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Sigma Electronic Flash EF 500 DG Super

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Reviews Views Date of last review
45 98898 Jan 19, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
73% of reviewers $207.52
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
6.37
9.02
7.7
EF_500_DG_Super_Flash

Specifications:
Electronic Flash EF-500 DG SUPER is designed to work with both AF 35mm SLR and Digital SLR cameras of popular manufacturers, for advanced flash photography. It has a maximum guide number of 165 in feet or 50 in meter at 105mm focal length (ISO 100). The projection angle of the flashlight is set automatically to match the lens' focal length ranging from 28mm wide-angle to 105mm medium-telephoto. It also incorporates a built-in diffuser that expands the angle of illumination down to that of 17mm lens.
It enables full automatic flash photography by TTL automatic flash exposure control. It now includes S-TTL flash photography for Sigma, 3-D multi-sensor balanced fill flash function and i-TTL flash photography for Nikon, E-TTL II flash photography for Canon, ADI flash photography and P-TTL flash photography for Minolta.

For bounce flash it can be tilted 90 upwards and 7 downward for close-ups. Also it can be swiveled 180 to the left and 90 to the right. It incorporates "modeling flash" mode to provide proper light distribution to check the shadow of the subject. The multi pulse flash features enable reduced power setting from 1/4 to 1/128 in 6 steps and the pulse frequency of the flash can be set from 1Hz to 199Hz. EF-500 DG SUPER incorporates wireless TTL flash photography, slave flash photography, and FP flash photography (synchronized with high shutter speeds). In addition, manual flash also can be set at 8 output power levels. The covering focal length of the flashlight can be seen on the LCD panel, and a flash ready signal can be seen in the viewfinder. The EF-500 DG SUPER also incorporates auto power off system.

Vendor website: http://www.sigmaphoto.com/html/flashes.htm


 


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Alkatize
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Registered: Jan 19, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Powerful, Sturdy, Fast, Reliable
Cons:
Seems too good to be true....

I don't know why there are bad reviews. My photographs turned out very well, and the TTL is working like it's a Canon. It might be because I got a good copy... I'm not sure. I feel lucky now. So If you think you have the luck to get a good copy of this amazing flash, then I recommend it!

Jan 19, 2011
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rgboy
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Registered: Jan 28, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 343
Review Date: Feb 5, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Price, user menu.
Cons:
ETTL not reliable

I bought this flash couple of years ago. I was quite happy with this until I started to use it in ETTL mode for weddings. This flash ETTL absolutely not reliable. Especially when use in bounce mode. The output is not consistent. Almost always underexposed when subject about 5 m away. Then you com closer make a shot, boom, washed out. Second shot could come OK. After lot of practice I managed to operate it properly in manual and ETTL. However for serious work I rent or borrow 430 or 580

Feb 5, 2010
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Mike Mahoney
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Registered: Mar 8, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 5442
Review Date: Feb 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price, features.
Cons:
Can't reliably use ETTL ratios.

Not a bad flash for the money .. it works well and the build quality is good enough. Reminds me of my old Haminex flash's build .. it always seemed like it was about to fall apart but never did and 15 years later it still works perfect. Anyways, I don't plan to use it as a hammer.

The Sigma works well with the Canon 580 with all single and multi-flash features except the ratios in ETTL multi flash .. they simply don't work. And since I mostly bought the Sigma as a second flash in a multi-flash ratioed setup with a 580 the Sigma was a big disappointment to me there.

So I now use it as a second flash in ETTL (non-ratio) or simply manual mode. And that's a job it does very well.


Feb 18, 2008
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J Espina
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Registered: Jan 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Jan 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $259.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Optical slave capability, Pulse flash, Strong flash output, wide manual power setting
Cons:
Inconsistent ETTL, no socket for radio slave triggers, Slow synch speed (1/160s)

I bought this since the 580ex is so much more expensive and the 550ex looks bigger than my XTi considering that I seldom use on camera flash.

What sold me the item was the ETTL feature, or so I thought. Unfortunately the results are underexposed most of the time regardless of what mode (Tv, Av, P, AUTO) I put it on. But in manual mode the results are much more consistent.


