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Thread: Canon Speedlite Questions

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    Canon Speedlite Questions

    I'm after so more practicle advice than what I can take from the Canon Speedlite pages.

    I would like to have a flash, I wouldn't use it much, so the 430EX 11 seems to fit the bill, add to that, at $284.00 from DWI rather than the Aussie price and a 580EX 11 that would be nice, but I have to be realastic and say I would hardly use it to it's fullest.

    Can the 430 be fired off camera, as in mounted on its hotshoe plate supplied?

    It says on the Canon Aus site Quote "--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wireless SlaveThe Speedlite 430EX II can be used as a wireless slave flash unit triggered by an appropriate master flash unit. The small size and high power output make it an ideal slave flash for creating a portable studio with multiple flashguns.
    " end quote.

    So can I use it off camera? If so, do I need to buy a trigger device, or will it have to be facing the camera and my 50D's in-built flash fire it (Not really what I want)
    I see you can get a cable to trigger it, but that's not really the best for what I wan't to use it for.

    My main thoughts for use would be a little for light bounce/fill in longer exp low light shots, maybe the odd time to use it at night, kids-family and the likes.

    Can any one simply explain E-TTL to me to please, I under stand the acranim, but not the techknowledgly totaly.

    Is there a viable third party brand/product I should consider?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Roosta; 29-06-2011 at 5:39pm.
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    With a 50D you'd need a seperate triggering device to fire it off camera. The 7D & 60D are capable of triggering a flash via their built in flash.

    Depending on use, a simple off camera shoe cord may suit.
    Various aftermarket ones on ebay in different lengths for $20 to $30.

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    Basically, I speak as a layman - not a techno-boy.

    E-TTL is a way of the camera transmitting what it knows about the light conditions and your camera settings to the flash. If it is mounted on the hot-shoe or connected to a cable plugged into the hot shoe - then that is easy.

    I am not sure the 50D is capable of this transmission (I thought the 7D was the first Canon capable of that).

    Those cameras that do transmit do this via a series of coded flashes (pre-flash) so, generally, the flash unit must be able to 'see' the camera's on board flash to work.

    Wireless transmitters (at least the cheaper ones I have used) wont transmit the TLL info. I think you are getting into some serious $$$ to find ones that do.

    Then again, I don't really find E-TTL that useful (for the situations I use) because the info the camera is calculating for the flash is at the point the camera is so, if you have the flash at a different distance to subject (or angle) then, the settings may not be appropriate.

    Then, again, I've only ever used off camera flash manually - someone may be able to show I'm wrong or at least give more / better info.

    I have the 580 exII so I can you it as the master too should I even want to get into e_TTL use but, my slaves are cheapo Yongnuo's that are manual and set off optically.

    Cheers

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    I will give it a go for you.
    E-TTL - (not sure on the E)-Through The Lens
    The camera causes the flash to fire a pre-flash that is used to determine the correct exposure for the scene in front of the camera, because the exposure is determined by the pre-flash it is quite accurate even off camera.

    Of camera use of the 430 - If you want to to retain the E-TTL metering you will need to use either a 580EXII on camera as the master or anty up for the expensive Pocket Wizard triggers that do provide the E-TTL metering, the front red panel of the remote flash will have to be able to see the the flash commands from the 580 on camera,

    If you want to use the flash in manual mode then you will need to get yourself some wireless triggers, these range in price from very cheap to very expensive, but are a lot more versatile, no issues with line of sight, you can put the flash pretty much where ever you want it. You just need to learn a few basic calculations and you are away
    Last edited by MarkChap; 29-06-2011 at 6:20pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
    With a 50D you'd need a seperate triggering device to fire it off camera. The 7D & 60D are capable of triggering a flash via their built in flash.

    Depending on use, a simple off camera shoe cord may suit.
    Various aftermarket ones on ebay in different lengths for $20 to $30.
    Cheers Art, I was hoping it could be fired remotely, will look at the cords.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    Basically, I speak as a layman - not a techno-boy.

    E-TTL is a way of the camera transmitting what it knows about the light conditions and your camera settings to the flash. If it is mounted on the hot-shoe or connected to a cable plugged into the hot shoe - then that is easy.

    I am not sure the 50D is capable of this transmission (I thought the 7D was the first Canon capable of that).

    Those cameras that do transmit do this via a series of coded flashes (pre-flash) so, generally, the flash unit must be able to 'see' the camera's on board flash to work.

    Wireless transmitters (at least the cheaper ones I have used) wont transmit the TLL info. I think you are getting into some serious $$$ to find ones that do.

