Cheaper Flashes for Beginner

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by Marine Paethor, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Marine Paethor

    Marine Paethor Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    I've about reached the limit of what I told my wife I'd spend on building my kit to go with my new G5. I still have a few things I'd like to add though, one of which is an external flash or two for shoots both outside and in the little DIY studio I am trying to set up in my house. I have been looking at some of the "cheaper" third party flashes and remote triggers on Ebay, such as these:

    Yinyan Flash

    Zeikos Flash


    I know that you get what you pay for, but would something like these even be worth buying to start out with?

    Thanks for any input or advice.
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    I have the trigger, bought from eBay with single receiver work fine.

    I would not recommend getting those flashes, you need a flash with tilt head and strong beam. for strobing you are to bounce the light weak flashes will not do it.
    A YONGNUO Speedlite YN460 or similar is recommended.
    You can search for used TTL flashes I got one for 40$ plus shipping.
  3. dd1

    dd1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    I would rather save for a little longer and get something like a Nissin di622, better build, Oly/Pana dedicated and built in wireless.

    Buying a "dumb" flash now will only mean additional expenditure further down the road when you want more from the flash.
  4. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    If TTL is needed then the Nissin di622 is a great flash with many feature.
    The OP is building a stroblist setup in a budget, he does no need TTL for it, I have bought a flash with TTL and does not use the TTL only manual.
    A powerful manual flash is much better for stroblist then a medium (GN 44) TTL flash, and for the price of one Nissin you can get two manual flashes.
    If needed then most of dumb flashes have auto mode, that function like TTL. Once you learned the basic of flash photography you see that TTL is like auto mode on our cameras.:rolleyes:
  5. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I am also new to the flash scene, and have been keeping my eye on the Yongnuo 560 models. They released the III recently, and from what I have heard from previous models, it is best to wait a few months for them to figure out the last minute bugs in casting before buying. It also is supposed to have a radio receiver built-in on the latest version.
  7. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    The Yongnuo 560 II costs 70$ plus a trigger 14$ will total 84$, the Yongnuo 560 III costs 78$ plus a RF-603 trigger 18$ total 96$.

    The II plus 3 party trigger is cheaper and gives more flexibility to get additional companies flashes.
  8. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  9. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I've been using a Yongnuo 560 for a while and it's great. I use it in conjunction with the cheap Cowboy Studio wireless triggers and the results are fantastic. For under $100 for the whole setup it can't be beat.

    The flashes linked to in the OP seem like they are something you will want to shortly upgrade/replace whereas for only a little bit more money Yongnuo has a product which will serve you very well for a long time and "if" you upgrade the Yongnuo will still make an excellent backup or second unit for multiple flash setups.
  10. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    According to the reviews ... my YN560 (not II or III but the first 'horrid' one) still works fine after 18 months of heavy use including to supposedly fatally flawed zoom head.
  11. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    May 21, 2012
    I'm also of the opinion of Yongnuo flashes/triggers for a great start. I started with them when I was first learning flash, and still use the YN560s to this day for I feel they are the best value for money out there.
  12. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Think of a flash like a lens. Would you buy a $10 lens? How good would you expect it to be? Think of it like a lens, and it may not seem quite so expensive.

    Save up at least $150, if not $200. You really want a flash with tilt and swivel for bouncing and aiming optical sensors for line-of-sight, and if this is your first flash and you plan to use it ON-camera in run'n'gun situations (event shooting, chasing the kids), you probably want TTL as well. You want manual power control if you're planning on using it off-camera with cheap manual-only radio triggers (like the Yongnuo RF-602 or Cactus V5).

    Flashes like the Yongnuo YN-560 are manual-only and are better as a 2nd or 3rd flash, or for using exclusively off-camera. Given how small mft cameras are, and how big speedlights typically are, exclusive off-camera use isn't out of the question (it's how I use speedlights with my G3), but you should visit the Strobist website at first to see what that is if you're contemplating an all-manual flash without the bells and whistles. And Yongnuo does NOT make mft-compatible TTL gear at this time.

    I think the cheapest compromise option for on-camera flash would be the Nissin Di-466 for four-thirds ($150). No swivel, though, would keep it off my purchase list, and I'd probably look at the 622 instead, as was mentioned up-thread.
  13. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    TTL flashes have come and gone,
    but my YNs are here to stay. :biggrin:

    460, 560, and RF602s here. 3-4 years and haven't missed a beat.

    But, if you ever plan on shooting an event, a TTL flash is wonderful
  14. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    If you're going with a manual flash anyway, what about buying used? always has used Vivitars and Sunpaks that will work well for decent prices. An old Vivitar 285HV will work just fine, and cost less than a new Yougnuo or similar.
  15. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    For DIY home studio this is a lot of flash for $20
  16. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    But it requires a battery charger, which could be expensive (not sure, I've never looked at the Metz gear).

    But it's funny that you pick something like that, I regularly use a Sunpak 522 and 544. They work great with my m43 gear triggered from cacvtus v5 triggers (which can handle the high voltage from one of them, I forget which it is....)
  17. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I figured DIY guy would just hack a power source together (that's what I do).
  18. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 29, 2012
    I just got a Neewer TT560 for $44 shipped that I'm pretty happy with. Not as powerful as the $80 flashes and lacks some features (zoom, etc.), but it's solidly built, has a tilt head/wide angle lens/bounce card, has a optical slave (including a mode that ignores pre-flashes), has intuitive controls, and might be a good starter flash.
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