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Thread: Buying a flash sucks!

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    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    Buying a flash sucks!

    For some reason i don't want to spend much on a flash. But, i have come to the conclusion that i need at least a 430 ex for my 50d. $399 on DD-photographics (on-line), $429 from CameraHouse, do i need to spend this much?

    Can anyone give me a few pointers on what i should look at. I would use the flash for family stuff, macro at times and not sure about birding though. As per usual I would look into learning more on how to use it etc.

    I went into Perth - PRA imaging was closed . A couple of other shop assistants were not very helpful at the camera shops. One guy just said we don't have them, you have to go somewhere else. I asked them about the Sigma flashes EF-530dg super.

    I came away with Scott Kelby Book "The Digital Photography book - vol 2". I am back to saving a bit more money and talking my husband into letting me go a bit more money.
    Shelley
    (constructive criticism welcome)

    www.shelleypearsonphotography.com


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    I'll be interested to hear peoples views here - a flash is the next thing on my list, but they are so expensive and I'm not sure whether I really need to buy the more expensive one or will the cheaper one do?! too many questions lol. Good luck!
    Ellen
    Pentax K10D, the newest baby
    Sigma 17-70mm
    Sigma 70-300mm
    Pentax 50mm f1.4
    Sigma EF-530 DG ST Flash
    Whats next????

    Please CC my photos, and edit where you want! Got lots to learn so please pass on instructions....

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    I use the Sigma EF-530DG super, it does everything I want it to do.

    An honest C+C please!


    "I started life with nothing and I still have most of it left"

    Nikon D300
    Photoshop CS4 Extended



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    Member Bunyip's Avatar
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    I've been getting serious about speedlights recently. You should read about The two things your flash needs to have. The idea is to ensure that the flashes can be used off-camera; that's when you will get the most out of your speedlight.

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    i recently bought the 580ex11 for my canon d 20, i have to admit i bought it 2nd hand, as near new for $450.00, i thought long and hard about this you are. I decided it was much like my efforts with my tripod, i bought cheapish to start and soon enough was spending real money to get a good one that met my needs as i grew into it, i think a flash is the same story. Hope it helps.
    I've done so many things I'm not proud of...and the things I am proud of are disgusting. ~Moe, The Simpsons

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    canon 5dmk 2, some lenses, a couple of sticks to hold them up, a thing that make sun at night, and a sense of adventure

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    Shelley

    I was in your shoes a few weeks back and just didn't have the patience to research the ins and outs of a cheaper alternative to a Canon flash. For me it was a case of whether I could stretch to a 580 EX. But, I got the 430 EXII and have used it a heap of times since. The pain of the cost was very fleeting (only cropped up briefly when the VISA statement arrived) but I am so glad I have that marvellously dependable piece of gear. For what it is and what it does I think the cost is not an issue.

    But...I couldn't come at the $40-$50 for a bit of plastic masquerading as a diffuser. Instead I bodged the bottom end of a juice bottle (cost $0 - retrieved from the bin) and I reckon it does a great job. Looks a bit dodgy, though.

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    Thanks so far for the comments - it is appreciated.

    Buddah I too am pulled in the direction of the 580 ex, but cost wise i think i need to be sensible and go for the 430ex II. Thanks your thoughts on that one.

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    If you want a good flashgun for Canon and don't want to shell out the money for a 430EX or 430EX II, I guggest you have a look at what Metz has to offer. What does a Metz Mecablitz 48 AF-1 for Canon do these days in Ozz? I think you can have the Metz 58 for about the same price as a Canon 430EX II.

    Than again, you really don't need the extra features of the 580EX II - waste of money.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    I also figured that if and when it got to the stage that a 430EX was limiting what I wanted to do I could upgrade to the bigger unit and either use the 430 as a slave or sell it. By that stage I would have a far better understanding of the technology.

    I appreciate Wally's analogy with tripods but I think that the 430 is a pretty decent unit to start with.

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    Bunyip's link is a gold mine. Go there and absorb everything in the Lighting 101 series.

    Providing you're comfortable with the idea of off-camera flash, then you can pick up a 2nd hand Nikon SB-24/26/28 for under $200. But you won't be able to put it on your camera's hotshoe.

