220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Started May 25, 2001 | Discussions
Linda Regular Member • Posts: 137
220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.

Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.

I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait photography I'm sure I'll want one.

BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate light when needed, especially for fill flash.

(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.
--:) Linda

Doug D.
Doug D. Veteran Member • Posts: 3,327
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Linda,

One of the reasons I was looking at the G1 was because I already had a 220ex for my Optura Mini DV. It works fine for me, although I am a novice and wouldn't know how to bounce a flash anyway.

Doug

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

 Doug D.'s gear list:Doug D.'s gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS
Zipped Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

I have never tried bounce before I bought 420EX. I found the result with the bounce feature is a must as every picture that I have taken with the 420EX has been perfect. I have also tried the fill mode but it always seems not as natural and the light is just too artifical.

Doug D. wrote:
Linda,
One of the reasons I was looking at the G1 was because I already
had a 220ex for my Optura Mini DV. It works fine for me, although I
am a novice and wouldn't know how to bounce a flash anyway.

Doug

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

James Anderson Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Hi Linda,

Jim from Nevada here. I'm not positive but I think I read that the two "top" flashes (the 420EX and the 5xxEX [can't remember the number]) have features not available on the other Canon flashes. Don't quote me but I think the big ferature is that they will control the amount of light emitted based on the requirement of the camera/shot. All the others simply charge a capacitor and fire at full force every time even though you might only need 25% as much light.

Good luck.

jim

OP Linda Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

jim anderson wrote:

Hi Linda,

Jim from Nevada here. I'm not positive but I think I read that the
two "top" flashes (the 420EX and the 5xxEX [can't remember the
number]) have features not available on the other Canon flashes.
Don't quote me but I think the big ferature is that they will
control the amount of light emitted based on the requirement of the
camera/shot. All the others simply charge a capacitor and fire at
full force every time even though you might only need 25% as much
light.

Good luck.

jim

You sure are a travelling man!

You're right about the 420ex and 5??ex being far superior flashes. The zoom and swivel.

BUT, they are really large and make the G1 top heavy. I wonder if I would carry it around with me.

I had the top of the line (or near it) for my Canon AE1 program, and I did use it .... but rarely used the bounce. Hmmm. Perhaps I would have like my candids better if I had.

Good grief, I think I'm talking myself into the 420, although I think the 380ex swivels up (not to the side). If it's smaller, it might be a good compromise.
Have a good trip.

Linda

James Anderson Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

If you haven't yet, take a look at:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/g1faq.html

The guy that wrote it (Kevin Bjorke) seems to be well respected on the list and I am impressed (gee, with all I know about digital photography, how much would it take to impress me) with his information. Take a look soon because Kevin is about to give up on Canon (see Forum Topic:  "MY Attitude: Goodbye Canon" and might decide to discontinue the Web page.

As for the Flash decision, I think the contol between the camera and the flash that you get with the 420EX and the 550EX (remembered [I think]) is probably worth the weight. It is what I intend to do.

Good luck.

jim

Richard Contributing Member • Posts: 924
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Linda,

Get the 420 EX. You will come to appreciate the differences very quikly. A bounced flash using a nearby wall (if the color is correct) produces a picture that looks like it was lit from an open window-- much better than the "searchlight" look of a direct flash. One of the main reasons most people get the external flash at all is to bounce the light.

Believe me-- the difference in cost is absolutely worth it IMHO.

Even if you get the 220 EX, get a Sto-Fen OmniBounce attachment to help diffuse the light. I use one, and also a LumiQuest 80/20 bounce kit. They can really increase your control over the light. Esthetically, photography is all about capturing the heart or soul. Technically, it is about controlling and capturing the light.

-- hide signature --

rhb

Linda wrote:

jim anderson wrote:

Hi Linda,

Jim from Nevada here. I'm not positive but I think I read that the
two "top" flashes (the 420EX and the 5xxEX [can't remember the
number]) have features not available on the other Canon flashes.
Don't quote me but I think the big ferature is that they will
control the amount of light emitted based on the requirement of the
camera/shot. All the others simply charge a capacitor and fire at
full force every time even though you might only need 25% as much
light.

