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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 01 Jan 2012 (Sunday) 19:35
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Who experienced that kind of failure with a 580 EXII?

 
GMHY
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Jan 01, 2012 19:35 |  #1

I have been using my 580 EXII with my 5D MKII, with or without Pocket Wizards (Flex TT5 / Mini TT1), always in E-TTL, for a long time without any problem.

On Christmas eve I shot two series with the 580 EXII mounted on a soft box and the PWs - worked just fine as usual. I shot again two series on Christmas morning, again with the PWs, this time with the 580 bouncing from the white ceiling in E-TTL without a hitch during the first series (gifts opening).
The second series I shot that morning was of my daughter fooling in front of her XBox 360, back lit from a window.
Hence the the camera was in manual, exposure set up on the bright window (1/500 - f 2.8, ISO 800), the 580 bouncing from the ceiling in E-TTL to take care of the main subject in the foreground - my jumping daughter - all that in E-TTL and working just fine (the 580 was set on HSS, but I think it's useless as the PWs take care of the high shutter speed synchro anyway).

It worked like that during a while, and I took care not to overwork / overheat the 580 - no bursts, no series of shots at short intervals
(also a reason why the cam was at ISO 800, to be easier on the flash).

All of a sudden the flash stopped working.

The first abnormal shot I recorded was this one:

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Then the following pics just came out pitch dark, save for the window, which is normal with f 2.8 / 1/500 and a weak ambient light (this is not a shutter curtain sync issue,
it's not a black bar on part of the pic, the pic is uniformly under lit). I should add that the 580 was still always triggered and emitting a flash.
Here is one of them - they all came out the same way (dunno why it's rotated, but you get the idea):

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Just to put to rest a series of questions I might be asked, here are the steps I followed:

- checked the PWs, put in new batteries as they seemed to be more than a bit low (at least on the TT5)
- also updated the software on the PWs
- put fresh batteries in the 580 as recycling time seemed a bit high (I use ENELOOPs for all my gear, I checked that they were correctly charged)
- set up my second TT5, updated and with fresh batteries (same result)
- checked the setup of the camera, and tried different - slower - shutter speeds under 1/200 (same results)
- mounted the 580 directly on the MKII's hot shoe - no joy, whatever the shutter speed.
- Tried the 580 mounted on the hot shoe of my canon G11 - failure again.
- At this point I whipped out my 430 EX II and went through the same motions:
- the 430 worked well on the G11;
- the 430 worked well directly mounted on the MKII
- the 430 worked well triggered by the PWs - same set up I had used with the 580, bouncing in E-TTL and all.

At this point I think that I can eliminate the failures of either the Pocket Wizards or the body, and blame it on the 580.

What seems strange though - at least to me - is that the 580 seems to work well: screen, controls, test flash, all these work. When shooting in either configuration (PWs, hotshoe), the 580 is duly triggered and emits (what seems to be) a powerful flash, visible in the eye piece of the camera. Because this is not a standard shutter curtain synchro issue (no black bar in the pics), all I can conclude is that the flash is actually triggered either before the shutter opens, or after it closes.

While I have no doubt that my 580 is good for a trip to Canon, I am curious to know if anyone already experienced that specific kind of failure with a 580 EXII before?

Thanks for reading my long post.

Gerard

  
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XTi ­ Guy
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Jan 01, 2012 23:47 |  #2

GMHY,
I just went through the same thing you are experiencing. I too performed the same tests and such. The conclusion I came to was that the flash was doing a full power dump preflash regardless of what settings were set on the flash or camera. So after doing a bunch of reading online and contacting PW, what I was told the flash experienced an "IGBT Failure". So I sent both units to CPS, they replaced both the reflector ass`y and battery case ass`y. They were thoroughly checked and work properly now.

There are a couple of options for repair. I chose to send mine to Canon as one unit was still under warrenty. The other unit cost me less than $120.00, with CPS pricing. The other is to send them to any one of the three repair facilities listed on the PW site.

Those facilities are, Precision Camera http://www.precisionca​mera.com (external link)
LeZot Camera Repair http://www.lezot.com (external link)
Michael Bass Designs http://michaelbass.blo​gspot.com (external link)

Hope this helps.




  
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watt100
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Jan 02, 2012 05:13 |  #3

XTi Guy wrote in post #13632147 (external link)
GMHY,
I just went through the same thing you are experiencing. I too performed the same tests and such. The conclusion I came to was that the flash was doing a full power dump preflash regardless of what settings were set on the flash or camera. So after doing a bunch of reading online and contacting PW, what I was told the flash experienced an "IGBT Failure". So I sent both units to CPS, they replaced both the reflector ass`y and battery case ass`y. They were thoroughly checked and work properly now.

There are a couple of options for repair. I chose to send mine to Canon as one unit was still under warrenty. The other unit cost me less than $120.00, with CPS pricing. The other is to send them to any one of the three repair facilities listed on the PW site.

