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Author Topic: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II  (Read 7555 times)

doogie

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T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« on: April 17, 2013, 10:24:47 AM »
hello,
Very new to all this. I bought a T3i for christmas but now want to get my first Flash. Right now I only want to buy 1 flash and later may add. If I go with 600EX-RT then buy more I know I will need the ST-E3-RT. Or is there something cheaper I could get?

If I go With the 580EX II then get another one what would I need to get both of them to work?

Which way do you think I should go? Amazon the 600EX-RT is cheaper, I know I can get good deal on ebay for 580EX II around $375 is what they been going for.

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T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« on: April 17, 2013, 10:24:47 AM »

ksuweh

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 11:42:28 AM »
Any of the speedlites that you can buy now will work as a slave flash using the built-in IR sensor. However it has its limitations. It doesn't work very well outside on a bright sunny day, it works best indoors, it HAS to have line-of-site with the master flash or controller. If you want to use an older flash but want a more reliable & powerful way of triggering the flashes there aftermarket radio transceivers that you can buy. The most popular radio transceiver brand is PocketWizard. You can take a look at them with the link below.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/844969-REG/PocketWizard_801_130_Plus_III_Transceiver_Radio.html

I personally have two 600's with the controller. Honestly, it is a dream to use!! You can control everything from the camera without going to the speedlite & lowering the light stand down to you. It just makes it so simple & efficient. One advantage to the 600 over the 580 (aside from the radio control) is that it is more powerful & has a larger guide number.

600's are expensive, but not nearly as expensive once you start adding pocketwizards into the equation & considering the the advantages of the 600s system.
5D Mk III, 16-35 f/2.8L II, 24-105 f/4L IS, 35 f/1.4L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, (2x) Speedlite 600EX-RT, ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter

doogie

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 01:29:27 PM »
So if I understand you, if I bought 2 or more 600's I would not have to buy pocketwizards or anything else to get them to work together with my T3i? When would I need a ST-E3-RT?

Thanks

ksuweh

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 02:01:30 PM »
Actually the 600EX-RT can be used as a slave or a master. That means is that it can control or be controlled, so you might not ever need a ST-E3-RT & no you would NOT need any PocketWizards. Say you have two 600EX-RTs & one ST-E3-RT. With that setup if you need to use a speedlite on the camera you can use that flash plus control the other 600EX-RT that is placed somewhere off camera. You could also have both 600s off camera & control them with the ST-E3-RT, if you don't need a speedlite on the camera. Another VERY NICE feature is that the controls, buttons & menu on the ST-E3-RT is IDENTICAL to the 600EX-RT, so you only need to learn one menu system. If the speedlites give you enough power & recycle speed (which I assume in your case it will be plenty) then the 600s are the best, most controllable, easiest to use & most versatile system that you can buy into. Canon hit a homerun with this one!

P.S.- The ONLY way that Canon could have made this system better is if they would allow PocketWizard interconectability. That way you would be able to fire monolights or powerpacks from the same controller.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 02:05:15 PM by ksuweh »
5D Mk III, 16-35 f/2.8L II, 24-105 f/4L IS, 35 f/1.4L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, (2x) Speedlite 600EX-RT, ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter

Wildfire

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 04:53:26 PM »
I think the 600EX-RT is a ridiculous flash choice for a beginner.

I do paid portrait/wedding work with a 430EX II and two Yongnuo YN560 manual flashes, all of which cost me a total of $300. I also have a set of Phottix Strato II radio triggers but I find in a lot of situations I don't even need them because the YN560s have a reliable and very sensitive optical slave.

If you need a first flash to go with your T3i, the Canon 430EX II is the way to go. It's great because the T3i has an on-board master that can control the 430EX II in TTL mode! That is all you need to get started.

Then head on over to strobist.com and learn how to REALLY use flash. Once you decide it's time for some more flashes, pick up a couple manual flashes and some 3rd party radio triggers (the Phottix Strato IIs are awesome for manual work!) All of this for much less than the cost of a 600EX-RT and the ST-E3. If you REALLY need TTL (you don't) then Yongnuo has great TTL-capable radio trigger set and flashes as well (YN622 trigger for under $100 and the YN568 flash for under $200).
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 05:01:59 PM by Wildfire »

neuroanatomist

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 08:54:13 PM »
One advantage to the 600 over the 580 (aside from the radio control) is that it is more powerful & has a larger guide number.