This flash is feature packed though. Strobe effects, Optical Slave feature, Manual power setting from 1/1 - 1/ 128, FP and rear curtain flash. These pretty much compensates for the disappointing ETTL failure.

Definitely a hobbyist's flash, as I am. If your looking for consistency go for Canon.


Jan 20, 2008
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Bolty
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Registered: Dec 6, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 8, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $259.00

Pros: Optical Slave Mode, Cheap, Good Power
Cons:
Build quality very suspect. Inconsistant Ettl flash output.

Although this is a great peice of equipment for when you first start out, it is not up to standard for heavy professional use.

I have two DG 500 Supers and I love using them as optical slaves in manual mode when I have the time to muck around... but... it is not up to standard for professional use especially demanding jobs such as weddings.

If you are looking for a flash unit that you can use for professional work as you grow then really save the etra pennies and get a EX 580. Build quality is far superior, wireless and ettl wlash is far more consistant and the EX 580's recycle so much faster. The 580's also have the conection pin to add external battery packs if you wish to upgrade later.

On the positive, I do find the optical slave worth while. You can see the result here wher I shot a DG 500 into a silver umbrella.

http://www.adamboltphotography.com/-/adamboltphotography/gallery.asp?photoID=4497061&cat=44142

Cheers Adam

www.adamboltphotography.com


Dec 8, 2007
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Bolty
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Registered: Dec 6, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 7, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: If you want consistant exposures, set the out put manually and run it in TTL or as a slave flash.
Cons:
Build quality is no where near as good as a Canon EX Flash and flash exposures are inconsistant

I have two Sigma DG 500's and both after a period of time are failing miserably with error readings and inconsistant flash output.

The Canon EX 580 which I purchased recently is far superior. I wish I had of just bought another EX 580 instead of trying to save a little extra cash with the DG 500's.

Trust me when I say these flashes are ok if you are doing hobby work but they are far to inconsitant and slow for professional work such as weddings etc.

Recycle times are far slower than my EX 580 and I find that the DG 500's do not expose as well as the 580 in harsh direct sunlight (Always underexposing even when I keep giving +1 or more flash exposure compensation).

If you have the time to set up your flash exposure manually and want to use them this way as a slave... well no problems...

<http://www.adamboltphotography.com/-/adamboltphotography/gallery.asp?photoID=4497061&cat=44142>

This was taken with a DG 500 off camera slave flash set with manual flash output bounced into an umbrella.

As you can see produced a nice portrait. but if you think you are saving money by purchasing one for shooting demanding jobs then forget about it.

Cheers Adam



Dec 7, 2007
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2345
Review Date: Nov 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, features, functionality
Cons:
Build

Bought this used to work with my 430ex. It has worked perfectly for me with consistent exposure, and not problems for 4 months. Good recharge time. The build is certainly not as nice as the 580 or 430, but cheaper. Good value.

Nov 27, 2007
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ChetNich
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Registered: Oct 18, 2003
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 17
Review Date: Aug 13, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Price, functionality similar to Canon, powerful light.
Cons:
Sigma has poor service, short life of electronics. No lock at 45 degrees. missfires sometimes when red charge light is on.


I own two one recently failed (over exposing everything mainboard problem) and it took 9 months for Sigma to repair, therefore I cant consider this item and its backup service to be suited to professionals. I will sell these two flashes and am now looking for something with more reliability. My first good Sigma has been working well for two years with only the occasional misfire. However it is cheap, I got my monies worth.


Aug 13, 2007
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nitehawk
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Registered: Aug 4, 2006
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 11
Review Date: Aug 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

I already have a Canon Speedlite 580EX and I am looking for a second flash. This flash has support wireless flash and E-TTL II, I wonder if it will work with Canon on master-slave combination? Can anyone advise?

Aug 3, 2007
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miteric
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Registered: Jan 23, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 25, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Price, features
Cons:
Built, reliability

This flash will not hold for the heavy use. My DG500 super became unusable after 21/2 year. I got 25% pictures exposed right, the rest were extremely dark or bright. Save your mony and buy Canon, Nikon or at least Metz.

Jul 25, 2007
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gregryan
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: Ireland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Presence, Slave/Master, PRICE!, battery consumption, build, options
Cons:
45 degrees would be nice, the battery door is a bit naff and the mount is a tad bit "snap-like".

