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Author Topic: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II  (Read 18954 times)

contrastny

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Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« on: February 20, 2011, 08:38:04 PM »
Does anyone have some suggestions for a flash?
I am going to get a new flash and I was going to get the 580EX II, but after reading the thread about the failure problems I'm not sure... It sounds like it may or may not be because of the PW...

I'll be using this flash for several purposes on my Canon 50D:

- Macro work with my Canon 180mm f/3.5L, hand holding the flash with a off shoe cord so the light will hit the subject from the side/top, etc...

- Wildlife and bird photography along with a Better Beamer, Canon 300mm f/4L lens, sometimes I also use a 1.4 TC.

- General portrait work, but not for weddings or work that will require rapid flash

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Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« on: February 20, 2011, 08:38:04 PM »

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 03:58:10 PM »
For long distance flash, even with a better beamer, the 580 EX II is better.  For cloose work, you do not need it.

There are very few who have problems with the 580 EX II, those that do are often using some external accessory when they have problems, like high powered external power supplies that overheat the flash when used a lot over a short time. 

I suspect the PW is closing the circuit too fast, which can send a fast rise time pulse to the flash trigger.  Faster rise times can increase the chance of overvoltage by a large factor, and cause current reflections that can arc over.  Thats the problem you get when trying to make an accessory without a complete understanding of the target product.

That said, the 580 EX II is high powered and a 480 EX II would probably last longer because its putting out less power and stressing components less.

kubelik

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 04:31:10 PM »
the ability to use the 580 EXII as a master made it an easy decision for me; I bought the 580 EXII.  then, it had to be master of something, so I bought 430 EXII's to serve as its slaves.  shoot equally frequently with all of them; none have failed despite being abused a fair amount (things fall, I can't help it)

match14

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 08:07:09 AM »
I have a 430 EXII and i'm very happy with it, but for your needs I think a 580 would be better.

nismohks

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 06:03:06 AM »
for me, i bought my 580exII because i just wanted something i would less likely be inclined to upgrade.
also its good to just get the best and be done with it :P
but then again ive already decided im sticking with this hobby so depends if you are!

simplexityphoto

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 01:26:51 PM »
I own both.  Honestly i don't know how well either of them are going to work for the distances needed for bird photography.  at the shorter lenght though they are both great flash guns.  i feel that in most instances that teh 430 have a faster refresh but teh 580 definetly has more punch.  tht being said the only reason i bought the 580 at the time is that my camera (the 40d) didn't have remote flash capability.  i now own a 7d and i don't think i would have bought the 580 even if i wanted to have a second flash.  i would have just bought 2 430's instead. 

neuroanatomist

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 06:02:56 AM »
- Macro work with my Canon 180mm f/3.5L, hand holding the flash with a off shoe cord so the light will hit the subject from the side/top, etc...

- Wildlife and bird photography along with a Better Beamer, Canon 300mm f/4L lens, sometimes I also use a 1.4 TC.

- General portrait work, but not for weddings or work that will require rapid flash

For #2 you'll want the power of the 580EX II.  For the other uses, the 430EX II would do just fine.
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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 06:02:56 AM »

prestonpalmer

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2011, 02:45:45 PM »
always go with the biggest and best :)

you will be glad you did in the long run

studio1972

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2011, 04:44:58 PM »
always go with the biggest and best :)

you will be glad you did in the long run

I've had a 430 EX (previous version to EXII) and 580EXII for about 3 years. Both have been used heavily, and I would say the 430 has been more reliable. If you really need more power, you van always get 2 430s for about the same price as a 580.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2011, 06:24:36 PM »
always go with the biggest and best :)

you will be glad you did in the long run

Unless you decide to add Pocktwizard FlexTT5's to your kit, and realize that the noise from your 580EX II kills the RF triggering range, unless you learn flash contortionism and deal with hard shields and soft socks, etc.  But if you had the 430EX II instead, you'd be happily triggering out to several hundred feet.  Just a thought...
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scottkinfw

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 04:51:05 AM »
I use the same lenses and better beamer with the 580.  Works great, well built, no failures, even under rugged conditions.

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Lawliet

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 06:30:36 AM »
unless you learn flash contortionism and deal with hard shields and soft socks, etc. 

Thats something made easier by not living in the US. ;)
Everybody elses PWs use frequencies that don't have that problem.

Flake

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 03:40:33 AM »
You have a few alternatives which haven't been mentioned.  You could buy a Yongnuo ST-E2 infra red master, and that manages over 60ft in bright California sunshine.  In addition you could forget the flash extension cable for the macro work £50 for OC-E3 or £70 for ST-E2.

There are some high power speedlites available (at a price) including the Metz 76 MZ5, & Quantum QF8C (guide number 160 @ Iso 200),.  There are a few discontinued units you might find on Ebay, just check the trigger voltage is OK for your camera.

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 03:40:33 AM »

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 10:50:26 AM »
unless you learn flash contortionism and deal with hard shields and soft socks, etc. 

Thats something made easier by not living in the US. ;)
Everybody elses PWs use frequencies that don't have that problem.

From the Pocket wizard website:

A few Canon flashes, including the popular 580EX II, 580EX and 430EX, emit strong RF noise across the frequency range used by PocketWizard radios, impacting both the FCC 344MHz radios used in the American market and the CE 433MHz radios used in Europe and other international markets.

Cornershot

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 01:18:26 PM »
I have both but recommend the 580ex if you want the most reach. It can use an external power supply and the 430ex can not. The 430 is a lot smaller and lighter, though, so I carry that when I want to travel very light.

I also have a couple of 550ex flashes that fall between the 430 and 580. Great flashes that were fairly cheap used and work well for me for more elaborate setups. Nearly as powerful as the 580. And all can be synced with each other if you're working inside and don't want to deal with the PWs.

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Re: Which flash; Canon 580EX II or 430EX II
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 01:18:26 PM »