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flash guns

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Anonymous
May 11, 2005 11:34:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

hi all
i am new to digital photography, and have just purchased a new canon
350d. could you please give me any advice on suitable flash guns, i
would really appreciate your help. ps my budget is rather limited after
buying the camera.

More about : flash guns

Anonymous
May 11, 2005 12:50:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"grrr" <gkpayne@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1115822069.484187.178580@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> hi all
> i am new to digital photography, and have just purchased a new canon
> 350d. could you please give me any advice on suitable flash guns, i
> would really appreciate your help. ps my budget is rather limited after
> buying the camera.
>
>
Canon and Metz both make flash guns which will work with your Canon digital
SLR camera. For Canon, look I believe for "EX" suffix on flash model
number. Metz makes semiprofessional (and maybe professional too??) flashes
that use a plug-in module for the particular camera - check out the
particular module carefully before ordering. I use a Metz with my Canon
D60.

I am told that Sigma does make flash for Canon DSLRs as well, but have no
familiarity with their offerings.



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May 11, 2005 10:54:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I would strongly suggest that you get a flash where you can bounce the light
from the ceiling when indoors. Direct flash-on-camera is awful, but most
ceilings are light or white and bounced flash will give you a soft, nearly
shadowless dose of extra light.

This means you need a rotating and tilting flash head or a flash that can be
triggered when it is off-camera. You need rotating because when you turn the
camera 90 degrees to take a vertical format shot you still need to point the
flash at the ceiling. Off-camera, place or have someone hold the flash behind
you or at least out of the field of view allowed by the lens shade, pointed at
the ceiling.

On 5/11/2005 9:34 AM, grrr wrote the following:
> hi all
> i am new to digital photography, and have just purchased a new canon
> 350d. could you please give me any advice on suitable flash guns, i
> would really appreciate your help. ps my budget is rather limited after
> buying the camera.
>
Related resources
Anonymous
May 11, 2005 11:29:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"grrr" <gkpayne@blueyonder.co.uk> writes:
> hi all
> i am new to digital photography, and have just purchased a new canon
> 350d. could you please give me any advice on suitable flash guns, i
> would really appreciate your help. ps my budget is rather limited
> after buying the camera.

The dedicated flash system for Canon 350d uses something called
E-TTL II. However, if you are on a limited budget, you may want
to go without E-TTL II-support, and instead use a so-called
"auto" or even "manual" flash.


Introduction
------------

An E-TTL flash controls the power of the flash by measuring
the amount of light reflected by the scene through the camera
lens (TTL = Through The Lens). An auto flash has a built-in
sensor that do the same thing. A manual flash does not
measure light, but if it has vari-power, you may adjust the
power of teh flash "by hand".

The main benefit of E-TTL is supposed to be accurate exposure
even when shooting fully automatic.

To be able to use E-TTL or TTL-II on a Canon body, you need an E-TTL
capable flash (all E-TTL capable flashes are also E-TTL II capable).

If your camera has a PC-interface, or if you buy a cheap hotshoe-to-
PC-adapter or a slave setup, you should be able to use any non-E-TTL
flash units in manual or auto mode.

Canon's E-TTL system is really designed for fill flash, and some think
that it gives less than consistent results when used as the main light
source. The same people argue that for main flash, auto will give you
better results.

Below, I discuss the avilable options. First, I run through the
possible E-TTL strobes from Canon and third parties, then I take
a look on how you can use non-E-TTL-flashes with Canon digital
cameras.

I would not recommend a unit with less power than the Canon 420EX
(GN 105ft/32m) or a Vivitar 283 (GN 120ft/37m) if you want an useable
bounce, and this may be stressing it. Depending upon imager
sensitivity, room size, distance to ceiling, ceiling whiteness,
etc. you may need even more power to get good results with bounce
flash.


E-TTL
-----

E-TTL and E-TTL II is the name Canon's metering system for digital
cameras and replaces the earlier TTL and A-TTL systems. Neither the
original TTL nor A-TTL work with digital cameras, but the older EZ
Speedlites can be used in manual mode (see below).

E-TTL II is an improvement upon Canon's original E-TTL where the focus
distance as reported by the lens is also taken into account to compute
flash output (similar to Nikon's i-TTL system). Because the
difference between E-TTL and E-TTL-II is in the body, not the strobe,
any E-TTL capable flash will give you E-TTL II metering when put on a
E-TTL II capable EOS body (e.g. 350D, 20D, 1Ds Bk II).

Here is a list of the flash guns I am aware of that are E-TTL-compa-
tible (sort off).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Model GN Z Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Canon 220EX (22) - No tilt/swivel
2. Metz 28 AF-3C (25) Z No tilt/swivel. Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
3 Sunpak PZ40X-CA (30) Z Rev. eng. E-TTL. No swivel. Vari-p.
4. Canon 380EX (31) Z No swivel (discontinued 2001)
5. Promaster 7500DX (31) Z Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
6. Canon 420EX (32) Z W/l slave.
7. Metz 44 AF-4C (34) Z Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
8. Sigma 500 DG Super (40) Z W/l master + slave. Rev. eng.
9. Metz 54 AF-1C (40) Z Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
10. Metz 54 MZ + SCA-3102 (40) Z Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
11. Canon 550EX (42) Z W/l master + slave. Vari-P
12. Canon 580EX (42) Z W/l master + slave. Vari-p
13. Quantum Qflash T4d (48) C Rev. eng. E-TTL. Vari-p.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Models are sorted by maximum guide number (in meters, for ISO 100).
Note that for flashes with zoom (Z) or changable reflector (C)
the guide number (GN) is for f=50mm (135 film FOV). Most manufacturers
these days like to list GN with the zoom at f=105mm. For flashes
without zoom, GN is whatever the manufacturer lists. Note that
this does not always tell the full story. For example, the 220EX
and the 420EX has around the same GN (22) at the wide angle end
(f=24mm) but the 420EX appear more powerful because you can zoom the
refelector. If you want all the technical details, see the
manufacturers' specification sheets.

