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Author Topic: Is the 580ex2 (or 600rt) overpowered? Do you use the features?  (Read 1583 times)

Marsu42

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Hi all, I'm set to get a second flash because I want multiple non-direct lights, esp. for macro work. But I might come around to event photography, too.

I am trying to decide between a second 480ex2 (which is controlled by my 60d just fine) and the much more expensive 580ex2. I know about the obvious advantage of the 580ex2 as a master flash, but if I get a 5d in the future a 3rd flash doesn't make much of a difference really.

* Do you think that the 580ex2 is overpowered for your work? I am asking because my 430ex seldom flashes at full power anyway, an upgrade would be mostly for (multiple) bounce flashes and flashes against objects background-lit by the sun. I am hesitant about the 580ex because it's physically that much bigger which might be a problem for handling it?

* Do you use the advantages of the 580ex line in your work? Flash exposure bracketing? Strobe? External power supply? Faster recycle time and capacity?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 03:10:54 AM by Marsu42 »

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JerryKnight

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Re: Is the 580ex2 (or 600rt) overpowered? Do you use the features?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 05:48:45 PM »
I assume you mean the 430ex2...

My personal take is that the 580ex2 is a workhorse for on-camera flash, but it's incredibly over-kill for off-camera flash, unless you shoot in unique settings where you need the extra power.

I think the first question you should ask yourself is how important remote TTL is to your shooting. If you're okay with controlling the flashes manually, then you can get several flashes of equal power for the cost of one 430ex2. My Yongnuo YN560's have only slightly less power (in terms of available light output) than the 580ex2, but I can get about 6 of them for the cost of one 580ex2. You'd want a set of decent radio remotes as well, but you could throw in a set of PocketWizard Plus3's and still pay less, assuming you get one or two remote flashes.

If E-TTL is a must-have, then it comes down to how much light you'll need from your slave flashes. That's a very complex question to answer. When I used remote E-TTL, the available power of my 430ex2 was not a problem, and now my manual slaves are set at 1/16th at most, so the full power my flashes can spit out isn't really something I worry about. It sounds like your flash use is similar, so I doubt you would need another 580ex2.

The only other thing I can comment on is that if you're planning on getting into event photography, the built-in optical remote system on the 430ex2/580ex2 is not nearly as reliable as a radio system. Not only distance, but also line of sight comes into play, and at many events, you want to be able to shoot in any direction and have your flashes fire. So in the future you could go with a set of 600ex-RT's, or maybe some 440ex-RT's if Canon ends up making them. Or, again, if you can work with manual slaves, there are many other less expensive options out there.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 05:50:42 PM by JerryKnight »

briansquibb

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Re: Is the 580ex2 (or 600rt) overpowered? Do you use the features?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 07:08:17 PM »

If E-TTL is a must-have, then it comes down to how much light you'll need from your slave flashes. That's a very complex question to answer. When I used remote E-TTL, the available power of my 430ex2 was not a problem, and now my manual slaves are set at 1/16th at most, so the full power my flashes can spit out isn't really something I worry about. It sounds like your flash use is similar, so I doubt you would need another 580ex2.


With 4 x 580 working on remote the amount of power taken from each is so low that the will keep up at 5fps for a short burst

I use eTTL exclusively - I see no benefit in going manual

JerryKnight

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Re: Is the 580ex2 (or 600rt) overpowered? Do you use the features?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 12:39:25 AM »

If E-TTL is a must-have, then it comes down to how much light you'll need from your slave flashes. That's a very complex question to answer. When I used remote E-TTL, the available power of my 430ex2 was not a problem, and now my manual slaves are set at 1/16th at most, so the full power my flashes can spit out isn't really something I worry about. It sounds like your flash use is similar, so I doubt you would need another 580ex2.


With 4 x 580 working on remote the amount of power taken from each is so low that the will keep up at 5fps for a short burst

I use eTTL exclusively - I see no benefit in going manual

You've never tried to shoot into a flash set to E-TTL.. its output disappears as soon as it's near being in-frame. Rim lighting is next to impossible with E-TTL. That's fine - probably not a part of your style, but I often need the flash to fire the same whether or not it's visible in the frame.

EDIT: I should have said that rim lighting with E-TTL is next to impossible at most events. For portraits, I'm sure it's perfectly simple, since your subject isn't moving around.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:03:27 AM by JerryKnight »

briansquibb

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Re: Is the 580ex2 (or 600rt) overpowered? Do you use the features?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 01:56:36 AM »
You've never tried to shoot into a flash set to E-TTL.. its output disappears as soon as it's near being in-frame. Rim lighting is next to impossible with E-TTL. That's fine - probably not a part of your style, but I often need the flash to fire the same whether or not it's visible in the frame.

EDIT: I should have said that rim lighting with E-TTL is next to impossible at most events. For portraits, I'm sure it's perfectly simple, since your subject isn't moving around.

You are right - I dont take pictures into the flash, but I do rim lighting without a problem. Moving objects are no problem either

Here is one, panned on second curtain


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Re: Is the 580ex2 (or 600rt) overpowered? Do you use the features?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 01:56:36 AM »