Here’s the post about my expensive toys. I’ve had them for a few days now and pretty much just did a lot of experimentation with them. I bought the Yongnuo YN560-III Speedlite and the Yongnuo RF-603c for Canon cameras (make sure you get the right one; they have different letter designations for different camera models). I already have a Minolta Auto 200x that I’ve been using, but it’s pretty hard to use as an off-camera flash. That’s what the RF-603s are for. Let’s start off with the big one – coming in at about $70, the Yongnuo YN560 has zooming and a few different modes: manual, rx, and the two slave modes. It also has an LCD panel, power options, and a swiveling head with a white card and diffuser cleverly hidden. Keep in mind that I haven’t spent too much time with it, but this is what I do know:
- The Yongnuo comes with a carry case that protects the thing; it’s a nice touch and velcros shut so that everything is nice and snug.
- The head swivels pretty far to the left and right and there are marks that tell you how many degrees you’ve turned it. It’s pretty useful and an upgrade to my Minolta, which is fixed. I can dangle the Yongnuo on a ledge and swivel the head to achieve the lighting that I want.
- The built-in bounce card and diffuser work as they should and spread out the light, preventing it from being way too harsh and resulting in a nice, even amount of light.
- The LCD screen is useful and the buttons feel great to the touch. A backlight makes it easy for seeing at night. I only needed the manual to set up the custom functions and change the channel for the receivers. Everything else from the power selection to the zoom is pretty much self-explanatory.
If you’ve ever used a manual flash before, you know how it goes. The Yongnuo is a great tool and works beautifully. The options are simple and it pairs well with my RF-603s. The RF-603s are simple wireless flash triggers that come as an identical pair with a shutter connect cable. They both have a hot shoe, on/off switch, and shutter button. After you connect the shutter cable to the camera, you can do some remote shooting if you want.
I pretty much set up my own mini studio with several pieces of paper and I was surprised by the results. I went with one piece of white printer paper on the table, one for the back, and one for each side. I connected one RF-603 to my Minolta flash and one to my camera. Then I turned the Yongnuo flash to RX mode, which makes for two flashes that I can fire off-camera; one on the left and one on the right. So far it’s been a great experience. Sometimes I’ll elevate one of the flashes if I’m shooting pictures of, let’s say, the iguana. It’s all experimentation from now on and I’m looking forward to learning some new tricks. Hopefully the tests shots below make the cut.