Sigma EF-500 Super flash unit


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Edmund

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#1
Quite a while back, some of you (Canon users) were asking me about the suitability of this flash and whether it is worth buying (particularly since it offers so much at such a reasonable price). From what I have read, it does seem to be a pretty capable flash which supports ETTL. Well, at least four months have passed since then and I haven't read any more problems with this flash so it does seem pretty good so far.

My own thoughts on this flash are:
- If you can afford the Canon 550EX and need (or not) the range, get the Canon one for assurance and peace of mind.
- If you can't afford the 550EX and don't need the range, consider the 420EX instead
- If you can't afford the 550EX and need the range, the choice is clear, try the Sigma EF500 Super

Some pockets of conversations regarding this flash have also popped up in several places including the EOS Mailing List, EOS 3 and EOS 1V Yahoo Groups, etc. In a post on the EOS 3 Yahoo groups, one of the guys who bought the Sigma EF500 Super (in addition to his 550EX) offered some further insight to its capabilities which I felt would be useful for those considering this flash for their Canon systems.

On Robgalbraith.com, there is a thread where the poster tested the Sigma EF500 Super alongside with the 550EX and 420EX. Warning.. the tests here by the poster are not scientifically conducted and are for sample reference only.

Also fairly recently, 2 guys on the EOS Mailing list wrote up a brief page outlining how it compares to the Canon 550EX and I felt this would be a good read for those interested.

I will try to update this thread as and when I find new pieces of information on this flash. ;)
 

Kho King

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Jan 20, 2002
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#2
How much is this flash in Singapore? Where can I get one? For Nikon shoe though...
 

hackie

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Jan 18, 2002
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#3
Originally posted by Kho King
How much is this flash in Singapore? Where can I get one? For Nikon shoe though...
$350 at fotoguide, juz opp CP peninsular..
 

mylau

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Jan 19, 2002
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#5
Originally posted by DieHarder
$330 @ MS Color
errr...pardon my ignorance....where is MS Color?
 

mylau

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Jan 19, 2002
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#8
Oh! I C, thank you, must be the camera shop that displays the D1X near the door.
 

Romulus

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Feb 27, 2002
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#9
Can someone explain the E-TTL thing? I know what TTL does but what is the E??? Also, in the threads people were saying the 500 Super can do wireless E-TTL. What is that??

Thanks
 

Wai

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Jan 17, 2002
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#10
After trying afiend's 420EX and BS's Sigma 500 Super

i found that on a D30, although both can use E-TTL

.... 420EX can use the flash's AF assist light when u choose any of the 3 focus points..

whereas for Sigma 500, the flash's AF assist only turn on when u use the center focus points.

if u choose left, right or auto, the Sigma flash's AF assist light will not turn on, instead, the camera's build in AF assist lamp will be used.

but for me no choice..cannot afford 550EX, only can get the Sigma 500 Super
 

song

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Feb 23, 2002
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#11
Originally posted by Edmund
Quite a while back, some of you (Canon users) were asking me about the suitability of this flash and whether it is worth buying (particularly since it offers so much at such a reasonable price). From what I have read, it does seem to be a pretty capable flash which supports ETTL. Well, at least four months have passed since then and I haven't read any more problems with this flash so it does seem pretty good so far.

My own thoughts on this flash are:
- If you can afford the Canon 550EX and need (or not) the range, get the Canon one for assurance and peace of mind.
- If you can't afford the 550EX and don't need the range, consider the 420EX instead
- If you can't afford the 550EX and need the range, the choice is clear, try the Sigma EF500 Super

Some pockets of conversations regarding this flash have also popped up in several places including the EOS Mailing List, EOS 3 and EOS 1V Yahoo Groups, etc. In a post on the EOS 3 Yahoo groups, one of the guys who bought the Sigma EF500 Super (in addition to his 550EX) offered some further insight to its capabilities which I felt would be useful for those considering this flash for their Canon systems.

On Robgalbraith.com, there is a thread where the poster tested the Sigma EF500 Super alongside with the 550EX and 420EX. Warning.. the tests here by the poster are not scientifically conducted and are for sample reference only.

Also fairly recently, 2 guys on the EOS Mailing list wrote up a brief page outlining how it compares to the Canon 550EX and I felt this would be a good read for those interested.

I will try to update this thread as and when I find new pieces of information on this flash. ;)
can we use this on olympus c2040z??
 

Tweek

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#12
Edmund, in the yahoo egroups post, that guy mentioned that it only works on recent Canon SLR models. Does it work on the EOS 300? Thanks.
 

denizenx

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#13
cos only the recent models can do ETTL I think... starting with eos 50...

has anyone tried the wireless setup with EF500?
 

Edmund

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#14
Originally posted by Tweek
Edmund, in the yahoo egroups post, that guy mentioned that it only works on recent Canon SLR models. Does it work on the EOS 300? Thanks.
Theoretically, it should work with the EOS 300 (this cam does fit in the category) but I honestly do not know how it handles practically since I do not have the EF-500 Super flash.

Perhaps some of the guys with this flash might let you or me try it? (i do have the EOS 300 as a backup)
 

Bluestrike

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#15
Originally posted by Edmund
Theoretically, it should work with the EOS 300 (this cam does fit in the category) but I honestly do not know how it handles practically since I do not have the EF-500 Super flash.

Perhaps some of the guys with this flash might let you or me try it? (i do have the EOS 300 as a backup)
Yeah it does work nicely on the EOS 300. Tried and tested liao!

;)
 

StreetShooter

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Jan 17, 2002
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#16
As far as I remember reading, the Sigma EF 500 Super (not to be confused with the Sigma EF 500 ST) is a clone of the 550EX, except for the colour balance of the flash output, which is a little bit on the blue side with the Sigma.

Once upon a time I was interested in this flash, to use with my 420EX.

In the end, I sold my 420EX and for the rare occasions I use flash, I'm using my $38 Achiever 260T in Auto mode. I have 3 of these and have measured the flash trigger voltage at about 4.5 volts on all 3, so I'm quite happy that it's safe.

The problem (and this has been extensively discussed in dpreview's Canon SLR forum) is with Canon's E-TTL, which basically spot-meters based on the focusing point rather than the entire scene when the flash is being used. This can lead to pretty inconsistent exposure depending on whether your focusing point is on a light or dark spot at the time you press the shutter. Yes, I know you can intelligently use FEL to pre-meter on a mid-toned subject before recomposing.

But this is very leceh. It's actually much easier to use the Achiever, simply set to Tv mode at 1/200 and just fire away without thinking. 99% of my shots come out correctly exposed this way. And if I ever need more power, there's always the Vivitar 285HV. Right now I'm using the weakest Auto mode in the Achiever, so I'm not lacking any power.

Certainly worth considering.

And of course, if you need wireless flash triggering, you can always tape a piece of unexposed slide film over the flash, and mount your other flashes on a slave trigger ($18 each). Wonder how many of those you can buy for the cost of an EF 500 Super?
 

nuts

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Jan 21, 2002
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#19
where did u get these slave triggers? how does it look like? :embrass:

..NuTs..

Originally posted by StreetShooter

...
And of course, if you need wireless flash triggering, you can always tape a piece of unexposed slide film over the flash, and mount your other flashes on a slave trigger ($18 each). Wonder how many of those you can buy for the cost of an EF 500 Super?
 

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