"The box took a bit of a battering on its way from China but the contents were fine......"
Even though I was aware of the Canon MT24 twin macro lighting system I never got the chance to actually use one until I attended a day long insect photography tutorial a few years back. I had an inkling the Canon MT24 was going to be good, but a few quick shots confirmed just how good it was. Even though the Canon MT24 macro light is an exceptional bit of kit there was no way I could justify parting with the extortionate amount of money needed to buy one so I had to be content with my macro ring flash.
Well…… times have changed, technology has moved on and Yongnuo have recently released their own version of the Canon MT24 – the Yongnuo YN24, and it costs a fraction of the price of the Canon MT24. The Yongnuo YN24 costs £145 whereas the Canon MT24 is more than five and a half times more at an eye watering £799.
Before going in to any details here are the specifications and a comparison between the Yongnuo YN24 and the Canon MT24:
As you can see there isn’t too much difference between the specs, and the two flash units are very similar however the thing that jumps out is that the Yongnuo doesn’t have HSS whereas the Canon does, and the Yongnuo can be dialed right down to 1/128 power whereas the Canon goes to 1/64.
Now on to the review………..
Before I ordered the YN24 I knew it wasn’t going to be as well built as the Canon MT24, and to think otherwise would have been naïve. That said, since I own a Yongnuo speed light and the build quality is still very good, and actually better than speed lights costing several times more. Based on my experience of Yongnuo I expected the build quality of the YN24 to be very good.
After unboxing the Yongnuo YN24 I have to say my expectations were exceeded as the build quality is exceptionally good. The YN24 not only feels like it is made out of top quality materials, it looks like it does too. I have no problems with the overall build quality of the YN24 and I am struggling to see how Yongnuo can sell something that is so robust for such a low price.
The YN24 has a guide number of 24m @ ISO 100 which is 10m more than the Yongnuo YN14 ring flash (which is also a very good macro flash – check out this review), and the same as the Canon MT24. The YN24 is more than powerful enough for macro and close up work. In fact there are times when the YN24 is a little too powerful, even when the power is dialled right down to 1/124 power, and I have to step further back from the subject than ideally I want to.
You can also use the YN24 for general flash photography, which is great since it means I only need to take one flash with me when I go travelling and want to travel light. Before I bought the YN24 I used to take my Yongnuo YN14 ring flash (for macro and close up work) and my Godox TT350 for general flash photography. Now I have the YN24 I need only take this. Okay, it isn’t as powerful as the Godox TT350 but it is still powerful enough for me, besides you do have to make some compromises, and I am more than happy to sacrifice a little power for only having to carry a single flash.
The Yongnuo YN24 is one of the most user friendly flashes I have ever used. All the controls, buttons and dials are close to hand, and changing modes and settings, adding exposure compensation etc. is quick, efficient and you don’t have to go delving in to the camera’s menu. I found the Yongnuo YN24 so logical and user friendly I didn’t even need to consult the user manual, and if I can work out how to use the YN24 myself, anyone can work out how to use it.
I use the YN24 in TTL mode for insect photography, and I have to say it works very well with my 6d and 100mm f2.8L IS lens set up. Using this set up I find photos are ever so slightly under exposed but this underexposure is consistent and happens every shot. The underexposure is not ideal but at least the exposures are consistent so all I need to do is add a little exposure compensation and all is good. When I use the YN24 in manual mode there are no issues at all, but this is to be expected, right?
The two independent flash heads is why I wanted one of these macro twin light setups in the first place, and I have to say it is brilliant. Being able to position each flash in a variety of different ways, as well as the ability to change the lighting ratios allows more creativity and lighting options.
The two separate flash heads have their own screw threads in the bottom of them which means you can put them on individual stands for ‘more options and creativity’. I have to say that this feature looks great on paper but not in use. The wires attaching the flash head to the unit are of the coiled up spring type and should (in theory anyway) be extendable and stretch. The wires are too heavy and don’t stretch enough to let you position the flash heads far enough away from the camera to be of any use. In fact, using the YN24 in this way is cumbersome and a bit of a faff and I would not recommend using it in this way.
The YN24 can serve as a TTL master flash, but this is a feature that I can honestly say I am not bothered about as I won’t use it. I bought the YN24 for macro use, and whilst I have extended the use to include travel as well I am not going to use it as part of a multiple light setup – that’s what my conventional speed lights are for.
The YN24 is powered by 4 AA batteries which give a slowest recycling time of 4 seconds, at full power. Compared to the Canon MT24 this is fast, but 4 seconds isn’t particularly impressive in the big scheme of things. That said, this is a macro flash and full power results in over exposure when shooting close up. Real world power settings, i.e. around 1/4 – 1/32 power, the recycling time is almost instant, so there are no problems there.
Yongnuo claims the batteries will provide 200 full power pops and up to 2,500 lowest power pops. I have to admit that I have not counted the amount of flashes I have managed to squeeze out of a set of batteries on a single charge I can confirm that in real world shooting I managed to get quite a few, and I have never had any problems or issues with the battery life.
The price has already been mentioned in this review, however it is worth reiterating the Yongnuo YN24 is cheap as chips, and a fraction of the cost of the Canon MT24. In fact, I can buy 5 Yongnuo YN24s for the price of one Canon mT24, and still have some money left over to buy batteries (and several packs at that). The Yongnuo
The Youngnuo YN24 is, in my opinion a total game changer, and I predict it is going to be a top selling macro flash. The build quality of the Yongnuo YN24 is great awesome and is better than flash units costing several times more. The Yongnuo is low on price but big on features, and it gives a lot of bang for the buck. If you have been lusting after the Canon MT24 and couldn’t justify the stupidly high price tag the Yongnuo YN24 is an affordable substitute that that isn’t too dissimilar. Okay, the Yongnuo doesn’t have HSS but this is something I am more than happy to live without.
If you have been thinking about buying a Yongnuo YN24 but have managed to resist so far all I can say is go for it! It is an excellent macro flash and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with it.
Buy the Yongnuo YN24 from Amazon (US), eBay, Amazon (UK)
"The YN24 supplied with protective case and stepping rings"
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.