flash advice needed.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by John_05, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    im looking to buy a flash for my Rebel XT. the 3 im looking at are the 430 EX, 580 EX, and the 580 EXII.

    the main questions i have are about the 580EXs. i noticed the 580 EXII is a newer version of the 580EX, but its about $50 cheaper. does anyone know the differences between the 2, or why a newer version would cost less than an older one?

    the other question is about the 430 EX. i know the first 2 digits of the model number of the flashes is the guide number, so i know its less powerful that the 580s, but its also nearly half the price. would it be a good idea to get 2 430s instead of one 580, and just have the one on the camera trigger the other one off the camera? i dont have any other strobes, so it may come in handy. i have a couple 250 watt continuous lights, but they wouldnt always useful when i wanted to create an effect that only a strobe can produce. i dont have the money to buy something like an AlienBees set up, so i was thinking having a second flash might help when i need an additional flash, and it might help me learn more about lighting techniques.

    so basically, i guess my questions are which 580 is the better flash for the money and what the differences between the 2 are, and would i get more benefit from buying 2 430s instead?

    thank you for any advice anyone can give me.
     
  2. lukasgunar

    lukasgunar TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well John,
    I'm not a flash expert, but I'm kind of perfectionist, so basically to answer your question, I would definitely go for 580 because it's better than 430 (stronger, more professional). Regarding your question why newer version of 580 (EXII) is cheaper, that's more less question of how it works in the modern world and market economy. Because 580 (EXII) replaces it's older brother 580, there are many shops that are selling EXII right now but only very few that have still older 580 in stock. Because of the fact that supply of EXII is much bigger nowadays, the price could be lower then in case of old 580. In regard to functionality of EXII, as you've probably read, it has faster recycle time than its predecesor, it consumes less energy so you'll run longer time with your batteries.
    Hopefully this helps you decide.

    lukas
     
  3. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    so basically the only difference between the EX and the EXII is the recycle time, the amount of power it uses, and build quality?
     
  4. lukasgunar

    lukasgunar TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Correct.

    As all the materials are getting better, specially those plastic ones, I can imagine that construction is better in EXII. But if you need more than one flash for your photography and don't need such a powerful unit, than go for those 2 430's. I would personally go for one 580 EXII and maybe in the future if you capture such scenes where more flash units are needed then I would buy 430. It's up to you.

    good luck
     
  5. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Keep in mind that the 430 can only act as a slave...not a master. So you can't trigger one with another (unless you use both in manual mode with optical slaves). You could get the flash trigger ST-E2 to trigger a pair of 430s...but it's a couple hundred on it's own.

    Another difference between the 580 and 430 is the control interface. The 580 has a dial and the 430 has stupid half circle buttons. It wasn't enough to convince me to get the 580 (I got the 430) but it's something to think about.

    I think the best route to go...would be to get the 580 first. Might as well get the II if it's cheaper. It's weather sealed...so that's a plus. This way, you have a master and it's top of the line. Then as a next purchase, you could get a 430 to act as a slave or backup etc.
     
  6. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    thanks Big Mike. thats exactly the information i needed.

    i was a little confused about how a master and slave flash work together, so i did some research and have a slightly better understanding of how it works, so i will buy the 580 EXII, and use the extra $50 i save to buy a book on flash photography.

    do you have any suggestions on a good book i could get for $50 or less? its taken me over a year to save the $500 for a flash, and i dont want to buy one, try using it, and ending up getting consistently disappointing results. after a few disappointing outings with my camera, i havent had much of a desire to shoot, and i dont want to spend all that money for something new and not be able to figure out how to use it properly. i know im not going to pop a flash on my camera nad magically have all my troubles disappear (unless i just seriously overexpose them..ha ha), but if i can take some shots, and figure out how to improve them easier than pure trial and error, im sure ill find the insiration to shoot more, and try new things instead of just getting frustrated and either not shooting, or trying to edit everything i shoot to the point i hate it just because i had to edit it so much to get it to look decent.

    thanks again for the information and the help. :thumbup:
     
  7. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  8. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    thanks again Big Mike.

    i looked over the 'EOS Flash Bible' a couple days ago, but didnt have time to really read it. i have it bookmarked so i can refer to it when i need to.

    i havent seen either of the other 2 pages, but ill read those later today.

    web sites ,forums, etc.. are grea places to look for information when im home, but i would like to get a book i can put in my pack and take with me so i have something for reference when im not home and dont have internet access. if theres any books you, or someone else could recommend, i would really appreciate the help.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Nothing comes to mind...sorry. You could always print off some of those sites and take that with you.
     
  10. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    i dont have a printer, so printing the pages isnt an option for me right now. i also figured a book dedicated to flash photography might be a bit more in depth than most web sites, so it might have more information i may need, when i need it.

    there is a tech center across the street from me, and i know they have printers there so i might go there to print a couple, but they charge $.25 per page whether its color or not, so printing 90 pages worth of web pages would end up costing what a book may cost me and id prefer to have a book rather than printed pages.

    thanks again for the help though. i really appreciate it.
     
  11. lukasgunar

    lukasgunar TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    John, if you wanna take portrait pictures, then definitely go to http://www.planetneil.com/faq/flash-techniques.html . I think it's the greatest resource you can visit because the author gives you an idea of what settings he used for each particular picture. When you save your money for such a long time and still wish to buy some book, then I would suggest to spend more time in the book store and to read couple of pages while in the store. Many books look really great but when you buy one of them and come home and start to read it, you just simply find out that it isn't what you were looking for so I wouldn't rush with buying a book. Just check above mentioned page and try to learn as much as possible. The most important thing is flash photography is bouncing of the light in order to avoid harsh shadows. At this point I would also suggest www.abetterbouncecard.com page. Watch those 3 videos and make your own card. This thing is amazing when taking portraits inside.

    Good luck.
     
  12. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    i actually planned to look at a few books before i purchase one, but i figured some of the more knowledgeable people here might have recommendations so i could look through a handful of books instead of a shelf full.

    ive been reading through that site and a couple others i have found in my searches, and its a huge help. i just now wish i had a printer so i could print some of the pages and store them with whatever book i choose to get.

    i seen the videos for the "a better bounce card" quite a while ago when i was trying to figure out a way to make something to bounce the on camera flash on my Rebel XT. ive had the foam to make a few for months, but no flash to use them on. in just a week or so, ill finally have a flash to try it with.

    just reading what i have today and thinking about the things i want to experiment shooting has me a bit excited to get the flash now. i think my daughter and my dog might hate me after i get the flash and have them pose for me a few thousand times, but at least ill be shooting again, and hopefully learning as well.

    thanks again for the advice and recommendations. its very much appreciated.
     

Share This Page