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- One of the very best flashes for “Strobist” work
- Plenty of power with official GN of 39 ( True GN is 34 )
- Flash zoom from 24mm – 105mm
- 2 optical slave modes
- Very good build quality
- Power from 1/1 down to 1/128
- Hot Shoe Trigger
- PC Sync Port
- External Power Port
- Audible Ready Tone
- Fast Recharge Rate
Guide Number On Paper
Guide Number Test Result
Manual Power Settings
1/1 – 1/2 – 1/4 – 1/8 – 1/16 – 1/32 – 1/64 – 1/128
Flash Duration ( Full Power)
Recycle Time Spec ( Full Power)
3 sec alkaline
Recycle Time Test Result
3.4 sec alkaline, 1.6 sec NiMH
Flash Foot Material
PC Sync Port
2 modes (1 w/ pre-flash suppresion)
3.25 V (measured)
Can Be Adjusted (30 mins max)
Flash Head Features
-180 to +90 degrees
-7 to +90 degrees
Manual Zoom Head
Rear Curtain Synchronization
Flash Modes and Wireless Flash
Manual mode is the option on the Yongnuo 560 as there is no form of TTL. 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”
A simple manual mode is all that is needed for “strobist” type photography. 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).
The 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 !
Wireless Flash Mode
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.
The 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.
The optical slave modes are very reliable but the safest option are radio flash triggers such as the Yongnuo RF-602 or RF-603
Attach them on the YN560 flash foot, or use the PC port, and there is your hassle-free wireless flash setup !
The Yongnuo YN-560 comes in a nice box which is (a bit surprisingly) not much bigger than the boxes of the 460 series. Yongnuo is quite generous when it comes to packing accessories with their flash.
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
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.
YongNuo YN-560 In Action