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Archive 2013 · Best low power Canon flash?
  
 
cineski
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best low power Canon flash?


I like to shoot at ISO 6400-12,800 for receptions. I currently use 580EX I's. Am needing more flashes but am re-thinking what I need. When I shoot at very high ISO's I end up putting ND gel on my strobes so they can power down enough for this dark of receptions and get more ETTL accuracy. Are there flashes that do better on the lowest end of power scale, or can power down further than the 580 series? All the fancy doo-dads currently don't interest me as I use PocketWizards for off-camera flash.


Mar 29, 2013 at 08:11 PM
joeisayo
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best low power Canon flash?


Problem with small flashes is they don't recycle fast enough.


Mar 29, 2013 at 08:29 PM
cineski
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best low power Canon flash?


Joe, I understand that could be an issue but even at low power?


Mar 29, 2013 at 08:32 PM
timbop
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best low power Canon flash?


Why would you shoot at ISO 12,800 AND use flashes? At typical receptions I am at iso 800 to 1600 with a 580 on camera and alienbees off camera at 1/8 power bounced or 1/4 power with a grid. At 1/60 and f/5 or so you get plenty of ambient.


Mar 30, 2013 at 12:44 AM
jchin
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best low power Canon flash?


How about setting your FEV to -2 on the flash?


Mar 30, 2013 at 05:38 AM
dhphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best low power Canon flash?


timbop wrote:
Why would you shoot at ISO 12,800 AND use flashes?


+1

Seems an odd way of working. I wouldn't touch those really high ISO's if I didn't REALLY have to.

I may be wrong but I'm not aware that there is a lower limit for flash output with ETTL. It will just give as small a flash as is needed and this can be completely controlled using the FEC setting.





Mar 30, 2013 at 01:15 PM
cineski
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best low power Canon flash?


Because that's just what I do. Not looking to discuss technique, just flashes and if there are options that can power down further than the 580 series. Regardless of your ISO, there are times when you may want to supplement natural light. I'm finding that there are times when I'm at the very bottom of the flash power range with the 580 and the flash looses control to an extent that far down. Putting an ND gel along with CTO gives my control back as it soaks the flash up a bit and allows the power range to rise while still giving me the desired effects.


Mar 30, 2013 at 01:58 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best low power Canon flash?


cineski wrote:
Because that's just what I do. Not looking to discuss technique, just flashes and if there are options that can power down further than the 580 series. Regardless of your ISO, there are times when you may want to supplement natural light. I'm finding that there are times when I'm at the very bottom of the flash power range with the 580 and the flash looses control to an extent that far down. Putting an ND gel along with CTO gives my control back as it soaks the flash up a bit and allows the power range to rise while
...Show more

Then yes, there are lower power flashes, although I'm sure you could have Googled that



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:04 PM
cineski
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best low power Canon flash?


Thanks for making my forum experience useless. Every single thing discussed here I'm sure can be found on google.

dhphoto wrote:
Then yes, there are lower power flashes, although I'm sure you could have Googled that




Mar 30, 2013 at 02:09 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best low power Canon flash?


cineski wrote:
Thanks for making my forum experience useless. Every single thing discussed here I'm sure can be found on google.



You're welcome. Why did you ask a question you already knew the answer to?



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:11 PM
 

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deepbluejh
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best low power Canon flash?


At this power level, a weak continuous light makes a lot more sense than a "flash". If you absolutely need the "flash" aspect, the continuing to ND your flashes might be your only good option.


Mar 30, 2013 at 02:16 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best low power Canon flash?


cineski wrote:
Because that's just what I do. Not looking to discuss technique, just flashes and if there are options that can power down further than the 580 series. Regardless of your ISO, there are times when you may want to supplement natural light. I'm finding that there are times when I'm at the very bottom of the flash power range with the 580 and the flash looses control to an extent that far down. Putting an ND gel along with CTO gives my control back as it soaks the flash up a bit and allows the power range to rise while
...Show more

A lower power flash may be a bit better, but most likely a stop or less. There are limits on the minimum ionization time and on/of switching times. I'd do some research into different flash tubes and try a few before changing the flash unit every time. Reducing the flash output optically is probably the best choice to achieve linearity and precision at low output levels.