Good luck.

jim

You sure are a travelling man!
You're right about the 420ex and 5??ex being far superior flashes.
The zoom and swivel.
BUT, they are really large and make the G1 top heavy. I wonder if I
would carry it around with me.
I had the top of the line (or near it) for my Canon AE1 program,
and I did use it .... but rarely used the bounce. Hmmm. Perhaps I
would have like my candids better if I had.
Good grief, I think I'm talking myself into the 420, although I
think the 380ex swivels up (not to the side). If it's smaller, it
might be a good compromise.
Have a good trip.

Linda

Dick S Contributing Member • Posts: 929
I'm not laughing

Hi Linda,

After all of the knowledgeable expert advice let my add my 2 cents.

Hey guys, you don't understand what Linda was asking and/or understand the Canon system. READ YOUR MANUAL AND LEARN THE SYSTEM BEFORE GIVING ADVICE!!!!!

First, the 220 EX works fine with the G1.

What Linda wants to do is have a small manageable flash on the shoe that also gives her the advantage of hand held bouncing on rare occasions by using the off-shoe cord.

Please tell me what's wrong with doing it this way. For what she wants to do and has spelled out--I say YOU GO GAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Linda, it will work and is the solution to do what you want to do.

Regards,
Dick S, Temecula, CA

Mike K Veteran Member • Posts: 5,525
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

I usually find the built in flash is fine for fill flash applications, often too much and I have to decrease the intensity with the flash compensation. The limitation of the built in flash is the limit to its strength and the closeness of angle to the lens, which gives that washed out look if you are really depending upon it for your primary source of light.
From Kevin's page on eTTL flashes:
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/ETTL1.html

it would appear that the 220ex is eTTL, and this is an important feature (although the 220 cannot zoom like the 420ex and 550 ex). The eTTL also controls the flash intensity, as non-eTTL fire at max intensity all the time. The main disadvantage to your proposal is that it would be far less powerful than the larger flashes. The guide # for the 550ex is 55 meaning it will illuminate 55meters at ISO 100, I presume the 220 is guide #22, and looking at the G1 manual specs I would guess the built-in flash guide # is 4.5. Light intensity decreases as the cube of the distance, so 2x the distance is 8x more powerful, a lot. Using an off shoe cord will work for bounce, but the camera may be a handful to deal with. I agree that it should work, however.
Regards, Mike K

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

 Mike K's gear list:Mike K's gear list
Canon EOS D60 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM +9 more
Tony Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: I'm not laughing

My advice is take the G1 to a local photo store and try both flashes. Take those shots back home, view them on your computer monitor as I did, and you will be able to see the different. I ended up with the 420EX, it is much better. It is also the first time I ever try to use bounce flash, and to me it is a must for photograph. It give your pictures the softness, warm natural color, and you won't see the harsh bright spot when the flash was fired straight on the subject. And YES I wish it size is small as the 220EX.

If I have to use off shoe line cord for bounce flash, I would forfeited the portable feature of the 220EX. Then I rather have the 420EX instead.

darob New Member • Posts: 6
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

I believe that a lot of the "advice" on this one is a matter of personal preference. For what it is worth, here are my experiences. I have a 220EX and a Canon remote cord (I bought the cord some time ago to use with a 540EZ and a couple of EOS bodies with that system). Bounce flash with the 220EX and the G1 does work, but I rarely do it because of color balance issues (you need a white ceiling). Unfortunately, bouncing the 220EX is not easy unless you have a grip with a tiltable shoe (the 220EX does not have a swivel head like the other models).

My preference (which turns out to be less expensive) is to use a Sunpak 383. It bounces in all directions (i.e. its flash head tilts in both the vertical and horizontal axes). Generally, I tilt the flash head straight up and use a small diffuser (it causes no color balance problem, softens the harsh flash shadow, and is sufficiently "off axis" to reduce red eye).

