580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

Started Nov 28, 2006 | Discussions
subspace New Member • Posts: 15
580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

After trying various searches through the forums and Amazon / Google, I cannot find a book on the Canon 580EX flash. I know at one time I read a thread about a book entirely dedicated to the 580EX flash.

Does anyone have that book or know where to get it? If so, would you recommend it? Any alternatives?

I ordered this flash recently and would like to maximize its use. I am also trying to get all my gift ideas together for family!

Thanks,

Jim

dswcamera Senior Member • Posts: 1,676
I would recommend this link first

This link has a great tutorial

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#existing

This other link is a general flash "basics" but very good

http://www.photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=171657

And lastly, I would get a copy of the Canon users manual if you already don't have one. There is probably a PDF file online

I am also interested in the book you described, but these other info sources are a good foundation

Hope this helps
Dan
--
'A bad idea in search of a good cause is..
just a bad idea' ... me

Jim_R Senior Member • Posts: 1,892
No book, but advice...
-- hide signature --

There is a 'standard' error that many people make when using the Canon flash system. For indoor pics, they set Av, or Tv and expect good results.

Those two modes are used for fill flash (read the manual for full description). Therefor, the camera will not adjust the exposure nor shutter speed to allow for the light from the flash. The result with Av is a long shutter speed and blurry subjects.

Here is how to do indoor flash. (ie, not fill flash)

Select Manual mode.
Set Av, f5.6 (vary this up or down if you want)
ISO 400 (Vary this if you like)

Flash exposure compensation - select + 2/3. Note your results on the histogram and vary this if you need to.
Set the flash to ETTL. Use bounce flash or direct.

This will work as "automatic" as anything. Try it out this evening. If you like, you can mail me the price of the book (grin).

Jim Rickards

dswcamera Senior Member • Posts: 1,676
What is your shutter speed recommendation?

Since it is not automatically set to sync speed in M mode, I would assume it is whatever you need for stop action, object movement?

Thanks

Dan
--
'A bad idea in search of a good cause is..
just a bad idea' ... me

ThaQuest
ThaQuest Senior Member • Posts: 1,372
Re: 580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

The photonotes.org link mentioned above cannot be recommended highly enough. It is a fantastic resource. That in conjunction with the Strobist website will give you a lot of information to digest. Go visit http://strobist.blogspot.com/ for more.

-- hide signature --

Daily Photos of China ---> http://www.xanga.com/jessewarren

 ThaQuest's gear list:ThaQuest's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS
Juli Valley Forum Pro • Posts: 54,437
The shutter speed

will control how much ambient light is used. 1/60th will let in a lot of light from the surroundings; faster speeds will only show the subject in the light.

Someone beat me to my usual tips. One thing I will add is get a Lightsphere II photojournalist diffuser. It's a little large, but it works a treat as the Brits say.
--
Juli
http://www.pbase.com/julivalley/galleries
Canon FiveDee, Canon 2oD, Canon Gee3, and Canon S7o, Fuji Eff30.

bill hansen Forum Pro • Posts: 10,031
mark (nt)

no text

OP subspace New Member • Posts: 15
Re: I would recommend this link first

Dan,

Thanks for the links. The first one I am familiar with but the second one I have not seen before. It looks very interesting and informative.

I got a copy of the online manual weeks ago. I read through it quickly but between the camera and flash manual even I may be overloaded!

Jim

dswcamera wrote:

This link has a great tutorial

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#existing

This other link is a general flash "basics" but very good

http://www.photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=171657

And lastly, I would get a copy of the Canon users manual if you
already don't have one. There is probably a PDF file online

I am also interested in the book you described, but these other
info sources are a good foundation

Hope this helps
Dan
--
'A bad idea in search of a good cause is..
just a bad idea' ... me

OP subspace New Member • Posts: 15
Re: No book, but advice...

Jim,

I appreciate this information greatly. It gives me a good starting point on which to experiement. I have been used to my old Pentax film camera with the basic flash...not too much latitude when it comes to experimentation. The ETTL mode sounds pretty remarkable. Manual mode will be fun to play with as well.

One of the amazing things with digital is the ability to experiement and learn without it costing anything...although all family and friends will start to run away when you said "Can I try this one picture out on you".

Jim

Jim_R wrote:

OP subspace New Member • Posts: 15
Re: The shutter speed

Juli,

The shutter speed is another variable I am going to try. I did not know you can change speed in the ETTL flash system. Does it mess up the shutter synch speed...ie. partial picture of the shutter curtain in the picture?

I have been reading about the diffuser(s) the last few days although I have known about them for a few months. I would like to try one but I may experiment with the bounce flash first and then purchase a diffuser next month when I buy a couple more lenses from the rebate list.

