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Old Mar 28, 2017, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default Which of these two options

A young photographer asked me a question that I didn't have a good answer for. My current answer was one that sprang from adding to what I already had, rather than a end game plan that was properly implemented.

He asked why did I have 3 430eX flashes and 1 ST-E2 Speedlite wireless trigger rather than 2 of the 430's and 1 580 which can control the two external flashes?

My answer was that I bought a 430 first because it was cheaper than the 580. Then I bought another 430 to serve as a backup. The I learned about portrait shooting with 2 flashes and then three. So I never intended to end up with what I have. I just kept adding to what I had to do the next job.

Now, the question. Which would you rather have? 3 flashes and 1 external trigger or 2 flashes with a third one that mounts on your camera that can control the other two?

Thanks for your 2 cents!

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Old Apr 7, 2017, 5:23 PM   #2
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Three 430EX with one ST-E2 controller is more flexible because you can move around independently of the flashes positions...

With the 580EX on the camera you still have 3 flashes, but the 580EX will be bound to light up from the front (i.e. the camera position) which is not always desirable; However if you turn its output off then the 580EX just become an expensive ST-E2!

My preference, and you are not going to like the answer, is one 580EX, one 430EX, and one ST-E2
Why? The 580EX is more powerful hence it really needs to be off-camera as you can easily do ratio with a lesser 430EX, but then you'll need an ST-E2 to control both devices!
My 2 cents (even though I have three 580EX) - Most of the time I can get away with two flashes so I really don't need 3 except for adding highlight.

BTW I just add this to my collection as their radio are much more reliable, and I can easily add all kind of modifiers to the flashes without masking their optical path to the ST-E2: Canon 600EX-RT Knockoff
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Last edited by NHL; Apr 7, 2017 at 5:37 PM.
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Old Apr 7, 2017, 7:29 PM   #3
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Three off-camera flashes are more flexible that two off-camera flashes and one on-camera flash.
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Old Apr 8, 2017, 8:17 AM   #4
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... and If you prefer an ST-E3-RT look alike (at a significant saving), this device will just do the trick
https://www.adorama.com/orrrstrt.html?RRref=productPage
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