Customer Reviews

51
4.0 out of 5 stars
Sigma EF-610 DG SUPER Electronic Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Style Name: Nikon Digital SLR CamerasChange
Price:$255.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2011
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
First things first, I am a professional photographer (ALL of my income comes from my photography). I rely on my tools to function when I call on them to. I bought this as a supplement to my 430 EXII's, and intended on using this as an on-camera master to trigger the 430's as remote slaves. For this, the flash has worked perfectly. If you know how these systems function (i.e. This is line-of-sight, not a radio-trigger), and set up your lighting accordingly, the flash functions flawlessly. I've used this on 2 shoots in the first 3 days of having it and it's made my life easier and my lighting set-ups more versatile. I'm looking to get a speed ring to test this mounted onto a light stand and shoot with a soft box or beauty dish, just to compare it to set-ups more similar to Alien Bees. This has a portability advantage vs. AB's though, seeing as it's lightweight, easy to store and more importantly, battery powered.

As to the battery aspect, this recharges far quicker than I expected it to. In fact, i swapped out the expensive Lithium Extreme batteries (that I bought for $2 a battery) and started using cheap Costco AA's on the second day because this recharged so quickly. I'm not an electrical engineer, but I didn't notice much difference in performance between the two and I was shooting for an hour and a half at 1/4-1/2 power the entire time.

In conclusion, if I had to make a complaint, it would be that the + and - buttons feel reversed to me (the '+' is on the left, '-' on the right; it's counter-intuitive) and the zoom button is a progressive step (24-28-35-50-70-85-105) and not a single 'push and select' that then takes + & - inputs. So my two complaints are based on the fact that the Canon menu system is superior, but the flash head itself has taken every task I've asked it to and run with it.

I'm considering selling my 430's and picking up a few more of these, simply because of the power, portability, versatility and price of these units. If you're looking for a less-expensive (I won't say "cheap", it's still $250) alternative to the like-branded flashes, I'd highly recommend this unit in a heartbeat.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
I am a portrait/wedding professional, our full time studio does a lot of weddings and that is what we use this flash for. We have a couple Canon 580 flash unites that work great but being a cheep guy I am always looking for something for less. I have a couple of Nissan flash unites dedicated to Canon but have found that they have a terrible auto focus assist lights. With the Nissan there just about useless in dark lighting where the camera can't auto focus itself. With the Sigma EF-610 it is just the opposite, auto focus assist is as good or better then the Canon 580.. Battery usage is very good, accuracy of exposure is also good. Only problem I would note is that you can't see the little diagram that tells you how to put the batteries in very well, especial in low light. I would recommend this flash as a replacement for the Canon 580 at just about half the price. I am going to get another one.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2011
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR Cameras
EDIT: With moderate use the zoom feature stopped working on this flash unit. My local camera store sent it out for me to sigma for a replacement. I am glad it has a 3 year warranty.

Compares to canon's 500 buck 580EX. Has high speed synch, multi-flash (strobe) manual, ETTL, auto zoom, slave mode, very quiet charge, seems rugged, although large. Can be used as a wireless master flash. Comes with a protective pouch and a stand for the flash in slave-mode (with 1/4-20 threads)I could not get the slave mode to cooperate with my cameras built in flash (ttl on camera pre-flashes for a milisecond to get light reading, triggering slave early)but i also really didnt try or read the manual. However it worked perfect with an external flash to trigger. Flash is VERY powerful and in most cases charges back up instantly. Has a built in diffuser panel also.
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68 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR Cameras
You get what you pay for. I shoot with a Canon 580 EX and a 430 EX and decided to give this flash a shot. At roughly half the price of the Canon 580 EXii with similar specs (guide number, recycle rate, size, weight) it looks too good to be true. When I received the flash I immediately thought to myself oh no. It looks and feels cheap. When going to put in batteries I snapped the door off. I popped it back in place but it is very cheap and hard to open/close without the feeling of it breaking. There is no plug on the flash to connect an external battery source which is a bummer.

Now to performance. The flash works o.k. Photos all come out with a cool temp. and underexposed about a stop. After shooting a couple of weddings with it, the flash decided to not work all of a sudden. I changed batteries, turned it off and on a few times and it started working. Next wedding it did the same thing but never started working again. Same thing, it turned on, sounded and looked ready but no flash, not even the test flash. I figured it had a wire problem or something since it was new.

I sent it in to Sigma under warranty and they said the outer casing was cracked and the "main PCB restore needs replacing". Repair $90. I wish I had taken a picture of the flash before sending it out cause there was no damage and it had never been impacted. After a handful of frustrating messages trying to find out what "main PCB restore" was that needed replacing with Becky G. I finally received a call. The lady told me the same thing as the emails and to pay $90. I tried to ask her what the "main PCB restore" thing was all about and she hung up on me. I called back and found out it was Becky G. again. All in all I am selling this flash and never using it again. As for sigmas customer service, they need some attitude adjusting or a new employee.

Not sure if I got a bad flash, or if it got further damaged from shipping, not sure if Becky was having a bad day, or even it this review is worth reading.
All I know is that buying this flash made me frustrated and it is cheap.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
I bought this product because my 580EX2 started to act up.
Not having the funds to afford another 580EX2 or the 600EX-RT at this time, I did my research and decided to buy the Sigma EF-610 DG SUPER.I read the reviews about how cheap the flash feels.I beg to differ, it looks and feel fine to me. We have so grown to accept Canon products as a standard (with good reason), so if it does not look or feel like Canon it is no good. The plastic battery cover was another problem to other reviewers, for me I am no less confident of the durability of this cover than I am of the battery cover on my EOS Canon 7D.
I do not buy a speedlight to drop it on the ground from 8 feet up so whether or not it can stand up to the shock of being dropped on concrete from 8 feet up was not a concern I had before purchasing it. My major concern was if this product would trigger my other canon speedlights if I used it as a master. Well it does trigger all of them, the 420ex, the 550ex and the 580ex2.
The menu on the back is a no brainer, one does not even have to consult the manual.
It has all the power I need. It compares favourably with the 580EX2 and is far more powerful than the 430EX2.