Those facilities are, Precision Camera http://www.precisionca​mera.com (external link)
LeZot Camera Repair http://www.lezot.com (external link)
Michael Bass Designs http://michaelbass.blo​gspot.com (external link)

Hope this helps.


loos like a strange error but google "IGBT flash failure" and it seems the Canon 580exII has this repair a lot




  
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AntonLargiader
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Jan 02, 2012 07:42 |  #4

The shot you took with the banding in it (I assume you shot portrait the most common way, rotated CCW) is exactly what I would expect to see at about 1/500 on the 5D when HSS is not engaged. You are seeing a single flash being blocked by the closing 2nd curtain.

All of your 1/500 shots were in HSS which is what seemingly kills the IGBT in the 580EXII. I'd get it fixed by the PW folks and then you shouldn't have any future problems with it. Even under warranty I think I'd go the PW route, since they seem to understand the underlying problem.


T2i . 18-55 IS . 70-300 IS USM . 70-200 2.8L IS . 28mm 1.8 . 100 Macro . 430EX II . TT1/TT5 . Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 w/3265 ball-mount

  
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SMP_Homer
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Jan 02, 2012 07:46 |  #5

I've had a few random shots similar to those, where a portion of the frame is brighter than the rest... sometimes the dark section is most of the frame, other times it's just a small portion...
but my flashes still work fine...
and I only trigger 430-II flashes

I do know it's not an HSS-related issue, as every time I've had these shots, I was in manual and well under 1/200...

Flashes are on TT5 units, in eTTL mode... AC3/TT1 on bodies, set to Manual, and usually shoot in the 1/16 to 1/8 range

I get maybe 1 every 2-3 weddings... very rare/random, and the next shot is fine... and what you're reporting is the closest thing to what I'm seeing, with the exception that all my flashes are still working just fine!


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EOS R / 1D X / 1D IV (and the wife has a T4i)
Sig35A, Sig50A, Sig85A, Sig14-24A, Sig24-105A, Sig70-200S, Sig150-600C
100-400L, 100L, 100/2, 300 2.8L, 1.4x II / 2x II
600EX-II X3, 430EX-III X3

  
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AntonLargiader
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Jan 02, 2012 08:04 |  #6

SMP_Homer wrote in post #13633116 (external link)
I've had a few random shots similar to those, where a portion of the frame is brighter than the rest... sometimes the dark section is most of the frame, other times it's just a small portion...

That's interesting. Always the dark coming from the bottom? That means that either the flash is happening too late or the shutter is moving unexpectedly early. Maybe there's an occasional bad contact and they get triggered in a different mode.


T2i . 18-55 IS . 70-300 IS USM . 70-200 2.8L IS . 28mm 1.8 . 100 Macro . 430EX II . TT1/TT5 . Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 w/3265 ball-mount

  
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SMP_Homer
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Jan 02, 2012 08:32 |  #7

AntonLargiader wrote in post #13633181 (external link)
That's interesting. Always the dark coming from the bottom? That means that either the flash is happening too late or the shutter is moving unexpectedly early. Maybe there's an occasional bad contact and they get triggered in a different mode.

always bottom... I always assumed it was something that interfered in some way... can't really replicate it, and it's rare enough that I don' really worry about it...


EOS R / 1D X / 1D IV (and the wife has a T4i)
Sig35A, Sig50A, Sig85A, Sig14-24A, Sig24-105A, Sig70-200S, Sig150-600C
100-400L, 100L, 100/2, 300 2.8L, 1.4x II / 2x II
600EX-II X3, 430EX-III X3

  
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SMP_Homer
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Jan 02, 2012 08:34 |  #8

I'm also thinking that when not using a PW, the dark section would be solid black, so I've always assumed this was not related to the shutter....


EOS R / 1D X / 1D IV (and the wife has a T4i)
Sig35A, Sig50A, Sig85A, Sig14-24A, Sig24-105A, Sig70-200S, Sig150-600C
100-400L, 100L, 100/2, 300 2.8L, 1.4x II / 2x II
600EX-II X3, 430EX-III X3

  
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AntonLargiader
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Jan 02, 2012 08:54 |  #9

SMP_Homer wrote in post #13633282 (external link)
I'm also thinking that when not using a PW, the dark section would be solid black, so I've always assumed this was not related to the shutter....

The most likely explanation for that would be that you simply have less ambient light in those cases. You get ambient-only in the area where the curtain blocks the flash (like your pic and the OP's). If this also happens without the PWs, then I would think that your camera or flash has an occasional timing irregularity. Your sig lists two 5D2s; does it happen with both?


