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Author Topic: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help  (Read 5832 times)

felix1231

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Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« on: July 28, 2012, 12:18:42 PM »
Hi everyone. I have just recently begun to get into photography and I really want to explore portrait and wedding photography. I have a young baby boy and this would be for side work/fun. I need an external flash but cannot afford anything expensive as I am in the process of practicing and learning right now and would not like to try to charge anyone for work for some time. I have a t3i and was looking for an alternative to the canon 430 exII. Looking for suggestion from those who maybe own third party flashes or have used them extensively. Thanks for any help!

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Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« on: July 28, 2012, 12:18:42 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 07:00:37 PM »
The Yongnuo YN-565 EX seems like a pretty decent speedlite. Gives you ETTL, as well as apparently supporting the being a remote slave (non-RF) from something like a 580 EX II if you want to go that route in the future. I'd invest in a couple sets of Eneloop batteries, as that will help the recycle time by a lot.

http://speedlights.net/2011/08/28/yongnuo-yn-565-ex-flash-review/
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pwp

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 12:42:48 AM »
Yep, just like the previous poster said. For a low cost alternative to genuine Canon, the Yongnuo YN-565 EX has an awful lot of supporters and completely satisfied users.

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gmrza

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 12:57:29 AM »
I appreciate budgets are an issue - that was my problem when I moved to digital and bought a 430EX, but it is also worth considering that flashes are going to have a longer usable life than camera bodies - heck I occasionally still use a 430EZ, that I got in 1990 for my EOS 650, when I just need a manual Speedlite for an additional off-camera flash!
The reason I am no longer ecstatic about the 430EX is because the head cannot be rotated all the way around - which has become a limitation for bounce flash for me. - I prefer using the 580EXII.  My wife would have an issue with the 430 for weddings, as she needs total flexibility to bounce the flash above and behind her when shooting in portrait orientation.

Importantly, just be aware of the limitations of the flash you buy, because, like a good lens, it should outlast your camera body.

Also be aware, for instance that the YN656 gives you the option of using an external battery pack, while the 430EXII does not.
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Hillsilly

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 03:40:45 AM »
I picked up a Nissin Di866Mkii recently.  If you search online, you'll find it in the low to mid $200's.  Compared with the Yongnuo's, it offers high speed synch which might be an advantage if shooting portraits outside. And, although it is only marginally cheaper than a 430exii, it is a bit more powerful.  On the down side, it feels a little flimsy and emits a crackling sound (but no worse than the high pitched noise of other flashes).  So far, it has done the job well.

My other flashes are non-EX Canon flashes (old Canon, Minolta, Sunpak).  I use these in auto mode (via thyristor) or manual mode when they're on the hotshoe.  When I go wireless, I use an el-cheapo Cactus V5 wireless transmitter.  With a set-up like this, it doesn't really matter what type of flash you use as long as you have the ability to manually adjust the flash power.  Some older Canon flashes (eg those ending in "EZ") aren't  compatible with exposure modes on modern DSLRs.  But as mentioned above, work perfectly in "Auto" mode or off camera.  And they aren't that expensive on ebay.  But the downside with going cheap is that you need to spend more time setting things up to make sure the lighting is perfect.  You can never be sure that an improptu shot will work out.  Not a problem for an amateur like me, but would be really annoying if doing things profesionally.

My new Nissin flash was my first ever Canon DSLR compatible flash.  OMG!  You just put it on the hotshoe and take photos.  No more mucking around with power settings and taking half a dozen shots to get things dialled in correctly.  Who'd have thought flash photography could be so easy.  Therefore, my suggestion would be to buy a flash that's compatible with Canon's E-TTL and E-TTLii metering modes.  Then work out if you need high speed synch (a lot of people say it is unnecessary).  Then look at the power of the flash (bearing in mind that manufacturers are creative about how this is measured - although  the Canon 430EXii is regarded as more powerful than advertised).  Other considerations include speed to refresh, AF assist light, master / slave mode, strobe mode and the amount of manual control you want. Then you have to worry about long term compatability of third party flashes with the Canon system.  (Although many now have the ability to update firmware via USB). 

If you see it as a long-term investment, the Canon 430EX ii represents good value.  There's also talk of a 440EX-RT coming out later this year.  This would be compatible with Canon's new radio trigger system and (hopefully) will be an awesome flash.  But you'd need an extra accessory (an even more expensive flash or an ST-E3 flash controller) to get this to work properly with the new wireless system.  I wouldn't wait for a hypothetical product that will be expensive to get working to its full capability.

Sorry about the long essay - slow day at work. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 03:57:39 AM by Hillsilly »
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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 04:02:59 AM »
My 2 cents worth...

