420EX with film cameras?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by mark_stephan|2, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. My son will be taking a photography class using b&w film at his college next semester and we're trying to figure out if his 420ex that he uses with the 5D I gave him at the start of the school year will be compatible with a film camera? He is looking at the EOS-1N or the Elan 7e or Elan IIe. As I understand it film e-ttl is the same as digital e-ttl. Is this correct? His budget is $100.00.
  2. Should work just fine. I think I have the 420EX. Bought during the film era, still compatible as far as I know. Now where did I put it....
  3. Correction - I have the 550EX. But it is compatible with both my film and digital cameras so I guess that answers your question.
  4. I agree with TriggerHappy andI also use the 550ex with my 1n. There are some configuration parameters that will need to be addressed but it works. I am sure the 420ex will also work, but I recommend you download the manuals (if you don't have them) and check for compatibility.
  5. The 420EX was introduced along with the Elan 7/7e, which is why I bought them together :) They are perfectly matched with each other.

    Of the three cameras you mention, the two Elans both support E-TTL and will have full flash functionality with the 420EX. The 1N does not support E-TTL, so with that body, the flash will revert back to plain old TTL operation (as it will with any EOS body that doesn't support E-TTL, all the way back to the very first bodies in the 1980s). The 1N doesn't support high-speed sync* or wireless multiple flash setups, but as far as basic flash functionality, it will be fine. I can't say with certainty how the autofocus assist light on the flash will work with those, but I suspect it will probably work well with all three, since the Elan 7's autofocus layout is basically a superset of the layouts on the other two.

    As far as E-TTL being E-TTL, pretty much. If your flash supports E-TTL and your body supports E-TTL, they will work together, regardless of film vs. digital or how old or new they are. (Newer digital bodies support E-TTL II, but that's purely a difference in the metering algorithm used by the body; there is no difference in the flash.)

    *: I believe there was an optional firmware update for the 1N that added a very limited ability to do high-speed sync. But since you can't just stuff a flash card with a firmware update into a film camera, this would have been something that an owner would have had to pay a Canon service centre to do. I doubt most 1Ns on the used camera market would have this.
  6. For a few bucks, you can get a 5xxEZ or 4xxEZ flash off of eBay. These were geared to work with the 1n. I even think the 430EZ has E-TTL so it will work with your digitals, maybe. :)
  7. I had a 580EX that I regularly used with a T90.

    It gave full plain flash TTL, although didn't support slow sync or second curtain sync. I use to use it when I'd go out with my dRebel XS and T90 since I could use the same strobe on both and not have to worry about carrying the 300TL for the T90(although the 300TL is the only flash that is fully compatible with all the flash modes on the T90).

    If it worked with a T90, I think it's safe to say that it will give some degree of compatibility with an EOS camera.
  8. Nope. The 430EZ supports A-TTL and TTL, but not E-TTL; the same is true of at least most (maybe all? I don't recall) EZ units. They'll work with all EOS film SLRs, and probably even a T90, but the only EOS DSLRs that are compatible are some of the ones from the 1990s that were basically film cameras with a digital back. All the EOS DSLRs from about 2000 onwards require an E-TTL flash (i.e. an EX model).
  9. Yeah, my bad. I thought I read that somewhere but I guess they were talking about the 430EX, not 430EZ. Silly Canon. Should have given the flashes a really different name. LOL
  10. Thanks for your comments. My son picked up a LN Elan 7e on eBay and he loves the ECF. It was mentioned that the 420EX was brought out by Canon at the same time as the 7e, really appreciated that information. If all goes well with film he's talking about the EOS-1V.
    TriggerHappy likes this.
  11. I loved ECF on my Elan 7e, too, and wish Canon hadn't dropped the technology.

    If your son ends up with a 1V, the 420EX will be pretty compatible with it. The only feature that likely won't work perfectly is autofocus assist, as the 1V's AF layout is substantially different; he'll likely find that AF assist works well on some AF points but not others. E-TTL will work just fine, though, and I'd expect the other features (second-curtain, high-speed sync, and wireless multiple flash if he also gets a master unit like the ST-E2 or a higher-end EX flash) should be fully supported.
    TriggerHappy likes this.
  12. Yes - the ECF! I had the EOS 3, loved it!
  13. Back in about January or February, I decided that I needed to upgrade my digital gear. I wanted to go full frame and also be able to consolidate my 35mm film and digital systems(I'd been using FD for film).

    For a variety of reasons, I ended up switching brands and basically building a hybrid digital/film kit from there(one of my motivating factors was the ability to use more or less fully manual bodies at least with some lenses that were also fully digital compatible).

    With that said, an EOS 3 was high on my want list. It was pretty obviously Canon's direct competitor to the F100(which is one of the film bodies that frequently goes out with my digital gear) and by all accounts it gave the F100 a run for its money despite having come to the market earlier. Among other things, I'd love to play with the eye control focus. Admittedly I'm still pretty much a "stick to the center point" guy, but the AF system comes across as a LOT more advanced than the 5-point system of the F100.

    If I had any EOS equipment of note, I'd still be tempted to pick up an EOS 3.
    TriggerHappy likes this.
  14. I still have it actually... Shame on me. But it's just sitting in my book shelf right next to me. I have one roll of film, one unpacked battery... like I would ever again. Ah, you never know?

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