If you’re an aspiring strobist, you might be shocked by the amount of cash you have to plonk down for a few Canon EX-580s. To get a decent set-up, you’ll need 3 of them, at least. And at $450 a pop, you’re not going to be much richer for it, really.
Luckily, there is a way out: The Chinese company Yongnuo makes some absolutely bargainous flashguns: the YN-560s are nearly as powerful as the 580s, and have a few clever tricks up their sleeve.
At $85 per flashgun, they’re also a fifth of the price of the Canon equivalent – but does it stack up?
The legendary flasher David Hobby, of Strobist fame, got his paws on a production model YN-560 speedlight.
He found that the production quality was solid, but the Quality Assurance left quite a bit to be desired:
I so wanted to love you, YN-560. Now you hit me with a second, non-working feature. The absence of which essentially makes the flash unusable for me, necessitating a round-trip return to China.
On the one hand, this is why I strongly suggest buying direct. On the other hand, I would also suggest that Yongnuo join LumoPro in hand-checking each unit before it goes out. It is only a wasted effort if your quality control is hitting 100%. And you are not there yet, Yongnuo.
Then again, for $85, you can afford to buy a few extra ones, and keep sending the defective ones back to China for replacement under their 1-year warrantee, can’t you?
You can read the Strobist’s full test drive over on the Strobist blog.