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Old Aug 13, 2008, 12:47 PM   #1
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Canon EX-430 External Flash Tutorial
The Canon EX -430 Flash is one of the more common, though not the most powerful of the Canon line of Flashes. The Canon EX-580 II is the most powerful of the Canon Flashes. Keep in mind that both the Canon EX-430 and EX-430 II flashes are available. Both EX-430 flashes have the same light/flash output. However, the EX 430 II has faster recycling times.
The Canon G-7, G-9, S-5, being digicams, were given a hot shoe with the EX-430 in mind.
Here is what a Canon hot shoe on a Canon G-7 Camera looks like:

Those 5 little electrical contacts on the centrally oriented hotshoe on the Canon G-7 camera make using an external flash on the Canon G-7, G-9, S-5 and all of the Canon DSLR cameras possible.
Being somewhat physically smaller in size, the EX-430 does not over balance the smaller digicams. All Canon Flashes can be used on all Canon cameras, but when a larger flash such as the EX-580 is installed on the Canon G-7, G-9, and S-5, the larger and heavier EX-580 made those cameras feel very top heavy. Many photographers also use the Canon EX-430 flashes with the XT and subsequent cameras in the X__ series of cameras, to both keep the cameras well balanced when the external flash is installed, and to reduce the cost of getting into the external flash field.
The primary purpose of an external flash is to allow the Canon photographer to make use of flash techniques that are just not available when using the camera's built-in flash unit. Those expanded flash techniques are:[/i][/b]
[/i][/b]Greater Flash Range
Bounce Flash
Flash with an expanded field of light to give the proper light coverage for wide angle lenes
Let's now examine each of those expanded flash techniques,[/i][/b] to determine how useful they might be to the photographer and how easy they are for the photographer to use on a day to day basis.
Flash Range: [/i][/b]Even the built-in flashes on the cameras that I have listed have a limited Flash Range[/i][/b]. Generally speaking, when any of the cameras I have listed are set to ISO 100, the built-in flash unit on those cameras will throw the light from the camera's built-in flash unit (to properly expose) shots out to a distance of 10 to 14 feet[/i][/b]. That is a pretty short flash range. Yes, you can actually slightly increase that Flash Range, by increasing the camera's ISO. However, there are problems in doing just that. As ISO is increased above ISO 100, particularly on the digicams ( the Canon G-7, G-9, and S-5) noise creeps into your photos measurably deteriorating your image quality. The same is true for the Canon DSLR cameras, but because they have CMOS imagers rather than much smaller CCD imager that are much, much, much larger than the CCD imagers used on the G-7, G-9, and S-5 cameras, the increased noise is less noticeable. Folks, that is one of the primary benefits of shooting with a DSLR with its greatly larger imager (in physical size), particularly when shooting at numerically increased ISO numbers . So the biggest use of an external flash is to provide a lot more light which therefore increases your effective flash range. The flash range increase gained by using an external flash such as the Canon EX-430 with digicams such as the Canon G-7. G-9, and S-5 is considerable. When the EX-430 external flash unit is used on Cameras such as the Canon G-7, G-9 and S-5, the effective flash range is easily increased to 30 feet. On a Canon DSLR camera the flash range is easily increased to 50 feet. Therefore you can see that the gain in flash range on all Canon cameras is significant, well exceeding the flash capability of the camera's built in flash unit.
Here is a typical photo taken using the camera's built-in flash. The lighting is harsh, the shadows are heavy, and most camera users are not in love with how these photos look.

Bounce Flash:[/i][/b] If you have not used an external flash before, the term bounce flash may not be a familiar term. Bounce flash is very effective because the flash from the Canon EX-430 external flash is bounced off of a white colored ceiling, providing a very even, almost shadow less kind of lighting. Once photographers are introduced to bounce flash they really love that quality of flash lighting.
Now here is a sample of what a photo looks like when using the Canon EX-430 Flash in the bouce position. A bounce flash is just what it says. It is light from the EX-430 bounced off a white ceiling. Yes, you might be wondering, a white ceiling is essential. If you are attempting to bounce of a green (not white in color) ceiling, the light will take on a green-ish tinge, and you subject will look somewhat sickly.

