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Flash for 20D

lloydy 16 18 Wales
13 Feb 2005 3:55AM
I've been meaning to buy a flash for my 20d for a while and now I've been asked to take some photographs for my wifes secondary school musical the time is here. Any suggestions, I would prefer to keep all my gear as canon.
gemm 16 800 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2005 4:19AM
It would have to be either 550EX or 580EX. But I think the result may be more effective when a fast lens is used without using a flash.
collinf 18 1.2k
13 Feb 2005 5:10AM
Any idea how much light they're going to have?

I shot a panto just before Christmas, using a 75-300 Sigma, and was getting perfectly acceptable images at f5 without flash.

Using the flash will kill off the ambient light from the stage.

Examples Here

If you still want a flash the Gemm is absolutely spot on. Get the 550 or 580. Be warned though, my 550 ate two sets of AAs (eight batteries in all!) at a wedding yesterday.

You might want to investigate an external battery pack at the same time.

BradUK 16 553 3 England
13 Feb 2005 5:34AM
I use the 580EX which does a great job (will do an even better job when the off-camera cord eventually arrives...)

But as Collin says, it can over-power the stage lighting so they can lose some atmosphere.

Most important thing is to make sure all the parents have signed the consent forms beforehand. It only takes one not to sign and the photos become unusable
lloydy 16 18 Wales
13 Feb 2005 6:34AM
Thanks for your advice. I think what I'll do first is go to a rehersal and take some shots with the 17-85 IS and the 75-300IS lenses to see how they come out first.
gemm 16 800 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2005 6:47AM
You were lucky with the lighting, Collin! I did my friends' daughter's nativity play at her school before Christmas, and I was lucky if I got around 1/125-1/160s at f2.8, ISO 1600, and it got even worse eventually (around 1/60, f2.8, ISO 3200). So be prepared, Pete! Wink It's a good idea to go to the rehearsal.
collinf 18 1.2k
13 Feb 2005 7:28AM
You're right, I was lucky! I was shooting in a theatre for HMS Sultan (RN) Theatre Club and they had decent lighting.

Pete - great idea. If you can get to the rehearsal it will give you a much better idea of what gear you're really going to need.

wotashot 17 2.2k
13 Feb 2005 9:32AM
While this thread is open can i just ask,

What do the actors/producers/people in charge at stage based events think about flash bulbs going off all the time?

Do they mind, does it affect the persormance for the actors and audience and what sensible steps should togs take?


cambirder 17 7.2k England
13 Feb 2005 9:42AM
I certainly know what Ian Anderson of Jethrow Tull thinks of them after tell someone in the front row of a concert at Cambridge Corn Exchange, that if she took one more shot he would stick her camera where the sun don't shine.

I think that feeling is true across the board, and the only solution don't use flash ever.
lightsmith 17 4
13 Feb 2005 10:10AM
I use a 550Ex on my 20D.

You do not need to get all the parents permissions at all - this is a fallacy; the law has not changed in recent times. We are getting used to the idea that we are, as photographers, somehow restricted but this restriction is in minds onle, not reality.
I hope you get some good results!
Ndraw 16 21 Ireland
16 Feb 2005 5:04AM
I use the 550EX with my 20D. It eats batteries and is slow to warm up between shots. That said its a great flash when its working at its optimum.
longdave 17 169
17 Feb 2005 2:42AM
Careful Lightsmith, you may have opened an old can of chestnut-flavoured worms with your last post!

There is a faction on this site that seem hell-bent on making us photographers too paranoid to take a photograph within ten miles of a child. I myself have locked horns with them on more than one occasion!
lloydy 16 18 Wales
25 Feb 2005 11:36AM
I've taken some shots at a rehersal and I'm not entirely happy with the shots so its make my mind up time!
550EX or 60-70 more for the newer 580EX- anymore advice on the two?
Cheers again
collywobles 17 4.1k 10 United Kingdom
25 Feb 2005 12:02PM
Just did a wedding with a 20D plus a 550EX and I have to confess that I am not that happy with the evening (Dance floor etc)photo results. I feel that the spec of the 580EX would probably have handled it better.
spacey 17 376
25 Feb 2005 12:03PM
I have a 550 ex as well but the other day I dug out my old metz ct1 45 from the cupboard and took it with me on a job for a try out, now these things are thysistor manual flashes, you set the camera to flash white balance 125,or 250 the appeture to what you want it to be and turn the dial on the top of the flash to match your appeture, now on a 550ex i would expect 80% of the pictures to be ok, the metz armed with 6 aa nimh shot every shot perfect without fail, I stopped up and down as I needed on the app. and matched the dial to boot, just like we used to in the old days.
The quality and tone of the flash took my breath away, every shot was perfectly exposed, much more accuratly than the 550 ever has, it can manage 7 shots before a 3 second recharge and shoots up to 45 meters.
Thats progress ! a flash I used in 1981 still over performs today !
Its left me with a dilmea, the metz and look like a old time junky or the 550 and take a chance !

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