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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Flash was never my strong point. I'm going on another reptile day next month. Click here for photos from last time. That was in a small-ish room, white walls and low-ish ceiling allowing flash bounce from the Nissin Di622 I have. Typical shooting distance varied from macro to semi-close, say, several feet (~1m) for bigger subjects. Due to the relatively high magnification, I had to use smaller apertures for DoF, which of course doesn't help with exposure. Quick scan of that page showed I used f/8-11 for those, but I did play with f/16 too.

The practical issue I had that time was that I suspect the ceiling bounce was eating up a LOT of the flash power, which I'm guessing was firing close to or at full power all the time. Cycle times were many many seconds on fresh NiMH batteries, extending to forever as they drained. I'm wondering if some kind of flash diffusing/bounce device would give a benefit here of reducing power loss while maintaining soft light. Something like Lumiquest Big Bounce so the diffuse flash would go more to my subject than light up the whole room. I also think the more direct angle might help than the high angle of the ceiling bounce due to the close proximity.

The other thought I have is could/should I step up and go off camera? It would be impractical to use the Nissin there as everyone else on the trip will be using Canons and flash too, so it would be tripping all over the shop. That means, buying a Canon Speedlite so I can make use of the 7D's built in flash controller too. That then comes down to if the 580EX II that much faster than the 430EX II at cycling to justify its higher price? While I don't doubt it's a long term tool investment, so far I just don't use flash often enough, but it could be a self fulfilling prophecy as I don't have the right modifiers for much use.

Oh, I also have the Sigma ringflash... forgot about that! I can't remember if I used it much last time, think I had some issue with it (probably user error) so I stuck with the Nissin which "just worked", however slowly. Thinking more, it could be I tried it when I was set up for the longer distances where it doesn't have the kick to cope. Even for macro, I found it looks rather harsh so I think I'd still prefer a unit + diffuser arrangement.

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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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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:20 am 
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if I was closer you could borrow mine :D
You made me curious, so did a little experiment.
just did some test shots with 430EXII, the 15-85 set at 50 and in "P" pointed it at the wall 3m away and started clicking off 6 shots. One after the other. There was no time delay due to flash charging. I then stuck it on low continues shooting mode, you get the 3 photos per second , then slight break then 3 shots per second, as per normal. Even on high continues speed it seemed to keep up, I stopped after 6 shots.

Hope that helps, I would suggest that recycling is not going to be an issue with the 430EXII.

I just put it too manual and on full power, it takes about 4 s to recycle. But in auto its fast. Couldn`t imagine that you need full power, its blows out the room.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:32 am 
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I'm not sure you're reproducing the situation I had. Set ISO to 400 (should default to that anyway with flash), angle the flash to bounce off the ceiling and set aperture to f/11. And that doesn't even consider further light loss from close focus. Then see how fast you go! I think the combination of bounce and aperture eats a lot of power, and in the conditions I have, that's what's needed, unless I try a flash diffuser. But I'm not sure the tiny clip on plastic things would be sufficiently diffuse hence looking at the Big Bounce instead.

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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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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:37 am 
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May I suggest buying a bracket and getting the flash out of the lens axis? A diffuser, in my limited experience, is on the useless side. There are those Lumiquest soft boxes that mount on your flash and are much more effective than a diffuser in modifying the light, bouncing the flash will increase your light source's size with or without the diffuser and that's the main thing you need. So if bouncing is problematic, a bracket mounted flash with a soft box is much better in my opinion. Of course you need a TTL cable to connect the camera with the flash. If you want to get 580EXII you will need a cable anyway, the wireless thing is not that reliable on less than ideal situations, and the presence of other canon flashes/cameras will make it worse.

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Canon580EXII
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:34 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
had another play, its raining in the Lucky Country, so got nothing better to do. Don`t know if this gives you any ideas, but I had fun anyway.


I had a look at your exif data. Longest focal length I have got is 100. I was about 1.5 m away from the subject.
To stay with the theme I picked a couple of turtles and bounced flash of the ceiling, flash straight on was bad, too harsh. Build in flash better, but still too harsh. So I do understand that you need to play around with lightsource, etc
First photo, 1/250, F10 flash in auto. Flash is bounced. Recharges straight away for second, but then it takes about 2 seconds before it is ready for third shot. Then take one and then takes 3 seconds before its ready again.

Image


Last one half power, flash manual, waiting about 3 seconds between shots. Suggest with your focal length you may need at least half power.

Image


Can appreciate that if subject is moving that the recharge time could be annoying. Reading the digital picture review, its indicated that NiMH batteries offer faster recycle time due to lower internal resistance. I am using Alkaline, the NiMh are in the Sony flash and need charging. :oops:
Will try them tomorrow when they are charged and see if there is a noticeable difference.

I guess reading the digital review on the 430 and 430II, may give you an idea on what you are looking for. The table listing the cycle times suggest that the 430EXII and the 580EXII have the same recycle time. hhhhmmm better start using Nimh.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Revi ... eview.aspx
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Revi ... eview.aspx

that is enough sillyness for one evening, might watch the 20 20 cricket, the Aussies may win something yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Radu, I might not be using the terms correctly but when I say diffuser, I mean anything that attaches on the flash and provides a bigger source area. That includes anything from the small plastic boxes up to the one I'm looking at most closely, the Big Bounce as linked in the 1st post. That seems about as big as it realistically gets on camera!

I don't believe wireless will be an issue, as I'll be the only one with a Canon flash controller. From memory last time everyone else had xxxD and 3rd party flashes too, so they can't do the Canon wireless system. Actually I think one might have radio transmitters, again which wont interfere. With wireless I can get off axis easily enough without a bracket I think...

maxjj, thanks for reminding me of those reviews. I'm sure I've gone through them before in the past. Not sure where I picked up the idea the 580 was faster than the 430 though, unless I mis-read the generational comparisons. That helps, as the 430 is a lot cheaper! And I don't really need anything else the 580 offers. That only leaves me to check the cycle time of the 430 against the Ni622, and decide if I want to go wireless at this time. Oh, and definitely go NiMH. Alkalines really don't like this kind of work unless you buy the stupidly expensive premium ones, in which case you could have easily gone NiMH in the first place!

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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
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:01 pm 
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Oh, ok. Now I see where the confusion is. I've looked at the Big Bounce and it seems a nice modifier. The only fly in the ointment is that you lose 3 stops, if I read that well. I don't think that it will be such a problem, only the recharge time will be affected, I think. About that, after I've red maxjj post, I've tested the 580 EXII with ISO 400 f11 bounced flash in low light (it needed 1 second w/o flash), continuous shooting. Frame rate was 1 at 2 seconds, subject at 50cm with 24-105 @105mm. No hiccups, it just kept going at the same rate. NiMH eneloop batteries were used with most of the charge in them.
In P mode it shots at 4/second and goes for about 10 frames, stops for half a second and then goes again at the same rate. Of course f:4 1/60. That's no help with macro, I know.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Thanks for the info.

While 3 stops loss sounds like a lot, I'm hoping it is a lot less than ceiling bounce. The flash beam will be going over a pretty wide area by the time some of it reaches the subject. I ordered the Big Bounce so I'll soon find out :D

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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
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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