I’ve waited months for these triggers to come out, they are finally here and I’m super excited to share my Yongnuo YN-622N review. These triggers are about 80 bucks for a pair of two, many times cheaper than most name brand triggers, especially considering their features. I ended up getting mine on eBay for about 90 dollars, shipped from Utah. I paid the extra 10 bucks so I wouldn’t have to wait. I’ve gotten lucky, as most of them are still being shipped from China, which could take a month to deliver. I’m sure soon enough they will be shipping from the USA. Read on to see if they were worth the wait….
First a little background. These are my first set of flash triggers. Before these, I used the Nikon CLS system exclusively. I have a D90 and used the pop up flash in commander mode. This worked very well indoors, but outside was hit or miss, especially if the sun was out. I also didn’t like the pop-up flash contributing to my exposure. Even if you set it to –, there was still a hint of it, especially if you were taking close up or macro shots. I ended up creating a few DIY reflectors for it to bounce the flash away from my subject.
The other issue was line of sight. It wasn’t really an issue using my SB-700, since even a hint of flash and that thing triggers, but most 3rd party flashes had to be in the vicinity. The range isn’t really an issue for me, as I don’t usually shoot too far away from my off camera flash. That out of the way, lets rock.
Quick specs for the YN622N:
- Flash Modes: i-TTL, Manual
- Shutter Sync Modes: front-curtain sync, rear-curtain, High Speed Sync up to 1/8000s.
- Remote Control Mode (Control the off camera flash power from the transceiver)
- Mode mixing with i-TTL/Manual/Repeating (Mix Mode)
- Supports a master unit on top of the transceiver, on the camera.
- FEC, FVL
- Supports flash zooming
- Built in AF assist beam
And the cameras and flashes supported:
- Nikon D70/D70S/D80/D90/D200/D300/D300S/D600/D700/D800
- D3000, 5000 and 7000 series (all cameras in each line.)
- Yongnuo YN-465/YN467N/YN-468II/YN-565N/YN-568N
- Nikon SB-400/SB-600/SB-700/SB-800/SB-900/SB-910
*A note on the supported flashes. The SB-800 doesn’t work in Master Mode, as it isn’t in the manual as a supported Master Mode flash, and tests have proven this. It looks as the though both the SB-600 and SB-800 work fine in manual mode, but are buggy in TTL mode, although the manual says it supports both in TTL. UPDATE 6.24.13: Although the SB800 is definitely having issues with TTL on all units, the SB600 seems to be hit or miss. From what I’ve read, some users aren’t having issues with it, others are. Hopefully more information will come out on it soon. This is due to the pins on both of these flashes being older than the current generation of Nikon flashes. There have been some reports in forums on users moving these flashes back a few millimeters so the contacts touch. Just an FYI if you use the SB-600 or 800.
First impressions; very solid design, good weight also, they don’t feel like they are only 80 dollar triggers. The battery cover is also solid, not paper thin like some of the inexpensive electronics I’ve ordered on eBay in the past.
Let’s give them a whirl. I’m going to be blunt, the instruction manual is crap. It is pretty confusing to figure out how to operate the triggers at first. A big thanks to Lighting Rumours for the easy explanation how to use them. I powered both of them on, attached one transceiver to my D90, and the other to my SB-700.
I plan on changing all the settings remotely, and once you understand how to do it, it is really easy and pretty quick. It’s about a 3 second process to go up or down a stop. You essentially hold down either the CHANNEL + or TEST/- until whatever channel you are using lights up, then you let go of the button. This will add a stop or subtract a stop, depending on which you want. This is a very simple explanation, but it is simple to do once you understand it. A pretty important point I want to make is that you ALWAYS have to have the off camera flash in TTL mode, regardless if you want to use the flash in manual mode or TTL. UPDATE 6.24.13: You only have to have the off camera flash in TTL mode if you want to remotely change the power output from the on camera transceiver. If you prefer to manually change the output by walking up to the flash, you can change the flash mode to manual, TTL etc. The 622N can’t transmit any information unless the flash is in TTL. This goes for if you are using a Nikon or Yongnuo flash. It’s not immediately obvious.
UPDATE 7.11.13: You can control the off camera flash power by changing the flash or exposure compensation on your camera. I tested it using my D90, and it worked every time. I tested with my D90 in manual mode, and with the off camera flash in TTL or manual. Nice call on that, MonkeyMan.
Another thing is that no matter what off camera flash you are using, you aren’t going to know the exact power setting the flash is using. On the SB-700, the LCD screen always just says TTL, same with a Yongnuo. When you go up or down a stop as explained last paragraph, the transceiver will blink a few times to let you know it registered the command, that’s it. This is one of the reasons some people are going to use a master on top of the transceiver, on camera, so they can see what the power settings are on the off camera flashes. This goes for TTL or Manual mode. May be a big deal to some, others may not care. Personally, I would like to have this information, as I like to record what my off camera flash settings were, in a notebook. But for this price, it’s hard to really complain. Even if I end up buying an SU-800 or similar, I’m still saving a ton of money over the more expensive triggers.
Ok, onto performance. I used my D90, along with the Nikon 50mm 1.8 AF-S D lens for all shots. I also tested with my SB-700. I have a YN-468II that I also used, and the results were very similar. I shot through a 24 inch softbox. Let’s start with TTL performance:
Definitely some interesting results. As you can see, starting from the top left, the first two, f4 and f7.1 look pretty good. In fact their histograms also look pretty similar, maybe a little underexposed. Once we get to f14 though, with no compensation, it is clearly underexposed. The last image is with +1 EV, and that is looking better. I’ve shot a lot more TTL since these first shots, and it has been pretty consistent. I’ve yet to get any kind of wildly off shots. I will say though, that once you get to around f14, you may want to bump up your EV a stop.
I don’t normally shoot TTL, I’m usually on manual, lets take a look at some shots in manual:
The first shot is blown out. I did a factory reset of both transceivers before going into manual just to see where it would start at. It looks like I’m about a stop too high. I also put in -1/3 stop so you can see the difference between it and 1 full stop. UPDATE: Although the image says TTL in the caption of the 4th manual shot above, it is actually a manual shot. Everything here worked pretty much as expected.
I didn’t get a chance to use High Speed Sync until only a few hours ago. My 8 month old and I had an impromptu photo session outside. It worked very well on both TTL and manual mode. I shot up to about 1/1000, and the shots all look good. I don’t use HSS too often, unless I’m outside, and this is just awesome that these triggers can support it. You normally have to pay quite a bit more to get this functionality.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the triggers. There hasn’t been one misfire yet, although it’s only been a few days. All features have worked as advertised. I wish that I could tell what exact power that your flash was popping at, but I’ll probably end up getting a master for it at some point. A note on getting a master. Having the D90, with a grip, a transceiver, and another flash gets pretty heavy. But then again, just another excuse to get another SB-700….
I will have part two of the review up by the weekend of 6/28. It will include high speed sync testing as well as the 622N TTL vs. CLS. In the meantime, GET THESE if you are looking for some cheap triggers. I wish I could say they are super reliable, but only time will tell….