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Old May 5, 2007, 8:47 PM   #1
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Curious if someone can give a quick, two to three sentence overview on the relationship between an external flash, the transmitter and master/slave flashes.

Basically, if one were to get a Speedlite, say the 430, if the hobby/interest grew, one could later add a transmitter, get that external flash off the camera and have more creative lighting capabilities. Is that possible with any Canon flash? Is there something in the 430, 580, etc that allows for this?

Point is, I see the benefits of an external flash and am certain the 430 is more than I currently need. But, like many, I'm always looking down the road. This is where I need help in understanding the future setups options.

The 430 could later become a slave? Is that to a transmitter? To the 580? As you can probably tell, that is where I am lost and may be making no sense in even asking.

A more direct question may be, do the transmitter and the 430 work together? If so, what is master and slave?

Help!?! Thanks!!!


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Old May 5, 2007, 9:30 PM   #2
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Your 430EX will work as a slave flash. You would need to use a master such as the 580EX flash or the ST-E2 transmitter.

Here is link from Canon explaining their flash stuff.

http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/flashwork/index.html

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Old May 5, 2007, 9:58 PM   #3
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That answers a good portion of my question but hoping for a little more clarification.

So, is whatever is attached to the camera the "master" whether it be the 580 or the transmitter?

Anything remote from the camera is a "slave"?

So, can you run a 430 remotely with a transmitter???

Can a 430 be a "master"?
Can it run other 430s?

Is there something in the 580 that make it capable of being a master where a 430 may not?
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Old May 5, 2007, 10:26 PM   #4
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leeraff wrote:
Quote:
So, can you run a 430 remotely with a transmitter???
Yes with certain "Master" like the Canon 550EX, 580EX, ST-E2, the Sigma EF-500DG Super or the new Metz 58 AF-1


Quote:
Can a 430 be a "master"?
No


Quote:
Can it run other 430s
No


Quote:
Is there something in the 580 that make it capable of being a master where a 430 may not?
Yes - The Canon 550EX, 580EX, the Sigma EF-500DG (and the Metz 58 ) can be programmed to be either a "master" or a "slave". The 430EX and its older 420EX are "slave" only devices

Which is why some folks opt for the Sigma EF-500DG for economical reason: It costs about the same as the 420/430EX, but works like the 550EX (i.e. ~same higher power output and is both "master" and "slave")
-> The Sigma is also more flexible in that it can also sync remotely in the classical sense with external studio strobes by enabling its internal photo sensor...
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Old May 6, 2007, 10:27 AM   #5
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Cool. Thanks.

Last questions...

Understanding the first questions will be, "What are you going to do?" Mostly family in not-so-well lit home environment, some outdoor, some skatepark types of action/sports, etc... Basically everything and learning but ultimate goal may be childhood portraiture for family and friends is why I'm asking about master/slave...

(By the way, NHL, throughout my entire learning curve, you are one who has always stressed light over lens, etc. HUGE breakthrough moment on first well lit, spring like day where we put babies in big bay window. BEST pictures, color, etc )

So, if the average user were to spend the $500, what would the average user benefit from more, the better 580 model and it's "master" capabilities, or, the 430 and a transmitter??? (probably just do 430 initially, but saying price were equal, which is a better long term solution for average, learning shooter.)

Thanks



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Old May 7, 2007, 9:54 AM   #6
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leeraff wrote:
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So, if the average user were to spend the $500, what would the average user benefit from more, the better 580 model and it's "master" capabilities, or, the 430 and a transmitter??? (probably just do 430 initially, but saying price were equal, which is a better long term solution for average, learning shooter.)
The 580EX of course or any of the higher guide number (GN) alternate units like the Sigma or the Metz...

The reason are many and as you've realized lighting is key over all else in photography. This is what the higher GN will allow you to overcome:
1. Use of light modifier - Most reflectors/diffusers will cut down on the flash output so a more powerful unit is just more flexible. If you start with a weaker GN unit then you'll be bound to even less when reflected or diffused...
http://www.lumiquest.com/lq931.htm
2. Outdoor - Yes, you'll be amazed by what a higher power unit can do in daylight or backlit situations working against that powerful sun
3. I like the rear "dial" wheel for flash compensation over the pushbuttons of the 430EX (or Sigma), much quicker and more intuitive

-> Don't overlook that Metz 58 either apparently it is as powerful as the 580EX, but comes with two heads instead of one.