An Expanded Field of Light:[/i][/b] If you are using a supplementary wide angle lens on any of the Digicams ( the Canon G-7, G-9, and the S-5) this is one of biggest advantages of an external flash. An external flash, such as the Canon EX-430 flash, particularly when equipped with a diffuser can provide light over a very large range, measured from left to right. Keep in mind that you are used to seeing the light provided by your camera's built-in flash unit, which is all in the center of the photo, with the left and right sides of your photo quickly tapering off to sheer darkness. This is a very noticeable advantage that an external flash such as the Canon EX-430 can provide.

Now let's take a look at the Canon EX-430 Flash. Here we show the case that comes with the EX-430 flash, and the case in which the EX-430 should be stowed to protect it from damage.

Here is a look at the back of the EX-430 Flash, showing its controls. Four AA size batteries are required to power the EX-430. We recommend that you use NiMH, Hybrid, or Enloop batteries.

Here is the front of the EX-430 Flash. Notice that red colored area near the base of the EX-430 falsh. That is the Focusing Assist Lamp. However, now we have to deal with a bit of Canon In-House Politics. That Focus Assist Lamp only works for the Canon DSLR cameras. Therefore it will not light, nor be usful when the EX-430 is used with the Canon S-5, G-7, or G-9 cameras.

Ok, that is enough for today. Feel free to ask questions any and all questions. I will try to extend this Canon EX-430 Flash Tutorial each day and that way we will be finished by the day I leave home (22 August) and go back to work by flying to Stockholm.
Sarah Joyce




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Old Aug 13, 2008, 1:21 PM   #2
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Nice 1st tutorial Sarah, i will keep reading as the 430EX manual doesn't explain much if you ask me, ok my question is when i set the flash mode to ETTL and auto zoom in P mode the shutter speed is always at 1/60 but when i set the mode to AV TV or M the shutter speeds are way below that and pictures come out blurry what am i doing wrong? is there maybe a camera setting in menu mode for the external flash on the 450D? last night i was ready to throw everything off the balcony:G
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Old Aug 13, 2008, 6:39 PM   #3
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Hercules-

Yes, when you use the EX-430 Flash in the "P" (Programed Auto) position on your Mode Selector, the shutter speed does default to 1/60th of a second. However, if you select "TV" on your Mode Selector, and then move your index finger to the Command Dial on your camera, you can dial in whatever shutter speed you desire as long as the ISO setting is in the "Auto ISO" setting.

Here is a sample photo taken with our Canon XT in the Mode Selector's "TV" position, and the shutter speed dialed in with the Command Dial to 1/250th of a second. The Canon EX-430's Flash Head was in the 45 Degree Flash Head position.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 13, 2008, 8:14 PM   #4
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OK, Folks-

Here is installment #2 of the EX-430 Flash Tutorial. As you will most probably recall, we finished the #1 installment with the advantages of an external flash like the Canon EX-430 Flash.

An Expanded Field of Light: If you are using a supplementary wide angle lens on any of the Digicams ( the Canon G-7, G-9, and the S-5) this is one of biggest advantages of an external flash. An external flash, such as the Canon EX-430 flash, particularly when equipped with a flash diffuser can provide light over a very large range, measured from left to right. Keep in mind that you are used to seeing the light provided by your camera's built-in flash unit, which is all in the center of the photo, with the left and right sides of your photo quickly tapering off to sheer darkness. This is a very noticeable advantage that an external flash such as the Canon EX-430 can provide.
What about a cheaper alternative to the Canon EX-430 Flash? We do not think that a cheaperflash is a good idea at all. When we last did this same Tutorial in September 2007, we purchased an Opteka EF 600DG flash that was advertised to be fully compatible and to have iTTL capabilities. Yes, the flash was compatible in every way and at a cost of $(US) 130.00 it seemed to be a money saving alternative. But in just 10 months of use, that Opteka EF-600DG flash is barely operable. The zoom mechanism within the flash is failing and making huge growling noises. So we do not believe the Opteka alternative is a good one. Certainly, we cannot recommend it. For example, to better illustrate our point, my older Canon EX-420 that I purchased 6 years ago to use on my Canon G-1 camera still works just fine. We rest our case, folks, dollar for dollar, and based on our own personal experience, the Canon Flashes have more quality and durability.
Here is a photo of the Oteka EF-600DG flash mounted on a Canon S-5 Camera.
<a href="http://s510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/Sarah124710/?action=view&current=A-104OptekaEF600DGMountedonS-509070.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/Sarah124710/A-104OptekaEF600DGMountedonS-509070.jpg" border="0" alt="Opteka EF-600DG"></a>
The EX-430 uses AA sized batteries. Although alkaline batteries can be used in the EX-430, we do not recommend using alkaline batteries. Alkaline batteries have a very short life when used in the EX-430 Flash. Nickel metal hydride (NiMh), hybrid, or Sanyo Eneloop AA size batteries last much longer and they will save having to make a battery change in the middle of shooting your photos. Here is what hybrid batteries look like:

[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Hybrid batteries are made by various manufacturers. We show Ray-o-Vac brand hybrid batteries in our photo. Hybrid batteries at the time of this writing, are also produced by Uniross in the UK, and by UltraLast in the USA and the Orient.

