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Archive 2012 · YN560-II compared to 285HV
  
 
swoop
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p.1 #1 · YN560-II compared to 285HV



So I've had the 285HV for about 5 years now. And I'm getting kinda tired of it. What I find most annoying is the power whine. It has this high pitched tone it makes when it's powered up and when things are quiet you can definitely notice it. Another thing is the control input. It has this little wheel on the side you use to select your power output and I'm just getting really tired of having to twist into some awkward angles every so often to make adjustments.

So looking for something better, but still affordable I stumbled upon the YN560-II and going over the specs it seemed like the perfect replacement. So I picked one up to try it out and so far I like it.

Having the controls on the rear of an illuminated LCD is a lot more practical. That it has a built in slave is great too so I don't have to connect a trigger if I'm just setting up lights real quick. The YN560-II seems to be a tad bit heavier than the 285HV but in general also feels like it's built more solid as well.

I've read the reviews and opinions and there seem to be a few bad units out there but reliability doesn't seem to be any worse than any other product. The dissatisfied are usually more vocal than the ones who are happy. So I took a chance and it seems to be a great unit. I'm still waiting on the HV cable to see what the recycle times are with a Lumedyne battery, but so far on plain old alkaline I'm getting about 6 seconds with the YN560-II compared to 14 seconds for the 285HV on a full power flash. FYI on a Lumedyne the 285HV cycles in 1.3 seconds. So I doubt the YN560-II will do any worse.












Jul 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #2 · YN560-II compared to 285HV


swoop wrote:
So I've had the 285HV for about 5 years now. ...It has this little wheel on the side you use to select your power output and I'm just getting really tired of having to twist into some awkward angles every so often to make adjustments.


For 5 years you've been operatig under a mistaken belief. That "little wheel on the side" doesn't select the power. It's not connected to anything; it's just a calculator for figuring range based on ASA/ISO and aperture. (It does rotate to different ranges based on zoom setting of the head and to changes in ISO, but those are just mechanical -- not electronic -- changes.)

Try it sometime: take several shots of a fixed object and twist that wheel for all it's worth; your exposures won't change.

The only control on the 285HV is the Vari-Power control on the front, shown in your photo, which can be set for Manual power levels of Full, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/16, or Autoflash with various color-coded apertures (as indicated on the calculator but not controlled by it).

The whine is somewhat of an irritant, although when I first got my 580EX II I kept having this nagging doubt that it had fired because I never heard any change from it's typical silence.

The Vivitar's slow recycling is one of the main reasons I upgraded to Speedlites, so I'm definitely with you on that one.

I'm glad you're happy with your new flash. Have fun with it!



Jul 20, 2012 at 04:09 AM
swoop
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p.1 #3 · YN560-II compared to 285HV


BrianO wrote:
For 5 years you've been operating under a mistaken belief. That "little wheel on the side" doesn't select the power.


Typo. I mean "It has this little wheel on the front that you use to select your power output which is displayed on the side of the wheel on the front."



Jul 20, 2012 at 04:32 AM
 

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heyjavi
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p.1 #4 · YN560-II compared to 285HV


thanks for the comparison, i'm also considering buying a YN560, I think I will!


Jul 20, 2012 at 06:17 AM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #5 · YN560-II compared to 285HV


thanks for sharing this


Aug 01, 2012 at 04:57 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · YN560-II compared to 285HV


The Vivitar design is unchanged from the 70s. I bought my first Vivitars (263) in 1972 and though the source and quality has changed the design hasn't.

I switched to 285HVs in 2000 when getting my first digital cameras because the trigger voltage on the 263s was too high. I used them for about a year on my 20D when finally cutting the cord to film entirely and getting a DSLR but desided to get a pair of 580ex to do things the Vivitars couldn't, such as HHS and trigger a slave optically without interference from other shootings.

I'd used TTL flash with other cameras previously but the 20D was one of the first Canon bodies to use ETTL-II evaluative zone metering and it was a bit of a learning curve involving a good bit of testing to figure out how it worked and get reliable results with it.

In one test, documented on my tutorial site, I shot a test scene with wide, medium and close-up crops with all 18 different ambient / flash metering combinations. My conclusion? None of them exposed the scene perfectly at EC=0 and FEC=0 when shooting in Av mode and allowing the metering to make all the exposure decisions from it't default "I think this is right" baseline.

To help evaluate exposure I used a white towel and a gray card and noticed that the clipping warning of the camera on the white towel was a good predictor of detail in the highlights in the RAW files. So I changed my approach to flash exosure from thinking in terms of power and distance as I had with the Vivitars to one of taking a test shot at FEC=0, looking at the playback to spot clipping, then adjusting FEC as needed from that baseline. It's not unlike aiming a Canon where a spotter sees how the wind blew the canon ball off target by X amount and calls in the correction to the gunner.

I use the Canon flashes in manual mode and ETTL but use the same "Canon" clipping warning method to adjust exposure. One of the reasons I think the investment in system flashes from Canon or Nikon, depending on what camera brand one uses, it that they offer the option to switch seamlessy from manual, TTL and HHS as needed. The are like three different tools vs. one-trick pony.

For candid shooting with dual flash I usually shoot in ETTL ratio mode. I know from experience and testing that with my Master/fill on bracket and Slave/Key off axis an A:B ratio of 1:2 will record a full range of detail (Master defaults to A so that ratio makes incident strength of key 2x great than fill).

With my diffusers in play I know that FEC=+1-1/3 works most of the time, so that's my starting baseline. I take a shot at those settings and more often than not it's perfect. If the scene is lighter or darker than average it may take 1 or 2 shots to zero in on the ideal exposure based on the clipping warning.

For tasks where the distances are static I switch to manual using the method I learned in the 70s shooting wedding receptions with dual flash. I use identical modifers and the flashes at the same power but if shooting at 8ft I put the slave at 5.6 feet (which happens to be my arm span) from the nose. Due the inverse square law the key light at 5.6ft is 2x brighter (incident) than fill, a 3:1 reflected ratio when they overlap:

H:S
1:1 even fill from bracket flash at 8ft shooting distance
2:0 off canera slave at 5.6ft winds up 2x brighter
==
3:1 Key overlaps fill creating 3:1 reflected ratio the camera records.

When I use that consistent set-up there are no variables and the exposure is always the same. ISO100 @ f/8 when the flashes are set to 1/2 power exposes the highlights perfectly and the lighting ratio exposes the shadow detail perfectly.

The best argument for a system flash vs. manual is that the system flash can do everything the manual flash can, but the system flash can do much more, and the more tools you have at your disposal the more different ways you can solve a photographic lighting problem.

Yes they are more expensive, but they last a long time and over time will be the better investment



Aug 01, 2012 at 06:53 PM





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