    Then again, I don't really find E-TTL that useful (for the situations I use) because the info the camera is calculating for the flash is at the point the camera is so, if you have the flash at a different distance to subject (or angle) then, the settings may not be appropriate.

    Then, again, I've only ever used off camera flash manually - someone may be able to show I'm wrong or at least give more / better info.

    I have the 580 exII so I can you it as the master too should I even want to get into e_TTL use but, my slaves are cheapo Yongnuo's that are manual and set off optically.

    Cheers

    Scotty
    Thanks Scotty, My limited reading up on this subject was starting to get me lost, I have a basic understanding, know a fair bit better, I don't think my good old 50D will be able to process all the 580 can feed it, as Mark has mentioned, so thanks for the Laymans speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    I will give it a go for you.
    E-TTL - (not sure on the E)-Through The Lens
    The camera causes the flash to fire a pre-flash that is used to determine the correct exposure for the scene in front of the camera, because the exposure is determined by the pre-flash it is quite accurate even off camera.

    Of camera use of the 430 - If you want to to retain the E-TTL metering you will need to use either a 580EXII on camera as the master or anty up for the expensive Pocket Wizard triggers that do provide the E-TTL metering, the front red panel of the remote flash will have to be able to see the the flash commands from the 580 on camera,

    If you want to use the flash in manual mode then you will need to get yourself some wireless triggers, these range in price from very cheap to very expensive, but are a lot more versatile, no issues with line of sight, you can put the flash pretty much where ever you want it. You just need to learn a few basic calculations and you are away
    Cheers Mark, do these units move? or do you see more-so people buying the 580 EX II just because so to speak.


    I guess what I was mainly thinking it's main use would be is to have the camera set-up on tripod, have object in FOV, and say hide the flash behind an object and use it to cast side on or from behind flash with varing strengths, not so much for straight up portraite stuff. More low light landscape stuff.

    So with the 430 and a remote cable, this seems possible, also to hold it handheld and have a short lead to fire it.

    Mark, Is there a good third party flash that would suit my needs say the "Yongnuo's" as scotty has mentioned? I don't need weather proofing, and the likes, but the ability to shoot with different power settings would be an advantage. As long as it can be remotely fired, It would be mainly a dead weight in my bag, and get only limited yearly use, but I'm not a cheap scate, so if the Canon is the way to go, well no worries.

    Thanks to all for the information.

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    I will give it a go for you.
    E-TTL - (not sure on the E)-Through The Lens
    The camera causes the flash to fire a pre-flash that is used to determine the correct exposure for the scene in front of the camera, because the exposure is determined by the pre-flash it is quite accurate even off camera.


    Of camera use of the 430 - If you want to to retain the E-TTL metering you will need to use either a 580EXII on camera as the master or anty up for the expensive Pocket Wizard triggers that do provide the E-TTL metering, the front red panel of the remote flash will have to be able to see the the flash commands from the 580 on camera,

    If you want to use the flash in manual mode then you will need to get yourself some wireless triggers, these range in price from very cheap to very expensive, but are a lot more versatile, no issues with line of sight, you can put the flash pretty much where ever you want it. You just need to learn a few basic calculations and you are away
    E stands for Exposure. So it means that the Exposure is calculated by the camera via a through the lens system.

    An interesting three part series about Canon flash is here.http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index.html#ttl

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    Just get some phottix radio triggers - cheap as. You lose ettl, but, that really isnt such a big deal.
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    Cool, Site sponsor as well, I'll give tham a call, Cheers Darren.

    The TTL wont matter for what I want I'm pretty sure. Aslong as I can play around manually with flash power settings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agb View Post
    E stands for Exposure. So it means that the Exposure is calculated by the camera via a through the lens system.

    An interesting three part series about Canon flash is here.http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index.html#ttl
    Thanks for that agb..

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    Hi Roosta, I was in pretty much the same opion when I bought my 430 speedlite. However, once I started to use it and discovere the greater usage of a flash unit I soon realised I should have bought the 580 II first up. I can see in the med term I wll want another flash or two to play, experiment and ustilise better lighting techniques etc so the 580 will provide the tricker unit and having some experience with it would be a bonus. Additionally, especially with equine photos and the nature of the beast it can be a challenge to get a well lite photo of a horse without the many shadows on the many curves etc on a horse body. I have often used the flash to lift the darker areas but have found the 430 a little weak at time and from what I have read the 580 is quite a bit more powerful.

    I suppose it is a personal thing but I found once I started to utilise the flash I suddenly started using it more and more.
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    I do a lot of flash work with my Canon D60, both outdoors and in a studio, and I use all my flashes wirelessly.

