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Thread: Canon speedlites to start and grow with

  1. #1
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Mike

    Canon speedlites to start and grow with

    I was just asked to take a quick Christmas Card photo of a family friends kids and their 2 dogs and rats. I dont have any speedlites so I ended up getting a cheap difusser and put it on the camera flash. I didnt have a f/2.8 lens either, so lighting was an issue which affected sharpness.

    Im thinking now, I should start putting on my wish list a hotshoe flash. Need your advice on the best way to start out and go from there.

    With my limited knowledge of this subject, Im thinking of starting with a canon 430 series, then when Im ready for a second, get a 580 series. This way, when I finally get two, the 580 will be the master and the 430 the slave (do I have the terminology right?). Advice anyone?

    Heres one of the pics from the shoot with pp limited to iPhoto.

    f/4 @ 1/160 sec, 24mm @ 3200 iso

    Canon speedlites to start and grow with
    IMG_2549 by Michael VerVelde Photography, on Flickr
    Last edited by Harpo; 10th December 2011 at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Canon speedlites to start and grow with

    I think you've pretty much got it Mike. That's exactly what I did, and now own one of each, and use the 430 for trips (or when space is limiting), and also for side light with a small soft box using the 580 as the master. Good call!

  3. #3

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    Re: Canon speedlites to start and grow with

    I love the pup on the right!!!

    If you get into flash photography you may find that off-camera flash capability is nice to have (down the road). Your choices would allow that. Also consider a used 550EX for a master flash. They can be had at a substantial savings over the 580EX2 and work very well.

  4. #4
    CougarFool's Avatar
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    Nigel

    Re: Canon speedlites to start and grow with

    Nothing to add about the flash: I use an old 580EZ off-camera which is fired by wireless. I just wanted to say that I love the expression of the dog on the right!

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Canon speedlites to start and grow with

    IMO, the most important things about a flash are: reliability and the kind of lighting it produces...

    The 430EX (series) flashes are quite reliable and IMO, produce very good lighting if used correctly.

    If you don't need the extra power of the 580EX and don't need to use an auxillary powerpack, the 430EXii will most likely be all the flash you need. I agree that if you need to have a master/slave setup, you can purchase a 580EX (series) or even a 550EX flash later.

    I virtually always bounce my flash and use a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro to modify the flash. Depending on the venue, I may or may not use an off camera bracket. I don't normally use one when I am traveling because I like to keep my travel kit as light and as simple as possible. When I do use an off camera bracket, my choice is the Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket which can often be found on eBay at a very low cost (I paid less than $20 USD for mine).

    I am not affiliated with Joe Demb in any way except as a satisfied customer. However, he has placed a link to my model gallery on his web site. It is at the right side of the page www.dembflashproducts.com.

    When I am usng the bracket, I trigger the flash with the Canon Off-Camera Sync Cord. There are Chinese knock-offs available on eBay but, the extra cost of the Canon OEM model is worth it to me. My 7D has "wireless" sync capability which works pretty well indoors but is sometimes problematic when used outdoors. Since, I will often be shooting both indoors and outdoors on a shoot, I will use the sync cord.

    When you get your flash make sure you experiment with fill flash outdoors.

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