Author Topic: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light  (Read 15478 times)

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Offline Chris Harding

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YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« on: March 31, 2011, 10:58:16 PM »
Hi All
 
I added a new on-camera light to my gear!! These work pretty well and can also be put on a tripod to use as stand-alone lights. I figured for $75 it was a good deal.
It has quite respectable output too!!  nearly 500 lux at 2metres  and 1450 lux and a metre and it is way more powerful than my other 120 LED light!!
The barndoors are great too as there is little or no light spillage!!
 
They are available on eBay but do come from China.  I do like the fact that I can also use my old Panny batteries ..it takes either 6 x Rechargeables or the Sony NP battery or the Panny CGR series batteries (chip as chips on eBay) same batteries that the DVX cams use and the older DS series (but not the CGA batts that the GS400/500 have) I think I paid around $10 for my 2600mah batteries (including a charger!!!!) and it lasts for absolutely ages!!!
 
Chris
 
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Offline Guy Bruner

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 05:12:12 AM »
That's quite a kit, Chris, for $65US at buy it now price, even without the batteries.  It'll weight over a pound with batteries and it seems to be bulky to mount on a small cam.  However, I can see using it on a separate mount, like the tripod you mentioned.  How does it work with an AC supply?
Guy

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 06:21:07 AM »
Hi Guy
 
I guess it would be a little large and bulky for a GS300 or similar but it does produce awesome light. No AC/DC plug at all on this unit but there would be no reason why you couldn't add one to the light ...it also has a 16 step brightness controls using "+" and "-" buttons but I have found that if you hold the button in it just zooms to full brightness!!
 
The new HMC82 3MOS chips and a little less sensitive in low light than my old CCD's so I had to invest in some more potent lighting when they dim the lights for the bridal waltz!!!   
 
Chris
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Offline Tom Dickerson

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 07:16:51 AM »
Hey Chris

I see that Amazon carries it also. Let us know how it mounts on your camera. Does it come with a cold shoe adapter? How stable is it?

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 07:31:04 AM »
Hi Tom
 
Yeah they are spread across the world!!! It mounts very neatly with a double jointed cold shoe bracket (which also has a 1/4" thread in the bottom for tripod mount)  Sits pretty stable on my camera... the only thing I had to do (actually on the previous light) was turn the Rode on the second coldshoe to the right (just relocated the rubbers one notch clockwise) so that the mic and light don't collide!! The first time I used the old light all my guest interview audio had this strange "knock knock" noise!! The Rode was banging against the light body!!!!  It also has the handle but I won't use that!!  What I really like is that on the old 120 led light the diffuse filter dropped in from the top and was a very loose fit so I was forever picking it up!! This light has a slot in the side for filters and they go in and stay in!! Nice feature!! If I decide to use a bigger battery than the 2600mah then I think I might "beef up" the cold shoe mounting..on the old light I added aluminium flat bar on all the hollow plastic sections and it's great...however this light also has grooves in the centre piece so it locks better. If the light looks wobbly during the next wedding I'll do a quick mod..it seems fine at home!!
 
Chris
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 07:43:34 PM »
That's an awesome review!!! Thanks as I have both lights being reviewed!!
The cold shoe mount is plastic and I wouldn't say it's bad ...sorta adequate but certainly not awesome!!  Anyway the 96 sounds like a good deal too!!! Let us know what you think when it arrives. I have no flicker then then again I found using Ni-MH cells a pain in the butt!! I only use the CGR Panny batteries and they work really well. I did find that the battery holder on the NG light kept falling out so I made a little "packing piece" to put behind the tray that keeps it pushed up against the contacts and it now stays put!!
 
Chris
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Offline Tom Dickerson

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 10:51:40 PM »
Hey Chris -

I'm getting ready to purchase both an on-camera light and monitor - like the ones you have purchased from China. Once you have a chance to evaluate your new light be sure to let us know.

The on-camera monitor is for the T2i. It seems the external battery grip and external monitor (turns off lcd) helps to keep it a bit cooler. I'd like to outfit both of my cams with monitors and have the lights for receptions.

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 07:09:49 PM »
Hi Tom
 
Weddings are usually only on Saturdays and my next is the 9th April so that's when I will use the light at a shoot next. I have already used it around the house and it's a lot better buy than the CN126 light (my other one) ... rather get the 160 light and have power in reserve than run out at a particular venue that ends up darker than you realised!!
 
I took another look at the cold shoe bracket and the light does wobble a bit if you have the extension piece vertical....if you need the extra height, I would re-make the bracket I think and make the little strut from aluminium....however it's pretty solid in the other positions.  I actually saw a mini ball-head somewhere (probably eBay) that had a cold-shoe foot on it.....that would work a lot better as the actual light's foot that slides into your cold shoe is quite light too!!!  However the light itself is great and well worth the tiny bit extra compared to the 126 LED ones!!!
 
Chris
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 08:13:46 PM »
Sounds like a nice light!!  I don't think I have ever run my on-cam lights for anything longer than 6 minutes so I've never experienced any flicker at all. When I do wedding speeches I rather setup the CFL lightbox and just use the light for short sequences. 
 
Now, both my lights have an adapter for a Li-Ion battery and both are identical too!! They claim (I haven't tried it) that the adapter is suitable for both Sony NP and Panasonic CGR batteries!! I'm using Panny batteries ...these are the batteries for the older DS cameras and also fit all the DVC models and also the DVX100...they are different to the CGA batteries that the GS400 and 500 use!!!   My Panny 2600 mah batteries last absolutely ages and are dirt cheap on eBay (The last one was around $10 and included a charger)
 
Maybe try the Panny CDR batteries and see if they work well...I must admit that I gave up on using the AA Ni-Mh rechargeables...the camcorder batts last much longer for some reason and end up a lot cheaper too!!!
 