Actually, it's not more powerful. It has a higher guide number because the head zooms to 200mm instead of 105mm, but the light output of the 600 is the same as the 580.

I think the 600EX-RT is a ridiculous flash choice for a beginner.

I agree with your easier-on-the-budget recommendations, but I'd stop short of calling a 600 'ridiculous' especially if the OP isn't too concerned about cost. The Canon RT system 'just works' - plug and play.  But a pair of 430's and 'dumb' triggers is great to learn on. Only downside is if you get into modifiers, more power is nice.
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Wildfire

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 02:40:08 PM »
If the OP wasn't concerned about cost, don't you think he would have gotten a camera body that's better than a 2-generations-old Rebel?

I can see a working professional or someone who's serious about photography spending $1000 on a lighting setup (RT flash plus master unit). But for a beginner whose goal is to simply learn photography? Overkill.

I agree that the RT system would be awesome, but it's simply not worth the enormous cost if you just want to learn how to take photographs. Hell, I occasionally get paid for my photography and I still can't afford to buy a pair of 600EXs.

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 02:40:08 PM »

doogie

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2013, 11:08:58 AM »
The reason I was even thinking about the 600 was because 580 used on ebay going for like $375 but I can get new 600 for $499. Plus from what I have been reading they say sooner or later you will go with radio control. I don't want to buy something that later on will not use much because I bought something better.

digital paradise

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 12:47:24 PM »
Agreed. The 580 is discontinued. Go future proof if you are going Canon.

gary samples

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 11:54:36 PM »
580ex
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Krob78

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 01:30:50 AM »
I think the 600EX-RT is a ridiculous flash choice for a beginner.

I do paid portrait/wedding work with a 430EX II and two Yongnuo YN560 manual flashes, all of which cost me a total of $300. I also have a set of Phottix Strato II radio triggers but I find in a lot of situations I don't even need them because the YN560s have a reliable and very sensitive optical slave.

If you need a first flash to go with your T3i, the Canon 430EX II is the way to go. It's great because the T3i has an on-board master that can control the 430EX II in TTL mode! That is all you need to get started.

Then head on over to strobist.com and learn how to REALLY use flash. Once you decide it's time for some more flashes, pick up a couple manual flashes and some 3rd party radio triggers (the Phottix Strato IIs are awesome for manual work!) All of this for much less than the cost of a 600EX-RT and the ST-E3. If you REALLY need TTL (you don't) then Yongnuo has great TTL-capable radio trigger set and flashes as well (YN622 trigger for under $100 and the YN568 flash for under $200).
For the price, assuming OP wanted to go older technology, the 580EX II is a superior choice over the 430EX II for power, guide number, flexibility, master/slave option. 

Also if you use the Phottix Strato's and I had them initially and they do work wonderfully for manual flash, if you're going to suggest an upgrade to them, why not the Phottix Odin?  They are superior to Yongnuo triggers all day long and I find the TTL in the Odins to work seamlessly with my Canon cameras.  The Yongnuo triggers are sketchy at best if he wants to get long service out of them imho...
Ken

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Krob78

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 01:31:45 AM »
580ex
Great grand son 3yrs old he loves to shoot
Drooling over that set up Gary!  I need a tripod like that!!
Ken

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eml58

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 01:59:36 AM »
580ex
Great grand son 3yrs old he loves to shoot
Drooling over that set up Gary!  I need a tripod like that!!

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 01:59:36 AM »

blackcat

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 03:42:31 AM »
I don't think the Canon  ST-E3-RT will work on the Rebel.  The full advantages of this latest flash system can only be realised with the 5D Mark III or the 1Dx.  However, the 600EX-RT will work like the 580EX II with on camera flash & TTL metering etc. and wireless off camera flash through its line of sight light sensor.  It just won't have the radio capability with the OP's Rebel.

angox

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 05:06:11 AM »
Well if you are strictly considering Canon's flashes - then I'd say take the latest version (600EX RT). However, if you are cost-conscious and don't mind of having different brands, then I'd suggest Yongnuo flashes coupled with its radio trigger (either Yongnuo or Cactus v5). You need to set the flash manually, but I believe it is a great way to learn.

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Re: T3i - 600EX-RT or Canon Speedlite 580EX II
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 05:06:11 AM »