Remote Flashes

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by SnowNow12, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. SnowNow12

    SnowNow12 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I was wondering what my options are for a remote flash. I have a Canon 30D and I want to be able to hold my flash wherever I want. Would my solution be something mounted onto my camera and my flash would slave to that? Is that what a remote flash is? Hi.... I'm new :D
    Also, if I want really soft light, does anyone recommend anything other than a standard diffuser on the flash? I've seen mini light boxes that can fit over your flash. Any good?
    Thanks!
    Oh, one last question... Can anyone recommend a good lens and camera cleaner? I have lots of dust!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There are certainly a lot of options for getting your flash off the camera. Have you seen this site: Strobist ? If not, start HERE.

    One major issue is whether you want/need to keep E-TTL (auto flash metering) and other things like HHS...or if you will be able to use manual flash. If you want to keep E-TTL, then you will need to stay in the Canon family. The 580EX flash unit can be a master unit and control a slave (remote flash). The 580EX can also be a slave unit (to another master unit) and the 430EX can be a slave only.
    There is also the ST-E2 which is a mast only (no flash).

    Another option would be the E-TTL cord, but that is only about 2' long.


    If you can use manual flash, you can simply get a set of radio triggers. The sender goes on the camera and the receiver goes on the flash. There are a wide range, from the cheap Cactus (Gadget Infinity) set to the professional standard Pocket Wizards.
     
  3. SnowNow12

    SnowNow12 TPF Noob!

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    I will definitely check out the site, but I do have a couple more questions if you have the time...
    1. I have both a 580EX II and a 430 flash. When I have shot property photography I'll slave the 430 and it's no problem to work with. If I'm trying to take candid shots of people and don't have time, don't want my hands full and I want to manipulate the flash, what's my best option?
    2. what if I'm working with multiple camera bodies? Can I slave one flash to a couple of bodies?
    THANKS!
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Well, it seems that you already know about Canon's wireless system. So what are you trying to do, that you can't do with your current set up? If you want off-camera flash for candid shot of people, but don't want to be hindered by the remote flash...then get one of those 'voice activated light stands' (an assistant) to hold the remote flash for you.

    As long as you have a master unit on the camera, it can trigger the slave...so yes, multiple cameras (with masters) could all be set to trigger the same slave unit.

    Are you thinking about setting up one flash in a general location (or pointed at the ceiling for example) and then having the ability to trigger that flash with one or multiple cameras? I've done this at wedding receptions but we use Pocket Wizard radio triggers. One unit on the remote light and one on each of our cameras. Works great but if shooting with another photographer, you need to be aware of recycle times and when the other one is shooting. I have even mixed this with on-camera flash so that I've got two lights.

    Here are a couple example shots with the remote flash actually in the frame
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. SnowNow12

    SnowNow12 TPF Noob!

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    Dear Big Mike,
    You are my new favorite person... EVER. I checked out that website and I can't begin to tell you how helpful it was/is. For the first time I finally understand what the heck is going on and I'm really excited to start working on different lighting techniques. Unfortunately I'm going to have to sell a kidney to buy all the equipment I'm still going to need.
    THANKS!
     

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