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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

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

 

Canon 430EX II Speedlite Flash

Sample Images

A selection of photos taken with my Canon 430EX II flash.

Clicking on the thumbnail images will open a larger image in a pop-up window

Floating market vendor, Hat Yai, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: 40D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/100
Exposure Program: Manual
Focal length: 24mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: Canon 430EX II
Extender: No
Location: Hat Yai, Thailand
File Size: 178 KB
Food for sale at the floating market, Hat Yai, Thailand - Click for larger image
Camera: 40D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/100
Exposure Program: Manual
Focal length: 18mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: Canon 430EX II
Extender: No
Location: Hat Yai, Thailand
File Size: 289 KB
Hat Yai floating market - Click for larger image
Camera: 40D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/100
Exposure Program: Manual
Focal length: 18mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: Canon 430EX II
Extender: No
Location: Hat Yai, Thailand
File Size: 292 KB
Hat Yai floating market - Click for larger image
Camera: 40D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/100
Exposure Program: Manual
Focal length: 55mm
EC +/-: 0
Monopod/Tripod: No
Flash: Canon 430EX II
Extender: No
Location: Hat Yai, Thailand
File Size: 162 KB
 

Chiang Rai rice fields and mountains

 

 

Thailand, my adopted home, is a great vacation destination for many activities, particularly photography. It's easy to get around and hotels are cheap. Using Agoda to book a hotel on-line will give you a great selection of hotels and the best deals. I always use Agoda to book my own hotels.

 

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 latest 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.

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.

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Off-Camera Usage

Quick and dirty product shots - Click for larger image When used alone, this is the same as using the 550EX off-camera. When used off-camera with the 550EX and STE-2 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 as 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.

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. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.

If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.

I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.

If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.

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. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand

 

 

Cities

Beaches

Mountains & Hilltribes

Islands

Interesting

 

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