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Author Topic: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed  (Read 14177 times)

killswitch

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Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« on: September 02, 2012, 12:19:51 AM »
Hello,

I am completely new to flash photography.  I am a hobbyist and that being said one of the main purposes for the speedlite is that I hope to do portraits (single, group, etc), sometimes weddings (night events) and still life.  I own a Canon 60D, but sometime down the road I have intentions to replace it with a 5D Mark III. I am contemplating buying the Canon 430 EX II soon. What I dont know is will I be able to wireless-ly trigger my flash and camera to take shots? If so, do I need additional hardware/device to be able to do that? If I later get myself the 5D, will I need a separate trigger again?

My second question is, as far as rechargeable batteries, and charger which brand would you fine folks recommend? Some suggest Eneloop, some Pearstone. I rather buy something that will last me longer than something that I have to replace often or will die out on me.

Third and last question, anything else I should be looking to add to the list over time? I will need a diffuser? Any particular type or brand I should be looking into?

Your advice is appreciated. Thanks :)

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Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« on: September 02, 2012, 12:19:51 AM »

pwp

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 12:37:25 AM »
Just in case you missed the thread on batteries for 600EX-RT:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=9064.0

For full-on extended projects I don't leave home without an external battery pack, a Quantum Turbo T3 with the twin outputs. The extra oomph is indispensable for prolonged bounce flash situations or when calling on speedy recycling with HSS. The 430EX and one can safely assume the 430EXII are terrific value and great performers. But they lack the option of plugging into external power.

For the same money you'd get a mint pre-owned 580EXII which delivers a bit more output plus has that valuable option of plugging into an external powerpack. With the 600EX-RT selling so strongly there are good numbers of 580's popping up on Gumtree, Craigslist or eBay. Speedlights are pretty robust creatures so I'd have no hesitation getting a good condition pre-owned 580.

-PW

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 02:44:36 AM »
Hello,

I am completely new to flash photography.  I am a hobbyist and that being said one of the main purposes for the speedlite is that I hope to do portraits (single, group, etc), sometimes weddings (night events) and still life.  I own a Canon 60D, but sometime down the road I have intentions to replace it with a 5D Mark III. I am contemplating buying the Canon 430 EX II soon. What I dont know is will I be able to wireless-ly trigger my flash and camera to take shots? If so, do I need additional hardware/device to be able to do that? If I later get myself the 5D, will I need a separate trigger again?

My second question is, as far as rechargeable batteries, and charger which brand would you fine folks recommend? Some suggest Eneloop, some Pearstone. I rather buy something that will last me longer than something that I have to replace often or will die out on me.

Third and last question, anything else I should be looking to add to the list over time? I will need a diffuser? Any particular type or brand I should be looking into?

Your advice is appreciated. Thanks :)
For nearly 4 years I had the 430 EXII and it served me very well ... it is a very good flash and it will work very well with the 60D ... You can use the built in pop-up flash of 60D as the master to wirelessly trigger the 430 EX II and you do not require any "additional hardware/device to be able to do that".
But if you plan on upgrading to 5D MK III (and have the budget) you may want to consider the awesome 600EX-RT ... however you will need at least 2 of them to take full advantage of 600EX-RT's capabilities. Another thing you have to note is that 5D3 does not have on camera pop-up flash, so a 430 EX II can only be used if mounted on the 5D3 (ofcourse there are dozens of third party wireless triggers that will help you use the 430 wirelessly with the 5D3).
I use both eneloop and Energizer rechargable batteries and they never failed me till date both these brands claim they last for 1500 recharge cycles (although I use my speedlites regularly I never went through 1500 recharge cycles in over 3 years, I must have gone through less than 500 cycles ... so 1500 cycles is a lot for me, even if I charge once a day that will take me over 4 years to reach 1500 cycles) ... so dn' be overly concerned about the number of recharge cycle, instead go for batteries that are rated around 2500mAh.
Diffusers? Oh, where do I begin ... over the years I have collected so many that it now annoys my wife ... but at the moment I am using the Rogue flash benders with diffuser panels ... I have 2 of them and I just love'em, so despite my wife warning me to disown me, I ordered an other Rogue flash bender with a diffuser panel for my third 600 EX-RT.
What I've mentioned is my personal experience with the products I use. By the way happy shopping.
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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 04:28:02 AM »
For nearly 4 years I had the 430 EXII and it served me very well ... it is a very good flash and it will work very well with the 60D ... You can use the built in pop-up flash of 60D as the master to wirelessly trigger the 430 EX II and you do not require any "additional hardware/device to be able to do that". But if you plan on upgrading to 5D MK III (and have the budget) you may want to consider the awesome 600EX-RT

