580 Ex II Auto Zoom on Canon 20d not functional - Help

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jean_bernard, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. I recently received the 580ex II speedlite for my Canon 20D.
    When I started using it, I observed that the flash was set on M Zoom (manual)
    and displayed constantly a 14mm focal whatever the lens I used (28 and 50mm
    primes). Nevertheless, the Auto Zoom function appeared briefly yersteday with
    the right focal length after having turned on my speedlite first and then the
    camera. I tought it was the normal procedure. But since yersteday, the flash is
    displaying M function, no way to change it! Please Help ! I read the user guide
    and I am wondering what else to try before sending it back to the reseller.
    Thanks for your help and answers.
  2. Jean,

    The 580 EX II has a number of "gotchas" - the first is "if it's set to be in master mode then the flashhead will zoom to the widest position" - this is because in Master mode it transmits wireless commands to slave flashes using pulses of light from the main flash tube - and since slave flashes almost by definition wouldn't be in the shot (flash has no way of knowing where they are), the flash needs to cover the widest possible area - so it zooms all the way out and stays there. It's my best guess that unless the unit is faulty then this is what has happened.

    I suggest going through the manual and following the procedure to make sure master and slave modes are turned off and trying again. Page 36.


  3. Colin, Thanks for your answer. I tried to modify the parameters (Master/Slave) but there was no change.
    Hope that someone else may have another idea, thanks in advance !
  4. les


    In any mode (except slave - I haven't tried that yet), when the Zoom is showing M (and 24mm, not 14mm, I think) - press Zoom once (the Zomm setting starts flashing) and then turn the wheel ANTI-clockwise. This switches the flash to Auto-Zoom and it reads the focal length from the lens.

    I agree that the flash gas some "gotchas" - but at least some of them are caused by different default behaviour, set when switching the flash modes etc.

    Canon, following the usual trends, once again tries to create a wonder "black box" which tries to out-think the photographer. All in the name of convenience, of course. The problem is, IMHO, that it is rather difficult to remember the huge number of "defaults", dependent on camera mode, flash mode, phase of the moon etc. I would be much happier beung able to define what I want, rather than constantly having to override the "default" behaviour.
  5. les


    All in all, I like the 580 EX II better than 550EX, the ergonomics is better, the interface is better - but I am not entirely sure that the new shoe lock is a good idea. I guess one has just to get used to it.

    But - I know that 550EX will not, all of a sudden, revert to TTL and blow the exposure. Which makes is my first choice when shooting...
  6. Jean,

    I think that if you have the 580ex flash built in diffusion panel pulled out and over the lens it reads 14mm and blinks.
    Regards , Ron
  7. Leszek,

    I'm afraid that I disagree. I agree that it can be confusing, but at the end of the day it's a high-performance piece of equipment and if it's to have the tools that professional tools need then - unfortunately - that means options and decisions.

    One solution is give up - the other is to grab the bull by the horns and master the beast.

    The biggest irony I find is that in many cases (aimed at the more experienced here) people in essence tell the flash to do something that they don't want ...

    ... and then wonder why they didn't get the result they were seeking. I suspect that this will continue until they integrate a mind-reading module.
  8. les



    I'm afraid that I disagree ;>D

    The flash should work straight out of the box. It doesn't, and the reason is unclear. Its behaviour appears to be random, and while there may be a physical reason for that (CFs not set, or some dirt on the pins) - then the manual should clearly say so: prior to first use - reset all CFs and clean the pins thoroughly.

    It doesn't: and the flash reverted to TTL again - after switching from Master mode to On-camera flash mode. I do not think that this has anything to do with "grabbing the bull by the horns": it appears that the flash has a bug...
  9. Guys, thanks for your answers. I tried to push Zoom (focal remains on 14mm and not 24mm), to figure out if the flash was well plugged....
    Again, I found nothing in the user guide explaining this strange behavior. My only thought is that there may be a problem with the connection (even if flash works), a bad communication between the 20d and the flash (even if I upgraded firmware to 2.0.3) or a bug in the flash (in this case I will send it back rapidly).
    Any other thoughts?
  10. Just find a post over French forum where an user had a similar problem. http://forum.hardware.fr/hfr/Photonumerique/Accessoires/flashs-sujet_198_71.htm
    After sending it back to canon the guy received the same flash which was then functional. No comments from Canon...
  11. Leszek,

    Perhaps we're talking about 2 different things? It certainly should work "out of the box" - if it doesn't then we're probably talking malfunction. If it's happening over and over again then perhaps we're talking quality control ...

    ... I took your initial posts to be commenting on the complexities of the beast (which is quite different from malfunction (fault).

    Mine worked out of the box when I got it - and has continued to do so ever since.


  12. Guys, I finally found the problem ! The diffuser panel was not fully pushed inside (until the click). In fact, when I tested it the M mode 14mm was enabled and then constantly displayed until now even if I considered it as turned off. This looks trivial but was really a nightmare !
    Hope that this bad experience and user comments may help someone else.
  13. ... just like Ron said :)
  14. Whilst this response is a few months later.. I'd just like to say a big thanks for the solution. I recently bought the speedlite, and was tearing my hair out at the zoom setting. I also logged a call with Canon just before coming across this solution. What a crazy feature! What are you going to do if the diffuser breaks off? and what if you WANTED to be able to change zoom settings with the diffuser - just for creativity? Really Canon, you should do better than this. - Rant mode off. Once again, thanks.
  15. Thanks to Jean and all,
    Same Zoom Manual gotcha was driving me nuts. The Diffuser was not clicked back into place. I found this thread via a quick Google search -- you saved me hours of head scratching.
    While I ageee that the default values can be difficult to work with, a better manual would help. Canon should employ outsiders to test the manual and add the obvious troubleshooting questions, like this one.
  16. Same problem yesterday during an engagement shoot. Luckily I bounced most of the time or it could have been a disaster. I guess I missed this feature in the manual.

Share This Page