T2i . 18-55 IS . 70-300 IS USM . 70-200 2.8L IS . 28mm 1.8 . 100 Macro . 430EX II . TT1/TT5 . Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 w/3265 ball-mount

  
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SMP_Homer
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Jan 02, 2012 09:00 |  #10

I can't tell (yet) if it happens with both bodies
I only have 4-5 of these images. Will hunt for them today, and then see if it does
Also have 2 TT1 units, and if it's part of the issue, there's no way to tell


EOS R / 1D X / 1D IV (and the wife has a T4i)
Sig35A, Sig50A, Sig85A, Sig14-24A, Sig24-105A, Sig70-200S, Sig150-600C
100-400L, 100L, 100/2, 300 2.8L, 1.4x II / 2x II
600EX-II X3, 430EX-III X3

  
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GMHY
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Jan 02, 2012 09:18 |  #11

XTi Guy wrote in post #13632147 (external link)
GMHY,
I just went through the same thing you are experiencing. I too performed the same tests and such. The conclusion I came to was that the flash was doing a full power dump preflash regardless of what settings were set on the flash or camera. So after doing a bunch of reading online and contacting PW, what I was told the flash experienced an "IGBT Failure". So I sent both units to CPS, they replaced both the reflector ass`y and battery case ass`y. They were thoroughly checked and work properly now.

There are a couple of options for repair. I chose to send mine to Canon as one unit was still under warrenty. The other unit cost me less than $120.00, with CPS pricing. The other is to send them to any one of the three repair facilities listed on the PW site.

Those facilities are, Precision Camera http://www.precisionca​mera.com (external link)
LeZot Camera Repair http://www.lezot.com (external link)
Michael Bass Designs http://michaelbass.blo​gspot.com (external link)

Hope this helps.

Thank you. I will probably sent it to Canon, as I have a Canon repair facility not too far from where I live I already dealt with, for a different issue.

watt100 wrote in post #13632854 (external link)
loos like a strange error but google "IGBT flash failure" and it seems the Canon 580exII has this repair a lot

Thanks, I just discovered what "IGBT' means - although I had read before about these 580 EXII issues, I sort of came to think that my own 580 was immune to them - big mistake...


Gerard

  
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GMHY
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Jan 02, 2012 09:28 |  #12

AntonLargiader wrote in post #13633096 (external link)
The shot you took with the banding in it (I assume you shot portrait the most common way, rotated CCW) is exactly what I would expect to see at about 1/500 on the 5D when HSS is not engaged. You are seeing a single flash being blocked by the closing 2nd curtain.

Well, I assume that in this case the band should be solid black? Anyway, as said in the post, that was the first and only shot that came out that way, all subsequent tries looked like the second shot I posted.

AntonLargiader wrote in post #13633096 (external link)
All of your 1/500 shots were in HSS which is what seemingly kills the IGBT in the 580EXII. I'd get it fixed by the PW folks and then you shouldn't have any future problems with it. Even under warranty I think I'd go the PW route, since they seem to understand the underlying problem.

Yes, understand that PW is well on it. By the way I was using an AC-5 soft shield which is said by some to cause the problem, or at least facilitate it. I've also seen online that some non-Canon repair facilities are able to fix the issue of high level RF emission on the 580, thus allowing to avoid altogether using the RF shields.

Thank you anyway.


Gerard

  
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AntonLargiader
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Jan 02, 2012 09:32 |  #13

GMHY wrote in post #13633508 (external link)
Well, I assume that in this case the band should be solid black?

No, that area will always have your ambient exposure, unless you have a REAL shutter problem. It just doesn't get the flash.

EDIT: you can see that the exposure in the banded area is the same as it is on your subsequent non-flash shot. You refer to it as 'pitch dark' but it's just underexposed by insufficient ambient ('m guessing 1.5 to 2 stops for the interior). If the ambient were about 3 stops low, it would be more or less pitch dark.


T2i . 18-55 IS . 70-300 IS USM . 70-200 2.8L IS . 28mm 1.8 . 100 Macro . 430EX II . TT1/TT5 . Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 w/3265 ball-mount

  
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GMHY
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Jan 02, 2012 09:37 |  #14

SMP_Homer wrote in post #13633116 (external link)
I've had a few random shots similar to those, where a portion of the frame is brighter than the rest... sometimes the dark section is most of the frame, other times it's just a small portion...
but my flashes still work fine...
and I only trigger 430-II flashes

I do know it's not an HSS-related issue, as every time I've had these shots, I was in manual and well under 1/200...

Flashes are on TT5 units, in eTTL mode... AC3/TT1 on bodies, set to Manual, and usually shoot in the 1/16 to 1/8 range

I get maybe 1 every 2-3 weddings... very rare/random, and the next shot is fine... and what you're reporting is the closest thing to what I'm seeing, with the exception that all my flashes are still working just fine!

Thank you.
I've had my share of random missed shots, the same you're describing and in comparable settings, but that was a first...
Maybe I will switch to 430 EXII's only, once the 580 is repaired... although I like doing bounced flash, and the additional power of the 580 comes in handy in this case. We'll see.


Gerard

  
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mblobster
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Jan 02, 2012 09:37 |  #15

happened to me once or twice




  
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Who experienced that kind of failure with a 580 EXII?
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