Me, Myself and YN565EX


Strobe light: A flash lamp that produces high-intensity short-duration light pulses by electric discharge in a gas.
And in the context of this article: A small “camera flash unit” (speedlite, speedlight), used separate from the camera itself and triggered wirelessly to be synchronized with the camera exposure.

I can’t quite say if this is a review or just a love/hate story about myself and the Yongnuo YN565EX flash. I am glad (kind of) that I didn’t wrote this story on the date I took the first picture within this post, as it would be written in a totally different tone, as at the time the two of us were not the best of friends… And now, for something completely different… But let’s start from the beginning.

The Beginning

Since whenever I stumbled on one of the articles by David Hobby on using strobes and the photographs when using strobes, I just couldn’t stop myself from searching on and on, because these photographs just looked perfect… I wanted to do that, like that, and better…

Then, for a couple of months I tried to learn as much about “strobist photography” before I actually buy my first strobe. Reasonably I didn’t want to go spending all my lunch money on the best, most powerful, all-round strobe on the planet. I wanted something cheap just to get started. I read, compared and weighed price/value of each strobe that was in my price range…

Don’t take my word for it, but performance of the Yongnuo YN560EX between the Canon’s flagship speedlites (Canon 580EX II at the time) were more or less the same for unimaginable less money, but the only problem was that YN560 didn’t have TTL. Like every beginner in flash-photography I thought I would never learn to use the flash in manual mode (more on manual later). After almost quitting strobistisizing, I found that Yongnuo just deployed the YN565EX, in my opinion a sole copy of the Canon 580EX II, with …drumroll… TTL, lovely. After seeing the price (160$ at that time), I bought it…

The Love

One day, it fell into my hands… What do I do with this? I set it on my camera (the wireless triggers came tomorrow), set the TTL mode, pointed it up (yeah, RnR, I didn’t blasted it straight-front, but ceiling and wall bounced, like a pro [I’m sarcastic in case you were wondering…]). Ooooooo the light. A completely new kind of photographs, I never did anything like this… And the off-camera mode… I might have guessed (but I didn’t), but it didn’t work in TTL… I was forced to learn to use the manual mode, and I did… Just loving every photograph I took with this flash (40% off-camera, for those, be sure to take a look at my strobist tag)… Until…

The Hate

Yes, until… I was using it on-camera, in TTL, blasting away, and suddenly it stopped working… I recharged the batteries, bought a new set of batteries, and nothing, not a single blast… Blast… That was just after I used it for 4 months. I contacted the seller, wanted to get a replacement one, but they required me to send them the faulty one in order to get the new one, fair I guess, except that the postage was something around 35$, for a 160$ flash, call me cheap, but I thought I might get another one which could fail on me after a couple months again and it wasn’t a reasonable thing to do at the time… So I dropped the whole replacement unit thing… I occasionally tried to fire it, sometimes it worked, but whenever I switched it to TTL mode or if I connected it to the camera hot-shoe, it just stopped working, completely, for a couple of days, even when I switched it to manual mode and off-camera (I don’t get it)…

Strictly business

Two months after the incident, I realized that I didn’t and won’t even try (probably ever again) to use the TTL mode and the on-camera flash. For the last 4 months I strictly shoot:

  • off-camera
  • manual

And I cautiously say that I’m very glad to have bought the YN565EX for those two reasons, although it supports TTL, it forced me not to use it, and it forced me to use it off-camera… And now, it still works.

Žule Story

Žule is my Electric Yellow Cichlid fish, always alone, aggressive towards every creature in the tank, even it’s own kind, and the king of his castle, an absolute killer. Story of the above photograph goes, wow, this looks good, I try another one… YN stopped, manual, off-camera, optically triggered, every other way failing… I smashed it off the table, put it in a drawer, and figured to test it a week later to check if I’m going to throw it away or not… Since then it works… I don’t get it… But I’m not considering (even by a mistake) to switch the mode from manual, or to put it on the hot-shoe…

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