WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Gear & Apps

Nikon Not Safe Either, Yongnuo working on Nikkor clones next…

By Anthony Thurston on January 2nd 2015

Yongnuo, beloved budget lighting champions of hobbyists and semi-pros everywhere, made some waves the last few months by cloning Canon 50mm lenses. First, it was the 50mm F/1.4, and more recently the 50mm F/1.8.


[REWIND: Yongnuo Now Being Sold at B&H]

If other manufacturers thought that they were safe, they were wrong. Yongnuo is now said to be working on some Nikon lens clones that should be ready sometime towards the end of 2015. No word yet on which lenses, but one would assume it’s likely the 35mm and 50mm primes lenses – like they did with Canon.

Some reviews have been coming in about the Yongnuo clones, and with the exception of the Canon versions having better AF motors, the clones stack up very well – maybe even slightly exceeding (in some respects), their OEM Canon counterparts.

yongnuo logo


I am pretty torn on this myself. Yongnuo clones Canon speedlights and I don’t bat an eye, but now they do lenses and I have more of an issue with that. Maybe it’s because I feel like the cost of brand-name speedlights is ludicrous, while these budget brand-name lenses are more more affordable and reasonably priced already.

I am curious of your thoughts on the matter. How do you feel about Yongnuo‘s expansion into lens clones? Does their good performance change your opinions at all? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Nikon Rumors]

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Diane Colquhoun

    I think this is great news, more chose for buyers and maybe the big names will come down in price (Although I doubt this)

    | |
  2. Matthew Saville

    I commented on this elsewhere, but I think there is a huge market for lenses like these; the market just is NOT in upper-middle-class areas lol. No photographer with a decent amount of savings should be buying a lens like this, with affordable lenses from Nikon coming out along certain lines. Unless Yongnuo can really step up their build quality, and nail the optical quality too, I think the main (if not the only) market for these types of lenses will be the new emerging classes in China and elsewhere in the world.


    | |
  3. Edwin Tai

    Flowers boom everywhere and it’s good that consumers can choose what is the best offer.

    | |
  4. Dean Reid

    This is very interesting. At the end of the day we buy what we can afford or what well feel will keep us competitive. It’s nice to see that other third party manufactures are getting into the lens area.

    | |
  5. John Havord

    If they do it right and at a reduced cost then I’m all for it. I think it will have a “double” effect, in that it will force down the price a the lower end of the market but also force Nikon, Canon and 3rd party to work that little bit harder.

    | |
    • Graham Curran

      It would certainly help for the big two to have a little downward pressure on their prices.

      | |
  6. Chet Meyerson

    Frankly I’m all for it! I use Yongnuo speedlights exclusively. The market, along with the extensive reviews. will determine if they have something of value and quality. When it comes to lenses, we all want the best possible for the best price. Deliver that and you have a winner. Miss the mark, and they will become history very quickly. Our personal opinions will have little to do with it in the end. Bring it on!

    | |
  7. Steve VanSickle

    I think the biggest competitor in the lens space for Yongnuo isn’t Nikon/Canon, but Samyang. I think it’s going to boil down to whether the image quality + autofocus together are better than Samyang/Rokinon/etc’s image quality on manual.

    | |
  8. Austin Swenson

    I don’t wonder so much about what they are making lenses for as why it seems they need to make them look like the other brand’s style… I think that Yongnuo as a brand is great and I even own a few of their speedlights, but I think they could make their own stuff and stand alone just like tamron and sigma have done and I think people would make less of a stink eye at these lenses.

    | |
  9. Stan Rogers

    Frankly, if they can build a truly inexpensive F-mount 50/1.8 “G”-type lens, it’ll make a whole lot more sense than the EF-mount version, and more power to ’em. Nikon’s “nifty fifty” has been ripe for the plucking for years — the “D” won’t autofocus on entry-level bodies, and the relatively new “G”, while a fine lens, is priced a little high for the first-toe-in-the-water crowd.

    | |
  10. Nick Viton

    Flashes and triggers are one thing, but glass is an entirely different beast altogether.
    Third party budget lenses already exist so I don’t think entries from Yongnuo will significantly impact Nikon or Canon.

    | |
    • Eric Mazzone

      Their version of the Canon 1.8 is better than the canon version for a lower price, and it doesn’t violate patents since the guts are all different. This is a GOOD thing.

      | |
  11. robert s

    Hello, welcome to yongnuo, may I take your order..?

    uh, yea, Ill have a 24 1.8 hold the distortion
    a 35 f/2 with extra rounded aperture blades
    a 50 1.8, no scratch that, a double 50 1.4
    and for dessert an 85mm 1.4 and add extra creamy bokeh

    thatll be $1500, drive around to the window sir.

    | |