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Photography Question 
Allen Staley
 

Canon 580 ex flash poor exposure


Hi all,
I read every newsletter but this is the first time that I have actually had to publish a post. I have a Canon 20D and I am using the 580ex flash and most every picture is at least 1 stop too dark and and sometimes more. I am using Auto ETTL on the flash setting and Program mode on the camera and I have also used the Auto mode. I have also tried using Auto ETTL mode on the camera and manual mode with several different manual settings eg. 1/60 @ f/5.6, 1/125 @ f/8 ISO settings at 100, ,200, 400,and 800. I guess what my question is: is anyone using this combination camera and flash and getting good exposures with out compentsating either the flash,camera or both? I intended on using this camera for shooting weddings becasue of the speed and quality but I had to revert back to my Fuji S7000 to do my last wedding because of the flash problem. A use a sunpack auto flash with my Fuji S7000 set the flash for the distance I need and use the settings the flash calls for in manual mode on the camera eg 1/60th @ f/2.8 and the exposures are wonderful.
Sorry I rambled on so much but I have talked to several people concerning this problem and haven't got a good answer yet.

Allen Staley


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4/18/2005 7:42:34 PM

 
Sheryl L. Bowman   I will be interested in responses you get because I use a 10D and 550EX flash and have unacceptable results. If I'm close, the popup flash sometimes gives me better exposures, which seems silly. I'm totally disgusted with the flash, and have tried many combinations as you have. Hope you find some answers!


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4/19/2005 6:06:54 PM

 
Allen Staley   Hi Sheryl,

I read that the 20D and 580EX were supposed to be better with the improvments on flash photography but haven't seen it yet. All I want to be able to do is use it in Pmode to do weddings so I have worry free shooting on the fly, because weddings get me very nervous and I don't want to be foolin' around with settings when the bride comes down the isle. I talked with a pro today that uses the same combination as you have and he says he get very good exposes with his outfit. I have a person working on looking at some sample photos and he is going to get back with me as soon as possible and if I find out anything I will let you know.

Allen


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4/20/2005 7:47:15 PM

 
Barefoot Photography by Tina Doane
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2005
  I just read a post with the same question. They said the problem is using the P or Auto modes. The best bet is to use Manual. If you do a search for "canon 20D wedding", it's the first post.

Tina


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8/9/2005 8:03:55 AM

 
Chris H. Ludwick   Just thought I would give you my 2cents worth. I use the 550 with the 10d and
d60. Both act differntly with their exposures, not sure why. When I do weddings I always use program mode & ettl. Alot of times I will compensate when shooting all black tuxes or all white wedding dress by using the exposure compensation. When I get some that are too dark as long as no more than 1 stop I can easily fix it in photoshop. I'm thinking that almost no two cameras are the same when it comes to exposure, at least when you compare the two I have. You could go manually, but I never will, I work too fast and move arround to much to do that.
Good luck!


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8/24/2005 12:20:28 PM

 
Lisa Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2004
  Allen, Have you gotten any assistance on this yet? I have actually talked to Canon about this saying I have seen many with the same problem and they told me they were unaware of the problem. But I am having the same thing...wondering what to do?


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8/28/2005 7:13:11 AM

 
Barry McCloud   I mainly shoot in-concert shots. I use a 20D and a 580EX and initially I did experience same the problems. The answer is to look at the C.Fn settings and customize the flash to work with your 20D. I do a lot of fast in-action shooting with performers as diverse as Metallica and James Taylor and I always shoot with the camera on Manual and the flash adjusted to what I am doing.


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9/8/2005 1:31:01 PM

 
Lisa Carpenter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2004
  Barry, hi. I was wondering about the C.Fn settings...where do I do this and am I to do anything specific with those settings????

Lisa


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9/9/2005 1:47:10 PM

 
Barry McCloud   Lisa,

Check out your 580EX manual. All is explained. The control is on the back of the gun and needs to be held in until the first C.FN # appears and then scroll through using the wheel. Each function has a different setting. I use the ones for fast shooting, matching to the area covered by the camera and the modeling function. The latter is useful for shooting group shots.


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9/12/2005 12:06:20 PM

 
Barry McCloud   Lisa,

Check out your 580EX manual. All is explained. The control is on the back of the gun and needs to be held in until the first C.FN # appears and then scroll through using the wheel. Each function has a different setting. I use the ones for fast shooting, matching to the area covered by the camera and the modeling function. The latter is useful for shooting group shots.