I used a 430ex2 on my 60d too, and now upgraded to the 600rt (more power, 200mm reflector, faster recycle time, external power pack supply option, fec dial and other settings on the flash). But as a beginner, the 430ex2 is a very nice option because it's smaller and lighter than the 580ex-types and thus I sometimes still use it as my hot-shoe flash if it's sufficient, and a lot as a remote optical slave with the 600rt as master.

So unless you want to use the new radio protocol in the future (= no misfires in bright sunlight, remote flashes can be much more distant and hidden behind objects) you can't go wrong with the 430ex2 as your first flash and use it as a remote slave with the 60d, too. After you figured out how much you like flash photography you can make a sound decision what to purchase next. The one big drawback with the "built-in flash" as master and the 430ex2 as slave is that you cannot use "high speed sync" and are limited to 1/250s x-sync.

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 06:19:51 AM »

I used a 430ex2 on my 60d too, and now upgraded to the 600rt (more power, 200mm reflector, faster recycle time, external power pack supply option, fec dial and other settings on the flash). But as a beginner, the 430ex2 is a very nice option because it's smaller and lighter than the 580ex-types and thus I sometimes still use it as my hot-shoe flash if it's sufficient, and a lot as a remote optical slave with the 600rt as master.

So unless you want to use the new radio protocol in the future (= no misfires in bright sunlight, remote flashes can be much more distant and hidden behind objects) you can't go wrong with the 430ex2 as your first flash and use it as a remote slave with the 60d, too. After you figured out how much you like flash photography you can make a sound decision what to purchase next. The one big drawback with the "built-in flash" as master and the 430ex2 as slave is that you cannot use "high speed sync" and are limited to 1/250s x-sync.
I agree ... the only reason I sold my 430 EX II (along with 7D, 17-55) was to fund my 5D MK III purchase. But I do miss its small size advantage sometimes.
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studio1972

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 07:07:08 AM »
Just in case you missed the thread on batteries for 600EX-RT:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=9064.0

For full-on extended projects I don't leave home without an external battery pack, a Quantum Turbo T3 with the twin outputs. The extra oomph is indispensable for prolonged bounce flash situations or when calling on speedy recycling with HSS. The 430EX and one can safely assume the 430EXII are terrific value and great performers. But they lack the option of plugging into external power.

For the same money you'd get a mint pre-owned 580EXII which delivers a bit more output plus has that valuable option of plugging into an external powerpack. With the 600EX-RT selling so strongly there are good numbers of 580's popping up on Gumtree, Craigslist or eBay. Speedlights are pretty robust creatures so I'd have no hesitation getting a good condition pre-owned 580.

-PW


580EXII flashes do go wrong (so there is a risk in getting a second hand one), and in my experience the 430EX and 430EXII are more reliable. Because the flash is less powerful, it does not put such a strain on the batteries, nor does it overheat so easily.

Adding a power pack to the 580 series flashes does help the recycle time, but increases the risk of overheating which can damage the flash.

