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Canon Speedlites over 3rd Party Flash ?

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  • Canon Speedlites over 3rd Party Flash ?

    Hi I am new to flash photography and is thinking of getting a 580ex ii for my 600d to venture into flash photography. I have also seen many 3rd party alternatives such as Nissin / Metz that can produce the same guide numbers at much lower prices.

    Before actually buying, I would like to understand what are the advantages of getting a canon speedlite compared to getting a cheaper 3rd party flash ?

    Is it also possible to use a Canon master to activate 3rd Party slave flashes ?



    Thanks

  • #2
    I don't know much about Nissin or Metz products, but I do know that if you use canon gear you will not void your warranty if something goes wrong.

    be careful with aftermarket stuff, including lenses, if they bugger up your camera, then you're on your own. The resale value is also important. Buy cheap, sell cheap. You can buy a Daewoo for under $20,000 new, but sell it second hand and you'll be lucky to get $6,000 just 12 months later.


    Cheers,

    John W

    Canon 7D, Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF 100-300 f5.6, Canon EF 50 f1.4; Canon Speedlite 430 EX11, Fuji FinePix F40 Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC and Mamiya ZE-2 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Macro and a brand new Canon EFS 10-22 f3.5-4.5 USM; EF 70-200 f2.8L USM; Canon EF 24-70 2.8L.

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    • #3
      Canon Speedlite 430EXII

      Where can I learn about using my Speedlite? At the moment I am turning it on and letting luck prevail. Luck is doing Ok but there must be more to it.

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      • #4
        I'm in the market for a 580ex II. I found a couple of good resources for learning how to use them:

        Canon DLC: Article: Speedlite Tip Series, Part 2: Beyond the Instruction Manual

        I like Joel Grimes tutorial videos too. Just YouTube him or YouTube search for "Speedlite tutorial"
        Canon 60D, G12, Leica V-LUX 20, Canon 10-22mm EF-S, 18-135mm EF-S IS, 100mm EF Macro, 15-85mm EF-S IS, 50mm EF f1.4, 70-200mm EF f2.8L IS II, Satechi WR-C100, Gitzo, Sunpak, Manfrotto, Sunbounce, Colormunki,
        Checkout My Photography Blog

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Woody View Post
          I don't know much about Nissin or Metz products, but I do know that if you use canon gear you will not void your warranty if something goes wrong.

          be careful with aftermarket stuff, including lenses, if they bugger up your camera, then you're on your own. The resale value is also important. Buy cheap, sell cheap. You can buy a Daewoo for under $20,000 new, but sell it second hand and you'll be lucky to get $6,000 just 12 months later.


          Cheers,

          John W
          Who'd you hear that from?
          I am responsible for what I say; not what you understand.
          adammontpetit.com
          Gear List
          500PX | Graphic Design

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          • #6
            Metz makes great flashes. I have a very good friend, who only uses Metz flash gear.
            http://pa.photoshelter.com/c/jimbryant
            http://jimbryantphotography.blogspot.com/
            (1) EOS 1D MKIII (3) EOS 1D's, (3) EOS1D MKIIs', (1) EOS1Ds MKII, 14mmf2.8, 16-35mmf2.8, 28-70mmf2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 300mm f2.8 and a 400mmf2.8, (4) 550 EX and 1 580E speedlite, and a Speed a tron studio flash system.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by revidia View Post
              ... what are the advantages of getting a canon speedlite compared to getting a cheaper 3rd party flash ?
              Generally, it's a matter of features and future compatibility. Most 3rd party offerings have to be created by reverse engineering, so the design of the computer/digital logic is kind of a black box to them. They only know the output signals as they are today. If Canon chooses to change the electronic communications between the flash and the camera to add more features, then a 3rd party flash may have its features screwed up. This is very similar to 3rd party lens issues. You may have no issues; you may lose features in the future. A 3rd party flash can really only be guaranteed to be compatible with the system as it stands when the flash was released.

              Metz more or less gets around this issue by making its flashes' firmware upgradeable.

              It's generally in the realm of the functions where the camera and flash have to communicate a ton of information: eTTL, wireless master/slave commanding, camera-menu control of a flash, and high-speed sync, that I'd look for these types of issues.

              Is it also possible to use a Canon master to activate 3rd Party slave flashes ?
              Yes, provided that the 3rd party flash has eTTL wireless slave capability. Be aware that a lot of these "eTTL capable" flashes may NOT have wireless slave capability. The wording of these things in specs can be a bit weird. A flash can have slave capability, but it could be simple optical slaving, not wireless eTTL.

