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Rumors => Speedlites, Printers, Accessories => Topic started by: simonbratt99 on March 08, 2013, 06:24:32 PM

Title: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 08, 2013, 06:24:32 PM
Hi
Never having used a flash gun since getting my 5dmk2, i think its time.
Thinking of using it for fill flash outdoors for flowers and closer subjects hopefully insects or maybe indoors.
I have studio lights with softboxes for studio so dont really need it for that.
Will I be happy enough with a 430EX II or will i see much advantage with the 600 EX RT
Dont particularly want to spend more if i dont have to.
the 600EX RT is about £190 more (as there is a canon rebate on the 600's at the moment.)

Ive read this so far which was quote interesting
http://digital-photography-school.com/choosing-the-best-canon-speedlite-flash-for-your-needs (http://digital-photography-school.com/choosing-the-best-canon-speedlite-flash-for-your-needs)

Any advice appreciated
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 08, 2013, 06:49:27 PM
The 430 has sufficient power for fill and indoor use, as long as you're not sticking it in a modifier.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: bycostello on March 08, 2013, 07:00:02 PM
The 430 has sufficient power for fill and indoor use, as long as you're not sticking it in a modifier.

+1
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: TrumpetPower! on March 08, 2013, 07:50:46 PM
Another thing to consider...since you're already comfortable with studio flash, you don't necessarily need all the TTL metering fanciness, which is a lot of what you pay a premium for in hotshoe flashes. You may well be just as happy with a dumb third-party hotshoe flash. Similarly, if it's power you're looking for, the 580 EX II and the 600 both have similar output; the big thing with the 600 is all the extra added remote wireless intelligent yada yada.

I'll also suggest Neil van Niekerk as probably the Internet's leading authority on the use of a hotshoe-mounted flash...study his stuff before you buy anything.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: RS2021 on March 08, 2013, 08:21:03 PM
430ex II...control from menu in recent bodies...more than enough power for standard indoor use...can still fit in a multi-flash setup should you go that way down the road....and...priced well. Not sure 5D mark II offers menu control though. 430 original in that case would do just a well.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 09, 2013, 01:01:53 AM
thanks for the advise, but it will be mostly for outdoor fill. will the 100m canon macro lens on the 5dmk2 get too much in the way for macro? or is the flash high enough?
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: rpt on March 09, 2013, 01:13:15 AM
thanks for the advise, but it will be mostly for outdoor fill. will the 100m canon macro lens on the 5dmk2 get too much in the way for macro? or is the flash high enough?
Shouldn't you be looking for a macro flash in that case? Or a ring flash?
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 09, 2013, 03:59:31 AM
thanks for the advise, but it will be mostly for outdoor fill. will the 100m canon macro lens on the 5dmk2 get too much in the way for macro? or is the flash high enough?
Shouldn't you be looking for a macro flash in that case? Or a ring flash?
+1
OR, you could look into getting a couple of cheaper third party speedlites and a radio trigger, which will allow you position them wherever you want. 
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 09, 2013, 04:10:50 AM
thanks for the advise, but it will be mostly for outdoor fill. will the 100m canon macro lens on the 5dmk2 get too much in the way for macro? or is the flash high enough?

Depends on how close the subject is, at 1:1 maybe. The 580/600 heads can also tilt downward a few degrees.  But regardless, you'll probably want to get the flash closer to the subject for softer light.  I'd recommend an off-camera shoe cord, and handhold the flash (if the camera is on a tripod) or use a flash bracket like the Manfrotto 233B (I've shot macro with the 430+OC-E3+Manfrotto 233B).
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: LostArk on March 09, 2013, 05:29:58 AM
One huge thing no one has mentioned - the 600exrt isn't fully compatible with the 5D2. You lose wireless group mode functionality, and between 1/3 and a full stop of sync speed. The manual says max sync w/ 5D2 is 1/100, and while there are reports of people having no trouble with 1/200, there are also example images with banding at max sync speed. The 580ex ii is overpriced and outdated. It really doesn't make any sense for anyone with a 2011 or older Canon body to buy anything other than the 430ex ii at the moment.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: smithy on March 09, 2013, 05:54:35 AM
I'd also recommend looking at the Yongnuo flashes if you're keen to save some cash.  I recently bought the yn-568ex and it works really well, both on and off camera (using a pair of yn-622 triggers). It supports high speed sync as well.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: rpt on March 09, 2013, 11:21:34 AM
thanks for the advise, but it will be mostly for outdoor fill. will the 100m canon macro lens on the 5dmk2 get too much in the way for macro? or is the flash high enough?

Depends on how close the subject is, at 1:1 maybe. The 580/600 heads can also tilt downward a few degrees.  But regardless, you'll probably want to get the flash closer to the subject for softer light.  I'd recommend an off-camera shoe cord, and handhold the flash (if the camera is on a tripod) or use a flash bracket like the Manfrotto 233B (I've shot macro with the 430+OC-E3+Manfrotto 233B).
+1000.