Before we go any further, it is probably best to be clear about the EX-430's various flash head positions. We will be referring to those flash head positions numerous times during this flash tutorial.
On the backside of the EX-430 Flash, as the flash head is tilted, the head position degree marks become visible. We are going to refer to the flash head position by those degree markers found on the back of the EX-430 Flash. Therefore, this is what the 0 degree position looks like. You will notice that the flash head is parallel to the lens centerline, and facing full forward. It is in this 0 degree position of the flash head that the greatest flash distance can be obtained, but this is also the flash head position that is going to give you the harshest light and the strongest shadows.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Please note that these flash head position photos are virtually without shadows. That is because they were shot with the EX-430's flash head in the 90 Degree Flash Head Position.


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Old Aug 13, 2008, 8:30 PM   #5
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Stay with me, Folks-

The system on the Forum seems to have a thru-put limitation. So I am going to break this up into smaller installments. So we will begin Installment #3 with our discussion of the various EX-430 Flah Head Positions. Thus, you have seen the 0 Degree Flash Head position. Next we will look at the 60 Degree Flash Head position



Here we see the EX-430 Flash Head in the 60 Degree Flash Head position. The purpose of using the 60 Degree Flash Head position is to spill more flash or light toward your subject.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Here we see the EX-430 Flash Head in the 75 Degree Flash Head position of the flash head. Once again, when we tip the flash head forward toward the photo subject, be it this 75 Degree Flash Head position as shown here, we tip or increase the flash or light falling on the subject. If we were to increase that flash head tilt to the 60 Degree Flash Head position, increase or spill even more light or flash toward our subject and therefore, into the photo.



[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Here is a photo showing the EX-430 flash head in the full bounce or 90 Degree Flash Head position. I took these photos using our Canon XT camera equipped with the Canon 18-55mm kit lens. And yes, when I slipped the EX-430 Flash on to the Canon XT camera, the red lensed Focus Assist Lamp on the EX-430 suddenly began to work because with the Canon XT I was using the EX-430 Flash with a Canon DSLR camera.

So now we have seen all of the possible EX-430 Flash unit's flash head positions. Our next step will be to start using our cameras. In our next installment, we will begin to start taking photos with the Canon XT and the EX-430 Flash unit.

Sarah Joyce




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Old Aug 13, 2008, 8:44 PM   #6
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OK Folks-

Here is installment #4. Now we are going to start taking photos. The first series will be done with the Canon XT DSLR camera, the second series will be done with the Canon S-5 camera. OK, here we go.

So to just quickly recap, we have looked at the various common flash head positions for the Canon EX-430 Flash. Now we will move to actually using the EX-430 Flash.
Using the EX-430 Flash in the 0 Degree Flash Head Position: In the 0 Degree Flash Head Position, the EX-430 flash head is positioned straight forward, with the flash head parallel to the lens center line. In that flash head position, you obtain the greatest flash distance.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Better Flash Technique: We minimized the expected harsh shadowing that you usually see in photos taken with the EX-430 Flash in the 0 Degree Flash Head position by moving higher, or above the the subject and forcing the shadow down behind our subject. However, keep in mind that as you move up and above your subject, you will darken the battom of your photo. This is a trick that any one of you can easily use.
How we set-up the camera: Because the EX-430 was still mounted on the Canon XT DSLR camera, we used the XT to take this series of photos. The Canon XT does not have an Auto ISO position, so because we were working close-in to our subject, we set the XT to ISO 100 and shot the series of photos.




This photo was taken with the EX-430 Flash Head in the 60 Degree Flash Head position. As you will notice the flash lighting has become softer, and the bottom of our subject is getting a bit more light so that it is somewhat lighter than our previous photo. Note than we can see distinguish the cross on the top of our subject. As the light gets more directly overhead we will see the detail on the cross fade to almost nothing.



