Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN560II

Cabled, wireless, studio - anything do with using flash
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bfitzgerald
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Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN560II

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:42 pm

Ok just an update on things my end. In case anyone is interested :lol:
I've also spoken to Intro 2020 (official UK service and support for Metz) about a few areas in the flash system.

I asked specifically about the new hot shoe ie multi interface shoe. Quite an interesting response on this.
Evidently it is "in the works" from Metz, but they have to license the shoe design from Sony (I was unaware of this) The support guy said it's not coming any time soon, but might turn up later next year if there are new models (ie new AF 58 AF-2 due an update) So currently all Metz flashes are using the i-iso hot shoe at the moment, none have been changed over.

I had a few questions about their flashes and he seemed knowledgeable to a keen to help.
For Analogue users the 58 AF-2 has full legacy support (at least on the shoe, can't confirm wireless with film bodies) I have the 50 AF-1 which in the shoe does have analogue support for the old TTL for film bodies, but you have to use the servo mode for wireless.

He pointed out the new Metz 52 AF-1 does not have legacy 35mm support (unlike the 50 AF-1), but you can use it in manual obviously. This new model does support Master mode though for digial, ie can control other flashes (the older model can't)
There is a segment missing in the 58 AF-2 manual (for Sony) but he was kind enough to open one up on the phone and it does indeed support the dumb "servo mode"

The new 52 AF-1 has an option for pre flash suppression on or off, and a learning function (pre flash suppression is on by default on the 50/58 models). He explained that the actual chip on this model is likely smaller (less capacity than the 58 AF-2) hence the dropping of support for analogue. It also has the new touch screen (not used one yet) and finer control for output on manual flash power.

If you're using analogue in some way/shape/form you are advised to stick to the 58 AF-2 or pick up a 50 AF-1 (discontinued now) and not the new 52 AF-1. For digital only users the 52 is quite an interesting model though it lacks some of the advanced areas on the 58 such as bracketing, secondary flash, and the built in thyristor A mode (which I can confirm works really well as I had that flash on Nikon)

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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:13 pm

Part II:

I recently picked up the Yongnuo YN560 II and will share a few thoughts.
I had tried this flash before with the normal shoe, but picked up the A mount version which does have the i-iso shoe. This also have a quick release mechanism (ie auto lock and push the button to remove) unlike the Metz units which have a screw down design (they don't contact the shoe just push the lock mechanism down)

Reading Kurt Munger's review he seems to have got a lemon copy of the flash, he says shuts down after a few shots and won't power on. I tested my unit and it does NOT show this issue. If the Yongnuo is getting hot it slows down the firing rate, I have not seen it shut down at all. The Metz flashes I've used don't shut down either they slow the firing rate if they get hot (I've yet to overheat a Metz even in scorching heat and blasting it - maybe a power pack might hit the thermal limit but normal use never a problem)

Build on the Yongnuo is good, the casing is decently made and the swivel head does not have a lock on it, but it isn't too easy to move by accident. The controls are quite logical with hard plastic buttons, you get a pc connection, port for a power pack. Also included are a case and stand (plastic threads though) You have manual, pre flash control on/off and a strobe mode. You can make power adjustments in 1/3 stops to fine tune it.

Testing the flash I can confirm that if you are using metered wireless mode with a flash off camera with TTL that the Yongnuo will not form part of the exposure doesn't matter if you set pre flash off or on with that flash. This sounds like a huge problem, but the solution is the reason I went with Metz. As I can use my flash as a "dumb manual flash" with the servo mode you can fire both the Metz and the Yongnuo off camera using the onboard flash (set to pre flash suppression) My trick is to put an empty toilet roll over the camera flash to direct light away from the subject. Both flashes are quite sensitive to light signal and have a good range in servo mode.

Currently no Sony flash supports optical/servo mode at all, this causes headaches for people wanting to use flashes like the Metz and Yongnuo in manual mode off camera. Only solution is to use wireless triggers to fire these flashes. This is the primary reason I've ignored Sony flashes for my set up. In most cases I simply need to use the flashes manual off camera, and simply trigger them via the on-board flash (you can experiment making it part of the exposure or deflecting the light so it doesn't add to it)

Obviously the Metz does support the TTL wireless and wireless HSS as well as being able to manually adjust power output in wireless. So if you're planning on getting a Yongnuo to add as a manual flash for off camera work and you don't have a flash that has a servo mode you'll find it of limited use unless you use triggers or and off shoe cable. You can't integrate a Sony flash into a manual flash wireless set up any other way bar triggers.

I read a few complaints about the Yongnuo not showing a flash ready light in the viewfinder. Simply put the flash is purely manual, it has no communication with the camera (any camera regardless of model SLT or not) bar the "fire" element on the hot shoe. The camera does not know it's there and you are basically metering with the camera only and not a flash at all. This isn't a huge problem this is how it's supposed to work. It's probably easier going into M or S mode and working from there and using the Yongnuo as you would a manual flash (A mode not so useful unless you have a satisfactory shutter speed)

For SLT models you will want to turn the setting effect off for obvious reasons, the viewfinder will go dim in low light.
Other than that I can (unlike Kurt) recommend the flash, just be aware of the intended used of it. It's not a TTL dedicated flash, it does not support HSS, but it does have a good power output, the re-cycle times are fast at about 3 seconds for full power (my metz is around 4.5) it can also fire at they say up to 8fps with reduced power output. As an inexpense additional flash for manual wireless, or a back up manual flash it's hard to complain at all. If you want a dedicated flash then you need to look elsewhere.

