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Old Feb 23, 2008, 10:12 PM   #1
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Hello,

The on-camera flash has proved underpowered for sporting events and large group photos.

I havehad hands on experience with theSpeedlite 430ex and220ex. I feel the 430 is to large for the camera body and completely disturbs the balance. The 220ex is unable to flex/bounce.

My current choices are the Metz 36af-4c and the Opteka ef-600. The Metz seems like a good choice as it meets the size and bounce requirements.

I have been unable to find size specs on the Opteka so I'm not sure if it is reduced in size from the 430 or just reduced in price :-).

Inputfrom anyone with firsthand experience with either unit mated to a g7/g9 or with other possible recommendations would be much appreciated.

Regards,

Michael
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Old Mar 22, 2008, 1:09 PM   #2
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Update:

The Opteka is not ETTL-II compatible and doesn't work with the G9. No online vendor anywhere in the US currently has the Metz in stock. Will keep evereyone posted on my results with the Metz when it arrives.

Michael
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Old Mar 22, 2008, 2:07 PM   #3
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Michael-

I believe that the Opteka EF-600 is fully ETTL-II capable. It works well on my Canon S-5. The flash output is about equal to the Canon EX-430. Since I own both flash units I will set up a photo so that you can see the size comparison.

You can see tht the Opteka EF-600 is actually larger than the Canon EX-430 flash. I also think in the long haul the EX-430 will be the more depndable flash.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Mar 22, 2008, 2:50 PM   #4
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docdish wrote:
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My current choices are the Metz 36af-4c and the Opteka ef-600. The Metz seems like a good choice as it meets the size and bounce requirements.
That particular Metz is a bit underpowered for bouncing, and from what I can see of the specs, it has tilt but no swivel. This Metz doesn't offer an Auto mode based on a sensor in flash (to eliminate a metering preflash) the way the better quality Metz MZ series flash models do either. So, I don't see any advantage to going with it over another similar model.

The Opteka EF-600 is a more powerful flash with a GN (Guide Number) of 148' (45 m) at 85mm and ISO 100. That Metz is a much weaker flash at 118' (36 m) at 85mm. Divide the GN by the Aperture setting to determine flash range. For example, a GN of 45m at f/5.6 and ISO 100 would have a flash range of approximatley 8 meters (45 meters divided by your aperture setting of 5.6).

When you're bouncing a flash, you have to take the distance to and from the ceiling or wall, diffusion caused by the bouncing which causes loss of range, ceiling color/characteristics, and more into consideration. A more powerful flash is better for best results.

That Opteka also has an auto zoom head that knows about the focal length setting of the lens you're using (versus a manual zoom head like the Metz you're looking at). That helps the flash control the angle of coverage based on the focal length you're using without changing the flash zoom head settings yourself).

If the Opteka EF-600 works properly with newer Canon Digital Cameras (and they probably have the words "Digital Flash" in it's description for a reason), it looks like a better deal to my eyes. I see some of them for $129.99 on Ebay right now from 47st Street Photo.

My guess is that it's guts are very close to a similar Sigma from speculation I've seen. Perhaps mtclimber can tell you more about the flash since she's used it. You'll have to do your own research on the vendors carrying it

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Old Mar 22, 2008, 3:30 PM   #5
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Hello Michael and JimC-

The Opteka flash has worked fine for me for the six months that I have owned it, but that zooming mechanism really makes a racket, meaning that it is loud. However it still works well. That is what caused me to make my comment about long term reliability.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 28, 2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Hi Sarah and Jim,

Thanks for your kind and informative replies. As I stated in my post my G9 would simply not communicate with the Opteka. The flash would fire randomly as well as make a grinding noise as it adjused it's focus while the camera focal point was completely stable.

I am happy that Sarah has luck with the flash but I was forced to return it to 47th st.

The CR rep from Opteka named Mark initally claimed the unit was compatible with the G9 but retracted this statement after I told him about the problems I experienced.

The Metz is now (at long last) in stock at B&H and I will report back my experience once I've had a chance to work with it on my G9.

Regards,

Michael
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 10:27 AM   #7
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Michael-

Many thanks for the update on finding a flash to work properly on your Canon G-9. I am glad that you got the return completed with 47th Street and have found the Metz in stock at B&H.

Please let us know how the Metz works out for you. Are you goig for the Metz 36, or perhaps to a more powerful model? Thanks!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 13, 2009, 1:41 AM   #8
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Hello, everyone, this is my first post here

I was wondering, if anyone had any success firing Opteka EF-600 as a slave, using Canon built-in flash to trigger it. Specifically, its the pre-flash that wories me - can Opteka handle it?

Any tip is welcome,
Al
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