    Then you'll end up with an addiction to brollies, pocket wizards, softboxes, reflectors...

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    Its amazing how we all go thru the same thing. I was thinking that i could use the 430ex as a slave if i decided later to get the 580ex.

    Bunyip thanks for that site - i actually have been checking that out and i am hooked on the possibilities. I would been interested in what you have/or going to do in regard to speedlights. I am bit worried as i do work fulltime, supposed to be studying on-line and all i want to do is camera stuff .

    Jimbo, i am interested in off camera and would def. be trying to apply. Jev hadn't heard of Metz, i will google it and find out more.

    Thanks everyone.

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    Strobist.com also has a Flickr group with over 40,000 members - plenty of discussion threads and images for inspiration

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    Hi

    I was advised by many "experts" to stick with a canon flash for my 40D, they apparently relate to one another better than a different brand of flash,although this remains unproven

    Having said that, Hows your bartering skills? I managed to knock a guy down to $360.00 for a 430 EX 11 in a Sydney shop, I think they're all hungry for a sale at the mo,
    give it a shot!

    Cheers
    Bryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by B D H View Post
    Hi

    I was advised by many "experts" to stick with a canon flash for my 40D, they apparently relate to one another better than a different brand of flash,although this remains unproven

    Ditto .. I too was advised by an experienced photographer ( not sales guy ) that when buying hotshoe flashes you should stick to the same manufacturer as your camera .. his reasoning was with third party flashes there will always be a function that will not do what its supposed to do .. i guess its logical .. but whether proven or not , i dunno ..
    Hi Im Darren

    www.darrengrayphotography.com

    SONY A850 (FF)] + GRIP | SONY A350 (APS-C) + GRIP | SONY NEX-5 +16 2.8 + 18-55 E-MOUNT LENSES | CZ 85 1.4 | 50 1.4 | 28-75 2.8 | 70-200 2.8 | 2 x 42AMs | 24" imac | LR | CS4 | + loads of other junk


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    Antipod
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    It is perfectly safe to get yourself a Metz, these guys have a more experience with building flashguns than anyone in the industry. Sigma used to be quite good too, but as with their lenses, some compatibility issues arise. For example, there are some problems with sigma's flashguns in combination with the 50D and 5DII not supporting E-TTL II correctly (the flash that is, both bodies perform well on E-TTL II with Canon's speedlite EX range). There are other manufacturers ofcourse that make flashguns, and some might be quite good at it. Unfortunately, most of them are below-average these days (Vivitar, Cullmann, Sunpak... well-known names that seem to fade away).

    Having said that, it might pay off in the long run to play it safe and stick to Canon's own flashes.

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    Thanks for responses - it has been most helpful - as i am on holidays i am taking a bit of time as i want to take my time in making a choice. I will do another trip into Perth as I am finding it is just as cheap by the time you pay postage to actually buy from a camera shop - so i will support them.

    Jev I have looked at Metz and i am definately interested. Actually, overall this thread has made me read a bit and i have learnt a bit (nothing wrong with that). I did some portraits of my sis little one and i am itching now to get a external flash.

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    Shelley, I'm madly into this stuff right now, and I would love to answer whatever questions you might have. I'll tell you this: it's not cheap to get the whole mobile strobist thing going. Nevertheless, even with one flash off-camera, you have made a huge step forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    I did some portraits of my sis little one and i am itching now to get a external flash.
    Hmm... I just may have to hurry with writing the "flash creative use tutorial" than

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    Thanks Bunyip - i will get an external flash first and i hope to gradually build on that over time. I would also get a reflector. I probably will concentrate first on using the sunlight thru windows, being outside etc. first. I have practised backlighting for portraits outside using the sun and fill in flash using onboard flash. What do you have set up? Interesting in knowing what you have done or doing?

    Jev - i appreciate anything you put up when you are ready. I know it takes time. Its great that you are prepared to spend some time doing this

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    I asked them about the Sigma flashes EF-530dg super.
    I own the EF-500 Super for my Pentax and it's been a fantastic flash, great controls built in and a very sturdy unit. I don't know what the price difference between the EF-530 and the 430EX but if the difference was more than $100 I would be heading for the Sigma.
    Adam.


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    Using Nikon & PS CS5.

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