Crash course using 420EX on T2i

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by robert_thommes|1, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. I need to know the very most BASIC user's instructions for my 420EX flash. I have never used any shoe-mounted flash all.
    So I'm looking for some basic settings to at least get me started for indoor shooting, but even more importantly, for outdoor fill flash usage. I shoot with a T2i camera and plan to use both a 50 1.8, and 70-200 f4 IS lens. I will use a flash bracket as well.
    I understand that you will not be able to give me detailed instructions(and I really don't have time to learn those)because the ambient light (especially for the outdoor shots....which are the more important ones for me)differs by the locales. So just a couple general settings that might get me OK shots is all I'm asking for right now.
    I've got myself in a bit of a bind, and only have VERY little time to experiment before I must take the pictures. Not the ideal situation, but one that I'm stuck with.
    Thank you sooooo very much for helping me out.
  2. It is a very simple flash that I had used one for quite a while. Basically, if you are not using it as a slave flash, all you need is to slide the main switch to on and leave the wireless selector on off and make sure the shutter speed on your camera is equal or slower than the max sync speed. For outdoor if you want to use a shutter speed faster than the max sync speed, just slide the high speed sync swithc to the right (with a thunder and 'H' symbol). Wireless off, main switch on and depend on your situation, high speed sync on or off. It's that simple. Hope this helps.
  3. Thanks Andy.
    Just a couple of clarifications. Where is the "Wireless Selector Switch"? And where do I find out what my "maximum sync speed" is?
    I'm a real novice about all this.
  4. Hello:
    The 420 EX is a great little flash. I have been using one since they first came out. You can find the 420 EX manual online.
    There aren't many external, or manual controls for the 420EX. It has: an 'On/Off switch; a High Speed Sync switch (on or off); and a switch to enable the flash to act as a remote in a wireless ETTL, off camera flash group (just above the flash shoe mount). There is also "Flash Exposure Compensation" controlled from your camera.
    When you mount your flash on your camera (directly, with an ETTL Wireless commander, or with an ETTL, Off-camera Sync Cord), your camera "Exposure Compensation" control automatically switches to "Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC)" control.
    The High Speed Sync function will enable your flash to fire when the camera shutter speed is set (by you or automatically) to a speed that is faster than your camera "flash sync speed" (check the specs for your camera). High Speed Sync is not the same as normal flash ~ it works by firing many rapid pulses of light, like a strobe. It works well most of the time, however, the amount of light, from your flash, that can be applied to the subject will be reduced and High Speed Sync will not always freeze subject motion.
    Getting the flash off-camera with an ETTL off camera flash cord is a good idea. The Velo brand cords are very good and much cheaper than the Canon cords. These cords will allow you to move the flash around (within the scope of the cord length) and see how different positions affect your results.
    The 90EX flash that Canon bundled with the EOS M camera is a good alternative to an ETTL, off-camera sync cord. It is inexpensive and will give basic wireless ETTL Commander to control (same as the ETTL sync cords) over your off-camera ETTL flash. When mounted to your camera, and set as the wireless commander, the 90EX will not fire a "Flash" pulse. It will only send signals to your remote flash.
    If you don't have the time to learn about lighting, the ETTL flash system gives useable results without much human intervention. Connect your flash to the camera hot-shoe (directly, with a wireless commander or with an ETTL cable), set your camera "Mode Dial" to AV, or to Program, and fire away. Have a look at the result: if the subject is too bright, turn the FEC dial to get a negative compensation value; or, if the subject is too dark, turn the FEC dial to get a positive compensation value.
    If you do have time to learn how to get the best results from your Canon ETTL equipment, start with this:
    I also Strongly recommend that you visit the Strobist site. While he does not talk about Canon ETTL flash specifically, he does offer VERY GOOD, FREE, FUN tutorials on lighting with flash. Look for his "Lighting 101" link, in the right-hand column near the top of this page:
    Cheers! Jay
  5. The maximum sync speed is defined by the camera and will be in the manual. All Digital Rebel series cameras have a max sync speed of 1/200. When you turn on the flash the camera will automatically lower your shutter speed to 1/200 if your settings have it faster than that.
    However, the 420EX does have a high-speed sync mode which will let you shoot photos with higher shutter speeds than 1/200. The trade-off is that it greatly reduces the intensity of the flash. High speed sync is enabled by moving the switch on back of the flash to "Lightning Bolt/H"
    Andy is talking about the switch at the base that says either "Off" or "Slave." Make sure it's set to "Off."
    There is no magic setting for fill flash. It comes down to what you want the photo to look like and what your ambient light conditions are at the time of the photo. In order to adjust the amount of light the flash sends out you need to go into the flash menu on the camera. The flash menu is only available in P, M, Av, Tv modes and only when the 420EX is in the hotshoe and turned on.
  6. Thanks so much, Jay and Rob as well.
    You guys have given me the basics that I need for this venture.
    Jay. I already purchased one of those Vello sync cords. So I'm good there.
    I assume the suggestion to use "Av" is to help/control DOF?
    The only remaining concern is this. I will only have the camera's review capabilities to see my results on the LCD screen when on the location. Won't be able to reshoot any of this again, once finished with this shoot. This concerns me a little bit; as I'm not always trusting of what I see from the LCD's review images. But, I'm guessing I'll just need to do the best that I can.
    I also have a Canon SX50 camera. Would this be a camera I should consider for this shoot?Would my 420EX work much the same way on the superzoom as on the T2i? Or should I apruptly get that thought out of my mind.
    Thanks again to all 3 of you. You have been a great help.....and delivered the info in terms I can understand.

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