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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 11 Feb 2019 (Monday) 07:40
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Flash purchase help (Canon SpeedLite and 3rd parties)

 
SiaoP
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Post edited 4 days ago by SiaoP. (6 edits in all)
     
Feb 11, 2019 07:40 |  #1

I'm relatively new to flash, have always shot without it. And now with what I like to shoot I find I need to buy a flash.

I like to go to events where vendors showcase their toys or figurines.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7823/47060722461_2f4d2063b4_z.jpg

The show displays are often saturated with LED or (even worse) flickering fluorescent light bulbs. The resulting photo without flash is under saturated, lacking in contrast, monotone, and flat. Some smaller vendors do not have lighting so going with natural light is difficult as the convention hall lighting is very far up (likely 5 stories tall). I also find the exposure auto setting in Av mode is rather bad when there is such strong fluorescent beaming at the figure and my shots are usually very dark. I want to see if I can overpower the existing display lights and just shoot in a more controlled manner with a flash.

how i shoot :
- I use a Canon 5D Mark II. Primes usually (35mm f2/50mm f1.8/85mm f1.8) and may buy a 24-70 f4 as the primes are inconvenient to frame a shot.
- I prefer lighter weight as I walk a lot.
- I usually want to shoot at f4 or higher due to DOF issues.
- I shoot around 2 feet away from the item. (like the guy in the photo...)
- Bouncing flash off ceiling likely is impossible as the ceiling is over 5 stories tall.
- I prefer a built in battery pack, not AA.
- Manual exposure is rather hard to do as shots have to be done quickly since there are lines. Prefer Av mode.

questions :
- Is a SpeedLite 600EX overkill in light power? It is on the expensive end for me. I really started reducing my kit cost and size since I became more casual. I used to shoot only L lenses and 1D bodies, but now moved to non L primes and just a 5D2.
- Is SpeedLite 430EX sufficient light power? The flash likely will be pointed semi-directed to the object and I will only be standing at most 3 feet away.
- Thoughts on 3rd party like GODOX's V860II? It's much cheaper than the 600EX but is it built to last and does it perform?
- Thoughts on buying second hand flashes? Do the power circuitry wear out over time or the flash unit goes bad?
- Will a simple diffuser over the bulb be sufficient? I don't want to bomb the figure with light rays and shadows.

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Nogo
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Post edited 4 days ago by Nogo. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 11, 2019 08:09 |  #2

Most people, including me, will recommend the Godox flash you mentioned above. Only thing, to be able to get service later, it is best to buy it from Adorama. Their Flashpoint flash is a Godox flash but has the Flashpoint name on it. B&H now sells Godox and they may service it, but before I bought it from someone other than Adorama, I would check and see if they provide full service for the product. Unless things have changed recently, Godox does not provide direct after warranty service for their product so it is best to buy from a reseller that provides that service.


Philip
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Wilt
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Post edited 3 days ago by Wilt. (5 edits in all)
     
Feb 11, 2019 15:56 |  #3

Overkill...the 600EX is really only about overkill at max power.

  • The 430EX has a Full power GN111 at normal lens coverage, while the 600EX has Full power GN138 rating...
  • at 10' shooting distance that is f/11.1 for 430EX vs. f/13.8 or less than 2/3EV difference in power!


But the 430EX has only 1/64 power in Manual, while the 600EX has 1/128 power in Manual, or GN14.1 for the 430EX vs. GN12.1 for the 600EX, so the 'more powerful' flash is actually the 'less powerful' at its minimum manual power setting, and at 2' you have
  • f/7 (430EX) vs. f/6 (600EX), or
  • the 600EX has 0.4EV less 'overexposure' at the 2' distance.


A consideration about third party products...some of Canon's most recent dSLR models are not compatible with the older aftermarket offerings, particularly the Chinese products, and some flash manufacturers have stated to owners that they do not intend to offer firmware updates for their flashes to make them compatible

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Oldschool1948
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Feb 11, 2019 17:24 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #4

Look for a good used 600EX. Over the years, I've purchased two on POTN and have zero complaints.


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gonzogolf
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Post edited 3 days ago by gonzogolf.
     
Feb 11, 2019 18:59 |  #5

Darkroom images by 616 wrote in post #18807659 (external link)
outdoors with Jarina.

godox or a used canon 580exII. Don't be afraid of used. I have 30 year old flashes that still work as good as new. Just beware buying from a wedding photographer who shoots 5k per weekend.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 11, 2019 20:37 |  #6

Consider Canon refurbs...see https://shop.usa.canon​.com …rbished-speedlite-flashes (external link)




  
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ra40
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Feb 12, 2019 03:35 |  #7

SiaoP wrote in post #18808954 (external link)
I'm relatively new to flash, have always shot without it. And now with what I like to shoot I find I need to buy a flash.

how i shoot :
- I use a Canon 5D Mark II. Primes usually (35mm f2/50mm f1.8/85mm f1.8) and may buy a 24-70 f4 as the primes are inconvenient to frame a shot.
- I prefer lighter weight as I walk a lot.
- I usually want to shoot at f4 or higher due to DOF issues.
- I shoot around 2 feet away from the item. (like the guy in the photo...)
- Bouncing flash off ceiling likely is impossible as the ceiling is over 5 stories tall.
- I prefer a built in battery pack, not AA.
- Manual exposure is rather hard to do as shots have to be done quickly since there are lines. Prefer Av mode.

questions :
- Is a SpeedLite 600EX overkill in light power? It is on the expensive end for me. I really started reducing my kit cost and size since I became more casual. I used to shoot only L lenses and 1D bodies, but now moved to non L primes and just a 5D2.
- Is SpeedLite 430EX sufficient light power? The flash likely will be pointed semi-directed to the object and I will only be standing at most 3 feet away.
- Thoughts on 3rd party like GODOX's V860II? It's much cheaper than the 600EX but is it built to last and does it perform?
- Thoughts on buying second hand flashes? Do the power circuitry wear out over time or the flash unit goes bad?
- Will a simple diffuser over the bulb be sufficient? I don't want to bomb the figure with light rays and shadows.

