Need Flash Help - Which one to get?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crowl31, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    I am buying a flash this week and I'm trying to figure out which is the right one.

    I have a canon xti and i am considering the 430 and 580, is the 580 that much better for the extra money.

    Also

    What is the advantage of a Flash Bracket over just attaching it to the camera? I see the bracket doesn't cost that much more and from what I read the benefits seem to be worth it.
     
  2. RubyMagic

    RubyMagic TPF Noob!

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    If you think you want a bracket, go for it.

    As for the flashes, if you have the extra money to throw around go for the 580. However the 430 is a better value, if youre on a budget.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    580EX II - Slightly increased GN (more power), metal foot, weather sealed, can act as a master for other Canon flashes that operate with the wireless E-TTL system.

    Bracket gets the flash higher off the camera which can help with red eye if you're firing it directly. Plus it should let you angle the flash any direction you want with some moving around.
     
  4. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    I am mainly trying to get into portrait photography, and have noticed that most photographers use the bracket.

    How many people here use a bracket?
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Do you plan to someday have multiple flash units and to use them together? If so, get the 580 because it can be either a master or a slave while the 430 is only a slave.

    The 430 is fairly powerful but the 580 is more powerful. For most indoor applications, the 430 is probably enough but it's nice to have more power if/when you do need it.

    The 580 has a power socket and can be powered by an external battery pack, the 430 does not.

    The 580EX II, is weather sealed, similar to pro level cameras, the 430 is not.

    If you just want a flash that will do it's job and won't cost an arm and a leg, the 430EX is a good choice.

    As for a flash bracket...the main advantage to most of them, is that they hold the flash high above the camera and keep it there when you turn the camera 90 degrees to shoot in portrait orientation. Otherwise, the flash would be off to the side when you turn the camera and this can cause ugly side shadows if your subjects are too close to a wall or something behind them. The two main types are flip and camera rotate.

    Either way, if you do get a bracket, you will need a cord to attach the camera to the flash. It's the Canon Off Shoe Cord II or III. They are about $60 so don't forget to figure that into your budget.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I use a bracket when shooting weddings...but for portrait photography, I would recommend that you look into off-camera flash, rather than a bracket.
     
  7. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    What do you mean "off camera flash"?
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Having the flash off of the camera and firing via cable, optical trigger, or radio remote.

    www.strobist.com
     
  9. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    Is this something you only use in a studio? Like the umbrellas set up etc? Or is this a hand held flash that you hold in your other hand?

    Thanks
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    It could either of those or anything else. The idea of 'off camera flash' is that you change the angle of the light that is falling on your subject. If the light is coming from the same direction as the camera, it will look flat. Once you move the light away from the camera, the light will 'model' the subject and give them depth and form.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And with certain devices, you can use multiple flashes. Joe McNally used 7 Nikon speed lights at one shoot he did in Dubai. The nice thing about speed lights is the portability. I've done shoots at a waterfall in a park, a horse farm, a lawyer's office and parking garage, a minor league baseball stadium, and in a studio.
     
  12. Phazan

    Phazan TPF Noob!

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    I have a quick question, about the Canon 430 flash. It says it can act as a slave; does that mean you can switch it to go off when it senses another flash? (My built in flash)

    -Thanks
     

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