Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlite Review (Manual Flash)

Yongnuo YN560 On Light StandThis is the in-depth review for the Yongnuo YN-560 speedlite, a manual-mode only flash designed for photographers who don’t need automatic exposure control.

Introduced in the summer of 2010 as an upgraded model of the YN-460 Mark II and improved in many ways, it is well worth the around $65 to $75 it costs on eBay or amazon.

I’ve had the Yongnuo 560 for several months now and it is my favorite flash for shooting with radio triggers: the combination of power, recycling speed, handling and ease of use is just perfect for me. But early series units also suffered from some reliability issues. Yongnuo reacted in January 2011, and new YN560′s now come with metal flash foot and an improved zoom motor construction.

The YN-560 (mid-left in the photo below) is terrific for manual flash, but there are other options of course: alternatives include the even cheaper but simpler YN-460 Mark II (picture left), other Yongnuo flashes (which all come with a manual mode), the Vivitar 285 HV (picture right), or old flashes from Nikon such as the SB 24. The MeiKe MK930 (mid-right in the photo) can’t quite compete (read the review to learn why).

MeiKe MK 930 vs YN460-II YN560 and 285HV

YN-560 Highlights

  • one of the very best flashes for “strobist” work
  • plenty of power with official GN of 39 (true GN is 34)
  • manual zoom range 24 – 105 mm
  • 2 optical slave modes (much improved over 460 series)
  • very good build quality
  • power from 1/1 down to 1/128

 

YN-560 Review Contents

Overview
    Canon and Nikon Compatibility
    Intro: Flash Modes and Wireless Flash
Build Quality & Features
    Accessories
    Build Quality
    Flash Head Features
    Operation & Ease of Use
    Power Supply
Test Results
    Test: Flash Recycling Times
    Test: Guide Number
    Speedlights.net Power Index
    Test: Flash Duration
YN-560 Specifications
    Tech Specs Table
Wireless Flash
    No Dedicated Remote Slave Mode
    Radio Triggering
    Optical Slave Modes “S1″ and “S2″
On-Camera Performance
    YN-560 in the Camera Hot Shoe
Review Conclusion
    YN-560 Review Conclusion
    Where To Buy

   

 

Compatible Camera Bodies

Yongnuo’s YN560 is not designed for digital cameras such as a Canon Rebel or a Nikon Dxxx. It does mount, but you have to set the flash output level for every photo by hand, and there is no auto zoom, and no AF assist light. The flash can’t be controlled from the camera’s menu system either.
 

Canon cameras Nikon cameras
only really usable in manual camera mode “M” or “Tv” (all Canon camera bodies); no digital TTL support only really usable in manual camera mode “M” or “S” (all Nikon camera bodies); no digital TTL support

 
The flash has only 1 single electrical pin on the flash foot, instead of the 4 / 5 pins needed for digital data exchange. When searching for a digital flash that’s working with your DSLR automatically, check the digital flash for Canon and digital flash for Nikon pages to see your options.

A fully automatic flash for Canon Rebel bodies (and other Canon EOS DSLR’s) is the new Yongnuo YN-565, for example.


Intro: Flash Modes and Wireless Flash

Manual mode is the option on the Yongnuo 560, there is no form of TTL, no Canon E-TTL, no Nikon i-TTL. It also has no “auto” mode. The two optical slave modes are special manual modes where the trigger signal is received through a light sensor, but the flash intensity is still to be dialed in for each shot on the unit itself.

Manual Flash Mode “M”

Yongnuo YN 560 Review Manual ModeA simple manual mode is all that is needed for “strobist” type photography (visit strobist.com to learn about good lighting). With simple x-sync firing, additional PC socket, manual mode down to 1/128, and the 2 optical slave modes the YN560 leaves nothing to be desired.

To adjust the output level and move through the 8 settings from 1/128 power to 1/1 just use the left or right button on the center command keys. Great thing is that the strobe stores the last output level setting if you switch between modes or even when you power it off or exchange batteries.

If smaller increments than full stops are needed you can use the “up” and “down” buttons: at any given level you can add or subtract in 1/8 EV steps up to +4/8 EV and down to -3/8 EV. So you can have half power minus 1/8 for example, or half power minus 2/8, down to half power minus 3/8. And up to half power plus 4/8 correspondingly. Only at the 1/128 setting you can’t subtract, and at the 1/1 setting it’s not possible to add in 1/8 EV steps anymore (yes, this would bring you beyond maximum power so it does not make sense).

Yongnuo 560 review - sound indicator symbolThe Yongnuo 560 has one more great feature for “strobist” style shooting – and I use this one all the time: you can activate an acoustic signal that notifies you when the speedlite is recharged after a pop. The sound signal itself reminds me of the beep on my Nikon SB-600 although the beeping on the Nikon is available only in AWL / CLS wireless TTL. Great job to integrate this as an option!

Full details about using the YN 560 in manual mode and with wireless triggers can be found in the wireless flash section further below.

YN560 Wireless Flash Intro

The lack of a TTL mode means there is also no compatibility with the dedicated, optical Canon or Nikon wireless TTL control systems (called “AWL” as a part of the “CLS” in the Nikon world). The Yongnuo YN-560 can’t be automatically controlled from a compatible camera, or master flash, or a speedlite commander such as the Canon ST-E2 or Nikon SU-800.

Yongnuo YN 560 Review S2The optical slave mode “S2” with pre-flash detection can be used as a workaround sometimes, but the flash level still must be set by hand in S2.

I got it to work in a simple setup with a Nikon D90 and one SB-600, it does however get confused when multiple flashes are used. “S1” is the simple slave mode and a good triggering option with manual flash or studio strobes. Read further below for test results with the optical slave modes.

Yongnuo RF-603 for YN-560 ReviewThe optical slave modes are very reliable – much better than on the previous 46x-series flashes – but the safest option are radio flash triggers such as the Yongnuo RF-602, RF-603, or the Cactus V4.

Attach them on the YN560 flash foot, or use the PC port, and there is your hassle-free wireless flash setup!

This was just an overview of remote flash options. Much more detail can be found in the Radio Triggering & Optical Slave Mode sections below.
 

Basic information
Brand Yongnuo
Model YN560
Class professional
Cost (USD) 75
First introduction 2010
Successor none yet
Canon compatibility
Compatible with Canon cameras (E-TTL(II)) no
Supported Canon flash modes M
Canon wireless TTL slave / master no / no
Nikon compatibility
Compatible with Nikon cameras (CLS / i-TTL) no
Supported Nikon flash modes M
Nikon wireless TTL slave / master no / no
Manual mode
Manual power settings (on the flash) 1/1 – 1/2 – 1/4 – 1/8 – 1/16 – 1/32 – 1/64 – 1/128

 

 

Supplied Accessories

The Yongnuo YN-560 comes in a nice box which is (a bit surprisingly) not much bigger than the boxes of the 460 series. As can be seen from this picture Yongnuo is quite generous when it comes to packing accessories with their flash.

Yongnuo YN 560 with Accessories

Inside the Yongnuo box you find the following items:

  • the flash unit
  • a flash stand
  • a soft pouch
  • instruction manual
  • leaflet with an overview of the 460 series flash models

Some words about the accessories: the flash stand is made of sturdy black plastic and has a nice looking metal thread on the bottom. There is also a hole for the locking pin. The only thing is that there is some lateral play with the flash mounted, but so has the Nikon AS-21 stand that came with my SB-900 (and that one has even a plastic tripod mount).

The 44-page instruction manual is in Chinese and English language and provides quite comprehensive explanations. The flash overview leaflet shows some specs from the first 5 models of the 460 series but neither YN560 nor YN468.

The last thing to mention is the soft pouch which is not bad in itself but no match for the kind of soft case you get with a speedlight from Nikon or Canon. It’s more like the SS-24 pouch that came with my old Nikon SB-24 – just a bag made of soft cloth, no padding for enhanced protection. As the 560 has exactly the same dimensions as a Canon 580EX II you can use the Canon soft case – it fits in there (quite tightly, but so does the Canon speedlite).

Depending on the seller you also might receive a free diffuser (‘stofen’) together with your purchase. Yongnuo offer them also for sale on eBay as an extra accessory; the diffuser is the Canon 580EX version as they have identical flash heads.

Here is an ‘unboxing video’ from the Speedlights.net youtube channel showing the unpacking, accessories, flash head movement, battery compartment, PC sync port and external power socket and finally a size comparison with YN-460-II, Nikon SB-600, Nikon SB-24.
 


 

Build Quality

The YN-560 is a large flash with massive body and big flash head. Only a bit smaller than the huge SB-900 from Nikon it features the same dimensions as the Canon Speedlite 580EX II simply because Yongnuo built their own flash into the casing taken over from Canon with some simplifications.

Yongnuo YN-560 with SB-900 and Canon 580EX II

Casing

The quality of the engineering and build is a real surprise: The new 560 is on an excellent level in terms of build quality and quality of the controls. A clear upgrade from the 46x line, e.g. the YN-460-II that was the most powerful Yongnuo model before. The new 560 does not make the 460 mk2 a bad flash certainly, but the 560 does feel really professional now and it’s a pure joy to work with.

It feels almost as good in my hand as a Nikon SB-900 or the 580EX II from Canon. This is no miracle as it’s a clone of the Canon and therefore based on a very good and stable construction.

Yongnuo YN-560 vs 580EX II Canon

But the flash is also very nicely put together by Yongnuo, without the rough edges found on the 460 series speedlites. The construction of the battery door is superb now on the 560 (it was the weak point on all 46x flashes), the swivel and tilt action of the flash head feels very dependable without any play. The pull-out diffuser is also a stronger design than before.

Metal Flash Foot Since 2011

My two YN-560′s came with a plastic flash foot, and that’s what you see in the photos for this review. There’s nothing wrong with plastic and I never had problems with it, but hot shoe or radio trigger mounting is a bit easier when the base plate is metal, and many photographers prefer that material. That’s maybe why in January of this year, all YN flashes were upgraded with a metal flash foot – more information and pictures can be found here.

Yongnuo 560 Flash Foot Locking WheelThe photo shows the 2010 model flash foot. But also the new generation sports a traditional locking wheel with connected locking pin.

A wheel is not quite as fast as the quick release levers on Canon flashes (320EX, 430EX II, 580EX II) or Nikon speedlights (SB-600/700/800/900) but secure mounting is no problem here – the fit is even tighter than with the quick release lever solutions, and it works better with some light stands and other mounts which are not a camera hot shoe.