None of the "auto features" of the camera work with the Sunpak 383 or the similar Vivitar models (I have a twenty years old Vivitar 283 with a high trigger voltage that does not work with recent model cameras), but that is not a problem. The Sunpak flash has a built in sensor that takes over the metering task. I set the G1 to manual mode, shoot at ISO 50 or 100, and use the f stop reading indicated by the flash -- this provides about the same degree of control over those settings that the Canon dedicated flashes provide in AV mode.

My experience so far (maybe a thousand G1 flash pictures over the last six months) indicates that the Sunpak works slightly better than the Canon EOS falsh systems with the G1. The G1 does not work like the other EOS cameras with multi zone metering and flash exposure lock. In those instances (backlit scenes with sunsets, etc., where you want proper exposure of both (a) the sunset's colors and (b) the foreground subject -- usually a person), using the EOS bodies and the E-TTL and A-TTL capabilities of the EOS flash system cannot be matched by the Sunpak.

The important thing to remember in all of these adventures in camera exposure is simple: bracket your shots, experiment, and remember what "worked" in a particular situation. Unlike film photography, the G1 offers the opportunity for endless experiments and quick verification of results. The G1 gives you enough control so that your experiments can lead to amazing results -- that you can see on the spot -- without the expense and delay of film processing.

And that is why I used the term "personal preference" in the begining -- the G1 is sufficiently flexible to do about anything, given some effort and experiments. This forum has a wealth of information about the various techniques, and I have not ceased to be surprised at the many different methods available to achieve similar results and effects. And for that reason, I can say only that my experiences are just personal preferences.

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

OP Linda Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

That was great advice!
What an incredible Web page.
Thanks, again!

jim anderson wrote:

If you haven't yet, take a look at:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/g1faq.html

The guy that wrote it (Kevin Bjorke) seems to be well respected on
the list and I am impressed (gee, with all I know about digital
photography, how much would it take to impress me) with his
information. Take a look soon because Kevin is about to give up on
Canon (see Forum Topic:  "MY Attitude: Goodbye Canon" and might
decide to discontinue the Web page.

Richard Contributing Member • Posts: 924
Re: I'm not laughing

Hi Dick--

My reasons for recommending the 420 EX is based on personal experience. Although I didn't have the 220 EX I did have a small non-swivel flash with the intention of using as Linda wishes to do-- small, with direct flash for most shots and an off-shoe cord to use for the rare times I would want to bounce. I wanted it mainly to get rid of the shadow caused by the Lensmate at wide angle. I found my self bouncing almost any chance I had since the quality of the picture was so much better. With the off-shoe cord, I found that I had to carry the flash separately in my shirt pocket while the G1 was strapped around my neck, and it became so cumbersome for me after a while that I bought the 420 EX. Now I have no difficulty taking either direct or bounced shots, but the size is definitely a little larger and it it is also heavier. I don't regret it for a minute. My first digicam was a Nikon CP 950, and it doesn't have a flash shoe so you must use a PC cord; the result for all intents and purposes was the same that Linda will experience with the 220 EX and an off-shoe cord.

I will probably get an off-shoe cord anyway since I like the look when the light doesn't come directly from the camera's location, giving better control over shadows. First I will probably buy a good slave flash that I can hold in my other hand as a fill and highlight flash. Sunpak makes a good one (so I'm told) that will recognize the two-stage flash of most auto-metering cameras for around $49.

-- hide signature --

rhb

Dick S wrote:

Hi Linda,

After all of the knowledgeable expert advice let my add my 2 cents.

Hey guys, you don't understand what Linda was asking and/or
understand the Canon system. READ YOUR MANUAL AND LEARN THE SYSTEM
BEFORE GIVING ADVICE!!!!!

First, the 220 EX works fine with the G1.

What Linda wants to do is have a small manageable flash on the shoe
that also gives her the advantage of hand held bouncing on rare
occasions by using the off-shoe cord.

