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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 30 Aug 2016 (Tuesday) 13:25
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Choosing the right flash

 
wxdan
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Aug 30, 2016 13:25 |  #1

Hi,

I'll be up-front; I am completely new to flash photography, though I have started to take more of an interest in it lately. Currently, my photography is purely for hobby purposes, though I do want to get involved with portrait/wedding photography in the near future, maybe as a part-time or side job kind of thing. I've read up a lot on various forums about flash, but couldn't find specific answers to the questions that I had.

Knowing that, I am debating whether to purchase the Canon 430ex-rt iii or the Canon 600ex-rt going forward from here, or one of each. I want to do off camera flash so I'll be purchasing at least two flashes. I can buy two of the 430's for the price of one 600, but I know the 600 is a bit more powerful than the 430's. Or should I consider the new Canon 600ex-rt ii with a 430ex-rt iii or another 600? From what I have read and gathered online about the new 600, it seems to not overheat as much when shooting a high number of shots within a short time-frame, but would be curious to hear someone's input in case they've used it at a wedding or portrait shoot before.

I've also looked into the Yongnuo's, but am kind of concerned about them lasting me for a while given what I've read online about them, or if I do get a shooting gig somewhere, am afraid one of them may fail when I need it most.

I see that Canon offers an extended CarePak warranty (or whatever it's called), and for the 600ex-rt flash, you can get a three year warranty (in addition to the 1 year warranty you get) for $99.99. Is that something I should consider, or do these flashes typically last longer than 4 years?

I appreciate any insight or feedback you guys can give me! And if these questions have been addressed in another post forum, please link it here and I'll take a look at that.




  
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drmaxx
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Post edited over 3 years ago by drmaxx.
     
Aug 30, 2016 14:07 |  #2

I have not experience with the Yongnuo's - but there are plenty of people using them with good results. And for the price of a Canon flash you can get a few of them. You should seriously consider them - even if they might be more prone to fall apart earlier.
If you want to stick with Canon, then I would suggest to get the strongest flash you can afford (600ex-....). Get one first and start gaining experience with using a flash properly. Using a flash with good results has a steeeep learning curve. Depending on the camera you have now, you also can use the 600 off-camera - otherwise I would suggest to get a remote for it.
If you have the knowledge how to use them then you also will have more of an idea what you want to use it for - then you can start buying more flashes and modifiers.


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MalVeauX
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Aug 30, 2016 14:10 |  #3

Heya,

I've been using Yongnuo for years. They're bullet proof these days, excellent flashes, no different without minute metrics compared to other "big brands."

You may want to really explore the newer Godox flashes though, with TTL & HSS and built in receivers. Ultimately the best system these days.

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wxdan
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Aug 30, 2016 14:23 |  #4

Thanks drmaxx and MalVeauX for your quick responses. I do know a few people who have used Yongnuo flashes before, and they've all had great experiences without any issues (to my knowledge). My concern would be it's durability over time, and if I have to buy a replacement flash every 6 months, is it really worth it in the end vs going with Canon from the beginning. If Yongnuo's build quality has improved recently though, I'd consider them more.




  
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dmward
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Aug 30, 2016 16:48 |  #5

If you are thinking about weddings, the 430 is a non-starter. Its too weak in output.
The 600EX-RT is a great tool for weddings, portraits etc. However, its quite expensive.

One option to consider is the Godox v680II. Its TTL, can control up to three groups plus the master. It also has a lithium battery that lasts for a long time, well past one wedding shoot. It also recycles the speedlite as quickly as and external battery pack connected to a 600EX-RT.

HERE (external link) is one source. There are others.


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Ramon-uk
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Aug 31, 2016 06:31 as a reply to  @ dmward's post |  #6

Although the Canon 600 EX looks much more powerful don't be fooled by the hype. The guide number of 60 is for maximum zoom of 200mm at all other zoom settings it has the same guide numbers as the old Canon 580 EX which only zooms to 105mm.

If only all the manufacturers would advertise their guide numbers at a mid range, 50mm for instance, it would be much easier to make power comparisons.




  
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Qlayer2
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Aug 31, 2016 07:18 |  #7

wxdan wrote in post #18111538 (external link)
Thanks drmaxx and MalVeauX for your quick responses. I do know a few people who have used Yongnuo flashes before, and they've all had great experiences without any issues (to my knowledge). My concern would be it's durability over time, and if I have to buy a replacement flash every 6 months, is it really worth it in the end vs going with Canon from the beginning. If Yongnuo's build quality has improved recently though, I'd consider them more.

A Yongnuo 600RT costs $115. A Canon one costs $500. That's 435% more. It would have to fail 4 times before the Canon did for the Canon to be more cost effective. You can buy 3 of the YN600's and have a backup in your bag for $655 less than buying 2 of the Canons.

