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Author Topic: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions  (Read 4623 times)

Jim O

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600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« on: August 29, 2013, 10:51:12 AM »
I've decided to (hopefully) simplify life some. I've had a 580EX II for some time which I occasionally use on camera, but most often use as a slave to a Qflash Trio, if at all. The Quantum units communicate wirelessly (RF), produce really nice light, recharge immediately, and can fire repeatedly without overheating. But they're a bit more than what I need at this point. So they're going. I've ordered two 600EX-RT's.

I hate to use a big flash as just a master/fill but choices are limited. The ST-E3-RT seems poorly designed with the info and controls at the top, not where my eyes would be, and without focus assist. A 90EX can be a master, but has no RF, it's fairly weak, and has some other undesirable shortcomings. On my wish list is something like my old 220EX as an RF master. It has more than enough power for on camera fill, proper focus assist, and reasonable recycle time.

So my question really is, can I use a mixture of optical and RF slaves with a 600EX-RT master, specifically my existing 580EX II and a 600EX-RT as slaves to a 600EX-RT? Or must I choose optical or RF?

I think ultimately I will wait for the ST-E3-RT Mark II (or ST-E4, whatever they'll call it) which hopefully will address some of the shortcomings of the current model. I may or may not sell the 580EX II depending on how it performs with the other two, and get a third 600EX-RT, but not right away.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 11:15:46 AM by Jim O »
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600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« on: August 29, 2013, 10:51:12 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 11:00:20 AM »
With the Canon system and the 600 as master, it's optical or RF control, you can't mix them. With 3rd party triggers you can connect a trigger to the PC port with the 600 in the hotshoe for optical control.
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Jim O

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 11:14:36 AM »
With the Canon system and the 600 as master, it's optical or RF control, you can't mix them. With 3rd party triggers you can connect a trigger to the PC port with the 600 in the hotshoe for optical control.
Thanks for the quick reply. I was afraid of that. It somewhat defeats to purpose of the 600EX-RT. I'm looking to simplify things, not make them more complicated.

It seems to make more sense to sell the 580EX II and get a third 600EX-RT.
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winglet

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 11:37:53 AM »
Well, I used 580EX II's with PW ETTL for a long time and then switched to 600EX-RT's and I couldn't be much happier with the change.

For what it's worth, I don't find the design of the ST-E3-RT to be a problem whatsoever. The "top" orientation works fine for the amount of changes I make on the fly - even if it was oriented vertically I would still have to stop and look at it. What I do love is the vastly improved interface design and the fact that it's identical to the back of the new flashes. I shoot mostly in manual, but to be able to tweak levels and groups from the camera is a godsend, especially since I use a lot of different modifiers. The time/hassle savings alone have paid for the flashes.

As far as the lack of focus assist, I haven't really found it to be a problem at all, but of course it would depend on what type of shooting you mostly do, and which body you use as the AF in say, a 5D II (incidentally, my backup body) is notoriously slow. With my 1DX (and I understand, the 5D III) it's not as big an issue. But most of my flash shooting is either to overpower or augment natural light. Wedding shooters with slow AF bodies might have more complaints, but I haven't really noticed many.

I don't know that there's any plans for a successor at this time to the ST-E3-RT, so I would still consider it a good investment if you're only going to use one of the 600's as a trigger. But if the focus is a killer, well...there's your answer!

« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 11:41:01 AM by winglet »
Canon 1DX, 5DII | 50 f/1.2 | 85 f/1.2II | 100 f/2.8 Macro | 135 f/2 | 16-35 f/2.8 | 24-70 f/2.8II | 70-200 f/2.8II | 200-400 f/4 1.4X | 8-15 f/4 Fisheye | 24 f/3.5TS | 4X 600EX-RT, ST-E3-RT | Fuji X100s

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 11:53:18 AM »
I have three 600's and an ST-E3-RT.  My PW Mini+Flex's aren't getting much use anymore.
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Jim O

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 11:55:21 AM »
Well, I used 580EX II's with PW ETTL for a long time and then switched to 600EX-RT's and I couldn't be much happier with the change.

For what it's worth, I don't find the design of the ST-E3-RT to be a problem whatsoever. The "top" orientation works fine for the amount of changes I make on the fly - even if it was oriented vertically I would still have to stop and look at it. What I do love is the vastly improved interface design and the fact that it's identical to the back of the new flashes. I shoot mostly in manual, but to be able to tweak levels and groups from the camera is a godsend, especially since I use a lot of different modifiers. The time/hassle savings alone have paid for the flashes.

As far as the lack of focus assist, I haven't really found it to be a problem at all, but of course it would depend on what type of shooting you mostly do, and which body you use as the AF in say, a 5D II (incidentally, my backup body) is notoriously slow. With my 1DX (and I understand, the 5D III) it's not as big an issue. But most of my flash shooting is either to overpower or augment natural light. Wedding shooters with slow AF bodies might have more complaints, but I haven't really noticed many.

I don't know that there's any plans for a successor at this time to the ST-E3-RT, so I would still consider it a good investment if you're only going to use one of the 600's as a trigger. But if the focus is a killer, well...there's your answer!

Thanks. I wouldn't use a 600 strictly as a trigger but perhaps for fill as well. It's more versatile for ~$500 than an almost $300 ST-E3-RT which is *only* a trigger.

