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Rumors => Speedlites, Printers, Accessories => Topic started by: Anthonyhnj on March 07, 2013, 10:42:09 AM

Title: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 07, 2013, 10:42:09 AM
Hi, i am a former canon DSLR Shooter that has had experience with the canon 580ex when I was shooting weddings in 2000's.  A little over two + years ago i sold all my canon gear and switched over to M4/3.  to make a long story short almost a month ago i switched back to using a DSLR.  I purchased the 6d with a few lenses funded by selling of all my M4/3 gear.

I purchased the canon 270exii just as a simple flash that could be bounced while taking photos indoors of my kids and other things.  For what it cost and what it's worth, it's fine for that.  I now want to invest in a better speedlite. that's where your help comes in.  Let me give you an idea of what I would like to achieve.  I really want to be able to use the flash off of the camera on a stand of some sort, i just think it creates a visually better looking photo. again this will mostly be used of taking photos indoors.  I also want to be able to use the flash with a soft box. I would like TTL functionality.  I also want to take better portraits of my kids.  Maybe get a backdrop and add another flash down the road etc...

So, i was looking at the canon 600ex-rt and the Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter, yes i know a 900.00 investment is a lot but is it worth it for what i want to do. Or for now should i just look at the 430exii or the 580exii and get a pocket wizard or some other radio transmitter. 

or am i better off getting some sort of studio strobe and can add on to it as needed.

Please feel free to comment, make suggestions and help me in any way


thanks for your help,
anthony
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: RLPhoto on March 07, 2013, 10:53:53 AM
I'd bite the bullet and get 2x 600-RT's so you could still use AF-assist and have a flash off-camera.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 07, 2013, 11:00:12 AM
I'd bite the bullet and get 2x 600-RT's so you could still use AF-assist and have a flash off-camera.
Ramon, I checked out your site, magical work with that 50 1.2. really great work.

Anthony
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: RLPhoto on March 07, 2013, 11:20:10 AM
I'd bite the bullet and get 2x 600-RT's so you could still use AF-assist and have a flash off-camera.
Ramon, I checked out your site, magical work with that 50 1.2. really great work.

Anthony

Thanks, I really need to update it soon though. So much has changed...
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: neuroanatomist on March 07, 2013, 11:52:49 AM
So, i was looking at the canon 600ex-rt and the Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter, yes i know a 900.00 investment is a lot but is it worth it for what i want to do. Or for now should i just look at the 430exii or the 580exii and get a pocket wizard or some other radio transmitter. 

or am i better off getting some sort of studio strobe and can add on to it as needed.

Indoors, with a small number of subjects, a Speedlite based setup can be fine.  I'd recommend checking out Syl Arena's excellent Speedliter's Handbook

If you're going to put the flash in a softbox, the more power the better - the 430EX II does ok with a smallish softbox (I use them in Lastolite 24" Ezyboxes), but they need to be pretty close to the subject.

If you're going to be shooting outdoors, trying to overpower the sun, a monolight setup is better (can be done with Speedlites, but you have to gang several of them together inside a modifier to have sufficient power). 

Cost is another concern - an excellent monolight like the Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 costs less than a 600EX-RT. 

Personally, I have an Einstein and 3 speedlites (one 600EX-RT, two 430EX II's), and I trigger with PocketWizards.  The advantage there is that I can trigger Speedlites and the monolight with the same system.  The powerful monolight lets me use a nice, big softbox (a 48" octabox) for soft, 'wrap-around' light.

If I was going to go with a Speedlite-only system, I'd definitely get the 600EX-RT + ST-E3-RT, or multiple 600's. 
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 07, 2013, 01:02:44 PM
I have two 580EXII's and they are great and I have used Yongnuo RF-602's and most recently 622c's (TTL) triggers and they are great. With the 622c's there are no line of sight issues and you can remotely bump power up and down all from the camera position and they are only $90 for a pair. You can go cheap and pair them with the excellent Yongnuo 568EX for $180 and have radio controlled off camera flash that supports HSS - all for under $300.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 08, 2013, 05:35:01 PM
I ordered the 600ex-rt and the Canon ST-E3-RT and also the yn622c. I'll do some testing to see what setup I like better. I will report back my findings.

Anthony
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: smithy on March 09, 2013, 06:00:31 AM
I like the fact that the 622 trigger doubles as an AF assist light. :-)
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 10, 2013, 12:11:23 PM
I like the fact that the 622 trigger doubles as an AF assist light. :-)
I do too! I also like the fact that you can control both flashes using ratios. I will be testing some more tonight.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 10, 2013, 12:15:48 PM

i first thought (3 years ago) about buying two 580 EX II.
but you get two 430 EX II for the price of one 580 EXII (nearly 3 today for the price of a 600 EX RT).
then i thought i am much more flexible (and have more power) with two smaller flashes.
so i bought one 580 EX II and two 430 EX II.
 How do you find the output of the 430's?  I'll probably keep the 600 with yn622c and add a 430 as a kicker. Thoughts?

