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Photography | Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

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Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

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Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

Product Images

 

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

Sample Images

A few photos taken with my Canon 430EX II flash.

 

Canon EOS M6 | Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF-EOS M Mount Adapter | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/200s

Canon EOS M6 | Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 | Canon EF-EOS M Mount Adapter | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f/1.8 | Shutter Speed: 1/200s

 

Canon 40D | Canon EF-S 18-55mm | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 200 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

Canon 40D | Canon EF-S 18-55mm | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 200 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

 

Canon EOS M6 | Canon EF-M 18-55mm | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 250 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/60s

Canon EOS M6 | Canon EF-M 18-55mm | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 250 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/60s

 

Canon EOS M6 | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L | Focal length: 24mm | Canon EF-EOS M Mount Adapter | Canon ST-E2 | ISO: 800 | Aperture: f/4 | Shutter Speed: 1/160s

Canon EOS M6 | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L | Focal length: 24mm | Canon EF-EOS M Mount Adapter | Canon ST-E2 | ISO: 800 | Aperture: f/4 | Shutter Speed: 1/160s

 

Canon 40D | Canon EF-S 18-55mm | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 200 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

Canon 40D | Canon EF-S 18-55mm | Focal length: 55mm | ISO: 200 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

 

Canon 40D | Canon EF-S 18-55mm | Focal length: 29mm | ISO: 200 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

Canon 40D | Canon EF-S 18-55mm | Focal length: 29mm | ISO: 200 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/100s

 

 

 

Overview

I already have a Canon 550EX flash. I bought the 430EX II because I wanted two light sources when using off-camera flash in conjunction with my ST-E2. Using one light source off-camera, even when diffused or bounced tends to create shadows. Besides more even lighting, the idea of having two is so that each flash cancels out the shadows caused by the other.

I can already do this with my Electra studio lighting kit but the Speedlites are quicker to set up for quick shots and they are also portable. Being battery powered they can be used outside, which the studio lights can't. The Speedlite wireless system also supports ETTL, which the studio lighting system doesn't.

For this purpose I needed a flash that could be used as a slave. Some of the older small Canon flashes did not have this capability, but it appears that all flashes in Canon's latest lineup do.

The 600EX-RT was too expensive and more than I needed. I have read various reports about design flaws in the 580EX II. The 430EX II - just like baby bear's porridge - seemed perfect; not too big, not too small, and with all the right functionality.

Compared to the 550EX, it is less powerful and smaller. Slave mode is selected by holding the Zoom button down for two seconds, rather than having a physical switch as there is on the 550EX. I prefer the 550EX's switch but with today's electronic devices nothing is ever intuitive or straightforward.

It's OK if operating the flash is fresh in your mind, or if you have the instruction manual to hand. If not, you may not be able to remember what to do.

The hotshoe locking mechanism is a better design than on the 550EX. It's easier to lock and feels more solid. It also requires two hands to unlock it.

The design is newer and when the flash zooms it automatically caters for camera sensor (crop factor) size. It does this for full frame, APS-H and APS-C sensors. The zoom range is for focal lengths from 24mm to 105mm.

As on the 550EX, there is a built in wide angle diffuser. It can be used simply to diffuse light slightly, or when used with a wide angle lens it will alter the flash coverage for lenses as wide as 14mm.

If you point the flash unit directly upwards and pull out the diffuser as shown in the image above so that it doesn't cover the flash head this will create a catchlight in the subject's eyes without adding very much light to the overall scene.

The flash head tilts 90° vertically and rotates 270° horizontally. This movement can be used for bounce flash or, if used off-camera, allows the sensor to be pointed at the master device at the same time as the flash head points at the subject.

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On-Camera Usage

I didn't buy this flash to use on the camera hotshoe. Neither have I owned it very long. I have therefore taken very few images with the flash on the camera.

I went out one evening to take some sample images using the Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II budget zoom lens. It was getting dark so I also threw the 430EX II into my bag.

Compared to the 550EX it was lighter and didn't make the camera feel so top heavy. After switching it on I got the impresion that the time it took to get ready was faster than the 550EX. The recycling time between shots also appeared to be faster.

