Hit and miss aftermarket flashes


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Sep 19, 2015
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So awhile back I bought a Yongnuo YN-565EX Flash Speedlite for my D7100. Trying to save a little cash I bought the Yongnuo because it had somewhat decent reviews and would communicate with my camera. I paid $90 US so not a huge expenditure. I've used it twice and although it seems to work well with good exposures it sucks new batteries dry in just a few hours even if turned off. Not worth trying to return it to a foreign country so I've chocked it up to lesson learned.
I will pick up a Nikon SB-700 from a big well know Canadian photography retailer for $329.00 Cnd. I think I will stick to name brand accessories for now on even though they are more expensive if for nothing else but to be able to rely on their dependability.

I have 4 YN568EX's and have zero problems with any of them.
I also have a Neewer 750II that also has been working well for a year now ($60 new)
and my SB700 is still working fine after 6 years.
There's always a risk but my experience has been the opposite. I work as a freelance event & nightlife photographer and rack up around 500 pics
every weekend - all of them are flash photos since it's the only way to go in nightclubs. I've had the low end YN468II for over a year and it hasn't
missed a beat.

I recently got a 568II as main, 468II is now my backup. This one works even better but we'll see how reliable it'll be.
There's about 10-12 of us doing local event photography for various web sites and EVERYONE is using YN flashes.
Zero issues.

565 is the most common choice and seems to be the most reliable. :-/
Quality control and long-term dependability are serious issues that the Made in China knock-off gear of many different brands seem to suffer from. The web is filled with untold numbers of broken down or erratically-functioning Made in China knockoff equipment. It seems also that whenever the spotty record of MIC flashes and triggers and lighting gear is brought up, owners who are lucky enough to have functioning examples leap to reply about how great their examples are. But that doesn' change the fact that this MIC gear has earned its reputation for sketchy performance and less than ideal quality control.

Still...at the price of this MIC knockoff gear (typically these flashes are made from stolen injection moulds, according to Thom Hogan) the low,low price is an inducement...it's possible to buy three or four examples for the price of one manufacturer's genuine article, and then when the first or second one breaks down, well, you saved money. If it lasts, great! But if craps out, you're not really out that much money. The marketplace sorts itself out based on the desires of the customers.

The same issue exists with the Samyang-Bower-Rokinon-Vivitar lenses, which Lensrentals.com found would sometimes break down within a month or two of rentals...really SHARP lenses, like their 14mm f/2.8....but lenses that would just "fall apart" under normal use, and fast. Quality control costs quite a bit of money, as does maintaining distributorships and warranty centers all over the world. By skipping both the QC and the warranty/dealer network expenses, the prices are kept super-low.
Echoing the others who are actually using the YN gear, 2 YN565EX ETTL since October of 2011, so 4 years without a hiccup so far, and no battery drainage problems. After using them alongside my 2 Canon 580EXII flashes to compare, I sold the Canon's on eBay, and used the money to buy more gear. Included in the gear I bought was another 4 YN560III with built in radio triggers in August of 2013, so 2+ years now with them in addition to the first ones, all without a hiccup, and no battery drainage problems.

On batteries, I exclusively use Eneloops, and they work well for me, even if they're sitting in the flash up on the shelf for awhile while I'm doing natural light stuff or editing for final output, or something like that. I pick them up, and they work, ready to go for me.

Sounds like you got a lemon. It happens. Sorry to hear it.
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What batteries are you using? I find certain rechargeable batteries work as described. I always have a first party flash for on camera TTL, but I use third party manual speedlights when I need small off cameras flashes.
I've been using Yongnuo flashes for five (5) years with no problems
could your problem be the ...................... batteries ????
I was using new Energizer batteris.
I picked up a SB-700 on my way home from work yesterday and put batteries from the same package in. Left it off overnight and this morning they still had full power. So not a battery problem. Guess I got a bad one.
I've had a Yongnuo for a few years without major issues. No battery drain.
My main issues are related to the additional features. The model I have is a SU-800 compatible model but upon testing lacks in IR control distance, to about 8 useless feet from the controller. There were a few other features listed that lacked though I can't recall what they are now. My 2 main speedlights are SB-800s and SB700. The Yongnuo is strictly a BG flash now, though reliable at that - all are paired with the YN 622 triggers now for reliable OCF.
I will still keep the YN for when I need secondary remote lighting. I will just need to remove the batteries right away after I'm done shooting.
I recently picked up two Yongonuougonu 600ex-rt and the wireless transmitter for the price of one canon 600ex-rt. I mean that is almost too good to pass up.

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