External Interfaces

Two external connectors are located on the left side of the flash body and protected by a rubber flap that can be rotated to the side.

Yongnuo YN560 with Sync Port and SF-18 Pack ConnectorFirst, there is the external power connector with a Canon-type plug. It accepts the Yongnuo SF-18 battery pack (or the original one from Canon).

The second interface is a non-threaded (female) PC sync port which can be used to plug in a male sync cable from a wireless trigger or from your camera sync port. PC ports tend to be a bit unreliable in general, but I haven’t heard about specific issues with the one found on this speedlite model. I must say that I trigger my 560′s through the flash foot, it’s more convenient for me than dealing with an extra trigger cable and dangling receiver.

Flash Head

The head of the YN560 has the same size as the Canon 580EX (II) and is similar to other pro-grade speedlites such as a Nikon SB-900 or the Nissin Di866. I personally prefer smaller flashes (the discontinued Nikon SB-800 is the ideal in my opinion) but the differences are not that dramatic in absolute terms, and the Yongnuo is still good to handle; and the larger head should also help a little against internal heat build-up.

Adjustment

Yongnuo 560 Head Swivel TiltFlash head adjustments can be made without a release knob – the YN560 doesn’t feature a flash head locking system. This simplifies things, and I like that! For both types of adjustment – horizontal and vertical – the mechanism feels very solid and sturdy. It’s only when I mount my Lumiquest mini soft box III with a speedstrap direct on the flash head that the weight pushes the head down to the close-up position, but that doesn’t happen with a less heavy modifier such as a grid or a snoot and it’s not a real concern for me.

The flash head can be rotated from 180 degrees counterclockwise to 90 degrees in the clockwise direction and tilting range is from minus 7 to plus 90 degrees. There is a tiny squeaking at times when I move the head to the close-up position but otherwise it’s super smooth, and this has not changed during the 10 months that I’ve used my two YN-560′s.

Zoom Flash Head 24 – 105mm

Yongnuo 560 Review Zoom ButtonsThe zoom action inside the head is motor driven and operated with two dedicated buttons on the back panel, one for zooming up and another one to reduce the zoom length. These are the available zoom steps – it’s the same what you find on a Canon speedlite:

24 – 28 – 35 – 50 – 70 – 80 – 105mm

The zooming sound is actually quite gentle on one of my units and a bit louder on the other. One of the improvements that Yongnuo made at the beginning of this year (2011) was the zoom motor and drive – their initial design led to an elevated failure rate as it seems (and you can also find corresponding user reports although it’s hard to quantify these problems since unhappy customers are much more likely to speak up than the happy ones).

Since the normal power LED’s double up as the zoom indicators there’s no way for the flash to display its current zoom setting permanently – the flash output level is the default metric that’s shown. To see the current reflector position you need to press the ‘zoom +’ or ‘zoom -’ button so that the LED’s change from power level to zoom step. There is a second scale printed on the back panel with the zoom steps, so no guesswork is necessary to identify the current step.

Like for the power level the YN-560 also recalls its current zoom reflector position when powered off and on again (an advantage over the YN460 Mark II).

Wide angle coverage: 18mm

Yongnuo YN-560 Review: Wide Panel The wide panel is folded into the flash head in default position. It’s a solid construction with thick plastic screen and improved mechanics over previous Yongnuo models – this thing will not easily break.

With that wide-flash adapter the coverage extends from 24mm (full frame) down to 18mm (the GN table in the instruction manual reads 14mm but this is a typo; the descriptive text on the same page says “18″, and that’s also what the speedlights.net test has confirmed).

There is (certainly) no sensor size detection on this ‘strobist’ speedlight, and despite the zoom motor there is no auto zoom support when mounted on the camera hot shoe (keep in mind there’s only 1 electrical pin on the flash foot so no data exchange).

Yongnuo 560 Reflector CardBuilt into the head is also a pull-out reflector card = ‘catchlight panel’ for bounced flash, which is a business card sized white piece of plastic. It’s a feature which is more useful for on-camera flash than the off-camera shooting, but it does certainly not hurt to have one built in.

The shape of the flash head means you should be able to use all the ‘stofens’, ‘light spheres’ and other light modifiers that fit a Canon 580, but it is not possible to attach the diffusion dome or color gel holder that come with the SB-900 from Nikon – these do not fit.

Test: Wide Angle Coverage

Yongnuo 560 Test Result for Light FalloffLight falloff gets tested with a 12mm lens on a Nikon D90 (APS-C based / Nikon “DX”) and with the speedlite set to the widest zoom setting plus wide-flash panel in place. 12mm corresponds to 18mm full frame, and 18mm is also the coverage spec for the Yongnuo 560 – therefore the light fall-off should not be too strong.

What can be seen from the photo is that the vignetting is quite pronounced. All flashes share this characteristic and show some amount of vignetting. The Yongnuo however shows a performance slightly below average in this discipline which can be easily seen when you compare with the corresponding test result from the Canon 580EX II – one of the very best speedlites in this test on Speedlights.net.

The transition zone is also not very smooth, and the extreme borders get especially dark. But don’t take this too seriously when you plan on using this as a “strobist” speedlite – I don’t see where this would have a negative impact, especially in real life rather ‘pushing it under the lab conditions’.

 

Operation

The layout of the controls on the back panel is excellent: the 11 buttons are made from rubber (not plastic) but it’s the firm kind and they all have a good size – and no more wobbling or “mushiness” which was a complaint about earlier Yongnuo’s.

Controls

Yongnuo YN560 Back Panel ButtonsPretty much all of the frequent adjustments have their dedicated buttons – be it zoom, power level or flash mode. This flash is super easy to use and very responsive (without reaction delays). It must be said though that this ease of use is achieved through stripping out all the TTL-settings, custom features and other options you find on Canon’s or Nikon’s speedlights. But this is no problem for strobists for sure!

Bottom-right is the power button which needs to be pressed for 2 seconds to turn the flash on. The unlabeled command keys are used for adjusting the power level: use the “right” and “left” keys to increase or decrease the flash output by one full stop.The “up” and “down” keys are for dialing in partial output levels, which must be confirmed with the center button (called “Set” on other speedlites).

The Pilot button bottom left fires a test flash and also serves as flash-ready indicator: “red” means the flash has recycled, “green” is the waiting signal (this is the same reversed logic used by Canon and Nikon). This test flash button is almost non-responsive on one of my 2 flashes – one of the very first YN-560′s to hit the market – i need to push it down with 2 fingers to get the test flash to fire. Other users had similar issues with their early series models. At least it only affected the least needed button on the flash.

The other LED underneath the pilot button is the standby light. The power-saving behavior of the flash is set and adjusted by pushing on the sound button for 2 seconds. With a short press it turns the sound monitor on and off – a great feature as said already above!

Next in the top row is Mode which lets you switch between “M” and the two manual slave modes “S1″ and “S2″ (you find the details on slave modes in the wireless flash review section). Finally there are the 2 dedicated zoom buttons in the top right spot.

No LCD Display

Yongnuo YN560 Review - LEDs back panelThere is no LCD display on the back side but a battery of small but bright LED’s (the photo is doing it justice quite well). Some owners even say they’re too bright, but you should actually be able to put some layers of tape over the LEDs to dim them down – I have not tried it, don’t bother the brightness. The great thing about the LEDs is that the viewing angle is much greater than what LCD’s can provide, so they are easy to read even when mounted high on a light stand.

The main element is the battery of 8 LEDs in the center of the back panel. By default they show the current flash output level, which is hinted by the gray bar above the lights. You get used to the fact that there are no markings for the actual steps – a proper scale would be better. The scale underneath the LED’s is for the zoom step, and the display switched over to mm-display when a zoom key is used.

Power Supply

Yongnuo 560 Battery Compartment Open

The flash is powered by 4 AA size cells, either alkaline or NiMH. Battery handling and loading is perfect (there’s no other expression for this): the battery cover resembles the Canon 580EX II solution, which means you slide down the cover and then open the spring-loaded door (only the additional unlocking button is missing).

Yongnuo Speedlite YN 560 Battery ChamberFirst thing you see is a sticker with polarity icons so there is no need to peek around inside the battery chambers (Canon, which this is modeled after, has a better solution here than Nikon). Second thing is the thick plastic thorn (visible in the photo on the right side) in the middle of the chamber which separates the 4 cells. Just drop them in and they slide into their place.

In addition to internal battery power there is a socket for an external power found on the flash. The socket is a Canon type and allows the usage of Yongnuo’s own SF-18C or SF-17C battery packs. This does further shorten the already very fast recycling times and will also enhance the number of flashes per charge.

Test: Flash Recycling Times (3.4 / 1.6 seconds)

Modern flashes have full-power recycle times between 2 and 6 seconds, depending on their maximum power and battery type. Speedlights.net recycle times are tested according to ISO 2827; see details.

According to the instruction manual the flash recycling time, i.e. the time between the release of a full-power flash and the moment where the flash-ready indicator light comes back on, is specified as ‘approx. 3 seconds’ using alkaline batteries. Here are the results now for the Speedlights.net recycling times test with 2 battery types: fresh Duracell alkaline batteries, and fully charged NiMH battery cells:

Yongnuo Speedlite 560 Review - Recycling Times Test Result

What can be seen is a good performance with alkaline batteries, roughly in line with the Yongnuo data. For the first shots the recycling is faster, and then exceeds the 3-seconds line after the 4. full-power burst. The ISO-average comes out at 3.4 seconds. Much more impressive is the NiMH curve: only 1.6 seconds, and a stable performance without any decay over time – neither a Nikon SB-900 nor a Canon 580EX II are that fast. And, btw, the recycling is silent, I hear no whining sound when it recharges.

Overheating Protection

According to the instruction manual there is an overheating protection built in to prevent damages on the speedlite when used excessively: in this case the test flash button flashes red/green and the strobe is locked for about 3 minutes. This seems to make a lot of sense, especially when you think about using the flash with external battery pack. In my tests I was seeing it once now after a longer series of full power shots, but it’s definitely not as annoying as on my Nikon SB-900.

But let’s see now if the flash is also as powerful as we expect, because one of the ways to get faster recycling is to use a smaller capacitor which naturally needs less time to be full.

 

Test: Flash Output and Guide Number

The guide number (GN) of an electronic flash is a measure of the maximum light output – visit the test details page to learn more.

