EF-X20 Best Flash I have

Started Sep 16, 2012 | Discussions
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MuMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,939
EF-X20 Best Flash I have

I have 5 Nikon speedlights in varying models. My latest two are the SB-600 and SB-800. However, I can now say after owning and using the EF-X20 flash that it's the best flash that I own... Here's the simple reasons why.

1. It's not bogged down with fussy and complicated menu driven menu's, in fact, I doesn't even have a LCD screen. The adjustments are 100% control dial, or lever based. This is such an underestimated point that it goes unnoticed sometimes. When I'm shooting a quick portrait I don't want to ruin the mood by fiddling with my speedlights or diving into my Nikon menu settings.. I simple shoot, review LCD screen, quick adjust with a simple twist of the dial and I'm ready to go.. literally 3-5 seconds..

2. It's small, compact and hangs on the camera in a wonderful way. With the flash attached the camera still hangs around my neck and rides on my hip as if it wasn't even attached at all.

3. When it's not on my camera it is so small that it easily fits in my bag, ensuring that I always have it with me.

4. It provides perfect balance fill light in bright outdoor sunny conditions. This of course allows for a balanced bright background with the subject reasonably lite. Since my XPro-1 has such good low light IQ I don't use it much for indoor shooting, but when it's bright and sunny outside the flash is always on my camera...always.

5. I has a remote flash mode that allows it to fire off the camera as soon as it senses any light.. This makes it perfect for use as a small yet effective portrait flash when doing impromptu shooting sessions.

The down side of the flash is that it has no bounce capability. But, I'm already working on a rube-Goldberg design to let me modify it (with a small mirror) to allow bounce capability...

Anyone else with comments either good or bad on this flash?


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Torq Regular Member • Posts: 155
Re: EF-X20 Best Flash I have

It is a pretty nice setup ...

The EF-20, which will tilt (for bounce), is a nice combination ... optionally using the EF-X20 as a slave.

Both flashes, the X Pro 1 w/ grip, and all three current lenses all fit nicely in a little Domke F-5XB bag.

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JasperD Senior Member • Posts: 2,662
Re: EF-X20 Best Flash I have

I like that flash too but unlike you, it sits mostly in the bag, I don´t use it that much.

That notwithstanding, I´m considering adding a second one to be triggered by the first.

You can avoid the DIY transformation by just putting it on a flash cable, that will let you shine it in whatever direction you want it too. I´ve read the Canon OC-E3 works perfectly, ordered it and should receive it tomorrow. After checking it, I will probably order the second EF-X20 just before FW upgrade 2.0 and the XF 14/2.8.

boinkphoto Contributing Member • Posts: 950
Re: EF-X20 Best Flash I have

It is the lack of bounce that is my big problem (that and the price, which is pretty dang high). To me it's almost not worth using flash if it isn't bounce (except for daytime fill).

In any case, Demb makes some "Rube Goldberg" devices that might do the trick:


Though whether there's enough power to get bounce is another question...

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jimmyca1219 Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: EF-X20 Best Flash I have

Its a nice looking flash indeed... but how does it compare to the cheaper ef-20? Does it worth the extra money?

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TThorne Senior Member • Posts: 3,013
Re: EF-X20 Best Flash I have

I went through this a while back and settled on a combo of the ef-x20 and a EF-42.

The x20 for the obvious fill flash, and the 42 for bounce. I was using the bounce feature so seldom that I thought it might be convenient one day to be able to bounce in any direction and just keep the 42 as a backup for that.

Of course now I use pocket wizards a lot and it doesn't matter what flash I use, to an extent.

jimmyca1219 wrote:

Its a nice looking flash indeed... but how does it compare to the cheaper ef-20? Does it worth the extra money?

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Scott McL
Scott McL Regular Member • Posts: 249
Thanks - "read the Canon OC-E3 works perfectly"

One more checklist item - extension cord enabled "off camera" flash (flash bracket or hand held) I can check of for the X-E1! One step closer to purchase! Thanks!

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"Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed." - Garry Winogrand

Scott McL
Scott McL Regular Member • Posts: 249
Might you elaborate more on Pocket Wizard setup?

I currently shoot a Nikon via PC sync with a couple of AB-800 studio strobes, and am looking for similar/better configurations for the X-E1. Another "buy decision checklist item" I am researching.

Could you describe your Fuji + Pocket Wizard setup?

Many thanks in advance!

"Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed." - Garry Winogrand

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