    Not sure about the D50, but I discovered that my brother-in-law's D40 will wirelessly work another Canon flash unit by the use of the built-in pop-up flash.
    Go into your menu and look for the setting called Flash Control.
    Hit the set button, then scroll down to Built-In Flash Function setting, hit set, then you will see a menu down the list for Wireless Funct., scroll down and hit Enable.

    I have a 580EXII that works brilliantly as eithr the master, when mounted on the camera, or as a slave, off-camera.
    Usng Canon flashes will mean that the front of he external flash, ie the red plastic window, will have to face the camera, but it doesn't have to be dead on.

    However, Canon flashes are expensive and there are much cheaper alternatives.
    I needed a third flash and didn't want to pay much, so I bought a Nissin flash for $117, and I have found that it works very well wirelessly, and in fact, it is not really wireless, but goes off when it sees another flash go off, so it's very easy to set up. It also works very well with theCanon E-TTL exposure system too.
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    If you are using it to light backdrops etc, the e-ttl is (as far as I can tell) as useful as an ash tray on a motor cycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikew09 View Post
    Hi Roosta, I was in pretty much the same opion when I bought my 430 speedlite. However, once I started to use it and discovere the greater usage of a flash unit I soon realised I should have bought the 580 II first up. I can see in the med term I wll want another flash or two to play, experiment and ustilise better lighting techniques etc so the 580 will provide the tricker unit and having some experience with it would be a bonus. Additionally, especially with equine photos and the nature of the beast it can be a challenge to get a well lite photo of a horse without the many shadows on the many curves etc on a horse body. I have often used the flash to lift the darker areas but have found the 430 a little weak at time and from what I have read the 580 is quite a bit more powerful.

    I suppose it is a personal thing but I found once I started to utilise the flash I suddenly started using it more and more.
    Cheers Mike, Just been speaking to Stu @ Quality Camera and he has made my mind up with pretty much the same comments as yourself, added to that, its only about $130.00 more than to 430. I woul dhave to by a electronic hotshoe and other bits with the 430 to do what I want, so add that into the price and it hardly seem worth it, so 580 EX II it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    I do a lot of flash work with my Canon D60, both outdoors and in a studio, and I use all my flashes wirelessly.

    Not sure about the D50, but I discovered that my brother-in-law's D40 will wirelessly work another Canon flash unit by the use of the built-in pop-up flash.
    Go into your menu and look for the setting called Flash Control.
    Hit the set button, then scroll down to Built-In Flash Function setting, hit set, then you will see a menu down the list for Wireless Funct., scroll down and hit Enable.

    I have a 580EXII that works brilliantly as eithr the master, when mounted on the camera, or as a slave, off-camera.
    Usng Canon flashes will mean that the front of he external flash, ie the red plastic window, will have to face the camera, but it doesn't have to be dead on.

    However, Canon flashes are expensive and there are much cheaper alternatives.
    I needed a third flash and didn't want to pay much, so I bought a Nissin flash for $117, and I have found that it works very well wirelessly, and in fact, it is not really wireless, but goes off when it sees another flash go off, so it's very easy to set up. It also works very well with theCanon E-TTL exposure system too.
    Thanks Benny, I got a fright when I'd only looked at the Canon.com.au web site pricing, but Quality Camera here in good old WA has them at a great price. Will look at the Nissan and the Yongano as well. Will look into the menu tips,as mentioned, I haven't really had a need yet to play with a flash, so it will be good to dig a little deeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    If you are using it to light backdrops etc, the e-ttl is (as far as I can tell) as useful as an ash tray on a motor cycle.
    Cheers Scotty, that's what I thought, this will be the main stay of what I'll use it for, light painting at different intentsities. Nice comment.. LOL

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    I don't know if its any help Roosta but i started off using the 580exii on e-ttl and was totally bamboozled. And in one instance i couldn't get enough light into the image - thought i had a dud flash. I've since gone over to using everything in manual mode cos that way i can understand what's happening. as i change one variable - ie power on the flash, aperture etc, i can see exactly what's happening in the image. I do plan that when i've got a better handle on flash photography i'll give e-ttl another go. I gather there are situations that its very good for.
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    I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong but, here goes:

    If you use the flash in TTL mode: the camera shutter opens; the flash fires, the camera sensor decides when enough light has entered, it then tells the flash 'enough' and the flash stops.

    All of this is coded within micro-flashes within the flash pulse (that our eyes don't notice). This is why you must have on camera flash (either a speed-light which is TTL master capable or the on board flash) for it to work.

