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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

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Reviews Views Date of last review
56 159992 Dec 28, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $430.69
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.46
7.65
9.1
580exii

Specifications:
Further development of Canon's flagship Speedlite has led to the production of the 580 EX II. This is the premier Speedlite for all photographers, including professionals. Newly designed to match with the EOS-1D Mark III in terms of improved dust- and water-resistance, body strength, and the ability to control flash functions and settings from the camera menu (EOS-1D Mark III only). Other features include improved communication reliability through its direct contacts, and recycling time is both 20% shorter than the 580EX and is completely inaudible.


Approx. 20% faster recycling time compared to 580EX

Superior build quality, including a metal foot for higher rigidity

Max. Guide No. 58 at 105mm setting (GN 190, feet)

Auto conversion of flash coverage with compatible digital SLR cameras

White Balance info communicated instantly to compatible digital SLR cameras

Full swivel, 180° in either direction

AF-assist beam, compatible with all AiAF points on every EOS SLR

Dust- and water- resistance to match the EOS-1D Mark III


 


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Sonycea
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Registered: Dec 28, 2011
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Easy to use. small increment in power setting. recycle time.
Cons:
age of headlamp is questionable. hotshoe issue, price

it's a real excellent flash to use. I have no complaint of it's usage.
but QC is questionable. the hotshoe just got loose few month after use that i need to get it to CSC for warranty repair.
and after a year and a week, the flash is having recharging issue and need to send it to CSC again. moreover CSC mention that the flashhead need replacement too as they seen white marking on it that can possibly cause the lamp to break soon (approximate 2000 shot of flash past year).

people that want to buy this powerhouse might want to consider the risk, as last repair cost me approx 40% of buying new one.


Dec 28, 2011
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Trevor Sowers
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Registered: Aug 14, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 102
Review Date: Dec 27, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Powerful Workhorse!
Cons:
Master/Slave switch isn't as convenient as 580EX

I have four of these units and they have never let me down. I have even had them on lightstands that got knocked over and they kept on working despite one of them landing so hard that the foot was pulled part way off of the flash!!

I use them in Manual and ETTL II and have no complaints.


Dec 27, 2011
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rk-d
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Registered: Feb 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 109
Review Date: Jun 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Power, build quality, wireless master capability, weather sealing, fast start time and cycle time, catchlight card, full swivel range of motion.
Cons:
Size, weight, cost.

I previously owned a 430EXII and replaced it with this flash. The 430 is an excellent flash with more than enough power for most casual photography. That said, the 580 has certain distinct advantages. It's obviously more powerful, which allows more latitude in bounce flashing. The built-in catchlight card is a nice touch. The full swivel head is a big improvement from the 430, which is 180 only. More importantly, however, is that the swivel on the 580 is of a much higher build quality. It has a weather sealed button and rotates in a very nice, dampened action with slick, positive clicks. The 430 feels cheap in comparison. The buttons on the 580 are easier to push and unit is just nicer to handle and use.

The flash itself is significantly larger than the 430, at least by a quarter. That said, the 430 is not exactly a stealth flash, so I don't think the difference is all that important in real world use.

Start up time and cycle time are essentially instantaneous. Exposures are spot on and beautiful.

The biggest downside is cost. This flash is $200 more expensive than a 430. Is it worth the difference? For me - the superior build quality and handling, particularly with regard to the swivel head, is worth the extra. I used to sometimes struggle with the 430's swivel head, which tended to be a little stiff and resistant. The 580 head is silky smooth and a pleasure to use, in comparison.


Jun 19, 2011
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Nektario K
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 256
Review Date: Sep 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great power, delivers as expected..Using it in sync with my original 580EX (whuch actually fell this last saturday and is now not working).
Cons:
WHY on earth did they make the Master Slave feature SO ****** complicated and ridiculously slow..I have no idea. The original 580EX was a quick switch OFF -Master - Slave switch..liek boom boom bang.. done.. This thing..you have to sit there for a few (usually VALUALE incooperable) seconds and hold down the zoom button to travel threw the whole master salve option list..and then hold the button down again to get the aspect ratio adjustemtns.. a complete FAIL for that design..RIDICULOUSW! A 100% non "wedding shoot friendly" feature.



Sep 20, 2010
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Lance Lee
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Registered: Sep 26, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1708
Review Date: Aug 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Good flash, almost as good as the original 580. The Master/Slave switch is possibly the worst designed thing I've ever seen. Now that I think about it, the automatic headlight dimmer on my grandparent's 1977 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz was worse.
Other than that is works very well. I appreciate the overheat protection and the metal foot.

If I end up needing another flash I'll look for a used 580ex1.


Aug 22, 2010
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eric_j_h
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Registered: Dec 4, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 10, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast recycle, accurate exposure, wireless works very well indoors with new Canon 7D, powerful, weatherproof foot well connected to one of Canon's newer 1D series/7D bodies
Cons:
Price, large (and slightly larger then 580EX I)

Had this gun just over 2 weeks and I am very impressed with it. Worth upgrading to from any other Canon flashgun except perhaps the original 580ex where the gains are minimal. I do miss the dedicated slave/master switch, but pressing the zoom button for 2 seconds to activate slave isn't that bad.

