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Canon 580 ETTL

fxworksfxworks Member
edited December 2011 in news & discussions
When I use my Canon 580 in ETTL mode; could someone please tell me, am I right in saying, when the speedlight is set to Evaluative mode it meters the subject and takes into account its reflectivity i.e 18% grey!
I find this so frustrating as I use a Kenkon light meter to set ambient readings in M-mode on the camera however if I set the flash to ETTL and don’t FEL the flash meter can still get it wrong, Black blown out White under exposed!
Could someone please tell me, if I set the Flash too Average, will the flash just provide the amount of flash required based on camera settings and distance or does it still meter based on reflectivity of the subject!
Many thanks.
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Comments

  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited December 2011
    Yes. In ETTL Evaluative a bride alone in a white dress, a groom alone in a black tux and the bride and groom together will all reflect light back differently. If you are frustrated welcome to the world of ETTL as you are not alone. That is why I will always choose manual flash over ETTL if I have the time. ETTL is my tool for run and gin shooting.

    ETTL suffers with blacks just like your camera meter will. It sounds like you understand the camera metering modes have nothing to do with flash metering. You can either set it to evaluative or average via the camera menus if you have this menu on the camera. If you don't it is on evaluative all the time.

    They way I understand this is Evaluative will locate the closest objects and make the metering decision based on the that. Average meters the entire scene. Some say average is better for indoors providing the areas is not huge and evaluative for outdoors. Average is supposed to ignore reflective surfaces better. Evaluative is supposed to do that as well. I just leave mine on Evaluative.

    You might want to watch these videos. "ETTL II metering" is interesting. 3rd video.

    http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/masterclass/canon_flash.do

    When you FEL it becomes a spot meter. Some people meter off skin and add +2/3 or so depending on skin tones.

    By the way my 580II underexposes by at least -2/3. I add that automatically + whatever light loss my gel has. I read someone talked to Canon and they do that on purpose to preserve the whites. I'm not so sure about that.
  • Thanks Zenon, ETTL flash drives me nuts, I've just watched the link you sent, many thanks for that but as you mention welcome to the world of ETTL, I will just have to keep using the magic FEL/FEC I supose and when I have time, set the flash to manual. :)
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited December 2011
    Me toooooooooo! I just decided to forget about that part and just work with it. Pre-setting it to +2/3 plus gel helps to start it off. I know I will be messing around with the FEC all evening so I don't worry about it anymore.

    It is tougher for me as due to my age it is harder to see the histogram. Pain with the off and on with the reading glasses. I like to view the RGB channels separately as well as the red channel will often clip and not show on the combined histogram.

    That was why I tried a Metz out. It was excellent except for a glitch I could not work with. A very disappointing event.
  • Zenon, i thought it was me. my 580's are off by -2/3 as well. i hope that Canon gets serious about flash photography soon. i feel like all anyone wants to develop any more is DSLR video capabilities.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited December 2011
    It does doesn't it? The Auto (thyristor) mode on the 580II is even worse. Someone really messed up the calibration on this simple, decades old technology. Canon rumours are saying Canon will be coming out with updated flashes and a new line. The new line will probably be cinema related.

    ETTL will never be prefect but it sure can be better. I'm hoping they do something to improve. I will work with Metz and Canon for now. I still need to figure out a few things about my Metz flash. Auto mode does not like very high ISO, a wide open aperture and fast shutter speeds. I guess it just can't power down enough in that mode. I found Metz ETTL more accurate than Canon but I have yet to test Metz in ETTL and high ISO. I returned it but decided to keep it. I will not get it back until the new year.

    It has been proven that in ETTL the Canon 580II will output far less than it's lowest manual setting of 1/128. I'm sure it is the same for the 580, 430 and other models. Makes a big difference with those high ISO shots.

