November 23, 2014, 06:33:55 AM

Author Topic: Want the 90EX?  (Read 3497 times)

jdramirez

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2014, 06:55:41 AM »
It's flash capabilities are not "not all that great", they are non existent.
It depends on how much you want a severely limited optical master. Personally, and I own both, I'd recommend spending a little more and getting a secondhand ST-E2 (around $110), it isn't much bigger, is much more "powerful", it has a focus assist, and you don't have to do everything from the camera menu.

I put in some new panasonic batteries and while I wouldn't say the batteries were great... they took their sweet time to recharge.  I play around with the 90 ex and my two 580 exii's in slave mode and I like the results... I played with the ratios and I do like having a dual flash set up... but I would happily sell my 90 exii for a $50 if anyone wants to give me that much (via Craigslist)... it is ok... but there were enough times where I was annoyed because I assumed the flash would be ready and it wasn't.

+1  I owned a 90EX for 7 months and recently sold it for $40 on eBay.  Since it can't swivel to use for bounce flash, I only used it as an optical master, and it didn't perform well in that role.

As an optical master it works, but I found the recycle time to be incredibly slow.  In the studio I was missing lots of shots with our toddler while waiting for it to recycle.  Also, since its fixed, you are forced to keep your slave flashes in front of you to trigger them.  I recently purchased two 600EX-RT's and now use one of those as my master, so the 90EX was just gathering dust.

I recommend spending a little more money on a more capable flash.

I don't play with optical triggering that much.. but I assumed that the red front part of the flash needed to be facing your subject... at least that is what I did when I use it.  and with the fully articulating head of the 580 or 600, it seems like the flash doesn't HAVE to be in front of the camera.  I could be wrong on all fronts though.
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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2014, 06:55:41 AM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2014, 08:17:15 PM »
I don't play with optical triggering that much.. but I assumed that the red front part of the flash needed to be facing your subject... at least that is what I did when I use it.  and with the fully articulating head of the 580 or 600, it seems like the flash doesn't HAVE to be in front of the camera.  I could be wrong on all fronts though.

Optical trigger uses visible light, that is the actual flash head.
In case of 580 or 600, the raw strength of the light might be able to bounce and activate the slave, if needed. However, the maneuverability of the head is useful since a direct line of sight is ideal and in case of a puny master like the 90EX, it is necessary. I can't imagine how restrictive that will be in terms of placing the slaves.
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jdramirez

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2014, 09:11:08 PM »
I don't play with optical triggering that much.. but I assumed that the red front part of the flash needed to be facing your subject... at least that is what I did when I use it.  and with the fully articulating head of the 580 or 600, it seems like the flash doesn't HAVE to be in front of the camera.  I could be wrong on all fronts though.

Optical trigger uses visible light, that is the actual flash head.
In case of 580 or 600, the raw strength of the light might be able to bounce and activate the slave, if needed. However, the maneuverability of the head is useful since a direct line of sight is ideal and in case of a puny master like the 90EX, it is necessary. I can't imagine how restrictive that will be in terms of placing the slaves.
Thanks, PBD, you saved me 60 bucks!

I guess I'll be using it indoors only.  It did work when I used it the other day, but it isn't my ideal option.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2014, 09:58:53 AM »
For those of us using the M for everyday photography - the 90EX works GREAT for basic fill flash - what it was primarily intended to do. 

I'm not a semi-pro wanna-be like some that bemoan its ability to trigger other off-camera flashes....

jdramirez

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2014, 10:52:34 AM »
For those of us using the M for everyday photography - the 90EX works GREAT for basic fill flash - what it was primarily intended to do. 

I'm not a semi-pro wanna-be like some that bemoan its ability to trigger other off-camera flashes....

Not to bemoan your technique... but any flash that is attached directly above the lens and pointed directly at your subject will have some negative ramifications.  The subject looks flat and featureless, there are flash reflections that are harsh...

You don't have to be a pro to like the look from off camera flash.  But to not understand the benefits of the same and to belittle it... Seems a touch ignorant. 

But it's fine... I'm sure most of your photos involve sunsets and second curtain fill flash with a modifier...
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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bauerman

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2014, 04:16:46 PM »
For those of us using the M for everyday photography - the 90EX works GREAT for basic fill flash - what it was primarily intended to do. 

I'm not a semi-pro wanna-be like some that bemoan its ability to trigger other off-camera flashes....

Not to bemoan your technique... but any flash that is attached directly above the lens and pointed directly at your subject will have some negative ramifications.  The subject looks flat and featureless, there are flash reflections that are harsh...

You don't have to be a pro to like the look from off camera flash.  But to not understand the benefits of the same and to belittle it... Seems a touch ignorant. 

But it's fine... I'm sure most of your photos involve sunsets and second curtain fill flash with a modifier...

If I want more pleasing bounced flash - I can certainly pop on my 430EX or my 580EX - but they don't look or feel proper on the top of my M.  The whole point of the M for me is simplified photography - and for that - the 90EX works VERY well for me. 


