Gear Talk > Lighting

Entering the world of needing a flash at darker weddings

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The 430EX II is a great flash and it swivels both ways, just not all the way on one-side only.  I've never found that to be a problem.  I started out with the Stofen but found it to give less pleasing results with better glass (not sure why that is) and only useful for straight up "bare bulb"-type shots. It has been collecting dust since I got the radio triggers,  an umbrella, and a small soft box.

I used the flash mainly with my T1i (same sensor as your 50D) and the flash really made it come alive.  I liked that it was smaller than 580EX and didn't feel like I was missing power.  I gave me great shots but I realized how much more flexibility I now have with the 600EX.  Now I'm selling the 430EX II, plus Stofen, plus Phottix Strato to go toward another 600EX. (PM me if interested.)

In short, 430EX is really good. 600 is better.  Never used the 580 but it has the same output as the 600 for what it's worth.

i've got a 5d3 and 430EXii with cowboy studio triggers.  I've never had any problems with any of them - they work amazingly well.

If you're going to be in really dark areas with high ceilings a lot, then just buy a cheap manual flash because ETTL will probably have the sucker on full blast the entire time anyway.

I have used just about everything that you can thinking and currently for my "portable cheap" set up for weddings are the yn 560's they run about $50 and then a knock off cp-e4 for $40 and you have a flash that can go a whole wedding... Then I use the pixel king triggers $100 that can give me wireless TTL with my canon brand flashes and HSS with my studio strobes.

I've used radio popers, pocket wizards, paulcblufs triggers, and even the st-e2 and the pixel kings are the easiest to use with TTL functions. But for you it would just be a "trigger"

And these are my amazon links to what I have actually bought:
YN-560 $45

Pixel King $112 (they went up a little bit)
CP-E4 knock off $40

And then I bought these as well so I wouldn't have to mount my flashes to the hot shoe of the triggers $14

A lot of what and why you choose lighting hardware depends on the style your after.

There are definitely styles.  I'm the "extreme soft" sort, so I carry a 12x18 or 18x24 Chimera bank with a show mounted flash in it.  Works great.  Not heavy, but awkward.  Gotta keep your wits about you.

My friend is a bare bulb shooter - using a Qflash (I think) and bare bulb - no reflector, just a bulb shining 360 degrees.  He gets a very very nice old time effect... shoots formals in color, all the rest in monochrome.  Just outstanding.  Not my cup of tea.. but outstandingly artistic lighting.


--- Quote from: AudioGlenn on November 12, 2012, 08:13:51 PM ---I have Stofens for my 430 and my 600.  I don't really like using them.  The colors/contrast I get from a bounced flash are much more pleasing.  The stofen might be a little more useful on the 430 as it does not have a catch light panel but I still find it much more useful to just use the flash directly. 

If you're looking for more interesting shadows, I'd use it off camera anyway...and I still don't use the stofen. 

I'd recommend the 580 or 600 for the higher output and easier controls.  (yes, it makes a difference in the real world).  For example, when bouncing flash straight up to an extremely high ceiling, like the ones found in reception rooms, the extra power is nice.  Also, when manually adjusting the output, the dials on the 580 and 600 are much easier to adjust quickly rather than having to hold down the center button for a few seconds and then pressing the +/- buttons, which are a bit tricky to press...minor gripe but it does slow me down a bit.  I mainly use my 430 to light backgrounds or if I need the extra power for bounce flash...usually off camera.

--- End quote ---

The controls on the 600 are far more intuitive - they are a big improvement in terms of reliability.

For wireless control, while it is probably the most expensive solution, the 600-EX-RT plus ST-E3-RT is probably the most bomb-proof solution.  If you are going to set up an off-camera flash, this combination has the added advantage of not having to attach a separate trigger, which gives for a faster and less error-prone setup to get your off-camer flash working.
Another added bonus is that the 600 comes with colour-correction gels for tungsten lighting.


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