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9/12/2005 12:06:40 PM

 
Barry McCloud   Lisa,

Check out your 580EX manual. All is explained. The control is on the back of the gun and needs to be held in until the first C.FN # appears and then scroll through using the wheel. Each function has a different setting. I use the ones for fast shooting, matching to the area covered by the camera and the modeling function. The latter is useful for shooting group shots.


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9/12/2005 12:06:57 PM

 
Barry McCloud   Lisa,

Check out your 580EX manual. All is explained. The control is on the back of the gun and needs to be held in until the first C.FN # appears and then scroll through using the wheel. Each function has a different setting. I use the ones for fast shooting, matching to the area covered by the camera and the modeling function. The latter is useful for shooting group shots.


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9/12/2005 12:08:36 PM

 
Barry McCloud   Lisa,

Check out your 580EX manual. All is explained. The control is on the back of the gun and needs to be held in until the first C.FN # appears and then scroll through using the wheel. Each function has a different setting. I use the ones for fast shooting, matching to the area covered by the camera and the modeling function. The latter is useful for shooting group shots. Also, Chris, you may get over your problem by adjusting your white balance in the camera's menu.


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9/12/2005 12:11:17 PM

 
Larissa    I am glad I found this thread - I have been having the same trouble with the 20D and the 580ex. Too dark, and this is based on the histograms of the image, not what I see, although that is too dark as well - I will check out the manual and see if I am able to solve my problems.


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11/29/2005 1:48:22 PM

 
Barry McCloud   One thing you may want to do is set the 20D to manual and 400 ISO. Set the canera to 1/160 @ 4.0 - 5.6 depending on the amount of light. Set the 580 to ETTL +3.0 and you should have bright shots.


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11/29/2005 2:29:05 PM

 
Raj Rao   How interesting to see others have the same problem. I am a complete amateur, but have a Canon 20D and a 550EX. Invariably, the photos with flash are too dark, and tweaking the the histograms in photoshop reduces the quality noticably. Would be much better if the tweaking was not needed. I was wondering whether I needed to upgrade to the 580EX, but looks like that has the same issue. Should I compensate by 2-3 stops? I usually shoot in Program or depth mode, and would probably find the Manual mode too daunting. Or should I compensate in AWB?
any help much appreciated (hopefully not too technical!)


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1/15/2006 1:59:20 PM

 
Barry McCloud   I think Raj that if shooting in manual mode is daunting then perhaps the 20D to not what you should be using. I would recommend that you head back to a point and shoot or take some classes in photography. Lesson 1:If you are using flash, set your white balance to flash. Lesson 2: Don't compensate unless you know what you are doing.


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1/15/2006 7:50:39 PM

 
Mingming Mia Bowerson   I don't think there is any problem with the flash. I have an ex430, and I am considering to buy an ex580. The flash does wonderful job and I love it.


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3/22/2006 2:01:43 PM

 
Wing Wong   In asking fellow photographers I know, one of whom turns out to be a wedding photographer, regarding which camera line to buy(Nikon vs Canon), he notes the following:

Canons: great low-light performance and great line of lenses, but the flash performance is weak(weak as in controls, automation, etc).

Nikon: fairly poor low light performance(noise), but great color saturation, great reproduction of colors, and a great flash system.

He shoots with both brands of cameras and notes that compensation with flash for indoor photography with the Canon is more difficult than with the Nikon.

I would imagine that the configuration and use of Canon flash units are more involved than they are for say other brands. Have you tried a Metz flash unit for your camera?


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4/3/2006 7:59:12 AM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  I hope this link helps to answer questions.

It is a 3 part PDF file. and starts off with basic EOS flash information and gets very detailed. It is easy to understand.

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

Mike


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4/4/2006 7:49:22 PM

 
Wing Wong   Mike,

Thanks for the link to the docs!

Wing Wong


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4/10/2006 1:34:49 PM

 
Michael J. Muzyka   I have been having the same exposure problems with the 580EX and the canon 10D. I ran a number of tests on the creative settings. My photos were between 1.5 and 2 stops underexposed.
I called canon and they suggested sending both the stobe and camera in for repair. After reading that many others are having the same problem, I decided not to take that option but rather see if I could find a solution.
I set the CnF #3 to TTL, but found that the camera would not syn with the strobe. Also, used the M setting and found out that the exposures were better. The only reason that I do not like to photograph in the auto mode is because I like to shoot raw images, which makes it easier to deal with the underexposure.
I plan to run some test with the "Black,Gray, and White care", to see if I can use the histogram to figure out a solution. I did note that if I photographed a subjective that was highly reflective in one area, the rest of the photo was underexposed.
Thank you all for your messages and for your insights.


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5/23/2006 6:08:49 PM

 
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