Old 08-10-2018, 01:01 PM   #1
Joseph Cermak
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Hi all,
I know some of you here have experience with night-flash photos. A friend of mine is looking to sell his set up and offered it to me, but I have no experience with this type of equipment. He says it's 6 flashes/stands and the associated camera equipment. (I don't know the specific models) Is anyone familiar with this Yongnuo brand? It's not one I've heard of. The better question is if it's any good for train photography...

I'm sure there's a good learning curve to using this equipment and getting good results, but I figured I'd ask if anyone has experience or knows if this brand is any good for this application before considering making an offer on the setup. Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:20 PM   #2
bigbassloyd
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Their triggers aren't great in regard to distance / reliability. The flashes themselves are pretty decent for basic OCF usage when used with a more capable trigger. They aren't extremely powerful though, so 6 really isn't enough to do anything aside from illuminating the power and 1-2 cars, or very small compositions. I'd highly suggest having at least 12 on hand if you're wanting to go above the results of most OCF photogs today.

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Old 08-10-2018, 03:45 PM   #3
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I think if he is willing to give you a VERY GOOD friend deal(usually not) then it might be a way to get your feet wet and see if it something you like. Most paths in any hobby is not to start out with the best equipment(most expensive) first but do some learning.

Have you seen some of his photos?
If he is getting rid of his to trade up that would give you a hint as to whether this is even good enough for a starter.

One of my pet peeves(like to work this in) is low power flashe lighting, poorly positioned, lighting up only the train in the dark accepted and then a reasonable shot I do with existing light rejected, too dark or blurry.

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Old 08-11-2018, 12:13 AM   #4
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I've used them for wedding photography and have been pleased. Never tried them on rail photos because, well, I don't have that many (and use my portable strobes). If it's a decent deal, give it a try.
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:17 AM   #5
Joseph Cermak
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Thanks for the feedback so far. He's selling because he bought them but never really used them, no time to railfan with his new job. Haven't discussed a price yet so we'll see. Just wanted to know if they would be a decent place to start learning or if they were not suitable to the choo choo photo application at all.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:52 PM   #6
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I have six of those as well. They're decently reliable. Note: they system will take 24 AA batteries. Here's a link to my photos . http://www.railpictures.net/p42amtrak83/

The question is: Do you really want to be standing along the train tracks at night? It will take 1 1/2 hours to set up and 1 hour to take down...and it's easy to lose something when it's dark. If you're in a bad area, you're a sitting duck.

I don't have any issue with power output. I recently bought two Alien-Bees, but I still find myself setting up 4-5 Yongnuos to fill areas that aren't lit well.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amtrak07t View Post

The question is: Do you really want to be standing along the train tracks at night? It will take 1 1/2 hours to set up and 1 hour to take down...and it's easy to lose something when it's dark. If you're in a bad area, you're a sitting duck.
Yeah that's absolutely a thought I've had, is it something I'll actually use? But since I'm still young and in college being out late at night is nothing out the ordinary haha so I guess now's a good a time as any if I want to give it a shot.

Nice shots btw, good to see what can be done with this setup.
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:22 AM   #8
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It will take 1 1/2 hours to set up and 1 hour to take down.
I'm curious as to why it would take that long for setup and takedown. Aren't these things wireless?
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
I'm curious as to why it would take that long for setup and takedown. Aren't these things wireless?
Yeah, but it's a lot of hardware to deploy. You'd have 6 stands, a tripod, and a backpack full of lights, your typical camera bag, a lantern. My set up weighs about 80 lbs or so, and it can take some time to walk to the location where you want to set up.

Setting up takes a while because tweaking the set up can be tedious. Considering the process to deploy/collect all of the equipment and ensure everything is safely put away. It takes a long time.
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Cermak View Post
Yeah that's absolutely a thought I've had, is it something I'll actually use? But since I'm still young and in college being out late at night is nothing out the ordinary haha so I guess now's a good a time as any if I want to give it a shot.

Nice shots btw, good to see what can be done with this setup.
Thank you. I'm also in college, and I am used to staying out late as well. I'd recommend something to keep yourself safe from wild animals and perhaps even punks.

The Yongnuos are great for the price. I think I paid $60 for each unit new. All of them still work.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:31 AM   #11
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What model are they? I started with YN560 IV's and when I finally wore them out, purchased four YN660's, the newest model. On the newest one, they changed the power button to a switch, and a slide lock for the hotshoe mount. For $80 new, they are good little flashes.. not sure about their triggers but I have never had a problem with them not firing even at a couple hundred feet away. If he offers you a good enough deal, I would do it, if anything to get your feet wet and see if it's something you enjoy.

As for that long of a set up.. I've had four flashes up in under 3 minutes before (in a rush after messing up the first shot).. at most you'll need 10-15 minutes to set up 6 tripods and flashes.. once you get the hang of things, of course.

Here's a couple of my shots with 4 of them..

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/628295/

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/615318/ (still surprised this one got onto RP.net to be honest.. I was not happy with how it came out quality wise, but it was at 4000ISO and nowhere to focus..)

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/592262/

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/590414/

Note that all of these are on a 6D (full frame) so YMMV depending on what camera you use
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Old Yesterday, 02:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
Their triggers aren't great in regard to distance / reliability.
I've been using their tranmitter/receiver system for work for the past 20 months and they've been very reliable. Can't complain one bit about them and they are very affordable.
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Old Yesterday, 02:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
I've been using their tranmitter/receiver system for work for the past 20 months and they've been very reliable. Can't complain one bit about them and they are very affordable.
"Aren't great" doesn't mean completely worthless. They worked fine in clear weather and short distances. They were not capable enough for the types of things I was doing (any weather and up to 1000 feet or more) however. I also had 2 quit working completely. Maybe they've improved those aspects within the last couple years. I won't be buying new ones to check.

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