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Speedlite 380 EX Compatibiilty with Rebel XT

Larry Sigman , Feb 01, 2006; 09:50 p.m.

I have a 380 EX. It work fine with elan II. Recently purchased Rebel XT. Using p mode, and somewhat rapid exposures, the flash fires but the images are underexposed (ie. dark/ brown tinted) regardless of distance to subject. The EX is supposed to be "compatible". Any suggestions...is this a synch issue? AE issue? Malfunctioning hotshoe? Recycling issue? Neither Canon nor local dealer have conclsions that resolve problem. Thanks for your help.

Responses

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , Feb 01, 2006; 10:03 p.m.

Most probable cause is that one usually has to dial in + flash compensation on Canon digitals, even with their own flashes. I'm surprised, because my old 380EX, when used on my 20D, didn't require much plus compensation--maybe + 1/3, and not all the time. Try it and see--dial in a set amount of plus compensation and try various subjects at different distances.

If that isn't it, it could be any of the other issues, although if it were a sync issue, it would either work or not work--same with the hotshoe. Could be recycling...are you giving it time to recycle? Watch the ready light to be sure. Only other thing would be that your subject is too far away for it to expose correctly, but if you tested with close subjects, that probably isn't it. Also, do you have it on auto white balance? Canon's AWB with tungsten is deliberately warm. Also--a very basic thing--check to be sure you haven't dialed in minus flash compensation on the camera.

Mike Ferris - Omaha, NE , Feb 02, 2006; 12:13 a.m.

I have the same issue w/ the rebel xt. I use the Sigma EF 500 DG ST, and it under exposes. My 20D doesn't have this problem with either of my flashes. I have been playing with different settings to try and balance this out, but haven't been too successful yet. With the EF 500 Super, I can just compensate +1 1/3, and it looks good, but the ST, Like the 380ex I assume is not adjustable. (Maybe it is, I haven't read the specs on it)

Mike

Rich B , Feb 02, 2006; 12:27 a.m.

Larry, I made the same switch as you and have not had that problem, in fact, if anything, I get overexposure with my 380EX & XT.

Did you use it with the Elan II recently? If you still have that camera, try shooting with it & check the results to narrow it down to camera or flash. Besides the very good answers that Nadine suggested, check the contacts on both the EX & XT hotshoe and gently rub them with a soft pencil eraser. Sometimes electrical contacts can get some corrosion coating on them which is not visible to the eye.

Good luck

Puppy Face , Feb 02, 2006; 01:18 a.m.

"Using p mode, and somewhat rapid exposures, the flash fires but the images are underexposed (ie. dark/ brown tinted) regardless of distance to subject. "

Sounds like it didn't have enough time to fully recycle. With fresh batteries recycling takes 4-8 seconds depending on distance. If you fire earlier underexposure results. Rechargeable batteries should recycle a little faster. Also, print film can tolerate a lot more underexposure as the lab merely fixes it in the print. With digital you have to make the adjustments.

Yakim Peled , Feb 02, 2006; 04:49 a.m.

One of the new features presented in the new 430EX and 580EX are faster recycling times.

Happy shooting, Yakim.

Kenneth Koh , Apr 11, 2006; 05:18 a.m.

i'm having the same problem. Inconsistant flash exposure in P mode. Its got something to do with the background brightness. There's good info on flash use with EOS systems in this FAQ: http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index2.html#programflash My flash works good in Av mode, just not P. Incidentally, I had a bad Rebel XT which I returned and got a new body as the flash was underexposing in all modes including Full Auto.

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