One advantage of the manual wireless flash set up is quite obvious. I'm not overly impressed with Sony's attempt to update wireless flash. I have to be blunt watch this video and it's far from intuitive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gj9LU2EmYQ

Much simpler to trigger your flashes in manual mode allowing you to fine tune the exposure of each flash rather then mess around in the flash menus.
I will give some credit to Nikon, their flash system is top notch it's much easier to set up a flash system on their CLS using the camera body to set flash at the required levels. You can also mix and match flashes with TTL and manual firing power off camera. It works, and it works very well indeed.

Anyway that's my take on things I hope it's been of some use, will post a few examples shortly when I've played around with my new light tent/box!
If you want cost effective off camera manual flash, I would stay away from Sony's offerings. If they ever add an optical slave mode they might be worth a look.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:33 pm

He're an example of both flashes firing as intended at the same time (metz has a diffuser attached), both in manual mode using only the onboard flash popped up (not in WL mode just normal) Set the Yongnuo to pre flash suppression (the metz is set to this by default) If I put the Metz in the hot shoe and in manual then set the Yongnuo to pre flash suppression "off". If I put the Yongnuo in the hot shoe I need to set it to multi flash (2 flashes) as the Metz has no option to fire in manual without pre flash suppression. Either way this is an effective solution to using off camera flashes with minimal cost.

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The Metz does have the advantage of being able to be set at manual power as part of the TTL wireless set up. But if you are ok using just the onboard flash (or another shoe mounted flash) to fire, then you could build an entire manual flash set up with the Yongnuo's, usual limitations apply such as no HSS


You can decide what to do with the onboard unit (ie part of the exposure or not) This makes life much simpler for interior shooting.
Next year I might add another flash, but it would likely be another Metz, I would find 2 flashes more than sufficient for most uses, but you can easily pick up the Yongnuo for very little outlay.

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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby mvanrheenen » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:31 pm

I too have an Yongnuo flash, but the YN460-II, but made for the old Minolta/Sony hot shoe. For the price, it's a great manual flash. The biggest gripe I have with it is that it isn't compatible with my Pixel wireless triggers, so I have to resort to the same tricks Barry describes.

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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby Marcell Nikolausz » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:09 pm

Do you have any information about the compatibility of the metz 52 AF-1 in some wireless mode?
My problem is that I use both nex-5 and a100. I have a 5600HSD unit and a youngnuo 460II flash (works somehow with the nex).
I would like to have a second flash unit for the a100. I would use it in the wireless TTL mode together with the 5600HSD (triggered with the on-board flash).
However, it would be good if I could use the metz also for the nex somehow.
Do you have any information about the metz 44 AF-1 unit? What are the drawbacks compared to 52 (besides the power)?

Thanks in advance

Marcell

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:45 pm

Hi Marcell
Well the guy I spoke to said the 52 AF-1 has either pre flash suppression, or not (the other Metz units so far only have the built in suppression setting you can't change that, because the TTL flash has pre-flash on it one reason)

It also has a learning function, now he didn't go into big details on that. But it appears you can set the flash to learn, and it is possible that using the normal TTL wireless mode (ie WL flash mode) that the flash will learn "where" the main exposure flash is..and learn to ignore the pre-flashes that happen. It is not possible to use a flash with the normal wireless currently with either the Yongnuo of the Metz I have, because even though they have pre flash suppression, there is more than one pre-flash in wireless mode and it sets them off prematurely (ie they don't contribute to the exposure)

The 44 AF-1 is a TTL flash, it does support TTL wireless flash, it has a manual mode too (but only 4 power levels) no LCD but LED display, but it's a dedicated unit and has the usual bits like modelling light, wide angle/bounce card, AF assist beam.

It doesn't have HSS, it has less control over the manual settings, unlike higher Metz models you can't set it for wireless and manually over-ride the output (which you can on the others) And it does not have an optical slave mode (like the Yongnuo or the 50-AF 1)

It's not a bad choice if you want a hassle free TTL flash that can do wireless at a non wallet busting price, depends on what you are looking for.

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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby Marcell Nikolausz » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:28 pm

Thanks for the reply, it's quite useful.

Marcell

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:52 pm

Quick update. A friend picked up one of those "light tents" as a gift for me
This is it here, but there are various ones no ebay that look the same
http://www.7dayshop.com/photo-video-sup ... VpcG1lbnQ=


Anyway just a few sample shots, using the 2 flashes off camera purely as "dumb slaves"

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You can experiment with the arrangement, and if you want to bounce some light off the ceiling etc. You could probably get sufficient illumination just with one flash, but 2 seems ideal for balancing out the light.

Few quick samples, nothing dramatic or gripping but just a demo of the light tend. It does seem to work well, these were just quick shots..but you might want to use a CPL for some subjects

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Various flash ramblings - New shoe... Metz & Yongnuo YN5

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:55 pm

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You can play around with exposure, but it's quite easy to push the highlights in post and just give that studio look.
These were just quick jpegs, I've not tried the colour panels as white is popular. You can lightly iron it, but in most cases you won't see creases if you give enough light to the highlights.

Thought it might be useful for someone looking to take product shots or something similar, as the cost of the tent is small, and the Yongnuo's very affordable it's a pretty cost effective way to get a lighting set up for this type of shooting.


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