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A "good" flash for my 300D for $75?

Robert Thommes , Nov 30, 2005; 09:43 a.m.

Someone want's to give me $75 for Xmas to spend on "camera stuff". About the only thing I really don't have is an external flash. I take very few flash pictures anyway, but something like this might be fun to have. So I come to you for advice on what you think I could get for this amount(likely used, I would guess). How much automation would I have with your recommended unit? In other words, how much of the operation would I need to set manually, and whatif anything, would the camera and/or flash determine for me in my particular situation of the moment? I'm really a novice at this. Thanks


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Conrad Erb - Philadelphia, PA , Nov 30, 2005; 10:17 a.m.

if this if your first flash, I would definitely go on eBay and get the Sunpak 333. Cheap at $15 (enough to buy two if you want, as a backup), much more power per dollar than anything else, and you might find that it is just as consistent to use in auto mode as the latest TTL technology. Plus it has manual mode, and can bounce AND swivel. do yourself a favor and get a sunpak 333.

Mike North , Nov 30, 2005; 11:06 a.m.

I'd suggest a Canon flash as it will work automatically with your unit's focus controls. It's only $122 on the page I googled. (link)

Robert Thommes , Nov 30, 2005; 11:17 a.m.

Buried deep within my camera drawer, I found a Sunpak 344D Thyristor flash. It seems to test fire with new batteries that I just put it. Would the Sunpak 333 suggested above give me any greater "ease of operation" than this 344D? Or is the same amount of brain effort required for both? I want something inexpensive that gives me the most no nonsense operation. Something where I don't need to be all that concerned about the image outcome, reasonably so---and yet for $75

Affen Kot , Nov 30, 2005; 12:08 p.m.

if it were my 75 bucks...

1. sunpak 355AF for $50 shipped:

the sunpak 355AF has a decent guide number of 86 feet at 35mm (120 feet at 85mm), TTL capability, and a bounce head for ceilings and catchlicht cards. i owned one and used it in concert with a nikon N80 at "normal" focal lengths. mine was very reliable, and a good flash to learn on.

2. ansel adam's the negative for 20 bucks shipped:

the zone system you must learn. help you it can.


Bob Atkins , Nov 30, 2005; 01:15 p.m.

TTL will do nothing for you with a 300D. No DSLR can use TTL flash metering.

The 300D REQUIRES E-TTL for any camera/flash automated operation.

Other flashes can be used in fully manual or auto-thyristor modes.

Robert Thommes , Nov 30, 2005; 01:35 p.m.

Bob A.

So how would my Sunpak 344D "Auto Thryistor" flash mate with my 300D? Or would it? Total Manual operation? Thanks

John Crowe , Nov 30, 2005; 01:59 p.m.

Unfortunately they have not made DSLRs as smart as the film EOS cameras when it comes to using old flashes (Gee I guess Canon wants to sell flashes!). You will not get flash ready confirmation but the flash does go off when the shutter is pressed. I always use my thyristor flash in auto mode on my manually set 10D with manual aperture lenses so I will have to try it in auto with an EF lens and see how it works. I will let you know. Mine is the swivel, bouncing, tilting, high powered zoom (GN 156 at 100 ISO and 50mm) Vivitar 5600 (under $75 on eBay).

Affen Kot , Nov 30, 2005; 02:17 p.m.

bob's right about TTL metering and dslr's. click here for a pretty reliable third party opinion on the matter.

considering that, you might look at the 380ex. bounce head; compatible with canon dlsr's. i just checked sleazebay usa, and there were several 380ex auctions lingering at or below the $75 mark. cheers.

Bob Atkins , Nov 30, 2005; 02:29 p.m.

It might, it's hard to say. The 300D has (I think) 5 flash contacts. If nothing contacts the 4 you don't need and the one you do need mates up properly, that's step 1.

Step 2 is that you hope the flash you're trying to use has a sync voltage of around 6 vots or less, because anything much more than that will fry the sync circuitry on a 300D.

If 1 and 2 are OK, an auto-thyristor flash will work in it's internal "automatic" mode, but it won't talk to the camera in any way. If should give you OK exposures under conditions where auto-thyristor flashes do well. In fully manual mode you'll need to get out those tables of guide numbers, apertures and distances.

A Canon EX flash will fully support auto operation with a 300D, along with giving you high speed sync operation.

I have a used 380EX for sale, but it's $100 and outside your budget. It's possible you could find one for $75 or less if you get lucky on Ebay. It's going to be the cheapest useful flash that is fully compatible with your 300D. You could probably find a used 220EX for $75, but it doesn't have a bounce or zoom head.

See http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/ex_speedlites.html

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