E-TTL vs. E-TTL II

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by yakim_peled|1, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. Hi Photo Nutters :)

    This question is for those of you with experience in both metering
    systems.

    1. Can you really spot the difference? For example, do you need less
    FEC with E-TTL II than with E-TTL? Are the results more reliable in
    difficult situations? Do you feel less the need to put a diffuser on
    the flash if you are in E-TTL II?

    2. Is there any indication (e.g. in the flash and/or in the camera)
    when you switch from E-TTL II to E-TTL or vice versa?

    3. E-TTL II does not work in bounce mode, in macro mode and in
    wireless mode. That means that E-TTL II is only useful when you have
    one flash and when it's pointed directly forward. Am I right? If that
    is so, it seems that it's benefits are limited.

    Thanks for any answers, comments and enlightments.


    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.


    One last thing. Please don't direct me to NK Guy's article. I am
    looking for user experience, not theory.
     
  2. Yakim;

    I have not used both systems extensively, but I have researched enough to comment on a few of your questions.

    1) I can't comment on "quality", as I have not shot E-TTL II more than a few times (with a film body).

    2) A given camera body will use either E-TTL or E-TTL II exclusiviely. This is firmware/hardware configuration issue and is not user selectable. Kind of like if your camera has partial metering or a spot meter -> you get one or the other and that's the end of it.

    There are no firmware upgrades to convert a 10D or Elan 7 to use ETTL-II.

    3) E-TTL II refers to the *entire system* of flash metering. This system includes a correction factor for lens focus distance. This correction factor is not used in the conditions you describe (ie, bounce flash). This correction factor is also not used if you use a lens that does not provide distance feedback to the body.

    I do not know the importance of this correction factor, but *I suspect* it is minor.

    *****

    The primary difference between E-TTL and E-TTL II is that E-TTL is strongly focus point biased. ETTL evaluates the flash exposure primarily at the focus point. E-TTL II does not have this high focus point biasing, and the flash exposure is calculated using more of an evaluative metering pattern.

    The primary benefit of E-TTL II is that you are no longer so reliant on Flash Exposure Lock to get correct exposures. Much better for shoot-on-the fly photography. E-TTL works very well in slow motion situations, where you can 1)press one button to do FEL, 2) press another button to focus and 3) mash the shutter to take the image.
     
  3. Yakim,
    I have switched from 10D to 20D. The flash I use is 550EX. I have never played with FEC. However I used to work with preflashes (FEL) almost all the time during weddings. HUGE difference. ETTL-II does not guarranty that every your shot will be dead on. But most of the images are correctly exposed. Finally! I am talking about high contrast (black/white vs. face) difficult situations.

    BTW, I don't think ETTL-II does not work in bounce mode. It doesn't support distance info while bouncing, but there are other factors - improvements over ETTL that I think work even in bounce mode.

    The only two things I wonder are: if the 580EX is any improvement over 550EX in regard to exposure accuracy (probably not), and if 580EX really helps to get better White Balance results.

    Merry Christmas!

    Jacek
     
  4. I've used E-TTL and E-TTL II extensively shooting chromes with my EOS 3 (E-TTL) , Elan 7E
    (E-TTL) and Elan 7NE (E-TTL II). There is no discernable difference between results with
    on-camera flash, bounce or wireless. In fact, plain E-TTL always gave me good and
    consistent results, at least with chromes and with few user overrides. E-TTL
    implementation on my 10D isn't nearly as good and requires lots of user override to get
    consistent results. Perhaps E-TTL II has more perceivable benefits in the digital domain.
    Chromes are actually
    much more forgiving of small exposure errors than digital.
     
  5. My 2 cents. I use the 550 on an EOS 3 and now on my D1 MkII. On the 3 all the head shots had to have FEC so that the faces were not blown out (bounced or direct). On shots that were fill, I would often go all the way to minus 2. On the D1, using minus FEC indoors always results in underexposure. Outdoors as fill, it is a preference matter. The ETTL II seems to be very good virtually all the time.
     
