300D/10D with Sigma 500 DG Super users - what is your experience


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Russ

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OK I have just bought myself a 2nd hand Sigma 500 DG Super for Canon to use with my 300D.

So far, I have taken a couple of hundred indoor shots in E-TTL mode with subjects ranging from 3m to 20 m away. So far, I must say the E-TTL is not that great - about 30% of my shots are nicely exposed (i.e. slightly under), 20% of my shots are overexposed and I have to retake with FEC at -1 and 50% are underexposed and I have to do FEC at +1 or even more. And it seems not to depend on the distance of subject.

My experience with my old EOS100 with 430EZ in A-TTL was much better than this.

What is your experience so far?
Have you guys compared the performance of 550EX and 500DG Super?
Is E-TTL controlled by the camera of flash unit?

Advice and comments welcome.
 

SpitFir3

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Yes..i have to say that..according to alot of my friends..and i personally tested before..the 500DG super is not that accurate in e-ttl..sometimes its really unrealiable. i get over or under on many occasions..however the 420 and 550ex does much better by giving correct amount of output on everyshot.
 

Ah Pao

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Must agree. It's unfortunate that the 500DG is not very accurate with DSLRs.
My experience is that the flash gives inconsistent results with the 300D.

E-TTL is dependent on both the flash and the camera, but it's the camera that does the calculation. It's likely that the output of the 500DG varies from one shot to another.

You may want to try FEL before taking the shot.
Another way is to tune up the ISO...it's somewhat better...
 

rainman

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I have the same setup as u...300d + sigma 500 super DG..Hmm didn't really notice this flaw..But i did observe the some inconsistency of flash power even on the internal flash itself...so I dunno if the problems lie on the body itself or the metering of the lens... kind of frustrating...In fact now most of the time I'm using more of the manual control.
I appreciate if u can verified on these also. Vice versa. Thks. :)
 

erwinx

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The Sigma 500 appears to be as accurate as the 550EX on D60.

When people say they are getting poor exposures with the Sigma 500 are they saying that in identical conditions, they get spot-on exposures using a 550EX?

recently someone using a top of the line SB-800 flash posted several underexposed images that were therefore very noisy. He apologisd for the noise by saying that it was due to JPEG compression even though his images were minimum 300kB in size.

so i'm just wondering whether there is a tendency in clubsnap to blame equipment first :)
 

zekai

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erwinx said:
so i'm just wondering whether there is a tendency in clubsnap to blame equipment first :)
i think it is not limited to clubsnap.

with the automation of so many devices.. metering, E-ttl flash etc.... we have become too reliance on the equipment to think for us. thus we blame the equipment.
 

blurblock

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Taken the 500DG Super with my 10D before I sold all off, everything is ok, no underexposed or overexposed problem. Of course if I take the pictures at a place where mirrors are in abundance, I will normally switch the 500DG to manual to take the photographs.

E-TTL is pretty sensitive, the calculation is through the lens, ie. by the body and bias towards the active AutoFocus Point each shoot (and surprisingly the inactive CentreFocus point, as in the case of D30/60 and I suspect 10D/300D as well). Can't really blame the pot for not being hot when the cook put in the wrong ingredients.

Anyway, for some E-TTL reading, look at these webpages :-

http://www.dlcphotography.net/ETTL/ETTLHomePage.htm#anchor6540

http://www.photosharp.com.tw/forum2003/topic/topic.asp?forum_id=29&Code=20021120000097&fPage=1&Page=13

http://www.livingroom.org.au/photolog/reviews/canon/canon_digital_rebel_eos_300d.php
 

Russ

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Thanks for all your inputs. I have also done some research myself in the past 24 hours and basically E-TTL works fine with FILM but not with DIGITAL because there is no film to read off (why they can't read off the sensor I don't know - technical I presume). D30 was awful apparently. 10D and 300D is supposedly better but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Thankfully it is digital can retake but sometimes there are shots that cannot be repeated e.g. the kiss at a wedding so I tend to do trial shots (eg monitor shots before kiss) and change the FEC or use manual.

Manual is hard for me because I bounce my flash so distances and absorbance of walls etc is harder to evaluate.

As for the question of whether it is shot to shot inconsistency of the 500 DG - no, I experimented taking the same shot a number of times and exactly the same result every time. So, probably the camera. Not blaming equipment for poor shots just that with film the exposure was more spot on with TTL flash

Do Nikons suffer the same problem??
 

zod

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Russ said:
Thanks for all your inputs. I have also done some research myself in the past 24 hours and basically E-TTL works fine with FILM but not with DIGITAL because there is no film to read off (why they can't read off the sensor I don't know - technical I presume).
TTL reads off film
E-TTL doesn't
 

Denosha

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I've also been having trouble getting correct exposures using my 300D and Sigma 500DG in E-TTL mode. Especially at the recent dreamcars asia.. the output was so terrible i went to manual mode.. and when that proved too daunting a task, i went to ambient lighting (abeit at high ISOs).

Anyway, i did some reading up and found out some interesting facts. I just tried them out and results are really positive. Hope the following helps:

When you're in AF mode. The TTL takes the exposure from the AF point currently selected. If you want to balance the exposure with another point in the scene, you've got to use the FEL (the * button) on the point u want to use as the reference for the exposure (the flash will fire and the "settings" will be determined).

In manual focus mode however, it takes the average exposure across the entire scene. To overcome this, you have to use the FEL button again to pre-expose and lock in the correct flash exposure settings.
 

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