September 23, 2014, 02:28:55 AM

Author Topic: speedlite 270ex - broken?  (Read 1462 times)

endiendo

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speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 13, 2014, 01:43:25 AM »
Hi,

I have bought this spring a second-hand Speedlite 270 ex. (1st generation).  It was ok, since the last weekend.
We were at a wedding, as friends of the bride, and I made some amateur shots.
At restaurant, I took the flash, and noticed the camera (5d mark iii) took it properly, but the flash was not powerful at all. You could see only a small tiny "lightning", and the photo comes dark. So I had to use high iso (4000 -> 10 000), with flash.   So it was exactly as I had no flash.
The flash-batteries were new and I also tried with others new batteries. The result is same. (note: after half an hour or more, the batteries were a little warm..

What do you think? the flash is dead?

thanx
photo amateur since 2004.
Canon 5d mark iii, canon 24-105 f4 L, canon 100 mm f2.8 macro L, canon 17-40 f4 L, sigma 120-300 f2.8 dg os hsm

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speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 13, 2014, 01:43:25 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 06:27:58 AM »
What mode was the camera set on - Av, M, etc.?  Perhaps you inadvertently applied negative FEC?
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endiendo

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 06:55:33 AM »
I was in Av.  between F4 and F8.  I tried first with iso 400, then up to 4000, 6000, and late in the evening, 10000.
I also tried "p" mode , and it was at 1/60.

So these settings should be good with a flash: P mode, iso 400, 1/60.... focus: 9 central points.

and no way to make the flash working good.. 
but it worked good when I bought it and used the first months..

Is it completely dead?
photo amateur since 2004.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 07:12:33 AM »
Av will expose for background by default.  P mode should have worked, though.  But if you were at -2 FEC, you'd still have gotten a dark shot.
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Dekaner

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 08:24:41 AM »
First:

Put the camera on your flash.  Turn on camera.  Turn on flash. 
Go into your camera menu and find "External Speedlite control" 
Then go down to "Clear flash settings" to reset the flash.

The settings in the menu should read:
Flash firing -> Enable
E-TTL II meter. -> Evaluative
Flash sync. speed in Av mode -> Auto

Go into "Flash function settings".  They should now read:
ETTL
Wireless -> OFF
Zoom -> Auto
First-curtain synchronization
Flash exposure compensation -> +/-0
Flash exposure bracketing -> +/-0

Exit the menu.


Then try this test:

Turn off the flash. 

Move to a reasonably lit room/area.  (Doesn't have to be super bright, but shouldn't be pitch-black either.)  Compose a photo, putting an object in the foreground, a reasonable distance from the camera. Put the camera in manual mode and adjust the settings to properly expose the image.  Take care to keep the shutter at 1/200 or lower and I'd suggest using an aperture between f/2.8 and f/8.  ISO should be as low as possible to achieve a reasonable shutter speed.  Take a photo. 

Turn on the flash.  Take another photo.

Post both photos including the EXIF data.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 08:26:50 AM by Dekaner »

Dekaner

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 08:30:02 AM »
Also, the 270 is not a very powerful flash to begin with.  Unless you're just using the flash for fill, I would not recommend f/8.  It's just not powerful enough.

privatebydesign

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 08:44:59 AM »
What Dekaner says, it will be the "Wireless" setting, it needs to be OFF.
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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 08:44:59 AM »

endiendo

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2014, 12:33:28 PM »
Ok, I did all.
The photos are exported from Raw in lightroom, no processing and no adjustement at all.
Only two sizes: more compressed and 700px jpg, and the original size with maximum jpg quality.

1) Manual without flash
f4, 1/100, iso-400, no flash, 24-105l @ 32mm
See the original (12 Mb) : http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/manual-noflash.jpg

2) Manual with flash
f4, 1/100, iso-400, flash, 24-105l @ 32mm
See the original (12 Mb) : http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/manual-flash.jpg

3) P mode with flash
f5.6, 1/60s, iso 400, flash, 24-105l @35mm
See the original (12 Mb) : http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/pmode-flash.jpg
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 01:47:58 PM by endiendo »
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distant.star

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2014, 01:29:16 PM »
.
I don't see evidence of flash in any of them. Does your EXIF say the flash fired?
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endiendo

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2014, 01:44:41 PM »
Yes, that's the point.
- for the 2 lasts photos, Exif says the flash fired.
- I can see a tiny lightning when directly seeing it while taking a photo. But it's not powerful at all. So small that we see no change on the photo.
- even with many new batteries
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 01:47:00 PM by endiendo »
photo amateur since 2004.
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distant.star

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2014, 09:56:39 PM »
.
Looks like your 270 is kaput!
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

privatebydesign

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2014, 10:04:22 PM »
Yes, that's the point.
- for the 2 lasts photos, Exif says the flash fired.
- I can see a tiny lightning when directly seeing it while taking a photo. But it's not powerful at all. So small that we see no change on the photo.
- even with many new batteries

Did you do what Dekaner and I said to do yet? I had the same problem with my 90EX on my EOS-M, and I hadn't switched it, "wireless" was on and I was getting exactly the same results as you.
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Dekaner

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 12:14:56 AM »
I'm not ready to concede defeat just yet.  Did you reset the flash and check the wireless setting (should be OFF). 

There is obviously very little difference in your photos.  That being said, the 270 is not that strong of a flash to begin with. 

Perhaps I gave bad advice.  Instead of setting in manual and exposing correctly for the room, try underexposing it in manual by one shot.  Then turn the flash on and see what happens?

It would also be helpful to have something in the foreground.  Right now, with the flash being atop your camera, the light is pointing at the rear wall and the plant.

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 12:14:56 AM »

IMG_0001

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2014, 10:51:57 AM »
You might want to retry with a reference shot that is a bit underexposed in manual and then add the flash. I also would add something on the table as a foreground item to be illuminated.

Also, if that does not work, I'd check the menus to try the flash in manual mode and set it up at full power. If you can get more punch that way, it will isolate the problem to TTL and may be you can sort it out, or at least work around the problem by setting the flash manually until you figure it out.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

endiendo

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 12:50:31 PM »
Ok thank you all. I think my flash is definitely dead.
I did some other tests.
I did all the settings Dekaner told.
I have no wireless settings (flash is not compatible). reset settings, ttl, first curtain, etc..

Here are my new tests:
1) pmode. No flash, then Flash.
2) manual settings, underexposed photo. Then flash with manual power adjusted to 1/1. And flash exposure compensation +3.  I saw a very little strobe. and the photos comes completely dark, like the one without flash. The only difference is the white balance (warmer with flash activated).

You can see the real size photo and exif here:
http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/manual-underexposed-flash-fecPlus3.jpg
http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/manual-underexposed-noflash.jpg
http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/pmode-2-flash.jpg
http://www.seb-closs.fr/temp/testflash/pmode-2-noflash.jpg

(copy paste in browser-url if it doesn't get - I have an image anti-steal system)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 12:56:26 PM by endiendo »
photo amateur since 2004.
Canon 5d mark iii, canon 24-105 f4 L, canon 100 mm f2.8 macro L, canon 17-40 f4 L, sigma 120-300 f2.8 dg os hsm

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Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 12:50:31 PM »