July 31, 2014, 10:42:50 PM

Author Topic: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....  (Read 2467 times)

Chuck Alaimo

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to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« on: July 03, 2014, 01:09:18 PM »
hmmmm.  I think I have posted a similar topic in the past, but, now i am looking back and forth at 2 shopping carts and am hesitant to pull the trigger....

I love using off cam light.  I currently have 2 430's and 1 600rt - and am using the cactus v5 triggers (which gotta say they work great for really cheap triggers.   I would like to add at least one more flash to the mix.  If i did add another flash, I am down 1 trigger.

note: I have been pushing myself to understand manual flash operation, to the point that now even if i am using flash on camera i am using manual mode.

so my options are - the cheapest path:

Option 1:  buy another set of V5's and one of these - http://scottrobertla.com/2014/04/27/strobie-230/ (that would be about $250

Option 2:  I have been considering switching to the phottix stratto II's - that plus one of the cheap flashes above would run me around $500

Option 3:  But, b&h does have a pretty sweet deal right now on a set of 2 600's with the st-e3 transmitter for $1190...

So i have the ultra cheap just get the job done method, the close to cheap but not overboard method, then the ok that's double what i was gonna spend method.

I do kind of like the idea of the st-e3, even if i keep shooting in manual mode.  thinking all those little adjustments that need to be made, being able to do that on the transmitter would be great.  But is that convenience enough to  call fort he switch?  (ok, this isn't a total switch because the 430's could then be used with the v5's).

the last option is the most likely to induce GAS though (lol, if it's that good then i will probably be swapping out the 430's and adding more 600's....lol).  hmmmmm

first option is the simplest though....and yeah it's kind of hard to say no to it...and I could add the forth option of going with another set of cactus v5's and make the 4th flash be a 600 (leaving me with 2 600's)..  that would cost about as much as option 2....and give me a few more options (I do roll with 2 bodies, so 1 body could be totally off camera, then the other could be 600 on and 600 off, kind of the best of both worlds...)

So, I am just gonna post this, then see what imput I get and make a decision later on today...lol
Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

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to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« on: July 03, 2014, 01:09:18 PM »

Random Orbits

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 01:35:24 PM »
The 600s + ST-E3 is a sweet setup.  That would give you 3 600s with the one you already own, which will be good for many setups.  Depending on how much time you can wait, you might want to check out the refurb store when the units are on sale and see how they compare to the price you're considering now.

It's nice being able to change the different power levels (or ratios) from the camera rather than fiddling with power settings on each flash (in a modifier) esp. when used outside and the light is changing due to clouds, etc.

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 01:41:19 PM »
The 600s + ST-E3 is a sweet setup.  That would give you 3 600s with the one you already own, which will be good for many setups.  Depending on how much time you can wait, you might want to check out the refurb store when the units are on sale and see how they compare to the price you're considering now.

It's nice being able to change the different power levels (or ratios) from the camera rather than fiddling with power settings on each flash (in a modifier) esp. when used outside and the light is changing due to clouds, etc.

both are why i am seriously considering the 600 deal - then, down the line i can either sell off the 430's and keep an eye on the refurb/used market for slightly cheaper 600's.  LOL....that's the hard part, I have been real good at keeping my GAS under control this season - in fact this has been the year of seeking out inexpensive add-ons which make a hugh impact (quad flash bar for lightstand - variable nd filter, vid light...)  Going the 600 routs leads to me just wanting more 600's....lol...
Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

YuengLinger

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 01:45:12 PM »
If you are agonizing over the decision, you don't need the gear.

How much use have you gotten out of the setup you have now and like?

Hard, though, to go wrong for any other reason.

privatebydesign

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 01:47:23 PM »
Chuck,

Looking at your gear signature I'd say bite the bullet and get the all RT setup. With the 5D MkIII you get full RT capability and as you already have one 600 and you are not using its true potential the B&H kit will really take it up a notch.

I pontificated for a while over the 550EX and Odin setup but went for four 600's and the ST-E3-RT, I am glad I did.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 02:01:11 PM »
I have three 600's and an ST-E3.  Powerful, flexible, reliable, easy to use.  Highly recommended.
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Chuck Alaimo

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 02:05:59 PM »
If you are agonizing over the decision, you don't need the gear.

How much use have you gotten out of the setup you have now and like?

