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Old Feb 3, 2007, 10:45 PM   #1
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I am looking at buying my first external flash. I currently shoot with the Digital Rebel, but plan on upgrading (eventually) to the 5D. I am looking for a flash that will do a decent on-the-camera job as well as some limited remote work. I will also, eventually, be adding at least one other flash to the ensemble and will need some master/slave action. The two flashes that have caught my eye thus far are the canon 430EX and the Sigma EF 500 DG Super. I have been advised to stick with Canon to eliminate interoperability issues down the road, but the Sigma flash seems like a lot more bang for the buck.

Please advise.
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 7:37 AM   #2
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I have been advised to stick with Canon to eliminate interoperability issues down the road, but the Sigma flash seems like a lot more bang for the buck.
Probably not bad advice for automagical camera controled flash units. You might consider the Sunpak 383 thyristor "auto" flash unit. High enough power that a lot can be thrown away in a diffuser. Latter that could be used as a fill flash in at least some circumstances. You will have to operate the camera in manual mode, but that is what folks used to do all the time.

A quote from "THE CAMERA MAN, His Adventures in Many Fields: With Practical Suggestions for the Amateur" published in 1919, "The camera man no longer waits for daylight to photograph a railraod wreck, for instance, but catches his picture in the flare of a pound or more of flash powder." The book points out that is possible because of the recent developement of faster film and lenses.

I am not suggesting that you go back that far, though I do have a case of flash bulbs in the attic.
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 8:52 AM   #3
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BillDrew wrote:
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You might consider the Sunpak 383 thyristor "auto" flash unit. High enough power that a lot can be thrown away in a diffuser.


I will echo BillDrew on the Sunpak 383. For a non-TTL unit I find the performance first-rate. Extremely accurate exposure in auto modeand power for longer distances. The price is right, too. It's at least $100 less than dedicated units. It has a low trigger voltage (6.94 VDC by my measurement) so it's safe to use with today's digital SLR's.

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Old Feb 4, 2007, 9:12 AM   #4
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Not sure who advised you against non Canon flashes, maybe someone that wanted to sell you a Canon flash. You should nothave any issues with the Sigma's compataiblity at all, just be sure you get the EO-ETTL modelwhich is made for Canon. I have the 500DG super and it is an great flash with almost all the features of Canons top of the line 580EX for about half the price. I've used it with my first digital rebel 300d and also my 20D with absolutely no problems at all. I would highly recommend the Sigma over the 430, the Sigma can be used as a slave or master, which I don't believe the 430 can. and since you can almost get 2 Sigmas for the price of one 580, well for my money I'll take the 2 Sigma flashes. The 383 is a great flash, I have a couple that I use as slaves triggered by my Sigma 500DG Super, but never have used them on camera.
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 12:38 PM   #5
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Caboose wrote:
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Not sure who advised you against non Canon flashes, maybe someone that wanted to sell you a Canon flash. You should nothave any issues with the Sigma's compataiblity at all, just be sure you get the EO-ETTL modelwhich is made for Canon. I have the 500DG super and it is an great flash with almost all the features of Canons top of the line 580EX for about half the price. I've used it with my first digital rebel 300d and also my 20D with absolutely no problems at all. I would highly recommend the Sigma over the 430, the Sigma can be used as a slave or master, which I don't believe the 430 can. and since you can almost get 2 Sigmas for the price of one 580, well for my money I'll take the 2 Sigma flashes. The 383 is a great flash, I have a couple that I use as slaves triggered by my Sigma 500DG Super, but never have used them on camera.
Would Sunpac 383 need a wireless trigger to fire off-camera to work with 580EX on the camera? It is about $80 compared to Sigma 500DG$200 price. Ithink that 500DG will work without extra wireless trigger. I am looking for a cheaper solution for off-camera flash.

What will be pros and cons between these two flashes for on and off camera use?
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Old Feb 7, 2007, 4:59 PM   #6
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I have a couple of little slave triggers made by Sonia. they have a hot shoe that the flash slips in and they have a 1/4 20 thread so they can be mountedon a tripod, I have some light stands with a umbrella swivel stand that I use with mine. Then when my Sigma that is mounted on camera fires it triggers the slaves. I use these a lot for location shots where I don't have access to electricity for my strobes.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 1:03 AM   #7
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Yes they are very popular. When I purchased mine a few years ago they were £3, now they are over £10.
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