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Ef 500 flash anomoly


I have an interesting situation with my EF 500 flashes. (same thing for both of them)

In on camera TTL mode, I can shoot with flash straight on to the subject and things work fairly well, although usually overexposed. When using on camera TTL and bounce flash or a Gary Fong Lighshpere...always underexposed by several stops and not recoverable.

Now for the anomoly. If take the flash off the camera and put it on a flash bracket so it is several inches above the camera (or hold it away from the camera, or set it on a light stand) and shoot in wireless TTL mode I can shoot straight on, bounce and even use a Gary Fong Lightshpere and all works wonderfully well. (straight on will overexpose somewhat)

For my purposes this is fine for the most part, however I have had a couple of situations where wireless was not useful with the flash on a bracket above the camera as the flashing red light from the flash warns subjects when trying for candids. So, I put some masking tape over the flashing red light and find the exposure is still correct and the subject has not been alerted by having it flash in their eyes. (I have also just found I can cover the built in flash when in TTL mode and the EF 500 on the flash bracket with no ill effect)

For some reason, both my brand new EF 500 flashes work excellently in wireless TTL mode, however, not as well in on camera TTL. I bought them after finding I just could not get the EF 530 Super to work in wireless mode.

Any comments?


Well-Known Member
Hi, Yukoner!

It looks like I cannot help as I use old manual Metz 45ct-1s with mi SD cameras. Maybe Klaus or Dirk can be of assistance.

Sincere regards, Jim R.


Hello yukoner,
first of all Welcome to the Forum.
To find a solution for you,please let us know what camera you use
and which "wireless TTL",as there are different models on the market,beside
Sigma´s built-in.


Wireless Flash and Camera

Thanks Uwe.

I have a Sigma SD14 with EF 500 Super flashes. I have been using the wireless TTL in C1 mode. The wireless works excellently.

What I am curious about is why the same bounce technique or light modifier that works well in wireless mode, does not in TTL with the flash on camera.



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Hi Norm,
that sounds strange to me as well.
Have you tried to remove the batteries for a minute before changing the mode,
e.g. doing a reset?
I had a problem with the reflector not focussing,taking out the batteries or just open the batterie door for a minute cured it.
I never had it again since than.
Another problem I found is when changing or moving the EF500 from the SD14 to the SD10 it sometimes overexposed.
Also removing batteries cleared it.
It seams to me that just switching off the flash by the on/off switch does not cut all the power.May be there are components in the flash which need
discharge before changing the mode.
I do not use my EF500´s that often as I have some strobes which I mainly use.
PS: Hope my poor English makes sense at all.:)


Well-Known Member
Aah, the "snowbound one" from "way up North", whose office window looks out on a sort of fairyland scape this time of year. ;)

Sincere regards, Jim R

Guest .

Hi Norm,

sorry that I cannot really help you out here ....:blush:

My EF 500 super works a 90% reliable with my SD14 nad an estimated 75% reliable with the SD9/10 in TTL-MODE. Some pics are exposed either "over" or "under" ... I neither can help it nor understand it!

So, some improvements have been achieved with the SD14's TTL-performance.

So ... whenever I want precise flash-results, I rather go for a good old METZ-flashlight like my METZ 45-CT-4, an old -two-reflector- EURO-flash or similar equipment.

Sure, I then have to do without TTL-measuring ... no problem ... I am an old man ... I learned to handle the good old automatic-flashlights from the early days.

Well, the EF-500-Super is a nice flashlight .... the other question is, whether other camera's TTL abilities are any better?!

See you with nice pictures