Firing a wired and wireless flash.

Juliett Sierra

TPF Noob!
Feb 12, 2009
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Hello there,

I want to be able to fire my 580EX II and my 380 simultaneously. I have the transmitter to fire my 580EX II wirelessly but I would like to be able to use both flashes in sync with one another. Is there some sort of off-camera flash cable that I can attach my transmitter, allowing me to fire my 580EX II to and use the cable for firing my 380?
Welcome to the forum.

What transmitter do you have for firing the 580? The ST-E2? or something more generic?
If you do have the ST-E2, I assume you are using the flash in E-TTL mode, do you need to keep that functionality or would you be OK with the flashes firing manually? (380 will probably need to be manual anyway).

I believe the 580 II has a PC socket but I don't think the 380 does. However, you could use a PC to hotshoe adapter to fix that. You should then be able to fire the 380 by connecting it to the camera's PC port (if you have one) or maybe even a splitting adapter from the 580.

Or you could use a radio triggering system with two receivers. Or you could put an optical slave trigger on the 380, which would work unless you are in E-TTL mode because the preflash would trigger the optical slave...unless you got an expensive optical slave that can ignore the preflash.

So I guess I'm saying that yes, you can probably do what you want but we need more info to really nail it down.
Yes I have the ST-E2. I would be fine with firing it manually. I also have a Canon XTi which I'm not sure if it has a PC port. I found the PC to Hot Shoe adapter on B&H Photo and it's just $10 so that would be a nice cheap solution.
I don't think that camera has it's own PC you are limited to the hotshoe. You could put the adapter on the hot shoe, but then I don't think the ST-E2 would work on top of the adapter.

You could get an adapter that has multiple (two or three) PC ports on it...then run a cord to each of your flashes. You would probably need another adapter on the 380. I think that would work.

A better solution might be to use a wireless radio system. They range from expensive (but reliable) Pocket Wizards to cheap Cactus triggers like THIS. If you had that kit plus one more receiver, you could fire both flashes with no wires.
The flash trigger looks to be my best bet. I want to eventually get a second 580EX II but I guess getting the flash trigger would still be good to have. Thanks a lot for the help.
Yes, a 2nd 580 (or 550, 420 or 430) could be triggered by your you two remote lights. In this situation, you could retain E-TTL metering and control of the slaves from the master unit. Might not be a bad idea.
I found the PC to Hot Shoe adapter on B&H Photo and it's just $10 so that would be a nice cheap solution.

Be cautious. I believe it's at that they warn against using ETTL flashes in some of the cheaper hot shoe adapters. If it has metal where the flash attaches, and allows the flash pins to short circuit between each other, it can fry the flash. Putting some black electrical tape on it may help, but it still freaks me out. Better to look for one that has plenty of plastic where the pins touch.

EDIT: I guess they were talking about the flash mounts on some umbrella holders, but some of my old hot shoe adapters are similar.
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