Official Specification: GN 39

Yongnuo YN-560 Guide Number Table Instruction Manual page 42I’ve shown in other Yongnuo reviews that these speedlites are not as powerful as the official data suggest. In all Yongnuo testing the real-world guide number came out lower – while in most other brand tests the official levels could be achieved, or even exceeded: see the Speedlights power index page for more information.

The new YN-560 promises a guide number of 39 meters at 35mm and ISO 100, which means it’s stronger on paper than a Nikon SB-800, SB-900 or Canon 430EX II and even the 580EX (II).

The manufacturer specs can be found in the YN-560 instruction manual – click on the photo to see it enlarged.

Flash Meter Results

All flashes are tested using the same standardized method using a Sekonic flash meter in a controlled environment. Speedlites are never tested alone, but always together with re-tests of other models to guarantee consistent results between sessions. The photo shows the YN560 (picture left) together with other manual-mode flashes such as SB-26 (older Nikon speedlight without digital TTL capabilities), YN460-II, 285HV, YN460.

Yongnuo 460-II Review with YN560, 285HV, SB-26

You find these speedlites’ testing results in the following table, together with a selection of digital TTL flashes (SB-600/700/800/900 and 430EX II / 580EX II) as another benchmarking tool.
 

Model Light meter reading
Nikon SB-800 f22 +7/10
Canon 580EX II f22 +6/10
Nikon SB-26 f22 +6/10
Nikon SB-900 f22 +3/10
Yongnuo YN-560 f22 +2/10
Yongnuo YN 460 II f22 +2/10
Canon 430EX II f22 +2/10
Vivitar 285HV f22 +0/10
Nikon SB-600 f16 +9/10
Nikon SB-700 f16 +7/10
Yongnuo YN-460 f16 +6/10

 

The flash meter reading for the YN560 is f22 +2/10. Not as powerful as the 580EX II or the old Nikon SB-26, but it’s clearly stronger than the original YN460 as well as the Vivitar 285HV. At 35mm, the guide number is the same as for the YN460-II which lacks the zoom feature however: therefore, the YN560 is stronger towards the tele end than the 460-II (compare the respective guide number tables).

At the 35mm setting, it is also identical to the Canon middle class speedlite 430EX II, and a bit more powerful than Nikon’s just replaced SB-600; the new SB-700 is even a bit weaker than the SB-600 model. These Canon and Nikon flashguns are dedicated flashes however, while the YN-560 does not work in any automatic exposure mode.

Real World Guide Number: 34 – Guide Number Table

The calculated guide number is obtained by adding exactly 1 f-stop to the flash meter test results. Learn more about this method on the test details page.

The YN560 doesn’t reach GN 39 (which would make it an extremely powerful flash); instead, the real world guide number as calculated from the Speedlights.net test is GN 34 (meters) at the 35mm flash head position.

Yongnuo 560 guide number table

With wide-panel flipped down and at the wide angle settings, the guide number is reduced and reaches 17. At the tele end, guide number increases to a maximum value of 48.5; this is where the Yongnuo 560 outguns the YN460-II: due to the 460-II’s fixed reflector, its max output is always ‘stuck’ at GN 34, also when used with a tele lens. Go to the YN-460 Mark II review to compare the guide number tables for the 2 flashes.

Speedlights Power Index

The light blue bar in the Speedlights.net Power Index shows the official 35mm-GN, and the dark blue bar indicates the test results. Go to the test details page for more information on the Speedlights.net Power Index.

Speedlights.net Power Index Manual Flash
Compared to other flashes that can be used for “strobist” style shooting in manual mode, the YN-560 provides an excellent value per Dollar. It’s not as powerful as specified but still very close to the strongest shoe-mount flashes such as a Nikon SB-800 or the 580EX II from Canon.

Test: Effective Output Range

From 1/1 down to 1/128 power there are 8 possible settings for manual output adjustment which equals a 7-stop range. In reality, this range is 0.6 stops smaller: the test shows f22 + 2/10 at full power, f16.0 at half, f11 +1/10 at quarter, down to f2.0 + 8/10 at the 1/128 level. This results in a 6.4 stops range.
 

Yongnuo 560 output range spec Output range from tests
7 stops 6.4 stops

 

The decrements are always around 1 stop from full to 1/32, then they become a bit smaller. To the 1/64 setting it’s 0.7 stops difference, then 0.6 stops to the minimum setting of 1/128.

Test: Continuous Shooting Output

All flashes lose some power when fired with maximum frequency; read the test info page to learn more about the effect and the test procedure.

Another test I was asked by flickr strobist-group members to perform is to measure the output both after a 60-second waiting time versus right when the ready-light comes back on. I performed this test for severals speedlights now (using the average value from 3 measurements each and converting f-stop readings into decimal values); here’s the updated result for some of the relevant competitors:
 

Model Calc. guide number at 60 sec wait Calc. guide number at continuous fire Difference in f-stops
Canon 580EX II 39.4 34.3 -4/10
Nikon SB-900 35.5 29.9 -5/10
Yongnuo 560 34.3 26.9 -7/10
Yongnuo 460-II 34.3 30.9 -3/10
Canon 430EX II 34.3 26.0 -8/10
Nikon SB-600 30.9 25.1 -6/10
Nikon SB-700 28.8 26.9 -2/10

 

The flash units are between 3/10 to 7/10 of a stop weaker when the next full power pop is released immediately after the ready-light comes back on, compared to waiting for 60 seconds after the previous flash has fired. It’s certainly not required to wait a full minute with the next flash. This is a lab test, you won’t notice a difference in real life, unless you’re really continuously firing full power flashes at maximum cadence.

Test: Flash Duration

Flash duration is the time between the beginning of the flash and the end of the light emission. Go to the speedlite test methodology page for information on t0.5 versus t0.1 flash durations and the method used here for reviews.

YN-560 Flash Duration Compared

According to the respective instruction manuals, previous Yongnuo models like the 460 or the YN460-II were specified at 1/800 seconds flash duration at full power output. In comparison, Nikon flash specs read between 1/840 second (SB-24 e.g.) and 1/1050 for the SB-80DX and SB-800. So I was surprised to see the YN560 specs showing a very long 1/200 seconds for the new Yongnuo, and I was wondering about it quite a bit.

As can be seen in the test results below the concerns are unnecessary: the real t0.1 flash duration for the Yongnuo 560 is absolutely in the range of comparable speedlites, and in now way longer than on other shoe-mounted strobes: the meter showed 1/325 seconds for my YN560 at full power, but 1/230 for the SB-900, so the contender from China achieves an even shorter = better t0.1 time than the current Nikon top model.
 

Model flash duration spec at 1/1 power (sec) t0.1 metering result (sec)
Canon 580EX II 1/833 1/285
Nikon SB-900 1/880 1/230
Yongnuo YN-560 1/200 1/325
Yongnuo YN-460 II 1/800 1/435
Canon 430EX II unspecified 1/350
Vivitar 285HV 1/1000 1/285
Nikon SB-600 1/900 1/265
Nikon SB-700 1/1042 1/305

 

To me this means that Yongnuo based their ’1/200′ either on their own version of t0.1 metering or maybe on the full flash duration. Maybe it’s also just a simple glitch in the instruction manual. The only important thing to note is that according to the cross-brand measurements you can expect the new Yongnuo to behave just like a Canon or Nikon when it comes to 1/1 flash duration and freezing action. I wish I’d be able to do a t0.5 metering (called the “effective flash duration” according to the ISO standard) but this is not possible with the FCC I’m using for this.

t0.1 Flash Duration Times

Here’s now the complete flash duration table! pls note the measurement limit is 1/8000 seconds, shorter flash durations can’t be taken unfortunately.
 

Output level Manufacturer spec t0.1 metering
1/1 1/200 1/325
1/2 na 1/1310
1/4 na 1/2800
1/8 na 1/4600
1/16 na 1/5600
1/32 na 1/7000
1/64 na 1/7500
1/128 na <1/8000

 

Tech Specs

The following table lists the important specs for the “strobist” flash Yongnuo 560, together with the Speedlights.net test results where applicable. The next chapter after the table is the wireless flash in-depth review.
 

Model Information
Brand Yongnuo
Model YN560
First introduction 2010
Successor none yet
Output Specs
Guide number spec
(35mm, ISO 100, in meters)
39
Guide number test result 34
Manual power settings 1/1 – 1/2 – 1/4 – 1/8 – 1/16 – 1/32 – 1/64 – 1/128
Flash duration (full power) 1/200
Recycle time spec
(at full power)
3 sec alkaline
Recycle time test result 3.4 sec alkaline, 1.6 sec NiMH
Triggering
Flash foot material, type metal (2011), standard
PC Sync Port yes
Optical Slave 2 modes (1 w/ pre-flash suppresion)
Other Trigger no
Trigger Voltage 3.25 V (measured)
Standby Mode can be adjusted (30 mins max)
Flash Head Features
Swivel -180 to +90 degrees
Tilt -7 to +90 degrees
Manual Zoom Head (18) 24-105
Auto Zoom no
Bounce card / 2nd reflector yes / no
LCD Display no
Power Supply
Batteries Used 4 x AA
External Power Source Yongnuo SF-18C or SF-17C
Nikon TTL
D-TTL no
i-TTL no
CLS Wireless Slave no
CLS Wireless Master no
Canon TTL
E-TTL(II) no
E-TTL(II) wireless slave no
E-TTL(II) wireless master no
Other Flash Modes
Stroboscopic Mode no
Auto Mode no
TTL Features
AF Assist Light no
Exposure Compensation in TTL Mode on the Flash unit no
Rear Curtain Synchronization yes
High Speed Synchronization no
Sensor Size Detection (DX, FX, etc) no
Modeling Light no

 

Wireless Flash

The YN 560 can be used as a remote flash in these configurations: (1) (radio) triggering through flash foot or using the PC jack or (2) with the non-TTL optical slave modes “S1″ and “S2″.

No Dedicated Remote TTL Slave Mode (Canon and Nikon)

Both Canon and Nikon have dedicated wireless flash systems that work with optical signals, transmitted in the form of invisible pre-flashes before the main flash burst. These tiny light pulses tell compatible slave flashes in a wireless setup when they should fire, at which output level, and which other special features such as high-speed sync or modeling light are required.

The Yongnuo 560 does have a light sensor so it’s able to “see” other flashes, but the YN560 is not a TTL-enabled flash. It does not have the capabilities to “read” and esp. decode i.e. understand these command signals, it just sees that there is something that looks like a “pre-flash” (mode “S2″) without understanding the language. That’s why you need to set flash output by hand, based on your own judgement of how much will be needed.

