Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon EOS dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 14, 2005, 11:53 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Nancy Gabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 662
Default

I bought the Speedlight580EX on Tuesday for my 20D. I volunteered my services for a Church fundraiser today and in all fairness I had little time to test the flash. I set it for ETTL metering and I was going to use it the same way I use the built in flash. I assumed (anyone remember that Odd Couple episode???) that it would just be a more powerful version of the built in flash. It wasn't. And I have heard this b4 that you need to increase the flash exposure compensation (with the built in flash I use +2/3rds in mose cases). With the 580 I kept having to adjust the exposure depending on whether I was shooting close ups or longer distances (usually +1to +1 2/3). Now if it is TTL shouldn't it "automatically" compensate for my distance difference and fire the flash at a brighter/longer capacity. I checked my distance and I wasn't shooting more than 25 feet. I was shooting at ISO400 so it wasn't like the flash couldn't reach that far. It was really annoying. At this rate I could have set the flash manually got a perfect exposure and wouldn't have to deal with all of the frustration. But does anyone have the same problems with ETTL? And am I wrong in assuming that the flash should be able to calculate the distance and fire accordingly? I do understand that if I am shooting against a white background the flash will fire less (to get to middle grey) and vice versa-which consequently was the case. The walls were black, so, that would mean that the flash would over-expose, but it very rarely did.

Also, what is up with the auto white balance thru the flash. And I know, RTFM (I just was able to skim thru it- so far, will read on tonight), but it doesn't work very well, my color balance kept changing from pic to pic. You can shut that feature off and still do the full auto TTL, right? It looked terrible!

So my question to y'all is, for the people that have the 580EX, do you/did you have these problems when you first used it and how do you use it now. And, Who has the Metz flash, I hear it is better, I am thinking of learning how to use this and if it still isn't satisfactory, exchanging it for the Metz. All of your comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you! Nancy
Nancy Gabby is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 15, 2005, 1:31 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Nancy Gabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 662
Default

Ok, I am having slightly better luck setting the FEC on the flash, rather than the camera. I don't know why this should be different, but I am setting the Flash's FEC to +1 1/3 and it seems to be a bit more stable. What are other people setting their flashes/cameras FEC to?

I have another issue. I was photographing my black music stand. Everything in the frame was black. I expected the flash to brighten it to middle grey. It didn't. I had to increase the FEC (on the flash) from +1 1/3 to the full +3. I don't understand why the flash went the other way. It seems counter-intuitive to me.
Nancy Gabby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2005, 6:27 AM   #3
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,547
Default

Nancy Gabby wrote:
Quote:
... And, Who has the Metz flash, I hear it is better, I am thinking of learning how to use this and if it still isn't satisfactory, exchanging it for the Metz. All of your comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you! Nancy
You have to register now to read this article:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...42&forum_id=37


Nancy Gabby wrote:
Quote:
I have another issue. I was photographing my black music stand. Everything in the frame was black. I expected the flash to brighten it to middle grey. It didn't. I had to increase the FEC (on the flash) from +1 1/3 to the full +3. I don't understand why the flash went the other way. It seems counter-intuitive to me.
This because of the ambient metering used by all the auto modes: P, Av, Tv
-> It meter ambient first and do a fill next - If the ambient is underexposed then all light will have to come from flash... which you can then overide with the flash own FEC.

Try MANUAL on the camera - the flash will still be on automatic in this mode, and it will be more predicatble then since the ambient is now fixed by the manual shutter/aperture setting:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...70&forum_id=53
NHL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2005, 6:02 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Nancy Gabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 662
Default