Which of the diffusers do you like best? It seems there are a lot of versions including the home made ones. What about the tungston (sp?) or ambiant (color) ones?

Jim

Juli Valley wrote:

will control how much ambient light is used. 1/60th will let in a
lot of light from the surroundings; faster speeds will only show
the subject in the light.

Someone beat me to my usual tips. One thing I will add is get a
Lightsphere II photojournalist diffuser. It's a little large, but
it works a treat as the Brits say.
--
Juli
http://www.pbase.com/julivalley/galleries
Canon FiveDee, Canon 2oD, Canon Gee3, and Canon S7o, Fuji Eff30.

OP subspace New Member • Posts: 15
Re: 580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

Looks like another great website. I will bookmark for evening reading.

Thanks,

Jim

PS. I like your night pictures...something I want to get back into with my DSLR.

ThaQuest wrote:

The photonotes.org link mentioned above cannot be recommended
highly enough. It is a fantastic resource. That in conjunction with
the Strobist website will give you a lot of information to digest.
Go visit http://strobist.blogspot.com/ for more.

Gadget Man Contributing Member • Posts: 522
Re: 580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

I just bought a DVD on how to use the 580EX and the 430EX. I will let you know what I think when it arrives. Should be hear in a week. Amazon and BHPhotovideo both have it, just search 580EX.

Juli Valley Forum Pro • Posts: 54,437
You can drag the shutter

at 1/30th or 1/60th or raise the speed up to the limit of the camera's synch speed. I frequently shoot at 1/125 or 1/100th at f 5.6 or f 8 at 400 ISO and +2/3 flash exposure compensation.
--
Juli
http://www.pbase.com/julivalley/galleries
Canon FiveDee, Canon 2oD, Canon Gee3, and Canon S7o, Fuji Eff30.

Gadget Man Contributing Member • Posts: 522
580EX DVD On Using Flash

I bought a DVD from Blue Crane Digital on how to use the Speedlite 580ex and 430ex a week ago. I've watched it twice and think it was well worth $24.95.

The Topics Covered Are

Flash Exposure Compensation
Using the Flash as a Key or Fill light
FP or High Speed Sync operation
Slow Sync demystified
Controlling the hardness or softness of the flash
Auto and Manual Zoom control
Flash Bracketing
Manual Mode and Exposure Compensation
Wireless Operation
A:B and C groups – why they exist and how to use them
Group Ratios
Flash exposure lock
Getting the flash off the camera
First and Second Curtain Sync
Manual and Stroboscopic modes

I would recommend this to any who wants to learn more about the Canon flash system, unless you are a pro, then it might be more of a review.

Isabel Cutler Forum Pro • Posts: 11,174
I agree. It was very helpful to me. (nt)
-- hide signature --

'Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a significant crop' Ansel Adams
http://www.pbase.com/isabel95
http://www.pbase.com/digipets (not only for pet digital photography!)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/digicamvideo/

tivoboy Senior Member • Posts: 1,421
nt ()

no topic

yankeefan Regular Member • Posts: 234
Re: 580EX DVD On Using Flash

I also bought this DVD and have now viewed it twice. I expect I'll view it several more times. They teach you a LOT on this DVD. I recommend it.

Here's the B&H link:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=414626&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

and here's a link to the Blue Crane Homepage:

http://www.bluecranedigital.com/dvd.htm

Snyper77 Regular Member • Posts: 249
Re: 580EX DVD On Using Flash

Hey GADGET MAN, your email isn't listed, but I have a question for you please. If you will, email me at info@dannybruce.com and we'll talk there. Thanks!

alborz Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: 580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

Hi

I am waiting for this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Speedlite-System-Digital-Field/dp/0470045280/sr=1-10/qid=1165750885/ref=sr_1_10/002-7059082-5823211?ie=UTF8&s=books

Unfortunately I could not order the DVD guide.

thanks
alborz

subspace wrote:

After trying various searches through the forums and Amazon /
Google, I cannot find a book on the Canon 580EX flash. I know at
one time I read a thread about a book entirely dedicated to the
580EX flash.

Does anyone have that book or know where to get it? If so, would
you recommend it? Any alternatives?

I ordered this flash recently and would like to maximize its use.
I am also trying to get all my gift ideas together for family!

Thanks,

Jim

Chuck Gardner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,381
Re: 580EX Flash Tutorial Book?

These tutorials are specific to speed lights. I currently use a pair of 580ex:
http://super.nova.org/DPR/580ex/
http://super.nova.org/DPR/Design/
http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/
http://super.nova.org/DPR/DualFlash/
http://super.nova.org/DPR/FillFlash/
http://super.nova.org/DPR/HotShoePrimer/

Here are details on basic operation:

The Canon 580ex can operate in TTL or manual mode. The user interface is a bit confusing because it requires pushing several different buttons and turning the dials. The manual isn't very clear on many functions, but if you follow all the steps in order things usually work.

