Master flash vs Slave


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Jul 31, 2013
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Hello, my name is Francis Arthur and I'm new to this forum. Been doing a few years of photography but lately I've been taking it up a notch because I'm also building a tiny little studio in my 3rd room.

Among some lights for this studio, I want to use an off-camera flashgun. This will be my first flashgun and I've seen one interesting choice so far with the very small budget I have and that is the "YONGNUO YN-568EX II TTL Speedlight Flash Gun for Canon DSRL"
The previous wanted one was the "Yongnuo YN568EX TTL 10W 960lm 5600K Flashlight for Canon SLR" which only difference seems to be this was a slave only.

My question is: Can the master flashgun also used the same way the slave is being used, on top of the camera and off-camera? Or is it purely made to control other flash devices? I've asked a lot of people from Youtube and the forum where I want to buy it but no luck so far. I really need to be sure with these amounts of money.
And probably a hard question to answer is whether the Yongnuos lamp is much worse in durability than a much more expensive Canon Speedlite?

I've always been avoiding the subject and the use of flashguns, apart from popup built-in flashes for fill ins etc. But now I'm anxious to try the world of flash-photography. Can anyone help me on my way?

Thanks in advance,
Kind regards.
Hi mate, and welcome to the forums.

Unfortunatley I can't answer most of your questions as I'm pretty new to this speedlight malarky. However I did recently aquire a YN-460 after deciding I needed some flash in my bag. The Yongnuo flash I got is pretty much the cheapest in their range but I'd say the build quality is good after comparing it with a Canon 580 EX II which I borrowed for a few days build quality is not an issue
I'm not a master + slave flash user (yet), but as I understand it, the master flash unit must be mounted or directly connected to your camera. The master unit can then control 1 or more slave units either via a brief pre-flash or via radio signals. Many of the larger external flash units can be switched to perform as master or slave and will flash at the same time. But not all external flashes are capable of being a master unit. Some of the more recent DSLRs such as the Canon 60D with popup flash capability can also perform as flash + master using the popup only.

Alternatively, one can use a Canon ST-E2 (or compatible) flash trigger instead of an external flash mounted to the camera and it performs the 'master' function only, without flash capability. Or...purchase appropriate Pocket Wizard (or compatible) gear and use it to trigger the camera as well as all flashes.

As for Yongnuo flash experience, I have none. I've used Canon only.
Thanks for replying. The Yongnuo specific question is just an extra. The main thing here is if I buy this Master flashgun will I be making a mistake of actually needing a Slave flashgun for what I'm doing? The difference in price may be just 10 dollars, so if a Masterflash can do both I'll take the masterflash anytime over the slave only, right?

It's my only and first flash, so I'll be doing the regular hotshoe on camera photography, from a tripod off-camera etc | Canon 7D

(btw if I put it on a cold shoe on a remote spot would it react to the cameras command or would you always need a remote device for situations like that?)
Your 7d does have an onboard trigger for wireless flashes. How to Wirelessly Trigger Your Flash with your Canon 7D | Starving Artistry So you can mount flashes on cold shoes and set them as slaves and then trigger them with the pop up flash on your 7D, providing that they are in line-of-sight.

In answering your first question as to whether the flash can be used as both a master and a slave. It would appear that it can
"Multiple Trigger Mode Supported: The 568EX can be triggered by hot-shoe, flash command slave mode, optical S1, and S2 (pre-flash- canceled mode.)" Source

In terms of quality, I cannot speak for that particular model. However I have the YN467-II and it works perfectly. IMHO the build quality feels no different to the Nikon sb-600. On a side note I think that my YN467-II is a lower spec model to the one your are choosing and I am able to use it as both a master and a slave.
Awesome, thank you very much!! I've been waiting for a week now for an answer from other sources so I turned to this forum which I should have done from the start. I can now start to order my flash. I'm really excited to start using it in a more creative way than I always thought about flashes.
I'm not sure I even understand what you're asking, but it seems like you're asking if a "master" flash can also be triggered in the role of "slave". I'm not up on my Yongnuo stuff, but I can't fathom a company going through the trouble of building and marketing a flash with wireless capability, but making it master only. That makes absolutely no sense to me.
Awesome, thank you very much!! I've been waiting for a week now for an answer from other sources so I turned to this forum which I should have done from the start. I can now start to order my flash. I'm really excited to start using it in a more creative way than I always thought about flashes.

I guess when you were new to certain things you just spend hundreds of dollars just assuming or knowing out of nothing how things worked, I don't have that kind of money... I want to be sure, of course it was what I guessed but I needed to be S U R E. Don't know why ppl like you even bother to reply on these topics where people need help.
Im going through the same thing . Trying to figure out and learn how this ,master /slave/off flash technicalities all work so I know exactly which thingsto buy based on my needs. But I don't know enough yet to know what I need . OP I hope you figure out what your needing to know. I can relate to the feeling. And about not having a ton of money to just throw around blindly.

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