Canon Speedlite 430Ex II Instructions

Written by kevin smith
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Canon Speedlite 430Ex II Instructions
The Canon 430 EX II helps photographers capture the moment. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The Canon Speedlite 430 EX II as an accessory that can mean the difference between distinctive, high-quality images and mediocre pictures. The 430 EX is designed to fit on Canon digital SLRs and add extra light when necessary. The flash features a swivelling head, allowing it to fire in multiple directions. It also features an automatic mode called ETTL (evaluate through the lens) as well as a manual operating mode. Learning to use the 430 EX II is relatively simple.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Canon Digital SLR
  • AA batteries

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    Mounting the Speedlite

  1. 1

    Turn off the camera and the flash. The On/Off switch on the 430 EX II is on the back panel in the lower right-hand corner.

  2. 2

    Slide the flash onto the hot shoe of the camera. The hot shoe is located on the top of the camera. The foot of the flash, located on its bottom, will fit snugly into the shoe. The lock ring is located directly above the foot. Lock the flash in place by turning the lock ring on the flash to the right.

  3. 3

    Switch on the camera and the flash. Wait for the red light on the flash to illuminate, signalling that the flash is ready for use.

    Using the Speedlite

  1. 1

    Select either manual or ETTL mode on the flash. Manual mode allows you to select the power of the flash with the controls on the back panel. ETTL mode allows light information coming into the camera to determine the power of the flash.

  2. 2

    Press the "Zoom" button when working in manual mode to determine how widely the light from the flash spreads. The zoom range on the 430 EX II is 35mm to 105mm. At 35mm the light will spread widely from the flash head, illuminating the photographer's immediate environment. When fully zoomed to 105mm, the flash will release more light, sending a high-powered flash a greater distance.

  3. 3

    Press the select/set button in ETTL mode to determine flash exposure compensation. Flash exposure compensation allows you to toggle the flash exposure that is set by the camera in ETTL mode. The flash will decide on an optimal amount of light for the particular scene. If you are not satisfied, you can use exposure compensation to lighten or darken it. Use the + and - buttons to change compensation.

  4. 4

    Toggle the power of the flash in manual mode by pressing the select/set button. Use the "+" and "-" buttons to adjust the power, which is measured in fractions. The full power on the flash reads "1/1" on the screen and it can be set as low as 1/64. The fractions simply display how much of the full power is being used each time a picture is taken.

  5. 5

    Press the button labelled "Push" on the flash head to change the direction that the light travels. This feature allows photographers to bounce light off the ceiling or wall to illuminate entire rooms. Bouncing light will create a softer effect than simply pointing the flash at a subject.

    Extra Functions

  1. 1

    Press the "FEL" button on the back of your Canon SLR to activate the 430EX II's pre-flash. Place your subject in the middle of the frame while doing this. The pre-flash will determine the proper flash exposure before you take a picture. The pre-flash will reset each time you press the "FEL" button.

  2. 2

    Press the button symbolised with a lightning bolt and "H" to activate high-speed sync. The 430 EX II normally only works in exposures with shutter speeds of 1/250 or slower. In high-sync mode, the flash will fire at any shutter speed. High-sync mode will lower the power of the flash, so make sure you are shooting subjects that are close by when using this mode.

  3. 3

    Activate second-curtain sync mode by pressing the button labelling with an arrow pointed to the right. Second-curtain sync mode makes the main flash fire at the very end of an exposure. The result is a light trail of ambient light that follows the subject. Second-curtain sync mode is useful for capturing motion because it freezes a subject moving through a changing environment.

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