Hard, though, to go wrong for any other reason.

naw...those that know me here know that I almost always do this before plonking down the $$$...lol...I am a capricorn, so I tend to over-analyze buying decisions!

I do use the current setup quite a bit though --- here's a recent wedding shot using the variable nd filter and three off cam flashes on the quard bar.  :D  so in practice - I really can't at all knock the cactus system - starting my 3rd season with them now, bought 5, only one has died on me (and one other took a fall on the lightstand and ripped off the top hotshoe mount, still works to transmit though!)....
Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 02:05:59 PM »

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 02:09:49 PM »
Chuck,

Looking at your gear signature I'd say bite the bullet and get the all RT setup. With the 5D MkIII you get full RT capability and as you already have one 600 and you are not using its true potential the B&H kit will really take it up a notch.

I pontificated for a while over the 550EX and Odin setup but went for four 600's and the ST-E3-RT, I am glad I did.

gotta update the gear sig actually!  lol.   the more I ponder, the more i like the idea of being able to change the settings right on the transmitter.  I know most who have the system love it.  and it's not even the cost of the current package that is holding me up...it's that I know it means I'll want an extra st-e3 and and other 600 if i go that route...so spending $1200 now means spending another $800 later....lol
Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

Runnerguy

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 03:35:27 PM »
I would get that and even had it in my kart but will have to wait till funds allow ,I have 1 600rt and a 430ex so far.

notapro

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 03:56:45 PM »
I'm with neuro, privatebydesign, and Random Orbits on this one.  Get the 600/ST-E3-RT setup.  Everything about the reliability and power of the system is true, and the convenience of making adjustments from the camera/transmitter is wonderful.

Dylan777

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 04:04:04 PM »
I have three 600's and an ST-E3.  Powerful, flexible, reliable, easy to use.  Highly recommended.

+1

600ex-rt qty:5
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AWESOME...can't go wrong. No studio lights needed.
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privatebydesign

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 04:47:36 PM »
Quote
"AWESOME...can't go wrong. No studio lights needed."


Whilst I really like the flexibility of the RT system and it works very well for me 90% of the time there is no doubt it doesn't come close to even modest "studio" lights for power. Personally I think, as always, Neuro has a very good collection with a decent Canon RT setup and an Einstein or two.

Personally if Canon don't come out with a true 1Ds MkIII upgrade soonish my camera budget is going on the Prophoto B1 Airs, more than six times the power of a 600 for less money, you have to work hard to make a Prophoto seem good value!  :)
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dexstrose

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 04:55:37 PM »
Something to also consider, an Einstein with cyber commander. You can use the Einstein to take pictures in full sun instead of using your quad holder that wouldn't have enough power. You can also use the Einstein for fill in a medium sized venue and your 600 on top of your camera. This is what I want next.

I have two 600s and ste3, I found that group mode is awesome and I don't have to keep manually changing my flashes on my umbrella or soft box. I can change within seconds on the ste3 which is a time saver. You can pick ettl, manual or both in group mode if you like.

I don't use the RT setup everyday, but when I do, it never lets me down. No problems on flash exposure or wireless connection.

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 04:55:37 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 05:12:50 PM »
Quote
"AWESOME...can't go wrong. No studio lights needed."


Whilst I really like the flexibility of the RT system and it works very well for me 90% of the time there is no doubt it doesn't come close to even modest "studio" lights for power. Personally I think, as always, Neuro has a very good collection with a decent Canon RT setup and an Einstein or two.

Personally if Canon don't come out with a true 1Ds MkIII upgrade soonish my camera budget is going on the Prophoto B1 Airs, more than six times the power of a 600 for less money, you have to work hard to make a Prophoto seem good value!  :)
Indeed ;)
Without With your advice prior my purchases of 600ext-rt, I feel 3units of 600ex are enough for my needs at home. I went with 5pcs due to Adorama special sales. Be able to mount the 600ex flashes on cameras at the event is quite special.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 08:42:32 PM by Dylan777 »
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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 05:23:51 PM »
Reconsider what you're trying to accomplish.  Are you looking to add more light sources to a frame, or are you looking to add more power?  If the latter, you may want to look at the Einstein in the post above, or the Profoto B1.  Yes, they are more than what you're looking to spend right now, but both of them offer up a lot more power and light shaping options than ganging together more speedlites.
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Re: to 600rt + st-e3 or not....
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 05:23:51 PM »