September 02, 2014, 10:01:57 AM

Author Topic: Benefits of a 600RT system ...  (Read 4392 times)

J.R.

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Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« on: January 29, 2014, 08:42:10 AM »
Hi,

I am pleased with the Elinchroms I recently bought but am not interested in buying a battery to use them outdoors. I'm looking to invest in a speedlight system where I don't need to upgrade anything other than probably add the odd speedlight in future.

People sing praises of the 600RT system. Can you please provide me with a link to a resource which explains the usage and the benefits of this system detail. Any other advise is most welcome.

Thanks in advance ... J.R.

Edit: I do have a 430EX II and have funds to get 600 EX x 2 at the moment. 
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 09:22:09 AM by J.R. »
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Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« on: January 29, 2014, 08:42:10 AM »

Zv

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 11:24:51 AM »
Hi,

I am pleased with the Elinchroms I recently bought but am not interested in buying a battery to use them outdoors. I'm looking to invest in a speedlight system where I don't need to upgrade anything other than probably add the odd speedlight in future.

People sing praises of the 600RT system. Can you please provide me with a link to a resource which explains the usage and the benefits of this system detail. Any other advise is most welcome.

Thanks in advance ... J.R.

Edit: I do have a 430EX II and have funds to get 600 EX x 2 at the moment.

The benefits of the 600 EX RT is in the built in radio transceivers. If you only buy one theres not much point but if you plan on a multi speedlite set up then it becomes very useful indeed.

For example - one 600EX on camera as master and possibly fill. One as key light and one as background separation. Then you can control the power levels for each light from the master itself. I think you can also mix ettl with manual (I could be mistaken).

The main issue I have with this set up is cost. Three 600EX RT will set you back almost $1500!!

There are other options that can do the same thing but cheaper. Notably Phottix Odin and Yongnuo.

If you combine Phottix Odin with Phottix Mitros+ speedlites you get the same thing as the Canon RT system. But the two systems aren't compatible. So you have to commit to Phottix.

See here for the full review

http://flashhavoc.com/phottix-odin-ttl-trigger-review/

Or if you get the Yongnuo YNE3 transmitter you can use the Canon RT system and Yongnuo flashes if you want. See here. It's coming soon.

http://flashhavoc.com/yn-e3-rt-adds-remote-manual-for-non-canon-cameras/

And the flash

http://flashhavoc.com/yongnuo-yn-e3-rt-released-yn-600ex-rt-coming/
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 12:15:11 PM »
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-600EX-RT-Speedlite-Flash-Review.aspx

But…for outdoor use you need to consider carefully.  A monolight has substantially more power than a Speedlite.  While the power profiles are different enough that it's not possible to compare the GN rating of a hotshoe flash with the power rating of a monolight, a reasonable approximation is that the 580/600 flash output is in the 60-80 Ws range, compared to the 400 Ws of the Elinchrom monolight that I think you picked up.  Many people who use flash to overpower sunlight with a modifier like a softbox that costs a couple of stops of light find they need to use 2-4 Speedlites in that soft box to get sufficient power.
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Harry Muff

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 03:58:42 PM »
If you're really serious about using a powerful strobe outdoors but without spending the thousands it usually costs, take a look at the Bowens heads and, specifically, the TravelPak that powers them outdoors. I picked up my 500R head for $525 and the battery pack for $384. I also grabbed a spare battery for it for $160.


Combined, they'll see me get north of 400 shots on location without breaking the bank. The only concessions are no modelling lamp and a longer recycling time.


The pack is pretty small though.




Or you could blow $7000 just on a pro power pack...  8)
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Marsu42

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2014, 04:47:03 PM »
Edit: I do have a 430EX II and have funds to get 600 EX x 2 at the moment.

My advice is to wait for Yongnu's recently announced 600rt clones which should cut the price to 1/3rd of the Canon original, at least judging from their recently released st-e3 clone. Your 430ex will be useless though since there are no dedicated triggers available, and the 600rts can only operate in optical *or* radio mode.

Many people who use flash to overpower sunlight with a modifier like a softbox that costs a couple of stops of light find they need to use 2-4 Speedlites in that soft box to get sufficient power.

