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Archive 2012 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC ...
  
 
mahgnitton
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


Hiya I recently bought a Canon 580EX II Flash to use with my Canon 5D Mk II , because the 5D doesn't come with an inbuilt flash I can't use the 1 speedlite as an off camera flash so I have 2 options available..

1 Buy a wireless flash transmitter which is expensive for a Canon ST-E2 or a minefield finding a third party transmitter thats reliable or even works with the speedlite..

2 buy a Hot shoe with PC cord + some door bell wire/crimps to extend the cord for under 5 GBP

I'm not a full time profesional photographer just a spare time amature getting into flash photography, I want to go down the 2nd option route but the hot shoe only has 2 contacts, on the Canon flash and camera there is also an aditional 4x pin contacts behind the main circular contact and I need to know what they are for and if I should need them, can anyone send me some advice please?

Thanks, Mark H.



Jan 02, 2012 at 01:16 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


On camera flash doesn't look natural because it's angle relative to faces is unnaturally low and shallow. The simplest and cheapest way to improve the look of your flash shots is to simply raise the flash you own on a bracket and add a diffuser..







Raising the flash source 16" creates more flattering and naturally downward modeling on faces...











Both shots above are single flash with the bracket and diffuser. For the second I stood on a chair with the diffuser pressed to the ceiling for maximum spill fill to open the shadows.

Something to consider about moving a flash off axis is where the fill for your shadows will come from. You may have noticed that when you use your 580exII in the hot shoe in portrait mode it creates dark distracting sideways shadows. Those same dark shadows will occur if you move your single flash off axis with a radio trigger or extended cord and don't create any fill.

Getting flattering "short" lighting pattern on a face as in the shot below requires two things:





First to create that pattern on the face the off camera key light must wind up 45 to the side of the nose (wherever it is pointing) which in an oblique view puts it 90 away from the camera axis...





... that alone makes the logisitics of triggering your single flash via a cord challenging and a bit risk prone. Sooner or later the camera or light will wind up on the floor. The second thing that is needed when one flash is moved off axis is fill for the shadows it creates. In the shot above the fill was provided by my Master flash on the bracket used for the single flash shots.

The Canon flash system is ideally suited to a portable solution where the Master is kept over the lens at all times with a camera-flip bracket like the basic $50 Stroboframe model I use pictured above, connected to the hotshoe via the short OC-E3 cord to retain full function of the flash. A 580ex or 580exII in on a bracket as Master can trigger a slave out to 50' indoors, which is adequate for most situations. Any two flash solution where you have independent control of key and fill will be better that a single flash off camera. I've never found the need to use radio triggers with my pair of 580ex flashes so take a look at this explanation of a dual flash solution and see if it might also work for your needs: http://photo.nova.org/CanonPracticalUsage/




Jan 02, 2012 at 03:22 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


mahgnitton wrote:
...I want to go down the 2nd option route but the hot shoe only has 2 contacts, on the Canon flash and camera there is also an aditional 4x pin contacts behind the main circular contact and I need to know what they are for and if I should need them, can anyone send me some advice please?


The two contacts are for a simple sync command; they tell a flash only when to fire. The extra contacts are for ETTL autoflash communication with Canon -- and Canon-compatible, 3rd party -- flashes.

If you know how to meter a flash and can make use of manual mode, a PC-only cable or inexpensive radio triggers are all you need.

If you want through-the-lens remote flash metering, remote High Speed Sync, or other advanced options you need an ETTL cable, an ST-E2 (or a Master-capable Speedlite), or more-expensive radio links. I use both a Master flash and a long ETTL cable (not at the same time) depending on the situation.

Here's a link to the cable I use:

http://www.flashzebra.com/products/0125/index.shtml



Jan 02, 2012 at 10:46 PM
mahgnitton
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


BrianO wrote:
If you want through-the-lens remote flash metering, remote High Speed Sync, or other advanced options you need an ETTL cable


Wow thanks a lot buddy it never crossed my mind to be looking for an ETTL cable, I'm from the UK though so import tax on the cord from that link + shipping time will be a little painfull, a quick search on Ebay uk found a few theres a 3.6m one for 16 GBP, if I do need extra length which I doubt it for the forseeable future I can splice a cat6 network cable with plugs between the shoes for quicker extension when needed.

Cheers mate.



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:50 AM
mahgnitton
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


thanks a lot cgardener, I had in mind a portrait set by strobies and possibly a reflector soon, I'm just trying to minimize the pain for my wallet as much as I can for now and slowly building up, the ETTL cord is definatly something I'm going to buy that cuts away about 100GBP from the budget compared to buying the ST-E2

Thanks for the tips buddy I'll keep them in mind



Jan 04, 2012 at 06:56 AM
paulhodson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


mahgnitton wrote:
Wow thanks a lot buddy it never crossed my mind to be looking for an ETTL cable, I'm from the UK though so import tax on the cord from that link + shipping time will be a little painful.



The Zebra one will be good quality though - I bought a Lastolite one (well 2 actually but that is another story) and it/they were crap!



Jan 08, 2012 at 12:20 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


mahgnitton wrote:
...I'm from the UK though so import tax on the cord from [Flash Zebra] + shipping time will be a little painfull... ...if I do need extra length...I can splice a cat6 network cable with plugs between the shoes for quicker extension when needed.


Yes, if you're at all handy with that kind of thing, you may be able to get good quality at a lower cost than shipping one from the USA by getting a Canon-brand OC-E3 locally (new or used), and then splicing in the network cable to that.

Here's a link:

http://vutooth.smugmug.com/gallery/7840418_BudHA



Jan 08, 2012 at 08:37 PM
mahgnitton
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


Thanks Brian for the link I'll see if I can find somewhere near me that stocks the gear I need


Jan 12, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


Do not get the st-e2 buy a at least you can control it with the 580 you have now. Buy an Etta long (30 meter) cord for less than $70 to move it off camera and you can control it from your camera's LCD screen and you have the option of Etta or manual and never leave your camera. That should be your next step.


Jan 14, 2012 at 09:07 PM
mahgnitton
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


Michael White wrote:
Buy an Etta long (30 meter) cord for less than $70 to move it off camera


Thanks buddy, yeah I have an Ettl cable now I just need to get my ass in gear and sort out extending it with cat5 cable and plugs

the one I bought has a coiled cord max 3.6m I think but so the camera doesn't pull the flash over when the cord stretches I think 1m is hopefull, if I make a cat5 cable 10m long that should be sufficient for a flash the size of the 580ex



Jan 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · dedicated wireless flash transmitter or hot shoe with PC cord?


Michael White wrote:
...Buy an Etta long (30 meter) cord for less than $70...


I'd love to have a 30 meter (98 feet) ready-made ETTL cord for $70.00. Do you have a link?



Jan 15, 2012 at 02:50 AM





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