Canon 580EX II

Check availablity: Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, B&H, eBay.

This mark II upgrade of the Speedlite 580EX shares the power, zoom head coverage, tilt and swivel with its predecessor. However the body of Mk II is slightly larger and heavier with and improved build quality. It now has a metal foot, a lever lock, environmental seals around the hot-foot and battery compartment, a better designed and more robust battery door, and an improved power switch.

The Mark II also recycles about 20 % faster than its predecessor and is absolutely silent while recharging. It also has gained a pc sync. terminal (only allows sync-in, not out), and a non-TTL auto mode.

However, the dedicated master/slave switch from the Speedlite 580EX is gone. Instead the “Zoom” button has to be pressed and held for about two seconds to get to the menu for setting wireless modes.

It supports four cannels (1-4) and up to three groups (A-C). You set the ratio between groups A and B, and FEC relative to this for Group C. It is also able to enable/disable the master's own flash in the mix (it will still fire a command flash if you disable it).

There have been several reports about problems when using the flash wirelessly with third party products. We keep track of such reports here.


For dedicated flash system: Canon.
Head: 14, 24-105mm coverage, power zoom (w. manual override).
Swivel & tilt: -180° to +180° swivel, 0° to +90° tilt.
Exposure modes: TTL, HSS, Auto, Varipower, Multi, OTF.
Manual settings: 1/1 to 1/128 in 1/3 EV steps (22 steps).
Wireless modes: Master, Remote (dedicated).
Features: LCD, Crop aware, Metal foot, Env. seals, Lever lock, Sync. socket, Ext. power, Strobist.
Trigger voltage: <6 volt.
Batteries: 4xAA.
Field upgradable: No.
Dimensions: 76 x 137 x 117 mm, 405 g.

Zoom head setting:f=35mmf=50mmf=max
Guidenumber (ISO 100, meter):364258
GNs taken from manufacturer's specifications.

Price: USD 445 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2008-today.

For a detailed explanation of the above specifications, see the guide.



Brand profile

Key info

Established: 1937
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, EU, US, man

Canon is a multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan specializing in the manufacture of imaging and optical products. Its products including cameras, lenses, flash units, scanners, photocopiers, printers and steppers (used in semiconductor fabrication). The company was founded in 1937 as Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory and renamed Canon Inc. in 1947.

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