YongNuo YN-560 II

Check availablity: Amazon USA, Amazon UK, eBay.

This is not a high quality unit, but the price is also low. No locks on the flash head, just friction. Works OK, but do not expect it to be able hold any heavy modifiers. The original version released in 2010 had a plastic foot. In 2011, the design was changed to use a metal foot and also a quieter zoom head motor. I strongly recommend that you make sure you get the metal shoe version.

Varipower settings let you go from 1/1 to 1/128 in full stops, and also fine-tune at 1/8 steps (i.e. 57 levels). No LCD. YongNuo's standard row of 8 LED lights (by some referred to as “idiot lights”) are used for indicating power level. If you press one of the 'zoom +' or 'zoom -' buttons, the LEDs instead indicates the position of the zoom head.

A sound signal can be activated to notify you when the unit is recharged and ready to fire a new flash. This is a very useful feature not often found on inexpensive flash units.

It has two built-in slave modes. S1 is the regular slave mode where it fires whenever it sees another flash. S2 is the “digital” slave mode where it is supposed to ignore pre-flashes. The S2 mode works fine with a single TTL-controlled flash in the camera's hot-shoe. It does not work with Nikon's AWL, where multiple off-camera Speedlights are controlled by complex sequences of pre-flashes.

It has a standby mode that kicks in after three minutes. After that, it will only fire on the second signal from a remote trigger such as a YongNuo RF-602 (the first only “wakes” it up. After 15 minutes, it powers down and you need to walk up to it to turn it on again. If it is set to one of the slave modes, it will wait for 30 minutes before before powering down. The standby mode can be disabled. If you disable standby, it will power down after 30 minutes of inactivity with a trigger attached and after 60 minutes when set to one of the slave modes. There is no way to disable this behaviour.

Has a pc sync. socket under a rubber cover on the side.

Comes with a flash stand and a soft pouch.

Can use the Yongnuo SF-17C or SF-18C for external power. The Sto-fen diffuser for the Canon 580EX is reported to fit the YN-560.

My test unit worked as I expected, but user reports on the Internet indicate that quality is highly variable.

Specifications

Generic flash.
Head: 18, 24-105mm coverage, power zoom (manual).
Swivel & tilt: 0° to +270° swivel, -7° to +90° tilt.
Exposure mode: Varipower.
Manual settings: 1/1 to 1/128 in 1/8 EV steps (57 steps).
Wireless modes: Plain slave, Digital slave.
Features: Sound, Overheat protection, Metal foot, Sync. socket, Ext. power, Bounce card, Strobist.
Trigger voltage: 3.3 volt.
Batteries: 4xAA.
Flash duration: 1/200 sec. @ 1/1 (full output).
Field upgradable: No.
Dimensions: 60 x 190 x 78 mm, 350 g.

Zoom head setting:f=35mmf=50mmf=max
Guidenumber (ISO 100, meter):394258
GNs taken from manufacturer's specifications.

Price: USD 75 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2010-2013.

For a detailed explanation of the above specifications, see the guide.

[Image of YongNuo YN-560 II.]

Literature

Documentation:

Brand profile

Key info

HQ: Shenzhen, China
Web: Global

YongNuo is the brand name for a line of products sold by Hong Kong Yong Nuo Photographic Equipment Co. Ltd., which is the Hong Kong-based marketing subsidiary of Shenzhen YongNuo Photographic Equipment Co. Ltd., a Chinese company that designs and produces photographic electronic equipment. It is best known for its aggressively priced radio triggers and flash units.

YongNuo has an official online store on eBay.

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