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Author Topic: Advice on 1st flash  (Read 6951 times)

dks14

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Advice on 1st flash
« on: May 14, 2013, 02:04:12 PM »
Im looking to purchase my first flash unit and looking for help and suggestions. I currently own a canon 60d, 17-85mm ,50mm and the 75-300mm. I mostly do travel and outdoor photography and I'm not 100 percent sure how i want to us the flash yet, I just know I hate the pop up flash. My price point is right about 275, so that would be enough for the 430ex II new. And I was looking for thoughts and opinions on if looking at older used ex flashes would be useful. Want to get the best bang for the buck but also get I flash i will not out grow to fast. Thanks for the imput
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 02:11:47 PM by dks14 »

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Advice on 1st flash
« on: May 14, 2013, 02:04:12 PM »

Wildfire

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 02:59:04 PM »
The 430EX II is an excellent first flash. It has Canon build quality and reliability, TTL, zoom, decent power, and quick recycle. If you become a professional shooter and need a more powerful flash in the future, you can still keep it and use it as a slave to a 580EX, 600EX, or Phottix Mitros.

The 430EX II will last as long (probably longer) than your camera body and you'll find constant use out of it.

Menace

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 07:12:30 PM »
The 430EX II is an excellent first flash. It has Canon build quality and reliability, TTL, zoom, decent power, and quick recycle. If you become a professional shooter and need a more powerful flash in the future, you can still keep it and use it as a slave to a 580EX, 600EX, or Phottix Mitros.

The 430EX II will last as long (probably longer) than your camera body and you'll find constant use out of it.

+1

With travel or street photography / people, the 430 can be used us fill flash as well as opening up shooting options in low light.

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bseitz234

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 07:33:44 PM »
Another +1 on the 430. For all the already-mentioned reasons.

It was my first flash, I learned a lot, then got a 580 to act as a master so I could avoid the popup all together, now contemplating another 430 since they're only $203 in the canon refurb store (which is where I got my first one, for all intents an purposes new.)
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unfocused

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 07:38:48 PM »
If you are in the U.S. you can get the 430 EX II refurbished from the Canon Store right now for $204. Or you can buy it new for $259. It's a great flash and the main practical difference from the 580 EXII is that you can't plug a battery pack into it.

Eventually, if you really get into flash, you will want that option, but when you reach that point, you can probably sell the 430EX II for not much less than you paid for it.

The other primary drawback is that it uses the optical trigger slave function (like the 580 EXII) instead of being a radio slave (like the 600 EX RT). Again, eventually you may want that function, but initially you won't miss it. The 60D can be used as a flash controller, so you can experiment with off camera flash with the 430 EX II.

A word of caution though, it is a "gateway drug" to Speedlite dependency. Once you get started down that path, there is very little hope of turning back and one day you will wake up and find yourself in bed with four or five 600 EX RTs.
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albron00

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 07:41:55 PM »
I use 430EX II with my 7D.
Satisfied.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 08:38:34 PM »
A word of caution though, it is a "gateway drug" to Speedlite dependency. Once you get started down that path, there is very little hope of turning back and one day you will wake up and find yourself in bed with four or five 600 EX RTs.

I started with a 430EX II, an excellent flash (my initial kit was the T1i/500D, 17-55/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, and the 430. Used the 430 with my T1i/500D, then my 7D, then my 5DII.  I eventually added a second 430, then a 600EX-RT.  Then I sold the 430's, bought two more 600's and an ST-E3-RT.  Gateway drug, indeed.

Side note - get yourself a set of eneloops for the flash.
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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 08:38:34 PM »

STEMI_RN

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 08:39:28 PM »
More love for the 430 EX II. I started with a 430 EX, when it died I considered moving up to a 580 or a 600, but couldn't justify the price (I do very little off camera flash). And with my 60D I can fire it as a off camera slave anyway.  For the price, it's got great power, great flexibility, and great quality. 

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thelebaron

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 09:31:10 PM »
Also looking for one soonish. Should I be worried about buying a used flash? Is there a way to check its lifespan like the shuttercount on a camera?

tntwit

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 09:31:59 PM »
I have the 430 on my personal camera and we have one I use on our work camera as well (both T3i).

