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Photography QnA: Choosing the Right Camera Flashes

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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Choosing the Right Camera Flashes

Choosing the right camera flashes for you is important. Check out this Q&A to see what other people are saying on this topic.

Page 2 : 11 -20 of 30 questions

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Photography Question 
Kelly Baker

member since: 10/12/2001
  11 .  Suggestions for a flash for Canon Rebel EOS?
I have 2 -35mm Canon Rebels and am looking for a flash.

I have it narrowed down to SUNPAK: 355 AF ttl around $50.00

MZ 440 af ttl $85.00

- Vivitar 730 AF TTL $65.00 and the 728 AF TTL around $80.00.

What would anyone suggest.

This is for bounce...red eye reduction...weddings and portraits...I have 35-80 mm and a 28-200 mm lens. Thanks :)

11/25/2002 11:26:38 AM

Judith A. Clark

member since: 9/14/2002
  I have a Vivitar283, I have used it for portraits, no weddings, but it has plenty of power, Its easy to use, has several auto setting, and it has a test light so you can see if you have it set right. I suggest you also by a bracket to get it off camera, and a soft box( to greater reduce,redeye,shadows,and make it softer. This is an older model vivitar, I imagine the 730 has options that mine dosn't.

11/26/2002 8:33:56 AM

Kelly Baker

member since: 10/12/2001
  Judith,

That is so amazing...I had just made my final choice and was about to come here and post when I received the "input email" from here!

I have decided to go with the Vivitar 730 af ttl($65). It has bounce, swivel, ttl and zoom. It has a guide of 105@50mm. I am also going to opt for the Sto-Fen Omni Bounce ($16.95).

I am not familiar with brackets to get it up off the camera......I guess they raise it up--does it go onto the shoe...?

Anyhow...I am sooo happy to have made my decision....it also has auto off and can be used at all f stops!

:)

11/26/2002 9:04:39 AM

Judith A. Clark

member since: 9/14/2002
  Kelly, I'm glad you made your dicission, my bracket is a Stroboframe, go to your local camera store and they should be able to help you with how it connects to the camera and flash, It is very helpful because it raised the flash off camera and to the side when necessary. I can't give you all the technical reasons this is needed, I just know it makes for much better portrait in the finished product. With my flash a cord attaches to the flash and a shoe that goes on the camera.

11/26/2002 9:55:51 AM

Duane 

member since: 12/16/2004
  While you've chosen, others may be interested in knowing the Sunpak 440AF has worked awesome for me, especially at weddings. I tilt it 45% up and bounce off a 4x4 white card, all attached to a Stroboframe, with a Nikon TTL sync cord. Never a red eye or an annoying shadow. I've tried a mini softbox aimed directly at the subject, but it's just too bulky and bright.

12/16/2004 7:20:55 AM

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Photography Question 
Thomas 

member since: 2/24/2002
  12 .  What flashes are acceptable to Nikon F401s
I tried using an Achievo flash on my Nikon F401s and the shutter repeatedly locked whenever I shot with the flash on.

When I use the inbuilt flash, everything is alright. Is it that my camera type does not accept this type of flash. If so, which types of flashes are acceptable to this camera other than the Nikon flashes.

I dont wish to try something that would break down my camera.

Thomas

11/11/2002 2:30:53 AM

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Photography Question 
Dominic Britten

member since: 10/31/2002
  13 .  Metz 45 CT-5
Does anyone know where I can get a manual for my new (secondhand) Metz 45 CT-5? The Metz website only has current models and I'm a "babe in the woods" with this flash.
I'm using it with a Mamiya 645.

10/31/2002 3:21:40 AM

Kiet A. Le

member since: 12/24/2002
  I think I could help you with this, I'm buy this flash it comes with the manual.
It takes about 5 working days to receive
let me know if you still need it.
Merry Chrismas
Kiet Le

12/24/2002 8:20:49 PM

Pupak Navabpour

member since: 2/9/2003
  Dominic, I am having the same problem. Did you manage to find a manual?
Pupak

2/9/2003 12:12:58 PM

Kiet A. Le

member since: 12/24/2002
  Who wants the manual for Metz 45 CT-5
just email me, I have it now.

