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Thread: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Hi, i been browsing and found the YONGNUO Speedlite YN460 is at reasonable price for my budget, and was wandering on your thoughts on this speed light, also looked at the YN-560 ones, I would love a set of them, but a little high in my budget.

    Any thoughts on them or the brand?

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    I'm afraid I don't know the brand at all, Allen.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    all good mate, i hope someone can tell me about them.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Hi Allen,

    Some won't agree with what I'm about to say, but over the years I think I've heard of more people "swearing at" off-brand flashes than "swearing by" them.

    Some of the complaints include:

    - Poor build quality

    - Unreliable

    - Inconsistent output

    - Lacking full compatibility

    - Inconsistent colour temperature

    Not aimed at Yongnuo in particular, but they've certainly had a fair representation amongst those comments.

    It's often said that photography is "all about the light" - and flashes play a BIG part in creating that light. And in this case, that equates to (in my opinion anyway), trying to fit a Toyota gearbox into a Ferrari to save money ... ultimately it's false economy.

    So personally I can say that I wouldn't touch them - or any other off-brand flash - with a barge pole.

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    thanks colin, its just that they are withing my budget, well, after christmas that is.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    Hi, i been browsing and found the YONGNUO Speedlite YN460 . . . Any thoughts on them or the brand?
    I have Canon DSLR. I choose to use mainly Canon dedicated Flash units with those cameras and for very special applications also I use my Metz Units.
    I have a couple of Vivitar units I sometimes use a slaves.
    I use Elinchrom for Studio work.

    If I had Nikon DSLR I would buy Nikon Flash Units and still use my Metz and Elinchrom for specialized work.

    I am not name dropping nor do I have an eliteist philosophy, but I, like Colin choose to (mostly) use Brand Dedicated Flash Units, with my DSLR cameras.

    It is all about 'value for money' and not 'cost of item'.
    Many people see value for money in the less expensive and off brand Flash Units, Battery Grips and Lenses generally, I do not.
    I see exceptions - for example I use Kenko Extension Tubes and not the Canon Extension Tubes.

    It really comes down to what you value and what you are prepared to accept or prepared to gamble and that is not an emotional comment as these choices are really quite individual.

    WW

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    I suppose the thing to consider, given Colin's comments, is do you go for what you can afford now, or is it worth waiting to build up the pot and be able to go for one of the primary brand models e.g. Canon Speedlite?

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    This might be a bit of an over-generalization, but some might say that the cheap/clone flashes actually cost you more because after having bought them, folks may well quickly come to the conclusion that they don't do the job very well - and then they end up spending even more money on the ones they should have bought in the first place.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Strangely, I haven't often heard anyone swear at an "off-brand" flash, whether for inconsistency in output or colour temperature. But I've only been into photography for a bit more than fifty years, and during most of that time, no camera manufacturer made any flash. So it is only in the latter years that there has been an option to get a brand flash for your camera. We used Braun, Multiblitz, Mecablitz, Kako, Philips, Osram, Regula and others. IIRC, the first camera manufacturer to brand a flash unit was Rollei. But they didn't make that flash, neither do most camera manufacturers of today.

    But of course camera manufacturers own their protocols. So it is the camera manufacturer that at a whim may alter the playground for anyone, being the only one offering "full compatibility". This of course impedes backward compatibility, as has been proven by one of the largest two camera manufacturers. The flipside is that compatibility is moot. There never was any flash automation that worked flawlessly. All have drawbacks, and TTL is not the answer, it creates new problems, that were easier solved by manual control and guide numbers. But we're lazy creatures, thinking that the machine can do what we don't want to do ourselves, hence camera manufacturers may charge four to five times the value of a flash for a "fully compatible" one that promises to take brilliant pictures - automagically.

    And colour temperature of speedlites? Gimme a break please. I never saw any small flash, including the "brand" ones, call'em whatever, but neither Nikon nor Canon gives a damn about colour consistency or filtration. They provide a bluish tint, recognizable in any flash image, no matter how much you try to balance it. Compare to studio flash, or combine it with studio flash, or daylight, and you'll see.

