Yongnuo Flashes

July 22, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

By Brad Melton

A question comes up again and again in a Facebook group I participate in: "what are some good but cheap options for flashes?"  I have become a big fan of Yongnuo flashes.  Let me first clarify that I am in no way associated with Yongnuo, nor are they compensating me.  I'm merely a fan of their products for their low cost and good quality.  I own a YN-560 II, two YN-568EX, and one Canon 580EX II (which I bought before I discovered Yongnuo).  My one big beef with Yongnuo is the manner in which features are scattered across their various models.  I decided to sit down and hash out a matrix of features (with little thanks to their horrible website!).  I haven't bothered with the 400 series because I don't recommend buying lower-power flashes (of any brand).  The cost savings isn't worth finding yourself in a situation wishing you had more mojo.

 

  Price TTL HSS Zoom
(mm)
Optical
Slave
Optical
Master
External
Battery Port
Guide
Number
Radio
Receiver
YN-500EX $150 yes yes 24-85 smart no no 53 no
YN-560 II $60 no no 24-105 dumb no yes 58 no
YN-560 III $70 no no 24-105 dumb no yes 58 yes
YN-565EX $105 yes no 24-105 smart no yes 58 no
YN-568EX $185 yes yes 24-105 smart no no 58 no
YN-568EX II $185 yes yes 24-105 smart yes no 58 no

All models seem to include a flip-down diffuser panel for a 14mm beam spread, a small popup bounce card, and a PC sync port.  All appear to run off of 4 AA batteries, as well.  This information is to the best of my knowledge, but I'm not responsible for any mistakes.  :)  Please do your own final research before you make a purchase.  Prices are based on the Amazon listings at the time of writing this.

By "dumb optical slave" I mean the flash can trigger off the light from any other flash (including a mode for ignoring TTL preflashes).  "Smart optical slave" refers to the ability to interpret and respond to instructions (concerning TTL and power ratios) encoded in a pulsed preflash from an optical wireless master such as the YN-568EX II, Canon 580EX II, and the built-in popup of the Canon 7D.

The YN-560 III is a new oddity that includes a wireless radio receiver compatible with the Yongnuo RF-602 and 603 radio triggers.


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