2/9/2003 3:49:14 PM

Pupak Navabpour

member since: 2/9/2003
  I would like a copy, what is your email address?
Pupak

2/10/2003 2:46:13 AM

Vazquez Francisco

member since: 3/20/2003
  I also need thid manual. Could anybody help me?

3/20/2003 8:30:59 AM

Grant Sebastian

member since: 4/27/2003
  Yet again, another person looking for a 45CT-5 manual. Mine got stolen and I havve replaced the flash but no manual. can anyone help? grant@pcug.org.au Thanks

4/27/2003 4:31:11 AM

Thoai T. Dinh

member since: 5/8/2003
  Could someone please sent me a copy too.

Thank you.

my e-mail,
thanhthoai@yahoo.com

5/8/2003 7:04:43 PM

Wolfgang Schmied

member since: 5/10/2003
  hi,

I would be very thankful if you could send me the manual too.

1234@hainzclass.org

thanks!

5/10/2003 3:57:32 AM

Vazquez Francisco

member since: 3/20/2003
  I also need it. Could somebody send me a copy?
Thanks

fjosebolsa@ya.com

5/10/2003 6:04:42 AM

Dominic Britten

member since: 10/31/2002
  Wow!! I started an avalanche of missing manual people. Sorry about that.
But, could I please have a copy too. After all....I asked first.
docosrus@bigpond.net.au

5/10/2003 4:59:38 PM

Pupak Navabpour

member since: 2/9/2003
  ....and I asked second. Any chance of a manual for me too?
pupak@maahee.com

5/12/2003 7:46:58 AM

Thoai T. Dinh

member since: 5/8/2003
  Does anyone got there manual?
My email had problems last week.
Could anyone please sent me one.

Thanks,

thanhthoai@hotmail.com

5/15/2003 8:20:51 PM

Josefina Jagetoft

member since: 5/22/2003
  Well.. Can I "second" that, even if I am in the end of a very long row.

I too am desperately looking for a manual for my Metz 45 CT 5.

If anyone got it can you please e-mail me a copy?

jos@fina.nu

Thank you!
Fina

5/22/2003 8:46:01 AM

Kiet A. Le

member since: 12/24/2002
  Wowww.Too many people need this manual, I can't afford to make many copies. What should I do?

5/30/2003 12:33:52 PM

Josefina Jagetoft

member since: 5/22/2003
  Maybe it´s an idea to just scan the manual and maybe send it via mail? Then there´s no costs involved for you.

5/31/2003 9:16:26 AM

Stefano As Stefani

member since: 5/31/2003
  hi,
I would be thankful if you could send the manual to me too.

Thank u

steprov@tin.it

5/31/2003 12:18:09 PM

Kiet A. Le

member since: 12/24/2002
  To: Josefina,
Thanks for your idea but I don't know how to do it I'll send you a copy and please scan and make it avaiable for every one or I send you a copy and you promise make a copy send out to another person. Keep doing that we can share to a lot of people who needed it.
My email : leanhkiet@hotmail.com please send me your your address where you want me to send it to.

6/3/2003 12:35:15 PM

Josefina Jagetoft

member since: 5/22/2003
  To Kiet L.

I've sent you a mail with my address!

To the rest of the list.

Who wants the copy I'm gonna make and send on? Send me an address and I will send a copy when I recieve the one from Kiet. Let's keep the chain running ;-)

6/4/2003 4:26:56 AM

Vazquez Francisco

member since: 3/20/2003
  To Josefina
If you scan it, please could you send a copy to me?
My email: fjosebolsa@ya.com
Thanks

6/7/2003 9:44:10 AM

Thoai T. Dinh

member since: 5/8/2003
  To Josefina,

To me too please,

my e-mail:
thanhthoai@yahoo.com

Thanks

6/9/2003 6:14:12 PM

Josefina Jagetoft

member since: 5/22/2003
  To Vazquez,

Since you are next in the list I will send you a copy, e-mailed you too. So send me the address and then you have to make a copy to the next person in the list.

cheers
Josefina

7/2/2003 1:17:08 AM

Josefina Jagetoft

member since: 5/22/2003
  I have btw had, and still have, problems with my jos@fina.nu e-mail address, so please send the response to finajosse@yahoo.se

J.