[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]This photo was taken with the EX-430's Flash Head in the 75 Degree Flash Head position. Notice that the background lighting is beginning to darken and the cross at the top of our subject is less definable and more obscured because the light is nearing the full bounce position and its only lighting of our subject is provided by bounce flash off the white colored ceiling.



[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Here is our final photo in this series taken with the Canon XT DSLR camera. The EX-430's Flash Head is now at the 90 Flash Head Degree position. With the light now coming from directly overhead, the background continues to darken and the cross on the top of our subject is now barely discernable. However, the light is widely spread but soft as borne out by the better lighting of the base of our subject, at the bottom of the photo.

Sarah Joyce






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Old Aug 13, 2008, 9:00 PM   #7
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OK, Folks-

Here is installment #5 of the Canon EX-430 Flash Tutorial. Now we are going to show you photos of a different subject taken this time with the Canon S-5 camera. Please keep in mind that the Canon G-7 and G-9 will be set-up in the very same way as the Canon S-5 camera. We begin with our new subject, the Canon S-5 camera, and the flash head in the 0 Degree Flash Head position.



Here is how we set-up the Canon S-5 camera to take these photos: We set the ISO to the Auto ISOf mounted the EX-430 Flash and shot the photos. It was just that simple.
[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Here is our first photo taken with the Canon EX-430's Flash Head in the 0 Degree Flash Head position. In the 0 Degree Flash Head position, the EX-430's flash head is parallel to the center line of the Canon S-5's lens. As you would expect, this is flash head position where you get the most powerful flash, with the harshest light from the EX-430. Therefore, this photo has a lot of contrast.
Next, we will look at the very same subject, with the Canon S-5 camera, and the EX-430 Flash Head now positioned to the 60 Degree Flash Head position.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]This photo was taken with the EX-430 Flash Head in the 60 Degree Flash Head position. You will notice that the lighting, as the flash head has moved upward, the lighting has become a good deal softer, with both the background and the foreground evenly lighted, and more details are visible in the photo.


Next, we will look at our new subject, the Pentax Z-750 camera, taken with the Canon S-5 camera, with the EX-430's Flash Head in the 75 Degree Flash Head position.

In this photo, the EX-430's Flash Head has now moved to the 75 Degree Flash Head position. The lighting remains soft, but now look at the word "Pentax" in the upper left hand side of the camera face. In the previous photo "Pentax" received better and more effective flash.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Sarah/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/img]Here the EX-430's Flash Head is now at the 90 Degree Flash Head position. Just as in our previous photo, the light remains soft, but the word, "Pentax" is now even more shadowed as the light is all coming from overhead with the light bouncing off the white ceiling.

OK, there are the four photos taken with the Canon S-5 camera. That finishes installment #5. Please remember, we are always ready to handle any and all questions that you might have after reading this material.

Sarah Joyce





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Old Aug 14, 2008, 12:39 AM   #8
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Very nice tutorial Sarah, i also bought me rechargeable 2500 energizers that seem to last a long time from the looks of these pictures they were shot in your home, were your shutter speeds at 1/100 or more, i still don't understand why in my home i can't get shutter speeds more than 1/15.
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Old Aug 14, 2008, 1:30 AM   #9
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Hercules-

No offense, my very good friend, but today (13 August) I have explained in at least three threads how to adjust your shutter speed on your new camera. Please go to "TV" on the Mode Selector, using the Command Dial dial in a higher shutter speed.

If the shutter speed read out blinks at you, you have asked for more shuter speed than your camera can handle. Reduce the shutter speed selection until the read out stops blinking. Now take the photo.

If you have more questions, I will attempt for the 4th or 5th time to provide help. Please let me know.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 14, 2008, 1:42 AM   #10
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
Hercules-

No offense, my very good friend, but today (13 August) I have explained in at least three threads how to adjust your shutter speed on your new camera. Please go to "TV" on the Mode Selector, using the Command Dial dial in a higher shutter speed.

If the shutter speed read out blinks at you, you have asked for more shuter speed than your camera can handle. Reduce the shutter speed selection until the read out stops blinking. Now take the photo.

If you have more questions, I will attempt for the 4th or 5th time to provide help. Please let me know.

Sarah Joyce
No i don't take offense my friend i don't think your understanding what i mean, when i set my mode to TV and i dial in say 1/150 in my house my aperture reading starts to blink off and on not my shutter speed, what i am trying to say is if i would take that shot without the flash at those settings i would get a black picture (nothing would show) thanks
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