The 5D-IV has flicker detection for those light sources.
A built in battery pack depending on power output may be depleted if the session is long. AA's are easy to replace. The 2450 mAh Ladda from Ikea are $6.99/4. Like the Eneloop Pro they go!
Displays often if sized similarly will have near similar lighting so shooting manual may have similar camera settings. (One of my buddys builds trade show displays along with lighting for them. I did a shoot for his museum display and didn't have to use flash. Some of the LED lighting isn't very complementary at times.)

For adjustibility, the 600EX RTII is a fantastic unit but it does cost $. Buying used for any is an option. I have a 580EX that I carry in the messenger bag and it has been solid, circa '06 or so. I find I prefer the simple interface for the grab-go shots. At my 2' working distances at 1/8'th to 1/16'th output it does well. I may get a conservative 300-350+ pops at the output settings I use. I use it more than my 600 because it is smaller for the carry kit and for use in an Impact 9x9" micro softbox.

A flash bracket may be an option too.




  
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bseitz234
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Feb 13, 2019 08:58 |  #8

gonzogolf wrote in post #18809315 (external link)
godox or a used canon 580exII. Don't be afraid of used. I have 30 year old flashes that still work as good as new. Just beware buying from a wedding photographer who shoots 5k per weekend.

ra40 wrote in post #18809538 (external link)
<SNIP> I have a 580EX that I carry in the messenger bag and it has been solid, circa '06 or so. I find I prefer the simple interface for the grab-go shots. At my 2' working distances at 1/8'th to 1/16'th output it does well. I may get a conservative 300-350+ pops at the output settings I use. I use it more than my 600 because it is smaller for the carry kit and for use in an Impact 9x9" micro softbox.

This is my thought too. My understanding is that the biggest advantage of the 600s over the 580s is radio, but if you're just talking about a single flash, there's no need to spend the money on that. I've bought a couple 580EX IIs in the past few weeks, around $125 USD each. Plenty of power, plenty of capability. And it seems like a lot of people are selling these very lightly used, which is always nice.




  
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Pictoraider
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Post edited 1 day ago by Pictoraider.
     
Feb 13, 2019 13:43 |  #9

SiaoP wrote in post #18808954 (external link)
I'm relatively new to flash,...
I like to go to events where vendors showcase their toys or figurines.
...
I want to see if I can overpower the existing display lights and just shoot in a more controlled manner with a flash. ...
- I shoot around 2 feet away from the item....
- Manual exposure is rather hard to do as shots have to be done quickly since there are lines. Prefer Av mode.

questions :
...The flash likely will be pointed semi-directed to the object and I will only be standing at most 3 feet away.
- Thoughts on 3rd party like GODOX's V860II? It's much cheaper than the 600EX but is it built to last and does it perform?
- Thoughts on buying second hand flashes? Do the power circuitry wear out over time or the flash unit goes bad?
- Will a simple diffuser over the bulb be sufficient? I don't want to bomb the figure with light rays and shadows.


Despite shots have to be done quickly, it is a piece of cake as working distance from off-camera flash to toys/figurines is under control and will be kept constant whatever distance from camera to subjects may be. In such a case, manual flash lighting with camera in M mode is most suitable. And so far, any manual flash with a sync-cord will do the job. The quality of delivered flash light and more or less dense cast shadows are related with position & angulation of the source towards subjects and the source relative size compared to toys and figurines size.


Manual flash lighting for toys and figurines while using constant working distance:


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Spanish table accessory souvenir lit with (full stop variation) old 550EX Canon gunflash above and face to subject in "shower" position :

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Godox TCM (TTL convert to Manual) function should interest you if you are new to flash.
Hope this help. Regards,

"Constructive criticism always appreciated."

  
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ra40
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Post edited 1 day ago by ra40.
     
Feb 13, 2019 14:56 |  #10

Pictorader brings a good point to the acrylic or glass protection and using a flash straight on. You'll also factor in angle of incidence into the shot for the light source.




  
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SiaoP
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6 hours ago |  #11

Thanks Pictoraider and other members for the advise. I will choose a 580EX II to start with as it's cheap and decent performance for what I need.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 5 hours ago by John from PA. (2 edits in all)
     
5 hours ago |  #12

SiaoP wrote in post #18811445 (external link)
Thanks Pictoraider and other members for the advise. I will choose a 580EX II to start with as it's cheap and decent performance for what I need.

Not sure of the pricing you are finding, but I see the 580EX-II on Amazon for $424. The 600EXII-RT is $464 as a refurb on Canon's website (see my previous comment for link). Amazon also offers the unit as a refurb for $405. See https://www.amazon.com …Refurbished/dp/​B07N98VWX3 (external link). Only (1) left in stock.




  
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Flash purchase help (Canon SpeedLite and 3rd parties)
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