The vagaries of the EOS flash system using the camera in various modes can be quite confusing. I normally use the camera in manual mode with flash, taking care not to overexpose the background and not to exceed the maximum synch speed.

If you set the camera in manual mode to expose the background properly, the flash ETTL system will take care of the foreground exposure. It seems to work quite well.

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Off-Camera Usage

The 430EX II comes with a little plastic foot so that you can easily mount the flash on a light stand.

When used off-camera with another Speedlite and the Canon ST-E2 in a two flash set-up, one flash can be set up as Group A and the other as Group B. They need to be set to the same channel of course.

When set up in different groups, the ratio function on the ST-E2 can be used to alter the balance of light between the two flashes in order to give different lighting effects.

The beauty of the system compared to my studio lighting kit is that I have full control of the flashes from the camera body and that it is fully portable. However, it lacks power compared to the studio lights.

I can use this set up in a field for portraits or macro and it is also handy for quick and dirty product shots when I don't have time to set up the studio lighting.

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With EOS M

The original EOS M didn't have a pop-flash, although later models did. These flashes can be useful, but are quite low powered. Physically, they sit quite low as well and this can result in an ugly shadow from the lens if you are using a wide angle lens.

The Speedlite 90EX works well with EOS M, but again it is quite low powered. When my wife entered our son in a fashion contest and I was trying to take photos indoors from 15 meters away I knew I would need a more powerful flash unit. I used the 430EX II.

The beauty of the Canon EOS system is that it really is a system. If you own an EOS camera it will work flawlessly with EOS accessories.

With an EOS M6 in P mode I found that the camera always chose 1/60s shutter speed and this was causing blurry images. I put it into TV mode and selected 1/200s, which is the highest sync speed. It worked well.

Whenever I use a flash unit I always find that I need to experiment first to get the best reslts in the particular situation I am in. At times I find it best to use the camera in manual mode, but at other times it seems to work better in a semi-automatic mode.

A big flash on an EOS M body gives you the light you need, but it isn't an ideal combination because it makes the camera feel very top heavy.

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AF Assist Beam

You may wish to use the flash in very low light conditions, in which case the camera AF may not function. In such situations, the 430EX II has a built-in AF assist beam which can help.

It works with lenses that have a focal length greater than 28mm and is effective from 0.7m to 10m in the centre of the image, and 0.7m to 5m at the periphery.

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Stroboscopic Flash

There appears to be no stroboscopic flash function on the 430EX II.

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High Speed Sync Flash

The 430EX II has this functionality but it decreases the working range of the flash considerably.

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Specifications And 550EX/580EX II Comparison

430EX II

Type

Guide Number

Flash range (with 50mm F/1.4, ISO 100)

Flash Coverage

Widest Coverage

Batteries

TTL | E-TTL | E-TTL II

43

Normal flash: 0.7 - 24.3m

High speed synch: 0.7 - 12m

24mm - 105mm flash coverage set automatically for lens focal length and sensor size crop factor

14mm with built-in wide panel

4 x AA

550EX

Type

Guide Number

Flash range (with 50mm F/1.4, ISO 100)

Flash Coverage

Widest Coverage

Batteries

TTL | E-TTL

55

Normal flash: 0.5 - 30m

Quick flash: Min. 0.5 - 7.5m Max 0.5 - 21m

High speed synch: 0.5 - 15m

Auto zoom head covers 24mm 28mm 35mm 50mm 70mm 80mm 105mm automatically

17mm with built-in wide panel (no obvious problems with EF-S 10-22mm lens which is equivalent to a 16mm lens on a 1.6x crop body)

4 x AA

580EX II

Type

Guide Number

Flash range (with 50mm F/1.4, ISO 100)

Flash Coverage

Widest Coverage

Batteries

TTL | E-TTL | E-TTL II

58

Normal flash: 0.5 - 30m

Quick flash: Min. 0.5 - 7.5m Max 0.5 - 21m

High speed synch: 0.5 - 15m

24mm - 105mm flash coverage set automatically for lens focal length and sensor size crop factor

14mm with built-in wide panel

4 x AA

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Visit Thailand

Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.

One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.

Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.

If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.

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