off camera flash options

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by anything you synth, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. anything you synth

    anything you synth TPF Noob!

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    I've been really interested in purchasing an off-camera flash, as the on camera flash is becoming increasingly irritating. I have a Canon Xsi, and all i've really seen from canon is their speedlite series, which is very pricey imo. Are there other options, other than the canon speedlites? I dont need a high-end flash, because im just a beginner, but i would like something that would give me better results.
    thanks!
     
  2. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    I've been thinking the same thing, so I'll just wait arround for the suggestions... :)
     
  3. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    The advantage of the Canon flashes is that you can use their ETTL metering system which automatically sets the power output of the flash to get the proper exposure. With other brand flashes you will probably have to use the flash in manual mode.
     
  4. anything you synth

    anything you synth TPF Noob!

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    oh, i see what you're saying. i'll probably end up buying a speedlite then, because it will probably prove more useful in the long run. also, what do you think about the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 ? im debating between that and a 50mm f/1.8

    or is there another lens i should be considering? i dont have THAT much to spend, but i'd like to upgrade from my kit lens
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To be honest, I don't think the speedlights are that pricey. Once you spend a significant amount of time shooting with a full manual flash (still do and they produce wonderful results), you will realize just how much "intelligence" is built into the E-TTL metering system (or iTTL for nikonians).

    You do have other options...

    * Any xsync hotshoe flash should work given the flash doesn't exceed the XSI's trigger voltage (has Canon addressed that yet?). You'll be operating in full manual and have to stay below the max sync shutter speed of the camera. People who go this route generally will either enjoy the full control and manual aspect or end up missing all the auto-features in the ETTL flashes (end up purchasing one anyways).
    * Consider the older 550EX and 420EX flashes used. Still great flashes and at bargain prices ever since the 580EX and 430EX flashes replaced them.
    * Some third party manufacturers have reversed engineered the E-TTL and incorporated its functionality in their own flashes. I've heard of compatibility issues in the past but I don't know about the present day. You'll have to do your research.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get the 50mm f/1.8. Call it a day. Learn with what you have and later decide what photos you want to take and that should determine which equipment needs to be purchased (not the other way around).
     
  7. anything you synth

    anything you synth TPF Noob!

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    thanks for your input. i had originally wanted the 50mm anyways, so i think i'll be going with that.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is a great lens and costs very little.... Great low-light and portrait lens for photographers of any level.
     
  9. anything you synth

    anything you synth TPF Noob!

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    yeah, thats what i've been seeing everywhere about it. i think it will be a very suitable option for me.
     
  10. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    The 50mm 1.8 is certainly a great lens at a great price. My first lens upgrade from the kit lens was the Sigma 18-200. It's a nice walk around lens and very versatile too. I think it was around $500.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'm usually a big advocate of quality third party options, but if you plan on using the flash in auto-mode (ETTL) then I think it's really worth purchasing a Canon brand flash. My experience is that I get better results when I pair a Canon body and flash of the same vintage. For instance with the XSi get a 430EX II or 580EX II rather than the older mk I models.
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1

    I bought and used Vivitar 285HV's for my off camera flash work, but I bought a 580EX II for when I needed something to think for me.

    If you're using off camera flash and setting the units manually, look at old Vivitar 283's and Nikon SB 28's on E-bay. They're not flashes you'll want to attach to your camera, so paying $35-$80 won't be all that bad for them. If you ever want a flash to plop on the camera for events or whatever, pick up atleast a 430ex.
     

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