582EXii - Full Power only - Need suggestions to overcome it

KirkS

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Hi all. I posted this over at POTN, and basically was told to send the flash in. That is not the help I'm looking for, so I'll ask the question here.

I picked up a dirt cheap 580EXii knowing that it only fires at full power (1/1) no matter what it is set to. Everything else works fine. What are some ways to overcome/offset the power output from the flash? I know the aperture affects the flash exposure, but I'm looking for other ways, particularly without changing camera settings.

My first thought was ND gels for the flash, or just using an ND (variable) filter on the lens. Gels seem like they may get tiresome if I want to make changes on the fly. This would be mostly used as OCF, controlled (triggered really) by a Canon ST-E2 or a set of YN602's. Oh, and i have a Canon 50D.

Any other ideas apart from sending it in for repair? Sending it in is just not in the budget, as I've bought a butt-load of equipment recently, and the wife has mentioned something about the garage can easily be made into a fine bedroom. :shock:

Thanks
 
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KirkS

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And the title is supposed to read - 580EXii, not 582EXii. It's Fat Finger Sunday! :blushing:
 

cptkid

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Move it further away from the subject. This will effect the light falloff though.

Modifiers will also cut down light output.
 

bratkinson

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Since you aren't willing to send it in to Canon, you might want to consider some non-Canon repair places. I Googled 'Canon Repair' and came up with a number of non-Canon repair centers you might want to consider. It even looks like the repair manual for the unit may be available as well. So you may want to consider repairing it yourself assuming you are comfortable with taking apart some tricky electronics.

Otherwise, what you need to do is 'tone down' the flash. Presuming the flip-down diffuser is available, flip it down. That will disperse the light surprisingly well. Next, add a 'Fong Dong' or other cheapo plastic Tupperware-like diffuser. That should reduce the output even further. Bounce it more vertically than 45 degrees or so...that will reduce the light output even further. Bottom line, you'll have to shoot with the flash as if it were 'full manual' mode. But, instead of changing settings to get more or less light, you'll have to change the 'attachments' to get the desired lighting level. A kludge approach, and certainly not one for event photography. What you do NOT want to do, in my opinion, is to 'trick' the camera with a ND filter as it would only keep the shutter open longer/wider aperture/faster ISO if metered through the ND filter. And if you meter without the ND filter on, they you'd have to select one of multiple ND filters to darken it as needed, attach it, and still have the metering locked in, then shoot. By the way, good quality ND filters are NOT CHEAP!

In my estimation, after a couple of times doing the 'manual flash' thing with diffusers, etc, you will either end up selling it for near what you paid for it or send it to get fixed.
 

Buckster

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Diffusers in front of the flash will cut the power. Anything from toilet paper to white rip stop nylon can be used to make diffusers. Layer them for more stopping power.

You can also turn it around and bounce it off white cards or posterboard. Get it cheap at Walmart. Move the board further from the flash, you get less light bouncing back to your subject.
 
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KirkS

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I know if I sell it, I can at least double my money, so I'm ok there.

The primary reason I got it was so I had something with HSS.

bratkinson, what about ND gels on the flash?
 

pixmedic

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I know if I sell it, I can at least double my money, so I'm ok there.

The primary reason I got it was so I had something with HSS.

bratkinson, what about ND gels on the flash?

Sell it, double your money, and buy a flash that functions properly. Plenty of third party options.
 

Buckster

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I know if I sell it, I can at least double my money, so I'm ok there.

The primary reason I got it was so I had something with HSS.

bratkinson, what about ND gels on the flash?

Sell it, double your money, and buy a flash that functions properly. Plenty of third party options.
I honestly think that's the best advice.
 

bratkinson

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I have no experience with gels. As Buckster said...use anything cheap to diffuse the light more and more as needed.

But, since you can sell it and make some money, do that. Let it be someone elses' problem! The LAST thing you want to do is to be constantly 'fighting' your flash to get the exposure you want.

Then put the money towards a good used 550EX or 580EX I that works perfectly. There's nothing that says you have to have the EX II vs the EX I of the 580. They both produce more than enough light for just about anything.
 
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KirkS

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I know if I sell it, I can at least double my money, so I'm ok there.

The primary reason I got it was so I had something with HSS.

bratkinson, what about ND gels on the flash?

Sell it, double your money, and buy a flash that functions properly. Plenty of third party options.
I honestly think that's the best advice.

Done. Sold it this afternoon.

I have no experience with gels. As Buckster said...use anything cheap to diffuse the light more and more as needed.

But, since you can sell it and make some money, do that. Let it be someone elses' problem! The LAST thing you want to do is to be constantly 'fighting' your flash to get the exposure you want.

Then put the money towards a good used 550EX or 580EX I that works perfectly. There's nothing that says you have to have the EX II vs the EX I of the 580. They both produce more than enough light for just about anything.

I'm thinking of the 430EX II. Or maybe the YN-568EX II


Get ND gels, then you can control your power in known increments.

If I had kept it, I think that would have been the best way to deal with it.



Thanks everyone!
 

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