Cheaper alternatives to the 430EX Mark I, and what drawbacks?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by keith204, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    May 20, 2007
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    Bolivar, MO
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    A coworker has been introduced to the amazing capabilities of a hot-shoe flash, and is looking for a budget flash that'll work well for personal use. He's not planning on a strobist setup of any type.

    I have the 430EX and love it. Looks like they're going new for $199, and used for $160+.

    The 430EX Mark II has a few differences, for a total of $242
    • Metal shoe mount
    • 180-degree swivel in both directions (opposed to 180/90 on the MK I
    • 20% faster recycle time
    Question is...are there any cheaper options than the 430EX for $199? I see Sigma has two options, the [ame=""]530 for $147[/ame], and the [ame=""]530 Super for $202[/ame]. What drawbacks exist when going with the Sigma route?

  2. Big Mike

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

    Dec 16, 2003
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    I haven't had much hand-on time with the Sigma units but I've heard plenty of complaints about the build quality, compared to the Canon units. Apparently, they just don't feel as good.

    As is typical, you can get more (by the numbers) for your money by going with a Sigma. They are close in power to the 580EX but close to the 430EX in terms of price.

    I don't know much else about the Sigma units. They might be pretty good...but I have the feeling that the 430EX I is the best option.
  3. S2K1

    S2K1 TPF Noob!

    Jul 5, 2007
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    I've used the Sigma 500 and Sigma 500 Super(one on Pentax, one on Canon) and both gave me inconsistent results. On TTL it would nail the exposure maybe 1 in 4 times. Two of the times it would WAY over-expose, and the other 1 it'd pretty dramatically under-expose. My 430EX MK I gets it right probably 9 out of 10 times. This is all using TTL though, but it's something to think about.

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