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Old Nov 10, 2006, 4:48 AM   #1
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I want to purchase a flash for my 30D yet need some help sorting through the array of choices. The use would primarily be in-house family gatherings. Opinions (with brief explanations) and/or links would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 7:26 AM   #2
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Well, the Canon 580 is the top of the line consumer flash but it's pricey and a bit overkill.

Behind that are the Canon 430ex and the Sigma 500 DG Super. For your stated purposes, either one would work. The Sigma has a few features the Canon does not but the Canon has better build quality. Both are selling for around $240 on-line.

I have the Sigma and have for about 3 years and no complaints - it's worked great.
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 9:00 AM   #3
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Steve, you might also want to consider getting a diffuser for which ever flash you go with. They give less harsh shadows.
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 3:49 AM   #4
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Thank you both for steering me in the right direction. Yesteday I ordered the Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash and the STO-FEN OMEY Omni-Bounce Diffuser. I was one click away from doing the same with a new lens (Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS) but didn't. I switched it from my cart to my "later". Since I am still getting used to the 30D, software, etc. I decided I would muddle through those for a week or so before ordering the lens.

I have started using the Lowepro SlingShot 200AW since neither of my other bags were large enough to hold the 30D with the power grip attached. There certainly was no room for anything else . . . The Lowepro appears to offer plenty of room for my growing collection.

Thanks again,

Steve
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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Steve, while the Sto-Fen works (I own one but don't use it anymore), let me push you toward Gary Fong's LightSphere II (which has replaced my Sto-Fen). The Sto-Fen is smaller and works, but the much larger LightSphere produces superior results in my (and many others') opinions.

Get to know your 580 (an absolutely outstanding master flash that is capable of controlling and setting/programming remotelyseveral other flashes, like the 430EX or 500DG Super, should you advance to multi flash setups) ... use the Sto-Fen and get to know its use, also.

Then give a borrowed LightSphere II a try —I style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000" use multi-flash setups for informally posedshots (weddings and family get-togethersfor example) far less now (and that is very convenient) simply by using the 580 and the LightSphere. It's even superior for outdoor fill.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You have a fine camera and a fine flash!
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 1:34 PM   #6
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hgernhardtjr wrote:
Quote:
Steve, while the Sto-Fen works (I own one but don't use it anymore), let me push you toward Gary Fong's LightSphere II (which has replaced my Sto-Fen). The Sto-Fen is smaller and works, but the much larger LightSphere produces superior results in my (and many others') opinions.
Thanks for the advice. I went to Amazon.com and found that you must be referring to the C4 since the others do not appear, at first glance, to fit. Before I order it, I'll wait for you to confirm.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 2:36 PM   #7
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Yes, either the C4 or P4 .. I prefer the P4 overall ... it is clear-ish. The C4 is "frosted" and you lose distance, but it hasits place in the studio. The clear is best for all around use, in my opinion however. Also, FYI, bothLightSpheres looksomewhat "dorkey" as others have said, while the StoFen kinda blends in.

Check it out andwatch/listen to the demos here: http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html

But, again, since you've already ordered the StoFen, you might find it is adequate for your particular needs ... it IS less bulky and easy to store, especially if you keep your spare batteries in it (like a cup) in your bag. You might give it a try first.

The LightSphere, being thick, heavy, flexible vinyl is easy to carry/crush in your camera bag.

But, for me at least, the benefits of the LightSphere II clear(ish) (P4) far outweigh its larger size. Like I said, I use the P4 Lightsphere quite a bit, even outdoors. The StoFen is now used only occasionally and thenon my remote flash.

*****

On edit ... got my C and P mixed up ... the C is for cloud, the P is for Clear ... the clear one is what I use and am extremely happy with


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Old Nov 14, 2006, 12:08 AM   #8
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I have the C4 coming and will order the P4 as soon as it is in stock. After what you said and reading/watching the Gary Fong website/demo I decided that having both would cover more situations. Thanks for the advice and I'll let you know what I think after using them.

Steve
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