The exposures are spot on, equal to my 580EX2. If I am to fault the Sigma, the flash gun head cannot be tilted up and down in increments like the Canon. It has an angle where it clicks in place when adjusted upwards and will fall back down if it is not set at that particular angle. One has to consider cost when buying a product. For the price it is an excellent product. I would still buy it even if it cost a bit more (by the way I am a Canon Purist). but there are times when an immediate need has to be fulfilled. I am happy with my purchase. I cannot yet comment on its durability yet. More anon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: Nikon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
For reference, this was tried on a Nikon D7000. Comparisons were made to a Metz AF 50.

So, after going back and forth between this and the Metz AF 58, I decided to give the Sigma a try. Delivery was prompt, the pouch and stand that are included are nice enough. The large range of motion on the head's tilt and swivel is nice. It can do a full 180 clockwise and 90 degrees counter clockwise and has a pretty standard up and down range of motion as well. The display screen is nice and it's light up function is nice as well. That's about where the pros ended however.

Cons:

1) It's really awkward to set up for slave operation. The included manual has about 4 lines that are less than clear. Eventually I was able to set it up, but it took some googling. Second, not only does it have to be attached to the hot shoe to set up, which is inconvenient enough, but you constantly have to make sure that the metering controls are running. ie you have to half depress the shutter nearly the entire time you are setting the flash up.

2) Even when set up, it is HIGHLY undependable as a slave unit. I'd say it only fires about 1 out of 4 times as a slave unit. I had it side by side with my Metz AF 50, and my Metz fired EVERY SINGLE TIME, while the Sigma would just sit there like a knot on a log. I can point my D7000 on camera flash dead at it from a foot away and it will only flash about 1/2 the time.

3) It occasionally will just randomly unset itself as a slave unit, which requires putting it back on the camera to reset it.

4) As a commander unit, it just plain doesn't work. It seems like it simply can't create the pulses fast enough (ie the super slow recycle time others have noted) to actually be a fully functional commander unit for Nikon's CLS. This was the primary reason I bought it.

5) while the guide number seems impressive, if you actually meter it with a Sekonic light meter, it's nowhere near being as powerful as Sigma claims it is. This is using high quality, fully charged Sanyo Eneloop batteries.

6) the build quality is 'meh' at best. At the price point I didn't expect a lot build quality wise, which was fine, but I did want to mention that for completeness sake

7) The plastic hot shoe is very 'sticky' in my camera's hot shoe. I always feel like I am having to force it out. Compared to the smooth glide in and out with the AF 50 and I'm always worried I'm going to break the plastic hot shoe with how hard I have to force it in and out of the camera.

8) THe red 'ready' light comes on before it is actually fully charged. So not only is the recycle time long, but you have no actual way of knowing when it's actually ready.

I don't know if I just got a bad copy somehow, but this unit is getting returned and I'm just going to suck it up and buy the Metz AF 58. If you intend to use this as a part of Nikon's CLS, save your money. If you just intend to leave it attached to your camera's hot shoe, then it is fine. But if that's all you're going to use it for, you can buy $50 flashes that do that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
Style Name: Pentax Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
I bought this flash a couple months ago, and I am really glad I chose ths one. I'm not a professional, and I have a lot to learn about flash photography, but I have found it to do a very nice job for most of my needs. I love how easy it is to program the flash power (1/1 to 1/64), and the guide number is impressive (61m/200ft.), althought I think that is a bit higher than what you actually get (I've heard the same about all the other flashes out there as well). I also am impressed with the advanced features on this flash, such as wireless TTL, high-speed flash, and rear curtain sync. You can also use manual flash mode if you want to enter your aperture and have it tell you what your distance from the object should be. My only beef with the flash is that the manual mode (and the user's manual) are a bit tricky to figure out, and the LED display letters are pretty small, although it does illuminate, which is nice. Overall, I really love this flash!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2011
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
I have been using the sigma for about 3 weeks now. It has supplanted the canon 430 as my main flash. Extremely powerful, and auto focuses in dim light without a problem-- I can take pictures of the neighborhood at 10pm just as well as daylight. Have had no trouble with it at all, everything works as advertised. Great Bargain for a flash.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2011
Style Name: Nikon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
I bought this flash as my second choice because I could not get my first choice in time for an upcoming shoot. Originally I wanted a Metz 50. I ended up settling for the Sigma EF-610 Super instead. The Sigma has turned out to be quite a capable performer. It syncs up well with the Nikon D7000 and provides accurate exposure. It feels fairly well built, though not as well built as a Metz 54 that I used for a bit. However, the Sigma provides plenty of power and is easy to use.

11/28/2011--Update: The flash still functions well. However, if you use this flash outdoors in a humid environment on a regular basis, the rubber outer coating will crinkle and crack. I wish Sigma had simply left the outer covering as hard plastic.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
Style Name: Canon Digital SLR CamerasVerified Purchase
Works flawlessly with the Canon 7D. Wireless function is fantastic; no need to buy a wireless transmitter if you own a 7D. Overall very satisfied with this purchase.
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