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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> need flash opinions
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07/24/2007 10:07:59 AM · #1
Im looking at getting an external flash for my XTi and have narrowed my search down to 1 of 2 flash units and was curious if I could get opinions on the two.

option 1: Canon 430ex $319.95cdn

option 2: Sigma EF500 Super DG $369.95cdn

There both a little more than what I wanted to pay but Im sceptic of used units in the local stores...

Im buying one locally as I'm most likely going to need it for a shoot this thurs...

Thanks in advance,

-dave
07/24/2007 10:15:48 AM · #2
2 questions:

Do you need the extra power of the Sigma?

Do you plan to use Wireless E-TTL?

If not, the 430EX will be fine.
07/24/2007 10:26:06 AM · #3
Ditto: Spazmo99's questions.
07/24/2007 10:32:01 AM · #4
um, stupid question but what is E-TTL?

Im more or less looking for the best bang for my buck that will be slightly more that what I need so I have a little room to grow with it but dont want to go overkill at the same time if that makes any sense...

-dave
07/24/2007 11:00:09 AM · #5
I had one of the Sigmas and had a couple of small niggles with it that ended up spoiling my enjoyment of it: The FP mode automatically cancelled when the shutter speed fell below the x-sync speed and it seemed to overexpose if only a small amount of flash output was needed. That latter could well be more likely to user error, though.

The Canon unit keeps hold of the FP mode setting.

E-TTL is Canon's through-the-lens system for controlling flash exposure. The wireless aspect of it is when one can fire flashes off-camera using either a flash in Master mode or a dedicated wireless remote controller. Both of these use light to trigger the remote and control the output of the remote flashes automatically. Just as if, almost, they were connected directly to the camera.

The Sigma, by all accounts, can 'speak' Canon wireless and act as a master to another slave flash, whereas the 430 can only act as a slave. If this is your one and only flash, though, a master unit is not that much of a must, as you'd have no slave unit for it to fire.
07/24/2007 11:09:32 AM · #6
Since they can be remotely triggered with light, will they work with the onboard flash or is that kinda useless?

BTW thanks for the input guys, I know FA about flashes and greatly appreciate your time :)

-dave
07/24/2007 11:15:20 AM · #7
The on-board flashes on the Canons don't control slave flashes wirelessly using a TTL system, unfortunately. I believe that Nikons do.

The Sigma flash has an optical slave mode, whereby it will be triggered by another flash going off. One can use the camera on-board flash to trigger it. Slight drawbacks to this are: the flash can only fire in manual mode, so you might have to experiment to get the level of lighting correct, and the pre-flash that the camera emits to calculate actual flash output will trigger the optical slave too early. This would mean that, when the shutter opens and the camera on-board flash fires to actually take the shot, the external optically-triggered slave unit is still recharging. One way around this is to press the flash exposure lock button first. This fires the pre-flash at the time of pressing. One then has a few seconds to take the shot (or the camera disregards the lock), so that the slave unit has time to recycle.
07/24/2007 11:25:38 AM · #8
You may be amazed by what you can achieve with a used Nikon SB-24 (yes I know you are using Canon, but they still work). The guys here swear by them - Check them out.
07/24/2007 11:51:53 AM · #9
So looks like possibly the sigma may be my best bet ATM? I know that both are cheep flashes so to speak but is the Canon realy made any better than the Sigma?

-dave
07/24/2007 12:22:00 PM · #10
The Canon unit feels a lot more solid than the Sigma and I find the menu navigation a little easier to understand. Although that's most likely due to me being extremely stupid.


07/24/2007 12:31:05 PM · #11
Originally posted by Mr_Pants:

The Canon unit feels a lot more solid than the Sigma and I find the menu navigation a little easier to understand. Although that's most likely due to me being extremely stupid.


LOL on that note maby Im better of going with the Canon :P

-dave
07/24/2007 12:36:57 PM · #12
Originally posted by dknourek:

Originally posted by Mr_Pants:

The Canon unit feels a lot more solid than the Sigma and I find the menu navigation a little easier to understand. Although that's most likely due to me being extremely stupid.


LOL on that note maby Im better of going with the Canon :P

-dave


Heard alot of stories about the Sigma units breaking. I think their great and one of the Sigma 500's goes for 130 US bucks? AT that price id expect them to be unsealed and built cheap.

Check prices
the Sigma EF-500 DG ST is 130 bucks US
The Sigma EF-500 DG Super is 200-250 US
Not sure what that translates out to in CDN.

But from what i hear the Canon units are more weather resistant and take a beating.
07/24/2007 12:44:01 PM · #13
well maby I will go for the Canon then and maby get myself some reflectors while Im at it which I never expected them to be so pricey for coloured foil :P

-dave
07/24/2007 03:26:00 PM · #14
Leroy is selling a Sigma 500 DG ST with a light sphere for 140!
07/24/2007 03:35:08 PM · #15
I recently bought a used 550ex that I'm very haqppy with, it might be worth looking into.
07/24/2007 03:42:29 PM · #16
Originally posted by RainMotorsports:

Leroy is selling a Sigma 500 DG ST with a light sphere for 140!


LOL I jsut saw that :)
07/24/2007 03:49:22 PM · #17
Originally posted by dknourek:

Originally posted by RainMotorsports:

Leroy is selling a Sigma 500 DG ST with a light sphere for 140!


LOL I jsut saw that :)


That flash has one switch with 4 options (Off, TTL, Manual-High, Manual-Low). It has to be the simplest "interface" ever :-) No LCD panel, just a ready light. I must say it does get the job done and has never failed me.

But, I've become a bit old-skool when it comes to flash and enjoy playing with old manual flashes.
07/24/2007 03:50:13 PM · #18
Originally posted by nikuser:

You may be amazed by what you can achieve with a used Nikon SB-24 (yes I know you are using Canon, but they still work). The guys here swear by them - Check them out.


It has a lot more to do with theory and application than it does with equipment :)
07/24/2007 04:06:06 PM · #19
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by dknourek:

Originally posted by RainMotorsports:

Leroy is selling a Sigma 500 DG ST with a light sphere for 140!


LOL I jsut saw that :)


That flash has one switch with 4 options (Off, TTL, Manual-High, Manual-Low). It has to be the simplest "interface" ever :-) No LCD panel, just a ready light. I must say it does get the job done and has never failed me.

But, I've become a bit old-skool when it comes to flash and enjoy playing with old manual flashes.


The sigma is alot more advanced then what im about to talk about but for a point.

I shoot with a "Auto" flash usually in manual but. Its so old it says Sears Roebuck and Company on it. I have never had a mis exposure, In either manual or auto. With auto its not like a modern flash that can read aperture settings. It just has a photosensitive element that measures the amount of light and choses the power. All you have todo is stop down the aperture based on the distance to target (can be found by using ur focus distance.
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