    When the flash is on camera, the camera measures the distance between camera and flash (focus) and tells the flash how strongly it ought to fire (all part of the pre-flash you do often notice when the camera is metring when you half press. The further the distance = the stronger the flash.

    Am I right so far?

    What I don't fully get, and where my off camera trials have been stuffed, is: when the flash is off camera and say 5 metres from the subject but the camera is 10 metres from the subject. It seems to me that the camera assumes the off camera flash is 10 metres (when it is only 5) and fires a far stronger pulse than it ought to. Being half the distance, this would be 4x the required strength???

    The results I've had so far suggest this is the case. (I find it easy to set the off-camera flash manually).

    Now, I do realize that the sensor will see that blast then, once the requisit light has entered, tell the flash to shut off. But, if you are trying to use off camera flash to side light (for eg), won't this blast of side light throw off the metering for the on camera flash (and probably drown it out).

    God, getting my head around TTL flash hurts

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    That's correct for TTL mode, but your 580EX II doesn't have TTL, only E-TTL, which is different. Are you talking about your other cheaper flashes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong but, here goes:

    If you use the flash in TTL mode: the camera shutter opens; the flash fires, the camera sensor decides when enough light has entered, it then tells the flash 'enough' and the flash stops.

    All of this is coded within micro-flashes within the flash pulse (that our eyes don't notice). This is why you must have on camera flash (either a speed-light which is TTL master capable or the on board flash) for it to work.

    When the flash is on camera, the camera measures the distance between camera and flash (focus) and tells the flash how strongly it ought to fire (all part of the pre-flash you do often notice when the camera is metring when you half press. The further the distance = the stronger the flash.

    Am I right so far?

    What I don't fully get, and where my off camera trials have been stuffed, is: when the flash is off camera and say 5 metres from the subject but the camera is 10 metres from the subject. It seems to me that the camera assumes the off camera flash is 10 metres (when it is only 5) and fires a far stronger pulse than it ought to. Being half the distance, this would be 4x the required strength???

    The results I've had so far suggest this is the case. (I find it easy to set the off-camera flash manually).

    Now, I do realize that the sensor will see that blast then, once the requisit light has entered, tell the flash to shut off. But, if you are trying to use off camera flash to side light (for eg), won't this blast of side light throw off the metering for the on camera flash (and probably drown it out).

    God, getting my head around TTL flash hurts
    Try reading this Scotty. Your head will hurt even more.
    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index.html#ttl

    TTL cameras have a sensor in the camera body which measures the light returning from the flash and quenches the flash when it has measured that enough light has been received. A-TTL sends a preflash, but the duration and intensity of the flash is the same as in TTL. E-TTL sends out a preflash, measures that using the standard exposure meter, sets the exposure and the flash intensity then the shutter opens, the flash is fired.

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agb View Post
    E stands for Exposure. So it means that the Exposure is calculated by the camera via a through the lens system.

    An interesting three part series about Canon flash is here.http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index.html#ttl
    I was wrong when I said that the E in E-TTL stands for exposure, it stands for EVALUATIVE through the lens. in E-TTL the normal camera exposure meter is doing the measuring of the exposure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    What I don't fully get, and where my off camera trials have been stuffed, is: when the flash is off camera and say 5 metres from the subject but the camera is 10 metres from the subject. It seems to me that the camera assumes the off camera flash is 10 metres (when it is only 5) and fires a far stronger pulse than it ought to. Being half the distance, this would be 4x the required strength???
    The flash system has neither the ability not the desire to measure distance, Scotty. It doesn't care how far away your subject is, only how bright it is.

    The usual arrangement is that the flash system fires a very short pre-flash, measures the light coming back through the lens (this it the E-TTL part!), and from that, calculates how strong to make the main flash, which follows as soon as the flash system has finished doing its sums, i.e., a few milliseconds afterwards. The pre-flash can have unintended consequences in some cases - for example, when I'm working with small birds which get spooked by the pre-flash and take off before the main flash fires. (They have amazing reflexes!)
    Tony

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    Tony has answered your question about on camera flash

    Scotty, what you need to do, for off camera flash, is completely forget about where the camera is in relation to your flash or subject
    The out put power and distance to your subject of the flash are the 2 things that then determine what aperture you need to shoot at, it is quite simple really

    Aperture = Guide Number divided by distance
    So lets just say that you are using full power on the 580EXII and your flash is 5 metres from your subject
    Guide Number = 58, Distance = 5
    Aperture = (GN) 58 / (distance) 5 - so therefore
    Aperture = 11.6 (exact calculation)
    So there fore an aperture of around f11 - f12 is going to what is needed for a correct flash exposure on your subject, the camera or sensor distance has NO relevance at all

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