Today I tried to get a photograph of a spider from about 35 cm. The 600-RT on top of the camera did not work out for the shot. So if you get a flash, get something that does not need you to mount the flash on top of the camera...

My 2c...
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 09, 2013, 03:46:36 PM
no... only if you like the ring flash look.
many macro shooter don´t like the look of a macro ring light.

i shot with a 430 EX II in a small softbox on a flash bracket.


my setup looks like his.. just not so much DIY. :)

An Introduction to High-Magnification Macro Photography (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqRn3at0H60#ws)
AWESOME!!! ... amazed at your knowledge of arthropods and your patience ... FANTASTIC
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: cocopop05 on March 09, 2013, 09:35:14 PM
I can only comment on what I have.  I bought my first DSLR (not my first SLR, I have been using a Nikon F601 for years), a 5D Mark III with 24-105 f/4 L and a Speedlite 600ex-rt.  The system never ceases to amaze me, kudos to Canon.

The flash is worth it's weight in gold.  Very easy to use, more than enough power, fast recharge and more features than I will possibly use.

If you have the budget, I would not hesitate in recommending you buy it.

Cheers,
Paul
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: smithy on March 09, 2013, 11:15:43 PM
The flash is worth it's weight in gold.
And that's how much they charge for it...  ;)
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 09, 2013, 11:33:46 PM
The flash is worth it's weight in gold.
And that's how much they charge for it...  ;)
I hear a lot of comments that it is overpriced etc but when you look at its competition, it is not overpriced at all ... Nikon SB 910 (which has no built in Wireless Radio) costs $547, Canon 600 EX-RT (with a built-in Wireless Radio) costs $559. If Nikon were to make a built wireless radio, in their SB 910, for just $12 more than everybody would have gone ga ga over it ... well, the 600 EX-RT has already done that.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: smithy on March 10, 2013, 09:49:48 AM
The flash is worth it's weight in gold.
And that's how much they charge for it...  ;)
I hear a lot of comments that it is overpriced etc but when you look at its competition, it is not overpriced at all ... Nikon SB 910 (which has no built in Wireless Radio) costs $547, Canon 600 EX-RT (with a built-in Wireless Radio) costs $559. If Nikon were to make a built wireless radio, in their SB 910, for just $12 more than everybody would have gone ga ga over it ... well, the 600 EX-RT has already done that.
I'm still not convinced that it's not overpriced - mostly because outside the US, the 600ex-rt generally sells for US$760 - except for the UK where its RRP is US$1000.  How much would you be prepared to pay for it?  My view is:  $559, fair value... $760, hmmm not really... $1000, hell no!
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: AdamJ on March 10, 2013, 08:30:37 PM
I do wish people would give prior warning when posting close-up spider pictures. It would save us arachnophobes the trouble of cleaning up the coffee we involuntarily threw across the room.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: rpt on March 10, 2013, 11:47:32 PM
I do wish people would give prior warning when posting close-up spider pictures. It would save us arachnophobes the trouble of cleaning up the coffee we involuntarily threw across the room.
Sorry about that. There will be warning the next time.

Edit: apparently you may not be referring to my spider shot which is in the macro section but point noted.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 13, 2013, 02:04:55 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

Yes things are more expensive in the UK right now, but thats an economic issue.
I dont do grey imports, with anything of any value (or needing warranty!)

I havent decided on a Hotshoe flash or a macro ring flash yet. I nede to workout what will be more useful as i dont want to blow money on both.

I looked at the canon ring flash MR-14 EX, and surprise suprise, thats not cheap either lol.

Do you know what sort of useful range the canon macro flash has? I do a fair bit of smallish studio work, and a fill flash for that would be useful, and the macro ring might be adequate for that, so dual purpose for me.

Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 13, 2013, 02:19:45 PM
thanks for the advise, but it will be mostly for outdoor fill. will the 100m canon macro lens on the 5dmk2 get too much in the way for macro? or is the flash high enough?
Shouldn't you be looking for a macro flash in that case? Or a ring flash?

no... only if you like the ring flash look.
many macro shooter don´t like the look of a macro ring light.

i shot with a 430 EX II in a small softbox on a flash bracket.


my setup looks like his.. just not so much DIY. :)

An Introduction to High-Magnification Macro Photography (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqRn3at0H60#ws)

Amazing!! and beautiful, good job.
How do you manage to get an even light, with one sided flash, (even in a mini softbox)
i think the 430 looks fine and solves the problem.
Thanks again
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 14, 2013, 07:00:38 AM
How crazy expensive is the Canon bracket?
http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-sb-e2-speedlite-l-bracket/p1018262 (http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-sb-e2-speedlite-l-bracket/p1018262)
What a rip off.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 14, 2013, 07:40:06 AM
How crazy expensive is the Canon bracket?
http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-sb-e2-speedlite-l-bracket/p1018262 (http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-sb-e2-speedlite-l-bracket/p1018262)
What a rip off.
It better have at least a gold nut ;D
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 14, 2013, 10:18:28 AM
It doesn't have a gold nut, but it does have the silly metric sized screw that goes into the side of many Canon flashes that makes it very securely fitted and does not rely on the hotshoe mount for weight bearing.

