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Thread: Flash recomendations for Canon users

  1. #1
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    Default Flash recomendations for Canon users

    I'm trying to figure out what I want to get for an external flash.

    I need something that's backwards compatible with my film bodies, as well as my current digital setup.
    At the moment, this is what's in my bag:
    -Rebel XTi (moving in to a 5D or a used 1D by the end of the year)
    -EOS 5
    -EOS 1N
    (BTW, the EOS 5 is in amazing shape, and I'm looking to sell it if anyone's interested).

    Flashes are new to me, but lighting isn't. I understand the concepts of 3-point lighting, bouncing, balancing exposure, etc., but I usually opt to shoot with fast primes in available light for simplicity. I've finally broke and decided to find something to start bringing up the exposure on subjects to help balance them against a blown out background. I'd also like to try some setups with multiple flashes for shooting BMX and skateboarding shots late at night.

    So there you have it, some heavy requirements, but I'm sure there's something out there that's going to work for me. Basically I want to start with 1 flash, and then buy some more to build a remote/slave setup later on. So I'm looking for something that I can 'grow in to'.

    Any recomendations on Canon equipment, third party equipment, etc.?

    Thanks, in advance!
    Last edited by freakin; 08-13-2007 at 11:17 AM.

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    Really the only flash that will work for the XTi is the 430EX or the 580EX. I have the old 580 and it seems to work really well for me in many situations except for the ones where I need fast recycling. The 580 supports a stroboscopic mode for the BMX stuff you are talking about but the power isn't that great. You can attach an external power pack (CP-E4) for faster recycling but there are other third-party ones out there that have more power.

    I'd suggest you go to Vistek and rent the 580 for a day. It's only $15 bucks. You can try before you buy.

    BTW, many of those BMX and skateboard night shots are done with continous lighting, not strobes. If you want to try that, you can go to home depot and buy those yellow halogen work lamps. Just need a place to plug it in.

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    Thanks for the imput. I already have a set of production lights (2x650W, 2x 1000w) that I could just take out, but sometimes, that's just not practical.

    I'll look in to the 580ex and see if I like it. Are there any third party brands that anyone knows to work well? Might as well look at everything while out shopping.

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    There's the Sigma DG units out there as well, but the built quality is pretty iffy. Good price though, especially when compared to the 580. Would I recommend the Sigma flash? Probably not.

    You'll probably want to look into Pocket Wizards for off-camera stuff. Strobist is a very good source of info on that.

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    if you're going to a weather sealed unit, get hte new 580ex as it's weather sealed.

    the 430ex and 580 have plastic shoe mounts, they break easy. I've broken one. it cheap replace though. ~20$ DIY

    if you're doing multiple flashes you want a 580. the new 580 also has a PC sync. yes, you can add them to the older models, but its better to just have it already from factory.

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    The Sigma 500 DG Super is good for casual use. I've been using one for 3 years without any problem.

    But if you're doing more serious shooting, the 580 would likely be a better choice.

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    you could always get a 430ex or sigma super and a couple of pocket wizards too.

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    I have been thinking about ditching the 580s for a Quantum system. Quantum has the Qflash 5D-R which is a really robust unit and much more powerful than any Canon speedlight.

    It also supports Canon's E-TTL2 using their optional QTTL module. The downsides is the size and price and it does not support high speed sync.

    Another option for you to consider.

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