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Old Oct 21, 2006, 7:38 PM   #1
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I am trying to do some potrait lighting with a 300D, 580EX, and a Sigma EF500D Super. I am using the 580 on camera as a firing master, the S500 on a tripod, and setting the flash ratio. The rario isn't working. I read on another site that when you set the on camera flash as master and use it, it is defaulted as A group. I set the S500 to group B (2) and did some experiments. When I set the ratio to 1:1, the slave (S500) was stronger by far. If I set it to 8:1, it seemed pretty balanced. When I set it to 4:1 it was nice for portrait type stuff, but the A flash, the one set to 4, was a nice fill. If I set the ratio to 1:4 or lower (1:1), the B flash blew everything out. It's like 8:1 is "normal", or 1:1, and any other setting is setting B higher. I hope you can make sense of this. Is the 300D compatable with using wireless flash with ratios? I have found that the 300D is very inconsistent with flash anyway. I do some wedding photography and I don't use it for the ceremony because I don't trust it with flash. I use my film camera for the ceremony and digital for the formals and reception. I do the formals in RAW so I can work with the exposure afterwards. I am going to do a friends son's senior portraits, and that's why I'm playing with the two flashes and the lighting ratios. Any insights would be very helpful. Thanks, Lou
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 8:09 PM   #2
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1. The unit on the camera can be set to any group (i.e. A, B, or C)...
2. Did you have the front of the slave facing the Master? The flash head can be pointed in any direction, but the front of the unit have to face the Master
3. Have you tried the reversed order? (i.e. the 500DG Super as a Master)?
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 10:09 PM   #3
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1. When the 580ex is set to master, there is no option to set a slave group. Just ratio, exp. comp., channel, and if the master is used as a flash.

2. Yes, the slaves were able to "read each other. I was in a small room. I did turn them to face each other, but it didn't make any difference. A few times, because of the way I was holding the camea, they didn't read each other, and that was way overexposed.

3. I did try switching them but I didn't see any difference there either. I didn't do it for many exposures though.

I did seea difference from 8:1 , to 1:1, to !:8, but all of them had the slave flash as the more exposed. That's what I don't understand.
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 11:33 PM   #4
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I also have the 580ex/s500 combo. They work fine for me. I'd also like to ask some basic questions.

1) The manual says something like "when using slave mode, make sure you dont not have any mode(m,ettl, etc.) displayed at the top left". I have no idea what they meant by this, because the s500 will not work properly unless you have have E-TTL displayed at the top left (assuming that the master is also set to E-TTL). Otherwise, the s500 will be flash-activated (any flash) and will always blast at full power. Maybe this is your problem?

2) Is your camera setting at manual? you can get some pretty weird effects if you use something like Av. Also, I've noticed on my 350d that the pictures are more overexposed at higher iso settings.

3)Have you tried underexposing the s500?

4)When you said your camera was inconsistent with flash, were you refering to the 580ex or the s500 (or both)? Did you try using the s500 on the camera (not in wireless mode) and seeing if your pictures were still over/under exposed?
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 6:16 AM   #5
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BoYFrMSpC may have a point:
-> The 500DG Super has to be on ETTL with one set of lightning bolts icon on the top left of the rear LCD panel
Without it the 500DG Super is just a regular studio slave (photo eye only) and will fire full blast!

I also always use the camera on manual for flash, don't worry the flashe(s) will still be on automatic E-TTL even with the camera on manual...

FYI - This wireless combo do work: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=53
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 1:16 AM   #6
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I shoot with my camera on manual, usually 1/60 @ f5.6. The 500DG was set to E-TTL with the 2 lightning bolts and also SL for slave. The SL is downwhere the channel (C1) is. Yes I had them both set to the same channel. I also use ISO 100.

2. Yes I did try setting the S500 to -1. It didn't seem to make much difference.

3. I started with the S500. I wasn't real happy with the flash exposure so I bought the 580EX. It didn't make any difference with the flash consistency. The Canon flash is much quieter as far as the zoom, so I'm happy I got it. Especially for weddings.

I have started to notice that part of my flash inconsistency is with my focus selector and where it's pointed. It seems almost like it turns into a spot meter with flash. I can kind of control it a little better when I pay more attention to that. As I understand it, with flash, the metering pattern is supposed to be center-weighted average. It must be very weighted. It still seems to underexpose most of the time though. I did some test pictures of a gray card and flash, and the exposures varied quite a bit. That makes no sense at all.

Thanks for the other link on this conversation. It seems to me that person had the same trouble. When the ratioisset to 1:1, the slave is set to more exposure instead of equal. When I set the ratio to 8:1 it seems to be pretty close to equal. At 4:1 it seems like a nice ratio for portrait type stuff. But the slave is B and should be weaker, yet it is stronger. The master, A, is a nice fill at that setting, but it should be 4X stronger according to the ratio. So the ratio seems to be working, it's just not anywhere near correct. I was doing the pictures with a mannequin head. So it wasn't some strange set up where it would be unequal surfaces. I did have the flashes quite close. I am going to try some more shots with the flashes a little farther away and see if that could be the trouble. This whole thing is very perplexing to me, as I'm sure you will agree. I may put some pictures up with the ratios I've used if I can.

Thanks for all your help and kind consideration,

Lou
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