7/2/2003 1:19:48 AM

Satyadev Dommety

member since: 7/8/2003
  To Vazquez,

I would like to be the next person in the chain. Please send me a copy of the manual and I will be liable for the continuation of the chain if I receive any request for a copy of the same from any needy person. I had contacted Josefina and she directed me with the above idea of continuing the chain.
My email address is satyadevd@yahoo.com.
and satyadev_d@hotmail.com

Kindly let me know the size of the file and format in which it is.

Have a good day.

Satyadev.

7/8/2003 10:54:37 PM

Wolfgang Schmied

member since: 5/10/2003
  hi,

I got the manual from metz (german/english) and scanned the english part of it.

it's now a 3mb pdf file.

everbody who still wants it should drop me a note: 1234@hainzclass.org

mfg
wolfgang

7/20/2003 1:01:52 PM

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Photography Question 
Albert Guevara

member since: 11/21/2000
  14 .  Better on-camera lighting
Hello, thanks for your help! I shoot weddings and have been shooting with medium format & 35mm, I usually do the non-candids with the 120 and I can control the light, usually an electical strobe. However, the lighting for my 35mm camera is either too harsh or not bright enough, I have tried with E-ttl and just ttl but I think maybe I just need more power than the canon 550ex provides, I am considering purchasing a quantum qflash x2, is this worth the money or is there something I can do with my current flash? background is either too dark or foreground too bright. Please help !!!

10/17/2002 2:59:48 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Your problem doesn't sound like one of power. You need to make the flash "larger" in order to make it less harsh. A bounce attachment or mini softbox is the easiest way to do this. I assume your flash is mounted on a bracket already. Just use a bounce attachment and drag your shutter to lighten your backgrounds and you should be ok.

10/18/2002 1:18:32 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  I doubt you made this mistake that I did but I failed to look at distance scale on the back of my EOS-550 when I decided to shoot in-doors. As a result, I had inconsistent results.
One thing to consider with the Quantum flash is the large batteries that are required to power modeling light feature. You may want to consider using a METZ flash. Dean Collins has excellant videos on using relfectors and METZ strobes for studio quality lighting, in and out doors.

1/10/2003 9:27:14 PM

Andy 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2002
  Or maybe another 550EX or 420EX unit to light up the background.

1/12/2003 8:22:33 AM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Andy has a good solution that I did not address. One place I looked at when I decided I needed a multiple flash set-up was www.photo.net for discussions on what does and does not work. The EOS wireless system has mixed reviews, unless you own a high end newer model camera like the EOS-3 or have about $1000.00 or more to spend. (I do photography as a hobby, so I spend no more $500.00 per year. After a few years, it adds up to a decent set-up. I just wish I knew then to look at sites like this and to have a definite plan for acquisitions.)
I looked into the SUNPAK 383, Vivator 285, Bogen and Red Wing light stands and the Wein slave/transmitter light control system. I am still researching the Wein system, so I cannot say I have drawn any conclusions yet.

1/12/2003 4:59:24 PM

Albert Guevara

member since: 11/21/2000
  You can't use wireless slaves with the canon system because of the low voltage system, I tried using the wein peanut and the more expensive $ 40 hot shoe slave, and they are not compatible, even when set to manual, it still won't fire.

1/12/2003 6:07:41 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  I should have clarified my response better. A Canon camera linked to a Sunpak 544 via a PC cord to a Nikon AS-15 sync terminal adapter mounted on the camera's hot shoe will fire another Sunpak flash (in my case, a Sunpak 522) that has a Sunpak optical slave plugged into it.
It will also fire a Metalight strobe set using Metalite slaves and a sync cord plugged into the Nikon As-15. A Canon 800 number rep once told me tha company has, if I recall correctly, designed the polarity of their hot shoe to not allow most sync terminal adapters to be used on Canon cameras. The company's concern is the possibility of third party devices allowing high voltage to burn out electrical components. (there is a website that breaks down the high volatage risk flash units. Most inexpensive autotryister flashes on the list.) I did not mention the AS-15 because it does not seem to have a voltage "guard" though my Elan EOS II is still safe after seven years.
I appreciate the information about the Wein systems. I submitted a request for more info on that topic today. (My very dependable local store rep told me I can use the Wein high voltage regulator but I have not tried yet.)

