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Canon Speedlight 430/580 Which one and is it worth it?
I'm in the process of researching and building a DSLR camera package and I'm limited to a $1750 budget..

I'm thinking about getting the newer cousin of the XTI in Feb/march and originally 2 lenses..

Maybe Sigma 30MM 1.4USM and Canon 50MM 1.8 Total price under $500.

Should I carve out some money for one of these flashes or should invest in other lenses?.

Also to my bigger question. Under what circumtances should one use of these flashes. Are they worth the money? What can these flashes do that the on board flash can't?.

As you can see I'm new to photography trying to learn as fast as I can..

Any feedback would be appreciated...

Comments (5)

Jmwilliamson99 wrote:.

I'm in the process of researching and building a DSLR camera packageand I'm limited to a $1750 budget..

I'm thinking about getting the newer cousin of the XTI in Feb/marchand originally 2 lenses..

Maybe Sigma 30MM 1.4USM and Canon 50MM 1.8 Total price under $500.

That's going to be an extremely limiting lens setup. Unless you have specific needs for those two lenses, you'd be better off getting a zoom. Plus if you plan to shoot indoors, 30mm is not going to be anywhere near wide enough. If you're shooting outdoors, you're going to find 50mm to be pretty short..

Should I carve out some money for one of these flashes or shouldinvest in other lenses?.

If you plan to shoot indoors or in low light, a flash is a must if you want to do it right. So is a tripod..

Also to my bigger question. Under what circumtances should one useof these flashes..

Any time that you need a flash, an external is always peferable to on board..

Are they worth the money?.

That depends on you. For some they're expensive, for others they're reasonably priced..

What can these flashesdo that the on board flash can't?.

It moves the flash farther from the lens reducing red eye. They can be angled and rotated to give less direct (and thus softer) illumination. ie, a common technique is to 'bounce' the flash off the ceiling. This in effect makes the ceiling the light source so instead of an intense light coming from a small space, you have an even light coming from a large space. This gives more natural looking images. Plus they are more powerful..

Between the 430 and 580 you really don't need the 580 at this time. It's a little more powerful but the 430 will cover 95% of your needs. The biggest difference is that the 580 can be used as a master to trigger the 430 for multiple flash set ups...

Comment #1

Thanks for the great and quick feedback. You got me thinking about lenses now more than a flash.

What lenses would you recommend. you say a zoom. What size? The thing that gets me about a zoom is the light limitations for an affordable one. Should I replace the 30MM or the 50MM. I don't need to zoom to 300 or even 200. I just want to make sure I have portrait capability and landscapes.



ThanksJohn..

Comment #2

Jmwilliamson99 wrote:.

What lenses would you recommend. you say a zoom. What size?.

I really don't like to recommend lenses - although I'm sure others will. Lenses are very personal choices and what works for one person doesn't always work for another..

Thething that gets me about a zoom is the light limitations for anaffordable one. Should I replace the 30MM or the 50MM. I don'tneed to zoom to 300 or even 200. I just want to make sure I haveportrait capability and landscapes. Those are a must..

Well, I don't do portraits, but I do shoot a lot of landscape. I've shot them at every focal length from 10mm - 500mm. My favorite lens is the 24-105 F4L IS, but that may be a bit pricey. For less than that price you can get a 28-105 F3.5-4.5 and the 10-22. If you're shooting landscape or using a flash low light capability is less important. Besides, very rarely do you actually want to shoot an F1.4 lens at F1.4..

I went through a gallery of my two most recent trips - I looked at 44 images an noted their focal lengths:10mm - 1 shot15mm - 14 shots16mm - 1 shot18mm - 1 shot20mm - 2 shots24mm - 8 shots26mm - 1 shot28mm - 5 shots30mm - 1 shot32mm - 1 shot50mm - 4 shots67mm - 1 shot70mm - 1 shot73mm - 1 shot105mm - 2 shots.

Keep in mind the high number of 15mm and 24mm shots are due to the fact I was using a 15-30mm lens and a 24-105 - which tells me I was shooting those lenses as wide as they'd go more often than not. The 10mm lens was with my wifes 10-22 and again I was full wide..

That said, longer focal lengths can produce stunning landscapes too. Here's some examples taken at longer focal lengths (48mm up to 420mm)http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/49760495http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/72142244http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/81847995http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/72142250http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/84100708.

Are you thoroughly confused yet? ..

Comment #3

IMac, therefore iAm wrote:.

What can these flashesdo that the on board flash can't?.

It moves the flash farther from the lens reducing red eye. They canbe angled and rotated to give less direct (and thus softer)illumination. ie, a common technique is to 'bounce' the flash off theceiling. This in effect makes the ceiling the light source so insteadof an intense light coming from a small space, you have an even lightcoming from a large space. This gives more natural looking images.Plus they are more powerful..

I'll elaborate on these points, because I think it should be emphasized more strongly..

The on-board flash is pretty pathetic. You can light up a subject close to the camera, but that's about it. In a really dark room, or outdoors, the built-in flash is so weak, it's nearly useless..

So there are several advantages of the external flash:.

1) much more powerful, enabling you to use it on subjects farther away, and in darker situations..

2) ability to use the flash off the camera body. Moving the flash from the lens reduces red-eye. So even mounted directly on the body, you'll get less red-eye. Moving it off the camera basically eliminates red-eye. Plus, you can get more pleasing lighting configurations by using the flash off the camera..

3) focus-aid. In dark rooms, the built-in flash will emit a very annoying strobe to try to allow the lens to focus. Not only is it annoying, subjects will sometimes assume that is the regular flash and move away just as the real flash is firing. The external flash uses a red light as a focus aid, so it can focus in pitch darkness..

4) As for the 430 or the 580, it's a tough choice. The 430 can do nearly everything the 580 does. But the stuff the 580 does is really important. Those are a) the ability to trigger using the Canon wireless system; and 2) ability to use off-camera with third-party wireless triggers. Now I'm not positive about this. I know that the old 420EX could not be used in manual mode, triggered by a PC cable.

The 580EX II does accept a PC cord..

That said, number 4 is for advanced shooters. Since you're on a budget, it's probably best to get the 430 EX and get a 580 EX II later when you want to use multiple flashes...

Comment #4

For a great many years, camras came with a standard lens. For some cameras, it was permanent and for others, it was interchangable. But regardless, for the vast majority of cameras, the standard lens gave those old-time camera owners the same field of view that yu'll get with the 30mm lens..

Then, back in the olden days, the second lens most photographers bought was a moderate or short telephoto lens. The 50mm lens pretty much matchers that, although a 60-70mm lens would be closer to the second lens of the past few decades. Going further back, today's 85mm lens matches the common telephoto of of, say 1965..

Not a bad combo at all..

Again, in the old days, the third lens was commonly a moderate wide angle. In today's digital camra world, and 18-20 -24 mm lens is the closest you'll fine to duplicate the coverage..

Add all this together, and you see why the 18-50 / 1755 etc. zooms are so popular..

I think there's a lot to be said, assuming you want to spend lots of money and get serious, in buying a 17-50 Tamron or 18-50 Sigma f2.8 model zoom, plus a Canon 85mm..

BUT... why not just buy the Canon XTi/400D with the 18-55mm kit lens, and then buy other lenses later, when you get a feel for what you need that the kit lens cannont accomplish..

As for flash very handy when the light is low. Get the 430EX. Lots of power, good quality, and later uf you want two-flash wireless, buy a 580EX as the control unit..

BAK..

Comment #5

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