Top positive review
48 people found this helpful
Very good cost effective flash for off camera work
on 1 January 2014
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:
+ 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)
- 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.