Feb 10, 2010
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SAUMBI
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Nov 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I am referring to the MKI, supper fast recycle time, super accurate exposure, and color, easy to use settings.
Cons:
You geussed it - Battery Door

I have used this flash since it was first introduced and see no reason to upgrade. I have used it on 10D,20D,30D,1D,and 1Ds MKII, excellent on all, I have to say the door was a nightmare and cannot believe it was ever supposed to operate the way it does. But I now am use to it and have no problem operating it.

I have recently purchased a second 580 EX, in favor of the 580 EXII, I have no desire to improve an item which has more than provided perfect results and does more than I need for Wedding, Portrait, and Event photography, just to spend more money. I have not used the MKII but I am sure I cannot produce better images than I am currently getting.

The main reason I have no desire to spend the extra money is there have been reports of convenience (slave switch) and (backlight) plus I am familiar with what it already does, more than I ask of it.

I'm kinda old school, if it works and does all you want it to do, why on earth would I want to spend more money for the same results? Just my 2 cent's, If you don't already have a 580 EX I flash, maybe it's worth it, if you already own a 580 EX I, I think you will be dissapointed in the additional cost and ? gain in performance. MY take!


Nov 18, 2009
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pho7ographer
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Registered: Sep 17, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Can't beat the recycling time.
Cons:
Heavy, best used off cam. 20 flash continuous requires cool down.

Strobe has not disappointed. I'm not sure if anyone else here has the same issue in build but I noticed some "fog" in the LCD screen.

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dqhr5f7_39j2rj6mdh


Oct 23, 2009
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martinsmith
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Registered: May 17, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Great flash, quick recycle times, plenty of power, great options and well built. Metal hotshoe.

I use this both on and off camera. It's a shame that you cannot trigger it with an optical slave on the hot shoe.


Sep 22, 2009
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carlsbadbum
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Registered: Jul 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1986
Review Date: Sep 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $315.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast and powerfull, easier to mount than the Mk I.
Cons:
None I can think of.

Many improvements over the Mk I like the battery door, and quick lock. For some reason the cheapen the LCD back lighting. The Mk I has Indigo and the Mk II is not.

Sep 4, 2009
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AurelSK
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Registered: Aug 17, 2008
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, metering accuracy, power, ease of use, shoe connect system, features
Cons:
I just can not say any

This is best flash I ever worked with.
I had Sigma EF500DG SUPER before using with my EOS350D camera. It was OK, but built quality was miles away from this Speedlite. With SIGMA I experienced many over or under exposures, something that never happened with this 580II.

Currently I have second EX580II. My first one was stolen.
It works absolutely perfect with my EOS40D.
What I really must give praise to is ease of control.
Rotating wheel á-la EOSx0D or xD cameras is so easy to use.
Flash has enough power for almost any situation and it
recycles unbelievably fast.

Price is adequate to what it is. It may hurt you, but you will
not regret buying this one.


Jul 14, 2009
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ajmills
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Registered: Feb 20, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, powerful, quick recycle times.
Cons:
If I were to complain about anything, it would be the price - they are not cheap, but you do get what you pay for.

I spent ages trying to decide whether to buy the 580ex II, 430ex II or the top end Sigma equivalent. In the end, I went for the 580ex II - it was expensive, but so far, worth it.

It's possibly not the lightest flash to carry around, and can make your SLR feel top heavy, but I don't often use it on camera and use it "strobist style". As for this weight issue - I'm not sure if it is that much different to other higher end flashes.

A couple of months ago, I had it on a light stand about 5-6 feet, it blew over and hit the floor (stone paving) on the back of the hinge. I can't see a mark on it, and it still works perfectly.

I wish Canon would make a wireless flash controller and not just the IR ST-25 (being infra red, it can fail in bright sunlight, and is useless if you don't have line of sight). Using a 580ex II to control other Canon flashes wirelessly makes it an expensive flash trigger.

I've noticed a few people mention the hotshoe lock not being very good - you need to make sure that you move it all the way over and that it does lock properly, so that you can't move it back without having to depress the release button. So far, I've had no problems with this.


May 14, 2009
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anotherview
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Registered: Nov 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2287
Review Date: Mar 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ease of use overall. Smart coordination between camera and slave flashes.
Cons:
Menu on unit crude & awkward to navigate. Hotshoe foot attachment does not fully secure the flash unit on the hotshoe, allowing slight physical rotation movement.

The Canon Speedlite 580EX II mounted on my camera set my photography in turbo, day and night. Flash lighting itself opens more photographic opportunities, and used with the right touch can enhance most images. The 580EX II does it all well. It can act as a master to many slave flashes. This flash with a diffuser cap (which nobody mentioned) bathes the subject with a flattering light. Point the flash up, and its powerful beam fills the room with a fine diffused light, even with a diffuser cap.

I urge photographers wishing to learn flash photography to read a few books on the subject.