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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 05:58:52 PM »
It's flash capabilities are not "not all that great", they are non existent.
It depends on how much you want a severely limited optical master. Personally, and I own both, I'd recommend spending a little more and getting a secondhand ST-E2 (around $110), it isn't much bigger, is much more "powerful", it has a focus assist, and you don't have to do everything from the camera menu.

I put in some new panasonic batteries and while I wouldn't say the batteries were great... they took their sweet time to recharge.  I play around with the 90 ex and my two 580 exii's in slave mode and I like the results... I played with the ratios and I do like having a dual flash set up... but I would happily sell my 90 exii for a $50 if anyone wants to give me that much (via Craigslist)... it is ok... but there were enough times where I was annoyed because I assumed the flash would be ready and it wasn't.

+1  I owned a 90EX for 7 months and recently sold it for $40 on eBay.  Since it can't swivel to use for bounce flash, I only used it as an optical master, and it didn't perform well in that role.

As an optical master it works, but I found the recycle time to be incredibly slow.  In the studio I was missing lots of shots with our toddler while waiting for it to recycle.  Also, since its fixed, you are forced to keep your slave flashes in front of you to trigger them.  I recently purchased two 600EX-RT's and now use one of those as my master, so the 90EX was just gathering dust.

I recommend spending a little more money on a more capable flash.

I don't play with optical triggering that much.. but I assumed that the red front part of the flash needed to be facing your subject... at least that is what I did when I use it.  and with the fully articulating head of the 580 or 600, it seems like the flash doesn't HAVE to be in front of the camera.  I could be wrong on all fronts though.

I tried to locate my slaves at various points in relation to the 90EX optical master and found they had to be within maybe 60 degrees of the direction it was facing or they would not fire.  Yes, I had the sensor (red front) facing the master.  I could generally deal with this limitation however, it was the slow recycle time and lack of swivel/pivot capability that really soured me on the 90EX.
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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 05:58:52 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2014, 05:59:46 PM »
For those of us using the M for everyday photography - the 90EX works GREAT for basic fill flash - what it was primarily intended to do. 

I'm not a semi-pro wanna-be like some that bemoan its ability to trigger other off-camera flashes....

Not to bemoan your technique... but any flash that is attached directly above the lens and pointed directly at your subject will have some negative ramifications.  The subject looks flat and featureless, there are flash reflections that are harsh...

You don't have to be a pro to like the look from off camera flash.  But to not understand the benefits of the same and to belittle it... Seems a touch ignorant. 

But it's fine... I'm sure most of your photos involve sunsets and second curtain fill flash with a modifier...

If I want more pleasing bounced flash - I can certainly pop on my 430EX or my 580EX - but they don't look or feel proper on the top of my M.  The whole point of the M for me is simplified photography - and for that - the 90EX works VERY well for me.

I think the first sentence of your original comment was completely acceptable, but you unnecessarily (maybe unknowingly) offended with the second one. I am sure the 90EX is working out great for you, but calling someone looking for a cheap optical trigger "a semi-pro wanna-be" is uncool. No one is diss-ing the 90EX for it's original purpose. Relax!
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bauerman

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2014, 06:17:15 PM »
Actually this was said earlier in this thread -

Quote
Guys don't get too excited about the 90EX, I got one in an M kit, it is useless; utterly useless as a flash, or even for fill, its only practical use is as an optical master but even then it is somewhat limited having no power, bounce, or swivel capabilities.

Having used one I wouldn't value it at anything like $50
.

That's the more ridiculous and over-the-top statement than anything I have said so far...

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2014, 08:33:36 PM »
If I want more pleasing bounced flash - I can certainly pop on my 430EX or my 580EX - but they don't look or feel proper on the top of my M.  The whole point of the M for me is simplified photography - and for that - the 90EX works VERY well for me.

I got a 270EX II for the M instead.  It can tilt 90 degrees and has just enough power to bounce of normal ceilings and it's not that large (takes 2 AAs).  It's dumb as can be (slave only), but I've got other options if I need a master.

jdramirez

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2014, 08:54:28 PM »
This reminds me of a conversation I had a few years back.  The 75-300mm lens was being sold at a cheap price and I owned it for a year.  I hated it for most of that year...  A few people were disparaging the lens and took the counterpoint that while it wasn't great, it was a decent beginner lens and you can get some adequate results for the price and in decent lighting. 

The discussion almost became personal.  I think many of us identify with our gear... so if our gear is under attack, we immediately taken offense. 

all gear has some value... even really crappy image degrading uv filters... but at the same time there can be valid criticism of gear without the critique being taken personally.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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sagittariansrock

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2014, 09:11:00 PM »
Actually this was said earlier in this thread -

Quote
Guys don't get too excited about the 90EX, I got one in an M kit, it is useless; utterly useless as a flash, or even for fill, its only practical use is as an optical master but even then it is somewhat limited having no power, bounce, or swivel capabilities.

Having used one I wouldn't value it at anything like $50
.

