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Author Topic: 580EX II Faulty by Design?  (Read 47555 times)

CR Backup Admin

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2011, 10:15:30 PM »
IGBT's are devices that have a ultra fast rise time.  This can and does cause a high voltage spike that can damage equipment.  I suspect that the PW results in a faster rise time which results in a arc over that would otherwise not happen.  The EX430 is a lower powered device and would likely be less affected. 

PW seems to have a habit of asking users to modify their Canon flashes so that they will work with their equipment.

There is another fix to add a capacitor internally to reduce RF interference with the PW controller.

After a while, there seems to be a pattern.

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2011, 10:15:30 PM »

kennykodak

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2011, 08:56:28 AM »
the only regret i have from switching from Nikon to Canon is flash.  Nikon makes a superior flash.  my 580EX II's are useless in back light and with the pocket wizards just zooming in a little screws that up.  maybe a 580EX IX's will address something more than the need for a new item on the market.

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2011, 02:10:52 PM »
the only regret i have from switching from Nikon to Canon is flash.  Nikon makes a superior flash.  my 580EX II's are useless in back light and with the pocket wizards just zooming in a little screws that up.  maybe a 580EX IX's will address something more than the need for a new item on the market.

Useless in backlight?  Mine works fine, Useless is a vague term.

You are also blaming Canon for Pocket Wizard issues?  Canon has no control over what PW does, and the PW units appeared long after the 580 EX II.  Shouldn't Pocket wizard have tested their unit to see if everything works? 

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2011, 02:56:19 PM »
IGBT's are devices that have a ultra fast rise time.  This can and does cause a high voltage spike that can damage equipment.  I suspect that the PW results in a faster rise time...
This is nonsense.
The comms interface does not control such rise times.
(note: I have designed and made 1ns impulse laser diode drivers for lidar equipment)

The EX430 is a lower powered device and would likely be less affected. 
I suspect you are wrong. I have used and tested both 430 and 530, they yield an equal number of flashes before the reservoir is depleted, with the same camera settings and batteries. I believe the 530 is 'stronger' because it has a better parabolic reflector (bigger is always better). We already know the design of those internal reflectors differ between the two models.

There is another fix to add a capacitor internally to reduce RF interference with the PW controller.
If true (and we know there is an issue with greater susceptibility with the 530), this suggests the comms interface really isn't the issue.

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2011, 05:11:04 PM »
IGBT's are devices that have a ultra fast rise time.  This can and does cause a high voltage spike that can damage equipment.  I suspect that the PW results in a faster rise time...
This is nonsense.The comms interface does not control such rise times.
(note: I have designed and made 1ns impulse laser diode drivers for lidar equipment)

 IGBT switching speed certainly can be controlled, and the faster it switches, the higher the inductive kick is on the flash output.  neither you or I have the circuit diagrams for the PW units so we do not know what the interface signal is.

The EX430 is a lower powered device and would likely be less affected. 
I suspect you are wrong. I have used and tested both 430 and 530, they yield an equal number of flashes before the reservoir is depleted, with the same camera settings and batteries. I believe the 530 is 'stronger' because it has a better parabolic reflector (bigger is always better). We already know the design of those internal reflectors differ between the two models.

I have both as well, and the 430 EX II yields about twice the number of flashes, just as the spec says it does.  A bigger reflector does not cause more power output. 

From Canon

430 EX II Number of Flashes Approx. 200 to 1,400, with AA-size Alkaline Batteries manufactured within the last three months or AA-size Ni-MH fully-charged batteries.

580 EX IINumber of Flashes Approx. 100 to 700, with fresh AA-size alkaline batteries.



There is another fix to add a capacitor internally to reduce RF interference with the PW controller.
If true (and we know there is an issue with greater susceptibility with the 530), this suggests the comms interface really isn't the issue.

What do you mean "if True"  Did you go to the Pocket wizard site?  and, of course it has nothing to do with the communication interface, no one said it did.

http://www.pocketwizard.com/support/tech_bulletins/580exii_mod/

The Fact is;  PW sold these units for use with Canon speedlites and claimed a 400ft plus range, when the range was more like 40 ft or less.

How could they have tested them with a 580 EX II and not known this?  Then, 580 EX II owners started reporting failures due to high voltage flashover from the reflector.  Falures of this type are not being reported by NON PW users.  I've had a number of 430's, 580's and 580 EX II's for years now with no failures.  And yes, they were used with the old style pocket wizards.  Its the new model that has the issues.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 05:16:57 PM by scalesusa »

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #65 on: May 27, 2011, 05:16:21 PM »
I know I'm a little late to the party but...

Has this problem been reported with any other radio triggers? And No, I am not trying to start a fight. I just want to know because I've thought about buying some of the Chinese knockoffs to play with. But I don't want to fry my strobes.