In addition to Canon's own models, I've listed some third party flash
guns claimed by their manufacturer to be "Canon digital" compatible.
These third party guns use reverse engineered interfaces for E-TTL
compatibility. The Quantum T4d has an excellent reputation, is
generally rated higher that Canon's own guns (it is not cheap tho').
The Sigma 500 DG Super has a fair reputation for E-TTL compatibility.
There are mixed reports on how well the Metz models work with E-TTL,
and the data on Metz own website ( http://www.metz.de/en/ ) is not
very clear. For instance, the FAQ page states:
"All current Canon digital cameras with a hot shoe feature so-called
E-TTL flash control in place of the standard TTL flash control.
Fully automatic operation with these cameras requires flash units
that feature this particular flash mode, namely Metz mecablitz
44-AF 4C and Metz mecablitz 54 MZ. The Metz mecablitz 54-MZ model,
however, will usually require the SCA-3102 M2 adapter."
The data sheets for the individual flash guns list however two more
Metz strobes with E-TTL support: The 28 AF-3C and 54 AF-1C. I assume
the FAQ is not up to date (the current adapter is M3 btw). The Metzes
all have a reputation for an excellent auto mode that many believe are
more reliable than E-TTL. Metz is AFAIK the only major manufacturer
that let you have both E-TTL and auto in the same unit. The Sunpak
PZ40X has also good reviews for compatibility, and offers variable
power (vari-p) in addition to E-TTL. Promaster is a new entry and
I've haven't seen any reports on it yet, but it also provides auto.

Most of the zoom head flashes don't take crop factors into account
when zooming. This is not a problem with Canon compact cameras
because their interface seemlessly convert actual focal lengths to 135
film FOV - but it is a problem with "cropped" dSLR bodies such as the
Canon EOS 20D. The 580EX was supposed to fix this, but Canon got it
wrong so it only works at f=24mm or above. Below, you get severe
vignetting unless you turn off the crop-factor adjustment feature.

The Sigma and all the Canons except the 220 EX and 380 EX can be used
in a infrared wireless (w/l) master/slave setup (the 420 EX as slave
only) and are compatible with Canon's wireless transmitter ST-E2.


Auto / manual
-------------

As noted in the introduction, you can use any flashgun you like with
Canon digital cameras as long as you run them out of the PC-interface
or via a slave setup. Most generic non-E-TTL flashes also work in the
hotshoe, but some dedicated flashes (e.g. older Canons EZ flash guns
and Nikon Speedlights) will not fire from the hotshoe, but work fine
with a PC-connector or slave trigger.

My preferred set-up for using non E-TTL flashes on my Canon Powershot
G5 (which have no PC-connector) is to use a very cheap chinese radio
slave. For details, see:
http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~gisle/photo/gt301b.html .

CAUTION: Be careful and measure the trigger voltage before using a
non-E-TTL flashes on a Canon digital camera. Some flashes, and in
particular vintage editions of the popular Vivitars, have trigger
voltages that may do serious damage to a modern camera. For details
see: http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html . Wein sells a
device (safe-sync) to protect against excessive trigger voltages, but
in my opinion, using a slave trigger is a just as easy and more
flexible.

Because of the E-TTL pre-flash, conventional optical slaves triggered
by the camera's built-in flash is tricky to use. However, if you use
a non-E-TTL flash as an optical master, or if you use a cheap radio
slave setup as described above, the E-TTL pre-flesh will not fire and
things will work out just as simple as it did with film.

The manual / auto route will allow you to use any pre-digital flash
guns you may have left over from your film days, as well as use any
non-dedicated flashguns you might have left over from shooting film or
may pick up cheap from garage sales, etc. For instance, if you don't
want to spend the $180 a Speedlite 420EX (GN 32) will cost you, the
more powerful Vivitar 283 or 285 (GN 37) will cost only about $70
brand new, and used models sells for a lot less than that.

Auto flashes fill take care of metering themselves, and if set up
correctly, they will be just as reliable as E-TTL in giving the right
output for correct exposure. You just set up the camera in manual
mode, select sync. speed and aperture, set the aperture you use on the
flash's exposure meter, and let the flashgun control the exposure.

To use a manual flash, you need to compute the aperture from the
flash's guide number. It is no big deal to do this after you've
gotten used to it, but it may slow doen your action. If you don't
want to perform this step, make sure to get a flash with an auto-mode.
Note thet most Canon Speedlites does not have an auto mode. Some have
vari-power, but that is no substitute for auto.
--
- gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
May 12, 2005 4:50:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thanks for your help everyone, there sure is a lot of info to consider,
very helpful news group and im glad i looked here. keep up the god work
Grrr
Anonymous
May 30, 2005 2:43:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

grrr wrote:
> i am new to digital photography, and have just purchased a new canon
> 350d. could you please give me any advice on suitable flash guns, i
> would really appreciate your help. ps my budget is rather limited after
> buying the camera.

Sunpak 383
Sigma EF 500 DG
Canon 550EX
Metz 54 MZ

http://digitcamera.tripod.com/#flash
!