a cost effective flash, there are some limitations with this flash (you have to set the power yourself and it does not integrate with the camera's metering at all, the only thing the camera does is fire the flash when shoe mounted) Yongnuo and other makers do offer dedicated TTL flashes depending on what sysetm you are using.
- Does not support dedicated wireless flash for any maker, is not HSS (high speed sync) capable
- Stand has a plastic thread not metal for tripod mounting
- There is no AF assist on this flash (not a huge issue but bear in mind if you are shoe mounting the flash)
- Zoom head motor is somewhat unrefined in sound, rather odd sounding motor but so far has not caused any problems
- LCD doesn't have great viewing angles (ie tripod mounted hard to see it above/below a dead on view)

Regarding full power output the manual warns that overuse will reduce the effective life of the unit, that's not a real concern as you have a warranty and are not likely to be blasting it at full power often. If the flash overheats it slows down the rate of fire I have not seen the flash shut down (as of yet)

The Yongnuo is a pretty nice flash which is very appealing mostly if you are looking to add a flash/flashes for off camera work. At this price you can pick up 1 or 2 for a very modest outlay, if you were buying an OEM maker like Canon and Nikon's flashes you'd run up quite a bill on extra flashes it could work out quite expensive. This is where the 560II comes into play, a very affordable option for photographers, though it does not replace a dedicated flash should you need one. As the Yongnuo is full manual the camera only instruct the flash to fire when shoe mounted it does not influence power setttings at all, and the camera meters just as it would "without a flash mounted" You should bear this in mind if you are looking for auto/TTL exposure.

This doesn't mean the Yongnuo isn't of use as a back up flash, it can fill that need if you want that option. You are better served using the flash off camera, but if shoe mounted you'll have to balance the exposure on the camera and flash yourself. Over time you'll get used to it, I would advise you set the camera to either M or S mode though set your shutter speed and aperture as you want it, and adjust flash output to suit.

Notes on wireless set-up:
The 560II is best used with other flashes set to manual mode, or using say an onboard flash (external or built in)
If you use all manual flashes with no pre-flash set the flash to S1 mode.
You can use radio triggers if you wish (though this adds cost) and the unit is quite good in range with just a flash signal
Using the onboard flash to trigger this off camera, if you are using Canon, Sony (they do a Sony shoe version too), or Pentax you will have pre-flash so set to "S2" mode. Bear in mind the camera will be setting it's exposure based on the built in flash so you can either use that output, or put a card or empty toilet roll over the built in flash (to deflect the output! works well!) Nikon have manual flash output on their cameras so S1 will work fine here.

You can integrate with a wireless flash system or try to (ie CLS or other dedicated wireless flash) but I would advise using a set up in full manual or using the Yongnuo and a back fill light for a shoe mounted TTL flash.
I've used the flash with compact cameras too (almost all have a pre flash so set it to S2 mode for this) works a treat as most compacts have poor power for flash and this can work very well for an additional light for that task.

Works very well with my Metz dedicated flash (I use both with the main built in flash firing both units)

Overall very hard to be critical of the 560II, do bear in mind though that is has some limitations depending on what you are shooting. You probably will want a dedicated flash at some point (so the flash and camera work together to calculate power output and exposure. HSS - allows use of full shutter range with flash useful for outdoor fill flash), but for what it offers (ie bargain off camera flash set up) it's a very solid and recommended purchase for everyone.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent additional flash unit, 7 Oct. 2012
By 
D. Chisholm "Maze" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
Ordered this unit to use as an additional remote flash, so it was never going to be attached to the camera.
As described, the unit is fully manual, so fitted my requirements. It works well when combined with the rf602 receiver/trigger combo - able to shoot up to 1/250 x/sync with no problems at all. This unit has S1 and S2 slave modes but probably won't utilise that function as I always use triggers.
Build quality - very good. It's about the same weight and size as the Canon 580exii. The flash head will also fit the StoFen diffuser for my 580exii.
The recycle time is very good - probably on a par with my 580exii. There is a connection for an additional power pack which helps speed up recycles.
The controls on the back are very easy to figure out - in fact haven't even looked at the instruction book yet.
The pullout wide diffuser panel and white reflector seem robust enough. It comes with a protective pouch and stand.

Buy this model of flash unit if you only require fully manual operation. There is no TTL, but there again you aren't paying for it. Its ideal for strobists or those who know how to use manual flash settings. At this price you could build up a great portable lighting kit.
If you are looking for a flash unit to use on-camera - then you are best looking to some of the other models from YongNuo that have TTL.