    The problems of TTL flash have not been solved, and perhaps they cannot. In the film era, it was done by analog measurement during exposure. Olympus was first; did it with all "off-brand" brands. It was a simple system, just akin to filling a bucket, and it used exactly the same metering system as the one for ambient light. In fact it worked so well, that both were measured at the same time. It was a REAL TIME SYSTEM. No DSLR camera of today has a real time system. They all fire a small tentative flash, to measure what comes back - nothing is measured during the actual exposure - it's the computer that decides how much light to output. The extra flash creates more problems than it solves, and is one of the reasons for swearing at slave flashes that seem not to work.

    So any day, I would prefer a fully manual, off-brand flash. Maybe it is less durable than a branded one? Then I can buy five off brand at the price of one brand flash. Consistency? Colour temperature? If branded strobes were a solution, it might have been worth the extra money. But they aren't. In fact, off brand, fully manual, may be relied upon to a higher degree, if you just check every time before you shoot that the little light indicates that it is ready, and that you care for fresh batteries. If you want good colour from a small strobe, take the time to find out what gels you have to put on it to balance it to daylight. A strobe that is correctly balanced beats all of them, so it really is worth the effort, whether you use branded or off brand products.

    And if you want nice lighting without a bluish cast and without the washed out close objects, harsh shadows and pitch dark background, get the strongest strobe you can afford and would care to carry, filter out any colour cast, and learn how to use it.
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 14th December 2012 at 11:14 AM.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    thanks guys, made some good points here. Who knows, perhaps a pay upgrade might come, lol. Think i'll hold out on getting any for now

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    thanks guys, made some good points here. Who knows, perhaps a pay upgrade might come, lol. Think i'll hold out on getting any for now
    Hi Allen

    I think that some of the comments and infomration that you have been given are very valid but I wanted to give you my opinion just to balance the "arguments".

    I am very much an amateur and have only been in the DSLR game for 10 months. I have a full time non-photography job and a family so I am slowly buildingh my knowledge skill and gear as I go. For me blowing 100+ on even an SB-600 (i use Nikon D3100) was too much. My thoughts were to try and get something cheaper to learn with. I think I paid 35 for my Yongnuo 460II and my thinking was that this was a small amount to pay to get into flash and learn. I had done a fair bit of research and I was happy with the price to quality ratio.

    One day when my skills are proficient enough and I can afford a nikon branded flash I will probably get one but for now I am happy with the 460II.

    I am waiting till after Christmas to get myself a light stand and umbrella so I can really try the 460II out more and get more proficient. The 460II only has manual controls so no iTTL but I wanted manual to "learn" flash.

    So far I am happy with the build quality but as an amateur I dont give it as much hard knocks as some professionals do. The battery cover is a bit flimsy though.

    Just my thoughts and certainly not bashing anyone else's opinion.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Thank you Darren, Thats why i was thinking of going with the YN460, or the one up, 560 i believe that has more options, but for between 80-100 australian dollers i can get 2-3 of the 460ii. Which is all i really want. And manual controls. Do you have photos you can link me to that you used this flash?

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    Thank you Darren, Thats why i was thinking of going with the YN460, or the one up, 560 i believe that has more options, but for between 80-100 australian dollers i can get 2-3 of the 460ii. Which is all i really want. And manual controls. Do you have photos you can link me to that you used this flash?
    This link is to a photo I took of my son. Now that I have been paid I intend to buy a stand and umbrella and try to convince my dear lady to model.

    Son's first haircut

    More of my photos can be seen on my Flickr account and other threads I have done on CIC

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenjosephgregory/

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    This is a Kodachrome slide, taken with manual flash bounced off the ceiling, Braun F800, a good workhorse. Also this professional model had to be filtered to balance with daylight. I used one magenta 010 and a yellow 005 gels IIRC. If you get that off-brand strobe, take the strongest one, it pays off.

    YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 14th December 2012 at 12:53 PM.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    I own two flash units, a Yongnuo YN-560 and a Sunpak PZ42, both of which I use with my Nikon D5000 and am quite content. Both are very well-made and work as advertiesed on my camera. My main flash is the Sunpak because it is a TTL flash, while the Yongnou is manual- or slave-mode only. I use the Yongnou as a second off-camera flash with the Yungnou 603 transceivers, which I also like (when using the transceivers, the Sunpak needs to be in manual mode, too). Both of these flash units are well-built and powerful enough to do whatever job I've ever wanted a flash unit to do. In terms of output, they are also well-matched, if I use them in side-by-side shoot-through umbrellas on each side of my camera.

    So, what should you know about them? First, the Sunpak does not have the off-camera commander mode support that you get with the more expensive Nikon flashes. But my D5000 doesn't support that, either, so the only reason I would care about that is if I were buying a flash in anticipation of upgrading to a more expensive Nikon camera model. I've never really been a great fan of the buy-for-what-you-might-get-in-the-future approach to equipment purchases, but it is certainly a common enough approach. So I mention that limitation in case it fits your view of equipment acquisition.

    Second -- and this is a big deal -- the lower-end Yungnous are all manual-only flash (or slave units). What this means is that you will always be setting your lighting by "Kentucky windage." I don't find that a big deal with off-camera flash, as I always have to adjust lighting a few times before I get a shot I want anyway. And, once you've figured the lighting out for a given situation, you're good to go. However, for on-the-move flash situations, it is very nice to have TTL for your on-camera flash purposes -- those "one chance only" event photos will be properly exposed with TTL, even if the lighting is on the uninspired side.

    If the use mode of the Yungnou just doesn't work for you, consider getting one of their higher-priced TTL units (or consider Sunpak -- I like them, too.) And, if you have something like commander mode on your camera (I don't know anything about Canon models), you probably should save up for a Canon flash unit. The off-camera control signals seem to be where third-party flash units get dicey. FWIW
    Last edited by tclune; 14th December 2012 at 02:47 PM.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Certainly, you can get good lighting from manual and third party strobes. And... if it comes down to being able to afford a strobe or not afford a strobe, I would think that a manual third party unit would be the choice.

    I have the luxury of being fairly financially comfortable now and I tend to forget my early years when cash was extremely tight and when I had a wife and three kids to support on my Navy salary. In those days it was not a choice between buying a lower priced unit and saving up for a more expensive flash. It was the choice of a lower priced flash or none at all.

    However, I look at the bells and whistles I need and want on a flash...

    1. First and foremost... I want a flash that will not fry my camera's electronics due to a exceptionally high sync voltage... Some used flashes (the older Vivitar 285 units come to mind) have an extremely high sync voltage and having to purchase a accessory like the Wein Safe Sync simply adds to the cost...

    2. I want a unit that is capable of through the lens metering. I have been very successful with Canon units. I began my photography career with non-auto flash units and can work quite decently with these. However when units like the Vivitar 285 and many others with Auto Thyristor exposure control came along, I dumped my manual only flashes in favor of the units with automatic capability. Of course, my studio strobes are manual but, I used these in a totally different way. I like the auto features of my Canon hotshoe flashes for non-studio work...

    3. I use fill flash with many if not most of my outdoor shots of people and I want a flash that is capable of high speed sync. I don't want to be anchored into 1/250 second or slower sync speed because that will often require me to shoot at a smaller f/stop than I desire. BTW: if you don't use fill flash outdoors, I strongly suggest that you try it. It works great and is easy...

    4. It MUST both tilt and rotate because I bounce my flash 95% of the time.

    I don't, for my uses, require a flash that has manual capability. I will often use manual camera exposure when shooting but, will most often use the flash on automatic. I have been getting excellent lighting and great image quality shooting this way. I like to use my flash on a Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket and modify it with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro...