    I do know if Canon comes out with new flashes I will wait a while until there are a lot user reviews out there.
  • i about got run out of town on Canon Rumors over my opinion of the 580 EX II and PW Mini's and Flex. for something that i can depend on i am loving the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra with a Skyport. as for run and gun, i like 58 AF Metz and RAW.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    kennykodak said: my 580's are off by -2/3 as well.
    I found that I have to dial in a different amount of FEC for a specific camera model.
    eg, the 1D mk3 bodies needed less FEC dialed in as the base FEC, compared to the 5D.

    It was just something I got used to. With the 5D, I dialed in +07 FEC (if I recall correctly), as a matter of course. My default. No drama.

    Where Canon *is* lagging, is in wireless flash. Their approach of using A:B:C ratios, compared to Nikon's approach of absolute levels (whether TTL or manual), is less instinctive and less easily controlled than Nikon's.
  • Shooting with a Prime Lens:
    5DII & 580EX. Shooting in TTL mode. I was taught to override the "Zoom" on the flash and set it as "M Zoom" @ the same focal length as the lens e.g. 50mm, set at "M Zoom 50mm". Reason cited- a mismatch can cause vignetting. Is this valid?

    Also told to never use the lens shade for possibility of creating a vignette effect with it on.

    What is your experience/opinion?
    Thanks
  • i'm using a M IV with +2/3 dialed in. my second shooter has a M III and uses +1/3.
  • Hi Everyone, great comments, its interesting how many say to increase the exposure with the 580ex, i did some tests yesterday, wife complaining about MORE photos but if it was'nt for this darn flash causing me so much grief, I could just enjoy!
    Ive attched a photo taken with -1/1/3 to add fill flash, would you say it was underexposed? You start to lose the plot in the end!!image
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Lor16Nov said: I was taught to override the "Zoom" on the flash and set it as "M Zoom" @ the same focal length as the lens e.g. 50mm, set at "M Zoom 50mm". Reason cited- a mismatch can cause vignetting. Is this valid?
    I so rarely use direct flash where the flash is the dominant light source, that this isn't a concern at all.

    If you work indoors where you can bounce your flash, then you won't get vignetting.

    Similarly, if you use an umbrella or a softbox, it is so unlikely that you'll get vignetting.
    Lor16Nov said: Also told to never use the lens shade for possibility of creating a vignette effect with it on.
    This makes no sense. If the lens hood is properly designed for that lens, then there should be no vignetting.

    Also, a lens hood is your BEST protection for your lens.

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/2009/04/17/lens-hoods/
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    fxworks said: i did some tests yesterday, wife complaining about MORE photos but if it was'nt for this darn flash causing me so much grief, I could just enjoy!
    Ive attched a photo taken with -1/1/3 to add fill flash, would you say it was underexposed? You start to lose the plot in the end!!
    This is difficult to give a definitive answer to.
    What did you meter of?
    Did you expose correctly for your subject?

    The photo does look a touch under-exposed .. somewhere around -0.7 to -1.0 stops.

    Try this link for starters ... I am sure it will help ease the confusion:

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/2010/11/04/flash-photography-essentials/
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    fxworks,

    I looked at your image, yesterday [Australian time] before Neil posted and thought by just looking it was around -1.0 under.

    I had adjusted it then via my action set, bringing it up around the +1.0 mark, retaining sky of course.

    Have you edited it yourself, I mean you asked for feedback but did you also open it and tried exposure adjustment personally as that would have indicated it was under a bit too much.

    If you shot in RAW, then simple to open, if you shot in jpeg, but wanted to check exposure precisely and don't have Lightroom [which opens jpegs] you can still open it in Adobe Camera Raw.

    On Mac, File/Open, choose file type in drop down menu as Camera Raw, it opens; on PC you need to Ctrl/Alt/Shift 'O' - or from the File Menu choose Open AS.... , then select Camera Raw from the 'Open As' drop down menu to choose the File Type, which I did and putting a +1.0 on it gave correct exposure, to me.

    Trev.

    image
  • Many thanks to you all, I must admit I did feel maybe a touch under, that provides me a great base now as to adding a tad extra in LR.
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