The Canon 420 and 550 were just simply to expensive when put along side the Sigma (as per usual). The Sigma has as many offerings, it tends to have a low build factor in this forum review but I can have to admit, I like it. The plastic is a bit softer than the Canon and gosh its not as pretty but it serves it purpose.

I've knocked this flash about. A good bit to be honest. Its with standing everything I throw at it so the build is good enough for the rough work.

The battery door does the job but I'm afraid that if I'm out in the field and I rush to get that shot I might just pop the door off in a panic.

The tilit should have 45degrees but you can pop it at that angle and it'll hold, but just. There is no locking position at 45. But the rest will suffice.

The mount is a bit weak looking but perhaps I'm just over analysing.

The flash has a decent/simple and easily understood LCD at the rear.

My advice. If you are not drowning in money and would like to get a flash as good as the Canon 550, get the Sigma 500 and have some extra cash for that lens you always wanted.



Jun 15, 2007
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khundtofte
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Registered: Oct 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: May 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: High power flash. Great Price.
Cons:
Needs a 45 degree tilt angle.

I have used this flash for the past year with no problems. I leave a Stofen Omnibounce mounted on it 95% of the time.
Bounced off a white ceiling with the Stofen and in TTL mode, you will get some outstanding photos.

I was browsing though the reviews here and don't relate to all the negative pounding about the build quality. If you handle it with care, this flash should last for many years. But, if you are the type to throw your camera with the hotshoe flash attached in the backseat of your car - then maybe consider another flash.


May 8, 2007
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Don Price
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Registered: May 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 428
Review Date: Feb 25, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Using a 20D, I have two of these units and have no problems with either. Use them in FP mode often and also in portable set up, one slave and one with remote cable . Works everytime..only 1/3 stop less that Canon bought 2 for the price of the canon.
Cons:
None!

See above.. tells it all! people that can't get the FP to work...read the book! With the new Sanyo rechargeable batteries that hold a charge for up to a year, I always know there is a light at the end of the tunnel
Happy camper
don


Feb 25, 2007
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BillBrowning
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Registered: Oct 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jan 9, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price and the Sigma name are what sold me. The build feel is about the same as my old Canon 540 EZ. I was happy with it until it died.
Cons:
About a month after the 1 year warrrenty ran out it died. After reading the other reviews this seems to happen too often.

I bought this Ef500DG ST in Dec. 05 and it worked as it should. I don't use it very often so I was suprised 3 days ago when it would not work.
I have a 25 yo $10.00 FLASH that still works. This one died just as the warrenty ran out! I did not use it enough to rate it otherwise.


Jan 9, 2007
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veganri
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Registered: Dec 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 8, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: low price. very high power flash. beautiful white light. works with ttl
Cons:
no 45 degree angle (how rediculous is that?) - NOTHING between 0 and 60, extremely cheap build, oversize makes it easy to break, slow zoom (locks you out of taking photo while it zooms)

This flash works ok in ttl mode, lots of nice controls

very difficult to deal with lack of angles between straight forward and straight up - just a rediculous omission

the flash is a bit large and not as easy to manage

when the flash is busy zooming, it will not let you take a photo, good photos have been missed in the process

once i opened the pouch it came with and somehow the battery door had come loose on its own, not sure how to put it back without breaking it.

the first one i had, i had it in my front pocket and fell backwards. the flash fell out of my pocket when i hit the ground and would not work again, even though there was no cosmetic damage. (yeah i bought another because i needed a ttl flash and couldnt afford the oem, but now i think i might have to reconsider that notion)

not one of sigmas finer moments.


Jan 8, 2007
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levinet
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 9
Review Date: Dec 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $285.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, powerful, great features.
Cons:
Build, QC, not a 580EX.

Great budget flash, worked great with my 300D and now with my 30D. Sure it's plastic and flimsy, but it does what it's supposed to do. It was this or a 580EX and after trying both, I couldn't fully justify the extra cost on my budget.

Dec 9, 2006
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Sigma Electronic Flash EF 500 DG Super

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
45 98898 Jan 19, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
73% of reviewers $207.52
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
6.37
9.02
7.7
EF_500_DG_Super_Flash


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