Whichever option you go with, make sure it's compatible with an external battery pack. It will not only expand your shooting time but also the recycle time will be greatly improved. I recently shot an event with an EX580 and a third party external battery pack - only noticed a slight drop in recycle time after about 800 shots  :)
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 07:48:50 AM »
I am an absolute advocate for on brand flash guns.  I have no experience of the Nissins or the Yongnuo's, but have plenty experience of third party supposedly compatable guns.  I have off brand batteries, off brand lenses, but after being stung in the past I only use on brand guns.

If you want a cheaper alternative to a 430EXII then the options for me would be a used 430exII, a used 430EX, or if you are lucky a used 580ex.

There are a few reasons I prefer canon guns, some features may be present on third party guns, some may not:

Auto zooming head (which also detects sensor type and factors in effect on angle of view)
High speed synch
2nd curtain synch
Wireless E-TTL from T3i (with groups and channels, if required)
Flash exposure compensation (on 430EX II can be set from camera menu)
Flash exposure lock
Manual zooming, manual flash exposure - if you prefer
Depth of Field preview Flash modeling

If you are interested in off camera flash then theres no good reason not to look at the older 550EX or 420EX guns used.  The 420EX in particular can be had pretty cheap and is perfect for off camera flash with wireless E-TTL -the 420EX and 550EX will work well enough from the hotshoe, but are film era and do not detect sensor size, so it may have a wider and less efficient zoom setting - not a biggie!)

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 07:48:50 AM »

jmanley

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2012, 05:29:45 PM »
If you get into off camera flash, you can also consider buying old, cheap ($50-150) Nikon SB-24, SB-25, SB-28 type of flashes.

They won't work on camera but for practicing off camera lighting its a decent place to start.

april

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 09:40:57 AM »
Hi everyone. I have just recently begun to get into photography and I really want to explore portrait and wedding photography. I have a young baby boy and this would be for side work/fun. I need an external flash but cannot afford anything expensive as I am in the process of practicing and learning right now and would not like to try to charge anyone for work for some time. I have a t3i and was looking for an alternative to the canon 430 exII. Looking for suggestion from those who maybe own third party flashes or have used them extensively. Thanks for any help!

same as you I just got into flash photography. my first flash was the YN-565 coupled with sf-18 battery pack this flash is a lot more like a 580 exII it works well with my 50d and 5d3. It does not support HSS but you can get around it by using nd filter if you have them (I got nd4 & nd8). recently I bought a 600ex-rt and luckily my YN-565 also works with the 600ex-rt infact I use the 600ex-rt to opticaly trigger the yn-565. the battery pack and some cheap modifiers works to both flashes so its an advantage as well.


hope this gives you an idea

AdamJ

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 05:04:29 PM »
If you're looking for something even cheaper than the Yongnuo 565EX, try their YN468 Mk II. Its slave capability is manual only and it's also less powerful than the 565 but on-camera, it's fully compatible with E-TTL and with your camera's menus. It also has manual and multi-flash modes and is surprisingly well built.

felix1231

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 05:22:49 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies, they really got me thinking. I think I will go 3rd party for now since it will be an affordable way to begin practicing and I can use those flashes off camera in the future if I decide to go OEM in the future. I' am between one of the YN models or a Nissin. I've seen some good prices on a wireless Nissin that includes a reflector and a diffuser for much less then the 430 ex II. If anyone has any shots they've taken with any of these flashes I'd love to see them.

revup67

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 02:40:31 AM »
Flickr probably has a host of shots with these flashes.  A key word search should yield a good amount.

One other thing about the 580 EX II though I know it is out of your budget but just as an FYI (I believe this feature was omitted thus far) is that you may ultimately find down the road you may want additional light.  The 580 EXII can act as a Master sending off IR signal to multiple other Slave flashes such as the 430 EXII etc.  To the best of my knowledge none of the other Canon's can act as a Master except the new 600.  So let's revisit; you at some point decide you want a slave or two to balance out the light and you got a YongNuo or a 430EX.  You'll need a set of radio receivers and a transmitter in addition to other flashes that will be added to the expense vs. simply two other Slaves that can be controlled by the 580 EXII.  Again, just offering further insight and hopefully good info for you.
Thanks
Rev
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broseph

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 06:10:43 PM »
$180 isn't too bad. Check ebay for used. You may find it even cheaper

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 06:10:43 PM »

pdirestajr

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 10:46:59 AM »
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sarahgraham

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 02:38:35 AM »
i too need some help- i have the 430EX II. love it but... am also a beginner. anyone have a good site for tutorials so i can take better advantage of this flash?

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Re: Beginer.. Need Speedlite help
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 02:38:35 AM »