Canon T3 and 580ex.......wireless?

Discussion in 'Canon Accessories' started by PhotographyandGolf, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. PhotographyandGolf

    PhotographyandGolf TPF Noob!

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    I'm glad I found this beginners area to ask questions because I'm really keen on learning, but have some basic questions.
    I have a T3 and just bought a 580EX. I was told I could use the 580 as a wireless slave flash with only my built-in T3 flash as the master. Is this true? Because when I try to go into the external flash controls on my T3, it says flash is not compatible or flash is turned off. Do I need another 580 mounted on the camera to act as the master? Or what am i doing wrong?


     
  2. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not sure if the T3 is capable of this or not, but if it is it should work like this: Open up your pop up flash, go to the flash control menu, and then your built in flash settings. Somewhere near the bottom you'll be see the wireless option. You'll have to enable it. Now on your external flash hold the zoom button down until the wireless menu pops up. Select the external flash to be a slave. Now you have your wireless off camera flash. One thing to note is that your external flash will have to be able to "see" your pop up flash or it won't fire. Just make sure it's in front of the camera and/or the sensor is turned to your camera.
     
  3. kevsdad

    kevsdad TPF Noob!

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    Follow-up question to Scorpion's response...what actually triggers the off-camera flash (430EXii)? The light from the internal flash or is there a transmitter in the camera (T3i) that only works when the internal flash is open? Reason I ask is I have an old Vivitar 285 that must use the shoe, leaving the internal flash unusable. Will the light from the 285 trigger the off-camera 430 or does the internal flash have to do that? Thanks.
     
  4. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I believe it's an IR signal that comes from the pop up flash. I know the pop up flash must be up, and wireless function must be enabled in the cameras memory, and the 430EX II must be set to slave mode for it to work. Take out any of those from the equation and it won't work. I wish the Canon Speedlites had optical triggers built in, but they don't. The flash will not fire if you just put it on slave and use the pop up flash on a model that does not have wireless flash capabilities. If you want your pop up flash (on any camera model) to set off your Vivitar 285 (Or most other flash units) all you have to do is get one of these: Flash Slave Trigger Wireless Hot Shoe Optical Adapter for Canon/Nikon, SYK-4 and then you can have the Vivitar off camera and your pop up will trigger it as long as the optical sensor can see the light from it.
     
  5. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know the T3i, 60D, and I believe also the 7D can remotely trigger a Canon speedlight if the speedlight supports slave mode. I am not sure if the T3 supports the mode (the T3 was introduced in the same year as the T3i so it's possible... although the T3 was the basic entry body so it's possible they didn't include the feature.)

    The 580 must be in slave mode.

    Press and hold down the "Zoom" button on the 580 until you get an icon of the flash and probably the word "off" will start blinking (meaning remote mode is currently off).
    Rotate the dial until the word "slave" is displayed. Press the center sel/set button in the middle of the dial. The flash is now in slave mode BUT... it may not be on the correct channel. Put it in channel 1, slave A. If it's already there (and usually will be by default unless someone previously changed it), repeatedly press the 'zoom' button until the "CH." starts blinking, then rotate the dial to set it to channel 1 and press "sel/set" to enter your selection. Repeat the procedure until the A, B, or C is blinking and you can set the slave to group A. (BTW, for many cameras that can act as an master, the control is fairly simplistic and it simply fires all flashes... regardless of group assignment. So the group assignment may not actually matter. Test it to be sure.)

    You should see a red blinking strobe on the front of the flash while it's in slave mode.

    To deactivate slave mode, press and hold 'zoom' again until the slave mode starts blinking, then rotate the dial back until the word 'off' is displayed, then press the "sel/set" button.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    There is no IR signal from the pop up flash. It's just a basic flash tube that emits visible light. So that is what it uses for communicating with remote flashes. It uses specific pulse patterns to get the message to the slave.

    The only flash trigger devices in the line up that use IR (afaik) are the flash-less master units like the ST-E2. They don't have a flash, so they use IR to communicate with remote/slave flash units.
     
  7. cynicaster

    cynicaster No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Whoever gave you that info got the important part backwards. It's true that the 580 brings wireless capability to T3 users, but the problem (for you) is that the 580 needs to be the master to trigger other off-camera slaves because the T3 does not offer that capability with its pop-up flash.

    In other words, with a T3 + 580 combo, if you want to do some off-camera flash stuff, you're going to need another compatible speedlight.

    I feel your pain; for this very reason, I recently switched up my T3 for a T3i, as the latter is capable of controlling external flashes with its pop-up.

    If you want to do some off-camera flash work, your choices are as follows:

    - get one of those cables that allows you to move the flash away from your camera
    - pick up another Canon compatible speedlight, set it as the slave, and use the 580 as the master
    - get a T3i or some other body that provides built-in master capability

    I initially went with option #2, and picked up a 430EX off eBay for a great price. I had fun with it and it worked great, but my best flash--the 580EX-II--had to always be on the camera. Now that I have the T3i, I have the flexibility of two off-camera flashes.

    EDIT: oops, forgot to mention there are other third-party options, such as the Pocket Wizard. Never used one of those, personally.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

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