1/12/2003 6:47:54 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  I did not get into details on the Canon's wireless system because I own EOS Elan IIs. The Elan II only allows two set of EOS system units to fire. (it basically does not allow for light ratios to be set as a result.)
The newer model cameras such as the Elan 7, EOS 3 and EOS 1V allow for more "groups" of flashes to be used. From what I have read in my EOS 550 instruction book and on websites, only the EOS-3 is designed to allow someone to mount an EOS-550 on the hot shoe and use it to control lighting ratios of off-camera flashes. I do not know if the EOS-1V has this capability or not. The other "A" type cameras require an ST-transmitter to be mounted on the hot shoe if you want to control ratios. My conclusion is if I purchase an Elan 7, I would need a minimum of one EOS-550 (350 - $400) 1 - EOS 420 and 1 - Speedlite Transmitter St-E2 ($200.00 each) to allow a two light flash system at a cost of $800.00 ($1000 if two EOS-550s are used.)
Also, as I found out the hard way, if you need to use EOS flashes for both on and off-camera work, you need prep time between events at the wedding, etc or several expensive flashes, so you can allocate some resources to a lighting set-up while keeping some flashes on your camera(s)
It is issues like this quest for a solution that caused me to lose my hair!

1/12/2003 7:02:38 PM

Andy 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2002
  The wireless system is built inside the flash (420EX has a built in slave unit and the 550EX has a master and slave), not inside the camera. Mounting a ST-E2 on the camera can control up to 2 groups of flashes (a group can consists of any number of flashes, theoretically) and all flashes can be 420EX only. No 550EX required. With the 550EX on camera, it can control up to 3 groups of flashes. No ST-E2 required. Even with ST-E2 that allows only 2 groups of flashes, you can simulate the third group's ratio by manually setting the flash exposure compensation. Also the 1v has the same flash and wireless features as the EOS-3. For your wedding application, I would recommend the 550EX on camera instead of ST-E2 and with various 420EX unless you have at least one assistant holding the flashes for you. You can even have your on camera's 550EX turn off and still communicating with other slave flashes.

1/13/2003 7:48:50 AM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Andy, could you provide a reference on the EOS-420 capabilities. I attached a review from someone at www.photo.net, where they have had several on-going discussions on this capabilities and limitations of the EOS wireless flash system.
"The manual furthur states:
"With the EOS Elan II, IIe, 50, 50E; Rebel G, 500N, EOS IX, and EOS IX Lite, only one slave group can be used for wireless E-TTL flash control" (page 51)

Also the 70hz modeling flash wont work with anything but the Eos-3. (page 50)

Furthurmore, with an ElanIIe (550ex manual pages 124-125)):

* Max sync speed with 550ex is 1/125
* Flash Exposure Compensation works
* Flash Exposure Bracketing works
* Flash Exposure Lock works
* TTL Hot Shoe Adapter 3 can be used when CF3 is set to 1.
* Manual, Stroboscopic, and ETTL flash works.
* 2nd curtain sync works
* bulb exposure works


Cheers Mike

-- Mike C , October 20, 1999; 06:22 P.M. Eastern (person on www.photo.net site)

more quotes to follow (notice, they tend to address using EOS-550s not a combination of EOS-420s and EOS-550s)


1/13/2003 5:28:42 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Another preson from the discussion on www.photo.net wrote:
Patrick brings up an important point about metered flash ratio control with multiple 550EXs and the EOS-3. This function works wonderfully with the EOS-3, at least two 550EXs and with the ST-E2 transmitter. Once you get away from the metered ratio flash capacity, the wireless function capability of the 550EXs becomes limited and an expensive proposition. Patrick also brings up the alternative approach of using a flash meter and two 550EXs in manual mode with a type A or B EOS.
If the starting position is an Elan IIE/380EX combo and the desire to have a second wireless-controlled flash that can be adjusted for ratio lighting, I believe it would be cheaper to buy a flash meter, an inexpensive (used) adjustable-power flash and a Wein hot shoe slave. Buying two 550EXs ($700) is an expensive alternative for what you get using an Elan IIE. Of course, if the long-term goal is really to buy an EOS-3 and ST-E2 transmitter to use the 550EXs for their designed application, go for it.

