cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Canon Speedlite 420EX

MartinTobias
Apprentice

Thinking about getting a second-hand Canon Speedlite 420EX for my Canon 250d. How do I know if it'll be compatible as the 420EX is a much older model and the 250d doesn't have the central metal contact point on the hot shoe? I've been told that the updated (and much worse) mount works with all Canon speedlites, but how can I be sure?

 
6 REPLIES 6

shadowsports
Elite

The product manual discusses feature support

 

Type A vs Type B cameras.

 

Yours is Type B "TTL"

 

So read pages 9 to 16, and 31 to 53

 

http://downloads.canon.com/camera/flash/Speedlite_420EX_manual.pdf

~Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2(v1.1.1) ~Many Lenses ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~R5C On Order

Canon is very good at making their camera equipment forward and backwards compatible. The 420EX will work, but because it is an older model it will not be fully compatible with the built in flash menu that has been on all Canon cameras since 2008. You will only be able to change settings directly on the flash itself. 
 
If this is your first flash, I would recommend buying a 430EX II because it can use the camera's menu, and it will make learning to use a flash much simpler.
Mike Sowsun
80D, 5D Mk III

Quiet
Enthusiast

Martin, I have the other "crippled Canon", the Rebel T7, which is also missing the center x-sync terminal on its hot shoe.

 

However the 420EX flash I got for $21 on eBay works perfectly on it. It's my first E-TTL flash and I'm amazed at the beautiful exposures it gives, even in bounce mode.


@Quiet wrote:

Martin, I have the other "crippled Canon", the Rebel T7, which is also missing the center x-sync terminal on its hot shoe.

 

However the 420EX flash I got for $21 on eBay works perfectly on it. It's my first E-TTL flash and I'm amazed at the beautiful exposures it gives, even in bounce mode.


I would guess that it's "especially in bounce mode". E-TTL flashes are strongly biased for use as fill flashes, which is fine if that's what you need but not always so fine otherwise. But bounce flash effectively kills the fill-flash bias and provides proper lighting for the overall (indoor) scene. That's an oversimplification, of course, but this isn't the time or place for a detailed lecture on flash technology (even if I were qualified to deliver it, which I'm not). Suffice it to say that E-TTL flashes generally perform admirably as bounce flashes. At least that has been my experience.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Quite right, Bob. I guess I do always use bounce when possible and cringe a little when forced to use direct flash.

 

I've always despised direct flash, thought E-TTL is the least offender.

Former newspaper photo journalist here.  We used to use direct flash all the time with film chrome and negatives.  It was Colorado so always sunny and fill was needed on chrome films. The trick was to dial down the flash -1&3/4 stops at 1/250th f8 rear curtain sync and the fill worked great.  

Fast forward to the digital era and, If I am not bouncing like you do, I have the flash dialed down at least -1 stop.  I dont like having to control the flash thru the camera.  And the flash does a preflash that bugs me.  But that 1 stop back off still works.  

Announcements