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Thread started 07 Nov 2008 (Friday) 05:35
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Yong Nuo (Gitai) Y-560 Tripod Review

 
Headshotzx
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Nov 07, 2008 05:35 |  #1

Hey guys, just bought my yong nuo 3 section tripod today, so here's a review that some have been waiting for.

My setup used is a gripped 400D, 17-40 f/4L and 580EXII flash weighing at about 1.8kg.

I got the tripod locally (Singapore) from Jason (http://jl-photo.blogspot.com/ (external link)). Anyone can get it direct from http://www.hkyongnuo.c​om/e-detail.php?ID=40 (external link)

Unpacking & Initial Impressions

Okay, lets start from the beginning. The cardboard box is slightly longer than the actual tripod itself.

IMAGE: http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/6120/img66792gm9.jpg

Unpacked, this is what I get:

IMAGE: http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/8625/img66581ah1.jpg
The tripod, bag, and strap. All are well made.

Initial impressions is that the tripod is definitely of good quality. It's made of solid materials, mostly of metal and rubber, and should last with some abuse. Each leg has a neoprene wrap-around for better grip of the tripod. It's a twist-lock design with rubber twist locks, so setting it up or packing up will take a slightly longer time than flip locks. However, if you are setting up, you can twist both locks at the same time, followed by extending and twisting them back separately.

Next to the center column is a Spirit level that tells you whether or not your tripod is completely level to the horizon.

When the tripod legs are angled out, without the center column extended, I see no visible wobbling of the camera setup when one of the legs are probed slightly.

IMAGE: http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/4272/img66803sl5.jpg

When all the tripod legs are extended, without the center column itself extended, I see an slight increase of wobbling of the camera setup when the legs are probed.
IMAGE: http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/2928/img66888gz3.jpg
Note that due to the angle that I shot the above picture, the third leg appears hidden. I assure you, even tripods cannot defy the laws of gravity.

Zexun | Flickr (external link) | YouTube (external link) |

  
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Headshotzx
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Nov 07, 2008 05:35 |  #2

Extending The Centre Column

To extend the center column, you have to twist this knob:

IMAGE: http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/8219/img66909au5.jpg

Followed by pulling the center column upwards:
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With the tripod is extended like that, the setup definitely wobbles a lot. At this point, you can see that the other brands like Manfrotto or Gitzo fair a lot better.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
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Headshotzx
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Nov 07, 2008 05:36 |  #3

Adding More Weight For Stability

At the bottom of the center post, there is a half-hidden hook. Pinch the metal that's exposed and pull it down to have the entire hook be exposed. Note that there is a spring connected to automatically pull the hook back when not used.

IMAGE: http://img379.imageshack.us/img379/2426/img672520ft4.jpg

This will allow you to hang a heavy load (like a bag, in this case) to make the tripod slightly sturdier.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Headshotzx
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Nov 07, 2008 05:36 |  #4

Making The Camera Go Lower

The tripod legs have 3 pre-determined angle positions. You can pull the angle lock out and not push it back so that you can position each leg to your liking.

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The following positions are done with the legs not extended.

Position 1 is the third picture in the first post.

Position 2 is as such:

IMAGE: http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/75/img670615gg0.jpg

Position 3 is special. If you have the entire center column, you will need it to be extended by quite a bit to achieve this:

IMAGE: http://img379.imageshack.us/img379/627/img670716mo9.jpg

However, the center column is made of two parts. This allows the bottom column to be screwed out so that the camera can be lower. Do note that there is a lot of grease on the screw threads.

IMAGE: http://img379.imageshack.us/img379/879/img671317bo5.jpg

And that would allow position 3:

IMAGE: http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/9731/img671518xn3.jpg

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Headshotzx
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Nov 07, 2008 05:37 |  #5

Problems / Negative Factors Encountered With Tripod Legs

There are a few problems I encountered with the tripod legs, though.

Firstly, not all legs or locks are made equal. I picked up two copies of the tripod (one for my friend, who's paying me later), and I realised that some legs are more difficult to push in or pull out. I completely unscrewed one or two legs to figure out why this was such. Apparently, there are 3 plastic rings in each leg with a small gap in them. I found out that some of them are sized slightly differently and positioned differently.

It's difficult to explain, so I'll try. Lets say there is only 1 ring out of alignment, and that's the ring nearer to the bottom of the leg. Pulling the tripod out will still be easy, but when you want to push it in, the out of alignment ring will kind of very very lightly scratch part of the tripod leg, and this creates friction, so it kind of "jams" when it's only halfway back.

