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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:01 am 
I'm looking to build over time a cost effective system that will allow me to use flashes off the camera for use in night time photography and action photography.

From reviews I've read the 580EX II seems to be an excellent unit but can only be used on the camera by its self. It can control other Canon flashes though

The ST-E2 Transmitter seems like an ok option and I'm thinking of teaming it up with a 430EX II unit

Is there a better option?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
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Location: SE Texas
The 580EX II can be used as a master or remote (slave) flash. It can be commanded by another 580EX, an ST-E2, or by the pop-up flash of such newer DSLRs as the 7D, or even by some aftermarket flashes, such as the Nissin Di 866 Professional.

My 580EX is pre-II, but I have done all of the above with it. I am glad I had it from the start, though it took me a while to be comfortable with it.

I had considered a 430EX II, to supplement the 580EX, but instead bought a 320EX, to try the option of the constant-on LED. So, there is no way for me to know, first-hand, whether the 430EX II will be sufficient for anyone's needs. I have only just begun to explore what the 320EX can do. (Can it be a master? I do not yet know.)

I do know that even a 580EX can only reach so far in the darkness, as I
work at night, and sometimes must photograph rather large areas. Long
exposures on a tripod are not always feasible.

I recently purchased Syl Arena's excellent new book on the subject of Canon Speedlites and their use, which is available at Amazon. (Remember that going to Amazon through the link here at Cameralabs benefits us all here.)
I had already read Joe McNally's excellent books, _The Hot Shoe Diaries_ and _The Moment It Clicks_, that are Nikon-oriented. Syl Arena's book has
been VERY helpful, serving as a true manual for Speedliting.

Notably, Syl Arena does not like the ST-E2. I personally believe the ST-E2 is a very useful tool, even with the limitations discussed by Mr. Arena.

I may have more to say after I caffeinate myself with good strong tea.

I am no expert, just a serious beginner.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:36 pm 
RexGig- hope you've had a great cup of tea :-)

Why does Sly not like the ST-E2?

What is his prefered solution?

I'm not sure my 550D has any compatability with the 580EX II for triggering off the camera, that would just be way toooooooo handy! :-(


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:36 pm 
Just done a search on Google and foung this http://pixsylated.com/2008/11/radiopopp ... ttl-flash/

Interesting.......


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 877
Location: SE Texas
The tea was good.

OK, the 320EX cannot act as a master. I tried it, to be sure.

The one big reason I recall Syl Arena not liking the ST-E2 was the economics of the device, as it costs so much for the limited things it can do. An ST-E2 costs about as half much as a whole 580EX II, with "less than half the functionality."

OK, I have the book in hand now. He lists four reasons for less functionality. First is that the ST-E2 has a shorter range than a 580EX II. Personally, I was surprised at how far it worked when a co-worker carried my 580EX down a hallway, and my ST-E2 fired the 580EX. I will try to remember to pace or measure that distance this evening.

Reason two was flexibility, saying the ST-E2 has none, as it can only fire remote flashes within an 80-degree cone of the lens. Personally, I think I disagree with this one. Back to this in a moment....

Reason three is that it can only control Groups A and B. There is no provision for controlling a Group C.

Reason four is that the ST-E2 cannot be controlled from the camera's LCD screen.

Obviously, reasons three and four apply to more experienced photographers. I have only used one group of flashes. I also have not reached the level of controlling flashes with the camera's LCD.

Back to reason two, and why I disagree, at least partially: the ST-E2 works fine on an OC-E3 cord, which Syl Arena praises highly as a basic piece of equipment. He mentions using such cords throughout his book, with flashguns. I have not read the whole book, yet, but have seen no mention,
thus far, of using an ST-E2 on an OC-E3 or other TTL-capable cord.

As I said before, I am glad I started with a 580EX. (My wife bought it, along with a Canon XTi/400D, pre-owned, from a co-worker.) At first, I was intimidated, and preferred using a 220EX, on an OC-E3 cord, but finally
developed the courage to just use that huge 580EX, an amazingly smart gadget.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


Last edited by RexGig on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 877
Location: SE Texas
His solution for those on a budget: A 430EX II with an extra-long off-camera TTL cord.

Keep in mind that an ST-E2 costs as much as a 430EX II, itself. It was somewhat exorbitant for me, especially as my Nissin Di 866 Professional can function as a master, itself, and even my Canon 7D cameras can fire remote strobes, with their pop-up flashes. (It is, however, often not desirable to have a flash fired from the top of the camera, a big reason we want to use remote flashes in the first place.) I am overly blessed with options, now.

I have not priced radio triggers and poppers, so am not sure of those economics.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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