Anthony
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 11, 2013, 04:41:53 PM
Still in the process of testing, but here's what I can tell you so far. The canon st-e3-rt is definitely going back, and i will keep the yn622c's.  I will probably keep the 600ex-rt a because I basically paid for it what a 580ex ii cost.  I am going to add a 430exii to have a basic 2 light setup for portraits with some soft boxes and umbrellas. Another question I have is, will 2 430exii give me the same results as having a 600 and a 430? I can get 2 430exii for less than what I paid for the 600?

Thoughts?

Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 11, 2013, 07:34:16 PM
Still in the process of testing, but here's what I can tell you so far. The canon st-e3-rt is definitely going back, and i will keep the yn622c's.  I will probably keep the 600ex-rt a because I basically paid for it what a 580ex ii cost.  I am going to add a 430exii to have a basic 2 light setup for portraits with some soft boxes and umbrellas. Another question I have is, will 2 430exii give me the same results as having a 600 and a 430? I can get 2 430exii for less than what I paid for the 600?

Thoughts?
I don't have a 600 but I do have two 580exII's. The 600ex-rt will give you more power than a 430exII. In many situations you won't need it but when you do it is nice to have something up for the task.

As an alternative, you could go off brand and pickup a Yongnuo 568ex from eBay for $180.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: notapro on March 12, 2013, 11:23:28 PM
Anthonyhnj,

Can you tell more about why you're not keeping the ST-E3-RT?  What are it's benefits or shortcomings relative to the Youngnuo 622Cs for what you're doing?  Just curious since I am considering buying it.

Thanks
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: bycostello on March 12, 2013, 11:41:05 PM
I'd bite the bullet and get 2x 600-RT's so you could still use AF-assist and have a flash off-camera.

+1
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 13, 2013, 12:56:25 AM
Anthonyhnj,

Can you tell more about why you're not keeping the ST-E3-RT?  What are it's benefits or shortcomings relative to the Youngnuo 622Cs for what you're doing?  Just curious since I am considering buying it.

Thanks
notapro,
The only real reason why I'm not keeping it is because I don't want to buy another 600ex-rt
IMO, with only one 600 it serves no purpose.  I could do the same with the yn622c for only 90.00.
However, that being said I am getting mixed results using a 600 and 430ex ii with the yn622c's

Anthony
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Chris Burch on March 13, 2013, 02:32:20 AM
You can do a LOT with speedlights.  I own 5 speedlights (600, 580ii, YN560ii) plus 3 Einsteins and I use the speedlights all of the time.  The only time I use eTTL is with my on-camera flash.  My remote speedlights are always manually triggered only, so that means I can ignore all of the frills of the 600 and just use flashes with similar output and sufficient power to achieve the look I want.  That said, I could easily replace all of my speedlights (the remote ones that is) with YN560-II's at $74/ea and would barely notice a difference from $500+ Canon versions (same power output).  The YN's do have an annoying powersaver feature, but it's manageable.  Get a set of inexpensive triggers (I recommend the Phottix Stratos II, but you're already invested in YN models), and you now have a multi-light off-camera setup with tons of possibilities. 

For your on-camera flash, keep a Canon flash because you'll want the eTTL and multitude of options.  For remotes however, there just isn't much need to spend a lot.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Anthonyhnj on March 18, 2013, 08:10:06 AM
You can do a LOT with speedlights.  I own 5 speedlights (600, 580ii, YN560ii) plus 3 Einsteins and I use the speedlights all of the time.  The only time I use eTTL is with my on-camera flash.  My remote speedlights are always manually triggered only, so that means I can ignore all of the frills of the 600 and just use flashes with similar output and sufficient power to achieve the look I want.  That said, I could easily replace all of my speedlights (the remote ones that is) with YN560-II's at $74/ea and would barely notice a difference from $500+ Canon versions (same power output).  The YN's do have an annoying powersaver feature, but it's manageable.  Get a set of inexpensive triggers (I recommend the Phottix Stratos II, but you're already invested in YN models), and you now have a multi-light off-camera setup with tons of possibilities. 
In the end I winded up with 3 yn560's with the yn622's as my triggers. Im pretty happy with it so far. Once i get more familiar and increase my skill set, I eventually will get monolights.   
Thanks to everyone for all their help and guidance.

Anthony   
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 19, 2013, 09:27:42 AM
The YN's do have an annoying powersaver feature, but it's manageable.

I am thinking about augmenting my two 580exII's with a couple of YN-560 or YN-568ex2 combined with my YN-602 and 622c's and get rid of my old Nikon SB-28's for background.

