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Thread: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

  1. #1

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    Tyler Berge

    Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    I have been looking for speedlights for portait shooting. I cannot afford a new one right now. I have found a used CANON SPEEDLITE 430EZ at my local camera shop. Is it a good idea to buy one?

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    I'd say you are fairly safe. Speedlites are pretty tough and last a long time. There isn't a lot that can go wrong (unlike a camera). Try to get a short warranty from the shop - say three months.

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    It depends on the price. I have been shooting with a Canon 550EX for about five years now. I bought it used and got it at a good price. It has worked flawlessly. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the newer 580EX (series) flashes but, it does what I want it to do, providing good light for my images...

  4. #4

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    Tyler Berge

    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    It depends on the price. I have been shooting with a Canon 550EX for about five years now. I bought it used and got it at a good price. It has worked flawlessly. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the newer 580EX (series) flashes but, it does what I want it to do, providing good light for my images...
    They have three flashes that are used, two of them are $79.99 and the one is $99.99. I'm going to go in to the shop and look at them.

  5. #5
    xeliex's Avatar
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    Elie

    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    I highly recommend you buy one and start experimenting with bouncing the light off of it into walls, ceilings, etc..

    After you get comfortable with that, start looking into learning off-camera flash techniques.

    If you have a 7D or any other Canon that can trigger the flash wirelessly, then a flash like 430 Ex would be ok IMO, however, if you have an older Canon or one that doesn't support that feature, I would get a 580 Ex or ExII.

    I've had older used versions of the 430Ex and never had a problem.
    Last edited by xeliex; 11th May 2011 at 08:35 PM. Reason: used part

  6. #6

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    Derek Austin

    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeliex View Post

    If you have a 7D or any other Canon that can trigger the flash wirelessly, then a flash like 430 Ex would be ok IMO, however, if you have an older Canon or one that doesn't support that feature, I would get a 580 Ex or ExII.
    A single 580EX would still need to be on cameraa without a ST2 or a camera that can trigger it wirelessly, ie 7d. The 580EX can act as master and trigger other 430/580 units. Just thought I'd mention this.

    I have a 580EX and a 430EX, both of which I bought of eBay from people with 100% feedback and over 50 transactions without problem. It is a small risk, but if its not 'as described' eBay will cover up to 500.

    Both are excellent guns and will keep you amused for years!

    Derek

  7. #7
    Hansm's Avatar
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    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    I'd say you are fairly safe. Speedlites are pretty tough and last a long time. There isn't a lot that can go wrong (unlike a camera). Try to get a short warranty from the shop - say three months.
    I disagree with you Rob.
    Also Speedlites have some risk. Often you see people selling their Speedlite because they hardly used it. On first sight this sounds good but inside there are Capacitors. These need to charged and discharged on regular base to stay in good condition.
    So if you buy a second hand one then some warrenty is a must.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is buying a used speedlight a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hansm View Post
    I disagree with you Rob.
    Also Speedlites have some risk. Often you see people selling their Speedlite because they hardly used it. On first sight this sounds good but inside there are Capacitors. These need to charged and discharged on regular base to stay in good condition.
    So if you buy a second hand one then some warrenty is a must.
    Hans, no offense is intended, but capacitors do not need to be used on a regular basis to stay in good condition. That said, buying anything second hand has a certain amount of risk but my 550EX was purchased used for $150 about 4 years ago and has worked perfectly (knock on wood).

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