This is an excellent piece of kit for the price and in the right hands with the right knowledge you would be able to get some great results.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great flash - works well as optical slave with amother flash unit, 29 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
After lots of research decided to go with this unit as an "off camera" flash to complement my much more expensive Nikon SB910, thereby providing a very inexpensive extra light source for portrait photography as part of my home studio set-up.

I use my Nikon SB910 as Remote flash (using Nikon's CLS system with my D80 camera)to achieve more interesting lighting compared to simple on camera flash, and have the YN560 II set to S2 optical slave (unlike S1, S2 ignores the Nikon's TTL pre-flash, and only fires to sync with my SB910's main flash). This works a treat. I was worried that another unit would mess up the light calculations from the TTL function in my Nikon D80 camera (as the camera is only aware of the SB910), but if the YN560 is fired against a backdrop to provide rear lighting - or even scrolled down to use opposite the SB910 for a "clamshell lighting" effect against the subject, it works extremely well. No problems at all with optical slave of the YN560 firing when my Nikon flash fires. and refresh times are broadly comparable (and certainly sufficient for my needs). Based on my experience with the YN560 II, I have ordered a further YN560 II with a cheap wrap-around snoot (available for a few pounds online) to use as a hairlight behind the subject. Scrolling down the flash power is very easy (though can't be done remotely via the camera). Suggest is it also worth picking up a compatible diffuser which can be had for less than two pounds online from China.

Apologies if this sounds like a tutorial rather than a review, but as a comparative novice to flash photography until the past few weeks, it took me a while to work all this out and therefore thought it might be helpful to others to know that this flash works well as an optical slave (S1 or S2 functions) with another flash unit - and doesn't appear to mess up the Nikon CLS if you are using the YN560 off camera combined with a remote Nikon flash.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain or what?, 5 Feb. 2014
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
This is a great value flashgun. Delivery as stated 3 to 4 days. Manual settings so simple to use even for a novice like me. Fits onto my Nikon D7000. The Multi feature is brilliant and simple to set. Forget using all the auto settings, anyone can do that, manual is best every time. When I bought my Nikon camera, I always said to myself I would always use Nikon accessories, lenses etc. It's rubbish to think that. If you have money to burn then keep buying Nikon stuff. I haven't so I read loads of reviews of what I intend to buy and decide then. Just bought a Sigma 70-300 lense(irrelevant to this review I know) and it is superb quality. We get so wrapped up these days by "you get what you pay for", well in my opinion that's not always true. Pay David Beckham and co millions to endorse products and it goes onto the price of that product. So my advice to anybody who is not bothered about "designer this and designer that" then get one of these. Finally, the art of being a good photographer is what's in your head and not your camera bag. Originality every time.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners and the seasoned user, 18 Jun. 2014
By 
Antoine Camilleri (Malta) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
This flashgun works as advertised. Please read the tin. The listing mentions the fact that this is a manual flash, so it comes nowhere near a fully dedicated flash as regards ease of use. There is no E-TTL feature, which means that the camera cannot really fully communicate with the flash. Evaluative through the lens metering is used on a dedicated flash.

Another feature on a dedicated flash is the zoom. Whilst zooming the camera would communicate with the flash (you would actually hear the flash adjust).

Now this fashgun, as the description suggests, is fully manual. Yet it is still a very valid alternative, and with some hands on experience you can get some great creative pictures.

A couple of decades ago we took awesome pictures using fully manual cameras with non autofocus lenses, and using light meters to determine the aperture and shutter speed....E-TTL flashes were science fiction.

I find myself using the YN560 II very often due to full control over the flash, thanks to the comprehensive full fledged "menu". Build quality is very good, and the LCD display combined with the button layout makes the YN560 a great flash. The slave function works very well too.

I would recommend that you search whether this flash is compatible with your specific camera. It is not compatible with all the models of the mentioned brand names.

For those who do not fancy dishing out 5 times as much for a dedicated flash, or people wanting to learn and experiment with flashes I would say that this flash is worth every penny. The price of this flashgun is a real bargain when taking into account it's numerous useful functions. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and robust, 16 Oct. 2013
By 
R. Reffin (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
I really like this flash. I use it as a backup to my SB700 and use it in situations where loss (either due to damage or theft) is possible.

It's really easy to use and the display is nice and bright, which is good as I am long-sighted.

I often use it with a remote trigger and, whilst it doesn't trigger quite as reliably as my SB700, does a good enough job for me.

