Today I am going to be looking at the Yonghouos’ YN560-II speedlite flash. I have owned this particular model for around a year now so I have had loads of opportunities to use it in the field in various situations.
Price and build quality
the main reason why i bought this flash was for the simple reason that it was much better value than similar feature rich models by canon. the Yonghouo YN560-II speedlite flash is priced at around $50 On-line, so for me it was something that I had to at least try out whether it was crap or not. I actually bought it off Amazon and it came to my door within a few days so if you are buying off the internet then I can certainly recommend here.
in the box you will be presented with a lengthily instruction manual which I highly recommend reading because this flash packs a lots of features. The next thing you will notice is the decent quality carry case which is great for stopping the flash getting scratched and knocked around to a certain extent but it is not exactly bomb proof. Now onto the product itself.
the first thing that struck me was how fantastic the build quality is. The body is made entirely from plastic but, it is very high quality plastic and has a really nice solid build. The flash has an extra lens that you pull out which reduces harshness I believe. There is also a built in white reflector which i find comes in handy for when you only want a very small amount of flash to illuminate the subject.
This unit has a lot of position adjustments, so you can really play around with how the light will hit your subject which again is very nice for the price.
here is an example of some of the positions the head can be turned to. It’s also worth noting that you can make almost a full 360• rotation.
lets have a look at some of the electronic flash settings that you can make. you adjust settings VIA the buttons located on the back of the flash – the buttons are large enough to be used easily in any situation.
In Manual mode you have these options:
(in-between these you have 0.7 – 0.5 and 0.3 fine adjustments)
The focal rage is between 24mm and 105mm with several setting in-between.
the readout screen offers an Overview of the settings and has an option to turn the back light either on or off. The LCD screen offers ample Back lighting, so use in the dark is not a problem at all. It would have been a bit more user friendly if the control buttons were backlit too but to me this is a very minor issue, if any as you get used to where the buttons are located anyway.
to conclude I am going to say that if you are looking for a new flash for either on or off camera then the Yonghouo YN560-II speedlite flash is one of the best choices available right now. Yes it is a little bit on the bulky side but considering the amount of features that it has on board – easily justified. when you take everything you have on this product you will realise that you have a professional level flash at an extremely low price. this combined with tremendous build quality means that I am going to give this flash a 4/5 rating. It did not get a 5 out of 5 because a built in battery may give it more life rather than using 4 AA’s. Bringing a spare set of batteries to a shoot with this flash is highly recommended.