I don't know that there's any plans for a successor to the ST-E3-RT but one can hope. A smaller flash that can be a master is also always a possibility and that would be ideal. But I guess I have to work with what's available.

I have three 600's and an ST-E3-RT.  My PW Mini+Flex's aren't getting much use anymore.

How do you feel about the top level controls on the ST-E3-RT?
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 12:02:04 PM »
How do you feel about the top level controls on the ST-E3-RT?

Hasn't been an issue for me.  If I add a fourth Speedlite (or more), it might become so.  However, most of the controls for three groups are available on the camera menu.  There was one time (shooting with the camera at the top of a tall tripod, where I needed a stool to access the camera controls), that it was challenging to see the hot shoe mounted display.  In that instance, I just attached the ST-E3-RT via an OC-E3 cord.
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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 12:02:04 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 12:50:23 PM »
How do you feel about the top level controls on the ST-E3-RT?

Hasn't been an issue for me.  If I add a fourth Speedlite (or more), it might become so.  However, most of the controls for three groups are available on the camera menu.  There was one time (shooting with the camera at the top of a tall tripod, where I needed a stool to access the camera controls), that it was challenging to see the hot shoe mounted display.  In that instance, I just attached the ST-E3-RT via an OC-E3 cord.

I have been having big issues with the ST-E3-RT screen angle, so much so that I now, like Neuro, use it with an off camera cord. My problem is product work where I am using a tripod with the camera tilted forwards slightly. Anyway the cord is an easy work around and in general use with no tripod the screen angle is no issue at all.

That was the exact situation to which I was referring.
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Jim O

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 01:20:16 PM »
How do you feel about the top level controls on the ST-E3-RT?

Hasn't been an issue for me.  If I add a fourth Speedlite (or more), it might become so.  However, most of the controls for three groups are available on the camera menu.  There was one time (shooting with the camera at the top of a tall tripod, where I needed a stool to access the camera controls), that it was challenging to see the hot shoe mounted display.  In that instance, I just attached the ST-E3-RT via an OC-E3 cord.

I have been having big issues with the ST-E3-RT screen angle, so much so that I now, like Neuro, use it with an off camera cord. My problem is product work where I am using a tripod with the camera tilted forwards slightly. Anyway the cord is an easy work around and in general use with no tripod the screen angle is no issue at all.

That was the exact situation to which I was referring.

I do a fair bit of that actually as I have a fairly large eBay business. In fact, I'm gearing up for the holiday season now. I have a lot of product to photograph and list (I am a direct importer from China and elsewhere) and I have more in the pipeline. Well illuminated, properly exposed photos sell items better, almost without a doubt. I outsell other vendors with the same items who sell under my price. I can only assume that good photos are part of it, though my reputation is good there as well. I do some professional work in products as well, and also some events and senior portraits, so having adequate lighting that is easy to use is essential.
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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 04:24:14 PM »
I don't care for the ST-RT3 because you better off just getting another 600RT.  :P

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 05:19:19 PM »
I don't care for the ST-RT3 because you better off just getting another 600RT.  :P

I'm better off getting another 600EX-RT instead of an ST-E3-RT because you don't care for it? That makes no sense at all…
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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 06:18:59 PM »
I don't care for the ST-RT3 because you better off just getting another 600RT.  :P

I'm better off getting another 600EX-RT instead of an ST-E3-RT because you don't care for it? That makes no sense at all…

Sure it does. because the RT3 is so inadequate and crippled you might as well get the 600RT.

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 06:45:35 PM »
You either use a couple or more 600s with an STE3RT or get another for on the camera.  I chose the latter for two reasons.  Sometimes I can use the help or at least the reassurance of the AF assist (and bouncing a flash from on camera is sometimes useful) and the other reason was that at the time I bought all of mine, the price difference was minimal (to me).  I'd rather just spend a few bucks more and have another flash.   

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 06:45:35 PM »

Jim O

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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 07:11:59 PM »
I don't care for the ST-RT3 because you better off just getting another 600RT.  :P

I'm better off getting another 600EX-RT instead of an ST-E3-RT because you don't care for it? That makes no sense at all…

This was directed at me, methinks. You already have an ST-E3-RT.

You either use a couple or more 600s with an STE3RT or get another for on the camera.  I chose the latter for two reasons.  Sometimes I can use the help or at least the reassurance of the AF assist (and bouncing a flash from on camera is sometimes useful) and the other reason was that at the time I bought all of mine, the price difference was minimal (to me).  I'd rather just spend a few bucks more and have another flash.   

And this was and is exactly my conundrum. For an extra $200 or so I have the extra functionality, and a back up.

Anyway, for now I've decided to ditch the 580EX II. I got a nice deal on a pristine looking 600EX-RT on eBay today - seller who has sold high dollar lightly used gear in the recent past and has 100% positive feedback.

I really need at least three lights off camera, so I ordered an ST-E3-RT from Amazon. I'll have that by Saturday if not tomorrow. If I don't like it, or if I really feel as though I am missing the functionality, I'll return it early next week and get another 600EX-RT.
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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 11:29:01 AM »
To the opening question: optical OR radio.

And yes: they are much more reliable than the PocketWizards, less fuzzing around with extra gear (although I love my gear...).
To use an 600 or the ST3 on top of the camera: depends on the situation.



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Re: 600EX-RT + 580EX II Questions
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 11:29:01 AM »