-- William Castleman , October 20, 1999; 11:33 P.M. Eastern
and >>>
Type A (E-TTL): Eos-3, 50, 50E, Elan II, Elan IIe, Rebel G, 500N, IX
Type B (TTL): All Others

(550 EX Manual Page 2)

-- Mike C , October 21, 1999; 03:01 P.M. Eastern

1/13/2003 5:32:01 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Page 60 of the EOS 550 manual states: "With the Elan II-IIE/50-50E, EOS Rebel G/500N, EOS IX and EOS IX Lite/1X7 a flash ratio cannot be set with the master unit."
yes, we can possibly achieve lighing ratios using manual settings but if we do this manual action, we are now using the same technology that is available in flashes that cost far less then the EOS-550 and could be done by flashes that cost about $80.00 less than an EOS-420. For on camera use on a Canon "A type" camera, the EOS 550 cannot be beat. The EOS 420 is designed to work with the EOS Elan 7/7e series.

1/13/2003 5:41:50 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Just to muddy the waters possibly a little farther, this reply from photo.net shows a website for additional information on Canon wireless systems.have you checked the EOS-Flash FAQ? http://teladesign.com/photo/eos-flash/ This link: http://teladesign.com/photo/eos-flash/index3.html#wireless may have the answer to your question. Sorry I can't help more.

-- Jeremy Kindy , April 25, 2002; 10:51 A.M. Eastern

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the EOS-Flash faq link above:
Master units: The Speedlite 550EX and both the MR-14EX and MT-24EX macro flashes have the ability to act as a master (control) flash. The ST-E2 adapter is a unit that fits on a camera’s hotshoe that can control external wireless Speedlite flash units, but which can’t produce any scene-illuminating white light. The ST-E2 has a small flash bulb, which it uses to send the control signals to other flash units, but the bulb is covered by a filter so that most of its light output is invisible infrared energy. Although small and portable, the ST-E2 can’t transmit its control signals as far as, and its coverage angle is more narrow than, the 550EX.

It looks like the 550EX can control other flashes regardless of the camera used (Note: I haven't used either the 550EX or the Elan 7, so I can't say for sure). Your best bet would be to go to a store and play around.

jdk

better news that seems to confirm Anthony's good news is:
Hi Anton,
I have an Elan 7E, and can verify that my 420EX can act as an A:B or A:B:C slave flash. It can respond to automatic flash ratio control signals emitted from my 550EX master. Others have reported that the ST-E2 will act as A:B master for automatic flash ratio control.

Only the 550EX gives you MANUAL flash power control over an 8 stop range (1/1 down to 1/128). It can also be triggered by wireless E-TTL in this fashion.

Sorry I can't help more. I do not have the Sigma EF 500 Super, so I shall refrain from making any comments about what I think it is able to do, or what I think it ought to be able to do, for fear of making a fool of myself.

1/13/2003 5:46:17 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Someone-else on the photo.net site reports a problem and a solution for managing ratios with the EOS wireless system. (note: this explanation may be the reason why so many people have so many varying positions on the subject.)

"Jim, I had the same experience when I tested the ratios first time.

Then I realized that for the ratios to work as expected your setup must be such that both flashes will properly illuminate the spot you are using to measure the flash exposure.


If you point the active flash exposure measurement point (could be the FEL measurement point) in a spot which won't be directly lit by the other flash (say B in this case) the system will try to compensate this by adding flash B output resulting in flash B overexposure.


Using this system for backlighting may also be tricky (=need experience).


Digital camera would be a real benefit with (multi-)flash photography as you said. At least to check the exposure if not for anything else. "


Vesa

-- Vesa Perala , April 25, 2002; 04:41 P.M. Eastern


1/13/2003 5:50:25 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Bad news seems to be shown below from someone who has read, like I have, website information and the Canon EOS-550 manuals. This author, though, also has an EOS 420 (or at least the manual!)

"This stuff is only in the fine print of my 550EX instruction manual. Page 60 states
"With the EOS Elan II-IIE/50-50E, EOS Rebel G/500N, EOS IX, and EOS IX Lite/IX7, a flash ratio cannot be set with the master unit"
And there is a double-spread table (p52-53) on my 420EX instruction manual showing that modeling flash only works on the EOS 3; EOS 1V; and EOS 30/Elan 7E. There is an "x" for all other type A bodies.
(NOTE: Another person on that website seems to have found a way around this limitation.)

See also:
lighting ratio control with elan2e and 550ex and 420ex?

-- Julian Loke , April 29, 2002; 08:49 A.M. Eastern


1/13/2003 5:57:23 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Bad news seems to be shown below from someone who has read, like I have, website information and the Canon EOS-550 manuals. This author, though, also has an EOS 420 (or at least the manual!)