Yongnuo and Godox can be bought from major camera stores (like B&H and Adorama). You can add a 3 year square trade plan from them for $25 per flash, if you are really worried about reliability. It isn't like the early days where you had to buy on ebay and wait for the boat to arrive from China 30 days later, and be out of luck if there was an issue with the item.

My YN565 is 4 years old, and my YN560's (I have version 2) are the same. They still work the same as the day I bought them, and I don't baby my gear.

They really are a no brainer- especially for paid work, since you can easily afford to have backups in the bag if something goes wrong.




  
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Nick5
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Aug 31, 2016 08:59 |  #8

Started with the Canon 600 EX-RT and ST-E3 RT system when first introduced in 2012. At that time there was nothing on the market like it. Since then there have been many Knockoffs.
However for me reliability and support whether at home or on the job is critical.
For me, the Canon system is worth the Investment.


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smaeda
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Aug 31, 2016 10:15 |  #9

I use Yongnuo flashes as well and they have held up for about 3 years now. I've had to replace the battery door though, since it tends to break over time but you can get them on ebay for about $3.


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wxdan
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Post edited over 3 years ago by wxdan with reason 'Misspelling '.
     
Aug 31, 2016 11:24 |  #10

You guys are making pretty convincing arguments for the third party flashes... I think I might go that route ;-)a

One last question. If I were to get a canon 600ex-rt ii, could I radio or optically control a yongnuo 560 vi (or other types of yongnuo flashes)? I might just have at least one canon flash in my bag for shots I couldn't afford to miss, and then yongnuo's for everything else.




  
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agv8or
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Post edited over 3 years ago by agv8or.
     
Aug 31, 2016 12:08 |  #11

Qlayer2 wrote in post #18112331 (external link)
A Yongnuo 600RT costs $115. A Canon one costs $500. That's 435% more. It would have to fail 4 times before the Canon did for the Canon to be more cost effective. You can buy 3 of the YN600's and have a backup in your bag for $655 less than buying 2 of the Canons.

Yongnuo and Godox can be bought from major camera stores (like B&H and Adorama). You can add a 3 year square trade plan from them for $25 per flash, if you are really worried about reliability. It isn't like the early days where you had to buy on ebay and wait for the boat to arrive from China 30 days later, and be out of luck if there was an issue with the item.

My YN565 is 4 years old, and my YN560's (I have version 2) are the same. They still work the same as the day I bought them, and I don't baby my gear.

They really are a no brainer- especially for paid work, since you can easily afford to have backups in the bag if something goes wrong.


I bought 3 Yongnuo YN600EX-RTs a year ago to replace some of my Canon 600EX-RTs in anticipation of adding some Godox AD360IIC's last Fall. Within a few months one YN600 died, one goes into thermal shutdown without being fired and now I do not trust the third one. I have also had one YN-E3-RT transmitter die and another one locks up when it goes into sleep mode. Needless to say I am not a big fan of Yongnuo flash products.

All of my Canon 600EX-RTs are more than 4 years old and have never given me a moments pause. My Canon 550EXs were more than 10 years old and 580EXs more than 8 years old when I sold them and they too never had an issue.

As a Canon fanboy the only third party Speedlites and other flash products I would recommend are those from Godox. I have tried going the Phottix route with the Indra 500's and Mitros+ Speedlites (long sad story) but Godox flash products offer better consistency than Phottix and a lot more options than any other flash manufacturer at this time. I have been very critical of Godox Speedlites for "on camera" use but most people do not seem to mind especially when they have few other options.


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Busto
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Sep 01, 2016 08:10 |  #12

Another vote for Yongnuo speedlights here. I have two that have worked flawlessly for two years now.




  
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James ­ P
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Sep 02, 2016 07:29 |  #13

I used to use Pocket Wizards to fire my flashes, but when Canon came out with their new RT system, I sold the PWs. I currently have a Canon 600-RT and two Canon 430III-RTs and am quite happy with them. They worked perfectly the first time I took them out of the box and the menus are pretty straight forward.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Sep 05, 2016 21:57 |  #14

From my viewpoint, I'd look at Godox as the 3rd party of choice right now, for expand-ability and reliability.

The other way to save a LOT of money and get a good solid reliable Canon flash is to look at a used 580EX II instead of the massive cost of a new 600.

It leaves you out of the Canon RT system, which could be a downside if you end up moving into a fleet of flashguns, but if you are looking for one flash, RT does not matter.

Lastly, if you do decide to go into lighting in a big way with radio triggers etc, the money is much better spent in Godox system IMHO. Penny's on the dollar compared to Canon RT, and much more expandable, with much more powerful and versatile flash units. And with Godox you can integrate the 580EXII just as easily as any flash.


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Jiggo0109
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Sep 06, 2016 05:14 |  #15

I tried YN560 iv after breaking my 430exii with a nasty fall last year and held myself from buying any speedlite during my trial. Result is, YN only lasted for 8 months. It just stopped firing. Now, I am eyeing for the godox system.




  
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Choosing the right flash
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