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Old Jan 19, 2011, 6:58 PM   #1
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Default Canon Flash Questions

I'm working up and practicing my strategy for wedding pictures, and I'm starting to think that I need a two-flash setup to get the job done. I have the 430 EX II, so now I need a master flash. From what I can tell, I have two options - the Canon 580 or the Metz 58.

Will the Metz control my 430?

Are there other master flash options?

Thanks for the help!
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:26 PM   #2
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Will the Metz control my 430?
Yes as I own both the 580 and the Metz 58AF-1



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Are there other master flash options?
Yes - Di866, Highly recommended
-> It's also a dual-head just like the Metz:
http://www.nissindigital.com/en/Di866-1.html

Its price just went up again since I bought it...

Last edited by NHL; Jan 19, 2011 at 10:42 PM.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:36 PM   #3
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Yes all three flash that has been mention will control the 430 EX II.

Also there are now 2 Metz 58, the AF-1 and the AF-2. You might find a deal on the AF-1.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 2:29 AM   #4
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I saw an AF-1 for $320, the AF-2 for $400, and the 866 for $329. The Nissin seems like a good deal, but the reviews indicate a higher probability that it will fail early. Perhaps if I buy from a re-seller here in the states I'll have better protection for replacement needs just in case I get a dud. I found the Canon 580 for $420, but based on a lot of comments I'm not sure if it is worth the extra $100.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 6:02 AM   #5
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... but based on a lot of comments I'm not sure if it is worth the extra $100.
This is fine as long as you acquire just one unit, but I usually use more than one head, two at the minimum, but mostly three (even with an ST-E2) as I've found the 420/430 too weak for modifiers
-> So the cost do multiply quickly...

Also check into the Nissin HV battery pack (the same pack works on both Nikon and Canon) and it'll support two heads at once. This is the most economical way to speed up the flash recycle time at weddings

Last edited by NHL; Jan 20, 2011 at 6:11 AM.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 9:20 AM   #6
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Jim, I've had a quick look around the threads and it seems with the possible wedding you are approaching things by the kit first. The kit is important, however, for good photos I would say that practising on less kit intensive shots would be more key. If you can't get great results when just shooting ambient light, reflected or single flash then when you start making things much more difficult things will go downhill rather than improve. At a wedding I shoot very few shots where I'm using off camera flash. In daylight conditions I will look for using natural light, diffused if possible as this is very pleasing to the eye and means you are just concentrating on the composition, pose and exposure with the light you have. If you add the lighting in then you have to balance the ambient with the flash, use one as fill flash, one as main etc.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to lean a new skill, and multiple/off camera flash is cool but I think a priority to you is to look at posing, using natural light (how to get the shadows/shape you require), working and relating to the subject. There is so much to do at a wedding, for a first time just make it easy so everything flows. You will have very little time for posed shots so you want to literally pose, do full length, 3/4 and heads, then same pose, change camera position and shoot again. Then re pose and go through the same process. While working you will be asking them to move where they look, bride at groom, groom at bride, look at each other, look at camera look off to the distance etc etc.

Well, that's what I think your biggest and most important gains. Master this then add lighting. Oh, still get a 2nd flash as a backup though.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 9:59 AM   #7
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Hi can I offer some advice. Get yourself a list of shots that you want to take talk to the bride and groom and see if they want some specials, you dont want to be caught out on the day. Is the venue near you, if so you may want to scout it, theres fors and against for this but it may give you an idea of shots that you want to take but the light could be different on the day. Plan for inclement weather, see what you need to do if it is.
When planning your shots have an order like being able to build up groups onc ethe guests are finished they can go and get a drink and talk leaving you with bride and grrom for a while. Take plenty of memory and take your shot list with you. Good Luck Grant
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 11:25 AM   #8
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Thank you all for taking the time to provide insight into my challenges!

Grant- I started a separate thread on common poses and I picked up a book on the topic. I have also started discussing the 'must-have' shots with the parents. Hmmm, I better add the B/G to the list, too.

Shoturtle / NHL - I snagged the Nissin 866 for $269 at B&H. Once you told me it could act as a master flash the decision was easy.

Mark- You make an excellent point about practicing the simpler techniques first. I started to get concerned about my kit when I saw how little coverage my 430 was going to provide, especially with a diffuser and tall ceilings, and I started down the path of multiple flash set-ups. Thanks for pulling me back from that. I've got several things inbound now. Once my full-size flash and diffuser arrives I'll start practicing on any willing subject to determine what the kit can accomplish given a variety of lighting conditions. Your simple review of the posing strategy will have me pondering my approach for quite some time. I'm glad I have a few months to prep.

Thanks again, everyone, and please keep the advice coming!
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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I'm in exactly the same position with a beach wedding coming in May, and I'm soaking up every idea here! I was going to buy the 580EX2 - is the Nissin 866 as powerful? I don't have any flashes as yet and do want two - at that price perhaps two of the Nissins?

Is there anywhere on-line that gives artistic tips to wedding photographers, just as were referred to above? There's lots of technical talk, but nothing that I've seen on suggested people payouts, where to look, what sorts of shots, etc. I don't want to get through this wedding and then hear people say "if only you had taken THAT shot".
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 11:55 AM   #10
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There has been a lot of talk of the shots to get, people get bogged down with the groups. Sure lots of people like them as they give good memories, but they are simple and can almost be forgotten about. Just getting them built and done fast is key. The key photos that the B&G will really be interested in are the ones that focus on them, especially the bride. These could be the pre wedding prep, arrival, entrance, general church, church exit etc etc etc. For these make sure that you have settings nailed for each shot, that you won't have to slow a shutter speed or incorrect exposure, that white balance is correct for the situation (however shoot raw and you can worry less about that). I usually use the custom presets as this allows me to switch everything as I want it. For example I usually have a church with flash and church without flash option set so I can flick between the two and then an outdoor setting. Everything is usually in manual for me as this is the only way I can make consistency. Take my example in the earlier post. If you go from full length, 3/4 and then head shots using anything apart from manual exposure you will get different results for each photo. This will kill you when doing post production as each shot will need exposure correction.

At any wedding I shoot I aim to keep it simple, there is enough going on for me as it is so don't want to make my life harder by adding lots of technical aspects. This is your first shoot of this sort of thing, you don't want to worry about any more than needed. I use bounce flash indoors and it gives a great look, however I rarely just use a ceiling, it is more off the walls so I can create direction. To do this you really want to have f2.8 as an option to help with the lighting.
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