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Old Feb 12, 2004, 6:39 PM   #1
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Default 520EX vs. 420EX..? Which?

I am a new DSLR user, never have had an external flash before and typically don't do much flash work (maybe because I've never had anything other than the internal flash...).

Have a Canon 10D, so far pretty happy (although I don't have a basis for comparison - my previous cam was a Minolta Dimage 7i), although it's autofocus is somewhate suspect (as mentioned in some other posts).

Anyway - what is the value of the 520EX over the 420EX above and beyond power?

Can the 420EX be used as a master for other off cam 420s?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 12, 2004, 7:44 PM   #2
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The 420EX can only act as slave... also no controls for manual overide as well as no high-speed stroboscopic mode (this feature also allows Flash Exposure Bracketing) as on the 550EX.

Also FYI: http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ighlight=500dg
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 6:58 AM   #3
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Do you mean 520EX? This may be an old model - the current one is the 550EX.

Anyway, if you don't think you will use the flash much then you may want to consider weight. The 550EX is HUGE and weighs over a kilogram! The 420EX is a lot smaller and lighter (not sure how exactly how heavy it is), and is only slightly less powerful (one stop I think?).

I am in a similar position to you - trying to decide between the two but have never used an external flash before. Yes, the manual features of the 550EX would be nice, but it costs a lot more and is very heavy.

I'm going to get the 420EX to get used to using a flash, then if I need more features/power I'll move to the 550EX. The 420EX acts as a wireless slave to the 550EX too, so the 420EX will not be wasted when I 'upgrade'.

Hope this helps,

Mark
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 7:52 AM   #4
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FYI

The 550EX is 405g (3.15" x 5.46" x 4.40") with a GN of 55
The 420EX is 300g (2.82" x 4.84" x 3.91") with a GN of 42
... the weight is in the 4 AA's batteries which they both use!

As a reference, the Sigma 500DG Super is 325g (3.0" X 5.5" X 4.6") with a GN of 50 with all the features of the 550EX (but priced at the 420EX price)! :P
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 12:55 PM   #5
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Default 550ex vs. 420ex...

Thanks for the insight. You know I was concerned about not being able to use the 420 as a master, but I hadn't thought through the fact that it wouldn't be 'wasted' as it would then be a slave to the 550ex if I bought that when the time came...

Am I correct in understanding that the 420 can also act as a slave to one or more of the Canon macro lights?

Lastly, the Sigma mentioned - when you sal all the features of the 550, does that mean the wireless triggering of the other Canon lights too?

TIA,
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Old Feb 15, 2004, 1:09 PM   #6
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Yes, the Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX will act as a master for the 420 EX. I don't think the ring flash (Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX) will work as a master though.

Have a look at http://www.usa.canon.com/html/camera...ite/index.html for info on all the speedlights from canon.

I know very little about the Sigma flashes, but have a look here for further info: http://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/a_pages/access.htm (click on the flashguns link on the left).

Cheers,

Mark
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 7:54 PM   #7
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The Canon Canada site says that the 420EX can be controlled by the MR-14 ring light http://www.canon.ca/english/index-pr...=6&gid=2&ovr=1.

You can also trigger the 420EX with the ST-2 trigger - but I don't know how you'd control the output. The 550EX appears to be able to adjust output on the 420EX.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 8:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
You can also trigger the 420EX with the ST-2 trigger - but I don't know how you'd control the output. The 550EX appears to be able to adjust output on the 420EX.
... It's done through Infrared(invisible) pulses on the ST-E2 or by the actual flash pulses on the master 550EX, ie it's like a digital Morse code @ high-speed but recognized by all the slaves! Actually 3 groups of slaves...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/st-e2.shtml
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 8:58 PM   #9
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I understand how they are triggered - but what I wonder about is flash exposure compensation, look at the chart at the bottom of this page: http://www.usa.canon.com/html/camera...lite/ste2.html. It looks like the 550EX can do this but not the ST-E2.

I don't have either the ST-E2 nor the 550EX - but it is something that I want to add to my kit when I can. When I do get a chance to buy some more equipment I'll likely go with the Sigma 500 Super DG. If I decide to splurge there's also the two 550EX & ST-E2 combo!
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 7:39 AM   #10
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Exactly... the 420EX is a basic flash with no manual overide. With the 550EX(or the Sigma 500DG Super) you can still set exposure compensation @ the flash even with an ST-E2. At issue is the ST-E2 do not support group C, the only group that allows flash exposure compensation. Group A and B are still controlled and metered correctly...

Why get the ST-E2 when you can get the Sigma 500DG Super for the same price? :?
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