Flash ETTL problems


TPF Noob!
Aug 14, 2010
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Kansas City
Can others edit my Photos
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So a couple of weeks ago i shot a couples engagement pics and with my T1i I used my friends Speedlite 430EX II with a Rotating Flash Bracket and a simple Canon Off Camera Shoe Cord 2. The shoot went perfect and i loved the setup. So i went online and ordered the exact same parts. 2-3 weeks ago I recieve all the parts except the Cord so I try out my new flash from the cameras hotshoe and it works perfect.

Fast forward 2 weeks. I received the Cord in the mail and didnt think anything of it since I havent had to use it. Today, however, I get out my setup because I'm bored and I hook it all up and put the hotshoe cord on the bracket and the speedlite on the bracket and such, exactly how the setup went with my friends equip.

I take a few test shots without looking at the results and notice how bright the flash is shooting. So i look at the screen and notice it looks like i'm shooting outdoors with an exposure of 10-20 seconds in the middle of the day. Needless to say its overexposed. The ETTL Isnt working apparently.

SOOO I take the flash and put it on the Cameras Hotshoe and take a few shots without it on the Cord. WORKS PERFECTLY. Now by my critical thinking skills...the Cord is broken. Can someone tell me if I'm right?(Of course you cant tell me for sure since you're not here to test it out, but by your greatest theory...) If I am right, is there a way to get it fixed or should i just toss it and buy a new one.

Tuesday I'm going to get my friend to let me barrow his Cord again and we will see if it works then. Which will also verify my assumptions. My main question though is if i can fix it/get it fixed without shelling out another $40+ for a new cord.

I know this is long but its hard to explain a problem through the net!

What settings are you using (flash and camera), and what cord are you using?

I use the Canon cord (OC-E2, I think), and have never had a problem with it...

If the flash is actually firing, I don't think the problem is with the cord...
If you're in aperture priority shooting mode, try switching to manual.

Set the aperture whatever you're wanting and the shutter speed to x-synch.


Back off the shutter speed to add more ambient light.

Report back to us.
I'll get back to you guys this evening. On my way to the lake for labor day weekend.
Make sure to bring along the flash (and the manual !). Take some portrait shots in the golden hour, just 20minutes before sunset. Meter for the sky and let the flash ETTL itself for the subject. You should get some nice results.

Have fun, be safe on the roads.
I'm using the T1i with a 430ex speedlite and a Off-camera shoe cord 2. Now I was reading the manual for the cord itself and it says usable flashes include: 430EZ. Does that mean it won't work for the 430ex?

When the speedlite is on the camera itself everything works fine. It "autozooms for image size" (that little box looking thing on the flashes display) it works in P, M, and anything else I use it in.

now, when I put it on the cord, the ETTL stays on, but the auto zoom to image size turns off. and in whatever setting I use, the pictures turn out almost completely white like I said. even with high speed sync on.

I've tried all the settings and have read all the manuals. I'm stuck lol
You said it's a Canon cord so I dont think compatibility is an issue. I have had an issue with my cord before as well, more exact the connection on the camera and the cord. Use a pencil eraser and rub the contacts of the camera shoe and all the other connections. Mine seemed to do the same thing, but I noticed the flash icon wasnt illuminated in the viewfinder. I know it's new, but so was mine. Is your flash even showing it's connected? You should be able to see the flash(lightning) icon in the viewfinder when it is ready.
Good point - I'd missed the part about it being a Canon cable. Still worth checking though because of the reference to the "430EZ" - Google says that flash is TTL only (not E-TTL). Maybe it's the wrong cable?
Ryan - I will try that out. And you are right. When the camera and the flash are connected by the cord, it flashes, but the flash symbol in the viewfinder does not show a connection. When its directly in the camera's hotshoe, it shows that there is a flash. So I'll give it a try.

MrBarney -There is a ETTL mode on the camera and it talks about it in the manual as well. I still have a suspicion that it is the wrong cable though.
Yes, it sounds like you might have the wrong cable. Do you have the Canon off-shoe cord I, II or III? (I don't know if the first version has a I or not.) I don't think that the first version is fully compatible, which might be your problem. If the flash isn't getting all the E-TTL info from the camera, it will just fire at full power, which is what it sounds like is happening to you.
Its the off camera cord 2. So II. i suppose. And that is exactly whats happening. the pictures look sweet if i could utilize it. Like, maybe shoot some ghostly shots or something. Tuesday I will talk to my "mentor" of sorts. He has the cord i used last time. We will see if it works then and go from there. Thanks alot for all your help guys.
The II cord should work for you.

The first thing to check is that the cord is fully seated on the camera and that the flash is fully seated on the cord.

Of course, it's fully possible that your cord is defective. Check the other cord with your gear, and maybe check your cord with another camera & flash. That should help to identify a faulty cord or not.

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