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Thread: Canon Speedlites

  1. #1
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    Canon Speedlites

    I've been asked to take product photos for a friend's online business and have decided to buy a speedlite - something I've been thinking of doing for a long time as I love taking pics in rainforests and also macro. I've narrowed it down to the Canon 320 EX as it doesn't weigh too much and doesn't cost an arm and a leg but wonder if it'll be suitable. If not what is the alternative? The 430 EX 11 is heavier and dearer but on a comparison website doesn't seem to have many more features than the 320 EX (apart from manual mode - http://speedlights.net/compare-speedlight-specs/).

    The price ranges from $219 for a grey speedlite to $289 Photo Continental and $299.95 at Ted's. I'm very much tempted by the grey purchase but would be devastated if it was "dead on arrival" (or just after) and had to send it back where it came from. I have bought grey lenses previously but that was before Canon changed their mind on the International warranty.

    Any help will be very much appreciated
    Carole

    Canon 550D|Canon 15-85mm|Canon 70-300mm|Canon 100mm f2.8 macro|50mm f1.8 II|
    Sony NEX 6|Sony 16-50mm| Sony 55-210mm|Sony RX100
    www.carolelloydphotography.com


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    I think you need to think in terms of how much light you might need to thrown at the objects you are photographing and how far away you are going to be from them.

    I have a 430 EXII and a 580 EXII and the power difference is quite marked. Since buying the 580 I have not used the 430 once.

    Will the 320 give you enough power? Will the 430 for that matter?

    Better to pay more now and get what you need than find yourself lacking in power and wishing you had made a different choice.

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    I'll be quite close to the indoor objects but I'll probably need more power for outdoors. I guess I should've been looking at that aspect first
    Many thanks for your quick reply.

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    I have a couple of 580EXII's and an older 430EX. Quite frankly, I've found the 430EX to be a good unit that takes plenty of abuse and just keeps working, unlike the 580EXII's which have proven to be quite troublesome, and twice the price. If you're doing product shots though, you will probably need more than one light source. I've heard good reports on the Chinese Yongnuo flash guns. They're cheap too. You can buy lots of them for the price of just one 580EXII. You could probably even afford some Cactus V5 radio triggers as well to fire them.

    Worth thinking about anyway.

    Oh, and reading the chinese-english manual is more fun than an IKEA assembly manual.

    http://www.yongnuoebay.com/sm/yn5601.pdf (warning: it is slow to load)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsyHh5dVixI (skip the ad at the start)
    Last edited by camerasnoop; 21-04-2012 at 9:42am.

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    I use the Yongnuo's for my studio work and absolutely love them........I have 2 x YN460's and 1 x YN 560 of which I have just ordered another 2 because they do the job fantastically.
    Put a Cactus trigger with it and you are certainly set.

    My decision to go in this direction was pretty much the same a few years ago.
    I only had my Olympus then and had the Oly lower end flash..........recycle time is a pain and the power output is less than I wanted.

    So I took the cheaper option of 2 x Vivitar 285 HV.......to start with and they are still going strong, 5 yrs later, then a year later the 460...........still being used and still going strong.
    Last year I purchased the YN 560 and was very impressed by the size, weight, feel and performance of them.
    The money you save with these allows more money to be spent on cheaper strobist light modifiers as well.
    I have softboxes, snoots, barn doors, grids and all sorts of fun stuff my flashes and rarely do I bring out the Big studio lights.

    Have fun!
    Cheers and Happy Shooting
    Cindy

    Canon 7D, 50mm, 100mm Macro
    Olympus E-30, 9-18mm, 14-54mm, 50-200mm
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    Footnote..............they work well on the camera also
    If you dont mind not having TTL.............that part has never bothered me in the slightest.

    It's just light remember...........being Brand name doesnt make it brighter lol

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    Update.

    This new YN-565 might also be a cheap option for you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc3-8ZpBaXg

    This one has E-TTL and will work as a slave from a Canon 580EXII as well as on the camera hotshoe.

  8. #8
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    Nissin also have some great flashes for little money, and the good thing about the Nissin's is that also work as optical slaves so that they will go off with your in-camera flash without transmitter/receivers etc.
    They are also E-TTL and work great either on or off camera.

    From my experience with product shots, you really need at least 2 external flashes.
    Use the built-in one on the camera + a side light to light the product, and another off-camera flash to light up the background, if you want a clear white background without having to edit the photo.
    The Nissin Di466 is under $100 and the larger model Di622 has plenty of power and is around $160 + delivery if bought grey.

    I have one and find it works with my Canon as well as my 580EXII, with just a bit less power.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Many thanks all for your help and tips, I really appreciate it.

    I have wondered over the last few days if I've bitten off more than I can chew. I have to admit I've never taken photos to please anyone else, just messed around for my own pleasure so this will certainly be a challenge. Will check out the Nissin and Yongnuo as the price sounds excellent .

    Cindy, when you talk about snoots, barn doors and grids my eyes start to cross and I realise I've got so much to learn.

    But it will be fun!!!

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    What kind of products are you shooting, small or large? You could get 1 YN-565EX and two YN-560, and a set of remote triggers for less than the cheapest price for a single 580EXII. That would be a pretty good setup for products. Along with a light tent, you'd be turning out some great work with that kit.

    Good luck with it.

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    I have a 320, it's a great little flash for use with ETTL, but for product shots ETTL is the worst thing. You want repeatability and consistency. ETTL will have the power jumping about unpredictably. Any brand of flash that gives you good manual control, and that you can trigger off-camera will work better. And more than one is probably better.

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    The products will be mainly small - baby and maternity products. I've now taken the 320 ex off my list and so far the YN-560/565EX set up sounds excellent, the price even better.
    Many thanks

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    Although I have a 430 and a couple of the 460's I thought I'd try one of these.

    My wife want's to sell most the small household items before moving.

    I've been quite impressed with the shots she's been getting with the G12 (which she killed ) and now the S100.
    AKA Sean

    Canon 5D MKII - 24-105L - 70-200 F4L IS - 70-300 IS USM - 28 1.8 - 35L 1.4 - 50 1.4 - 85 1.8 - 100L Macro - 200L 2.8II - Tamron 17-35 2.8 - Sigma 150-500 - 430EX - and a stack of other bits and pieces.

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