              As far as I know, the eTTL wireless capability in 3rd party slaves is pretty much limited to Metz and Nissin models, and the now-finally-released Youngnou YN-565EX. The Yongnuo does not do master, the higher-end Metz and Nissins can be master units as well.

              To me, however, when you get to the point of buying a Nissin Di866 for all that capability, the price point and risk of future compatibility are getting high enough that just popping for a Canon EX makes more sense to me. YMMV.
              I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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              • #8
                Thank you Inkista, your inputs are much appreciated : )

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                • #9
                  IF you have not decided yet or if anyone wants to know more about Speedlite wireless remote control with a 60D here is a link:

                  Canon DLC: Product - On-Camera Tutorials: EOS 60DCanon DLC: Product - On-Camera Tutorials: EOS 60D

                  "Integrated Speedlite Transmitter" near the bottom of the list is a practical video on controlling multiple EX units. It looks complicated to me so one would have to really plan ahead to do this. On the other hand, such a great degree of control .... wow!
                  Canon 60D, G12, Leica V-LUX 20, Canon 10-22mm EF-S, 18-135mm EF-S IS, 100mm EF Macro, 15-85mm EF-S IS, 50mm EF f1.4, 70-200mm EF f2.8L IS II, Satechi WR-C100, Gitzo, Sunpak, Manfrotto, Sunbounce, Colormunki,
                  Checkout My Photography Blog

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                  • #10
                    I just bought my first speedlight, a 430EX II, last weekend. I've used it for one session and really enjoyed how easy it was to setup. I need at least one more flash, though, and I'm trying to decide if I want another 430EX II or if there is a 3rd-party flash that would work that is a little cheaper. Canon flashes are not cheap!

                    If anyone has anyone experience using 3rd-party flashes with the 60D, I'd love to hear your opinions.
                    http://500px.com/neiby
                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/28712832@N03/

                    Canon EOS 60D / Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS / Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II

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                    • #11
                      I've got a pre-digital 420 that works with my 60d. I don't use any of the e-ttl functions though. When I use the flash on-camera, I shoot full power, bounced off the ceiling, and I chimp to get exposure correct.

                      I also have a pre-digital Promaster 7000 with manual controls--my 420 doesn't have any controls except for on/off and slave. I haven't used this one on-camera for fear of frying circuits, but off camera it works fairly well. Both this and the canon speedlite can fire wirelessly, and the 60d can act as a master. However, the promaster won't sync correctly when used by itself, but if I slave the 420 to the camera, and the promaster to the 420, it works fine. It's a good workaround until I can buy some Cactus wireless triggers.

                      If you're going to use the flash on-camera, I'd personally be scared to use anything other than Canon. If you're going to use the flash off-camera, get a set of wireless triggers and use whatever you want. I've heard Lumapro is very good, and the price can't be beat.
                      Last edited by NathanFranke; 01-10-2012, 08:04 PM.
                      Facebook | Flickr | 500px
                      www.nathanfrankephotography.com

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                      • #12
                        Actually, as long as you know the sync voltage is safe (under 250V), and the eTTL pins won't be crossfiring, any flash is pretty much going to be safe on the hotshoe. The 6V limit was for the first generation of Canon dSLRs. Chuck Westfall (THE Canon tech guy) has stated publicly that the voltage limit on the hotshoe is 250V and it's 250V in the Nikon manuals for their cameras.

                        The Promaster 7000M, btw, has had its sync voltage measured as 3V.

                        3rd-party flashes typically have an ISO hotshoe with ONLY the center pin, so you don't have to worry about the TTL pin crosstalking inappropriately. I have a Nikon SB-26, and I pulled the TTL pins, so that only the firing pin can make contact on the hotshoe. Never had a problem, although, of course, I prefer using a 580EX on there, most of the time.

                        Naturally, lower-voltage flashes will be safer, and most of the modern 1st party flashes all have sync voltages under 10V. But the LP160 and the YN-560 both have <10V sync voltages and are perfectly safe to put on a Canon or Nikon hotshoe.

                        The one really popular model you have to watch is the old Vivitar 285s. The newer 285HV is safe. But the old 285 and 283s have been measured with sync voltages in excess of 300V, and that's over the 250V limit.
                        I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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