I haven't seen anything on the internets about the imports, but I don't follow these technical things as closely as some others on this forum.
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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #66 on: May 28, 2011, 04:28:20 AM »
My view of the situation:

Some Canon Speedlites do not withstand frequent usage of FP flashes.
This is what PocketWizard says.
I myself have experienced that fault with a Canon 420EX - it broke after several FP flashes directly (!) on the camera. No PocketWizards involved.

So why does this problem seems to happen so often with Pocket Wizards?
Very probably because many users do not use FP just because they have not understood the principle of have not read the product description.
PocketWizard advertise the use of high speed flashing, so PocketWizard users will very likely use FP mode much more often than "normal" users. And will run into the usual problems when using a consumer good in a professional environment. [And now I wait for a discussion breaking loose whether 420/430/580 are consumer goods or not...].



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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #66 on: May 28, 2011, 04:28:20 AM »

Flake

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #67 on: June 24, 2011, 05:49:29 PM »
Well seeing as this is a faulty by design thread I thought I might as well post this here, because it seems like the flash has another issue at the other end, when the shoe can become loose, and fails to make proper contact with the camera.

http://shimworld.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/speedlite-580ex-ii-hotshoe-fix/

At least this site gives step by step instructions as to how to repair the thing, though it's perhaps not for the faint hearted.

Shift7

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #68 on: July 20, 2012, 02:36:19 AM »
Hello, I have problems with mine 580EX II. I used for few photosessions it together with PocketWizards Flex TT5. One day it stopped working. Red light shows up, but neither pilot nor by triggering with camera works.
I have read that 580EX II have issues with PocketWizards when used in HighSync mode (this mode was used when it stopped working). Read this document http://lpadesign.com/580EXII.pdf
Thought that lamp gone off, order new one (only flash tube), changed. But it won't solved problem. On boths ends there is 300V, but on additional 3rd lead there is no reaction.


What to look for else? Maybe someone had similar issue?

Maybe I should buy not only lamp (old one was good), but whole unit?
http://www.darntoothysam.com/products/Canon-Speedlite-580EX-II-Flash-Tube-Trigger-Unit-Repair-Part.html

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #69 on: September 04, 2012, 11:20:54 PM »
I am convinced the Pocket Wizard TT system killed 3 flashes within the time i had them. I never had a flash go bad before using them.
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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #70 on: September 09, 2012, 05:17:43 PM »
I've read this thread with great interest as I plan to buy a second hand 580EX or 580EX II, but am worried about the problems I've read about. The EX II has better features which the EX doesn't, but then again I haven't heard of any reliability problems with that model.
However, I don't intend getting a Pocket Wizard and from what I've read so far it seems that if the 580EX II does start acting up with HSS etc it is usually fixed (and works reliably from then on) after replacing the xenon flash tube AND the IBGT transistor.

Since I'm comfortable with a soldering iron and electronic components (yes, I know about the high voltage risk, but once the batteries have been removed and the capacitor has been confirmed drained it should be no problem) I was wondering: are these two items regular off-the-shelf electronic components available from just about any electronics supplier at low cost or are they made to custom specs by Canon only making them hard and expensive to replace yourself?

I did check out the website mentioned a few posts earlier, but this still doesn't include the IGBT (I know, Canon would simply replace the entire circuit board than desolder a damaged IGBT, which explains this, but I would be quite happy replacing just a single component instead). 
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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #71 on: September 10, 2012, 10:05:27 AM »
(yes, I know about the high voltage risk, but once the batteries have been removed and the capacitor has been confirmed drained it should be no problem)
That can lead to an high voltage surprise - caps regenerate some residual charge from their dielectric separator.
Quote
I was wondering: are these two items regular off-the-shelf electronic components available from just about any electronics supplier at low cost or are they made to custom specs by Canon only making them hard and expensive to replace yourself?
The IGBT is most likely off the shelf, perhaps w/o or with a custom label, the tubes aren't that common.
But without knowing wether its just about part specs or their alignment that doesn't say much.

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #72 on: September 10, 2012, 12:18:22 PM »
I am convinced the Pocket Wizard TT system killed 3 flashes within the time i had them. I never had a flash go bad before using them.

Ditto! They worked hard for me and worked flawlessly, until I mounted a TT5 under them, then I would gett all sorts of crap even on camera.

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #72 on: September 10, 2012, 12:18:22 PM »

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #73 on: September 10, 2012, 12:54:01 PM »
Interesting how 1.5 oear old threads come to life.  Nothing wrong with it I guess.

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #74 on: September 10, 2012, 01:50:56 PM »
DONT POP YOUR FLASHES A MILLION TIMES AT FULL POWER.  :o

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Re: 580EX II Faulty by Design?
« Reply #74 on: September 10, 2012, 01:50:56 PM »