YONGNUO YN685 Review

Here is the Yongnuo YN685 review and a short comparison will be coming to Canon’s flagship model,  the 600EX II-RT.

Canon’s Speedlite 600EX II-RT is currently selling on Amazon for $479. Yongnuo’s YN685 is currently $101. So, for the price you can get 4 YN685’s for the price of one 600EX II-RT.

On it’s own, the YN685 is not a bad flash.

It’s features include:

  • Powerful
  • Wireless radio TX and RX
  • Compatible with Canon EOS ETTL
  • High-speed Sync to 1/8000 second
  • Second-curtain Sync
  • Flash Exposure Compensation in 1/3 EV increments from -3 to +3 EV
  • Exposure Bracketing ( FEB ) in 1/3 EV increments from -3 to +3 EV
  • FE Lock
  • Manual power output from 1/128 to 1/1
  • Locking metal foot

I forked over $200 bucks to pick up a few of these YN685’s and compare them to my 600EX II-RT. Upon opening the box I was impressed with the build quality of the unit. A few test shots and all seems to be working great.

I really like the locking metal foot. It feels solid. The overall build quality feels good too. It’s a poly-carbonate shell and seems like it will take a beating. The head moves smoothly and the range of movement is impressive.

The unit is powered by 4 AA batteries and there is an option to plug in an external pack. I am using it with my Quantum Turbo 3, to give it a little bump in the recycle time and extend the use. Recycle time at full power is a bit more than 3 seconds on fresh AA batteries. 

I already had the YONGNUO YN-622C-TX E-TTL Wireless Flash Controller and that is compatible with the YN685 allowing control and wireless function of the flash. With the master slave setup I am also able to control my other flashes in groups and channels.

Internet Complaints and what to do:

  • Over heating
    Over heating seems to be caused by the flash head plug getting dislodged while spinning the head. Opening up the unit and re-seating that plug seems to clear the error.
    Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart. There is enough voltage in a flash to kill you. Even with the batteries removed and the unit has been powered off for a while. Take care!!!
  • Under exposure when bounced
    I found more than a few mentions of this issue and there is a workaround. Setting the camera’s metering mode to “average” instead of “evaluative,” improves the exposure.

In the end, the Yongnuo YN685 was not as powerfull as  Canon’s flagship model,  the 600EX II-RT.  The 600ex-RT was about 1-stop hotter than the YN685 at full power.

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