Minimalist Lighting, by Kirk Tuck.

Light - Science and Magic, by Hunter, Biver & Fugua.

The Hot Shoe Diaries, by Joe McNally.

Canon Speedlite System Digital Field Guide, by J. Dennis Thomas (Note this book covers the 430EX and the 580EX, but well worth reading anyhow).

These books may set you free from the fear of flash.

Try the low-budget but powerful lessons on flash photography at strobist.com.

Strobist Lighting 101

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

Strobist Lighting 102

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007/06/lighting-102-introduction.html

From strobist.com: “Here's a little secret: There are only a few things you can do to control light. Once you learn those - and learn them well - you are off to the races.”

You too can do turbo flash.


Mar 31, 2009
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AshleyJones
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Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Review Date: Feb 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: On-camera menu control since 40D, rotation options, weather sealing, PC socket, build quality, power
Cons:
Size, LCD menu seems a bit old fashioned and the on-flash UI a bit obscure.

I've had this about a year and I am so glad I went for it over the 430EX.

Mind you, the UK RRP is now £480: mind-boggling. That's US$686 today, but almost certainly the numbers will have done something terrifying by the time you read this. A global recession is bad enough, but our currency is in the toilet and the price of camera kit is doing insane things in the UK. (the Sigma 12-24 I bought two weeks ago went up from £425 to £729 overnight)

I bought a used 550EX as a slave and the feel of the 580EXII is so much better, especially the battery door. But the 550 works well in tandem with the 580 and, while I would like two 580's the 550 makes a perfectly good slave.

But I really value the fact that I can control the 580EXII from my 40D. I can't stand all that "look at the obscure icon and hold the button for one second" nonsense that you have to wrestle with when using the on-flash UI.

I do wish I could control my flashes wirelessly from the camera without having to have one sitting on the camera. I often have the 580 set as a master (because it is the easier flash to control) but disabled.

Don't skimp on your rechargeable batteries, I wasted time before I bought some decent ones.

I guess I would have to replace it if it got broken, but spending £500 on a flash would be galling.


Feb 26, 2009
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Dawei Ye
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Registered: Sep 14, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3690
Review Date: Feb 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatility, Will take your Flash photgraphy to a new level
Cons:
Flash Footing isn't very secure, there will be times when the footing becomes loose and TTL will come up instead of ETTL

Firstly, you NEED a Hotshoe Flash, especially if you do any low light indoors photography. Hotshoe flashes give more bang for the buck than a better lens in my opinion. They are essential as photography is mostly about the quality of light. On board direct flash often gives unacceptable results.

Well you want to get a Canon flash, but given you use Canon Cameras you don't have much choice...it boils down to the 430EXII vs the 580EXII

An often asked question is: "I'm a newbie do I get a 430EX/430EXII or a 580EX/580EXII?"

A common response is "Get a 430EXII, it will more than satisfy your requirements"

I beg to differ. In my opinion, there is no reason why anyone should purchase a 430EXII over a 580EXII. If you ask anyone who has used both a 430EXII and a 580EXII, I doubt you will find a single one of those people will recommend a 430EXII over a 580EXII. The latter is just far more versatile and effective.

- The 580EXII can rotate both left and right by 180 degrees. The 430EXII cannot

- The 580EXII can accept a CP-E4 Battery Pack. The 430EXII cannot

- The 580EXII has Flash Exposure Bracketing. The 430EXII does not

- The 580EXII has Stroboscopic functions. The 430EXII does not

- The 580EXII is weather sealed. The 430EXII is not. (But I don't recommend getting it wet anyway)

- The 580EXII can control other off camera Speedlites. The 430EXII cannot

- The 580EXII is more powerful than the 430EXII.

- For the same output, the 580EXII recycles faster than the 430EXII especially with a CP-E4 attached.

The list goes on and on and on...

The 430EXII is a GREAT flash BUT, trust me, when you buy a 430EXII you will be over the moon, but the day you use a 580EXII will be the day you will ask yourself "Why was I naive enough to get a 430EXII?". I say this because the same thing happened to me, and so I strongly recommend you save up a little bit more for a 580EXII.

One good thing about the 430EX and the 580EXII is that both are built tough. I have dropped both onto concrete whilst running - to no ill effects functionality wise (but obviously I don't recommend it) (They are heavily scarred and a switch on my 430EX has snapped off though, but they still work perfectly)


Feb 15, 2009
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disegno-s
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Registered: Jun 15, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 54
Review Date: Jan 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Massive power for such a small unit
Cons:
it needs good quality rechargeable batteries to keep going.

The 580EX II is a bit expensive, but they are worth it. I use them off camera with an Elinchrom SpyPort system to light cars, and it is just spot on.

Did add two CP-E4 battery packs as I have the impression they eat power more quickly than the older EX model, but with the power pack I can shoot hundreds of full power images.

Johan
www.CarPhotoTutorials.com
Automotive photography made easy


Jan 11, 2009
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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
56 159992 Dec 28, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $430.69
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.46
7.65
9.1
580exii


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