Can a 430ex be used as a slave?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MonteMama, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. MonteMama

    MonteMama Calmer than you, Dude.

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    I have a Canon Rebel XTi and plan to upgrade to the 5D Mark II as soon as I can. I've been researching wireless lighting and trying to figure out what I need to get started. I have a 430ex - trying to figure out if I should get pocket wizards - or if I got a 530ex and used it on camera, if I could use the 430ex as a slave? Then I'd have two lights - might be more economical. ???

    I'm pretty overwhelmed but eager to learn. :)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, the 430 can be a slave.

    There are some big differences between something like Pocket Wizards and using the Canon wireless system. Firstly, the Canon system uses pulses of light to communicate between flashes. This communication allows you to use the 'slave' unit with the same functionality as if it were on the camera. E-TTL flash metering. You can control it's power output and even use HHS (high speed sync). The downside is that the flash units must be properly placed for the communication to happen. Outdoors, you need line-of-sight and bright sunlight may interfere or make it hard. Indoors it can bounce but that depends on the surfaces etc.

    Pocket Wizards (and other similar products) use radio waves, which are more more reliable and flexible. PW for example, have a rated range of 1600 feet. The down side is that with this type of radio communication, you only get a firing trigger...so your flash can't be used in E-TTL mode and you are limited to the max sync speed or slower.

    And of course, Pocket Wizards are expensive...although there are cheaper alternatives.

    I should mention that there is a product that replicates or piggybacks the Canon system but uses radio waves, so you get the best of both worlds...but you would still have to have at least two Canon units and these units as well. They are called Radio Poppers.
     
  3. MonteMama

    MonteMama Calmer than you, Dude.

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    hanks for the prompt and thorough reply, Mike.

    The line-of-sight thing sounds like a big drawback. But if I understand this correctly - you're saying that with pocket wizards, you can't power the flash down to a lower setting? But... these radio popper things would allow for that as well as radio signal. They sound expensive ;)
     
  4. Tolyk

    Tolyk TPF Noob!

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    No, you have to use the flashes in Manual mode, which means you have to go over to them and manually change the settings down on each flash you are using. You can power them down, or put them at max power, it's just done with the settings on the back of the flash.

    One downside of the 430 ex is that it doesn't have a PC port, so you need an adapter to plug into the bottom of the flash to give you that port. Without this, the Pocket Wizard cannot plug into the flash.
     
  5. MonteMama

    MonteMama Calmer than you, Dude.

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    Ah, that makes sense. And that reminds me... know of any good resources on what the buttons on the 430ex mean? I have tried reading the manual and can't seem to make any sense of it. I have tried just playing around with the buttons and can't figure anything out. So I don't mess with them - but it would be nice to know what they're there for.
     
  6. jmborkowski

    jmborkowski TPF Noob!

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    Light Bulb / C.Fn
    Quick press illuminates the LCD, 2-second press brings up custom function menu. +/- scrolls through custom functions, SEL/SET chooses a function, +/- then changes the value for that function.

    Check the menu for the available Custom Function settings.

    Mode
    Switch between E-TTL and Manual modes.

    Pilot
    Fires test flash.

    H/>>>
    First press enables high speed sync, second press enables second-curtain sync (flash fires at end of exposure instead of start).

    Zoom
    Press until Zoom blinks, then use +/- to adjust flash zoom. Can also be used to set channel or slave ID.

    On/Off
    Duh.

    Wireless Selector (Off/Slave)
    Off -- on-camera.
    Slave -- off-camera.

    That help?
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The manual really is the best resource for what the buttons mean.

    Just about everything you could ever want to know about Canon flash, can be found in the 'Canon Flash Bible'. But if you thought the 430 manual was hard reading, you won't like that link too much ;)
     

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