    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/Portraits...0241&k=LXnFVZC

    Now for the nitty-gritty. What flash would I use if I could not afford a new top-line Canon unit. I am listing what I would buy in order of decreasing cost (all prices from USA markets and in U.S. Dollars)...

    1. If I had the funds, I would seriously consider a new Metz Mecablitz 50AF-1 which at about $200, new, is considerably less expensive than a new Canon flash unit of equivalent capabilities. Yes this is a "third party" unit. but Metz has been making excellent flash units for a long-long time and I would not have any qualms about buying one...

    2. At a somewhat lower price range, I would select a used Canon 430EX. I got one a year or two ago and paid about $125 used on eBay. This is a very competent flash. You can also quite often pick up a 550EX used for around $150. I shoot with both the 550EX and 430EX flashes and do quite well. The 550EX is more powerful and a larger unit. The 430EX has enough power from most uses and is smaller and lighter in weight. The 550EX can be used as a master but, you need a second flash to shoot with two flashes (That makes sense doesn't it?). So IMO, it doesn't matter if you buy a master or the slave first...

    4. At even a lower price, I would look at a used Canon 420EX. This flash cannot be used manually but, it is totally compatible with the Canon through the lens exposure system and has the advantage of high speed sync. The 420EX is a lightweight unit that is easy to carry either on the camera or in a small bag or large pocket. You can often pick up one of these units on eBay for arount $75 or so.

    I have ignored the Yongnau units because, I would worry about their reliability. Sure there are lots of photographers who are happy with their YN flashes but, if I wanted HSS (which I will not do without) the YN flashes would be approaching or exceeding the price of a used 430EX or 550EX...

    Finally... I WOULD NOT select a Canon 220EX, 270EX or 270EX ii as my only flash. All these units are underpowered for general use (although the 270EX and 270EX ii make nice additions to hotshoe equipped P&S or bridge cameras) and the 220EX cannot tilt. The 270EX (series) can tilt but cannot rotate.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 14th December 2012 at 03:10 PM.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Lots of good info here but....

    Go with the YN, it works just fine.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    I am perfectly happy with my YongNuo flash units ...I first bought the 560 and then a s/h 468[Canon] on TradeMe here in NZ.
    For the occasional use as an amateur they suit me eminently [ I prefer to use ambient light, less mucking around ] and if you need them for non-professional use I would say go for them at US$50<$80 currently on Amazon. What I like about my units is that they have built in optical sensors which means I normally trigger them remotely from the camera by the camera's flash. Never fitted them on camera though the 468 is suited to my Canon DSLR which I never use these days. My 560 was quite expensive as I bought it locally, direct importing is the answer I think here in NZ anyway. They would be under the price limit for NZ's GST ... does Australia have a 'free' limit for private imports?
    If I did a lot of flash 'work' I would bite the bullet and get Canikon flashes to suit my camera.

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by inkanyezi View Post
    strangely, i haven't often heard anyone swear at an "off-brand" flash
    i got my yn460 2 weeks ago. It worked flawlessly the first time. I fired it about 30 times with out a problem. Took it out of the bag the other day and it fired 2 times before it self-destructed.


    after using the yn460 for nearly two months, i just found out the other day that the pre-flash cancel mode (s2) doesn't work. Bummer.


    hi i've had mine for about three weeks and it eats batteries. It also runs very hot almost immediately.


    i have a nissin di622 too, tried to use them together as master and slave mode, but it won`t read the signals/flash from yn460, and vice versa.


    results are more or less consistent, perhaps +-1/3 to 1/2 variation


    i've read mixed reports both here and elsewhere on these.


    ...

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    Re: YONGNUO Speedlite YN460, any good?

    Colin, what is misleading about your post is the implication that you would be unable to find a similar list of quotes about Canon or Nikon flashes. Every electronic device can fail, and if you produce enough of them, some will.

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