EBH


Edited on Mar 30, 2013 at 02:19 PM · View previous versions



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:19 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best low power Canon flash?


deepbluejh wrote:
At this power level, a weak continuous light makes a lot more sense than a "flash". If you absolutely need the "flash" aspect, the continuing to ND your flashes might be your only good option.


Yes, I suppose you could use one of those dslr video lights. Difficult to diffuse nicely though.



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:19 PM
deepbluejh
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best low power Canon flash?


I'll also add that even if you go down to a lower level Canon branded flash, I don't think that they actually put out any less light. The 580s go down to 1/128th, The 430s (which are half as powerful) go down to 1/64th. The 320s don't even have manual control so you're not even sure what you're getting with them.


Mar 30, 2013 at 02:21 PM
deepbluejh
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best low power Canon flash?


dhphoto wrote:
Yes, I suppose you could use one of those dslr video lights. Difficult to diffuse nicely though.


For what he's using them for, you wouldn't need any added diffusion. You can get a cheap LED panel which has a relatively large light source natively (4"x6"). Much larger than that, and it just becomes a spectacle for wedding receptions.



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:23 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Best low power Canon flash?


deepbluejh wrote:
For what he's using them for, you wouldn't need any added diffusion. You can get a cheap LED panel which has a relatively large light source natively (4"x6"). Much larger than that, and it just becomes a spectacle for wedding receptions.


Yuck. Horrid harsh light. Not for me. It would be alright if you could bounce it off a ceiling or wall.



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:24 PM
cineski
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Best low power Canon flash?


I thought about a video light and that may still be a good option, but I really don't like using video lights. Especially when there are times when I'm photographing a wedding and there's 4-5 videographers shooting the first dance all with their own lights. I know a photographer who uses a lot of off-camera video lights and when I've seen him shoot it actually makes people squint and is distracting. I still prefer to use flash because while maneuvering around a 500 person wedding I don't want to be thinking about gear or distracting people. That's why I'm re-thinking my flash needs. I personally don't need the 600 because my style doesn't require that kind of output. I'm an avail light junky and often use extremely low powered fill flash in dark receptions. These people often hire a lighting designer so you want the photographs to look like it actually looked while at the event. So if I'm looking for lower output than a 580 are there a few models I should pay attention to?


Mar 30, 2013 at 02:29 PM
cineski
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Best low power Canon flash?


This is exactly what I'm looking for. Do the 430's (despite all the numbers) dial down lower than the 580's can go since they're already starting lower? Would I see slower recycle times? I would think so for full power blasts but I'm not really ever there. I'm down in the low end of the power range. I'd still be gelling my on camera flashes for color temp so that'll soak up some light as well. I know there's math to be done I'm just looking for real world experience.

deepbluejh wrote:
I'll also add that even if you go down to a lower level Canon branded flash, I don't think that they actually put out any less light. The 580s go down to 1/128th, The 430s (which are half as powerful) go down to 1/64th. The 320s don't even have manual control so you're not even sure what you're getting with them.




Mar 30, 2013 at 02:32 PM
deepbluejh
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Best low power Canon flash?


cineski wrote:
This is exactly what I'm looking for. Do the 430's (despite all the numbers) dial down lower than the 580's can go since they're already starting lower? Would I see slower recycle times? I would think so for full power blasts but I'm not really ever there. I'm down in the low end of the power range. I'd still be gelling my on camera flashes for color temp so that'll soak up some light as well. I know there's math to be done I'm just looking for real world experience.



From what I have found, the 580s and 430s put out similar light levels at minimum power. I like using the 430s because they're smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the 580s for this application. Recycle time is nearly instant at low power levels and you won't miss a shot because the 430 couldn't keep up.



Mar 30, 2013 at 02:35 PM
cineski
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Best low power Canon flash?


Fantastic info. Thanks. Keeping my gels I guess ;-). A buddy of mine uses the 430 as well and absolutely loves it just for the weight savings and cost.


Mar 30, 2013 at 02:39 PM
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