But if you’re OK going that way the YN-560 can be integrated in a wireless i-TTL or E-TTL setup as long as only 1 or 2 other flashes are used. I tested triggering a Nikon SB-600 in AWL/CLS mode via Nikon D90 popup flash, and then added a YN560 in mode “S2″ to that setup. And I can see both flashes in the frame, meaning the pre-flash suppression and timely triggering works. Others however have reported about problems with this, and I assume it’s really the complexity of your setup that limits the use of “S2″ in conjunction with Canon or Nikon brand flashes.

Radio Triggering For Wireless Flash

Radio flash triggers are extra accessories but a great small investment for “strobist” photography: they’re not expensive (a pair with 1 transmitter and 1 receiver costs around $50 or even less), provide practically 100% reliable triggering, and even double up as a camera remote in some cases (e.g. the RF-602 from Yongnuo that comes with a cable to plug into the remote port on your camera body).

Yongnuo YN 560 Is Compatible With X-Sync Radio Triggers

Trigger voltage on my unit is at 3.25 Volts which is the same range as previous Yongnuo’s and that makes it safe to use with low voltage triggers and modern DSLR cameras in the accessory shoe.

Yongnuo 560 review with mounted RF-602 triggerAttaching triggers on the single-pin flash foot is no problem, and with locking pin and plastic nut there is no issue with mounting them safely.

What’s a bit annoying is the fact that the power switch on some radio receivers can’t be reached when mounted on the flash foot as it is blocked by the protruding sensor window of the YN560. This is true for the Yongnuo RF-602 receiver (displayed in the photo where it looks a bit as if it could be reached, but that’s not the case in reality), the Yongnuo RF-603, and also the Cactus V4. I’ve read from folks who use a paper clip to power theirs on; what I do is un-mount them quickly and re-mount.

It is the same problem with the Canon 580EX II (after which the new Yongnuo is modeled), but that does not help the owner of a Yongnuo. It really makes me wonder why they didn’t change it on their RF-603 design. Don’t they use their own products?

PC Sync Socket

Well, there is a solution to this: use the PC port. The rubber flap on the left side of the flash body rotates to the side and reveals the non-threaded female port where you can easily connect a male trigger cord, in the case of the picture connecting a Cactus V4 radio receiver.

Yongnuo RF 560 triggered by Cactus V4 with PC Sync

Test: Sync Speeds with Radio Triggers (1/200 – 1/250)

The following table contains results from the radio trigger sync speed test. It shows the minimum camera shutter speeds which can be used without black bands showing up in the frame. Please note that the actual minimum time really depends on all three elements: (1) trigger model (2) speedlite model and (3) camera model. Here’s what you can expect with a Nikon or Canon body and radio receiver connected to the YN560 foot.
 

Trigger Model on Nikon D90 on Canon T1i
Cactus V4 1/200 1/250
Yongnuo RF-602 1/200 1/200
Yongnuo RF-603 not tested 1/200

 

With the RF-602 the black band appears at the bottom of the frame of the D90 photo from 1/250 on, covering about 20% of the frame, and that’s the same result with the Rebel from Canon. But with the older and simpler Cactus V4, I can get a clean shot with the Rebel up to 1/250 – the dark stripe doesn’t show up until the 1/320 setting.

Using Manual Mode Wireless Flash

Yongnuo YN560 Review - LEDs back panelThe strobe is powered on by pressing the power button for 2 seconds.

There is a dedicated “Mode” button and a corresponding LED showing the current flash mode. Keep pushing until the “M” light is up.

For use with radio triggers always switch to mode “M” (never try to combine radio triggering with “S1″ or “S2″).

Yongnuo 560 4 Way ControllerTo set the output level just use the left or right button on the central control ring and you move through the 8 stop range from 1/128 power to 1/1 power and back. Great thing is that the strobe stores the last output level setting if you switch between modes or even when you power it off and change batteries.

If smaller increments than full stops are needed you can use the “up” and “down” buttons: at any given level you can add or subtract in 1/8 EV steps up to +4/8 EV and down to -3/8 EV. So you can have half power minus 1/8 for example, or half power minus 2/8, down to half power minus 3/8. And up to half power plus 4/8 correspondingly. Only at the 1/128 setting you can’t subtract, and at the 1/1 setting it’s not possible to add in 1/8 EV steps anymore (yes, this would bring you beyond maximum power so it does not make sense).

Yongnuo 560 review - sound indicator symbolThe Yongnuo 560 has one more helpful feature for “strobist” style shooting: use the acoustic signal to get confirmation when the speedlite is recharged after a shot.

At the same time it’s the confirmation that the flash has fired in the first place. This helped me more than once already: during a shoot I heard only one of my two flashes beeping at one point – would have taken me longer to figure out it was time for a battery exchange otherwise. But it’s an optional feature and sounds can be deactivated in case you don’t want to use it.

Yongnuo 560 Review Zoom ButtonsWhat’s left is the manual zoom, but this is just as easy to set thanks to the 2 dedicated buttons in the back panel top row. Hit the right key to zoom up, and push on the left one to zoom down where the minimum setting is 24.

If even more coverage is required flip out the wide panel which gives you 18mm (full frame), and then your next option is the snap-on diffuser (‘stofen’) which you probably will receive as a “free gift” with your flash purchase, but this depends on the merchant.

Optical Slave Modes Work At EV14

In addition to triggering via X-contact on the flash foot we find the 2 optical slave modes again that were present in previous speedlite models from Yongnuo. It is advertised for the YN-560 that optical slave mode was improved and there is a range of 15 meters outdoors stated in the manual, a distance I was never able to achieve with any of my 460 (II) units.

I did a quick test to see how the new optical slave performs. The YN-560 was mounted on a light stand and switched to S1 and S2 mode, and triggered with another speedlight. Tests were undertaken at around noon on a sunny June day in the Bay Area, so there was no lack of sunlight – my Sekonic L-358 showed EV 14.

Yongnuo S1 Mode Sensitivity

Even under these conditions it was amazing to see how much the engineers from Shenzhen improved their feature over their previous products:

  • in the simple slave mode S1 the YN560 was triggered via YN-460 in “M” at 1/2 power. I started at around 5 meters and it worked with 100% accuracy so I moved back to a maximum distance of 30 meters – and it still worked fine!
  • for testing the ‘intelligent’ S2 mode which is able to filter out TTL pre-flashes I used a Nikon SB-600 in i-TTL on a D90. At 5 meters, it fired 100% reliably in mode S2, and even at 30 meters distance I got the 560 to fire 6 out of 10 times together with my SB-600 (which was then at full power which could be seen from the Nikon’s recycle time and the whining sound from recharging).

These are impressive results and it is good to see that this feature is really useful now not only indoors, but also (for the first time imo) outdoors in bright light. I use radio triggers normally so don’t need the optical slave mode, but it is (at the minimum) a great backup trigger solution, for example if you end up with empty batteries in your radio receivers (which happened to me).

Configurable Power-Saving Modes

With the new model Yongnuo have changed their power saving implementation once again, but it is now improved over the YN468 (where implementation was a bit questionable due to the complete power-off after 15 minutes). There is the normal standby mode and then there is the option to disable standby which is done via a long press of the sound button.
 

Here’s how it works in mode “M”:

  • power saving mode active (default setting):
    • without trigger attached:
      the YN560 falls into dormancy state after 3 minutes according to the instruction manual (verified in my test) and can be woke up with the pilot button or the power switch. If nothing happens, it powers off completely after 15 minutes (15:05 on my unit)
    • with Cactus V4 radio trigger:
      standby is starting after 3 minutes (exactly like it is specced).The first press of the V4 transmitter wakes up the speedlite, but only the second full press fires the strobe. And if nothing happens within 15 minutes it powers off completely.
    • with Yongnuo RF-602 trigger:
      also here standby begins exactly at the 3:00 minutes mark, and then it needs 2 presses of the radio trigger to fire a flash: the first one wakes it up and only the second one flashes. Also here, you need to walk up to the unit to switch it back on if it does not receive any signal within 15 minutes.
  • power saving mode disabled (long press of the sounds switch):
    • without trigger:
      no standby, but unit is still powering off after 30 minutes.
    • with Cactus V4 radio trigger:
      again – no power saving mode, but unit is powered off after 30 minutes.
    • with Yongnuo RF-602 trigger:
      same as with Cactus V4: after 30 minutes of inactivity you need to walk up to the unit to power it on again.

In optical slave mode S1 and S2 the behavior is a bit different:

  • power saving mode active (default setting):
    same behavior as in manual mode except for powering off occurs after 30 minutes instead of 15.
  • power saving mode disabled:
    like in “M” there is no standby but the flash powers off after 60 minutes rather than after 30 minutes.

 
In summary it is recommended to disable the power saving mode by default, which means you have 30 minutes to work with your radio triggers before it powers off in manual mode. This should be long enough normally although I still had rather seen the option to disable the powering off completely. The good thing with disabling standby is that the speedlight remembers that setting even when you change batteries!

Off-Camera Flash Score

To be effectively usable for off camera flash in strobist style a speedlight needs to have a certain set of features. This is what I call the “strobist must-haves”: a manual mode ranging from full power down to at least 1/16 power with all the full stops in between, the ability to fire with radio triggers from the X-contact and a standby mode that can be adjusted so that the flash does not go to sleep during a shoot. Here’s what you get from the YN-560:

  • manual mode
    • has manual mode: yes
    • minimum manual power: 1/128
    • all full stops from 1/1 to 1/128: yes
  • X contact firing: yes
  • flash standby mode: can be adjusted (30 mins max)

In addition to these minimum requirements there are nice-to-have features, e.g. a built-in optical slave, a PC sync socket, power down to 1/64 or further, an adjustable flash head and zoom reflector. The Yongnuo 560 receives the “AAA” label here. The only caveat is that the flash does not reach guide number 39, but it’s still very strong with a guide number of 34.

 

YN-560 in the Camera Hot Shoe

The YN-560 has no built-in TTL support – it is a pure “strobist” speedlight (the TTL feature will come with the announced YN-565 and is available already with some YN flashes from the 46x line).

Yongnuo 560 Mounted on Rebel T1iBut, if switched to mode “M” the 560 can be used in the camera hot shoe, although you have to set everything by hand: both output level and the zoom reflector setting.

Even then it’s only really compatible in camera mode “M” (where you set shutter speed and aperture by hand) or the “S” (Nikon) or “Tv” (Canon) modes.

