Review:Yongnuo 565EX ETTL Speedlite Flash for Nikon

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Lets admit it, China has an expanding photography industry. At its roots is a lack of originality. Chinese companies, however, have been producing increasingly better equipment. We have reviewed Yongnuo speed lights before, and they work well. So when I felt I needed a better speed light, I took a chance. I got a Yongnuo 565ex for my Nikon cameras. I have used it for some time now, and here is what I think.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Inexpensive compared to Nikon flashes

PC sync port

Can be a wireless title slave.

Cons

Inconsistent TTL

Can overt heat at times..

LCD menu slightly confusing at first

Gear Used

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This flash works in manual mode on the Olympus EP1

I used the Yongnuo 565 ex with my Nikon D700, D5100, D90 and Olympus Ep1. I also used this with my pocket wizards and my Westcott X-Drop backdrop kit.

 Tech Specs

From Amazon

  • Metering system of the camera will detect flash illumination reflected back from the object so as to automatically control flash output level
  • YN-465 has 7 different flash power levels (1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64) in the manual mode
  • Guide number: 33
  • Color temperature: 5,600K
  • Compatible with Nikon i-TTL cameras (not compatible with D100 D50 D2Hs D2X D70 D2H)

Ergonomics

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The manual is small but useful, and I had to read it understand this flash. We recommend doing the same when you first start working with it.

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The battery compartment is easy to open and load. The flash takes four AA batteries to power it up. Like any flash, you’ll find a silica gel pack to ensure that moisture doesn’t seep inside.

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The flash has a pop-up reflector built-in. It also has a piece that makes the output veer out in an even wider field of view.

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There is a PC sync and an External power input, Canon CP-E4 type. Here, you can hook it up and use it with external battery units, PocketWizards and more.

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The buttons are well placed and responsive. There is a directional selection, on/off button, slave function, power output, LCD light, and more. Everything you need to control is right there and easily accessible.

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The front of the flash had a spot for the light sensor and for focus assist. Yongnuo’s flashes can be an infrared slave for nearly any fash on the market.

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The flash’s head is big and easy to handle. It twists around and can stand up or lay down to fire into nearly any direction you may need.

Build Quality

The Yongnuo 565EX has a great build quality and is extremely durable. I have had this on shoots, in and out of many camera bags and different conditions and the flash has held up. The body is plastic, and has a decent weight to it. Even though the flash is inexpensive it does not feel cheap.

 Ease of Use

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Working with the Yongnuo 565ex is a challenge at first, even with the manual. Everything seems backwards if you’re a traditional Nikon flash user. Eventually after a bit of trial and error I got to learn the flash. While the backlit LCD is easy to read, everything on the screen is not. Navigating the menus is a chore at first as well. Once I got used to it, the flash is much easier to use. It needs adjusting though at unexpected times when using TTL.

Image Quality

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The light coming through the door really messed with the metering here.

Overall the image quality this flash will produce will depend on the photographer. Using this flash requires a little experience. Once you can work around its slight faults, it’s a good piece of equipment.

Color

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For the most part the color was consistent with the Yongnuo 565EX. This was definitely the case in manual mode when I had to take several shots in succession and the environment stayed the same.I had this flash on a wedding, several business meetings and conventions. No matter which lens I used, it worked well, as long as I was not on TTL.

 Power

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The power was inconsistent in TTL mode. Sometimes nothing would change in the environment, but the light that came off the flash would vary. I was shooting at a party where the light was mostly the same in one room yet I could not get consistent power output. I put the camera in manual mode, dialed in my settings and the Yongnuo 565ex worked well. However, this thing loves to eat batteries.

Conclusion

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The Yongnuo 565ex for Nikon is not brilliant . Honestly, I may have been better off getting the Yongnuo 560 III. The flash is not too bad though. Using the TTL was my only major issue with it. This flash may not be as nice as a Nikon or Nissin flash, but it’s functional.

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Yongnuo has better flashes out there like the 560 III Radio Flash. If you can try this one before you buy it, do so. It’s not for everyone. I use it mostly in manual now and that’s fine for me. If you need TTL think twice before getting this flash.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.