Setting up Yongnuo YN560 IV speedlights & YN560-TX transmitter.

In this tutorial I will be setting up 3 Yongnuo YN560 IV speedlights and the Yongnuo YN560 TX transmitter for a 3 light basic studio portrait shot.

Setting up the Yongnuo YN560 IV speedlight.

For most people this is the most daunting part. Once you understand the “buttonology” it becomes quite simple. First things first, throw out the instructions you received with the flash. It was written by someone whose first language is not English and is probably an electrical engineer and not a photographer! These are simple to use flashes once you have a few parameters set. They work very much like the Canon 580 EX speedlight and you can use that manual as a guide for the most part. http://www.usa.canon.com

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Power up the unit and press the MODE button until you see this icon in the upper left corner of the display.


Next press the 3rd button from the left until you get the flash icon that says RX. This puts the flash in receive mode.



Next press the two buttons on the right simultaneously. The “Ch” channel icon will begin to flash. You will want this set to channel 1 on all your flashes. Press the left or right navigation button until you see channel 1.


Next press the center button in the navigation buttons. The “Gr” or Group display will begin to flash. You can set up to 6 separate flashes but in this example we will only set up 3. Begin by determining which flash will be your main light and set that to “A” I also label each flash “A” “B” “C” so I can set them up the same way each time.


Finally, I set my zoom on all the flashes to 24mm. Zoom is how much the flash spreads the light. Think of this setting like a typical lens, the smaller the number the broader it spreads the light. For studio lighting I typically want the flash to spread as much light into the light modifier as possible. For wildlife or sports you would want it set at the maximum of 105mm to focus the light farther away. Higher settings also work better for grids and snoots.  Experiment, you may get different results depending on the light modifier you are using or the effect you are trying to acheive.

Setting up the YN560-TX transmitter.


Press the “GR/” button, (remember “GR” stands for group) although, in this example we are only controlling the light that you set up as your main or “A” light. Keep pressing the “GR” button, you will see the little arrow cycle through the respective groups or in this example individual lights. The little arrow tells you which flash you are controlling with the transmitter. This feature works on or off the camera so you can test fire each flash for a meter reading on your subject and adjust the light output.


Next, this is the feature you will use the most. Press the left or right set buttons to increase or decrease power. 1/1 is full power. 1/2 is half power. 1/4 is quarter power and so on. You will adjust this setting to achieve the desired f/stop as I will explain in the next blog post. Press the “GR” button to cycle through the different flashes you have set up. I typically start at 1/1 for my main flash ¬†“A” and fill flash “B” . My third flash “C” is used for a hair light and is adjusted depending upon the type of light modifier I am using such as an umbrella, grid or snoot.


The up/down selection buttons allow you to fine tune the power of the flash even farther. If you need a little less power but not a full stop, decrease the power setting on the flash one full stop and press the up/down selection button to adjust the power in 1/3 increments. This feature will become important as you “dial-in” your desired f/stop described in my next blog.