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Flash and Studio Lighting Equipment, Techniques and Setup: Discuss Spare Flash gun - which one?...I currently own 430EX and 580EX flash guns. I am trying out using them on stands with remote triggers as ...
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Old 04-10-2012, 23:19   #1 (permalink)
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Spare Flash gun - which one?

I currently own 430EX and 580EX flash guns. I am trying out using them on stands with remote triggers as a sort of outdoor studio. Much lower powered I know but still better than just using one on a flash bracket.
Im going to buy another flash gun to use specifically for this purpose, and it only needs to operate on manual as I will set everything up manually to get the effects I want. Has anyone any recommendations for a cheap reliable flash unit that will do the job? I can go out and buy a new 580 EX, but it seems to me to be overkill, and Im sure one of these older flash guns off Ebay should do the job adequately, the Cobra 700AF seems very commonly for sale.
All advice gratfeully received
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Old 05-10-2012, 14:53   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

Yongnuo YN-560 - simply the best bang for buck manual flash I've seen,. have 5 of them., they are cool

Yongnuo YN-560 Speedlite Review (Manual Flash) | Speedlights.net
Strobist: Test Drive: Yongnuo YN-560

then get a remote wireless trigger,. something like a Yongnuo rf602
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Old 05-10-2012, 17:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

David Hobby (Strobist) raved about a low cost flashgun the Lumopro LP160. It is as powerful as an 580 EX2 / Nikon SB900. It has a metal screw down hotshoe, built-in sync AND a PC jack AND a 1/8" sync jack, so that is 4 ways to sync. It has a 2 year warranty and will step down to 1/64th power.

Strobist: LumoPro LP160: Quad Sync v.2.0
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Old 05-10-2012, 22:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

Hmm, I have looked at the Yongnuo previously, but never heard of the Lumopro! I guess it doesnt matter, its only going to be used manually so anything SHOULD work. I already have the flash triggers and two Canon flash, this is only ever going to be a secondary flash
Thanks for the advice guys
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:18   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

Of the two I think that the Lumopro has a much better spec and is also more powerful and has an elecronic zoom head. It is more expensive however, but I think that the extra features are worth the extra cost.

I found this in a similar discussion on another forum

Yongnuo YN460-II, price € 49
Guide Number: 38 (at 35mm focal length, ISO 100 in meters);
Tilt swivel head
No zoom
No other connectors beside hotshoe.

LumoPro LP160, price € 119
GN 48 in meters at normal zoom
tilt swivel head
electronic zoom
a PC port, miniphone port
metal hotshoe mount

There are also reports of the Yong Nuo not producing consistent outputs when used at low power. It does offer very good value though, so only you can decide if the lack of the features that the Lumopro has make it the best one for you.

On the Lumopro web site they claim that the LP120 (earlier version of the LP160) was developed along with the Strobist community which accounts for the 4 ways of syncing and a focus on only including useful things in the specification with no frills that add to the cost.

Lumopro's European agents are based in the Netherlands

LumoPro: about

The full spec and user manual are here

LumoPro: product
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:28   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

the Yongnuo YN460-II has no zoom etc but the one I would recommend is the Yongnuo YN560 which is more powerful, offers multiple power levels, zoom+tilt head etc,. all for ~40 quid really it's difficult to go wrong and they work pretty well

both shots unprocessed below



there's 2 yn560's propped on stuff either side of the band, the one on the left is on some of their mixing kit and the one on the right was on a table thing both probably 10 feet from the guy in the middle and fired with rf602's, the on camera flash is dialled down to 1/128 power the yn560s are both on 1/4 power, shutter is 1/25 @ 400iso f4




sky is underexposed by ~1-2 stops, f4 200iso 1/100 shutter, 1 flash on them with 3 flashes on the house are 1/2 power, really the house is a bit over lit, really needed to be dialed back a bit

(edit regards power and consistent outputs, a friend has the yn460 and a flash meter, his assessment was that the output was 'rock solid')
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:35   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

I suspect the LumoPro's are great flashes but they are more expensive and for a flash that is going on a light stand / potentially in harms way etc the cheaper the better, especially if it does everything you could need
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:45   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

Well yours certainly seem to work fine Silver, two decently lit images there. I will have a look at both, read up on Lumopro and check out the 560's. As you say, I dont want to spend a lot on a flash that could easily be knocked over, etc and its only requirement is as a slave. I have Canon flash for the tricky stuff!
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:54   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

My SB 800's and SB 900 spend a fair amount of time on light stands! The reason that I don't like relying on the hot shoe to fire the flash and why I value the provision of a PC or mini jack connector for my triggers is that on one of my diffusers the flash mounting bracket will not allow the fitting of a trigger to the hot shoe as the flash will not then align properly.

As I said, the YongNuo offer great value, and I now see that they have updated the 560 to the YN560 II which does have a much better spec

YONGNUO, photographic equipment, camera accessories, flash light, camera remote control, speedlite, photo equipment, LED photo light, flash trigger, camera wireless remote control, TTL cord
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:27   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

There is a Strobist review on the YN560 here

Strobist: Test Drive: Yongnuo YN-560

I guess that this is a mkI as it is a couple of years old now.
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Old 06-10-2012, 15:28   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

Im having a look round at all options at the moment, I dont want to spend a huge amount. I can get a second hand Canon 430ex for £100 so would want to spend less than that. What about the older Canon flash like the 430ez designed for EOS film cameras and they dont have TTL II so wont work automatically with a DSLR but should work manually shouldnt they? I can get one of those very cheap, about £25 I think. Also, while Im here, do you ever use a snoot on your Speedlites outdoors and if so, where did you get them? I can find large diffuser/small softbox things about 12x8 (inch) square but struggling for a snoot. There is a material type thing that rolls up and wraps around the speedlite but im not sure how effective it would be.
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Old 06-10-2012, 19:08   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

If you are not bothered about the type of flashgun there are plenty of cheap ones about that in their day were top of the tree kit.

Look at Metz, Cobra, Sunpak or any of the camera makes.

I made my snoots with a Cornflakes packet, blackboard paint and some gaffer tape and used black straws in one to act as a grid.

Never used them outside as I usually work on my own and because I'm cynical I like to keep the kit I'm using close to hand rather than seeing it disappearing with the local oiks. If I had an assistant I'd do it as I'd have someone to help lug the kit as well as look after it.
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Old 14-02-2013, 22:33   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

I just bought two lovely old metz hammerhead flashes for 99p each (and a fiver postage) on ebay.
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Old 16-05-2014, 16:57   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Spare Flash gun - which one?

the yongnuo yn460 is a decent flash with a decent recycle time. has a full rotation on the head and comes with built in diffusion panel and reflector card. quite powerful even with cheapo batteries in it. has a sync port on the side and a full metal foot. not TTL but great for manual off camera work
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