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I ♥ my Rebel XT!

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Anonymous
March 31, 2005 9:48:00 PM

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

GOT IT LAST WEEK AND I HAVEN'T LET GO!

This is GREAT! FAST, EASY, FUN. I love it. I stopped taking pictures
with my Rebel but now I'm the biggest jerk around. Driving people nuts
at work and my wife wants to kill me. The prints are fantastic and
cheap! It's with me in the car too!

But I have to buy a new flash, damnit! The Speedlite 300 won't even
fire. Which one should I get?

Ck.
--
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Irritating Usenet Signature Here.
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More about : rebel

Anonymous
April 2, 2005 5:28:53 AM

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

Chuck Dietz wrote:
> But I have to buy a new flash, damnit! The Speedlite 300 won't even
> fire. Which one should I get?
>
> Ck.

try the 420EX unless you have a big budget.

--
Whatevah / Jerry Horn
Jerry {at} Whatevah.com (working address)
Freelance Photography and Web services.
spambait: spam@uce.gov
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 8:23:21 PM

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

Chuck Dietz <Chuck@FarReaches.com> writes:
> But I have to buy a new flash, damnit! The Speedlite 300 won't even
> fire. Which one should I get?

To get the benefits of E-TTL or E-TTL-II you need an E-TTL capable
flash.

If you buy a cheap hotshoe-to-PC-adapter or a slave setup, you should
be able to use non E-TTL flash units in manual or auto mode. Using
this approach will let you use your Speedlite 300 EZ (but in manual
mode only).

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.


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 camera's, but the older EZ
Speedlites can be used in manual mode (see below).

E-TTL II is an improvment on 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 Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Canon 220EX (22) - No tilt/swivel
3 Sunpak PZ40X-CA (30) Z. Rev. eng. E-TTL. No swivel. Vari-p.
2. Canon 380EX (31) Z. No swivel (discontinued 2001)
4. Promaster 7500DX (31) Z. Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
5. Canon 420EX (32) Z. W/l slave.
6. Metz 44 AF-4C (34) Z. Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
7. Sigma 500 DG Super (40) Z. W/l master + slave. Rev. eng.
8. Metz 54 MZ-4C (40) Z. Rev. eng. E-TTL. Auto.
9. Canon 550EX (42) Z. W/l master + slave. Vari-P
10. Canon 580EX (42) Z. W/l master + slave. Vari-p
11. 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,
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.
The Metz models don't provide E-TTL with indirect flash (the sensor
is part of the reflector), but make up for this by having an excellent
auto mode. 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.

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 the 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 instead of the hotshoe. For
bodies without a PC-connector, you must buy a hotshoe-to-PC-
adapter, or use a slave trigger. My preferred set-up for my Canon
Powershot G5 (which have no PC-connector) is to use Vivitar auto
flashes with a very cheap chinese radio slave. For details, see:
http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~gisle/photo/gt301b.html .

Because of the E-TTL pre-flash, using conventional optical slaves
triggered by the camera's build-in flash is tricky to use. However,
if you use a PC-interface to trigger the optical master, or if you
use a 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-OEM 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.

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.

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 if you don't want to perform this step, make
sure to 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.
Related resources
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 8:59:27 PM

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

Gisle Hannemyr wrote:
> Chuck Dietz <Chuck@FarReaches.com> writes:
> > But I have to buy a new flash, damnit! The Speedlite 300 won't
even
> > fire. Which one should I get?

If you must have Canon, then 580EX.

If you don't want E-TTL's preflash and metering acuracy problem, then
Metz 54 MZ.

If you can use the built in flash for fill, and only use the external
flash for main lighting, then Sunpak 383.

If you still must have E-TTL but want something cheaper than Canon and
Metz, then Sigma 500 DG.

> I would not recommend a unit with less power than the Canon 420EX
> (GN 105ft/32m)

More powerful flashes may not be powerful enough, depending on your
imager sensitivity, lens aperture, room size, ceiling whiteness, and
the number of continuous shots. So get the most powerful shoe mount
flash. If it is still not powerful enough, if portability is not a
problem, then get a powerful handle mount flash.

> or a Vivitar 283 (GN 120ft/37m) if you want an useable bounce.

Actually GN 120ft at 35mm is the most powerful for shoe mount. Canon
580EX, Metz 54 MZ, and Sigma 500 DG all have lower GN at 35mm.

> 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,
> but the 420EX appear more powerful because you can zoom the
> refelector.

For me, flash zoom up to 105mm is not useful. If the subject is close
enough for a 100mm lens, then wide angle flash is powerful enough to
reach the subject and provides more even lighting, especially when
bouncing. If the subject is too far for wide angle flash, then I would
have to use a lens longer than 300mm, so I would use a tele fresnel
flash head much longer than 105mm.

> The Metz models don't provide E-TTL with indirect flash (the sensor
> is part of the reflector)

? The E-TTL sensor is in the camera, not the flash. Any E-TTL flash
should work when bouncing, if it works when direct flashing.

> 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.

As I don't care for zoom flash head, I don't care whether it supports
crop. But anyway, Metz supports variable imager size, including medium
formats.

> 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 instead of the hotshoe. For
> bodies without a PC-connector, you must buy a hotshoe-to-PC-
> adapter, or use a slave trigger. My preferred set-up for my Canon
> Powershot G5 (which have no PC-connector) is to use Vivitar auto
> flashes with a very cheap chinese radio slave. For details, see:
> http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~gisle/photo/gt301b.html .
>
> Because of the E-TTL pre-flash, using conventional optical slaves
> triggered by the camera's build-in flash is tricky to use. However,
> if you use a PC-interface to trigger the optical master, or if you
> use a 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.

With a non-TTL auto flash in the hotshoe, there is no preflash. The
flash fires at exposure time, not preflash time. So you do not need
hotshoe to PC adapter, nor slave trigger.

> 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 this slows down your shooting, maybe to unacceptable level, when
your subject or you are not stationary.
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 11:47:09 AM

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

"Gisle Hannemyr" <gisle+news@ifi.uio.no> wrote:
> 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.

FWIW, at the same field of coverage, these two units have virtually
identical guide numbers. The Vivitar 283 was the defacto standard of pro
hot shoe mounted flashes before dedicated flashes came into vogue. The 283
had adequate power for most situations, as does the 420EX.

Great post, lots of useful information.
Anonymous
May 8, 2005 9:18:39 PM

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

"jfitz" <jfitz@bigfoot.com> writes:
> "Gisle Hannemyr" <gisle+news@ifi.uio.no> wrote:

>> 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.

> FWIW, at the same field of coverage, these two units have virtually
> identical guide numbers.

At 70 mm field of coverage they do (I own both - and have measured
it). The guide numbers listed in my post is, as noted, for 50 mm
field of coverage.

The Vivitar is the more powerful flash below 70mm field of coverage.
At 70mm, they are about equal. Above 70 mm, the Canon is more
powerful. The reason for this, of course, is that the Canon has a
zoom head, and the Vivitar hasn't.

> The Vivitar 283 was the defacto standard of pro hot shoe mounted
> flashes before dedicated flashes came into vogue. The 283 had
> adequate power for most situations, as does the 420EX.

After I've discovered cheap chinese radio slaves, my 1976 vintage
Vivitar 286 has gotten a new lease of life. For a review of these
slaves, take a look at: http://folk.uio.no/gisle/photo/gt301b.html

> Great post, lots of useful information.

Thanks.
--
- gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
------------------------------------------------------------------------
!