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Old Dec 21, 2010, 9:12 PM   #1
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Default Flash 430EX II v. Sigma EF-530/610 series

I'm using a Rebel T1i and looking to step up from my current Canon 270EX flash (convenient but weak and lacking in features). I've used Sigma before, but would appreciate any thoughts comparing the Canon 430 EX II, Sigma EF-530 DG ST/Super, and Sigma EF-610 DG ST/Super, or any other comparable shoe flash units. The Canon 580 is out of my price range, and even the 610 is pushing it (I'd like to stay under $200). Any suggestions or links? If it helps, I'm using a Tamron 18-270 lens and shooting a combination of family events, nature shots (birds, trees, mountains), and all the other usual hobby photographer stuff.
Thanks,
Dan
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 7:55 AM   #2
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Several things to consider in the difference here.
Most reviews report that this flash when used in TTL auto mode underexposes so you would have to compensate with exposure bias. In Manual you only get the choice of 1/16 or full. The build of the Sigma is not as good as the Canon. There is no LCD display. There are multiple complaints of the Sigma having slow recycle times as well.

One thing I have learned is no third party flash unit will work as well as the OEM in auto, the Sigma doesnt even list ETTL in its compatabilty chart.

If you are really budget minded and dont mind having to continously take test shots to set the exposure compensation every time the lighting or focal length changes and use strictly auto then go for the sigma.

If you want a flash that recycles faster, has a better build quality, has ETTL with no need for multiple compensation settings and can be set to multiple power levels in manual then go for the Canon.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 8:48 AM   #3
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I go with the canon or a metz or a nissin before the sigma, they do have compatiblity issues with their flashes in the past.
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 9:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight. It sounds like my best bet is to watch for a deal on a 430EX II. Since I'm in no hurry, that's just what I'll do. Merry Christmas.
Dan
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Old Dec 24, 2010, 3:05 AM   #5
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As a personal example:

I bought a Sigma 500 DG SUPER, ETTL compatible, etc. when I had a 20D. Worked pretty well, and I don't use a LOT of flash, so did the job.

Worked okay when I got my 5D. But I wasn't sure the ETTL was all that good, but generally dialled in a bit of negative FEL and got reasonable results.

Doesn't work at all on my 5DMkII. :-( So I had to buy a 580EX anyway. But the Sigma still does work as a slave flash with the ST-E2 or 580EX as master. Not easy to balance the exposure though, I think the ETTL isn't working properly.

In other words, would I buy a Sigma flash again? No.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 7:47 PM   #6
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I bought a Sigma 500 DG SUPER a few years back, after reading posts on this forum (probably from peripatetic). It worked fine on my XT and XSi, but had a major compatability problem with my new 60D. I returned it to Sigma in New York, and they upgraded the software so that it works as well on the 60D as on the older models. The only cost to me for the upgrade was the one way shipping to New York.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 7:59 PM   #7
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I would still go with the canon over the sigma. I knew someone that had a flash that sigma deem to old to upgrade and end up getting a new flash to work with their new body.

I would also look at metz 48 and the nissin di622. They are easy to upgrade with a usb port to do firmware. I updated my metz 48 and it work well on both my t1i and 60D.
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 5:05 AM   #8
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Another vote for the nissin di622 so easy to use and plenty of power
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Old Jan 7, 2011, 9:36 PM   #9
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If you're a beginner then I would stick with Canon, but this is something to consider as well:

Flash Model: Guide Number:
------------ -------------
Sigma EF-610 GN is 61 <- Yes more powerful than the 580EX
Sigma EF-530 GN is 53
Metz 48AF-1 GN is 48
Nissin Di-622 GN is 44
Canon 430EX GN is 43


I like to fool around with flashes as I believe they are essential to photography, but I'm also more experienced with theses devices as I happen to own most of theses brands: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fl...sh-fetish.html

My recommendation is for people to buy the most power they can afford, as I gained experience, I've found that the weaker flashes are less flexible in term of bouncing or adding light modifiers (Show me a PRO shooting with a direct flash... and expecting pleasant results)
i.e. when a flash is bounced or diffused by a modifier its effective GN will be even less...

Last edited by NHL; Jan 7, 2011 at 9:41 PM.
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Old Jan 8, 2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input. I did end up buying a 430EX II on eBay, which should arrive any day now, and I'm selling my current 270EX the same way. I know I can use regular alkaline or lithium batteries in this flash, but I also suspect it will eat them. I have a pair of Duracell pre-charged NiMH 2000 mAh batteries and a second pair of Duracell NiMH 1700 mAh batteries (not the pre-charged type) -- can I safely combine these two types, or do I need four batteries all the same?

And what about nickel zinc (NiZN) batteries? I just ran across them online. They claim to be environmentally friendly, but at what cost? THey are also 1.6 volts each, which I'm concerned may fry something internally. (See http://www.thomasdistributing.com/sh...rsllit8gi3gna7)

Last edited by requa; Jan 8, 2011 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Additional question
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