There is no form of auto mode and no data exchange beyond the trigger signal itself. The flash can also not be adjusted from the camera menu; the picture shows what my T1i has to say with a Yongnuo YN-560 mounted in the camera hot-shoe (yes, it was powered on).

The big red screen on the front side of the flash body covers the optical slave sensor but there’s no AF assist beam underneath which means the YN-560 has no way to help the camera body to find focus at dark.

 

YN-560 Review: Conclusion

The YN-560 is a flash that offers everything you need for “strobist” work at a low price. It costs a bit more than the Yongnuo 460-II (which is a steal itself) but for the price premium over the YN-460 mk2 you get a much better build quality and a very usable optical slave – plus even a sync terminal now.

Yongnuo 560 Frontal View with 460II

 

YN-560 Positives

  • excellent build quality
  • powerful (though not a strong as specs suggest)
  • extremely fast recycling times (plus power pack socket)
  • 3 ways to trigger: flash foot, 2 optical slave modes, PC sync
  • optical slave mode now even working in bright sunlight (EV 14 tested)
  • dedicated “+” and “-” buttons for zoom & power level setting
  • very easy to use and quick to change settings
  • standard size (same as Canon 580EX) flash head
  • optional recycle beep signal

Weaknesses

  • output not on specified level – does not reach GN 39
  • higher failure rates than Canon / Nikon flashes (buy with a warranty)
  • blocks power switch on RF-602 & RF-603 radio receiver when mounted
  • current zoom setting only visible when pressing a button
  • partial output setting in odd steps (not 1/2 or 1/3)
  • simple pouch rather than padded soft case

 
If you need a manual-mode flash then try the Yongnuo 560. I don’t think there is something better available on the market today.

Where to Buy

The YN-560 is usually available in the manufacturer store on eBay, but also from numerous other sellers – check all YN-560 offers. Review the warranty conditions when comparing prices as they differ between the sellers (the official store used to ship everything with a 1-year warranty).

amazon is another good source for purchasing Yongnuo products. Compare availability and prices. If you purchase through one of these links you support expanding this website with even more tests and reviews. Thank you very much.


This entry was posted in Reviews, Yongnuo and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

141 Responses to Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlite Review (Manual Flash)

  1. Max says:

    In comparison, I could not get my 460-II to fire at all in that outdoor setup.

    But what about new 468 model. Is it better in the same conditions? Thx.

  2. Moshe says:

    Hey,

    First thank you for keeping us update!

    Second , Did you try testing the optical in outdoor when there was sun? How much meters the 460-II can fire in S1 / S2 mode?

    Thanks.

  3. fransener says:

    Hi guys

    I did test both flash units in really bright sunlight – noon time, San Jose California, no clouds on the sky, direct sunlight on the flash units. YN560 performed as described, YN460-II did not respond (but it worked indoors, so the S1/S2 sensor is not broken). I hope to be able to do a more thorough test over the weekend! Give me a little time please :-)

  4. Moshe says:

    Thanks for the info :]
    I order *2 YN-460II that cost as *1 YN-560,
    allso I ordered some revisers that good for every flash, anyway I hope I make the right decision.

    take your time but don’t think that we are not waiting :]
    continue with your grate job!

  5. Pingback: Lighting links this week

  6. Eugene says:

    Does it works on D90.?
    and does it support Nikon’s AWL so it can be triggered when the flash are in the hotshoe.?

  7. Paul says:

    Thanks for all your work on the 560. I’ve just received two of them and if they are what they appear then I’ll pick up a few more.

    Do you have Yongnuo’s 8-cell battery pack? Could you test recycle times with the 560 and the pack?

    Also, since your tests on recycling for full power pops was so thorough, I was wondering if you could run a table showing 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8th power times too. What do you say? This data would be quite helpful, it seems, for those who would use the flashes in high speed situations where continuous shooting frame rates are key.

    Thanks again, and love the site.

    • fransener says:

      Hi Paul! I don’t have the battery pack. flickr user ‘kurbster’ has them, there’s also a youtube video. Recycle time is even faster with them. And I’ll add 1/2 power recycle testing to my list OK? It will take a little while, working on the backend at the moment ..

  8. Ted says:

    Hello,
    Why is the 468 more exspensive than the 560?
    Is it better?
    Thanks

    • fransener says:

      Hi Ted

      The YN468 is weaker, but it supports Canon’s E-TTL protocol. The YN-560 can be used in manual mode only. Which means the camera can’t tell him when there is enough light on the frame and then stop the flash. It will get the firing signal, but it will always fire with the output level you have set manually. The YN-480 does also zoom automatically with the lens, the YN560 doesn’t do that either.

  9. Ted says:

    So, besides power, you would recommend the 468 right?
    Thanks

    • fransener says:

      No, it depends on what you’re using the flash for. If it is for off camera flash in strobist style, then go for the YN560. If you’re looking for a flash to use in your camera’s hot shoe then get either YN465 or YN468 (only Canon available).

  10. Hi,

    Fantastic review – I have a bunch of flashes that I use during my wedding ceremonies – particularly during the group shots outdoors. I’ll be adding one of these after reading your review! I like the compatibility with Canon’s external battery packs!

    Blaise

  11. nexus says:

    I’m pretty concern for the flash duration issue..
    So truely what’s the flash duration?..
    Is it possible to freeze fast motions??

  12. fransener says:

    Hello nexus

    As you can see here:
    http://speedlights.net/2010/07/14/yn-560-specifications-and-test-results/
    … I got an even better result for the YN-560 than for the Nikon SB-900 for the t.01 time at full power. So the YN-560 will be as good / capable to freeze action as the SB-900.

    I also did not notice or read about any problems – at least to date.

  13. Eric says:

    Very nice write-up! Thanks!

    In David’s YN560 review ( http://strobist.blogspot.com/2010/08/test-drive-yongnuo-yn-560.html ) he wrote that the flash dropped into thermal protection mode after just 10 quick pops at full power. Did you have the same problem?

    It’s good you provided the t0.1 flash duration figures. T0.5 doesn’t mean much in practice. Keep up the good work!

    Cheers,

    Eric

  14. fransener says:

    Hi Eugene – sorry for the late reply: the YN-560 does not support AWL or any i-TTL (or E-TTL). It is a manual-mode only flash unit. But it has an optical sensor that can process the light from an i-TTL flash, so it does trigger correctly.

  15. fransener says:

    Hello Eric: no, didn’t have that problem – it enters the thermal protection mode, but not as fast as my Nikon SB-900 where the issue is more annoying. Although – on the Nikon you can de-activate thermal protection, the YN-560 does not let you do that. It was not an issue for me yet.

  16. Tiago says:

    Hi, my friend, thanks for the review. Does YN 560 has E-TTL? Can use it as slave with a 550EX in my 550D? My english isn’t perfetc, maybe I missed something in your text. Thanks for helping. Best regards, from Brazil.

    • fransener says:

      Hello Tiago!

      The YN-560 does not have E-TTL. It lacks the ‘intelligence’ from (E)TTL. But in slave mode it will see the light from another E-TTL speedlite with its light sensor and then fire in synch with the triggering flash, it just won’t able to adjust the output automatically, but you have to set a manual power level before the shot.

  17. gideon says:

    Hi guys. First off, I am a genuine newbie considering strobist speedlights. I’m in the market for a good flash and deciding between the 468 and the 560. Now, since they are both in different series there have to significant differences, both meant for ‘different’ photographers. From what I understand is that the 468 is more automatic and the 560 is all manual.
    Can someone please explain for which people they both are directed and what would probably work better with a canon 550d?

    Thanks!

  18. jboy says:

    Im just curious, can you use a PW plus II with this flash?

  19. Achilles2k says:

    at fransener: Are you suggesting that the YN468 cannot be used for strobist/off camera style shooting because it has TTL? Surely it can be used in Manual mode without TTL??

    I was looking to get a YN-468 because I caould use it for BOTH manual and TTL. (my current TTL flash has died). I was going to suppliment it with x2 YN-460II flashes to give me 3 off camera flashes and use wireless triggers to set them off.

    Good idea? Bad Idea? Any better suggestions anyone

  20. fransener says:

    Hello Achilles2k

    Yes the YN468 can be used as a strobist flash too, it is both iTTL and manual mode speedlight. Have a look at the YN-465 too as an alternative. My recent testing shows it is a bit more powerful at wide angle despite the lacking zoom reflector. But your setup overall makes much sense with the 2xmanual only plus 1xTTL flash!

    fransener

  21. don says:

    Hello, I have exactly the same question as Gideon. I am a rank newbie to photography, having started only a couple of months ago when called to fill in for a photographer on a fashion/product shoot. I liked it and fluked quite a few usable shots. Since then I bought a 550D with a 18-135 kit zoom and a 50mm f1.4 Canon lens and have taken alot more shots. I’m looking for a good budget flash and don’t know whether to get a 468 or a 560? What would you advise Gideon and myself? Many thanks. Don

  22. fransener says:

    Hello don (and gideon)

    If you’re looking for a flash to work together with a camera then it seems you’re searching for something that adjusts automatically – this is what E-TTL (Canon) and i-TTL (Nikon) do, and manual mode speedlights will not support.

    In the Yongnuo lineup, there are 3 models supporting E-/i-TTL: YN-465, YN-467, YN-468. I’m in the process to publish a comprehensive YN467 review, and have posts on the other 2 here. If you’re on a budget consider the YN-465 – it’s a great value.

    The YN460-II and YN-560 need to be explicitly told on the flash itself how much light they should send out. The camera is not able to adjust their output – that’s what ‘manual-mode-only’ means. They are both more powerful than the 465/467/468 but for a different target group, i.e. ‘strobist’ photography with radio triggered off-camera flash.

  23. deny says:

    Why Yongnuo do not produce their flashes for Pentax P-TTL? :(

  24. Patrik says:

    Hi!

    Have a question, is there any cable that I can use for my Yn-560 with my Nikon d80?

  25. fransener says:

    Hello Patrik

    Yes there are at least 2 options. Use a Nikon TTL cable like the SC-29 which is expensive and won’t do anything more than triggering the flash – it does not have TTL built in, so even with this cable no automatic exposure control.

    Another option is to use the PC connector and PC cable. To do that, you need an extra PC adapter for the D80′s hot shoe.

    But why connect it with a cable at all and not use radio triggers?

  26. don says:

    Hey thanks for your response Fransener,

    Sorry about the delay, but I lost track of this page and only now found it again. :-)

    Will look into the 465 and 468.

