Monday, August 16, 2010

Yongnuo YN-560 Zoom Repair

CAUTION: a flash can contain dangerous amounts of electricity.  You can die.  Do this at your own risk.

Feeling suicidal (ahem) "terribly disappointed" about our toddler's birthday photos, I attempted the dangerous task of repairing my Yongnuo YN-560 flash.  After all, my life insurance premiums were current... (no pun intended).

In all seriousness, I dropped my YN-560 by accident.  Although the flash still worked, the zoom ceased to function.  I attempted these repairs after being encouraged by a commenter (or two) who also provided a helpful link to instructions for repairing the zoom on a Nikon SB-600.  I'm not a handy person at all and I don't even know for sure how the repair below worked, but it worked.  Here's what I did.

Link to photos:

Step 0: try to discharge the electricity in the capacitor.  I set the flash to full power, pressed the test button, then immediately opened the battery cover.  Then I waited several hours.

Step 1: remove the rubber covers on the sides of the flash head.  I used a small flathead screwdriver to pry the cover off, which was glued to the flash head.

Step 2: remove the metal clips near the hinge.  There are two metal clips on each side of the flash head.  I removed them by prying them off with a small flathead screwdriver.

Step 3: remove the screws on the bottom of the flash head.

Step 4: pull the flash head apart.  Mine seemed to have some sort of rubber glue holding it together.

When you pull the flash head apart, you'll find a piece of plastic that seems to be for holding the wires together and maybe protecting them from external elements (?).

Step 5: remove the 2 screws holding the flash head body to the top of the flash head cover (circled in red in the picture).

Step 6: you'll see that the top of the flash head body has a screw drive.  I did not find any damage on the screw drive on my flash, so I was at a loss as to what to do to fix it.  Not having anything better to do with it, I rolled the screw drive with my fingers (warning: it's oily) until the flash moved to the most zoomed position (with the flash bulb furthest away from the edge of the flash head) so that I could have the benefit of the high GN at a cost of decreased coverage.

When I put the flash back together, I noticed that the sound was a bit different, and I tested the zoom.  I was shocked that the zoom worked.