- What is the issue with the sleep-mode with the YN's?
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: smithy on March 20, 2013, 02:36:35 AM
The YN's do have an annoying powersaver feature, but it's manageable.

I am thinking about augmenting my two 580exII's with a couple of YN-560 or YN-568ex2 combined with my YN-602 and 622c's and get rid of my old Nikon SB-28's for background.

- What is the issue with the sleep-mode with the YN's?
The issue I have with sleep mode on my YN-568ex is that when it goes to sleep, you have to fire a shot first before it wakes up.  So you miss the first shot.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 20, 2013, 07:25:36 AM
The YN's do have an annoying powersaver feature, but it's manageable.

I am thinking about augmenting my two 580exII's with a couple of YN-560 or YN-568ex2 combined with my YN-602 and 622c's and get rid of my old Nikon SB-28's for background.

- What is the issue with the sleep-mode with the YN's?
The issue I have with sleep mode on my YN-568ex is that when it goes to sleep, you have to fire a shot first before it wakes up.  So you miss the first shot.
The wake-up can happen from the camera position though, right? You don't need to physically touch the flash, correct?
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Chris Burch on March 20, 2013, 06:15:03 PM
Thought I replied, but guess I never finished...

The YN-560II's and probably other YN models have a sleep and auto power off feature.  You can set the sleep to off, but the power-off will still happen at 30 minutes in the M mode (the only one that will accept a flash trigger) or 60 minutes in the S1/S2 modes (optical trigger only).   Once it shuts off you have to physically hold the power button down to turn them back on.  That means you need to ping them at least every 30 minutes to keep them alive.  I used Stratos II triggers that have a wake-up function, so I just need to do a half-shutter press to refresh the YN's or just take a shot.  It's only a problem if you stop shooting for a while or turn off a particular zone for a while.  The last gig I used them, I had 2 different rooms with remote speedlights and I stopped transmitting to the zones for the room I wasn't in.  I tried to remember to periodically turn the other zones back on and refresh them, but at some point I missed the window and lost one of the YN.  I had to schlep up to the second floor balcony where I mounted it to turn it back on.  Not a show-stopper, but something you may have to keep track of.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 20, 2013, 08:21:44 PM
@ Chris Burch - thanks for the explanation - my 580exII's have an auto-off that I disabled some time ago and I have never had an issue with them powering off - a 580exII has a physical on/off switch and Canon do not allow functions that contradict lever/button positions. The YN's have push buttons so it makes sense that they can change the state over a period of time.

For the most part 30-60 minutes before they tank should not be an issue for me. I am considering two 568ex's but may also take a look at the YN-560II's because I already have a couple of TTL flashes.

Do you use the 560's with 622c's? That would be my setup.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: smithy on March 21, 2013, 06:23:14 AM
The YN's do have an annoying powersaver feature, but it's manageable.

I am thinking about augmenting my two 580exII's with a couple of YN-560 or YN-568ex2 combined with my YN-602 and 622c's and get rid of my old Nikon SB-28's for background.

- What is the issue with the sleep-mode with the YN's?
The issue I have with sleep mode on my YN-568ex is that when it goes to sleep, you have to fire a shot first before it wakes up.  So you miss the first shot.
The wake-up can happen from the camera position though, right? You don't need to physically touch the flash, correct?
That's correct - I never have to physically touch the flash.  But then you need to consider that I'm not leaving them for more than 10-15 minutes, so I haven't experienced a 'deep' sleep like the type that Chris Burch has described.  Or maybe that issue has been resolved with the 568ex?

BTW, the 622c is an excellent trigger - amazing really when you consider the price.  I was using a Pixel branded trigger before, and couldn't get a shutter sync faster than 1/125th (on my 5D3).  With the 622c I can sync at 1/200th easily and with HSS have shot at 1/2000th.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 21, 2013, 06:43:19 AM

BTW, the 622c is an excellent trigger - amazing really when you consider the price.  I was using a Pixel branded trigger before, and couldn't get a shutter sync faster than 1/125th (on my 5D3).  With the 622c I can sync at 1/200th easily and with HSS have shot at 1/2000th.
Thanks for your input.

I too get super clean frames on my 5D3/622C combo at 1/200 and shot a HSS shoot at 1/4000 and never missed a frame with 400+ exposures. They just work...
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Chris Burch on March 21, 2013, 12:26:21 PM
I use Phottix Stratos II for my remotes lights because I don't need the TTL functionality.  I love the Stratos -- great range and very reliable.
Title: Re: need advise on what speedlite?
Post by: Jamesy on March 21, 2013, 06:20:17 PM
I use Phottix Stratos II for my remotes lights because I don't need the TTL functionality.  I love the Stratos -- great range and very reliable.
I have heard great things about the Stratto's and they are also compatible with the Odin's - nice touch. Had the 622's not come out I may very well have jumped on them.