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Thread: Beginers flash recomendation

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    Beginers flash recomendation

    I'm new to photography and now wish to buy a flash for my canon 550d but never used one before except the inbuilt one.
    I have no real specialty but my main interest are in wildlife and macro so one that could be used for these would be best.
    I'm willing to spend some $$ but also love to save $$ when I can.
    I have looked in some online shops and ebay but I'm confused by to many choices and price range.
    Any advice and recommendations would be great.
    Thank you in advance.

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    hmm. For macro a 'ring flash' system is probably the best, but for wildlife you will want something with a bit of reach. I would suggest looking at one of the Canon speedlights to start with. Some of the Canon users here might be able to assist more with model options. Also look at some sort of wireless triggering system, so you can put your flash off the camera, and trigger it. This can be good for macro, as lighting that is coming from the side etc can produce more interesting results than simple having front on lighting.

    Use light (flash) well is a whole learning curve on its own. Enjoy!
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    I am quite new to the whole area too, and I went with the 430ExII on my 60D. It can be used remotely, being triggered by the popup flash on the camera. Not sure it would work well on the camera for macro, as Ricktas says, for that a ring flash would be best. The next model up (530Ex ?? ) was just out of my reach at the time as I bought the flash at the same time as the camera and the lens, so was hitting the savings pretty hard at the time.
    I've found it works for all the photography that I do. Very flexible, can bounce the flash even when on the camera and using portrait orientation. It has a slide out diffuser that covers the lens when wanted, and has the reach needed for most of what I've used it on. I'm just starting to play with remote activation and quite liking it.
    It's been good for a beginner like me.
    Canon EOS 60D ..... EFS 18-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS - 430 EXII Speedlite - "eBay special" Remote Control Unit - Manfrotto 190XPROB w 804RC2 head.

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    I'd suggest a canon EX430ii to start with. Then down the track if you get more serious you could pick up a 580EXii and use the 430 as a slave...
    Daniel Thompson

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    You should look at the Canon Speedlite 430EX MkII or the Speedlite580EX MkII.

    I suggest the 580EXMkII as a first Flash Unit for a Canon user who is serious about exploring Flash Photography.

    I also suggest buying BOTH of these books:

    Mastering Canon EOS Flash Photography, NK Guy (Rocky NookInc.)
    Speedliter’s Handbook – Learning to Craft Light withCanon Spedlites, Syl Arena (Peachpit Press)


    ***


    Canon also produces two dedicated Macro Flash Units: a RingFlash Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX; and also a Twin Light Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX.

    The Twin Lite generally better for quality Macro LIGHTING - but the Ring Lite, is generally easier to use.

    However, the Macro dedicated Flash Units are expensive AND they fit to various Canon Macro Lenses.
    BUT, it is reasonably easy to adapt, with a bit of DYI, either the 430 or580 for shooting most Macro situations.
    So really I think you need to be very interested in Macro Photography, to go out and buy a dedicated Macro Flash unit
    To adapt either of the Speedlites for Macro Photography an Off Camera Cord is very useful.


    WW
    Last edited by William W; 07-03-2012 at 8:23am.

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    For macro, you can't really go past a ring flash, and they are also very good for portraits, but they can be expensive.
    I picked up a cheap unit from a Chinese website for just over $100 and it works really well, but you need to adjust the flash output from the menu in the camera.
    This might sound a bit daunting at first, but once you've played with it, you'll find it's really easy to do, especially if you put the flash control option on your "My Menu", then you can get to it very quickly.

    For wildlife, as your model camera does not have an external flash control (wireless), so any Canon flash you buy has to be put onto the camera, or you will need to get a wireless or corded connection, which can be messy.

    May I suggest you buy a Nissin flash, and the bigger the model the better.
    The reason I say this is because the Nissin flashes will also work as an optical slave (which the Canons will not) so that you can put up your pop-up flash and use this to trigger the Nissin off camera, so you can hold the external flash away from the camera and have it go off at the same instant as the inbuilt flash.

    You'll save a lot of money too, as the Nissins are around half the price of a Canon flash for similar output.
    If you are shotting wildlife, you need to get a flash with the highest power you can afford.

    I have a Canon 580EXII, and it is a terrific flash unit, and I also have a Nissin, and I find the optical slave option to be very valuable.
    Last edited by Bennymiata; 07-03-2012 at 11:16am.
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    Consider the new radio speedlites: 600EX-RT and the transmitter STE3-RT. Expensive up-front, but the way of the future. If you're buying your first flash, I wouldn't start with a ring flash. A lot of good macro is done with standard speedlites, but you have to get it off the camera. Radio is best. I've just got the PocketWizard Mini/Flex system to add onto my older generation speedlites, because while the old wireless system works well inside, outside it's too unreliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strictfunctor View Post
    Consider the new radio speedlites: 600EX-RT and the transmitter STE3-RT. Expensive up-front, but the way of the future. If you're buying your first flash, I wouldn't start with a ring flash. A lot of good macro is done with standard speedlites, but you have to get it off the camera. Radio is best. I've just got the PocketWizard Mini/Flex system to add onto my older generation speedlites, because while the old wireless system works well inside, outside it's too unreliable.
    FYI the new Canon radio system still doesn't have the range of the PW's... Canon's states 30 meters. PW Flex and Mini are up to 240 meters. I have't used my PW's as far as 240m, but I have set them up and been well over 30m away.

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