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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 28 Feb 2014 (Friday) 08:49
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Help with Canon Speelite 430ex II

 
nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 08:49 |  #1

Hi All,

I'm a photographer for a weekly paper that mostly covers events and parties - many of them indoors or at night - or both - and I've been having a lot of trouble with the af assist beam. I can't tell you how many perfect photos (where everyone is looking at me and no one blinks) have been ruined by giant red laser lines from the assist beam. I've tried each of the settings:

C.Fn III: Autofocus/Drive
AF-assist beam firing
0: Enable
1: Disable
2: Enable external flash only
3: IR AF assist beam only

I shoot with a Canon 7D, typically set to High-Speed Continuous and AI Focus or AI Servo.
What am I doing wrong?




  
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jt354
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Feb 28, 2014 09:23 |  #2

I set my camera to "enable external flash only" and have never seen the red grid lines appear in my photos - the flash only emits red light when autofocusing. I imagine you could occasionally see the lines if you shoot in AI servo with high speed shutter drive. The easy solutions that come to mind are:

1) Shoot in AI focus or One Shot (so the camera's autofocus is not still active when you take the photo)
2) Shooting without "machine gun shutter" should help, especially in servo mode
3) Disable AF assist or set to IR only


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nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 09:30 |  #3

Thanks! I'm going to keep trying different modes and see what happens. One of the problems is that it's not a regular problem, meaning it's not every photo or lighting situation, so it's hard to nail down the best settings to eliminate the problem.




  
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dedsen
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Feb 28, 2014 10:45 |  #4

jt354 wrote in post #16723973 (external link)
I set my camera to "enable external flash only" and have never seen the red grid lines appear in my photos - the flash only emits red light when autofocusing. I imagine you could occasionally see the lines if you shoot in AI servo with high speed shutter drive. The easy solutions that come to mind are:

1) Shoot in AI focus or One Shot (so the camera's autofocus is not still active when you take the photo)
2) Shooting without "machine gun shutter" should help, especially in servo mode
3) Disable AF assist or set to IR only

Focus assist is disabled when using AL Servo mode.



  
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nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 11:00 |  #5

That's what I though too, because I read it in the manual, or online, but it's not the case - at least not with my rig. But then again, using the disable setting doesn't seem to disable it either.




  
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dedsen
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Feb 28, 2014 11:38 |  #6

Then your rig is broken. Which is pretty much a given if you are getting the focus assist pattern in your pictures.



  
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nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 12:48 |  #7

thanks, I'll look into getting it repaired... or just put tape over it... I'll probably just put tape over it. I am a journalist, after all.




  
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apersson850
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Feb 28, 2014 13:54 as a reply to  @ nchowske's post |  #8

If you see the assist pattern in the picture, then it's from somebody else's camera/flash.


Anders

  
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nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 13:56 |  #9

apersson850 wrote in post #16724680 (external link)
If you see the assist pattern in the picture, then it's from somebody else's camera/flash.

That was probably the case last night, as there was another photographer, but at many of my assignments, I'm the only one there.




  
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GaryD
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Feb 28, 2014 14:05 |  #10

Something smells funny here. In AI-servo your flash should not be emitting an assist beam. If you flash fires and properly exposes the images, there is no way you'd see the assist pattern in the photo, even if they were from someone else's flash. Unrelated hint: don't EVER use AI-Focus. It serves no purpose.




  
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nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 14:49 |  #11

GaryD wrote in post #16724709 (external link)
Something smells funny here. In AI-servo your flash should not be emitting an assist beam. If you flash fires and properly exposes the images, there is no way you'd see the assist pattern in the photo, even if they were from someone else's flash. Unrelated hint: don't EVER use AI-Focus. It serves no purpose.

That's what I thought, but there it is...


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GaryD
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Feb 28, 2014 17:12 |  #12

nchowske wrote in post #16724816 (external link)
That's what I thought, but there it is...

That looks like the flash did not fire, or only contributed minimally. And it is straight-on, so it looks like your flash. Something is definitely amiss, here.




  
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apersson850
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Feb 28, 2014 17:21 as a reply to  @ nchowske's post |  #13

For sure it looks like it's your own AF assist light.

Now it does sound like your system is malfunctioning in some way. But when it's working properly, the following is true:

  • There's no red AF assist light in Servo AF, only in One Shot AF. The AI Focus setting I never use, but it does start with One Shot AF.
  • There's no red AF assist light if the setting for AF assist light in the camera (Custom function on a 7D, in the One Shot AF menu on a 1DX) is set to OFF.
  • There's no red AF assist light if C.Fn 8-1 is set on the flash (at least valid for 580 EX II and 600 EX-RT).


Apart from that, if you are using high speed continuous drive mode with flash and a 7D, then it's very likely that some pictures will not have any flash light. Especially if you have not set C.Fn 6-1 on the flash (allow Quick flash in continuous drive mode). Thus the assist light could be visible, if it actually was fired when the shutter is open, but when things are working properly, it shouldn't be on at the same time.
But the picture above does indeed look like no flash fired. Is it part of a high-speed continuous drive mode sequence?

Anders

  
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CliveyBoy
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Feb 28, 2014 18:33 |  #14

I note that in the image above, the EXIF says Flash: Off.


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nchowske
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Feb 28, 2014 19:34 |  #15

I do generally shoot in high-speed mode, because more often than not, I'm trying to get a bunch of Hamptonites at a party to smile at me without blinking. That said, it's possible that in the photo above, the flash was recycling. And for reference, I have been using a Gary Fong Collapsible Light Sphere, though the problem persisted before I started using it. I guess the bigger issue is that I can't get the beam to turn off when I don't need it, and on when I do. For example, I didn't need it at the event last night, but I couldn't turn it off. It sounds like it's an overall malfunction.




  
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Help with Canon Speelite 430ex II
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