External Lighting Choices

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by WDodd, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I am having some trouble deciding where to go with my next piece of off camera lighting equipment. Currently I have just a single 430EX and am pondering getting a 580EX or a beginner Alienbee package.

    I do a lot of location shooting type stuff which is kind of causing me to lean more towards the 580, but it seems a bit pricier by the time I add a stand and another wireless trigger and all of that stuff.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What is your preferred power source?

    You can get good results with either choice but the big difference is that the Canon flash unit run on AA batteries (or a small external battery pack) while studio lights like the ABs will require AC power or a good sized battery pack like the Vagabond.

    Also, think about whether or not you really need additional Canon units for you off-camera lighting (should you choose the flash route). If you can use them in manual power, with radio slaves, then you can save a lot of money by getting cheaper flash units.
     
  3. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I think my preferred power source is something portable. The flash units such as the Canon seem like the most affordable route to take when taking that into consideration.

    So correct me if I am wrong, but if I am using wireless radio triggers I can use any flash I want as the slave flashes and the 430EX as the master?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When using radio triggers, the 'master' is the radio sending unit...not the flash...you don't need a flash on the camera (and probably don't want one). Although, you can have the 430 on the camera and still use the radio trigger for other lights (but you will need a PC adapter).

    And yes, you can use practically any flash you want with radio triggers. It's almost a waste of money to buy Canon units for this because a $100 flash will give you the same functionality.

    That being said, with all Canon units, you could use their wireless system (Master & slave etc) which does give you the ability to keep E-TTL metering. This system uses light pulses and so is not as reliable as radio triggers...especially outdoors. And of course, you can always stick your Canon units on the camera with full functionality when needed. You can't do that with $100 flashes.
     
  5. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice as always!

    I think that I am going to stick with my 430 and I can always use E-TTL if I want with that one, and just pick up some cheaper flash units along with some wireless transmitters.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are a few long threads around here about the Cactus Triggers, usually bought from Gadget Infinity.
     

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