It was only a question of time...before China would own the market.

Light is light and it is the photographers job is to control it.
When you take a picture with a  single light source such as a camera mounted strobe (regardless of the all the propaganda the manufacturer throws at you to part you from your money)  the subject only gets the output of one light source for a few tenths of a millisecond.   

You never thought of it that way but it is true. One burst of light…per picture.  Durations and intensity determine the exposure.  

Now the critical part of this statement is as follows.  This is really what you need to know, the “ How much is the last question”.

•  How much of the light falls on the subject?  

•  How wide a beam did the flash put out?  
•  Was it more or less volume than the ambient light?  
•  What was the color of the flash in Kelvin temperature?  
•  Was it direct or bounced?  

All these questions still have one answer, the resultant flash was one burst of light at a specific duration or intensity.  That translates into F-stops or parts thereof.  My point is how much you spend for the same resultant point of light?

Yong-Nuo, a simple manual flash can duplicate and in some cases do a better job than a viewfinder with 10-20 sensors, and all that integration of the camera and flash consuming time and battery power just to determine flash intensity.  They are great in dealing direct on the net and they cornered the market. If the flash you bought was 100-200 dollars , it’s  aYong-Nuo and most likely if it has another name on it, it’s still a Yong-Nuo. They brand for anybody.

This is the 460-II model.  (09-18-2015) Just found two more at Amazon.  Yong-Nuo consistently upgrade  their line, thus the branded lines get upgraded too eg: 460 to 460-ll and now YN560-II, 560-II, 560-III, to 560-IV, to reflect the new capacitor skin molds and breadboard... and the numbers the competitors like Nikon and Canon use.

Its like two or four for the price of one. The perfection unit shown below with the accessories were made for a trade show I displayed at and was sold there.  A customer just had to have it, took it at the end of the show,  and I was over on luggage anyway so I’ll make another. 

And the rig works beautifully.  See this shot from a Triathlon where two of the strobes were used as flash fill to compensate for a dark day.  We split the strobes for one left and one right.   The Perfection setups are totally adaptable and can be used in any conformation.   

  • The stands were at ten to twelve feet  from the center racer at seven feet high.  
  • Both were hooked to my Black Boxes for speedy recovery at almost full power about half a second.
  • We concluded the shoot within a minute or two of the last of the 450 Awards Ceremony given and started packing up.  Total shot that day were over two thousand. 
  • How we did it.  The race coordinator was announcer was presenting, and we were set up ten feet away from her left.  She passed the individuals and groups over to us.   
  • One guy shooting and I was doing the posing which after 450 weddings and many triathlons was a no brainer and it went smooth, a five minute setup, five minute teardown.  I love it.  
  • The Nikon D4 set for the flash in manual, ignoring and allowing the for darkening the background.
  • We used the strobe at a conventional 45 degrees angle per side, one half-stop on the right under the left side for definition.  Both had Sto-Fens.  Absolutely no Photoshop was used for exposure, color or sharpening period.  We reduced file size to 72 for the web and added a border,  on this one for the site.  450 shots and basically no afterwork period, a breeze.
  • A wide enough spread for six abreast in two rows.
  • Nothing other than auto bordering in photoshop for the customer site was done in action automatically adding logos and sponsors.

YN460-II is a simple and inexpensive flash unit. They claim a GN of 53m instead of 33m or something like that, faster recycling and fine tuning for the flash power. This was my modified show unit below. I don’t believe anyone’s numbers I use a high end flash meter in controlled conditions, so each flash gets the same test accurately.

The fathead hood came off a burnt up Vivitar.  You take off all the screws, a little lifting with a plastic wedge, some pressure and a thin screwdriver blade releases the top from the assembly. Cut and trim the two legs, apply thin velcro to the body and inside of the legs and Voila!  I riveted it since it’s never coming off.  

Things that come off bug me, how many lens caps have you lost?  This ones not coming off.  A piece from a plastic milk container cut to size and fitted onto the slot on the fathead is for diffusion.

Note: This head has a purpose. I wanted it for small specific tight targets in a project for a Forensics Department, experimenting with a differing blood chemistry from Luminal .

I removed the foggy front element the Vivitar had.  I basically was using masks to create a very focused beam with little spill like a short snoot.   A shade or snoot for the flash from a broken 285HV.  No edge bleed off.  I could control things with inserts made from black thin plastics and a “cookie cutter”.   A virtual perfect fit.  (the new chemistry is proprietary,  it’s used in forensics and I cannot disclose any info so don’t bug me)

The features of a comparable 560 Flash from YONG-NUO for $89.95, some at 75.00 with a Zoom Head, all digital, slightly more power, and compatibility with  the 460 II basic features. It's called the Model 560 III,  560IV and there are variants.  

This 560 manual series could be a killer strobe for Pro Wedding and event shooters who only shoot manual.  I modify them for you for Black Boxes, no problemo but they do come with warnings and disclosures as I have seen and heard other batteries being used.  

NOTE YON-NUO:  All Yong-Nuo’s have a warning about Lithium products “as their dump or flow exceeds” what the capacitor can absorb and you will toilet the flash.

None of the Yong-Nuo’s should be powered by anything thats LIPO AA or Li-Ion basically Lithium powered cells and there is a warning in their package in the battery compartment expressing this. 

Those batteries will exceed the input capacity and blow the motherboard.  It is on a yellow tag in the battery compartment.   

NOTE NISSAN:   Nissan has the same warnings. Talking with a tech, those touting Zinc ultra cheap batteries will do the same. Those Zi-Ion are really bad.  Like any other strobe push them and you can harm them, thats why the NIKON and Canon’s flagship models have overheat diodes and soon they will all have them. The 560 does have a similar mod.

The YN-560 III is just a simple manual flash with a basic receiver built in, and selling around just $70 each. I have used the 460-II same quality smaller and less expensive but they are getting harder to find.  The built in receiver of the YN-560 III or 560-IV  has big practical advantages, because you simply don’t have a lot of extra gear and extra batteries to constantly transport, organize, set up and manage.

So all you need is the one small transmitter unit to fire as many flashes as you like. Of course it saves money too without all those extra receivers and batteries.

Another big advantage is that you don’t have anything mounted to the foot of the flash making it higher in umbrellas and generally less stable. Or alternatively extra cords (to go wrong) and receivers dangling around.

I can modify the flash to a closed door like on the 560-IV.  The usual one-way drilling but can be reversed.   In forty years of doing this no one ever asked me to reverse it.   Who cares the strobe is cheap enough and no one repairs them anyway. 

The IV model shown just above has the OPTION B twist.  And so, those who never use AA cells asked for a different workaround because it’s 120 dollars cheaper.   This is it.  I created my own module for a client with closed door and not using the MB2.  On a two light rig, which tested beautifully thats a savings of 120 dollars, closed doors and all you need to find is a couple of used cables, almost any MB series from Quantum and must be in good shape.