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FIRST IMPRESSION: Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)



November 24, 2016

As one would start out in photography or just getting around the settings of your new digital SLR, the first thing you would realize is that light is your best friend.

Chances are, you're using the typical 18-55mm kit lens. It has a variable aperture, which means that at the long end of 55mm, the maximum amount of light that comes through the lens is merely f/5.6 and is terrible for low light scenes.

That's why we invest in prime lenses with wide aperture (particularly f/1.4 or f/2) or zoom lenses with constant maximum aperture. Or, you can also get an external flash, which comes handy:

1) For dark or low light scenes.

2) For creative effect and creating more compelling images.

3) Compactness and portability of external flash versus bringing huge lighting equipment that needs to be plugged to the power outlet. (Let's say you're in the middle of a desert...)

3) For using longer lenses without casting a shadow on your image (as with the case of the built-in flash).


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Sigma EF-500 DG Super


"Designed to work with both AF 35mm SLR and Digital SLR cameras of popular manufacturers, for advanced flash photography. It has a maximum guide number of 165 in feet or 50 in meter at 105mm focal length (ISO 100). The projection angle of the flashlight is set automatically to match the lens’ focal length ranging from 28mm wide-angle to 105mm medium-telephoto. It also incorporates a built-in diffuser that expands the angle of illumination down to that of 17mm lens."



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Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

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First Impression


Enter... the Sigma EF-500 DG Super. I bought this second hand flash from a Korean seller in good, working, and beautifully mint condition that also came with its own pouch, flash stand and free batteries. Now that makes for an excellent deal! Not that I really need to use it, but it's more like for personal study.

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
The model here is a Nikon F401s film SLR.

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)



Funny, I only started to play around with this thing 2 days ago (after 2 months of keeping it in the shelf). The only issue was that the power sometimes does not turn on, which I figured had some thing to do with the battery's alignment. So a thin piece of folded paper helped to keep it in place.

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
You can see that insert I made to keep the batteries aligned.



It's a high-power and versatile lens that can be used with both electronic and fully manual lenses, plus these modes: TTL-BL (Bulb Mode), TTL Auto, Manual, Slave Mode, Multiple Flash. It also works with electronic film cameras.

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Guide Number Mode

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Manual Mode

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Multiple Flashes Mode

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Slavery Mode



The zoom function can automatically adjust if you're using an electronic lens. For manual lenses, you have to manually set the focal range on the flash itself. (Note: You need to apply the crop factor before dialing in the focal range.)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)



It's a pretty useful flash and has alot of potential that I can still discover. Oh, bounce flash can reay make stunningly lit subjects! It's nice for macro work too. Maybe the only caveat is that you need to press 2 buttons separately if you're adjusting the flash head to tilt or swivel. If I have time, I will open it up and maybe we can make a bypass for that...

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)



This is a powerful flash with a Guide Number of 50 in meters (ISO 100). I should be able to light up subjects from a longer distance than my camera's built-in flash. I'm still stumbling around the settings, but really digging the Manual and Slave Modes. As of 2016, the successor to the model I have is the Sigma EF-610 DG Super.

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)


SAMPLES


Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
This was shot with a Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 at f/5.6

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Shot with a Tamron Adaptall 28mm f/2.5 (02B) at f/5.6

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Shot with a Vivitar 75-205mm f/3.8 (Kiron) at f/11

Sigma EF-500 DG Super (for Nikon)
Shot with a Vivitar 75-205mm f/3.8 (Kiron) at f/11




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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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