My experience is that even a single speedlite helps a lot, esp. when @max zoom setting and not being shot in hss mode - you've then got the data to raise the shadows in post, even if it's a bit of work. The downside is that shooting the flash @max power shortens the life expectancy a lot, I recently fried my 600rt for this reason after 1.5 years (but got the flash head replaced on warranty).

neuroanatomist

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 06:02:08 PM »
Many people who use flash to overpower sunlight with a modifier like a softbox that costs a couple of stops of light find they need to use 2-4 Speedlites in that soft box to get sufficient power.

My experience is that even a single speedlite helps a lot, esp. when @max zoom setting and not being shot in hss mode - you've then got the data to raise the shadows in post, even if it's a bit of work.

How does max zoom on the flash head help if the flash is firing inside a softbox?

Also, when you talk about 'raising the shadows' it sounds to me like you're talking about using flash for fill, whereas I'm talking about overpowering the ambient, e.g., using strobe as key and sun as fill (part or all).  Yes, a single Speedlite can work for fill, even in a softbox. However, as you say, you need to avoid HSS, and knocking bright sun down to 1/200 or 1/250 s means a narrow aperture (not usually desirable in outdoor portraiture) or an ND filter - either of which means you need even more light from the flash.
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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 09:05:08 PM »
Many people who use flash to overpower sunlight with a modifier like a softbox that costs a couple of stops of light find they need to use 2-4 Speedlites in that soft box to get sufficient power.

My experience is that even a single speedlite helps a lot, esp. when @max zoom setting and not being shot in hss mode - you've then got the data to raise the shadows in post, even if it's a bit of work.

How does max zoom on the flash head help if the flash is firing inside a softbox?

Also, when you talk about 'raising the shadows' it sounds to me like you're talking about using flash for fill, whereas I'm talking about overpowering the ambient, e.g., using strobe as key and sun as fill (part or all).  Yes, a single Speedlite can work for fill, even in a softbox. However, as you say, you need to avoid HSS, and knocking bright sun down to 1/200 or 1/250 s means a narrow aperture (not usually desirable in outdoor portraiture) or an ND filter - either of which means you need even more light from the flash.

Yup. We're talkin f/16 through a softbox in the middle of the day. That takes a lot of juice. For the cost of even one additional 600 EXRT speedlite it's cheaper to go with the strobes and battery pack or monoblock.

Then again ganging 3 YN 560 III  speedlites together and fire through an umbrella is also pretty cheap and portable. That's my solution.
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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 09:05:08 PM »

J.R.

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 12:24:19 AM »
Thanks a lot for the replies and a number of good points I've understood. I really like the 400W Elinchroms but for outdoor shooting I need a rather heavy battery which I am unwilling to lug around.

I've ordered the pack of 600EX II x 2 plus the ST-RT-3 transmitter from B&H. Just wondering how does my 430EX-II fit into the system now. Will it work with the RT System or will I have to limit it as an optical slave?
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 01:01:09 AM »
Just wondering how does my 430EX-II fit into the system now. Will it work with the RT System or will I have to limit it as an optical slave?

The 430EX II will fit in nicely...if you need a paperweight or a doorstop.  :o

Ok, I exaggerate.  But, the ST-E3-RT cannot control it at all.  You could trigger it with a 600 as an on-camera master in optical mode, controlling both the 430 and the other 600. The only way to use all three flashes off camera would be to add hardware to the 430 to make it a dumb optical slave - a Sonia green optical slave trigger and a PC-to-hotshoe adapter (no other input port on the 430).  You couldn't use E-TTL with that setup, only manual (the preflash would trigger the 430).
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J.R.

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 01:30:33 AM »
Just wondering how does my 430EX-II fit into the system now. Will it work with the RT System or will I have to limit it as an optical slave?

The 430EX II will fit in nicely...if you need a paperweight or a doorstop.  :o


Haha ... Thanks Neuro, this was exactly what I was fearing. The 430EX-II will go down as another fine example of myself buying (cheaper) gear only to upgrade later with the old stuff getting redundant.


Ok, I exaggerate.  But, the ST-E3-RT cannot control it at all.  You could trigger it with a 600 as an on-camera master in optical mode, controlling both the 430 and the other 600. The only way to use all three flashes off camera would be to add hardware to the 430 to make it a dumb optical slave - a Sonia green optical slave trigger and a PC-to-hotshoe adapter (no other input port on the 430).  You couldn't use E-TTL with that setup, only manual (the preflash would trigger the 430).

