After seeing an increase in the number of people we have seen asking about ring flash-based photography over the last few months we have decided to publish our dedicated Yongnuo YN-14EX review as we feel it is currently one of the better products out there and is very popular within the community.
Yongnuo has done an excellent job with the YN-14EX and really managed to lift the bar when it comes to the more budget-friendly ring flash units on the market. Both its performance and build quality are great and its low price tag makes it a great, cost-efficient addition to anyone’s photography accessories.
We will be covering all of the main points about the flash unit in our Yongnuo YN-14EX Review below as well as touching on the three main photography niches that it can be used in. That said, as with most things in photography, its use cases are only limited by your imagination and in reality can help improve the image quality of your photographs in a number of smaller, less popular photography niches that we will not be touching on too.
User Interface And Control System
Thankfully, just like the majority of modern flash units on the market that have been released over recent years, the Yongnuo YN-14EX has a very easy to use user interface system as shown in the image above. It allows you to quickly and easily tweak and settings that you may have to tweak during your photography session within seconds and not have to waste time.
In addition to this, the directional pad control system is very different to many of the other Yongnuo flash units so if you have used any other Yongnuo products you will already be familiar with it. That said, even if you have never used any of the other Yongnuo cameras flashes it is still a very easy system to pick up. Many other popular camera flashes on the market right now use a very similar user interface and control system and the navigation menu on the YN-14EX has been designed to be as easy to use as possible.
The image above shows the battery holding bay on the YN-14EX and it is extremely easy to use and locks securely to ensure that it won’t accidentally open during use. In addition to this, it also allows you to quickly and easily swap out the Four AA batteries from the flash unit as and when required for fresh batteries so there is no time wasted during your session.
The external power socket on the ring flash also allows you to use a number of popular external battery power packs or external power sources with the YN-14EX too. Depending on your photography niche, this may be a better option to take than using AA batteries as it can massively extend your battery life during use.
The build quality of the Yongnuo YN-14EX is excellent considering its price point in the market and is well worth the funds. Not only is it robust and well put together but it is also relatively lightweight ensuring that you will be able to use it while mounted to your camera rig for extended periods of time without your arms aching or cramping up from holding your camera rig.
Although the majority of the Yongnuo YN-14EX is made from high-quality plastics rather than a metal alloy like some of the more expensive ring flashes on the market, the plastic does its job well and helps to ensure the flash unit is robust. Additionally, the plastic is also both weather and dust sealed to help ensure that it will last you for many years to come should you choose to add the YN-14EX to your collection of camera accessories.
Performance And Functionality
As we touched on earlier in the article, we will be going over the three main photography niches that we feel you may want to use the YN-14EX in. Keep in mind though, just like we mentioned earlier in the article, there are a large number of other use cases that you are able to use the ring flash in to help improve the image quality of the photographs that you capture during your sessions.
Some photographers will leave this in their photography but many of them will remove it in post-production within a couple of seconds so, in our opinion, it is a fair trade-off for the softer shadows. That said, your client’s requirements for the portrait photography session will also come into play too so this will have to be factored into the camera accessories that you use on the day.
A number of other independent photographers already use the YN-14EX in their portrait photography sessions as their go-to ring flash of choice. You can click here to read some third-party reports that some of them have chosen to share on their experiences when using the flash unit.
Again, the advantage of using a ring flash like the Yongnuo YN-14EX in fashion photography is to soften the shadows from any other lighting that you have set up. Overall it can improve the image quality of your photograph and as we touched on it can also improve the photograph by having the reflection of the actual light increase the effect of the overall photograph.
Depending on the type of fashion photography you are involved in you may not actually require a ring flash, especially an expensive one and that’s where the cheaper, more budget-friendly Yongnuo YN-14EX comes in. It is cheap enough to add to your collection of camera accessories without really feeling too much of a pinch while also having the level of performance needed to have a direct effect on the image quality of your photographs when you do choose to use it.
The photograph below also shows how using a ring flash can help to improve your image quality when using it in the macro photography niche as it helps illuminate the subject of the photograph and help its colors, as well as the color of the flower pop in all their glory.
If you have the time available and are planning to use the Yongnuo YN-14EX for macro photography, we would highly recommend that you click here and read some of them to get a better, well-rounded picture of what the flash unit is able to provide for you when used in the macro field.
Question – Can the Yongnuo YN-14EX stay illuminated for extended periods of time?
Answer – No, as this is an entry level ring flash unit without HHS, it cannot be illuminated for extended periods of time.
Question – Does the Yongnuo YN-14EX have the same battery door problem as some of the older Yongnuo ring flash units?
Answer – Although we have not experienced the battery door on the Yongnuo YN-14EX randomly opening ourselves, we are aware that some of the older Yongnuo flash units have had this problem but could not find any reports of this occurring on the Yongnuo YN-14EX.
Question – Will the Yongnuo YN-14EX mount to my lens?
Answer – Due to there being so many popular camera lenses on the market all with their own unique dimensions we are unable to give a direct answer to this question. In addition to the various adaptors that are included with the Yongnuo YN-14EX shown in the image below, there are a number of additional ring flash adaptors that you can purchase for your lens if required.
Third Party Reports
This review of the Yongnuo YN-14EX that has been posted online by an independent photographer who uses the YN-14EX on a regular basis goes into great detail into their experiences with the ring flash. If you have the time available we would highly recommend that you read it as it offers some excellent insight into how well the YN-14EX performs during use.
This review of the Yongnuo YN-14EX is much shorted but comment on how it is almost a third of the price of some of the competing ring flash units on the market right now while managing to hold its own. They also go on to mention how the YN-14EX was able to exceed their expectations and that they are happy with their purchase.
In our opinion, the Yongnuo YN-14EX will make an excellent addition to your collection of camera accessories if you are on a tight budget or just want to pick up a cheaper ring flash unit that will perform very well. Its small size and flatter dimensions that some of the competing ring flash units on the market right now also makes it very easy to add to the majority of popular camera bags on the market right now without having to add much weight or take up much space.
The example photographs that we have shown earlier in the article do a great job of showing how the Yongnuo YN-14EX is able to improve your image quality in low light conditions. Its robust build quality ensures that the flash unit will stand up to any bumps coming its way during use ensuring that it lasts you for many years to come.
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Vox Efx – DIY Ring Flash Reflection – https://flic.kr/p/5Wfphk