    Cheers Don

  27. Stefan says:

    I also did a review. Power output not up to spec. but still a nice flash: http://www.fotogroepluminos.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=16

  28. Warren says:

    Hi, I have canon 500d and I want to get a yongnuo flash gun. Which model you recommend. I just a camera enthusiast. thanks

    • fransener says:

      Hi Warren

      I had a chance to test drive the YN468 on a 450D and everything worked so it should work on the newer 500D as well. My Yongnuo recommendation is the YN465 or YN468, or you get a Canon 430EX II which costs more certainly. Among the TTL flashes from Yongnuo the YN-465 is my personal favorite – it offers the bare minimum but works very well, is super easy to use and very low cost.

  29. in_focus says:

    Hey Fransener,

    I’m kinda new with flashes, so I was wondering if I should pull the trigger on the YN-560.

    Here’s my situation, I’m going to be doing a shoot (Wedding) and the reception hall is pretty dark, I need some fill light, but I’m not too familiar with how flashes work. I’m a lot more of a natural light type of guy. I’m currently running a few cameras, 1 Canon 7D gripped, 1 50D, 28-70 L f/2.8, Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, and Sigma 50mm f/1.4.

    Should I pull the trigger on a few of the YN-560′s or should I just pick up a 580EX II?

    • fransener says:

      Hello in_focus, sorry for the late reply (had missed your comment first); if you’re new to flashes and money is not the limiting factor, get the Canon – the Yongnuo does not work in any automatic mode, like the Canon 580EX does in E-TTL. The YN560 is more for people who use their cameras in manual mode (program “M”) too.

  30. Jacky says:

    hmm, can u recommend to me what is the best YN speedlite for my third DSLR nikon D3000 .
    I need your assistant this time . The YN speedlite that mose comprehensive and best buy for nikon D3000 please (:

    • fransener says:

      You get the most features with the YN-467 in the Nikon version, your other option is the YN-465. I recommend the simpler YN-465, it’s extremely easy to use, gives good output and exposure, and is very low cost.

  31. Iyan says:

    hello..

    i have canon 500d..
    whether the model 560 in accordance with my camera if I prefer to use off camera flash

  32. KR says:

    Very nice review!! Great Job on comparison!
    Just wanted to verify one more thing. YN 560 will trigger my Canon 430 and will fire as a master at the same time or will only trigger slave without firing or I can set it either way? Thank you in advance.

    • fransener says:

      Hello KR

      The YN560 can be triggered by another flash, but it is not part of Canon’s E-TTL system. So it fires with any other flash if set to optical slave mode. It has no E-TTL features built-in, so can’t control a Canon 430.

  33. Fer says:

    Very nice and thorough review, thanks. I just bought this flash and I learnt here quite a few things that are not clearly explained in the manual.

  34. rory v says:

    Hi their I have a nikon d200 and I am looking for a flas for it. I mainly use it indoors (parties mainly) and I might use it for some still life shots just to experamint. I dont mind spending a bit of money for a quality product! i was wondering would the YN-467 or the YN-560 be a good choise?

    • fransener says:

      Hello rory

      I recommend a TTL for flash for parties, the 560 has only manual mode and is to slow to adjust. TTL flashes are the Yn465 and YN467 – my favorite is the cheaper YN465.

  35. Joel Filipe says:

    ’3 ways to trigger: flash foot, 2 optical slave modes, PC sync socket’

    Hello fransener
    Im Joel Filipe, from Portugal, and im a noob in the flash matter!
    Im interested on this flash YN560 to strobist fotos. But afterall i have a question.
    It said that have a the flash foot trigger wireless, i have an canon 450D, do i have to buy any flash trigger to wireless trigger?

    Or the 450D have the wireless protocol to remote shooting?

    If so, maybe its better buy the 460II, if i have to buy the remote trigger.

    Thanks for your time!
    and very nice review!

    Regards

    Joel Filipe

    • fransener says:

      Hello Joel

      You need radio triggers for both flashes, YN460-II as well as YN560. The Yongnuo RF-602 is a very good, reliable flash trigger. You can use the optical slave mode on the flash too, without radio triggers, but radio triggering is simply more reliable, and not expensive.

  36. Oliv says:

    Hi Fransener,

    Thx for the review.You seem to prefer the YN465 but could you remind us what are the main differences with the YN468?

  37. Joel Filipe says:

    Hello fransener

    Very thanks for your quick answer!

    Regards

    Joel Filipe

  38. jkon24 says:

    anyone.. which is better for a canon 450d yn-560 or yn-467.. …

    • fransener says:

      Hello jkon24

      You want to have a flash with E-TTL exposure control, that would be either YN465, YN467 or YN468. The YN560 is awesome, but has manual mode only.

  39. yukio says:

    Hi,
    Will that work:
    1. – Canon flashes IN MANUAL MODE triggered by ST-E2 , triggers YN-560 in S1 mode?

    2. – What about ST-E2 triggers canon flashguns in ETTL, and a cheap radio transmitter connected to pc port in a camera triggers YN-560 ( in manual mode) on a cheap radio receiver at the same time. Will all that set up work and sync on 1/200 or 1/350 or any time?
    IF yes, that will be marvellous.

    my set up is ST-E2, 430EX, 580EX, 580EX mkII and I want to add two or three of those YN-560 just for extra power when I need it.

    S2 will work with the ETTL preflash from one flushgun only, but it will NOT work with the MULTIPLE flashes in ETTL, because there are three preflases ( one from each flashgun I own),,,, Am I right?

  40. Yousafzai says:

    Hello Guys

    I am new to this and have in fact never used any flash so please forgive me if its a stupid question.

    I have a Sony Alhpa 350 and I am thinking about buying YN560 so I have a couple of questions.

    1 – The most important, will YN560 fix over my Sony Alpha 350 or would I have to buy something else for it ?

    2 – IF answer to 1 is yes, How does YN560 connect with A350 ? would I need a cable or does it work wireless ?

    3 – When I would press the button to take pictures, would YN560 work automatically ?

    Many thanks in advance for your responses.

    Best regards

    • fransener says:

      Hello Yousafzai

      Sony uses an accessory shoe on their cameras (it is the Minolta version, not the ‘standard ISO’ hot shoe), so you need a speedlite with a Sony flash foot to connect. But more importantly, the YN-560 does not work automatically on a camera, you it has only a manual mode where you need to adjust everything by hand. You want a flash with “TTL” mode, which the YN560 does not support. There is another flash gun from Yongnuo that comes in a Sony version – the YN460-II – although it does not have the automatic mode either.

      I’m not an expert when it comes to specific flash models for Sony DSLR, maybe someone else can help?

  41. Yousafzai says:

    Sorry just one thing to add, could someone please recommend which flash should I buy for my Sony A350 ? I am looking for the Yonguo ones because they are the ones I can afford but I don’t know which model is the best for me.

    Can someone please suggest ?

    Thank you

  42. cdcroldan says:

    hi fransener,

    planning to buy a YN 560 ..i have a canon 500d…is it okay to buy it? i have read a lot of thread re: it’s durability…. thanks in advance

    • fransener says:

      Hi cdcroldan

      Both my YN-560′s have been working well for a couple of months now, and I use them regularly since they are my favorite “strobist” flashes. But yes, there are reports about failure, so make sure you buy with a warranty, and keep also in mind that satisfied people don’t speak up normally, while dissatisfied customers are more likely to do so. However, if in doubt get another flash!

      Another thing to note is that the YN560 does not work with E-TTL, which means it produces over- and underexposure, unless you set the correct flash output level for each and every photo you take – that’s what a manual mode flash is supposed to do, so it’s a feature not a bug. If you want a simple and cheap ‘automatic’ flash, get a Yongnuo YN-465.

  43. Kumar says:

    Hi,
    Very nice review. I am looking at a cheaper alternative to buying another SB600. Since this YN560 has a slave mode will it trigger by the onboard flash of D90. Asking this cause then I can also use the other SB600.

    Else if have to radio trigger then will have to get an extra reciever for the SB600 to use it while using the SB-600.

    Also if I have to get the radio trigger, will it not be better (read chaper) to get the YN460-II as there is no other considerable difference between the two. I am not going to use the cable to trigger either of them.

    • fransener says:

      Hello Kumar

      You can use the ‘digital’ slave mode “S2″ on the Yongnuo to trigger it with the pop-up flash of the D90. The YN460-II is a good and cheaper alternative if you don’t need the zoom and the other bells and whistles, but its optical slave mode is less sensitive than the one on the YN-560.

  44. Mau says:

    hi, i’m a canon 500d user and i’m very interested in buying a yongnuo speedlite.
    i’m a newbie and i’d like to buy a speedlite for live music shows and/or parties.

    I believe I need a TTL flash but i don’t know what to choose between the three models yongnuo produce: 465-467-468.
    465 is the best “value for money” for basilar use.
    468 seems the best overall.
    Reading the specs 467 seems to be a mid-range between 465 and 468. what about it ??

    thanks!

    • fransener says:

      Hello Mau

      That’s about how the three models 465-467-468 from Yongnuo are positioned, the YN467 is between the YN465 and the YN468 indeed. Unfortunately it has the low guide number too, like the YN468. The YN465 is the simplest, another difference is that it has the highest guide number of the three despite the lack of a zoom reflector. Please also note that all these flashes have a simpler AF assist beam than the 430EX II from Canon. So – if there is a lot of action in your photos and the distances are long, this will become a limiting factor.

  45. Mau says:

    thanks fransener!!!

    465 has no slave function, isn’t it?
    i can’t use 465 in a different position using the camera flash for making it to flash, isnt’t it ?

  46. Mau says:

    i found this prices:

    465: 72 USD
    467: 75 USD
    468: 102 USD

    what would you buy ?

    • fransener says:

      Hi Mau
      I would buy the YN-465, since it has more power at the default 35mm setting which I find important when using with an umbrella. But I also always use radio triggers, so don’t need the optical slaves nor the zoom. If your requirements are different, go for one of the other models. The price difference between YN465 and YN467 is really small!

  47. Mau says:

    I’ll buy one between 465 and 467… I’ll try to make the final decision on my own !!! XD

    thanks a lot for your advices!!!

  48. Amunga says:

    i am going to ask a question that i know you have been asked a million times and i know you are sick of it – coz even i have gotten tired of reading it. anyway, i have a d3000. i do alot of parties and events but want to get into strobist portraiture and shoots. i want to get 2 flashes,for now and i do have radio triggers but just 1 receiver. am looking to upgrade both camera and triggers but for now, which 2 would you recommend, knowing i can only trigger 1? id thought of two 560s but thank god i found your site and found out it has no ttl! would you say that the 560 has a higher failure rate than the 465? does the 467 perform well with slightly overpowering harsh sunlight in strobist-esque shoots despite it having less power than the 465? finally, am writing from africa, incase of a faulty flash, whats ur experience with yongnuos international return-warranty policy?