I guess it will be too much trouble. The risk/reward ratio doesn't really add up for me. I'd rather put up the 430EX on sale to partly fund the 600s I just bought. 
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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 01:37:12 AM »
How does max zoom on the flash head help if the flash is firing inside a softbox? Also, when you talk about 'raising the shadows' it sounds to me like you're talking about using flash for fill, whereas I'm talking about overpowering the ambient, e.g., using strobe as key and sun as fill (part or all).

Good we talked about that :-p ... you're correct, I'm talking about fill as the op didn't specify what this requirements are.

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 09:33:43 AM »
Just wondering how does my 430EX-II fit into the system now. Will it work with the RT System or will I have to limit it as an optical slave?

The 430EX II will fit in nicely...if you need a paperweight or a doorstop.  :o


I just picked up my second 600EX-RT during the recent Adorama $420 sale.  Now I'm experimenting with different two and three flash set-ups including my 430EXII.  I can use the 430 as a third flash if I use the 600 as an optical master.  I have an OC Gear 32' ETTL cable, so can use my "on-camera" master, off-camera as Syl Arena describes in his book.  This works pretty well, essentially giving me the ability to actually use the master to provide more than fill light.  Of course, including the 430 means I can't use the superior radio triggering with all its advantages. 

Eventually, I'll get a third 600EX and either a ST-E3-RT or the Yongnuo equivalent, but I'll work with what I have for now.  I'll hang onto my 430EXII to use on-camera when I want to bounce flash and don't want to mess with multiple speedlites. 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 11:59:13 AM by bholliman »
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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 09:33:43 AM »

J.R.

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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 01:36:22 PM »
Just wondering how does my 430EX-II fit into the system now. Will it work with the RT System or will I have to limit it as an optical slave?

The 430EX II will fit in nicely...if you need a paperweight or a doorstop.  :o


I just picked up my second 600EX-RT during the recent Adorama $420 sale.  Now I'm experimenting with different two and three flash set-ups including my 430EXII.  I can use the 430 as a third flash if I use the 600 as an optical master.  I have an OC Gear 32' ETTL cable, so can use my "on-camera" master, off-camera as Syl Arena describes in his book.  This works pretty well, essentially giving me the ability to actually use the master to provide more than fill light.  Of course, including the 430 means I can't use the superior radio triggering with all its advantages. 

Eventually, I'll get a third 600EX and either a ST-E3-RT or the Yongnuo equivalent, but I'll work with what I have for now.  I'll hang onto my 430EXII to use on-camera when I want to bounce flash and don't want to mess with multiple speedlites.

Thanks ... That was my impression also. I've sold the 430ex earlier today. I will get another 600 if the need arises.
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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 06:04:51 AM »
Just wondering how does my 430EX-II fit into the system now. Will it work with the RT System or will I have to limit it as an optical slave?

The 430EX II will fit in nicely...if you need a paperweight or a doorstop.  :o


I just picked up my second 600EX-RT during the recent Adorama $420 sale.  Now I'm experimenting with different two and three flash set-ups including my 430EXII.  I can use the 430 as a third flash if I use the 600 as an optical master.  I have an OC Gear 32' ETTL cable, so can use my "on-camera" master, off-camera as Syl Arena describes in his book.  This works pretty well, essentially giving me the ability to actually use the master to provide more than fill light.  Of course, including the 430 means I can't use the superior radio triggering with all its advantages. 

Eventually, I'll get a third 600EX and either a ST-E3-RT or the Yongnuo equivalent, but I'll work with what I have for now.  I'll hang onto my 430EXII to use on-camera when I want to bounce flash and don't want to mess with multiple speedlites.

Thanks ... That was my impression also. I've sold the 430ex earlier today. I will get another 600 if the need arises.

In this day and age of built in radio tx the 430 EX II is starting to look less useful. Unless you only use one flash in ETTL on camera only, it kinda blows. Been thinking about selling mine too. My Yongnuo flashes are just way more useable.
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Re: Benefits of a 600RT system ...
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 06:04:51 AM »