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 Post subject: Buying Cheap Flashes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:58 am 
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I do not particularly wish to purchase a Canon Speedlight 580ex at this point due to pricing, so are looking for alternative flashguns, not neccersarily a precise equivalent, as I couldn't expect it really at a lower price anyway, and I probably wouldn't need something so bright anyway for my use.

This will be an everyday flash for photographing people, possibly on backgrounds, and could be as a fill light.

I'm not looking for professional images neccersarily or anything, just something to use, so I have had a look around, But what are your opinions on cheap flashes?

The only issues that I can think of are potentially lower guide numbers, slower battery recycle times, and less well built outer casing, cheaper components also, and clearly no wireless functions.

Here is one I found - Ebay Link

I may also consider the Jessops 360afd and the Canon Speedlight 270ex

Another consideration may be the Canon Speedlight 430ex, but this will probably not be for a while anyway.

For now, I am looking at some of the cheaper flashes, any ideas or suggestions?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:09 am 
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I eventually went for a Nissin Di622, which is fine as long as you don't want HSS. It does do a wireless mode but you need to set it manually.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:27 pm 
When I used Canon, I settled on a 430 EX II flash gun after trying the Nissin Di622 and Sigma 530. The 430 EX II may be a little more expensive but it's well worth the money. Most 3rd party flash guns do not support high speed sync (HSS) and their controls aren't as intuitive.

These days, I use a Metz AF-1 48 on my Pentax DSLR. They're 3rd party, but they are solidly built and support all the right features (Wireless TTL, swivel head, HSS) and they cost a fair deal less than the equivalent camera manufacturer's flash gun.

My recommendation would be to buy the best flash you can afford. Make sure the head tilts and swivels, or else you might as well be using the pop-up flash. Check that it supports HSS, this is very useful if you want to use the flash with a shutter speed that's faster than 1/250s. Wireless flash capability is also very nice to have, though almost any flash will work wirelessly if you buy a Cactus radio trigger.

Good luck with your decision :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Very good answers there, but Popo, can I ask what it means in your signature where it says "IR Modified", have you changed the infra red in all your bodies?

Using a 3rd Party sync cord shouldn't have any affect on anything, should it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Only the 300D has been modified for easier use in IR.

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:57 pm 
i have a vivitar 285hv and i plan to buy another one as soon as i get some spare cash - it's just too awesome for its price.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:58 am 
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I am new to flashes etc, Can I ask why they have infra red lights at the front that illuminate?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:09 am 
the infra red light is for focusing in low light conditions & it's better than the camera's AF assist lamp.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:00 pm 
I'm thinking about buying the Metz 48 (apose to the Canon 430ex II). But I cant find any decent reviews...

Does anybody have any experience with Metz?


PS. I just found a store selling the Exakta DPZ 38AF, for €115. Even more unknown than Metz.... :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:10 am 
+1 on Metz flashes -- they are well made and priced right.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:37 am 
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I'm thinking I might get away with the Jessops 360afd one

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:09 am 
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popo wrote:
I eventually went for a Nissin Di622, which is fine as long as you don't want HSS. It does do a wireless mode but you need to set it manually.


I'm not going to purchase one for a while yet, but I have found a very good value for money flash, It is the Nissin DI866

This has a guide number of 60, rather than the 580ex having 58, It is fully compatible with Canon and Nikon cameras (available for both brands) for £219.00.

I have seen loads of great flashes by Sigma, Metz, Canon etc, but I don't know which I'll go for. Unless they're all silly prices, I can only see myself running one anyway, so the wireless connectivity isn't important atall really.

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