On the other hand, a RT version of the 430 series flashes must surely be in the pipeline.
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 02:34:42 PM »
On the other hand, a RT version of the 430 series flashes must surely be in the pipeline.
I too heard similar news (was it on canonrumors ... not sure) but a RT version of 430 series will truly be AWESOME.
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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 02:34:42 PM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 03:36:36 PM »
I have 2x 430EX mk1's.  Great wee guns.  Work great with my 7D and T3i, worked great with my XTi and T2i via Canons own ST-E2 controller.

There are third party radio versions available.

The 580's are better guns, but better in a way that many / most users won't require.

I wouldn't buy flashguns for a camera you might buy in the future as when you come to buy there might be something else out (the a 70D that is cheaper, does all you need and works with your exsisting EF-s lenses for example)

EX flashguns hold a fair proportion of their value used so you'll alway able to punt them on at a decent return,  there will be a strong used market for EX guns for years to come.

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 03:39:48 PM »
there will be a strong used market for EX guns for years to come.
I agree
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Rocky

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2012, 03:52:51 PM »
Get the most powerful flash if the size and momey is no objection. The EX600 is more powerful. A flash can never be too powerful. On the otherhand, if you start using diffuser., reflectotor , light box, etc. Your actual output from the flash will be cut down by a factior of 2 to 4 easily. That is where a powerful flash will be good. Even no attchment is used, the powerful flash will get you more depth of field by allowing you to use smaller aperture.

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 05:24:14 PM »
If you're going to get a flash for your 60D you should also start with a Stofen diffuser - a white plastic diffuser that fits over your flash head, you will lose perhaps about 1 x Stop of light but it will really help both spread & soften the light, either in bounce mode (off the ceiling or walls) or when pointed directly at your subject. Plus they're quite cheap too.

Regarding battery cells, I use the Sanyo Eneloops 1.2V 2,000 mAh and they are the best at retaining their voltage which means you can use them right up until they run out without losing too much performance. The most important part of ensuring that you get the most out of them is to use an Intelligent Charger unit, particularly with respect to the speed (current) of charging - a quick rule of thumb is to use C/5 where 'C' is the battery capacity, so 2,000 mAh ought to be charged at a rate of 400 to 500 mA. You can buy faster & more powerful 'quick' chargers but then you definitely will not get 1,500 cycles from Eneloops.

When I recharge my Eneloops (and I have 36 x AA cells), I normally get more than the stated capacity, at around 2,240 to 2,250 mAh and they always display either 1.48V or 1.47V when fully charged. The trick then is to recharge when the voltage drops below 1.18V. Finally, unlike most other brands, Sanyo Eneloops are classified as LSD battery cells, that is Low Self-Discharge, so they're perfect for keeping in expensive electronic items such as flashguns or camera grips for extended periods of time (shouldn't leak and will work even after a prolonged period of inactivity).

Also if you're new to flash photography, I'd recommend getting a cheap 3rd party clone for 150 bucks for now, especially as the 430EX II is likely to join the Canon discontinued line very soon, so you can learn with a cheaper speedlite on-camera now, that you can use later as a 'Slave' off-camera as your flash photography improves.

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2012, 05:44:13 PM »
Under the given circumstances and for the money you can't go wrong with the 430 EXII. I have a 580EXII and 2x 430EXII and no complaints really given my needs.

A few things to consider:

- The 430EXII can be triggered by the pop up flash of your 60D (my 5DII can't do that)
- The 430 I find (under certain circumstances and with distance-reporting lenses such as the 24-105) to be more consistent than my 580.
- The 580/600 have more power should you ever need it.
- The manual controls on the 580 are easier to use and the buttons on the 430 are not quite as nice - which is why I use my 580 for on-camera-flash only situations. On the other hand, you can pretty much adjust all settings on the camera display as well
- The 600 is only 100% compatible with the latest camera models as far as wireless use is concerned, etc - but it is downward compatible but has then the same limitations (if you want to call it that) as the 580/430 series.

