This is not at all a review… More like a heads-up kinda deal. I’ve been using either Elinchrom strobes or my old Nikon speedlights ever since switching to Fujis a few years ago—which essentially means I never changed a thing from the way I worked on Nikons, apart from adding a Cactus V5 trigger kit to the system.
But the Cactus V5, while reliable enough, was always a bit of a PITA: no battery indicator, AAA batteries, no automatic shutdown, tiny tiny buttons with almost invisible markings (to these eyes anyway)… Most of these issues were fixed with the V6 version but just as I was getting ready to upgrade, my buddy Derek Clark decided to buy a Yongnuo kit and started gushing about it. So impressed in fact, that he sold ALL his Nikons speedlights and replaced them with several YN560 IVs and a YN560-TX controller. I haven’t sold my old SB–800s and 900s yet but man… These things are impressive, especially considering how little they cost. Actually that makes it sound like a compromise—it’s not.
I won’t go into guide numbers etc… Suffice it to say the YN560 IV has plenty of power for my use (if I need more I switch to big lights). Plus:
- It’s built BETTER than the old SBs. I’m not kidding, the battery door alone is miles ahead; it may sound like a small detail but I always HATED that flimsy battery door on the SB–800/900. In fact I’ve had a broken one for years.
- It’s a transceiver, so it can act as either a controller or a slave to other YN560s.
The YN560-TX controller is simple and pairs instantly with the YN560 IV (it was apparently more complicated with version III). Battery life so far has been very good and while there’s no TTL (not a problem for me), I finally regain on-camera control of both output and zoom. Bottom line: wow, this works. And the clincher is the price: $95 for the flash unit and $48 for the controller… CAD. Less than $150 for both? If I break anything I buy another and barely shed a tear. I purchased the Canon versions of both units and the kit works perfectly on the Fujis.
The images below were shot with the X100T— a flash monster like all cameras in the X100 series thanks to its leaf shutter. The outdoors images were taken in full afternoon sun at shutter speeds ranging from 1/500s to 1/1000s; indoors pics were well below normal sync speeds (1/60s to 1/160s) and I added a Honl grid to create a more controlled beam of light. All shot handheld—camera in one hand and flash in the other.
Before jumping to the images, a few more tidbits since it’s friday and I’m leaving next week:
- Charlene Winfred has joined the KAGE COLLECTIVE, finally breaking our boys’ club. We’re very excited to have her onboard.
- Vincent Baldensperger has another beautifully shot story on KAGE entitled De Camille à Amy…
- I wrote an article for the great Fujilove online magazine. It’s called Agents of Change if you feel like checking it out.
- I mentioned a few weeks ago that Fuji Tuesday was coming to Montreal. Well, I’ll be attending the kickoff gathering next Tuesday, June 16th. More info here.
As I just mentioned, I’m flying out to Spokane WA next week to shoot a project I’m very excited about. I’ll be there for several days so I’ll catch you all when I return.
Have a great weekend.
P.S Many thanks again to everyone who wrote in with words of encouragement for our mom. We've found a great place for her and she's finally leaving the hospital on Monday. A lot of challenges ahead for all of us but at least there's a return to calm and a hint of serenity in all of this.