"This stuff is only in the fine print of my 550EX instruction manual. Page 60 states
"With the EOS Elan II-IIE/50-50E, EOS Rebel G/500N, EOS IX, and EOS IX Lite/IX7, a flash ratio cannot be set with the master unit"
And there is a double-spread table (p52-53) on my 420EX instruction manual showing that modeling flash only works on the EOS 3; EOS 1V; and EOS 30/Elan 7E. There is an "x" for all other type A bodies.
(NOTE: Another person on that website seems to have found a way around this limitation.)

See also:
lighting ratio control with elan2e and 550ex and 420ex?

-- Julian Loke , April 29, 2002; 08:49 A.M. Eastern


1/13/2003 6:02:38 PM

Andy 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2002
  I guessed I am lucky so far. I did used the ST-E2 on my older EOS 1000Fn to trigger the two 550EX I have and it worked, although I did not use it on a real project (no modeling light though because there is no depth-of-field button on that camera). I also used either the ST-E2 or the 550EX on my 1v as master and worked. But most of the time I will use the ST-E2 as master so my camera weights lighter. I am planning to buy another 420EX to use as background. I do not have a chance to test on the other EOS cameras, so I cannot comment on that. But it's good to know there are ways to get around the problems.

1/14/2003 12:00:55 PM

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Photography Question 
George 

member since: 10/15/2002
  15 .  Sunpak B 3600 D flash unit deticated for Minolta
I have a Sunpak B 3600 D flash unit, which is deticated for Minolta (manual) SLR cameras. On the back of the unit there is a distance/aperture scale and a switch, with which the user can choose Manual and Auto operation (3 different options for auto depending on the power). Also there is an option that has no indications at all (the scale does not show at all). Is this option for TTL use?
Besides this, there is a switch at the boot of the flash, with two indications: "A" and "B". What can this switch be for?
Thank you!

10/15/2002 5:47:49 AM

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Photography Question 
Chris Moore

member since: 8/15/2002
  16 .  What kind of flash?
I own a Canon EOS Rebel 2000. I am considering an external flash that is much better than the built in flash, but I wonder what you all would recommend? I don't want to spend a lot of money, maybe $129 tops.......what would you recommend I look at?

10/10/2002 10:41:27 PM

Andy 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2002
  For about $180 (grey market even cheaper), I would recommend the Canon 440EX. Go to the Canon site and see for yourself.

http://www.usa.canon.com/html/cameras_speedlite/420ex.html

Hope this helps.

10/11/2002 11:15:58 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  For only around $60 you can pick up a Vivitar 283. It has no TTL capabilities but does have auto modes. It's very powerful and sturdy. I own 2 of them.

10/11/2002 12:46:09 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Another possibility is the Sunpak 383. It is Sunpak's answer to the reliable Vivitor 283 & Vivitar 285 series of flashes. I own a Sunpak 383 and a Vivitar 285. Each flash has an advantage over the other flash. My Vivitar 285 appears to be more durable but it is larger, making it harder to fit into the camera bag. (I use a Lowepro camera bag and a Lowepro Backpack.)
The Sunpak 383 has the advantage of being able to both bounce and swivel. This capability allows more ways to direct the light.
Both lens have about the same Guide Number rating (120 in feet) and cost around the same. you can get either one used for about $60, poer above) or new for a little more dollars.
My personal preference is the more adaptable Sunpak 383.

12/30/2002 7:29:12 PM

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Photography Question 
Mike Turner

member since: 3/16/2001
  17 .  Flashes
I want to buy a new flash for my camera. Currently, I have a speedlite 220. I am strongly considering the Speedlite 550 which is approx. $300. I have never bought anything other than Canon accessories, so I am a bit unexperienced in buying other vendor's accessories. Are there equivalent lenses by other vendors that will work identically and cost less?

Also, I am going to be shooting a wedding and I was wondering if it would be beneficial to have a bouncer for the flash and/or an accessory that I believe is called a handle mount(It attaches to the bottom of the camera and allows you to manipulate the flash a bit more)? If so, should I get these things together or should I learn to use one before purchasing the other?
Thanks in advance.