    • fransener says:

      Hello Amunga

      Can’t tell you about Yongnuo’s warranty procedures. I think the YN465 is better than a 467, since you need all the power you can get to overpower sunlight. For a second flash, have a look at YN560 (with the much improved optical slave) or a 2nd 465, or the YN460-II maybe.

  49. Moe says:

    This is a really nice extensive review you have. I have a 400D and I’m planning to buy this soon. I was wondering if I really need a flash trigger if I do self-portrait shoots with only a remote (Phottix) considering that the camera is set to Auto Mode?

    • fransener says:

      Hello Moe

      If you have the flash mounted on the cam, then switch everything to mode “M” – both flash and camera, and adjust aperture and flash output level until it’s right. Auto mode doesn’t make too much sense with a manual flash there. If you use the flash off camera, you could trigger it with the built-in from the Canon, but still use it in manual mode.

  50. Jeff says:

    I am considering buying a speedlite yn560 as too the nikon sb900 for my nikon D90 camera I am new at this and and would like help making a decision on what is the best value for the money. I open to any suggestions.
    Thank You

  51. I see the Canon version, 560, modeled after the 580II which I use.
    Just to clarify, as I’m supplementing for architectural shoots strictly manual for fill…this version will optically trigger?
    Thanks, it appears to be a great deal providing the company backs it reasonably.

    • fransener says:

      Hello J. Mark

      There are 2 optical trigger modes on the YN560, yes it works well! If you find it insufficient, you can still get radio triggers in addition, which is a good investment anyways in my opinion. Btw- there is no Canon version really, since it has only the one central pin on the flash foot.

  52. подскажите says:

    у меня Canon 40d. пыха YN 560 почему то не синхронизируется с камерой. использую как простую вспышку. не идет вторая шторка и не подсвечивает автофокус, что делать?

    • fransener says:

      Hello! Switch the 40D to manual mode “M”, and set a shutter speed not faster than 1/200 (or whatever sync speed on 40D is). The YN560 must be set to manual mode as well – should work then!

  53. dentab says:

    what yongnou speedlites will be most appropriate for nikon d3100 during wedding coverage?

  54. Verge says:

    Hello,

    Hope youll be of great help. I have d5000 and i am very new on using flashes & speedlight since I do most of my shoot on natural lighting. I’m about to purchase a cheaper Yongnou speedlight, would like to inquire on what to get and what accessories to get as well due to some limited budget. I am eyeing on 460ii & 560 because of good product reviews.

    I am more into fashion photography (of some sort) and portraiture. Which of these speedlight can be triggered by the built in flash of a d5000 camera? Which of these are better speedlight that would fit in my needs.

    Thanks for the help!

    • fransener says:

      Hello Verge

      Both can be triggered optically with the pop-up flash of your D5000, just note that the sensor on the YN560 is much improved over the YN460-II sensor – will make a noticeable difference outdoors. But there is another option for both speedlites = using radio triggers. I would get a pair and use these rather than optical slave mode which is never as reliable. Whichever you go for, make sure you buy the new version with metal foot.

  55. This is a very informative review. I bought one of these myself; the only thing I was worried about was that the optical slave wouldn’t work with my infrared trigger. I have one of those Kenro-type infrared flash triggers, see, which works fine with studio strobes, and I wanted a flash unit that works with it.

    And it does, it triggers fine. Overall I’m happy with the YN-560 – although the LEDs on the back panel are dazzlingly bright if you’re shooting in subdued light! They project lights onto my face, like laser sights. The unit is fairly compact but feels a bit lightweight. I like the fact you don’t have to press a button or hold something down before you can twist the head, you just grab it and twist it.

    1/128 is handy too. I’m tempted to pick up a YN-460 II as a cheap second light, they’re only about £30 at the mo’.

  56. binobong says:

    Hi to all,

    any of you guys have tried canon 580exii with any YN flash gun in slave mode?

    do they both fire in same time?

  57. Hi,

    Please excuse my total noobness. I’ve read the different reviews for the YN speedlites, but am hoping to get a recommendation for the type of photography I’ll be doing.

    This is the first time I will be purchasing an external flash as the shots I am used to doing are mostly outdoors or with decent ambient light. I use a Nikon D40, and primarily into Car Photography for my website.

    Now I plan to start doing strobist photoshoots where I can shoot multiple exposures and stitch them together with photoshop. So I will be using the flash off-camera during these situations.

    Portraits are secondary as of course, during car events, there are also female models involved. On these situations, I will be using the flash on-camera.

    With that in mind, what Yong Nuo Speedlite would you recommend would be best for my puposes? Many thanks!

  58. Arnar says:

    Can i use YN468 flash on Canon 5D markI?

    If not, wich YN flash can i use on Canon 5D MarkI?

    • fransener says:

      According to one report I found it is compatible with the 5D mk1. I’m quite sure that all YN ETTL flashes work / or don’t work with the same Canon camera bodies.

  59. Alec says:

    Hello,
    Please tell me if the model Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlite is compatible with the Olympus E500. I shoot weddings and baptisms (portrait, inside, outside). What model do you recommend.
    Thank you for your kindness.

    • fransener says:

      Hello Alec

      For your purpose – action shooting – I would recommend you get a TTL compatible flash, since you’d need to use both camera and flash in their respective manual “M” mode with a YN560, or 460. Yongnuo has TTL speedlites, but they are available in Canon or Nikon versions only, so no Olympus TTL flashes from them!

  60. beedeen says:

    i have nikon d3100. whichone should i choose yn-465,467.468,560?

    • fransener says:

      Hello beedeen

      You want a flash that works automatically; in that case, get the YN465 or YN467, these are the only 2 models today that support Nikons i-TTL. My personal reco is YN465.

  61. beedeen says:

    Hello,
    Please tell me if the model Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlite is compatible with the nikon d3100. Yongnuo YN-560,465,467 or 468 is the best for my dslr. What model do you recommend.
    Thank you for your kindness.

    • fransener says:

      Hi – replied on the other thread: YN560 is compatible, but you have to set your camera to mode “M”, and use the flash also in “M” mode. Get YN465 or YN467 for automatic flash exposure.

  62. ivanka says:

    hi! i’m having trouble shooting on low light, just like pageants. would yn 560 or yn 460 II be of good help to get quality shots?

  63. perezandok says:

    hi! I have a 400D and Panasonic GF2, i’m considering one flash for both of them. Would you prefer YN465 because it has TTL with canon and manual for GF2 or YN460 II or YN 560?

    • fransener says:

      Hello perezandok

      I’d recommend YN-465, but it’s a bit tough without knowing your situation or photography style. The YN-465 is a good allround flash, with ETTL and manual mode you get both.

  64. perezandok says:

    hi mate! I have a 400D and Panasonic GF2, i’m considering one flash for both of them. Would one would you prefer? YN465 or YN460 II or YN 560?

  65. gabrielius says:

    Hi there,
    I am planing to buy some kind of flash unit, but I cant choose the best one for me. I would use flash for action shots (bmx riding) or for events, so the 465 should be better for me, but I am aware of its quality and specs. The 560 looks like more confident to me and much powerful. So can you help me to choose? I am using nikon d5000 and sigma 18-125

    Gabrielius

    • fransener says:

      Hi Gabrielius

      From what you write, sounds more like a i-TTL flash is the better solution, which speaks for YN-465. Sports and events often come with changing light conditions, which means continuous adjustment of flash output level on a speedlight without TTL control.

  66. “I’m tempted to pick up a YN-460 II as a cheap second light, they’re only about £30 at the mo’.”

    And ultimately I did just that! The 460 definitely feels cheaper, and the battery door is probably going to snap off at some point, and the buttons feel much wobblier, but it works and that’s what counts. Has the same ultra-bright rear panel LCDs. Doesn’t remember whether it’s supposed to be a slave or not when you turn it off.

    One oddity, though. The 560′s flash stand has a tripod thread in the base, which makes sense, whereas the 460 has a plain hole without a screw thread. There’s no easy way to mount it on a tripod. The hole is smaller than a standard tripod screw, so perhaps there’s a faulty batch, or they put in the wrong flash stand, or summat.

  67. kaptnk says:

    It would be fantastic if some one like this great company (I have their Canon remote control) would make a great flash like this that would work with the Canon IR remote control system of the above or Canon 580 EX II. I would buy several today.

  68. mulia says:

    hi all, this’s a good review. i bought YN-560 a few days ago for my 550D. but, it didn’t work for my 550D. is YN-560 uncompatible with 550D ? i am attaching this flash on 550D shoe, when shutter was released, the flash wasn’t firing.
    i used this flash for strobist. i was triggering this flash from built in flash from my 550D. YN-560 was firing when built in flash was turn on. But, the taken image didn’t have any lightning effect from YN-560. the lightning effect was getting from built in flash only. Do you have any suggestion to correct this problem.

  69. Arkadas says:

    Hello ,

    Could you recommend me a suitable model of YN for my Olumpus- E520? Thanks in advans.

  70. pedro says:

    I have Olympus E510 and E450. Is YN560 good for this bodies?
    Do you know other sites that explains how to use this YN560?

    Nice review! Thanks for this.

  71. Dave Keir says:

    I cannot for the life of me get this thing to fire properly when using it, aswell as my 580exii as off camera flashes. But if I turn off my 7d’s wireless transmitter it fires fine, if I turn it on it either fires early or not at all。Any way to set it so they can both fire together off camera using the Wireless built into the 7d? Or will the Yongnuo ST-E2 be my solution?
    Thanks

    • fransener says:

      Hello Dave

      I don’t think the ST-E2 is the solution for you. The YN560 should work when the 580EX II is in the hot shoe, and the 560 is set to “S2″. I’ve tested it with a Nikon SB-600 in the hot shoe and it worked fine. However, it’s not designed to work reliably in a setup with a wireless master flash – due to the multiple pre-flashes and command signals as it seems.

  72. Daniel says:

    Dave:

    Are you using the YN560 as an optical slave? The 7D’s “wireless transmitter” uses an optical pre-flash to transmit settings to the 580EX II (it’s not infrared as some people assume) which is probably triggering the YN560 early and therefore not while the shutter is open.

