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Old Jul 23, 2008, 8:20 AM   #1
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I have a Canon EOS400-D and am a little disappointed with the built in flash as I get a lot of shadows due to its limited range. I'm about to buy a BG-E3 pack and would like a decent flash gun. I'm swaying between the

Canon 430EX Speedlite
Sigma EF530 ST DG EO-TTL
Sigma EF530 ST DG EO-TTL Super
Jessops 360AFD Digital Flashgun

I know the Speedlite is likely to be the bets but its also the dearest I have a Sigma 70-300mm lens and its great quality for the money and for me asa novice. If anyone has any thoughts I'd much appreciate them.

Please remember I'm new to all this...VERY new!



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Old Jul 24, 2008, 8:52 AM   #2
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grocerjack wrote:
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I have a Canon EOS400-D and am a little disappointed with the built in flash as I get a lot of shadows due to its limited range. I'm about to buy a BG-E3 pack and would like a decent flash gun. I'm swaying between ...
You're getting the shadow not because of its limited range but because of its position!

The idea of getting a more powerful external flash is to bounce it off some larger surface which you couldn't do with a weaker unit like the built-in flash. Bouncing the flash diffuses the shadow as the light now come from a larger area and it also re-orients the shadow (usually downward) so the camera won't detect the shadow; However, bouncing also robs away output power from the flash unlike a direct pulse, so the more power the merrier... (i.e. higher or darker ceiling etc)

-> The model number designator on each flash tell you how much power each is putting out according to its Guide Number (GN) in meter:
GN = distance x aperture

In this case
Canon 430EX Speedlite - GN is 43
Sigma EF530 ST DG EO-TTL - Gn is 53
<- almost the power of an 550EX for the cost of a 430EX
Sigma EF530 ST DG EO-TTL Super - GN is 53
Jessops 360AFD Digital Flashgun - GN is 36
So for f/4 the max distance on the Canon's is 43/4 = 10.75m
(i.e. GN/aperture = distance)
The Sigma is 53/4 = 13.25m and the Jessop is 36/4 = 9m

Professional people also tend to use multiple flashes to cancel each other shadow out so it' really depend on what your budget is and how flexible you want your flash to be...
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 10:01 AM   #3
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What a great answer :-)

Sincere thanks. I'm leaning towards the canon Speedlite because it seems to have a few extra functions specific to Canon which I think I might use, but your answer on the GN is the FIRST one I've understood, so once again thanks.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 10:37 AM   #4
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grocerjack wrote:
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I'm leaning towards the canon Speedlite because it seems to have a few extra functions specific to Canon which I think I might use...
Which specific extra functions to Canon do you believe are missing from the Sigma?
http://www.sigmaphoto.com/flashes/fl...mp;navigator=1
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for the link - that's quite informative, in fact the most informative I've found on the Sigma flash. It seems they are both similar in capability, but it takes the advice to a novice from some helpful to show the way. Much appreciated.

You might have just swung me there as the budget is around £160 - hunting around it seems the Sigma and the Speedlite 430 retail for similar prices. I just need to convince myself that an EOS400D with a Sigma lens and flash is still a Canon!
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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grocerjack wrote:
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... it seems the Sigma and the Speedlite 430 retail for similar prices
Except that the Sigma is more powerful and is both a Master and Slaves (similar to the discontinued 550EX) whereas the 430EX is a Slave only device... in the wireless mode

Not to confuse you but the highly regarded Metz is also more powerful if you want just a Slave only: http://www.bogenimaging.us/Jahia/sit...g/en/pid/15615
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 11:41 AM   #7
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Hi, cheers for this again. I'm not sure I understand the Master/Slave bit on Flash.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 2:32 PM   #8
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Certain models of camera and flash can become the flash commander to any number of remote flashes by using coded pulses of light or infrared. This allows you to control the output of the various flashes for creative purposes.

For example the master unit can be on the camera and set to bounce off the ceiling and the remote flash could be behind the subject to wash out any shadows on the backdrop.

http://imaging.nikon.com/products/im...less/index.htm is a demonstration of Nikon technology however Canon has similar technology.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 3:05 PM   #9
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grocerjack wrote:
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Hi, cheers for this again. I'm not sure I understand the Master/Slave bit on Flash.
... and here you go for the Canon's version: http://eosseries.ifrance.com/eosseri...ork_ssfil.html

-> Canon's camera can't be a Master (unlike Nikon or Sony) so you need at least 1 flash to be the master and as many slaves as you like as the above examples indicate. The 430EX can't act as a Master so you'll need to buy a master eventually... if you want to get into wireless TTL
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