9/27/2002 6:23:20 PM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  To shoot a wedding, I would recommend either the EOS-540 or EOS-550. Many photographers on this site also recommend using a bracket. A bracket allows you to place flash above the camera. I personally do not like this solution since I need one hand to shoot the picture, one hand to work the zoom and one hand to hold the equipment.
You may consider using a Lumiquest or similar manufactor's bounce device on your flash. Lumiquest makes a PRO-MAX 80/20 that some professional photographers use for candid photos. It costs about $15.00. This device attachs to the top of the flash and directs light both up and forward. (if you use the 80/20 model.)

1/10/2003 9:41:29 PM

Andy 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/28/2002
  One suggestion about the flash. Since you did not mention about your camera, if your camera does not support E-TTL, rear-curtain sync, high speed sync or you have no intention to use the 550EX as a master unit to control other flashes, the 550EX would be an overkill then. The 420EX would be a better choice and cheaper. Some earlier models of EOS camera do not support the features I mentioned above.

1/12/2003 8:19:16 AM

Bill McFadden

member since: 12/30/2002
  Andy asked all of the questions that I should have but did not think about on the question of the flash issue. It would help to know what type of camera you will use, the nature of the location, number of guests, etc. I still believe choosing an EOS-540 is a better selection than a EOS-420, if you do not want radio control. The EOS 420 is a newer flash and has the E-TTL feature. However, sometimes you need more power from your flash. You can get more power for the dollars by selecting a used or even new EOS-540. (see www.photo.net site for discussion on the potential problems with the Canon wireless system)

1/12/2003 4:50:45 PM

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Photography Question 
yaacov koren

member since: 8/7/2002
  18 .  Setting up Metz 32 Z-2 Flash
i own a Metz 32 Z-2 Flash with SCA 3401-M4 for Nikon.
in the manual guide the default instruction is to set up the contorls for TTL Fill in Falsh.
how do I set up the controls to bulb the flash with more power under TTL without Fill in Flash

8/7/2002 9:32:20 AM

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Photography Question 
David  Ronald GIbbins

member since: 7/28/2002
  19 .  Any comments on Nissin Flash Auto 6000AF?
Very generously my Camera shop has given me a Nissin 6000AF Handle Mount flash to evaluate without obligation. (GN 60 meters @ 100 ASA f1 "normal" lense)

I would be most interested in any comments from those who may have used this (or perhaps other Nissin) flash units.

I guess I would be most interested in any comments about accuracy in exposure, quality of the light (eveness, naturalness in colour temperature) and reliability / service.

For all the twenty years I have had my Mamiya (35mm) I have sought to be an "avaliable light" purist and distained flash.

However, having become more pragmatic as I grow older, I have lately become interested in expanding to flash - mainly infill, but also the softer bounce when indoors.

I am starting to evaluate the Nissin unit after having borrowed and experimented with a Metz (32 CT4).

I use K64 slide film almost all the time, and also most often a 28mm lense. I am 2/3 way through my first test roll in making copious distance and flash readings (Gossen LUNASIX F)and have spotted this forum and so decided to see if anyone has already been down this path.

There are cerainly more "industry standard" units (eg Metz...). However, I thought I would try the cheaper alternative first given the oportunity to experiment without obligation on an out of the box unit.

I look forward to any responses.

Many thanks in advance.

David Gibbins
(Newcastle Australia)

7/28/2002 8:07:35 AM

MAX C. LEO

member since: 4/4/2003
  Hiya David. Greetings from Canada! Just stumbled upon this site & happened upon your almost year-old query.
I don't know much about the 6000AF, but I do own a Nissin 4000GW & a 4200GW with TTL modules to go with my Pentax 645N & Canon EOS Elan 7E-QD with Quantum Battery 2 for my wedding photography & I have had very consistently good to excellent results. I usually give about one to two 3rds of a stop over exposure just to compensate for the white wedding gowns, especially the full gowns.
They are excellent flashes @ a fraction of a Metz 45CL-4 pricepoint, believe you me! Both have twin flashes for fill-in which I've been used to all my photographic life of over 20 years. In fact I owned another 4000GW which I sold off as it was an older one. So the newer AF models can only be better! I've got an auto focus module with infra red focus aid light for the EOS while the module for the Pentax 645N is only TTL w/o the auto focus light (can't seem to find it anywhere).
You should check out www.petercottonphoto.com.au based in NSW. You're in NSW too aren't you? Peter carries a wide range of Nissin stuff.