  73. Hernan says:

    Please tell me if the model Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlite is compatible with the Canon SX20 ? Thank and regards

    • fransener says:

      Hi Hernan

      The YN-560 does not support automatic exposure control – you can really use it only in camera mode “M” and camera mode “Tv” – that’s what the DSLR models, e.g. Rebel bodies call these 2 camera modes; does the SX20 have that too?.

  74. TiCoyote says:

    I bought one of these at the end of Sept, and about a month ago it stopped working. It fails to flash 3/4 of the time. It’s junk. Nice housing, but terrible electronics. For a few bucks more, there are a lot of Sunpak and Nissin flashes with the same GN that also support TTL. Run, do not walk, away from these flashes.

  75. ali says:

    Did this flash works with Nikon D7000 ?
    which better for beginner photographer Yongnuo YN-467 or 465 or 560 ??

  76. Ree Racoma says:

    Hello. Thanks for sharing your reviews! I was in the market for either a YN 467 and YN 560. I have a nikon d3100 and was very interested in using the speedlights for off camera lighting. Are there additional items needed to have the flashes work properly? Do you need a radio receiver or additional equipment to work off camera? I would like to purchase the speedlight and the required equipment at the same time.
    Thank you so much!

    • fransener says:

      Hi Ree! I recommend you get a pair of radio triggers like the Yongnuo RF-602 with your flash. The transmitter goes in the camera hot shoe, receiver on the flash foot, and you’re all set for wireless flash with YN-560 (or YN-467). Both flashes do also have a built-in optical slave mode but this is not as reliable as radio control and will not always fire the flash, esp on the YN-467 (and other flashes from the 46x line) where the slave sensor is not that good.

      • Ree Racoma says:

        Is there a difference in which rf 602? I noticed there were n1, n2 and n3. Thanks again!! #d3100

  77. Fantastic review – thanks for the time taken to perform these in-depth calculations.

    So we’re still waiting for the great powerhorse from China (ie: more powerful than Canón / Nikon’s flagships)

    Blaise

  78. fransener says:

    This review was completely updated on 5/22/11 – enjoy

  79. Mina says:

    Dear sir,
    this question has been aching me for so long….in bounce technique (either with a bounce card or using walls)….does it make a difference if the flash is in e-ttl mode or manual mode?
    which brings me to this question…if i m going to use the flash only in bounce mode should i get the yn-468 or the yn-560? (cause i know that the yn-560 is much better than the yn-468 with the exception of e-ttl)
    thank you so much.

    • fransener says:

      Hello Mina! In E-TTL it does not matter what setting for the flash head is used, since the camera bases its exposure metering on what comes back to the sensor and not what has been sent out. So if the flash bounces off the wall or ceiling, the camera sensor will still meter the incoming light and provide you with correct exposure. E-TTL is easier than manual flash; if you know your camera in all its details, esp. shooting in “M” / “Av” / “Tv” then you’re ready for manual flash, otherwise the learning curve is steep and you might find it really challenging. Which speaks for the YN-468 that has E-TTL and a manual flash mode.

      • Mina says:

        Thank you so much sir for your quick and helpful reply, well…I do know everything about the camera in every mode but this would be my first flash and I would be using it in weddings a lot, so do you recommend an e-ttl flash or will the manual flash be easy to use?…am so sorry for being so annoying but I really don’t like the yn- 468, so what do you recommend, should I just wait for yn-565?

        • fransener says:

          Hi Mina: for weddings you really want to have an E-TTL flash – too stressful for manual adjustments. If you’re a pro then it may better to get a Canon speedlite for that purpose, like a 430EX II or even a 580EX II.

  80. Rick says:

    Hi I’m looking on buying a flash for my canon 40d I read about the yn560 reviews that it shoots only in manual mode? I dint use manual mode I just want a flash that works great point and shoot in auto. What’s the best flash for me? Canon 40d

    • fransener says:

      Hi Rick! From what you describe you should indeed get another flash; if you’re looking at Yongnuo flashes, you can consider the YN-468 with E-TTL (this is the feature you need for automatic flash exposure). For other alternatives, go to the flash-for-Canon list. Frank

  81. I have two of these units and they work really well. Thanks for posting this info as it has helped me to understand “in English” how these things work and what the settings actually do.
    I have one question though. When the power saving mode is disabled will the red light below the pilot light turn off as well, confirming that the mode is enabled?
    Please email me your reply.

  82. jonathan says:

    Dear sir,

    I’m looking for a flash for my nikon d3000 w/ 70-300mm lens. I don’t know which flash would fit into my lens, would it be YN-560 or YN465

  83. Rick says:

    Thanks for the outstanding review. I’ve been looking at this model for a few days now and just came upon this article. I clicked through your amazon link to order it, so hopefully you’ll get a little kickback because of that.

    Thanks again!

  84. Daniel says:

    Hello… congratulations great review…

    Which is the best for Nikon D90? YN-467 or YN-560?

    Tks
    Daniel

  85. ann says:

    I currently work with a Nikon D7000 and would like to experiment with flashes for studio work. I am new to flashes but would a transmitter on my camera fire (2) YN-560′s with receivers placed off camera?

    Thank you.

    • fransener says:

      Hi ann

      Yes that works perfectly, I use these and other flashes with D80 and D90 and it works great – just use the manual mode on the camera, and don’t go beyond 1/160 to 1/200 in shutter speed – it depends on the specific camera body/speedlite combination which shutter speeds you can realize, so might be that 1/200 gives you a small black band at the frame bottom. I’d get the Yongnuo RF-602 system, or maybe the RF-603 although I must say I don’t consider them really better for me.

  86. Darius Salaum says:

    Fransener,

    It would definitely be helpful if you can add to this page corresponding flash output from 1/1 to 1/128 at all zoom reflector position from 18mm-105mm.
    Thanks

    Darius

  87. Stefan says:

    i got the yn-560 from amazon 2 weeks ago and it seems to be a much lest powerful then the SB-900 or the Sigma EF-610 DG SUPER on some quick test it looks like its ~1f.stop less powerful… any idea why is that???

  88. Ket says:

    Please confirm. Can I trigger YN-560 using only SB-700 with out any wireless triggers and my camera doesn’t have commander mode.
    I know YN-560 can’t read SB-700 wireless i-TTL.Will It trigger?

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Ket! Optical slave mode “S2″ will do the job when the SB-700 is in TTL mode (S1 if SB-700 is in full manual). Frank

  89. Beth Fisher says:

    I bought this to use with my Canon 3ti and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I can’t get it to work in Manual mode at ALL. The only way I can get the flash to work is to put the camera on full auto and NOT use the live view. This is the exact opposite of what I want and everything I have read on this flash. I’ve played with settings, I’ve read the entire manual that came with the flash, I’ve read my camera manual and I just cannot figure this out. I WANT it to work in Manual mode so what am I doing wrong? Please help!

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi Beth! Really no idea what’s not working in your case. It sounds like you set the camera to mode “M”, and also the Yongnuo to “M”, and then set a shutter speed of 1/200 or longer, e.g. 1/60. If the speedlite is not firing something is really wrong. Frank

  90. Nfocus says:

    I’ve just finally read all the threads here. Even though this review is over a year old it was still excellently written. Hats off to Fransener/Speedlights/Frank!!

    I just got one of these units and have been pretty impressed with every function except the frame rate. No matter what I do ( “M” on camera, “M” off camer via radio trigger, or Optical slaves) I can’t get mines to fire more than 1 fps. I’ve set it to the lowest power levels and used the freshest NiMh batteries I have but no luck. Am I doing something wrong? My Nissin 866 and Sigma 610 Super all work fine. I’m using a D90. Please let me know if this is operator error or should I be sending mines back to AMAZON. Thanks

    • Speedlights says:

      Hi there! Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it very much. What’s limiting the frame rate – can you tell? If you fire using the pilot button, can you go beyond 1 shot per second? B/c at the lowest power setting the flash is much faster for sure. I think it should be able to fire at 1 fps until about 1/8 or 1/4 power. Frank

      • Nfocus says:

        Hello again, at the lowest power level 1/128, hitting the pillot button repeatedly gives me 1 flash/sec. I’ll fully press the button and it will skip a few and flash. Its almost on cadence of 1 sec intervals. click click click FLASH…click click click FLASH. Same results for remote trigger (hand held), pilot button, or on camera D90 in Continuous “H” and “L” mode. Based on your repsonse, I’m inclined to believe that I rec’d a defective unit. It works fine if i”m not trying to do any high speed work but I think the brochure claimed at least 8fps. Has anyone out there gotten those results?

  91. bondiphotos says:

    I’ve been using 4 x 560 professionally for a for a year now and love them.

    My only criticism is they occasionally have inconsistent power output when used at full power, but not by much. I do real estate and architectural work in often large spaces so having a little bit of inconsistency inst critical for me as I use 3 -4 at a time on lower power, so no problem. As for build quality, I rate them equal or higher than Canon. Check out what happened to one of mine.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/81825094@N00/6474786637/in/photostream

  92. zookk says:

    Hi

    I have the YN560 and I am very impressed about the way it works with D90 and Sony HXV100v (P&S). However, I have not been successful to make it work with Canon SX200 and Lumix LX5 on S2 mode. It works only on S1 mode. Strangely, I have noticed that in certain situations the overall exposure (YN560+Popup) is lesser than that of Popup flash. I normally prefer Rear Flash (on LX5) for my shooting style.
    Appreciate your advise on how I could use YN560 optimally with LX5/SX200 and your thoughts on overall reduction in flash exposure (YN560+Popup).

    • Zookk says:

      i spent a bit more time on LX5 and YN560 and was able to make it work consistently on S2 when the shutter speed is faster than 1/80.
      When the shutter speed is lower than that only S1 works. Will be helpful if someone could share similar experience.
      cheers

  93. ccting says:

    Hi,

    I just bought some units of YN560s. 2 of them are unmutable; 1 of them have broken sound; I dropped one of them from 12 inches after 2 days use, and the hotshoe separated from the body. Any guidance to fix them back?
    http://digital-photography-school.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=59227&stc=1&d=1326116365

  94. ccting says:

    i agree with fransener, i have YN465 too, and the build quality is far much better than YN560. YN560 head keep rotation when you put small monicah beauty dish on it. I have lost confidence with YN560..

  95. jeffry says:

    I recently purchased two 560′s and neither of them will work with a Canon 7D and Yonguo RF603C radio remotes. I can use the remotes with the Canon 580 EXII with no problem, but the 7D does not recognize the flashes and will not fire. Any suggestions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>