It's also very robust. Due to the way the flash is attached to light-stands it has fallen off a few times (hence the 4 stars rather than 5) and the last time this happened it fell down an embankment, bounced off several rocks, and then landed in a river at the top of a waterfall. Eventually I managed to fish it out and, after a lengthy drying session, found that it still worked :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still love it!, 28 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
What should I say? I liked it so much that I ordered two more.
They came in time as the first one.
The three YN-560 II together cost me about half as much as one Nikon SB 700 and they are more powerful than the Nikon.
So for me this was a bargain.
It's not like a cheap tripod that you going to throw away and have to buy the real thing sooner or later.
If I'm going to buy a Nikon flash later on, I'm still going to use these as well.
I highly recommend this flash to anyone.
Just keep in mind that it is fully manual!

(If you want to learn photography you should start with manual anyway.
Learn it the hard way, so later on it's just getting easier and easier.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well built manual flash, 17 May 2014
By 
V. J. K. Lamburn (Worthing, WS, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
I'm a wedding photographer and needed a couple of additional flashes as I am covering larger venues than perhaps I can cover adequately with my two existing flashes (Nikon SB800s). I bought this expressly understanding they were manual only flashes intended to sit on stands and either shot through an umbrella or as a kicker/hairlight flash without diffusion.

Received, and they are very sturdy well built items that look like they will survive some heavy work. Head rotation is smooth (much better than my SB800s although they are well worn) and like the SB800 this will not rotate a full 180 degrees to your right, but if shot as a kicker/hairlight or through an umbrella that's a moot point. Buttons feel very responsive and this is a very easy flash to use.

An on off button, a good audible flash fired beeper (which you can turn off in one button press), dead simple to adjust flash head zoom from 24mm to 105mm, and easy as pie to adjust the power output which runs from full power to 1/128th in 1/3rd stops. Fab stuff. Primarily tested in S1 and S2 mode, essentially S2 is what you will use if you have any flashes working in TTL (e.g. on camera bounce), this will tell the Yongnuo to ignore the TTL exposure pre-flashes and only fire on the actual flash fire. Extremely reliable and good range (quoted up to 25 metres), so if you don't have many wireless triggers you can cover pretty much all eventualities with this, as any flash with a wireless trigger can be a lot further from you (say 50m), and then the 560 II can be an additional 25 metres from that - not sure why you would need that but plenty enough to cover a large high ceilinged venue (such as barns).

If you have any qualms that buying a £40 will get you a cheaply built bit of tat, then take this away with you: this is one of the best bits of non-OEM equipment I have ever bought in terms of build, ease of use and reliability. All my other camera kit (e.g. batteries, lenses etc.) is Nikon original. These flashes however are fantastic and have allowed me to kick my strobe work up a notch.

If you're looking for your first general purpose on body flash, this isn't it - it will certainly work but if you want to work swiftly with on camera bounce flash, there is the better Yongnuo or manufacturer flashes like the SB700.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the price, it can't be faulted, 3 May 2014
By 
Stephen Radford (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
First, let me say this is my first flash so anything I say here has to be taken with a pinch of salt. However, I have found the flash to be perfect for what I need. The lack of TTL won't bother most people as manual control is where the real creativity comes into play, and the Yongnuo offers everything you could want in that respect.

The device has a range of power from 1/128 to full 1/1 power. Alongside this is a zoom ranging from 24mm to 105mm allowing you to gain greater control of the light emitted. Controlling all of this is easy with backlit LCD on the back. There are four button controlling sound, mode and zoom. Below are directional controls to go through the power as well as a pilot button for testing and the on/off switch.

There are four modes you can take advantage of — manual, slave 1, slave 2 and multi mode. I won't go into what each does here, but most people will probably want it in manual or slave 1.

It's powered by four AAs which are slotted into a nice moulded compartment on the side. On the opposite side of the flash is a little rubber flap which hides a PC sync port and an standard external power socket. The head of the flash has a series of motions. It turns 270 degrees in total (180° to the left and 90° to the right) and pivots up and down from 0 to 90°.

Unexpectedly, the YN-560 II also comes with a rather nice velcro case. It's not gonna give much protection should you drop it but it'll stop the dust getting in and will allow you to avoid any scratches should you chuck it into your bag. Also included within the case in a separate slot is a cold-shoe foot for you to mount your flash on and pop it on a surface. The foot comes with a tripod screw thread, however this is plastic and may deteriorate over time. As I won't ever be using the foot and I wasn't even expecting it, I don't think it's worth losing a star over.

