Canon 580EX II Clarification

Discussion in 'Canon Accessories' started by sactown024, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. sactown024

    sactown024 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I currently own a Yongnuo 580 II but I am thinking about upgrading to a 430ex II or a 580ex II. I have done some research an realize the big difference in the 2 is flash power and the fact you canuse the 580 as a master.

    What I dont understand is, when using the 580 in master mode, does that mean the flash has to be mounted on the camera or can it be used as a master off the camera as well? I dont see the point in buying a 580 if all your going to do is keep it on the camera to use as a trigger, why not just buy some radio slaves and 430ex. Am I missing something here?

    Basically I use my speedlite in full manual mode currently but I want to start becoming famililar with E-TTL mode and controlling different groups of flashs from my 7D. With the yongnuo I have now, willt he 580ex still work as a master with it or does it have to be a Canon slave?

    sorry for allt he questions!


     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    The 580EX only works as a 'Master' within Canon's own wireless TTL system. Most of Canon's cameras don't have master flash capabilities (the 7D is one of the few that does). And yes, it does have to be on-camera to work as such. You could use an off-shoe cord, which would keep all of it's functionality, but that's usually not a good option if you want the flash in a different location from the camera (usually only used with a flash bracket or hand-held flash).

    If your Younnuo flash is wireless TTL compatible, then the Canon 580EX should be able to include it in the system as a slave...but then, your 7D should also be able to do that (albeit, with some limitations compared to the 580).

    There are several other differences between the 430EX and the 580EX...I'm sure you could put that into Google and come up with a good list somewhere.
     
  3. sactown024

    sactown024 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This makes no sense to me, why would anyone buy a $500 flash when they can just buy a radio slave?

    What's the point of a flash and master mode if it has to stay on the camera?
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Well...up until recently, Canon didn't make a radio slave...if you wanted wireless and you wanted Canon, you had to buy expensive units. Even now, they don't have cheap radio triggers, they just put radio into their new flashes and increased the price. The Canon site doesn't list the 580EXII anymore, just the 600EXRT.

    Most companies like Canon don't worry too much about cheaper off-brand accessories. Sure, anyone could buy a $100 flash and a $50 trigger set and have off camera flash...but there are still plenty of people walking to camera stores and buying up Canon flashes...just because.

    The Master mode is mainly for cameras that can't be a master on their own...which is all but their newest low to mid level DSLR cameras. Have you noticed that the Pro level cameras (starting with the 5D series) don't even have a built-in flash? So if someone wanted to use the Canon wireless system, they would need to purchase a Master Flash...and of course, slave units.

    They do have the non-flash master units. The ST-E2 and the new ST-E3RT, which are masters without being a flash, but for the price of them, most people just buy the 580/600 anyway.
     
  5. sactown024

    sactown024 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So basically the 580ex is a $600 trigger?
     
  6. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It does a lot more than just trigger the other lights, but yes, that is one of its functions.
     
  7. MarshallG

    MarshallG TPF Noob!

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    Unless you get a great deal on the 580EX ii, buy the 600EX. It does everything the 580EX does, but it's menus are much easier to use AND it also works as an RF master and slave, in addition to optical.

    One of the big advantages of using the Canon system is that you can adjust flash power of each flash from the back of the camera. This is really handy if you've got your flashes inside of soft boxes and umbrellas. Wish RF, you don't need line of sight to the optical receivers, which is even better... but only the 2012 model year EOS cameras can control them. For a 7D, you'd have to buy a Canon transmitter product for RF control.

    All said... much better to buy the 600EX than the 580EX... unless you get a great deal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  8. Gavjenks

    Gavjenks TPF Noob!

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    It is stronger than the 430 EX II, is nicer to use, built a little better, rotates more, has weather sealing, etc.

    Whether that stuff is worth hundreds of dollars is up to the buyer. The wireless part of it, however, is pretty much objectively a joke. Especially since you can buy radio triggers that do a BETTER job for like $20, and triggers that not only do a better job but add 40 extra features for $100.

    And if you don't use TTL, the Yongnuo for 1/10th the price is a no-brainer.
     
  9. MarshallG

    MarshallG TPF Noob!

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    I don't see it that way. I wouldn't trade the ability to adjust flash exposure comp or power output from the camera, which I get with my 7D and Canon Speedlight. Maybe some day I'll be so good that I won't need to adjust flash exposure at least four times to set up a correct exposure, but I doubt it.



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  10. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    All you need for off camera flash is the 580. You could even go for the cheaper 430 if you want to. Your 7D's popup flash can be used as a master. All you have to do is set the 430 or 580 to slave mode and put it wherever you want. As long as it isn't too far away and it can see your pop up flash, it will trigger. Check the wireless flash tutorial link in my signature for detailed instructions on how to set everything up.
     
  11. MarshallG

    MarshallG TPF Noob!

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    This is what I do. It takes practice, but it's the path to professional results.


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  12. cynicaster

    cynicaster No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have one each of both of those. Well, actually, I have the 430EX not EX II, but I think they're pretty similar in most respects. I think the 580 is overpriced for sure, which is why I bought it used off eBay and saved a few hundy.

    Price complaints aside, I love the product. Compared to the 430, it's a fair bit more powerful and just has an all-around look and feel of better quality. Not that the 430 is a slouch in any of these respects, mind you.

    I tend to agree with you, that the master functionality is of limited benefit for most people and can be achieved by other less expensive means, but I do use mine from time to time. If I use my pop-up as a master I can have a two-light off camera setup, but unfortunately it can sometimes be difficult to get line of sight between the pop-up and both slaves. Using the 580 as master works much better (even in daylight) because it is more powerful and can be rotated about, but of course in that situation, I've got my best flash sitting in the hotshoe doing nothing but triggering, which seems kind of wasteful.

    So yeah, eventually I will pick up some radio triggers but for now the Canon wireless system is meeting my needs.
     

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