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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-26-2013
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Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

Hi everyone. Please bear with me, I'm new to this. 

 

I've gone nuts reading online about choosing THE right speedlite for my camera (s). And I'm more confued than ever before so asking for your advice. 

 

I have the following bodies: 

 

Canon 6 D ( currently with 24- 70 MM lens, looking to invest in a super wide zoom and super telephoto in the future)

Nikon D 80 with (18 - 135 mm  and 50 mm block lens)

 

Use of flash for me: I wish to use it as a master, hotshoe mounted, as well as remotely on stands if required. Wish to use it for filling in, studio work, night photography. 

 

My maximum work is with the 6D. I do use the Nikon D 80 often though. Eventually I want to make the wisest choice, as my budget is between 200 to 500 $. 

 

1) I'm caught between buying a dedicated Canon speedlite and buying a speedlight that serves on both bodies, and on my widest lenses.

 

2) I read that the currently available strongest speedlite for Canon is the 600 EX - RT. Its widest coverage is for the 28 mm focal length and upwards. 

 

Are there any other generic speedlites which dont cost the earth and have a wider coverage with as much strength as the 600 EX- RT? 

 

3) OR all of the above, plus, are a generic model that go  both on the nikon as well as the canon?

 

Appreciate your time and advice, 

 

Vatsala

 

 

 

Highlighted
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

[ Edited ]

Vatsala

 

Of course, only you can balance your wants/needs against your budget, but it sounds as though you intend to make the 6D your workhorse and will expect professional results from it, so that is where to put your money.  Generic and one-size-fits-all trade offs made now will usually exact a price in the form of frustration and disappointment further down the line.  For your intended use and expected results, I would recommend biting the bullet and going with the 600EX RT for the 6D and a lower priced Nikon (recommended) or generic flash for the D80.  I would advise looking into used equipment to save some money, but some years ago I did that with a couple of Nikon SB-26 flashes, from two different suppliers, only to find out that the reason they were on the market was because the motorized zoom mechanisms were worn out.  By the time I had them refurbished, I was within a few dollars of having bought them new.  Since then, I have just not been a fan of used gear.

 

Good luck !

 

Regards,

 

Ted

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

[ Edited ]

Do you want TTL or not?  If you do you’re going to have to choose between Canon and Nikon, you can’t have both.

 

Lighting is a very complex thing, and people have vastly different views on it.  Here’s mine, take what you will:

 

I think you should have at least 1 TTL capable flash, for on-camera work.  The rest of the flashes don’t have to be.  But I do 99% of my flash work on manual, others use TTL exclusively and have great results.  I believe (I’m not sure), that a non-TTL flash should work on both Canon and Nikon?  Anybody verify?

 

I believe in 3rd party flashes.  Yongnuo (I own three) are great, and cheap.  So is Lumopro.  But I also own Canon flashes; they’re nice, but expensive.  I also believe in getting a mix of different flashes, from a big top of the line powerful one, to a simple cheapo like the Yongnuo 460 which can’t even zoom.  I don’t need every flash to be super powerful, and zoom, and strobe, and other fancy features.  I can use my fancy flashes for my key, and fill, or maybe delicate rim lighting.  Sometimes I just need one to splash light on the backdrop.  Not buying five Canon 600ex-RT has saved me $$$$$, and I can get 99% of the functionality out of my setup.

 

Get radio triggers.  They’re a ton of fun, and cheap (if you go third party).  I use both the Yongnuo RF602 and RF622.  The 602s are super cheap ($25 a pair), but manual only.  I use these most of the time.  I also have 622s for off-camera eTTL, but it will only work on Canon.  They’re also more expensive, and bulky.  So if I don’t need eTTL then I reach for my 602s.  I have 6 of them, none of them have ever failed me.

 

 

Short Answer:  Get a Yongnuo 565 and a set of RF602s.  Total cost: $150.  The 565 will only work eTTL on the Canon, and the triggers are manual only, but they _may_ work on the Nikon.  You’ve got an eTTL flash for on-camera work, and you can start playing with off-camera flash to see if you like it.  You can buy the new YN-560III ($80) if you want to expand, it has a radio trigger built in that will work with your 602s.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,809
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

Skirball says:  "I believe (I’m not sure), that a non-TTL flash should work on both Canon and Nikon?  Anybody verify?"

 

--

 

Short answer:  As long as the trigger voltage on the flash is at or below 6v, yes.

 

Longer answer:

 

The hot-shoe design comforms to an ISO standard and the pins and voltages have other standards (and it turns out there are a number of them, so I wont bother to list them here.)

 

But the main thing is that the "shoe" design is a standard and pretty much all cameras with hot-shoes (except Sony - which had a proprietary shoe on many of their models) conform to it.

 

The "rails" of the hot shoe actually server as the ground pin.  The center pin (largest contact in the middle of the shoe) is the other pin.  When the circuit is closed between those two, the flash will fire at manual power.  This is the same as the two wires of a wired flash cable.  

 

Canon says the trigger voltage going through those contacts (sent by the flash... not the camera) should not exceed 6 volts (even though the ISO standard says it's supposed to be able to handle 24 volts.)

 

All the remaining pins you see on the hot shoe are for other features of the flash or for other devices.  

 

I've never heard of a TTL flash that can work on both Nikon and Canon.  You can find third party flash makers who will make a model of a flash designed to work with Canon's TTL (E-TTL and E-TTL II) or Nikon's TTL (iTTL) -- but not one flash that has the ability to work with either camera's TTL.

 

I don't own any Nikon gear, but have a small pile of Canon gear -- including about 5 different Canon Speedlites.  But two of those speedlites are the new 600EX-RT's.  I must say they certainly are a pleasure to use.  Coming from 580's and 430's, where they certainly work, the 600's work but are so easy to configure and don't require line-of-site to communicate because they use radio.

 

If I had a mix of Canon and Nikon gear, I'd be asking myself if I could afford a few TTL lights from Canon and Nikon both... or if I'd rather just use manual-only and get some radio triggers.  Manual flash sounds intimidating, but once you learn the rules for how light spreads out (and these rules are both fairly easy and extremely consistent... so they always work) it's really not difficult to just do everything in manual mode.

 

Even working "on the move" with manual flash isn't difficult if you learn to pre-set your shots.  E.g. if I knew I was about to take a subject and I knew that i wanted to be about 8 feet away to get the framing that I wanted, I'd set the flash power and camera f-stop to a combination that would be perfect for an 8' distance.  That way I don't have to run test-shots and adjust the flash... I can just pre-set the power, move to the correct distance, and take the exposure.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

vatsala

 

You might want to review this thread as well:

 

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/Speedlites/which-flash-for-my-6D/td-p/33413/jump-to/first-unread-mess...

 

 

Regards,

 

Ted

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-26-2013

Re: Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

Thanks for your responses, and the link Ted. I appreciate it.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-26-2013

Re: Choosing the right speedlite over Canon 6D and Nikon D 80

Thanks Skirball. I'm doing some more research based on what I have heard from all of you hear. Will ask more if need be.

Much gratitude,
Vatsala
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