I Love You NHL! You always are sweet to me! I really appreciate it. After my posts I was up until 5am printing a few of the pics, and with more than a fair amount of PS, I got some really nice prints, but I really don't want to work that hard. I like studio work b/c you can control the lighting, which is why I don't mind spending the $$$ for the best flash, but I expect it to do a good job, and leave me to the artistic side of photography, instead of the numbers game (I used to shoot w/my flash on manual - I tried that fixed focus and moving myself to focus on the subject (that way the flash would already be set to the distance-It's an ole Wedding photography technique) but it never worked well for me, I wound up fine tuning the focus and b4 I knew it I was very far from my initial distance, and the flash exposure was off. I will register in a little while and read the article. So do you suggest I keep the 58ex, or go for the Metz. I might actually get another 20D body. I booked 20 shoots yesterday from that Church thing. I brought samples of my work. So I won't count my chickens, but if it pans out I might get an extra body. I am going to try to get a deal on the 1DS, I have a friend who works for Canon. Thanx again, and let me know if you think I should swap the 580ex with the Metz.
Nancy Gabby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2005, 9:58 PM   #5
NHL
Senior Member
 
NHL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 39.18776, -77.311353333333
Posts: 11,547
Default

Nancy Gabby

I wouldn't swap the 580EX for the Metz... Once you've picked it stay with it.

IMO you just have to get used to how the E-TTL-2 works
NHL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2005, 10:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Nancy Gabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 662
Default

Thanx 4 your opinion. I feel the same way. Also on one of the links you gave me, someone was complaining about the Metz with the ETTL also, so I guess it is something to figure out no matter which flash. I just wish it was more of a no brainer. Thanx again!
Nancy Gabby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2005, 11:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

Personally, I find flash photography to be a whole nother world. Just as complex and subtle as good photography without a flash....

I haven't read all of it, but check out this link:
http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

It's old enough that it probably doesn't cover ETTL-2, but I bet much of it still applies.

This is supposed to be one of the best references on the web:
http://eosseries.ifrance.com/eosseri...work_gene.html
I believe it's a translation of a Canon manual written by the support stand born out by testing (i.e. not theory, but practice.)

And I agree with you. NHL is really good with his flash knowledge.

I also remember an article awhile back written for... some big web site, I forget which. They tested a few camera bodies (maybe the 10D & the 1D MkII (a E-TTL and E-TTL2 body) and a wide variety of flashes, including the 550ex, a Metz, a sunpack and a few others. I think they also (where possible) also tested with a Nikon body and equivalent flashes. They basically found that the Canon w/ canon flash was the worse of the bunch. Sad if it was not a problem with their specific flash. I believe it consistantly over flashed within a controled environment.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 2005, 12:45 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Nancy Gabby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 662
Default

Ok, sounds like one vote from Eric for me to swap my flash for a Metz (or anything other than a Canon). I also found an interesting trick. I was using all 9 pts. for focusing. When I switched to one of the focusing points the flash kept much better exposure esp. at longer distances (which seemed to be my main problem). I don't know why but the focusing point acts as an exposure guide somehow. When I switched back to the 9 pt. focus, from a distance of about 15 feet, the flash tremendously underexposed the pic. And the focus was the same for both pics, but the flash fired completely different. I don't understand it, but if I there is a method to the 580ex's madness, and I can figure it out, I guess I will be ok.
Nancy Gabby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 2005, 8:06 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

My "vote" is that you are smart enough to learn its quirks. So stick with it for a while and do what you're doing (experimentation) and you'll figure out what it requires. It's probably something like "shoot in this mode, with X flash exposure comp." The problem isn't that you can't get it right, it's that you will probably have to correct it.

NHL is better in this area than I am. So take this with a grain of salt.

Another thing I seem to remember is that using flash changes the metering mode. No matter what it's set to, I believe it switches to center-weight average. But you might be able to change that locking the metering using the * button (i.e. it does something else.)

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 2005, 9:38 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 99
Default

My experience with the 580ex: is durning the daytime when there is some ambient sunlight you don't need to bump up the FEC, but if it's night or just a room with very poor ambient light you need to bump up the FEC.

I'm not overly happy with the 580ex, I purchased it under the assumption that buying the "best" Canon flash for my 20D was the safe choice.
Proxes is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:25 AM.