I just use the diffuse filter only on my lights...the Panasonics auto WB the light pretty quickly but if you slide the amber filter in...the camera struggles to autoWB...My 126 LED light filters drop in from the top (and also drop out fairly easily...I liked the 160 LED arrangement as the filter slides in a slot on the side and fits nice and tight.
 
Chris
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 12:28:32 AM »
Something you might think about doing is buying a cheap charger for the "M" batteries on eBay and then rip all the insides of the charger out and just use the actual cradle so an "M" series battery clips into it..then mount that on the light and hardwire the terminals from the stripped charger into the light DC input. I did that on my DIY light and it works a treat!!!
 
Chris
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011, 09:25:41 PM »
I used the YN-160 last night at a wedding and it's pretty darn good!!!  The bridal dance was done under totally dimmed lights so the HMC80 sat at OPEN iris and 18db gain!!! If you kick the light in 2 metres (about 6') from the couple it immediately peels off the gain right down to a mere 3db!!!  Bear in mind that this is on the light's default setting and if you press the "+" button 3 times the iris rises from open to F1.9 ..at 4 presses I actually get zebras on the bride's white dress !!!!  Really nice light!!!
 
Ok yes, the mounting does suck BIG TIME!!!  I think I will see if I can replace the plastic extension shaft with 3 strips of 1/4" aluminium sandwiched together with the middle one longer so it can have a hole at each end for mounting!!!  That seems to be the only weak point on the whole light ..the actual unit is brilliant and is a LOT brighter than the 126 LED by a huge amount!!!   Nope the LED's never flickered either but the longest clip I shot was about 12 minutes .... !!
 
Chris
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2011, 01:10:57 AM »
I must admit that I started with the 6 x AA's on the 126 LED light but there are many more connections to fail and it was a pain changing batteries too!! Dunno about your 96 but my 126 light had a problem with the Panny "shoe" falling out so I wedged in a couple of spare roller bearings that were in the case and it now is fine. I shot on and off at the wedding from 6pm right thru to 11:45pm and the 2600mah Panny battery was still good!!!
 
How is your light bracket if you raise it to full height???? mine definately has a few wobbles ...what I was thinking of doing is finding a small ball head that also has a cold shoe bracket under it ..that would be a much more substantial mounting and you could still adjust the light!  My cam has two cold shoes and the Rode is on the outer one but the light still needs to be at least 2" above the cold shoe so it clears the shock mount of the mic...if you have the light in it's lowest position stability is great!!!
 
Chris
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Offline Ted Williams

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2011, 03:38:10 AM »
 I've been reading this forum with interest and thought my experience with the Yongnuo YN-160 might help. Have been filming in very dark locations with a Sony EX1 using a variety of lights including HMI and tungsten for some time – so I decided to try two YN  160s to extend battery time. Three weeks ago was filming in 1080 25p - and while very impressed with the amount of light from the two YN 160s, on reviewing the footage was shocked to discover a disastrous flicker when interviewing in CU or mid shots. I was using fully charged Sony NP-F970 batteries as a power source and the flicker seemed to be the same when batteries were either fresh or used. The flicker is hard to see on the camera LCD but I do remember seeing it - but in the rush of getting the job done I ignored the warning signs.
Strangely the flicker is absent or barely noticeable in wide shots when the subject was > about 6m away. Luckily I found a plugin for FCP that magically eliminates the flicker. It’s called NeatVideo – it’s designed to reduce noise but just happens to remove the flicker as well. A wonderful little plugin!
Have since used the YN-160s again but in 1080 50i mode and the flicker appears to be absent (or was at least unnoticeable). But I’m being very careful from now on and will be using other lights for interviews. Also have a Comer 1800 and so far have found it to be very bright and no flicker.
I agree with other comments about the less than secure YN-160 mountings – the light plus battery is too heavy for the mountings and occasionally collapsed.  There’s a lot of good things about the 160s – such as price, flexible battery options, heaps of light - but the potential for flicker and the mountings let it down badly.
 

Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 07:33:14 AM »
Hey Worbry,  Thanks for the ballhead info!!
 
Thanks Ted
 
I only use my cams in interlaced mode!! So that's why I never see a flicker!!!  For some strange reason my HMC82's seem to pixellate faces in all the progressive modes..I think it was because I had "face detection" on cos it mainly was around the face where it was evident. I'm shooting at 24mbps 1080i then so my 'puter can manage it, I transcode the AVCHD to MPEG2 at 50mbps with NewBlue's Upshift  and also make it progressive and edit in that...seems to produce a better SD DVD than rendering from the AVCHD file
 
Yeah the post needs to be "beefed up"
 
Chris
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Offline Chris Harding

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Re: YONGNUO YN-160 LED Video Light
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 09:29:34 PM »
I grabbed a cold shoe adapter from our local ebay as B&H are expensive to ship here..often more than the item!!!! It was $16.00 here ..B&H's one is $14.95 but they want &90.00 (WHAT!!!!) to ship via Fedex (3 to 5 days) or $41.00 to ship it normal mail (around 2 - 3 weeks)
 
Should do the trick OK
 
Chris
 
 
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 09:37:55 PM by Chris Harding »
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