Please tell me what's wrong with doing it this way. For what she
wants to do and has spelled out--I say YOU GO GAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Linda, it will work and is the solution to do what you want to do.

Regards,
Dick S, Temecula, CA

Richard Contributing Member • Posts: 924
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Hi Darob,

As a side point, as I understand it, none of the Canon flashes will fire at anything other than full intensity when pointed straight up; at least this is true with my 420EX. Your little Sunpak 383 is an excelent flash. How long ahve you had it, and what did it cost? Was it less than the cost of the 220EX that Linda is considering?

-rhb

darob wrote:
I believe that a lot of the "advice" on this one is a matter of
personal preference. For what it is worth, here are my
experiences. I have a 220EX and a Canon remote cord (I bought the
cord some time ago to use with a 540EZ and a couple of EOS bodies
with that system). Bounce flash with the 220EX and the G1 does
work, but I rarely do it because of color balance issues (you need
a white ceiling). Unfortunately, bouncing the 220EX is not easy
unless you have a grip with a tiltable shoe (the 220EX does not
have a swivel head like the other models).
My preference (which turns out to be less expensive) is to use a
Sunpak 383. It bounces in all directions (i.e. its flash head tilts
in both the vertical and horizontal axes). Generally, I tilt the
flash head straight up and use a small diffuser (it causes no color
balance problem, softens the harsh flash shadow, and is
sufficiently "off axis" to reduce red eye).
None of the "auto features" of the camera work with the Sunpak 383
or the similar Vivitar models (I have a twenty years old Vivitar
283 with a high trigger voltage that does not work with recent
model cameras), but that is not a problem. The Sunpak flash has a
built in sensor that takes over the metering task. I set the G1 to
manual mode, shoot at ISO 50 or 100, and use the f stop reading
indicated by the flash -- this provides about the same degree of
control over those settings that the Canon dedicated flashes
provide in AV mode.
My experience so far (maybe a thousand G1 flash pictures over the
last six months) indicates that the Sunpak works slightly better
than the Canon EOS falsh systems with the G1. The G1 does not work
like the other EOS cameras with multi zone metering and flash
exposure lock. In those instances (backlit scenes with sunsets,
etc., where you want proper exposure of both (a) the sunset's
colors and (b) the foreground subject -- usually a person), using
the EOS bodies and the E-TTL and A-TTL capabilities of the EOS
flash system cannot be matched by the Sunpak.
The important thing to remember in all of these adventures in
camera exposure is simple: bracket your shots, experiment, and
remember what "worked" in a particular situation. Unlike film
photography, the G1 offers the opportunity for endless experiments
and quick verification of results. The G1 gives you enough control
so that your experiments can lead to amazing results -- that you
can see on the spot -- without the expense and delay of film
processing.
And that is why I used the term "personal preference" in the
begining -- the G1 is sufficiently flexible to do about anything,
given some effort and experiments. This forum has a wealth of
information about the various techniques, and I have not ceased to
be surprised at the many different methods available to achieve
similar results and effects. And for that reason, I can say only
that my experiences are just personal preferences.

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

James Anderson Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Boy... Can you ever start a conversation!

darob New Member • Posts: 6
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

The Sunpak was about $70 or $75 when I bought it in January. I paid more than $120 for the 220EX about 18 months ago (I bought it for wife's Rebel so she whould not run down the internal batteries with the on board flash.)

I think that the 540EZ has variable power in the 90 degree position, because I have not had a problem using it with a diffuser or reflector (the old Vivitar reflector works farily well with some velcro help).

The Sunpak tilts in both axes (like the 540) -- which is handy. Unfortunately, the Sunpak's body has to be lined up "straight on" when used off shoe, because the sesor is built into the flash itself (the Vivitar model has a detachable sensor, which remains on the camera which the proprietary extension cord connects to the flash unit when used off shoe).

The color temperature of all thee flashes is "daylight", and therefore I do not have to change the color balance settings on the G1 when I use the 220EX or the Sunpak.

