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tutorial for canon 580ex II

Lance Traore , Aug 05, 2009; 12:51 p.m.

Quick question!

I bought a Canon speedlite 580 ex II and I find it hard to learn how to use it. I'm unsure of what the different settings mean and how to combine the flash with exposure etc.

Is there anywhere online where I can find good tutorials on how to use it?




Gary Ertle , Aug 05, 2009; 01:23 p.m.

There's some pretty good info at this super.nova.org site. There are a few pages to wander around in and it's a good place to start.

J.C. Lopez-Johnston , Aug 05, 2009; 10:11 p.m.

I was wondering if you UNDERSTAND the functions... How is your knowledge on lighting and photography? I would recommend you try to look for the definitions of the settings and then, it will be easier to understand the settings...


Manuel Neace , Aug 06, 2009; 11:54 a.m.

I bought the DVD Understanding the Canon Speedlite 580EX/430EX on Amazon when I bought my 580EX. It's pretty good at giving you a rather high level overview of everything it can do. Well worth the price.
I'm still wishing for the magic bullet that will make all of this lighting stuff click, especially inside with low light or outside to fill in shadows. I've yet to find that source.


Bill Mussett , Aug 07, 2009; 01:32 a.m.

Lance, I also have the 580EXII and before purchasing it a year ago had avoided flash in favor of ambient light. Seeing what others are able to do with flash, and not have a photo look like flash was used, plus some other interesting flash techniques, finally convinced me to make the purchase. There are numerous resources for flash technique and one I've seen recommended repeatedly is:


Another popular resource are the Strobist tutorials:


And of course PNet is an abundant resource. The forum I've found where flash is discussed probably more than any other is in the Wedding and Events forums. These posts are just two of many you'll find:



But the very best thing you can do is to use it and experiment.

Lance Traore , Aug 07, 2009; 07:13 a.m.

Thanks a lot for all the tips. I think I've got some stuff now to get me across that first hump :)

Andrew Gilchrist , Aug 07, 2009; 10:59 a.m.

These are some of my favorite flash pages . I personally find it easiest to shoot the camera in manual at a reasonable aperture & shutter speed and adjust exposure & flash output via flash exposure compensation.

Zave Shapiro , Aug 08, 2009; 07:24 a.m.

It may be easier to learn by doing than by studying. These are such capable units that they can solve problems you haven't thought of yet. Why not take the other tack and learn how to solve your own problems? If you're doing mid-day photography then you need to harness fill-flash for people shots or detail shots. If you're shooting at night or in clubs then you should know how to get the flash off the camera. If you are doing macro or small product photography then you'll need wrap-around light; flash unit, reflectors, wall bounce, northern exposure.
So what I'm saying is that there's pretty much no point in learning to master the unit. Learn to make it do what you need it for, and then, when you have a new problem, learn how to maximize other features. Don't worry about the features, focus on the benefits.

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