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550EX Flash

mercphotomercphoto Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
edited November 3, 2004 in Accessories
How many flashes per set of AA's are people getting with the 550 flash from Canon? I need a rough guess of how many batteries I will need to bring with me. Outdoor sports at night under poor lights. Flash will be used a lot (and is allowed). Distance to subject will be roughtly 30-50 feet.

I'm also assume I should switch to center-weighted exposure metering since I am not expecting to get much if any background detail in these shots.
Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
A former sports shooter
Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,700 moderator
    edited October 7, 2004
    mercphoto wrote:
    How many flashes per set of AA's are people getting with the 550 flash from Canon? I need a rough guess of how many batteries I will need to bring with me. Outdoor sports at night under poor lights. Flash will be used a lot (and is allowed). Distance to subject will be roughtly 30-50 feet.

    I'm also assume I should switch to center-weighted exposure metering since I am not expecting to get much if any background detail in these shots.


    I have never actually counted flashes, but if you are shooting at 30-50 feet, I suspect that you will be completely dumping the capacitor's charge with each shot and this will eat batteries fairly quickly.

    Rechargeable NiMHs might hold up better in this use. Photo Lithium AA non-rechargeables will be the best, but are expensive.

    There will be a recycle time to be concerned with also. I doubt you will be able to shoot that far out with the motordrive drive mode. I think you will be limited to single shot shooting.

    Are you using a Better Beamer type of device to concentrate the light better?

    Please report back your experience in this mode - I'm sure many of us are interested.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2004
    Yes indeed, I'm very interested. Never occurred to me to use a flash for sports. I simply assumed that the subject would be too far away. I wonder if this will result in significant vignetting?
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    tmlphototmlphoto Registered Users Posts: 1,444 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2004
    I also haven't counted flashes, but I have noticed that the recycle time increases pretty quickly, with fairly limited use of my 420ex. I usually change to a fresh set of batteries if I think that I'll need a quick recycle time. I think paths idea about rechargables is a good one. You are still going to need quite a few batteries though. I'd probably go to Home Depot and get one of those boxes with 12+ batteries just to be safe. You can always use AA batteries around the house.
    Thomas :D

    TML Photography
    tmlphoto.com
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    mercphotomercphoto Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2004
    More on 550EX
    Thanks for the advice about batteries.

    I'm renting a 550 because the 580's aren't shipping yet. I did not get a manual with the unit, and can't find a download on canon.com. The unit works, and I can get it in ETTL mode. But the display is always flashing. What is that telling me?
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
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    mercphotomercphoto Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited October 8, 2004
    Flash and sports
    wxwax wrote:
    Yes indeed, I'm very interested. Never occurred to me to use a flash for sports. I simply assumed that the subject would be too far away. I wonder if this will result in significant vignetting?

    With dirt bike racing you can get relatively close to the track side. I don't know if flash would work for football, for example. And this race will happen after sundown, and track lighting is not very good. I've been told flash is fine as long as I am not photographing directly into their eyes (i.e. lots of profile shots, no head-on shots).

    As far as vignetting goes I'll let you know Monday. :)

    I did find a 550EX manual online, so I think I'm set to go.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
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    howardphotoshowardphotos Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
    edited October 31, 2004
    mercphoto wrote:
    How many flashes per set of AA's are people getting with the 550 flash from Canon? I need a rough guess of how many batteries I will need to bring with me. Outdoor sports at night under poor lights. Flash will be used a lot (and is allowed). Distance to subject will be roughtly 30-50 feet.

    I'm also assume I should switch to center-weighted exposure metering since I am not expecting to get much if any background detail in these shots.
    I just bought the 550ex, my pics have improved greatly. I shoot with a Digital Rebel. I've only shot 3 games with it, they're not uploaded yet. I bought 15 min rechargeable batteries from Radio Shack. 1 set lasts me a game and a quarter. I have a backup set in my bag. $85 bucks for the charger & 2 sets. I get 2 flashes on sports mode, then it recycles before the next play starts. I normally shoot on Program mode though.

    I will be dangerous if I ever learn how to really use and understand my camera. Have fun!
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited October 31, 2004
    mercphoto wrote:
    With dirt bike racing you can get relatively close to the track side. I don't know if flash would work for football, for example. And this race will happen after sundown, and track lighting is not very good. I've been told flash is fine as long as I am not photographing directly into their eyes (i.e. lots of profile shots, no head-on shots).

    As far as vignetting goes I'll let you know Monday. :)

    I did find a 550EX manual online, so I think I'm set to go.

    Did you ever post pics? I'm curious to see how they worked out for you.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    mercphotomercphoto Registered Users Posts: 4,550 Major grins
    edited November 1, 2004
    No pics
    wxwax wrote:
    Did you ever post pics? I'm curious to see how they worked out for you.

    Unfortunately I did not. Weather did not cooperate and the dirt track was too wet to race on. Second time in a row that track had to cancel a race due to rain. Next chance is Nov 14, which is a morning race, and no need for flash.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
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    digismiledigismile Registered Users Posts: 955 Major grins
    edited November 3, 2004
    Blinking Display on 550EX
    Here's page 20 from my 550EX manual. I couldn't find anything else about blinking displays.

    Hope this helps,
    Brad

    10805797-L.jpg

    mercphoto wrote:
    Thanks for the advice about batteries.

    I'm renting a 550 because the 580's aren't shipping yet. I did not get a manual with the unit, and can't find a download on canon.com. The unit works, and I can get it in ETTL mode. But the display is always flashing. What is that telling me?
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