I read some thread in a forum reporting that the sync speed of the G1 had a lag that causes trouble with premature firing (or exposure) while using non-Canon flashes; however, I have not experienced that difficulty. I generally use a 1/60 shutter speed because it is easy to remember (the OM4 uses 1/30, the Canon A-1 uses 1/60, the Canon EF uses 1/125, and the EOS IX uses 1/180 --- it can get confusing).

Richard wrote:
Hi Darob,

As a side point, as I understand it, none of the Canon flashes will
fire at anything other than full intensity when pointed straight
up; at least this is true with my 420EX. Your little Sunpak 383 is
an excelent flash. How long ahve you had it, and what did it cost?
Was it less than the cost of the 220EX that Linda is considering?

-rhb

darob wrote:
I believe that a lot of the "advice" on this one is a matter of
personal preference. For what it is worth, here are my
experiences. I have a 220EX and a Canon remote cord (I bought the
cord some time ago to use with a 540EZ and a couple of EOS bodies
with that system). Bounce flash with the 220EX and the G1 does
work, but I rarely do it because of color balance issues (you need
a white ceiling). Unfortunately, bouncing the 220EX is not easy
unless you have a grip with a tiltable shoe (the 220EX does not
have a swivel head like the other models).
My preference (which turns out to be less expensive) is to use a
Sunpak 383. It bounces in all directions (i.e. its flash head tilts
in both the vertical and horizontal axes). Generally, I tilt the
flash head straight up and use a small diffuser (it causes no color
balance problem, softens the harsh flash shadow, and is
sufficiently "off axis" to reduce red eye).
None of the "auto features" of the camera work with the Sunpak 383
or the similar Vivitar models (I have a twenty years old Vivitar
283 with a high trigger voltage that does not work with recent
model cameras), but that is not a problem. The Sunpak flash has a
built in sensor that takes over the metering task. I set the G1 to
manual mode, shoot at ISO 50 or 100, and use the f stop reading
indicated by the flash -- this provides about the same degree of
control over those settings that the Canon dedicated flashes
provide in AV mode.
My experience so far (maybe a thousand G1 flash pictures over the
last six months) indicates that the Sunpak works slightly better
than the Canon EOS falsh systems with the G1. The G1 does not work
like the other EOS cameras with multi zone metering and flash
exposure lock. In those instances (backlit scenes with sunsets,
etc., where you want proper exposure of both (a) the sunset's
colors and (b) the foreground subject -- usually a person), using
the EOS bodies and the E-TTL and A-TTL capabilities of the EOS
flash system cannot be matched by the Sunpak.
The important thing to remember in all of these adventures in
camera exposure is simple: bracket your shots, experiment, and
remember what "worked" in a particular situation. Unlike film
photography, the G1 offers the opportunity for endless experiments
and quick verification of results. The G1 gives you enough control
so that your experiments can lead to amazing results -- that you
can see on the spot -- without the expense and delay of film
processing.
And that is why I used the term "personal preference" in the
begining -- the G1 is sufficiently flexible to do about anything,
given some effort and experiments. This forum has a wealth of
information about the various techniques, and I have not ceased to
be surprised at the many different methods available to achieve
similar results and effects. And for that reason, I can say only
that my experiences are just personal preferences.

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

Tony Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

I have the G1 and the 420EX, one of my friend also has a G1 and looking for a flash and didn't like the size of the 420EX, another friend as a semi-pro photographer also has the G1 and a Vivitar flash. We setup a tripod and perform several shots on the same subject, then download them to view on a computer. We all agree both flashes work, but the Vivitar require a lot of manual fumbling to obtains the same result, in other words it is for the semi-pro guy, the amateur guy thinks he will go for the 420EX.

OP Linda Regular Member • Posts: 137
When do you use your 220EX?

Darob,
My question for you, is why do you have a 220ex?
You sound very proficient and have other available flash options.
Do you use the 220ex?