Best wishes,

Max

4/4/2003 7:54:08 PM

David  Ronald GIbbins

member since: 7/28/2002
  Hi to Max - Return greetings from Australia. Many thanks for your response to my Q.

My pilgrimage ended this way: By trawling the web I found a 2nd hand Metz mecablitz 60 CT-4 with dry pack (and System SCA 300 which I cannot use on my Mamiya) for a very good price in great condition - and I snapped it up. I am extemely happy with the results it gives and it has so far behaved flawlessly. The unit was in Sydney - and I live about 2 hours north of Sydney (still in NSW).

Along the way, I used a couple of rolls of film (K64 slide, always taking flash light readings with my Gossen (Lunasix F)in flash mode - both incident and reflected. I used all kinds of lighting conditions, from daylight fillfor backlit to bounce and direct. I used the same test objects and subject matter and took most of these in clear daylight incident exposed as reference shots. I found:
* The Nissin 6000 AF had a slight blue cast (often evident on skin tones) and this was consistently commented on and identifiable in random viewings by people who are not particulalry interested in photography. IN contrast the Metz always had (and still always still has) very natural skin tones.
* The Nissin 6000 AF had quite a noticeable fall off in light output above and below a horizontal band. This turned out to be more than a stop more fall off than I measured in the Metz, which has no noticeable fall off.
*Oncethe batteries started to go in the Nissin 6000AF, it was a LONGtime before the unit was charged and ready to fire again. The Metz, with the dry pack is always quick and I never have to wait and miss a shot.
*The Nissin was fine for ease of handling (no external battery). The Metz drypack is a pain!
*The Nissin 6000AF Guide Number that I measured was consistently a bitmore than a stop less than the spec said (high thirty metres and up to 40m). The Metz is exactly a stop under the rated 60 GN when I measure it (ie GN 42)
+This GN "shortfall" caused me a lot of heartache (it was repeatable with other light meters). That is until I read: http://www.mindspring.com/~woharris/tech/gn.htm ("Flash Guide Numbers: Fact or Fiction?"). What I observed and found in my real results on the test shots was normal and correct - because it would appear that manufacturer's std tests will always give a GN about a stop more. (ie GN 60 claimed = GN 42 in real world.

After all this, I now just set the Metz as the need is at hand, forget about all the technical stuff - and get beautifully exposed slides ALL the time (and beutiful slides far less often!)

All the best - and many thanks again Max for your interest and help, whcih is much appreciated.

Kind regards

David


4/5/2003 3:53:33 AM

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Photography Question 
KENNY 

member since: 7/2/2002
  20 .  Flash question
I'm looking for a budget priced dedicated third-party TTL-metering compatible flash for my EOS 3000/88 (A-TTL only) with feature like Tilt, with or without Swivel head.
In my consideration list is Vivitar 730AF. Any others that compatible like Sunpak and etc ?
Does Vivitar flashes like 283 and 285 (not dedicated and not supporting TTL) able to produce good flash result for TTL/A-TTL camera ?
Thanks in advance.

7/2/2002 5:46:39 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Kenny,
Re: Vivitar 283 and 285HV

Yes, if you take manual control of exposure settings on the camera. This requires manually setting shutter speed to the camera's X-sync speed, and manually setting lens aperture to the power range selected on the flash based on film speed (when using the "sensor" built into either one in their "auto" mode).

The difference between "TTL" control of a dedicated flash by a camera body and generic "auto" flash is where the sensor that controls flash output is located. The Vivitar 283 and 285 have a built-in one located about halfway between the foot for the hot shoe and the flash tube. Under "TTL" control, the metering in the camera body controls flash output.

The occasions under which a flash's built-in sensor can be "fooled" that TTL control from the camera body would avoid are relatively rare. Usually they're situations in which a very bright, direct light source is present within the angle of view of the flash sensor, but not within the angle of view of the camera lens.

The Sunpak 383 Super is very similar to the Vivitar 283 and 285HV.

Re: Sunpak flashes similar to Vivitar 730AF

Sunpak also has several models that have features similar to the Vivitar 730AF: Auto 444D, 355AF, 433AF, PZ4000AF and PZ5000AF. Compare features among the Sunpak models to see which one matches best.

-- John

7/4/2002 1:34:30 PM

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