That's the more ridiculous and over-the-top statement than anything I have said so far...

And your first comment "For those of us using the M for everyday photography - the 90EX works GREAT for basic fill flash - what it was primarily intended to do" aptly addressed that statement. The second one raised the hackles.

This reminds me of a conversation I had a few years back.  The 75-300mm lens was being sold at a cheap price and I owned it for a year.  I hated it for most of that year...  A few people were disparaging the lens and took the counterpoint that while it wasn't great, it was a decent beginner lens and you can get some adequate results for the price and in decent lighting. 

The discussion almost became personal.  I think many of us identify with our gear... so if our gear is under attack, we immediately taken offense. 

all gear has some value... even really crappy image degrading uv filters... but at the same time there can be valid criticism of gear without the critique being taken personally.

Totally agree :)
I felt the same way regarding an ongoing thread about the 70-300 non-L. I hated its ergonomics when I had it, but felt it was a perfectly reasonable lens for the price. However, people were (and still are, if I am correct) bashing it for being soft compared to the 70-200 and 70-300 Ls, and I almost posted a long thread defending it...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 09:16:48 PM by sagittariansrock »
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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2014, 09:18:01 PM »
I am dissing the 90EX for it's original purpose. It is a POS.

I am the one who is being called ".. a semi-pro wanna-be like some that bemoan its ability to trigger other off-camera flashes....". But I am not the only one who has pointed out "I only used it as an optical master, and it didn't perform well in that role." or "I tried to locate my slaves at various points in relation to the 90EX optical master and found they had to be within maybe 60 degrees of the direction it was facing or they would not fire"

As for saying this "That's the more ridiculous and over-the-top statement than anything I have said so far..." about my comment  "Guys don't get too excited about the 90EX, I got one in an M kit, it is useless; utterly useless as a flash, or even for fill, its only practical use is as an optical master but even then it is somewhat limited having no power, bounce, or swivel capabilities."

My retort would be this image. This was taken with the M and 90EX, I was shocked at what I thought was the bad performance of ETTL in this situation so put the flash in manual and full power, turned out it wasn't the ETTL.....

EXIF: 1/30 sec, f5.6, iso400, manual flash full power, the ambient light levels are low as it is early evening, the subject about 4-6 feet from me, you can tell the flash fired because of the catch lights in the eyes. Batteries were brand new.

Now call me a "wanna be pro" all you like, but if a dedicated flash can't provide on axis fill at 4-6 feet in EV8, for a real world guide number of under 10, then it is a POS.
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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2014, 09:18:01 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2014, 09:20:51 PM »
I am dissing the 90EX for it's original purpose. It is a POS.

I am the one who is being called ".. a semi-pro wanna-be like some that bemoan its ability to trigger other off-camera flashes....". But I am not the only one who has pointed out "I only used it as an optical master, and it didn't perform well in that role." or "I tried to locate my slaves at various points in relation to the 90EX optical master and found they had to be within maybe 60 degrees of the direction it was facing or they would not fire"

As for saying this "That's the more ridiculous and over-the-top statement than anything I have said so far..." about my comment  "Guys don't get too excited about the 90EX, I got one in an M kit, it is useless; utterly useless as a flash, or even for fill, its only practical use is as an optical master but even then it is somewhat limited having no power, bounce, or swivel capabilities."

My retort would be this image. This was taken with the M and 90EX, I was shocked at what I thought was the bad performance of ETTL in this situation so put the flash in manual and full power, turned out it wasn't the ETTL.....

EXIF: 1/30 sec, f5.6, iso400, manual flash full power, the ambient light levels are low as it is early evening, the subject about 4-6 feet from me, you can tell the flash fired because of the catch lights in the eyes. Batteries were brand new.

Now call me a "wanna be pro" all you like, but if a dedicated flash can't provide on axis fill at 4-6 feet in EV8, for a real world guide number of under 10, then it is a POS.

I thought maybe the 90EX bypassed your subject and lit up the mountain-side in the back!  :o

Edit: Um... fake mountainside, I think.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 09:24:00 PM by sagittariansrock »
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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2014, 09:41:27 PM »
I am dissing the 90EX for it's original purpose. It is a POS.

...

EXIF: 1/30 sec, f5.6, iso400, manual flash full power, the ambient light levels are low as it is early evening, the subject about 4-6 feet from me, you can tell the flash fired because of the catch lights in the eyes. Batteries were brand new.

Now call me a "wanna be pro" all you like, but if a dedicated flash can't provide on axis fill at 4-6 feet in EV8, for a real world guide number of under 10, then it is a POS.

Did you have the wireless optical control turned on in the custom flash functions?

If the wireless control is enabled the 90EX fires at very low power - even if it's set to Manual & Full Power in the settings.

I've had no trouble using the 90EX up to 3-4 meters from the subject.

It's not the greatest flash; but it's definitely not a POS.

If yours doesn't work correctly, and the wireless control option is off, then it sounds like it's defective.

Phil.

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Re: Want the 90EX?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2014, 09:41:27 PM »