Secondly, the fact that I can open up to check how the tripod works creates a devastating problem if you ever do that without prior knowledge. I'm not sure if tripods of other brands allow that to happen, but for this tripod, all I have to do is keep screwing the twist locks for a long while (you will know you're turning too much because it takes about 20seconds to do it) until the entire leg comes out. If you have no prior knowledge as to how the legs work, this will be a problem. The rings can come out, or be totally misaligned such that problem #1 comes in. So please, DO NOT COMPLETELY UNSCREW THE TWIST LOCK.

Thirdly, and this is more of an irritating problem than one that will affect the usage. For some reason, the manufacturer uses some sort of grease that also performs like an adhesive. It's sticky, very sticky, and like glue on your fingers. You'd need soap to wash them off, something that doesn't come often when you're in the field.

The parts are in the silver exposed part of the center column (under the knob that you twist to pull the column up or down) and back side of the three lever knocks that control leg angle.

IMAGE: http://img394.imageshack.us/img394/9671/img670113td7.jpg

Edit: I really must emphasise the sticky grease problem. I just took the tripod out of the bag and my fingers are somewhat sticky again.

Zexun | Flickr (external link) | YouTube (external link) |

  
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Headshotzx
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Nov 07, 2008 05:37 |  #6

Ballhead Review

The ballhead that comes with the tripod legs is a mediocre one. Jasons says that the ballhead will accept a maximum mass of 4kg on it.

IMAGE: http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/3580/img66856qn5.jpg
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With my camera setup mounted, and the ballhead locked in position, I find that I can exert a slight force on the flash (highest point of the setup) and the locked ballhead will allow the camera to move. This is obviously not what I want, because when I want the ballhead to be locked, I want the mounted camera to not move at all, with or without a force exerted to it by me. However, when I position the camera at a 45* angle with the lens facing the ground, I find that the mounted camera doesn't move, so this is a plus point.

When using the head with the tripod just taken out of the box, I find that there is slightly more friction than I want. A little grease will help, of course, but don't expect movements to be silky smooth.

The ballhead also comes with a spirit level to tell you whether or not the camera is parallel to the horizon.

Instructions on how to use the QR mechanism and ballhead will be told to you by Jason when you purchase the tripod.

The ballhead can be swapped with just about any other ballhead out there in the market. When I get my 70-200 2.8IS at the end of the year, I'll come back to test that setup on the tripod head. Chances are that I will eventually get a better ballhead for the long telephoto lenses though.

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Nov 07, 2008 05:37 |  #7

Tripod Bag Review

IMAGE: http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/9128/img67824ts3.jpg


To me, the tripod bag is very very well made. The bag is lightly padded with a thin layer of sponge all around, and is made of thick nylon. The handle pad uses velcro to join both handles together (you'll see when you look at the picture), and there are strap holders at both ends for the provided strap (if you don't want to use the strap for the tripod itself).

I think it's a great bag, and when I have my tripod fit onto my backpack, I will definitely use this tripod bag to store my lightstands and umbrellas when doing off-camera small flash work. I am trying to ask Jason if he is able to sell the bag separately to me.

IMAGE: http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/1659/img67845vg0.jpg

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Nov 07, 2008 05:38 |  #8

Final Conclusions & Technical Specs

Taken from JLPhoto's website:

Sections: 3
Maximum Height of the QR plate: about 1.7m (with ballhead)
Minimum Height of the QR plate: about 20cm
Length When Kept: 62cm (with ballhead)
Maximum Load: 4kg (with ballhead)

Jason is selling the tripod for S$120 as of this writing. (Prices in SG Dollar)

Comparison:

Personally, the only tripod I ever owned was the free Canon tripod that was given to me when I bought my camera. Then, I used my friend's setup, the ever-so-popular Manfrotto 190XPROB + 486RC2 ballhead.

By comparing the legs of the manfrotto to the yongnuo, the stability (to my untrained eye) seems to be the same. The Manfrotto has flip locks, and the yongnuo one has twist locks. I personally prefer twist locks for the clean profile of the tripod. The Manfrotto is easier to keep because it doesn't suffer from the friction or jamming problem that the yongnuo tripod has.

The Manfrotto ballhead I used is definitely smoother and more robust than the yong nuo one, but I believe that my friend did oil his ballhead once or twice before, so it's not a very fair comparison until I oil mine. I definitely will oil mine in the near future though, I can see that the friction will be a problem for fast paced tripod photography.

With a price that's a third of the Manfrotto one, I believe that this tripod is an absolute steal. It's made of good materials, and performs well for it's main purpose, to stabilise a mounted camera. However, it's the little details, the little bit of sloppy workmanship or manufacturing design that separates the two. The Manfrotto tripod will be easier and faster to set up, and will be slightly easier to use than the Yong Nuo one. A very similar analogy to this is that of a bicycle and a car. Both will get you from place to place, but the car will be faster, quicker and will take less effort to use, but will cost a lot more.