And, if so, in what cases.I don't want to shortchange myself, but I loved the size of the 220, if in fact it will come in handy if the internal flash won't make it.

Especially, remembering, I am a point and shooter at this time. (I do have a little bogen table top tripod which has traveled the world with me, but that's about the extent of my accessories.)
Thanks,
Linda

darob wrote:

I believe that a lot of the "advice" on this one is a matter of
personal preference. For what it is worth, here are my
experiences. I have a 220EX and a Canon remote cord (I bought the
cord some time ago to use with a 540EZ and a couple of EOS bodies
with that system). Bounce flash with the 220EX and the G1 does
work, but I rarely do it because of color balance issues (you need
a white ceiling). Unfortunately, bouncing the 220EX is not easy
unless you have a grip with a tiltable shoe (the 220EX does not
have a swivel head like the other models).
My preference (which turns out to be less expensive) is to use a
Sunpak 383. It bounces in all directions (i.e. its flash head tilts
in both the vertical and horizontal axes). Generally, I tilt the
flash head straight up and use a small diffuser (it causes no color
balance problem, softens the harsh flash shadow, and is
sufficiently "off axis" to reduce red eye).
None of the "auto features" of the camera work with the Sunpak 383
or the similar Vivitar models (I have a twenty years old Vivitar
283 with a high trigger voltage that does not work with recent
model cameras), but that is not a problem. The Sunpak flash has a
built in sensor that takes over the metering task. I set the G1 to
manual mode, shoot at ISO 50 or 100, and use the f stop reading
indicated by the flash -- this provides about the same degree of
control over those settings that the Canon dedicated flashes
provide in AV mode.
My experience so far (maybe a thousand G1 flash pictures over the
last six months) indicates that the Sunpak works slightly better
than the Canon EOS falsh systems with the G1. The G1 does not work
like the other EOS cameras with multi zone metering and flash
exposure lock. In those instances (backlit scenes with sunsets,
etc., where you want proper exposure of both (a) the sunset's
colors and (b) the foreground subject -- usually a person), using
the EOS bodies and the E-TTL and A-TTL capabilities of the EOS
flash system cannot be matched by the Sunpak.
The important thing to remember in all of these adventures in
camera exposure is simple: bracket your shots, experiment, and
remember what "worked" in a particular situation. Unlike film
photography, the G1 offers the opportunity for endless experiments
and quick verification of results. The G1 gives you enough control
so that your experiments can lead to amazing results -- that you
can see on the spot -- without the expense and delay of film
processing.
And that is why I used the term "personal preference" in the
begining -- the G1 is sufficiently flexible to do about anything,
given some effort and experiments. This forum has a wealth of
information about the various techniques, and I have not ceased to
be surprised at the many different methods available to achieve
similar results and effects. And for that reason, I can say only
that my experiences are just personal preferences.

Michael w Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Wow, Darob, looks like you're among the lucky few with a G1 that works correctly with a 3-rd party flash in manual mode. I use a Sunpak 383 as well and prefer it over Canon flashes for a number of reasons, but the fact that my G1 mistreats it badly causes a lot of headache. A word of warning for anyone who is considering non-EX flashes: checkout discussions on this topic (hot recently) before getting into it.

Going the Sunpak 383 route is much more difficult, but if you're willing to go through it there are some real advantages:

  • color temperature is much more natural than Canon EX (like day light)

  • much cheaper ($69), almost same power as 550EX

  • full manual stopping down (550EX is the only EX flash that supports same)

  • forces you to learn manual flash photography. Once comfortable with it you can produce considerably better results than E-TTL, especialy in difficult fill situations.