Very satisfied with it.  I've played around a bit with using it off camera at home and at work.  Definitely trial and error with the results, but it is a really nice option to have.  They give you a little plastic base to mount the flash on when using it off camera.  Combined with being able to twist the head left or right as well as rotating it upward, it gives you many options.

The only other flash I can compare it to is the Vivitar on my old T70, but nonetheless, I like it very much.

If you've never used an external flash, I think you'll be pleased with the results compared to the pop up flash.  The T70 did not have a built in flash and I always thought it would be so nice to have the option of not carrying around the external flash.  My 300D had the built in flash and I used it that way for 7 years before I bought the T3i and then used that for another couple of months before buying the 430 because I thought I didn't need it.  Now that I have it, I almost never use the built in flash.  I now don't see the lack of a built in flash on the bigger bodies as a drawback because I much prefer the external flash regardless of size.  It just produces better results and the recycle times is much faster than the built in.

For what it's worth, my co-worker has been around photography along time (not a pro but an active participant in the local photography club which recently hosted a convention in Niagara Falls), and he was the one that picked out the flash after comparing it to the other Canon flashes and considering our needs (our company produces large industrial furnaces that we photograph - up to 60 ft long - mostly for use in manuals and other uses).

I'm sure the 580 and 600 are even nicer, but I don't think you'll be disappointed with the 430.

I for one would rather have that then a used unit unless you could feel really confident in what you were buying.
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smithy

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 09:41:46 PM »
I'll throw in my 10 cents with the Yongnuo YN-568EX.  Its specs are more in line with Canon's 580EX.  It has good build quality, supports E-TTL II and HSS, and I haven't had any issues with reliability (I have used it for quite a few shoots now).  On ebay you can pick it up for $168 inc shipping.

By all means, if you'd rather stick with Canon then I'm sure you won't be disappointed with the 430EX II.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 01:21:49 AM by smithy »
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SithTracy

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 10:22:15 PM »
I have a 600EX-RT, 430 EX II, and Yongnuo YN568EX.  All good, but I mostly do off camera.  If you are going with on camera, and on a budget, the 430 EX II is the best choice to start with.  While I like the Yongnuo, I find the AF assist beam to be hit/miss (with more miss) and not even close to the center AF point.  My two cents on Yongnuo is they are best for off camera work.  But they are workhorses and usable.  It is just the 430 EX II is a better choice for the first speedlite.  Best of luck.

Drum

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 03:34:22 AM »
I was in the same position as yourself up to a couple of weeks ago and seriously considered the 430 as the best flash I could buy, I borrowed one from a friend and found it great and just what I needed, however I bought 2 Yongnuo 565's for the same price and am even happier. the functionality is the same as the 430, the head swivels and tilts exactly the same, it fires and can be controlled from my 60d menu and the ettl works perfectly, the only difference is that I have 2 flashes for the price of the canon 430 ex .I would recommend giving the Yongnuo's serious consideration.

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 03:34:22 AM »

Wildfire

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 06:33:08 PM »
I have a 600EX-RT, 430 EX II, and Yongnuo YN568EX.  All good, but I mostly do off camera.  If you are going with on camera, and on a budget, the 430 EX II is the best choice to start with.  While I like the Yongnuo, I find the AF assist beam to be hit/miss (with more miss) and not even close to the center AF point.  My two cents on Yongnuo is they are best for off camera work.  But they are workhorses and usable.  It is just the 430 EX II is a better choice for the first speedlite.  Best of luck.

I agree. I have a couple of Yongnuo YN560s and they are great manual flashes. I also wouldn't hesitate to buy one or two YN565/YN568s instead of a second Canon flash, but I would definitely get the Canon as a first flash. It's less likely to have problems with current and future DSLR bodies and the warranty is there if you ever need it fixed. (Yongnuo offers a comparable warranty on their own flashes but there is no service center in the USA -- you'll have to ship it to China for repair/replacement!)

AudioGlenn

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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2013, 12:05:46 AM »
I have a 430 ex ii, a 600 EX-rt, and a yongnuo, purchased in that order.  I'd go with the yongnuos for biggest bang for your buck.  I have the manual only one though (yongnuo) since I use flashes in manual mode most of the time.  I do like the 600-ex-rt (for the power) if I'm only using one flash and/or if I want to use it in ETTL.
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Re: Advice on 1st flash
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2013, 12:05:46 AM »