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Author Topic: Compact Manual Flash?  (Read 3061 times)

Pi

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Compact Manual Flash?
« on: March 28, 2013, 08:35:36 PM »
I am looking for two compact manual flashes for a poor-man macro DIY setup. I ordered two 270 EX II's just to find out that they can only be manually controlled from the camera (it is quite obvious by just looking at their pictures, I do not know what I was thinking). Any suggestions? Cheap would be good. Light and small is essential.

On the other hand, any idea how to control manually two 270 EX II, if I keep them? I also ordered an YN-560 II flash which can be used as an IR trigger (not sure how well this will work in a macro setup), and four YN-603C. Camera: 5D2. I want to avoid the use of YN-622C triggers - I need to buy three of them, and they are too big for my needs.

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Compact Manual Flash?
« on: March 28, 2013, 08:35:36 PM »

Pi

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 09:17:24 PM »
Just use one 270EX II on an ETTL II cord to master for the other one via the camera menu. I thought I read the 270EX II could be a master if it was attached to a camera with the flash menus.

Hm..., I do not quite get it. Flash 1 is on the camera or attached via an ETTL cord. What do I do with Flash 2?

RAKAMRAK

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 09:19:57 PM »
If you are not afraid of the "dark" side, then older Nikon flashes are pretty good and affordable too in the second hand market. They are all manual (I mean can be controlled manually without the loss of any essential functionality with canon cameras). I myself use three of those (canon flashes like 430EX are too costly for me right now). I bought two preowned Nikon SB 28DX and one Nikon SB 28. Even SB 26 is supposed to be a good flash.
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RAKAMRAK

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 09:24:06 PM »
Just use one 270EX II on an ETTL II cord to master for the other one via the camera menu. I thought I read the 270EX II could be a master if it was attached to a camera with the flash menus.

Hm..., I do not quite get it. Flash 1 is on the camera or attached via an ETTL cord. What do I do with Flash 2?

I think what @private wanted to mean is put the ETTL on the hotshoe. Then put flash 1 on the "immediate" hotshoe of the ETTL cord. The part of the ETTLII cord that fits into camera's hotshoe has another hotshoe on top of it to fit a flash - I am calling it the immediate hotshoe. Google for the picture of an ETTL II cord. The other end of the cord is still open, put flash 2 on that "corded" hotshoe of the ETTL cord.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 09:27:15 PM by RAKAMRAK »
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Pi

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 09:33:59 PM »
Just use one 270EX II on an ETTL II cord to master for the other one via the camera menu. I thought I read the 270EX II could be a master if it was attached to a camera with the flash menus.

Hm..., I do not quite get it. Flash 1 is on the camera or attached via an ETTL cord. What do I do with Flash 2?

I think what @private wanted to mean is put the ETTL on the hotshoe. Then put flash 1 on the "immediate" hotshoe of the ETTL cord. The part of the ETTLII cord that fits into camera's hotshoe has another hotshoe on top of it to fit a flash - I am calling it the immediate hotshoe. Google for the picture of an ETTL II cord. The other end of the cord is still open, put flash 2 on that "corded" hotshoe of the ETTL cord.

You mean like this (I am not affiliated with this seller)?


How does the camera knows which is the master? That cord seems to be ETTL, so both flashes are equal, I guess?

Also, I want to take both flashes off the camera.

BTW, I will keep at least one of the 270-EXII, very nice for travel.

Pi

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 09:35:24 PM »
Yes that is what I meant, the 270XE II has a Slave mode on the power switch OFF-SLAVE-ON. But I thought it could also be used as a master, but I think I was wrong so back to the drawing board.

Some cameras can control the 270EX II remotely via their pop up flash, the 7D, 60D etc. The cheapest way to maintain full Canon functionality with the 5D MkII would be to get a secondhand ST-E2, but I don't know how you could separate the flashes into channels, they would both always fire at the same power.

Actually, I do not mind the same power as long as I can control it.

Pi

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 09:36:09 PM »
If you are not afraid of the "dark" side, then older Nikon flashes are pretty good and affordable too in the second hand market. They are all manual (I mean can be controlled manually without the loss of any essential functionality with canon cameras). I myself use three of those (canon flashes like 430EX are too costly for me right now). I bought two preowned Nikon SB 28DX and one Nikon SB 28. Even SB 26 is supposed to be a good flash.

