Yongnuo YN560 System for Pentax

Yongnuo YN560 IV & TX with Pentax

Recently I picked up a pair of Yongnuo YN560 IV speed lights to use with my K3.
Though I still love my Paul C Buff Zeus lights and packs, I was looking for something smaller and lighter to carry out into the field.
I had finally decided to break down and buy another Pentax AF540FGZ to give me the two light setup.

I have used my Buff radio syncs to trigger my original Pentax light and own a backup I figured I would use for the second light.
Only draw back I’ve noticed is the Pentax flashes don’t perform well in TTL for strobe work and in manual mode one must consistently go to each flash for adjustments.

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While watching for used speed lights at B&H, I started noticing the reviews for the Yongnuo YN560’s.
Versions I, II & III all had exceptional reviews.
The only negatives I found were that this model isn’t TTL compatible with any camera and that the original two versions required radio slaves for off camera firing.
Versions III & IV are capable of working directly with the YN560-TX controller so all exposure and zoom adjustments may be done on camera. Version IV can also act as a controller for additional version III or IV lights.

I prefer working in manual instead of TTL to adjust flash exposure. The exposure set by the camera in TTL mode usually seems to be balanced to bring fill light to the same level as key lighting.
The ability to adjust the setting of each light independently at the camera rather than having to visit each flash seemed like the ideal system.

Though Yongnuo claims the speed lights will work with any model camera including Pentax, the TX controller only comes in Canon and Nikon models.
Doing a little more research on the pentaxforums website, I found several reviews from users who all praised the Yongnuo system and claimed that both versions of the TX controller worked with the Pentax system.
The only difference cited, is the dedicated “wake” terminal for each model is not compatible with the other. One user even mentioned they had bought the Nikon version specifically so that all functions would work with Pentax.

I followed suit and noticed the Nikon model of the TX has the exact same pin configuration as the Pentax hot shoe and all functions seem to work just fine, including “wake” mode.
The construction of the speed lights and controller seem of high enough quality, the light produced is very even and of a good WB.
The ease of setting exposure and zoom on each speed light independently is very nice. The controller will manage up to six groups and any number of speed lights can be set to a group.

The initial setup instructions for determining channels and groups on the radio frequency is very vague and would take a lot experimenting if not already covered in depth by several users on youtube.
Just search “How to set groups on Yongnuo 560 IV.”

The setup of two lights and the controller cost me US$185, $25 less than a used AF540FGZ.
I plan on picking up one to two more of these lights. Seems easy enough to have a backup for this price.
Two lights, controller & modifiers weighs far less than one of my studio light heads.
With one light stand on a sling, the system bag and a monopod for extension reach, I find myself looking forward to field strobe work.

Examples made with the setup are on the archives/artifacts page under Yongnuo flash for Pentax.

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