Speedlite 580EX II

Speedlite 580EX II

Speedlite 580EX II

Canon’s latest-generation and flagship flash, the 580EX II, is a highly capable flash that can be used with any of the Canon dSLRs. However, it has been optimized to take full advantage of the EOS-1D Mark III camera’s capabilities, as well as to match the camera’s functionality and durability (other Canon flashes were somewhat of a weak link). Because this camera (and the Mark II series) is used so extensively in adverse conditions, this new flash adds significantly improved water- and dust-resistance and body strength.

Technologically, the 580EX II also works at a deeper level of integration with the camera (the EOS-1D Mark III, specifically) than any previous flash Canon has offered, and allows you to control flash functions and settings from the camera’s LCD menu. Additionally, Canon has improved communication reliability through its direct contacts, has quieted the device, and has increased recycle time by 20 percent.

The flash’s AF-assist beam, used to meter a subject, is effective up to almost 30 feet (10 meters) from its center, and up to 16.4 feet peripherally, allowing it to cover all the EOS camera’s focus points (a maximum of 45). Also, the 580EX II provides 14 rather technical custom functions settable on the Speedlite’s LCD panel, including things such as various powering-down options, ETTL II auto flash settings, flash-exposure sequences, and recharging conditions when using an external power supply.

The 580EX II has a white, retractable panel recessed above the face of the flash. It slides in and out of the flash housing, alongside the retractable wide panel (for more on the wide panel, see the bounce flash section later in this chapter). The white panel is technically called a Catchlight Panel, designed to add catchlight into subject’s eyes. Using your 580EX II for fill flash can be optimized with the Catchlight Panel to add life and brightness a portrait, even on a bright day. To do so, you need to point your flash up at 90-degrees or a little less so that light bounces against the panel.

Because you have complete manual control over this flash, you can adjust its power to whatever you want to meet your photographic needs — whether you need only a slight amount of fill flash, or you want to provide a remarkable amount of light to a dark subject. Plus, you can easily use this flash as a slave unit triggered optically (through a sensor in the flash) by another flash.

Here are the key features of the Canon Speedlite 580EX II:

  • It features an approximately 20-percent faster recycling time than the 580EX.
  • If offers a metal foot for higher rigidity, and a hot-shoe lock that operates with a single levered action (instead of the previous ring-style tightener).
  • The Wide-Angle Pull-Down Panel allows you to expand the flash’s ability to work with wide-angle lenses and full-frame sensors.
  • The flash head can swivel 180 degrees in both horizontal directions, and it can tilt 90 degrees vertically.
  • The maximum guide number is 58 at a 105mm setting and ISO 100.
  • It has a wide-angle pull-down panel that covers a 14mm lens on a full-frame camera.
  • The white pull-down Catchlight Panel enhances the flash’s capability to capture catchlight reflections in subjects’ eyes (the white “twinkle” in a person’s eyes, reflecting the flash).
  • It has auto conversion of flash coverage with compatible dSLR cameras (meaning it adapts to various image sensor sizes for different cameras).
  • White-balance information is communicated immediately to compatible dSLR cameras.
  • It features a flash range at ISO 100 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens that is approximately 1.6 to 98.4 feet (0.5 to 30 meters).
  • The AF-assist beam is compatible with all AiAF points on every EOS dSLR.

Category: Canon Speedlite Lineup

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