BTW The ST-E2 transmitter alone costs as much as another flash unit - so wouldn't you be better of by getting another flash with "Master"(the Sigma for one) capability and turn its output off which will act like an ST-E2 then?
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Old May 9, 2007, 12:45 PM   #7
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I've also read, in one article, where a test was done with several canon cameras and a variety of flashes and that sigma produced the most consistent and closes to "correct" average exposure. They used the 10D, 20D and I think the 1D.

It was kinda sad to see the 550EX got the image spot-on and also over a stop off in the same controlled indoor setting. Sigh.

I don't have the unit, but I've heard good things about it from several sources.

I finally got to see a flash with a control wheel for exposure comp... I agree, just a bit nicer than the 550's buttons.

Eric
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Old May 9, 2007, 11:47 PM   #8
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eric s wrote:
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It was kinda sad to see the 550EX got the image spot-on and also over a stop off in the same controlled indoor setting. Sigh.
This is a camera metering problem
-> The flash is just a dumb device (like a lens) which just responds to commands issued by the camera internal metering (or focusing if it's the lens) - Remember? The camera commands the flash to pre-flash, the camera measures this resulting pre-flash burst next with the ambient metering, and then the camera tells exactly how much light the flash need to put out...

On newer cameras you have the ability to select "evaluative" or "average" for the flash - Selecting "average" will be more consistent. "Evaluative" is what's so unpredictable because no one knows what the camera is evaluating...




Quote:
I finally got to see a flash with a control wheel for exposure comp... I agree, just a bit nicer than the 550's buttons.
Well Metz had this "wheel" on their previous flashes, and now that Canon has adopted this excellent idea, guess what? The newest 58 AF Metz flash drops this wheel in favor of the push buttons!
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Old May 10, 2007, 1:25 PM   #9
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I can see your point about the camera metering being the issue....
But that doesn't really explain why the same camera body with differen flashes produced different results in the same controlled setting. I'd *think* that the metering in the controlled environment would be the same all the time for the same camera body but this was not the case.

The only mistakes I can see in the flash would be:
- Not produce the right amount of "brightness" of light.
- Not start and stop the flash as requested.

Am I right that the camera tells the flash when to turn on and off, but not really how much intensity for that duration?

If I put a Sigma and a Canon flash on the same body and took the same picture in the same controlled environment I'd expect the same results. But this test clearly showed that they didn't get the same results.

And I don't claim to know enough to say why. I'm rather flash ignorant. I use them some, and get good results some times.... but I don't know it nearly as well as I do the camera body.

I assume Metz was trying to save money, but I'm with you... seems wrong to me.

Eric
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Old May 10, 2007, 3:02 PM   #10
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eric s wrote:
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Am I right that the camera tells the flash when to turn on and off, but not really how much intensity for that duration?
Exactly!
This works just like the camera shutter speed but in reverse...
-> A flash put out a "fixed" intensity, the "ON" time determines how much light is output:
o shorter ON-time less light
o longer ON-time means more light to the sensor

When in manual the fractional number indicates how this ON-time is reduced for example: @ 1/2 output, the on-time is reduced in half of how long it's supposed to be when it's fully turn on @ full blast!

The only exception to this is in high-speed sync mode, instead of being ON constantly, the flash burst actually pulsates at a high rate such that the average amount of light actually being ouput is greatly reduced, but the "ON" time is actually longer than normal so it's really not that good to freeze the action...




Quote:
I can see your point about the camera metering being the issue.... But that doesn't really explain why the same camera body with differen flashes produced different results in the same controlled setting.
I believe in the tests that you refered to it was the same camera body within the same controlled setting, but with a different meterings: The E-TTL system fared worst than the automatic modes of the Metz or similar models from other manufacturers.

Let me try to find that link...
-> Switching to the mode average remedies some of this error out from the "evaluation"
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