That said, a non-Canon flash doesn't seem to be an appropriate route for Linda. I'd say she'll be much better off with the 420EX. It's not hard to do bounce flash with the 420EX, Linda. And once you've done the bouncing thing, you will not be happy with a flash that can't do so. A 220EX w/ off camera cord will bounce (inconveniently) in a very small room, but it will not have enough power to bounce in most situations.

darob wrote:
I believe that a lot of the "advice" on this one is a matter of
personal preference. For what it is worth, here are my
experiences. I have a 220EX and a Canon remote cord (I bought the
cord some time ago to use with a 540EZ and a couple of EOS bodies
with that system). Bounce flash with the 220EX and the G1 does
work, but I rarely do it because of color balance issues (you need
a white ceiling). Unfortunately, bouncing the 220EX is not easy
unless you have a grip with a tiltable shoe (the 220EX does not
have a swivel head like the other models).
My preference (which turns out to be less expensive) is to use a
Sunpak 383. It bounces in all directions (i.e. its flash head tilts
in both the vertical and horizontal axes). Generally, I tilt the
flash head straight up and use a small diffuser (it causes no color
balance problem, softens the harsh flash shadow, and is
sufficiently "off axis" to reduce red eye).
None of the "auto features" of the camera work with the Sunpak 383
or the similar Vivitar models (I have a twenty years old Vivitar
283 with a high trigger voltage that does not work with recent
model cameras), but that is not a problem. The Sunpak flash has a
built in sensor that takes over the metering task. I set the G1 to
manual mode, shoot at ISO 50 or 100, and use the f stop reading
indicated by the flash -- this provides about the same degree of
control over those settings that the Canon dedicated flashes
provide in AV mode.
My experience so far (maybe a thousand G1 flash pictures over the
last six months) indicates that the Sunpak works slightly better
than the Canon EOS falsh systems with the G1. The G1 does not work
like the other EOS cameras with multi zone metering and flash
exposure lock. In those instances (backlit scenes with sunsets,
etc., where you want proper exposure of both (a) the sunset's
colors and (b) the foreground subject -- usually a person), using
the EOS bodies and the E-TTL and A-TTL capabilities of the EOS
flash system cannot be matched by the Sunpak.
The important thing to remember in all of these adventures in
camera exposure is simple: bracket your shots, experiment, and
remember what "worked" in a particular situation. Unlike film
photography, the G1 offers the opportunity for endless experiments
and quick verification of results. The G1 gives you enough control
so that your experiments can lead to amazing results -- that you
can see on the spot -- without the expense and delay of film
processing.
And that is why I used the term "personal preference" in the
begining -- the G1 is sufficiently flexible to do about anything,
given some effort and experiments. This forum has a wealth of
information about the various techniques, and I have not ceased to
be surprised at the many different methods available to achieve
similar results and effects. And for that reason, I can say only
that my experiences are just personal preferences.

Linda wrote:

My new G1 and I are becoming best friends.
Today I've ordered the additional Viking 128 CF card and am taking
baby steps as I go along.
Next up .. a convenient external flash.
I went and looked at the 400 series, and am sure it's a wonderful
flash, bouncing every which way, and if I get into portrait
photography I'm sure I'll want one.
BUT, the 220ex seems like it might have some advantages for travel
pictures, being nicely small, and capable of providing adequate
light when needed, especially for fill flash.
(I understand I could add a Canon off camera shoe cord 2 if I
wanted to bounce the flash. ???)
Comments are appreciated.

OP Linda Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: 220ex for the G1 -- Don't laugh!

Michael W. wrote:

That said, a non-Canon flash doesn't seem to be an appropriate
route for Linda. I'd say she'll be much better off with the 420EX.
It's not hard to do bounce flash with the 420EX, Linda. And once
you've done the bouncing thing, you will not be happy with a flash
that can't do so. A 220EX w/ off camera cord will bounce
(inconveniently) in a very small room, but it will not have enough
power to bounce in most situations.

Michael,
I think you're right in that I realistically wouldn't be bouncing the 220EX.

I'm looking for a travel accessory. Perhaps the 220EX would work if the internal flash is not enough?

As for the 420EX (which I am certain is the preferable flash), I'm not sure how much bouncing I would do with candids. (Do you need a white ceiling or wall?)
Thanks for your response!
Linda

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