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Canon Speedlite 550EX  
User currently offlineDazultra From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 689 posts, RR: 42
Posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3061 times:

OK guys, Im looking to buy this flashgun, cheapest ive seen it is about £250 at various outlets (not including ebay).
Anyone know of anywhere this can be found any cheaper?
(£250 is quite a lot when ur only a student  Smile/happy/getting dizzy)

Cheers,

Daz.

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineManzoori From UK - England, joined Sep 2002, 1516 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3051 times:

... Oh! I was just gonna say E-Bay!

Funny you should mention this Daz as I was thinking about adding this to my arsenal after the nigthmare I had on Saturday evening trying to get the D30 to Focus in low light conditions at a friends 25th anniversary do.

I read somewhere the addition of a speedlite (not necessarily the 550EX) will be a big boost to the camera's ability to focus? Do you (or anyone else for that matter) know if this is true?

I could always strap my laser pointer to the camera. This works a treat but people seem to get awfully agitated when I accidentally zap them in the eyes with it!  Wink/being sarcastic

Cheers!

Rez
 Big thumbs up



Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3041 times:

Yes, the speedlites have an aid light for the AF. Good reason to get one because the cameras can be total crap trying to focus with the built in flash as an aid. 99% of the time I use MF for indoor photography.

Staffan


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3025 times:

£250 is a good price for the 550EX - and worth every penny IF you can afford it. Using its own infrared beam (you can disable the camera's silly light), focus is fast and accurate. This is also a very powerful and versatile flash. If you like, you can set the camera on Program, and use it like a point'n'shoot - and everything will come out just fine.

Or, as I do, set the camera to manual, choose any shutter/fstop combo you like and the flash will work out the correct light strength and duration.

This is the only flash I've ever actually enjoyed using ... as simple as can be when you need simplicity, but capable of the full gamut of creative flash effects.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinePaulianer From Germany, joined Jul 2002, 875 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3012 times:

Or, as I do, set the camera to manual, choose any shutter/fstop combo you like and the flash will work out the correct light strength and duration.

Will that also work with the 420EX??? I just bought this Canon Speedlite....

And is it possible to shot also in AV-Mode? I only had decent results in P or simply manual...

Greetings
Tobi



Tobias Rose - Hamburg (HAM/EDDH) & (XFW/EDHI) - Canon EOS D60 - ICQ: 235621277 - MSN: Tobias.Rose@gmx.de
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2993 times:

Will that also work with the 420EX

I think so ... but of course as I should have said in my statement about the 550EX

Choose any combo you like within the power range of the flash. Setting f22 for a subject 50 meters away ain't gonna work, as the flash doesn't have that much power.

The 420EX is less powerful, and hence more restrictive, but you should still be able to say set f4 in manual or AV mode and the flash takes care of the rest. Actually AV mode is very much like manual mode in "normal" flash photography, as the shutter speed is fairly irrelevant. When using fill flash or long exposures, the shutter speed does matter, and manual will offer more control than AV mode.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineDazultra From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 689 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Thanks for the replies guys;
looks like the 550ex is a decent piece of kit from what you're saying Colin, I reckon I'l settle for the asking price of 250  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Also what you say about the infra red beam, how does this work? Is that the red thingy under the main white reflector/bulb?

Daz.


User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2981 times:

Yup, that is the AF assist beam. It is also the trigger for the slave units you can control with this flash. I intend to get one with my 28-70 2.8L. it should be a great indoors combo.

Wietse



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2938 times:

I have the Canon Speedlite 550EX and it rocks!
I also have a much older Canon Speedlite that was
very compatible with my older Canon EOS 630's. I can
now use it with a radio slave as a secondary flash if I want
to do some fashion/glamour stuff.

The Canon flashes are so cool. You can take photos in complete
darkness insides and you'll get great results. I've done it. No one believes
that the photos will turn out well at all since all the lights are off. The red light assist beam causes the lense to focus just fine, and no worries!


Jay


User currently offlineLyzzard From Singapore, joined Nov 2003, 404 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2914 times:

Wow, u guys need to make a trip to Asia to pick up camera gear. The 550EX retails about US$350 brand new here.

User currently offlineDazultra From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 689 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2895 times:

lol did consider it lyzzard, but if u get screwed with import duties when u get back it will end up costing about the same, then theres the flight to actually get there in the first place...

Daz.


User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2892 times:

Well i have a canon 550ex and i think it's great!!! So great infact that i have 2 more and an ST-E2 wireless transmitter on my shopping list!!! Great set of guns that wpork great in wireless multi flash modes!!!

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2861 times:

Guys,

Just had this thing shipped to me, and it is worth every penny. I love the bit where it focusses on a blank wall in total darkness... Smile

Just a question: What batteries do you guys use with this thing and how long do they last? I have a kids musical coming up and I dont want to run out of power during the show...

Cheers,

Wietse



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineExitRow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2849 times:

Wietse -
Word of warning: If you buy rechargeables, be sure to get batteries designed for heavy use. I shot a concert a while back and used the flash a bit too excessively (didn't leave enough time between firings) and the batteries heated up quit a bit. I didn't think anything of it that night, but the next morning when I pulled them to recharge, one leaked. I assume it was because they were cheap rechargeables and one was defective. Luckly for me, the acid leaked away from the electronics and everything was solved with a toothbrush and some baking soda.

Flashes tend to draw a lot of power, fast. So make sure you get batteries up to the challenge.

It's a great flash. Be sure to play with the rear-curtain sync. That's fun.

william


User currently offlineDazultra From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 689 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2843 times:

Just bought the 550ex yesterday, its a bit huge  Wow!
and the manual is nearly as fat as the manual for the 10D!

Took some test shots though, and first signs are that its a damn good piece of kit...