Thanks. Nothing wrong with the dark side if it can provide enough light.  :)

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 09:36:09 PM »

RAKAMRAK

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 09:39:55 PM »
Yes, that is what I thought @private wanted to suggest.

I am sorry, I do not know anymore than this. My knowledge goes to using two/three nikon flashes with canon camera. I attach one flash with the camera with a PC sync cable. I attach the other flash with another PC sync cable with a hotshoe mount (which has a pc sync port). I attach the third flash with one of the off camera flashes with another pc sync cable. So a quite complicated but inexpensive system works for me to take all my three flashes off camera.
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Pi

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 10:02:32 PM »
Sorry, no that is not what I meant. I meant one flash on the end of the ETTL cord as the master, the second flash just sitting by itself as a slave, that is what I meant by it having a SLAVE mode, it doesn't need to be connected to anything.

BUT, you can't fire the slave 270EX II with a 270EX II as a master, so my idea won't work. You need a 7D, 60D, 650D camera or 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, 600EX or ST-E2 flash to act as a master to fire your remote slave 270EX II.

Thanks, I get it now. I guess the YN ST-E2 might be the answer. 

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 12:29:02 AM »
you can get a low power and low cost 90EX to use as a master, its very compact and will control the external flashes as slaves.
 
Its a poor mans 580 EX II.  It does not use Radio, just optical
 
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/speedlite_flash_lineup/speedlite_90ex

Pi

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 12:51:19 AM »
you can get a low power and low cost 90EX to use as a master, its very compact and will control the external flashes as slaves.
 
Its a poor mans 580 EX II.  It does not use Radio, just optical
 
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/speedlite_flash_lineup/speedlite_90ex
Thank you, I completely forgot about this little flash!

When you use it to control other flashes, does it still fire (bright light, as opposed to IR)? If so, this may change the balance of light I am trying to get...

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 01:31:02 AM »
you can get a low power and low cost 90EX to use as a master, its very compact and will control the external flashes as slaves.
 
Its a poor mans 580 EX II.  It does not use Radio, just optical
 
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/speedlite_flash_lineup/speedlite_90ex
Thank you, I completely forgot about this little flash!

When you use it to control other flashes, does it still fire (bright light, as opposed to IR)? If so, this may change the balance of light I am trying to get...

I'd download the manual. I believe that you can disable the flash in master mode so that only the remotes fire.  It will flicker in order to determine the camera setting, and for AF Assist.  It does not have a infrared beam.

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 04:46:33 AM »
I use Yongnuo extensively for our on-location work. If you need an all-manual flash that works like a dream off-camera, grab a couple YN560s cheap on eBay and a few Cactus wireless triggers (the latest V2s or V5 is probably the best option) and you're set for strobist nirvana. Every component is affordable, replaceable, back-up-able and basically as powerful as anything else on the market — provided you'll never need TTL.
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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 04:46:33 AM »

AdamJ

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2013, 09:04:43 AM »
Just to confirm what others have suggested, an ST-E2 (Canon or Yongnuo) or a 90EX will give you full manual or E-TTL II control of your two 270 EX II flashes, complete with ratio control, FEC and 1st/2nd curtain sync, all through your 5D II's flash menu.

The 90EX can be set so that it doesn't contribute to the exposure when used as the on-camera master.

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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2013, 09:54:02 AM »
Consider whether or not you really need full wireless control of your remotes.  The Canon 90ex runs about $140 new, which is almost twice the price of a single YN-560II (way more powerful flash).  You can save a lot of money by just going the YN route with some inexpensive triggers and have a fully manual setup with a lot of capability.  I recommend the Phottix Stratos II or Calumet Quad Plus triggers (basically the same system in slightly different packages). 

I looked up the 90ex.  It doesn't fire when in Master mode...only uses the flash to communicate with the slaves, but will not contribute to the exposure -- doesn't appear to be selectable either.  The 90ex has no IR output, so it uses the flash as a focus assist and to send into to the slaves -- that could be rather distracting to a subject.

If you want to go the ST-E2 route, I would suggest you just get a flash that can act as a master -- probably won't cost you anything more if you find a used one, and now you'll have extra capability.
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Re: Compact Manual Flash?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2013, 09:54:02 AM »