I am surprsed nobody else makes a bracket that can use that screw mount too.
Now I know why it is so expensive ... Canon must've spent a lot of money to patent that metric sized screw, so they are recovering the money spent on that patent ;D
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 14, 2013, 10:33:08 AM
Funny,
i dont see a screw hole on the side of the 430 EX II
http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-speedlite-430ex-ii-flashgun/p1027434 (http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-speedlite-430ex-ii-flashgun/p1027434)
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 14, 2013, 11:35:31 AM
Ah thanks for sharing.

Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: rpt on March 14, 2013, 11:59:34 AM
I believe the 430EX-II has it under the black plastic cover. The 580EX-II and the 600EX-RT, at the very least, also have it.

Though unless you get the SB-E2 it is practically useless.
Thanks. The rubber cover that is over it hid it and I had not bothered to uncover it...
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Jel_55 on March 14, 2013, 10:19:00 PM
I can only comment on what I have.  I bought my first DSLR (not my first SLR, I have been using a Nikon F601 for years), a 5D Mark III with 24-105 f/4 L and a Speedlite 600ex-rt.  The system never ceases to amaze me, kudos to Canon.

The flash is worth it's weight in gold.  Very easy to use, more than enough power, fast recharge and more features than I will possibly use.

If you have the budget, I would not hesitate in recommending you buy it.

Cheers,
Paul

Ive the same set up and completely agree. You get what you pay for. You won't regret the investment and you'll have a future proof system as Canon inevitably continues to upgrade its flash range.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 16, 2013, 03:46:59 PM
i like these extenders for the mt-24ex
http://www.photomed.net/macro_flashes.htm (http://www.photomed.net/macro_flashes.htm)
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: tolya99 on March 17, 2013, 11:23:38 AM
can someone recommend a cheap small flash unit to essentially function as on-camera flash for my 5d3? something small and light, that can be tossed in camera bag for that rare occasion i need some fill-in light and would not feel sorry to lose or break? ability to bounce would be a plus but not a necessity. Thanks!
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: rpt on March 17, 2013, 12:03:42 PM
can someone recommend a cheap small flash unit to essentially function as on-camera flash for my 5d3? something small and light, that can be tossed in camera bag for that rare occasion i need some fill-in light and would not feel sorry to lose or break? ability to bounce would be a plus but not a necessity. Thanks!
Read the stuff on the link in this first post of this thread.
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13422.msg241589#msg241589 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13422.msg241589#msg241589)
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: tolya99 on March 17, 2013, 12:16:23 PM
Quote
Read the stuff on the link in this first post of this thread.
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13422.msg241589#msg241589 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13422.msg241589#msg241589)

and which post relates to my camera (5d3) and my need: small, light, and cheap?
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: rpt on March 17, 2013, 12:19:31 PM
Quote
Read the stuff on the link in this first post of this thread.
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13422.msg241589#msg241589 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13422.msg241589#msg241589)

and which post relates to my camera (5d3) and my need: small, light, and cheap?
All the canon flashes are there. Others can chime in for third party flashes. I am no expert on flashes but I think the article is good.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: tolya99 on March 17, 2013, 01:50:22 PM
can someone recommend a cheap small flash unit to essentially function as on-camera flash for my 5d3? something small and light, that can be tossed in camera bag for that rare occasion i need some fill-in light and would not feel sorry to lose or break? ability to bounce would be a plus but not a necessity. Thanks!

If you just want a missing pop up built in type deal then the 270EX II is made for you, it does however have additional functionality that makes it even more interesting for your uses. It has a bounce head and you can get diffusion cards from third parties to make it even better. I believe it can also act as a wireless controller via the 5D MkIII to control additional flashes remotely, so it doubles duty as a type of ST-E2 as well.

If you want a bit more than a pop up flash type power and functionality then the 430EX II is your better bet. Though by the sounds of your specific requirements I'd say the 270EX II is the more appropriate one to get.

thanks, but at $150 for 270 i will regret losing it (and it's not "if", it's "when"). besides, for a little more than 150 i can get yougnuo 568 (too heavy and bulky for the purpose though). so, third party for me, i guess. but has to be compatible with 5d3. i have an old sigma that was my workhorse for years (since film days!), but, alas, it does not play with 5d3.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: dexstrose on March 17, 2013, 06:55:28 PM
After having the 430ex II for a year, making a lot of mistakes and figuring out why, it made my lighting skills stronger by understand the basics of flash photography in ettl or manual settings.