Overall, the Yongnuo YN-560 II is a great little flash and it feels well built for such a cheap device. Sure it's modelled on a Canon Speedlite and the packaging is straight off the Nikon production line, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that they've managed to make a fantastic flash for little more than £30. I shall be buying another one of these shortly and I'd recommend that if you don't need TTL to grab yourself one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars With a Sony NEX5 or NEX6, 18 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: YONGNUO YN-560 II ELECTRONIC SPEEDLIGHT SPEEDLITE FLASH FLASHGUN With The Standard Hot Shoe for Nikon , Canon , Fuji , Olympus , Pentax , DSLR Digital Camera by eimo (Accessory)
The good and the bad of this particular model have been amply described in other reviews and need not be repeated. Instead, this review is intended principally to help fellow users of Sony NEX5 series cameras, or NEX6 users, decide if this is a worthwhile purchase.

SUMMARY
When doing 'hasty' photography such as snapshots at parties, it is difficult (though not impossible) to get good results when using this Yongnuo flash in conjunction with a Sony NEX5 or NEX6. It is easier to get good results when doing the the sort of photography that can be done slowly, carefully and experimentally.

NOTES SPECIFICALLY FOR THE NEX5 USER
Since the NEX5 has no flash hot-shoe, the camera and the flash must be joined to one another via some sort of adapter (search Amazon for "NEX5 hotshoe adapter"). With the flash thus mounted the whole setup feels not only heavy, but also precariously top heavy. Moreover, the camera will need to be held in 'landscape' mode to keep the flash gun vertical and directly above the socket in order to avoid putting lots of shear stress on the camera's flash socket. From my own experience I recommend that, if possible, you do *not* mount the flash on the camera but, instead, use a wireless connection as described below.

NOTES SPECIFICALLY FOR THE NEX6 USER
The flash can be mounted into the camera's hot-shoe and it feels fairly secure, but does make the whole kit feel very top-heavy. With the camera turned sideways for "portraits" I'd be concerned about the mechanical stress on the socket. The Yongnuo flash prevents the built-in flash from popping-up so they cannot both be used together.

NOTES FOR BOTH NEX5 AND NEX6
The camera cannot control the flash power nor know how you have set it; indeed the camera won't even realise that you have attached a flash. The implication of this is that you will almost certainly need to operate the camera in fully manual 'M' mode. Usually I also find it necessary to take a few test shots to find a combination of settings that yield the result I am hoping for, and the implication of this is that the flash is better suited to staged photographs rather than impromptu ones.

It is capable of providing considerably greater illumination than the 'kit' flash supplied with the NEX5 or the built-in flash of the NEX6, but since the flash power is adjustable to some degree it is also capable of providing a less intense supplementation of light if that is what you need.

These characteristics mean that, when used with a Sony NEX camera, this Yongnuo flash is suitable for the sort of pictures that you take time to construct --- carefully experimenting with the juxtaposition of objects and light and discarding lots of 'wrong' images before being delighted by the one that finally comes out as you hoped.

If you want a flash for snapshots at parties then I think you'd do much better to stick with the Sony camera mounted ones. The exception would be if you can use multiple flash guns located around a room to provide high-intensity and relatively even light bounced off the ceiling, and operate them all with wireless triggers.

If you want to take pictures inside dark interesting places (caves or buildings, for example) then this flash could certainly be helpful but only if you will have time to compose the photograph and take some test shots to help you choose the right combinations of flash power, ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

WIRELESS LINK
This flash and the NEX5 / NEX6 work well together when connected via a cheap wireless link (also available on Amazon). Altogether you will need a hot-shoe adapter, wireless transmitter and receiver pair, the flash and your camera. You'll likely also want a battery charger for AA and AAA batteries (the flash takes 4xAA and the wireless adapters that I've seen all seem to use AAA batteries). This combination of equipment means that you can put the flash somewhere distant from the camera and then experiment with all kinds of interesting illumination effects that are impossible when using the Sony 'kit' flash. It also means that if you decide to buy this flash gun for your NEX camera then you might also need to budget for the "extras".

SHUTTER SPEEDS
With the flash mounted on the camera I have been able to use shutter speeds up to 1/160th of a second reliably. I don't recall having problems at 1/200th but certainly anything faster than that is either unreliable or unusable, unless you can capture your subject in a partial frame (which might be worth trying in some cases). When used with a wireless link the wireless units introduce a slight lag of unpredictable duration. This means that either a slower shutter must be used for reliable image capture, or several images must be taken and then checked to see if the shutter and flash were adequately synchronised. In practise I've found that I can use 1/125th of a second reliably with a wireless link.
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