Another flash question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wet, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. wet

    wet TPF Noob!

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    I have canon 420ex & I have been having problems with my flash producing inconsistent power or won't fire at all in I try to shoot several shots in couple secs, causing little to no flash fill. Same problem even if I use new batteries.

    My question is how do I solve this issue:

    It is the battery? Should I switch to NiMH? Or I pretty much have to buy either 430EX II or 580ex to have better recycle time?

    Last question is 580ex II a better way to go? I shoot a lot of outdoor family portrait & some weddings, also outdoor.

    Thanks.
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    In general:

    The only thing you can do is shoot at reduced power. It takes x amount of time for the batteries to recharge the capacitor so the speedlight can fire at the power level you have set.

    If you try and shoot faster than that recycle time, the amount of light produced varies because the capacitor isn't fully charged.

    As the power level in the batteries goes down the cycle time goes up.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Most Canon users consider the 580 EX II to be a better flash unit than earlier,lower-numbered models, in terms of performance and getting the E-TTL-II meter readings "right". Before the EX-II model came out, there were a lot of people having difficulty in getting flash exposures right in critical situations, at least based on what I read in numerous forums over several years. But the 580 EX-II really helped solve most of the flash exposure issues, and the controls, features,and performance of the 580 EX-II is just excellent.

    Migrating TTL flash control from film-based cameras to d-slr systems was a difficult task for Nikon, FujiFilm, and Canon. Nikon used two different flash control protocols, just like Canon did, in an effort to get it "right". Digital sensors did not and do not reflect light the same way film did/does, and so it was a tricky engineering thing to get dead on digital flash metering to work as reliably as it did back in the film days.

    My first Canon flash was a 580 EX-II,and it works great...it's got easy controls, works well, looks good, has adequate power and consistently does what it needs to do. If you can swing it, I'd definitely go with the 580 EX-II for serious work. Trying to shoot several shots in rapid order using 4x1.5v AA battery power can usually only be done at very close range, or with very high ISO settings, or with very wide aperture settings like f/2.4 to f/4, or by using a combination of those three things--distance,aperture, and ISO. Or, as KmH wrote, you can cut the flash power down,and shoot at a reduced flash power level and get rapid-fire shooting that way.

    If you need to shoot several shots in rapid fire, I would look at a Quantum external battery--the four 1.5 volt AA's can not provide really rapid firing unless you're close, at High ISO,and using a wide aperture. With an external battery like a Quantum Turbo, you can shoot very rapidly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    If the 420EX isn't performing to your satisfaction, replace it with a 430EX II or 580EX II...or any of the Canon compatible Speedlites out there.

    The 420EX is an older Speedlite that lacks a lot of the features of the newer models.

    The 580EX II would be the better choice for what you shoot...it's more powerful, has fast recycle time, 360 degree swivel head, and you can use the Canon CP-E4 Battery Pack for even better performance and longer shooting time.
     
  5. wet

    wet TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much. Maybe I should get a new flash before getting a bracket. I was contemplating getting a bracket. :lol:
     

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