Daz.


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2841 times:

Battery life is pretty good - though obviously variable as the flash output depends on a whole bunch of factors.

I use non-rechargeable Alkalines (have been let down too often with rechargeables). I don't have any exact measurements, but at a guess, I don't think I've ever used more than 2 sets of batteries for one camera battery charge (say 300-400 frames) - and I tend not to use batteries to the very end as charge cycles get too long as the battery dies.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJetTrader From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 586 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2832 times:


For what it's worth I have the Sigma EF 500-DG ST Flash unit which does pretty much everything* the 500EX does at about 60% of the price (mine was £135).

A very capable flash unit and a very cost effective alternative

Regards,
Dean

* As far as I know the only thing the 500-DG does not do is rear curtain sync. Also there are some reports of variable exposure - not something I have experienced!





Life's dangerous. Get a f**king helmet!
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

Dean - I'm sure you're right (but 2nd curtain sync is pretty cool  Smile).

For now.

The problem these days is that anything but the most basic flash conducts a pretty sophisticated dialogue with the camera. Sigma et al effectively have to reverse engineer to get this dialogue to work. If and when Canon change something, that 3rd party kit may no longer work (as has been seen with old lenses).

The 1D Mk II has introduced a new type of ETTL exposure (does the Sigma do ETTL?), which I think we'll see incorporated into every future Canon camera (even the fairly basic film 300v has it). Not sure if the Sigma will still be able to operate correctly with the new system.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2805 times:

I heard the Sigma doesnt do ETTl, just the basic TTL version. I have been experimenting with stroboscope flashes this evening and it is way cool  Smile

Wietse



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineJetTrader From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 586 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2774 times:


Guys,

The Sigma EF 500-DG ST does do ETTL - as I said, the only thing that I'm aware of that it doesn't do, that the 550EX does do, is 2nd curtain sync.

As Colin rightly says, Sigma (by necessity) reverse engineer their Canon compatible products so there is always a chance they won't work with later Canon products. However, the 500-DG does work just fine with the existing crop of Canon DSLRs.

Cheers,
Dean



Life's dangerous. Get a f**king helmet!
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2742 times:



Was this done with 2nd curtain sync?

W



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2738 times:

Hard to tell..

2nd curtain while zooming one way would give the same results as 1st curtain zooming the other.

Easier to tell when the motion is not in the direction the camera is pointing.

Staffan



User currently offlineJoge From Finland, joined Feb 2000, 1444 posts, RR: 40
Reply 22, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2735 times:

Can you guys post some sample pictures here (aviation or non-aviation) taken using the 550EX? Big grin

-Joge



Bula!
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2722 times:



Taken with a bounced 550EX and a 28-70 2.8 lens. Took it the first day I had the flash  Smile

Wietse



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2714 times:

Here's a couple I took at a dance competition. Actually we're looking at 2 techniques here - first, a slow shutter speed sync - this is to help balance the harsh flash light with the limited available light in the room. From memory the shutter is around 1/15th - of course the dancers are moving, so a slight ghost image is recorded in natural light, giving (I hope) the impression of movement. (Mixing the flash & tungsten light also gives a warm, saturated look).

2nd, I used 2nd curtain sync - ie. the dancers are first recorded in artificial light and at the end of the long (and hence blurred) exposure, a blast of flash freezes the detail. By using 2nd curtain, the blur gives some indication of the direction things are moving.

Of course, its all a bit trial and error - in this situation, shutter speeds of 1/8 - 1/15th were about right - 1/4 was too blurred, 1/30th to static. I was shooting on manual with the lens set to f4 or f5.6 ... the 550EX determined the flash exposure.

http://www.btinternet.com/~ckwphoto/sudo/latin/7142_std.jpg
http://www.btinternet.com/~ckwphoto/sudo/latin/7293_std.jpg

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
25 Post contains images Joge : Nice pictures, guys. I'm sure the flash is worth of every penny (like said here already). BTW, colin, does the flash have an effect of doing the objec
26 Post contains images Ckw : Exactly what "objects" are you examining Joge? Cheers, Colin
27 Dazultra : Colin (or anyone else for that matter), What are your views on using a diffuser on the flash? I bought one for my 550EX and am inclined not to take it
28 Post contains images ExitRow : This was shot using the 550EX in 2nd curtain. 1/4sec @ F4.5. 20mm. The lines emanating from the bass head are reflections of the continuous lighting i
29 Post contains images Ckw : Yeah diffusers are cool - I use one (ok, a hanky loosely bunched over the flash head ) when shooting close in - though if at all possible I prefer to
30 Post contains images Wietse : It is one big mofo though...: Wietse PS, William, got my reply to your email?
31 Post contains images ExitRow : Thanks Colin. I too share your love of available light. But I have made a truce with my flash. Truth be told, the off-camera shoe cord is what won me
32 Post contains images ExitRow : It is one big mofo though...: Power comes with a price. PS, William, got my reply to your email? Yep... got it. Now I just need to save some money for
33 Bronko : Someone is selling a used 540EX for about half the new price. Can someone compare this flash with the 550EX?
34 Staffan : Isn't the 540 EZ and not EX? I don't think the EZ models support ETTL and I also heard somewhere that they don't work with Canon's newer digital bodie
35 Dazultra : Yeah u got it right Staffan, the EZ models will work in manual modes i think, but if u put it in auto it wont talk to the camera like the EX models wi
36 JeffM : Watch the spike voltage levels as well. Many after market flashes, and some older Canon lights put out at the contacts well over 200 volts. Canon digi
37 Wietse : Jeff is right, voltages dont match up. You can buy an aftermarket transformer, which you have to stick between the shoe and the flash. Wouldnt count o
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