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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Canon 580EX vs. 430EX Flash
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Showing posts 1 - 14 of 14, (reverse)
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12/06/2006 12:22:28 AM · #1
I know about the obvious differences (price, price, power, IR master, did I mention price e.t.c.) based on the specs but...

What are the more subtle differences between these 2 flash units? You know those things that don't seem important but end up been a huge difference.
12/06/2006 12:30:21 AM · #2
The ability to do flash exposure compensation. I use it most often to drop the amount of flash by 1/3 up to 1 1/3.

Had the 420EX as my primary before, no adjustability at all, assuming the 430 is the same way. Kept the 420 to use as a slave occasionally.
12/06/2006 12:34:44 AM · #3
Originally posted by lynnesite:

The ability to do flash exposure compensation. I use it most often to drop the amount of flash by 1/3 up to 1 1/3.

Had the 420EX as my primary before, no adjustability at all, assuming the 430 is the same way. Kept the 420 to use as a slave occasionally.


430EX works fine this way; it's a world better than the 420. I'm really not aware of any differences other than those OP mentions. I'm very happy with my 430, and it will make a nic3e slave if I ever get a master unit going.

R.
12/06/2006 12:39:42 AM · #4
How does the swivel work on the 430? This is hard to explain but does it twist either direction?

From what I can see in other threads and stuff the 580 can also tilt down whereas the 430 cannot?
12/06/2006 01:47:08 AM · #5
Originally posted by robs:

How does the swivel work on the 430? This is hard to explain but does it twist either direction?



Yes I can turn mine 180° to the left and 90° to the right.

Then from straight up to a 75° down

I am now looking for a 580ex to have a master to control the 430 ex off camera
12/06/2006 11:52:40 PM · #6
Here's a review comparing the two:
430 & 580 reviewed @ The-Digital-Picture.com
Hope you find it helpful in answering your questions.
12/07/2006 12:00:25 AM · #7
Originally posted by coolhar:

Here's a review comparing the two:
430 & 580 reviewed @ The-Digital-Picture.com
Hope you find it helpful in answering your questions.


Welcome back, Harvey. :)
01/06/2007 01:29:59 PM · #8
Hey, Rex. Have you considered the ST-E2 IR comander that canon offers? If you need a second flash AND want an IR controler for the 430EX, then the 580EX is your obvious choice. If you only want the 580EX because it is a controler and your 430EX is otherwise sufficient, then I would recommend the ST-E2. It controls flashes in the same way the 580 would, but for $210 new. It also has and AF assist beam and works in high speed mode. I am sure you already know this, but I thought it might help if not. One interesting thing. Sometimes, at weddings for example, I want a natural light ONLY exposure, but the working speed of AF. The flashes have the red assist beam to help the lens focus, but then the flash always fires. I have not figured out a way to use the beam (on ID MII, etc.) but NOT the flash. The ST-E2 offers the beam, but is obviously not a flash This works well with silhouette work especially. My 430EX should be arriving soon (currently use the 580EX) and I will then be able to work with more creative lighting ratios and scenarios using the ST-E2 from the camera. Come to think of it... you could get an ST-E2 AND a second 430EX for the same price as a 580EX alone :)
01/06/2007 01:56:55 PM · #9
Sorry... On my last post I ment to say that you can get the flash and IR controller USED for the price of a new 580Ex. The 580 is about $380 retail and the ST-E2 is $200 new and the 430EX is abouit $240 new. But at the new price... it would be $60 more for the IR controller AND a second flash than just a flash alone. And the ST-E2 seems to be a more efficent controller than the 580Ex according to some users. Check the guide numbers for output and also the stop variables each allows. For the extra $140 the 580 is probably worth it as a primary flash for almost anyone, but on a backup or secondary unit or as an additional part of a wireless system, the $140 is a lot of savings. Sorry and thanks.
01/07/2007 01:35:23 AM · #10
Just to throw a wrench into the whole thing, why not consider the Sigma EF500 DG Super? It has many of the functions of the 580EX for a price lower than that of the 430EX. It also has an optical slave trigger, something none of the Canon flashes have. The only downside is a little lower on the build quality, but it works great as long as you aren't abusing it.
01/07/2007 08:56:30 AM · #11
I am looking for a flash as well, but I was looking at a 550ex vs the 430ex. I found a used 550ex for about the same price as a new 430ex. Does anybody have any thoughts?
01/07/2007 10:25:50 AM · #12
Originally posted by Foolish Ice:

I am looking for a flash as well, but I was looking at a 550ex vs the 430ex. I found a used 550ex for about the same price as a new 430ex. Does anybody have any thoughts?


I have the 580, 550 and 420. I used the 550 as my main flash for a long time before I bought the 580. The main differences are... it's bigger and the buttons are a little more confusing (the 580 is a little easier to figure out). The 580 also knows what size of sensor you have and adjusts the built-in zoom more accurately based on which camera I have it on (20D or 5D). But that is fairly inconsequential. I like both flashes almost equally.

I most often have the 580 on my 5D and 550 on my 20D (for when both cameras are in use). But I'll often set up the 550 and 420 as off camera slaves for a *very* portable studio-like lighting setup. I have a small bag with stands and umbrellas in it and these can be set up very quickly. ETTL is what makes it work out so well. I don't even have to think much about the exposure. I figure out what I want the background to look like, set my camera's exposure, and let ETTL do the rest (with a little on-flash tweaking of either the flash exposure or the master/slave ratio, but that only takes seconds to change).

Here are some of the shots of I've posted here on DPC which use either my 420 or 550 as an off camera slave:

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01/07/2007 10:26:57 AM · #13
I was looking at reviews of the 580 flash from people who baugh it, and currently owned the older flashed (430, 420 etc) and an overwhelming amount of them said the 580 was a great flash and they woldnt ever go back.
i just purchased one.
if i find where i saw all the reviews, ill send a link.
01/07/2007 09:11:30 PM · #14
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' dwterry - Thanks for the response, I think that I am going to go with the 430ex and then down the road look for a 580ex.
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