Friday, July 5, 2013

Yongnuo YN-622n flash triggers

I purchased Yongnuo YN-622N flash triggers recently.  They are a very cheap alternative to PocketWizards, costing something like $100 for two (I bought 4).  They are transceivers so you put one on the hotshoe on your camera and the other ones on the flashes you want to control.

They also have a passthrough so that you can still use your flash on top of your camera.  I am very impressed so far (but still have a lot of testing to do).  Here are some of my notes so far:
1) Controlling the other flashes from the transceiver itself is painful, as the controls are through a series of button pushes that are not intuitive.  The good thing is there are other options for controlling the other flashes.

2) I originally thought I would be able to use my camera's master controller menu for the built in flash to communicate with the camera mounted YN-622n, but that unfortunately does not work.

3) You CAN control the system from a flash mounted on top of the camera/YN-622n.  Controlling the system from a camera mounted SB-910 or SU-800 is super easy and what I am doing.  You can also use an SB-900 or SB-700 as a master controller (the SB-700 allows you to control 2 groups, the others let you control 3 groups).  Note, although you can use an SB-800 as a controlled remote flash using the YN-622n, the YN-622n is not compatible with using it as a Master.

4) I am still testing the pass through TTL.  I have had some inconsistent results in TTL mode but it could be me.

5) I usually set up for manual flash output.  This has worked flawlessly for me.  To do this you set all of your remotes as TTL, and in my case I set my SB-910 as Master.  I control all of the flash ratios for my groups from my SB-910 so without having to walk over to my remote flashes, or worrying about whether the infrared eye is pointing in the right direction, I can just fire and forget.  Very cool.

6) I thought that I might be able to mix and match with my SB-910 on camera with some remotes using the YN-622n and some still relying on the infrared CLS communication (since I was using the 910 as my Master).  Unless I did something wrong in my test, that mixed mode does not seem to be supported.

7) I have not tested it, but there is a 3rd party SU-800 available from Debao that is around $100.  That is significantly cheaper than Nikon's SU-800 (and it uses AA batteries instead of the CR123 that the Nikon uses).   If the Debao works well with the YN-622n system, it would be a very cost effective alternative.

All in all, if you want to experiment with off camera flash and don't mind doing manual flash control (all from your camera mounted flash, which is super easy), then I highly recommend the Yongnuo's.  If you want to shoot TTL, I would read a few more reviews to verify that TTL is working correctly for others (as I said, I may just be doing something wrong).

Happy Shooting....

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