A "good" flash for my 300D for $75?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by robert_thommes, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Someone want's to give me $75 for Xmas to spend on "camera stuff".
    About the only thing I really don't have is an external flash. I
    take very few flash pictures anyway, but something like this might be
    fun to have. So I come to you for advice on what you think I could
    get for this amount(likely used, I would guess). How much automation
    would I have with your recommended unit? In other words, how much of
    the operation would I need to set manually, and whatif anything,
    would the camera and/or flash determine for me in my particular
    situation of the moment? I'm really a novice at this.
  2. if this if your first flash, I would definitely go on eBay and get the Sunpak 333. Cheap at $15 (enough to buy two if you want, as a backup), much more power per dollar than anything else, and you might find that it is just as consistent to use in auto mode as the latest TTL technology. Plus it has manual mode, and can bounce AND swivel. do yourself a favor and get a sunpak 333.
  3. I'd suggest a Canon flash as it will work automatically with your unit's focus controls. It's only $122 on the page I googled. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004WCIA/ref=nosim/102-4398351-8947309?SubscriptionId=09FVDRT8TEJ64C2A7Y02&n=502394
  4. Buried deep within my camera drawer, I found a Sunpak 344D Thyristor flash. It seems to test fire with new batteries that I just put it. Would the Sunpak 333 suggested above give me any greater "ease of operation" than this 344D? Or is the same amount of brain effort required for both? I want something inexpensive that gives me the most no nonsense operation. Something where I don't need to be all that concerned about the image outcome, reasonably so---and yet for $75
  5. if it were my 75 bucks...
    1. sunpak 355AF for $50 shipped:
    the sunpak 355AF has a decent guide number of 86 feet at 35mm (120 feet at 85mm), TTL capability, and a bounce head for ceilings and catchlicht cards. i owned one and used it in concert with a nikon N80 at "normal" focal lengths. mine was very reliable, and a good flash to learn on.
    2. ansel adam's the negative for 20 bucks shipped:
    the zone system you must learn. help you it can.
  6. TTL will do nothing for you with a 300D. No DSLR can use TTL flash metering.

    The 300D REQUIRES E-TTL for any camera/flash automated operation.

    Other flashes can be used in fully manual or auto-thyristor modes.
  7. Bob A.

    So how would my Sunpak 344D "Auto Thryistor" flash mate with my 300D?
    Or would it? Total Manual operation?
  8. Unfortunately they have not made DSLRs as smart as the film EOS cameras when it comes to using old flashes (Gee I guess Canon wants to sell flashes!). You will not get flash ready confirmation but the flash does go off when the shutter is pressed. I always use my thyristor flash in auto mode on my manually set 10D with manual aperture lenses so I will have to try it in auto with an EF lens and see how it works. I will let you know. Mine is the swivel, bouncing, tilting, high powered zoom (GN 156 at 100 ISO and 50mm) Vivitar 5600 (under $75 on eBay).
  9. bob's right about TTL metering and dslr's. click here for a pretty reliable third party opinion on the matter.
    considering that, you might look at the 380ex. bounce head; compatible with canon dlsr's. i just checked sleazebay usa, and there were several 380ex auctions lingering at or below the $75 mark. cheers.
  10. It might, it's hard to say. The 300D has (I think) 5 flash contacts. If nothing contacts the 4 you don't need and the one you do need mates up properly, that's step 1.

    Step 2 is that you hope the flash you're trying to use has a sync voltage of around 6 vots or less, because anything much more than that will fry the sync circuitry on a 300D.

    If 1 and 2 are OK, an auto-thyristor flash will work in it's internal "automatic" mode, but it won't talk to the camera in any way. If should give you OK exposures under conditions where auto-thyristor flashes do well. In fully manual mode you'll need to get out those tables of guide numbers, apertures and distances.

    A Canon EX flash will fully support auto operation with a 300D, along with giving you high speed sync operation.

    I have a used 380EX for sale, but it's $100 and outside your budget. It's possible you could find one for $75 or less if you get lucky on Ebay. It's going to be the cheapest useful flash that is fully compatible with your 300D. You could probably find a used 220EX for $75, but it doesn't have a bounce or zoom head.

    See http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/ex_speedlites.html
  11. Robert - by the way, the 333 has a voltage of <6, from the research I have done on the internet. for $15, honestly, you absolutely can't lose. it is a fantastic first flash - or a last flash.
  12. I will give the Vivitar 285 a recommendation for use on with the 300D. It has bounce features. It also has built in sensors that can detect when sufficient light has bounced back for proper exposure. Simply dial in an aperture on the flash, and manually set your camera to match. On a 300D you will get better results with the Vivitar than you will with many of the expensive Canon flashes. (You might want to search the archives. A year or two back there were tons of posts about this very subject.) You should be able to find one on Ebay and stay within your budget. If you do buy one of these make sure it is a 6 volt trigger model.
  13. $75 can not buy a "good" flash. I bought Sigma EF 500 DG Super at about $200 for my 300D, it's almost the same as Canon 550EX, but half the price.
  14. $75 can buy you a VERY good flash. It just won't buy you a brand new flash with all the latest bells and whistles. With regards to the 300D thats not a bad thing. Many of the Canon flashes persistently give underexposed photos on this particular body. If you install the Wasia firmware hack I believe you get FEC which allows you to compensate. If you don't wish to go that route you will get much results using an older flash such as a Vivitar 283 or 285. That was discussed at some length in this forum a year or so back.
  15. The Sunpak 333D, 344D, 355AF, and 383 Super all have low enough sync voltages to be safe on your 300D/DRebel. Your 344D can be used in the M (manual) or either A (autoflash) modes, but probably not the "blue dot" (TTL) mode if it has one.

    Set the camera to "M"anual exposure mode. Take the ISO that you select on the camera, and set that on the flash as well. Then select one of the two "A"uto modes on the flash, and use the indicated aperture to manually set the aperture on your lens. You can then manually select any shutter speed up to 1/200. 1/60 is often a good general choice.

    You pretty much ignore the camera's meter this way, but if you select a shutter speed that is too slow you may get overexposures. You be able to tell in the LCD, so don't worry about it.

    Once you get used to that, try using a slower shutter speed to pick up some ambient light. Try 1/15 to 1/30 for starters. I find it improves most flash pics.
  16. I agree with Bob, the 380EX is your best option. The flash has many EOS specific features that the others mentioned do not have. It will work fine with your 300D.

    Like Bob, I have one to sell. I don't mean to undercut Bob, but his flash is probably in better shape cosmetically than mine. Mine has some adhesive from velcro on the flash head and a couple of scratches. I have the original box and case, too. Functionally, it is fine.

    I will sell the flash for $80.00 USD + $12.50 for the very useful Omnibounce diffuser. If you can swing the cash and are interested, look up my email on photo.net. I will probably email you directly tomorrow, as well.

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