Pros & Cons of Yong Nuo Y-560 Tripod:

Pros-
Cheap
Light (Lighter than Manfrotto setup above)
Made of seemingly good quality materials
Neoprene wrap-arounds on all 3 legs (Manfrotto only has this on one leg)
Can go very low (20cm)
Bag & Strap provided

Cons-
Workmanship or Manufacturing design is somewhat sloppy
Relatively short without center column extended (perfect for my height with camera installed, 1.65m)
Sticky grease
Legs are sometimes difficult to be extended / pushed back
Very unstable when fully extended

For the newbie photographer that wants to get his first tripod, or the photographer who's on a very tight budget, or the experienced photographer who wants to use the tripod very infrequently, I believe this tripod will serve well. It's cheap enough that it will not create a very large hole in your pocket if it's not what you want, or if it ever fails.

If your budget is about S$100 for a tripod, this is the one tripod to get. I remember there was a Singapore brand of tripod, PCPP or something, at exactly the same price. I tested that at MS Color, and my, it's definitely a lot worse than the reviewed Yong Nuo tripod.

If you have a slightly higher budget and see that you will be using your tripod often, do consider 'better' tripods such as that of Benro (the more expensive ones, of course) / Manfrotto / Gitzo. They will probably last longer and be easier on your part to use. Also, you will get piece of mind out in the field because their designs are tried and tested.

I'm very pleased with this product, and I'm very pleased with the service that I got.


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Nov 07, 2008 05:38 |  #9

Common Poses That I Will Use The Tripod With

The camera pictured is a Nikon F801 35mm film with 28-105mm Sigma lens.

#1 - Standing up straight (I'm 1.65m tall) with a gripped body. Perfect for my height. For cameras without grips, I'd have to bend down a bit if I don't want to extend the center column.

IMAGE: http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/9407/img67711uq1.jpg


#2 - Crouching Position. Follow Position #2 of the tripod to use it this way.

IMAGE: http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/7493/img67742au0.jpg


#3 - Sit down on the floor/ground and shoot, with tripod legs around you. You will have to extend the center column for this. Bending with in this position will be a great way to get back-aches.

IMAGE: http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/7163/img67773ob9.jpg


-----------
Alright, that's it. I hope you've enjoyed this review. I'll update it as I use it more, but I will end the review here.

Photos were shot with an off-camera 580EXII into shoot-through umbrella with no flag used, so please excuse the reflected glare seen on my cupboard.

You may ask questions about the product by posting in this thread, and I will update the following 2 posts with Q&As in the future. If I do not know the answer, I will contact Jason himself.

This review has been brought to you by Tan Zexun, Headshotzx.
PS. Yes, that is me looking totally surprised about how big film SLR viewfinders are compared to my 400D ;)

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bohdank
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Nov 07, 2008 06:40 |  #10

Thanks for your time in posting the review.

I'm interested in the tripod bag to use with my Monfrotto. Maye I can order just the bag.


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Okami
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Nov 07, 2008 18:46 |  #11

interesting review, i've been wondering how well yong nuo stuff is usually made. Hope you do some more reviews with them later




  
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northfaceboy
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Nov 08, 2008 00:13 |  #12

Headshotzx wrote in post #6640475 (external link)
Secondly, the fact that I can open up to check how the tripod works creates a devastating problem if you ever do that without prior knowledge. I'm not sure if tripods of other brands allow that to happen, but for this tripod, all I have to do is keep screwing the twist locks for a long while (you will know you're turning too much because it takes about 20seconds to do it) until the entire leg comes out. If you have no prior knowledge as to how the legs work, this will be a problem.

The gitzo tripods allows you to take them apart. I usually give them a good clean after everytime i use them in the water. But I dont need to turn each of the twist lock for 20seconds, 5 seconds and it is off.


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Dec 04, 2008 19:11 as a reply to  @ northfaceboy's post |  #13

any updates?


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Dec 04, 2008 19:17 |  #14

On oiling the head - generally that's a "don't". My Manfrotto 486RC2 and 488RC2 heads haven't had anything done to them except what Manfrotto did in the factory and they move as smoothly as I may want depending on the tension adjustment. If you oil the head, it'll just collect dust and grit and move rougher, plus grit over an extended period of time will wear away the surfaces and it won't be as snug a fit, or as stable.


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Dec 06, 2008 12:54 |  #15

Nice review. Added it to the sticky :)


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