First if you are using the 580ex on a camera or the TTL extension cable by itself with no other slave flash the three position "off-master-slave" switch must be in the "off" position. Seems counter intuitive until you realize that switch is for wireless multi-flash mode and when using a solo flash the wireless remote control signaling must be turned off. I suspect you may have that switch set to Master.

Turn camera on. Put it in M mode ISO 100, f/5.6 @ 1/125th.

Turn flash on. Press camera shutter half-way. Display should read E TTL and focal length of zoom head and lens f/stop. Bar graph at bottom will show the effective TTL range of the flash at that f/stop and focal length. If you change aperture or zoom of lens the bar graph will also change. For example, at ISO 100 and f/5.6 the max range is about 18ft @ 24mm and 25ft @ 70mm

Make sure the flash is in the normal horizontal position. Note the bottom position is 7 degrees below horizontal. If you see a icon of a flash unit blinking in the LCD raise the head one click. If you see - - where the zoom setting should be lower the flash head. The - - indicates the head is tilted up for bounce

The camera / flash should work fine in E-TTL mode. Don't use FEL. Just frame, shoot, evaluate, and the adjust FEC as needed. In other words let the camera make its best guess first before you try to second guess it.

Depending on the overall reflectance of the scene + 1 stop or more FEC may be needed. That is normal. It simple terms the camera metering thinks the woirld is a perfect average of light and dark tones which will refect 12 - 18% of the light back to the camera. When more or less is reflected back the camera’s best guess at the expoure will be wrong. That’s were FEC comes into play. It acts to override the camera’s flash calcuation

Manual Mode

In manual mode the camera metering isn’t use at all. Exposure adjustments must be made by evaluating the image in the LCD playback and histogram and then adjusting the manual power level. In essence its the same as TTL and FEC with needed to wait for the camera’s guess. If the camera flash is put on 1/2 power and a test shot taken it will either be 1) perfect, 2) underexposed, or 3) over exposed. If under the next logical step would be to change to double to full power and try again. If over the next logical step would be to cut power in half to 1/4 and try again. The test shot process might need to be repeated a few more times, but so does the process of making FEC adjustments. Both involve trial and errot to get the exposure perfect with about the same number of steps. The difference is that TTL will adapt to changes in flash/subject distances but manual will not; its manual.

Using the flash in manual modes:

Press the "mode" button once. Display will change to M and 1/1 (or some other fraction if used previously).

Press the center button (set) button in the adjustment wheel to change power setting. When you press button fractional power indicator will flash.

Turn wheel clockwise to increase power, anti-clockwise to decrease. If you don't turn the wheel within 10 sec the indicator will stop flashing - press the button again

1/1 = full power. 1/2 = 1/2 full power (-1 stop) 1/4 = 1/4 full power (-2 stops) etc.

Between the full stop settings there a 1/3 step increments, so as you decrease power you will see 1/1, 1/1 -0.3, 1/1 - 0.7, 1/2, 1/2 -0.3, 1/2 - 0.7, 1/4 .... But if you are turning the wheel clockwise to increase power you will see + signs 1/4, 1/4 +0.3, 1/4 +0.7, 1/2, 1/2 +0.3, 1/2 +0.7, 1/1 Perfectly logical, but a bit counter intuitive.

In M mode there will only be one distance for each power setting where exposure is perfect. Perfect in digital is defined as correctly exposed highlight detail. The bar graph on the LCD show the distance where the exposure will be correct. As with TTL the zoom setting and aperture will affect that distance. With the camera set to ISO and f/5.6 and 50mm the 580ex indicates the following distances for correct exposure with various power levels:

1/128 = 2.3 ft
1/64 = 4ft
1/32 = 5ft
1/16 = 7ft
1/8 = 10ft
1/4 = 15ft
1/2 = 20ft
1/1 = 30ft

Getting the correct exposure is simply a matter of picking the power level which corresponds to the range of that level. The position shown on the LCD is approximate. Determine your the actual level needed via the highlight detail in your images. FEC is not active in M flash mode. Making an FEC adjustment on the camera will have no effect, To change exposure change the power level manually. That's why its called manual

To recap Manual flash is really as simple as cooking on a stove top>

Press mode until M appears
Press center button of wheel

Turn the dial to increase or decrease the "heat" until your subject is perfectly "cooked".

Use the LCD distance scale as a guide for max range and optimum distance for the ISO and f/stop being used.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads