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Old Dec 2, 2007, 11:34 AM   #1
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Hye there..

I'm a newbie ready to enter the world of Flash photography.. Before I invest, I was just wondering...

Is the Sigma EF-500 DG Super worth investing in? I know it's GN is so much higher compared to the Speedlite 430EX but in sense of reliability which is better?

I've read many reviews on the Sigma but there are so many mixed issues. Some say it's a very good flash while others say it can't last and has lots of reliability problems. This makes the choice more confusing.

Where as the 430EX is a manufacturer's model which has higher reviews on reliability and performance. The only thing lacking is that is does not have the master/slave, and it has a much lower GN.

I'm a casual photog just needing the flash unit for abit of extra lighting or creativity. Also on a low budget so the only 2 candidates for my next purchase are these 2 models (please don't suggest the 550EX/580EX/580EXII - way over my head(budget) there..hehehe)
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 5:20 PM   #2
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Well, Canon has a rebate now on the 580 II. :blah: I have the Sigma Flash and have found only one problem with it. If you shoot around 15 shots with the flash in too short a period of time, it wants to stop and cool off. However, the manual for the 580 II sez it will only do 20 shots before resting.
The Canon is a better flash, but for occasional use, the Sigma should be fine.
Ron
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 8:57 PM   #3
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hazmy wrote:
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I've read many reviews on the Sigma but there are so many mixed issues. Some say it's a very good flash while others say it can't last and has lots of reliability problems. This makes the choice more confusing
You also have to understand that the Canon's flash system in general is not very forgiving as in the Nikon (or Minolta). On top of this most folks are very unfamiliar with flash and when they get poor results blame it on the flash rather than the camera (or themselves) - Remember the flash does not fire or expose an image by itself, but the camera and its metering Through-The-Lens (E-TTL) control all this stuff

A Sigma (or a Canon) flash just respond to the camera's commands - just like a lens
-> BTW Sigma has revised the 500 and now offer an even more powerful unit (GN of 53 instead of 50): http://www.sigmaphoto.com/flashes/fl...ls.asp?id=3263


The EF-500DG Super is my first flash and it has yet to fail... Some of its early features (like Auto flash and remote sync to studio strobes) is only now showing up on the 580EX-II...
Not to long ago people also blame 3rd party lenses for front and back focus - Guess what? with the AF fine tuning in newer cameras all that anecdoctal thinkings are out the door too!!!
-> It turns out every lenses (even the Nikon ones) need some adjustments :lol::-):G
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
You also have to understand that the Canon's flash system in general is not very forgiving as in the Nikon (or Minolta). On top of this most folks are very unfamiliar with flash and when they get poor results blame it on the flash rather than the camera (or themselves) - Remember the flash does not fire or expose an image by itself, but the camera and its metering Through-The-Lens (E-TTL) control all this stuff

A Sigma (or a Canon) flash just respond to the camera's commands - just like a lens
-> BTW Sigma has revised the 500 and now offer an even more powerful unit (GN of 53 instead of 50): http://www.sigmaphoto.com/flashes/fl...ls.asp?id=3263


The EF-500DG Super is my first flash and it has yet to fail... Some of its early features (like Auto flash and remote sync to studio strobes) is only now showing up on the 580EX-II...
Not to long ago people also blame 3rd party lenses for front and back focus - Guess what? with the AF fine tuning in newer cameras all that anecdoctal thinkings are out the door too!!!
-> It turns out every lenses (even the Nikon ones) need some adjustments :lol::-):G
So in other word NHL, you're saying that I would get more benefits if I get the Sigma?

Reading previous threads around here I gather that you're somewhat an expert in flash photography NHL.

I would just like to ask.. does the GN really matter ( What I really mean is does raw power on a flash unit make it more important?)

Another thing.. I'm using a EOS 400D.. will flash like the Sigma 500 DG super or the Speedlite 580EXII be "top heavy"? are those flashes suitable for this small (but very impressive) dslr?
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Old Dec 2, 2007, 11:03 PM   #5
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surfnron wrote:
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Well, Canon has a rebate now on the 580 II. :blah: I have the Sigma Flash and have found only one problem with it. If you shoot around 15 shots with the flash in too short a period of time, it wants to stop and cool off. However, the manual for the 580 II sez it will only do 20 shots before resting.
The Canon is a better flash, but for occasional use, the Sigma should be fine.
Ron
Hey Ron...thanx for the reply... however maybe you misread my thread. I was asking about the 430EX not the 580EXII.

However good to hear about the rebate. Sadly it's only available there.. In my country everything is still at it 's still at its retail / street price.:sad:
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 9:31 AM   #6
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hazmy wrote:
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So in other word NHL, you're saying that I would get more benefits if I get the Sigma?
Correct - The Sigma 500DG Super has the features of the 580EX at the cost of the 430EX, with the 530DG Super it's GN now also put it closer to the 580EX in power. The other extra features over the Canon's are only useful if you intend on using them... To others it makes the programming more complex! :?




Quote:
I would just like to ask.. does the GN really matter ( What I really mean is does raw power on a flash unit make it more important?)
Again the raw power only comes into play if you need it - For one it gave me the extra range to use on telephoto lenses or for outdoor fill for example where the extra light output is needed to overcome the stronger sunlit backlights.
Indoor the extra power come into play when the flash is bounced or diffused by light modifiers. A 430EX would just exhausted its discharge when used against higher ceilings or through a Lumiquest for example...




Quote:
Another thing.. I'm using a EOS 400D.. will flash like the Sigma 500 DG super or the Speedlite 580EXII be "top heavy"? are those flashes suitable for this small (but very impressive) dslr?
It's not the size - They are quite compact... and light
The issue comes from the batteries which makes theses devices top heavy - Unless you can find a smaller flash that could run on 2 AA's (or no batteries). Most of theses flashes require 4 AA's adding to the weight, otherwise theses plastic made flashes are relatively light by themselves!
-> Plus you want theses flashes to move away from the body - the further away from the axis of the lens the better it is... so I would go for even "taller" flashes :lol::-):G
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 9:45 AM   #7
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surfnron wrote:
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I have the Sigma Flash and have found only one problem with it. If you shoot around 15 shots with the flash in too short a period of time, it wants to stop and cool off. However, the manual for the 580 II sez it will only do 20 shots before resting.
... and there's a very good reason for this

In the older days you can practically melt the head with HV battery pack by machine gunning the flash with the motor drives

-> I guess with NiMh, the recycling time is quite short so that's why IMO they've added this protection
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 10:01 AM   #8
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Thanx NHL for the detailed explaination.

Lots of help helping me understand more on flashes.

Seems to me I've made up my mind to go with the Sigma.

just a passing question.. why are so many ppl against the Sigma? (I mean in reviews and forums) Is there some fact that they are saying or maybe they lack knowledge and experience with the flash itself...

I mean I have a photog friend and he tells me it would be better to get a Metz compares to a Sigma.

Any comments there anyone?

Sorry for all these stupid questions. But I believe in asking when I do not know the answer. Makes learning easier., hehehe...

Thanks again everyone
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 1:03 PM   #9
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hazmy wrote:
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just a passing question.. why are so many ppl against the Sigma? (I mean in reviews and forums) Is there some fact that they are saying or maybe they lack knowledge and experience with the flash itself...
Probably because of the costs...

Usually when a product is cheap, there's always an immediate blame for not spending more (to get the brand name) when the results are not up to par - Problem is if you do a regular search on Canon's forum here on Steves -> There's more folks posting issues with their EX'es (which I have helped out with) than the Sigma! :?




Quote:
I mean I have a photog friend and he tells me it would be better to get a Metz compares to a Sigma.
I would too, my favorite is actually their older dual head "potato masher" (45 or 70 series) on full auto and none of this E-TTL stuff! The issue is most Metz usually cost more than your 580EX...

Left to right: 580EX, 550EX, EF500DG Super, Metz 70MZ-5 then the ST_E2 (lower left)
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 5:39 AM   #10
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Wow...

Thanx for even including a pic of the flashes NHL.

I see the Sigma is roughly the same size as the 580EX.

I hope that the Sigma will be enough for me at the present time. Maybe later on in my photography life I'll purchase something better.

By the way, just out of curiousity... What branch of photography fo you do? (weddings, landscape, portraits?)


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