All of these will work with any basic non-TTL radio triggers and in manual which is what a lot of people are doing in the end anyway. So like I said, the 430 is a great start and if you want to do more of this kind of thing it'll always be useful for something. I highly recommend the Sil Arena books on flash photography with the Canon system.
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killswitch

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 11:52:44 PM »
Wow, I am overwhelmed by the awesome responses from you guys. I am definitely going to check out the Sil Arena books 7enderbender suggested.

From all the reponses, it seems the Canon 430 EX II is the way to go for starting out in my case. I found used ones for $230 from BH. Will look into some 3rd party alternates, maybe Yongnuo units? Any particular model from Yongnuo that I should look into? Or do you folks recommend I stick with the Canon speedlite for now?

So the downside of 430 EX II is i wont be able to trigger it (when not mounted on the camera body) if used with a 7D, 5D right? In order to be able to trigger it externally, I will need an additional speedlite/device hooked with the 7d/5D body? I am sorry if the question seems redundant, I am just trying to figure out the concepts.

Ok so far, these are what I need to get when purchasing the speedlite.

1) Eneloop batteries with charger
2) Sto-fen diffuser


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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 11:52:44 PM »

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 12:45:49 AM »
Wow, I am overwhelmed by the awesome responses from you guys. I am definitely going to check out the Sil Arena books 7enderbender suggested.

From all the reponses, it seems the Canon 430 EX II is the way to go for starting out in my case. I found used ones for $230 from BH. Will look into some 3rd party alternates, maybe Yongnuo units? Any particular model from Yongnuo that I should look into? Or do you folks recommend I stick with the Canon speedlite for now?

So the downside of 430 EX II is i wont be able to trigger it (when not mounted on the camera body) if used with a 7D, 5D right? In order to be able to trigger it externally, I will need an additional speedlite/device hooked with the 7d/5D body? I am sorry if the question seems redundant, I am just trying to figure out the concepts.

Ok so far, these are what I need to get when purchasing the speedlite.

1) Eneloop batteries with charger
2) Sto-fen diffuser
You can wirelessly trigger 430 EX II with the 7D pop-up flash
It is only the 5D that you cannot as it does not have a pop-up flash, thus requiring you to purchase a master unit (another flash like 580 or 600 or some third party unit)
Having bought several third party speedlites (Metz, Sigma, Nissin & Yongnuo) over the years, I learnt that Canon cameras work best with Canon speedlites ... In addition to long time durability, Canon speedlites hold their resale value for a lot longer than any of the third party speedlites I know of).
Yes Eneloop batteries with charger is one of the best
Yes Sto-fen diffusers are very good ... since that kind of a diffuser is just a piece of plastic you can find several cheaper alteratives on amazon for even as low as $3 ... but Sto-fen has better quality.
Syl Arena is brilliant ... I subscribe to kelbytraining (it costs me only $20 a month) where I get 24/7 video classes on photography with some of the best photographers, Syl Arena is one of them ... his classes, "Working with Speedlites: One Flash Photography" and "Working with Speedlites: Multiple Flash Photography", are one of my favorites. Kelbytraining also gives away "free passes" daily ... if you are starting out in flash photography you may want to take advantage of the free pass to watch those 2 lessons by Syl Arena.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 12:51:00 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 03:04:18 AM »
So the downside of 430 EX II is i wont be able to trigger it (when not mounted on the camera body) if used with a 7D, 5D right? In order to be able to trigger it externally, I will need an additional speedlite/device hooked with the 7d/5D body?

... you can use the built-in flash of any recent Canon camera (= not the 5d, it hasn't got a flash) to trigger the 430ex remotely by optical infrared connection. Esp. Outdoors the flash cannot be behind the camera, too far away or hidden behind objects and the sun mustn't shine too bright. The new radio tech of the 600rt solves theses limitations.

... you cannot use high speed sync with the 430ex as a remote flash and the built-in as a master. This means you are limited to 1/250s (7d, 60d) x-sync and cannot use the flashes for fill in sunlight with faster shutter speeds. Using a 580ex/600rt as a master solves this.

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Re: Buying a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II - Advice Needed
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 03:04:18 AM »