  6. Are the results more reliable in difficult situations?
    Yes to me. I used 420ex on E-TTL and E-TTL II bodies on similar reflective subjects (traffic signs) and results seem much better to me - they range from seeing only a little white circle on the sign to getting a clear sign as if it were non-reflective (E-TTL was almost always giving a too white too reflective unreadable sign). Slides. No exact measuring though, and it's only a few signs I've shot.
    Alex, a happy shooter.
     
  7. Can anyone point me to a good technical article that explain these 2 methods in details.
    I came from the Nikon world and things there are different. Now I am imegrating to the 20D world and understanding the flash issue is important to me.

    Thanks,
    Amit
     
  8. I will comment on 580EX with 10D and 20D.

    1. I need +2/3 FEC on both cameras for my taste.

    2. 20D seems to have more pleasing WB maybe due to 580EX and 20D E-TTL2 communicating better.

    3. Difficult situations(white bridal gown/black tux) handle differently. On 10D, you need to point focus square to mid tone to get correct exposure but on 20D, I focus and reframe and get correct exposure. Very easy and fast.

    4. Bounced flash is about equal.

    5. Fill flash is more consistant on 20D.

    I think best thing about E-TTL2 is that you are no longer tied to focus point to get correct exposure. Focus, reframe and shoot. It's that easy with fairly consistant results.
     
  9. Amit asked, "Can anyone point me to a good technical article that explain these 2 methods in details." Yakim asked us not to post it, but here it is. The answer to all your questions, and a starter for all your new ones. http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/
     
  10. Direct responses to you qu's Yakim. :

    1. Yes, to me there is a noticeable difference, ETTL-II gives much better
    results on my 20D than ETTL on my 10D (more consistent exposure, less
    over-exposure). Original ETTL seemed to work fine for me on my EOS 3,
    however. I still use a diffuser but more out of habit than as a result of 1st-hand
    testing.

    2. You do not get a choice between ETTL I or II - it's fixed in the body.

    3. ETTL-II works in all modes as far as I know. It's a totally different algorithm
    and method for estimating flash exposure. It is not simply a refinement of
    ETTL.
     
  11. 1. I'll try to go back from Italic to Normal.
    2. Thanks a lot for all your comments.
    3. In point #2 I was really referring to a situation when an E-TTL II capable body is mounted with an E-TTL II capable lens (e.g. 28/1.8) vs. the situation when it is mounted with an E-TTL II
    incapable lens (e.g. 28/2.8). I believe the answer is 'No' but I wanted to make sure. Apologies for the incoherent phrasing.
    4. Point #3 is taken from http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/#ettlii. Anybody knows otherwise?
    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  12. Distance info can't be used in bounce or wireless mode. However, the "averaging" algorithm of E-TTL II (less bias to the active AF point than E-TTL) is still in effect. The averaging algorithm is probably the most important diff between E-TTL and E-TTL II. You can get a similar effect by disabling AF in E-TTL.
     
  13. Yes, what Puppy face said :)

    Yakim's point #3 is correct if you substitute "distance feedback correction" for "ETTL-II".
     
  14. >> You can get a similar effect by disabling AF in E-TTL.

    Ouch. I rarely use MF. If the Elan's viewfinder is often not enough for that, the 20D's will surely be less satisfactory. 1D does not have E-TTL II (problem solved :-( ) and the 1D Mk II is currently out of reach. Damn, being poor is no fun at all....


    Happy shooting,
    Yakim.
     
  15. >> You can get a similar effect by disabling AF in E-TTL.

    On the 10D then if CF4 is set to use AE lock for AF instead of the shutter button then once focus is acheived and the button released the camera thinks it is in MF mode - Is this correct?
     
  16. Yes, that is a common trick -> and it works on any camera where you can move AF to the AE lock button.

    I would venture to say that an ETTL camera body set up this way will act roughly similar to a ETTL-II body in terms of flash exposure.
     
  17. boz

    boz

    The question I have is do I have to have a ETTL II gun on my 30D? Or rather Can I use a gun with regular E-TTL on that camera? If so why cant i use the 420EX on the 30D?
     
  18. [[If so why cant i use the 420EX on the 30D?]]
    The 420EX will work fine on your 30D.
     
  19. boz

    boz

    Thanks Bob. I found a used 420 EX in a shop but was told it wont work on
    the 30D, same story with canon off camera cord II!
     

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