Curtis N wrote in post #3140938
Have you tried switching your flash metering to average (custom function 14-1 on the 20D)? This seems to be more consistent for me when using flash as the main light source.
The automatic mode as well as other features of the 580EX make it pretty tempting, but it sure is pricey.
I've used both average and evaluative and while both are OK neither seems more accurate than the other.
My gripe is that it's so hard to tweak the camera flash into a correct flash exposure after it does make a mistake. Being wrong isn't that bad if I could easily adjust to that error. In all the Automatic flashes I've ever used I've found that while they aren't specifically accurate (f8 actually being f8 for example) they seem to be consistent in their error. If I select f8 and I get f5.6 I almost always get f5.6 at the f8 setting. With film that was a long drawn out process since it was based on shooting and then seeing what the results were. It also had to be based on a specific flash not just a generic 283, as I found out when I realized that I had one 283 that was a full stop hotter than the other. But once I got a flash sorted out it worked fine.
Yes I can dial in exposure compensation but I'd much rather use the aperture to do this as it's easier and certainly more intuitive.
I think that the reason that Automatic works better, has to do with the relative insensitivity of the Automatic eye which can't and doesn't adjust to differences in flash exposure caused by (say) subjects wearing different coloured shirts. I've had tremendous problems photographing "tables" at events with E-TTL 2. The white tablecloth just freaks out the sensor and underexposes everything by as much as three stops. Now for shots like this I use Manual exposures, which actually work well, but talk about going back to the stone ages!
Automatic in a Canon EX flash will give me everything. I keep Wireless, the effortless and very accurate fill flash and then I have Automatic for accurate (finally!!!) single flash shooting.
"There's never time to do it right. But there's always time to do it over."
Canon 5D, 50D; 16-35 f2.8L, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 f1.4, 100 f2.8 Macro, 70-200 f2.8L, 300mm f2.8L IS.