Now I'm eager to expand my knowledge, confidence and go further with multiple, wireless stronger flash guns such as the 600s or even moonlights to achieve what I'm looking for.

I strongly suggest getting a good flash that works well with your camera and go out and have fun. Then you can delve into third party equipment or upgrade to a better flash later in time.

 

Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Jel_55 on March 18, 2013, 09:49:48 PM
After having the 430ex II for a year, making a lot of mistakes and figuring out why, it made my lighting skills stronger by understand the basics of flash photography in ettl or manual settings.

Now I'm eager to expand my knowledge, confidence and go further with multiple, wireless stronger flash guns such as the 600s or even moonlights to achieve what I'm looking for.

I strongly suggest getting a good flash that works well with your camera and go out and have fun. Then you can delve into third party equipment or upgrade to a better flash later in time.

+1

I agree with this sentiment entirely and is exactly what I did. However, in the long run, after a while my cheap and cheerful set up (Pixel Kings and Meike 580s) become very inconsistent in operation and caused me nothing but pain and problems. In the end, I sold the lot and bit the bullet with the 600ex and ST-E3. I've not looked back since. You get what you pay for from my experience. So if your bigger picture is to eventually upgrade to more advanced and expensive equipment, in my personal view, you might be better off doing it sooner than later. I don't think you'll regret it.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Hillsilly on March 19, 2013, 12:07:54 AM
I have a Nissin Di866ii which has a similar GN to the 600EX of around 60.  Compared to a 430EX, the increased power is noticeable and handy.  But the extra power isn't enough to give me dramatically improved capabilities.  Therefore, I'd make my decision on the cost vs functionality of the flashes.  Are there any features that are must haves?  The 600EX is a well regarded flash.  Aside from the power output, there are a number of important features in the 600EX that interest people - the main one being the radio triggering (assuming you're looking at the 600EX RT).  The radio triggering will form the basis of Canon's flash units for the next XX years, and is something to consider if looking to future proof your system.

If you want my opinion (bearing in mind that I'm just a weekend hack who has never taken a professional photo in my life), if you just want a flash that works well, the 430EX is a great choice.  Good mix of power and features.  They are well made and should just keep going.  It can also be used as slave if you get into more advanced flash set ups.  Therefore, even if you move on to bigger and better things, this will always be a handy flash to own. (BTW, there have been a lot of rumors about the 440EX-RT which should be even better.....but, of course, waiting around for fictional products to materialize is rarely a prudent strategy.)

The big advantange of the 600EX RT is the radio triggering, but you only get the full benefit in a multi 600EX flash environment.  Which is costly. 

Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 19, 2013, 09:39:03 AM
Thanks guyd, definately decided on a 430 ex 2
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: RLPhoto on March 19, 2013, 02:44:35 PM
In the long run, flash will become your friend. Getting a higher end flash now could save alot of headaches later if you decide to expand on it. I would recommend a 430EXII to start and jump to a 600RT system later on.

I once ignorantly believed it would be possible to shoot everything natural light. How naive... I should have bought the 580II straight off the bat but got the 430II. That taught me alot about basic on-camera flash technique but I was always short on power. Maybe coming from a studio strobe, you might want to just jump straight into a 600RT for output and RT later on.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 22, 2013, 04:27:09 AM
good point,
what about betteries? any good AA rechargeables will be ok?
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 22, 2013, 08:25:39 AM
good point,
what about betteries? any good AA rechargeables will be ok?
Sanyo eneloop AA batteries are very reliable and they hold their charge for a very long time (the eneloops I bought about 4 years ago and last recharged about a year ago still worked yesterday in my 600 EX-RT)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/758662-REG/Sanyo_SEC_HR3U8BPN_Eneloop_AA_Rechargeable_Ni_MH.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/758662-REG/Sanyo_SEC_HR3U8BPN_Eneloop_AA_Rechargeable_Ni_MH.html)
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 22, 2013, 08:31:32 AM
thanks, just ordered this
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AYXK6MU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AYXK6MU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on March 22, 2013, 08:38:07 AM
thanks, just ordered this
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AYXK6MU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AYXK6MU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
That Technoline BL-700 battery charger looks good, wanted to buy something similar but never got around to it ... I use Energizer V-629B-1-EU, although it is not as advanced as the one you ordered, it works well for my needs. Congrats on your purchase.
Title: Re: First flash unit advice?
Post by: simonbratt99 on March 22, 2013, 09:48:37 AM
thanks, yet another gadget im going to have to learn to use!!
Anyone know some standard settings?