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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 06 Jan 2015 (Tuesday) 06:21
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A 550EX - a touch of nostalga

 
LincsRP
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Jan 06, 2015 06:21 |  #1

Just got around to buying a few 600EX-RTs recently and between that and clearing out a bit of stuff finds the original 550EX handbook. Then I realised I must have bought them about Nov/Dec 1998. I've had both since new and they still work perfectly.

One has a serial number of 000110 so I guess it's one of the first batch to come to the UK?

Did think about selling but changed my mind ... that's the nostalgic in me :-)

Trouble is I'm running outta space to keep them!


Steve
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OceanRipple*
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Jan 06, 2015 12:25 |  #2

You're not alone. I have a bunch of them still in perfect working order - and loving their Odin triggers on their shoes too . . .




  
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LincsRP
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Jan 06, 2015 16:41 |  #3

My problem is I buy something new and cannot sell it because I haven't had the full use (life) out of it. The 550's are mint and give me the full E-TTL that the 580's mk2 does without a hiccup.


Steve
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CanonCameraFan
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Jan 06, 2015 17:00 |  #4

My 550EX kept me in the Canon system. I started out with an AE-1P and A-1 back around '86, along with a 420EZ. Canon did such a nice job with AF technology that I got a couple EOS630's, then a EOS3 with the 550EX that was introduced along with it. Eventually I got rid of all my fancy gear (life changes - marriage, priorities...) except for that fancy 550EX flash. Hoping deep inside I would someday get another nice Canon.

Well, after a couple years of no camera (gasp!), I got a Powershot G3 which justified keeping the 550EX. An A640 after that and finally i entered the DSLR market with a couple 40D's. The 550EX still sees regular use, and brings back many fond memories of those previous bodies.


EOS 7D w/BG-E7 (3), 550EX (3), 430EX II, Vivitar 285HV, Opteka 6.5mm/3.5, Canon EF-S 10-18/4.5-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-S 24/2.8 STM, Canon EF 40/2.8 STM, Canon EF 100mm/2.0 USM, Canon EF 70-300mm/4-5.6 L IS USM, Canon 77mm 500D Macro, Tamrac 614 Bag & 787 Backpack, Crumpler 8 MDH, 7 MDH, 6 MDH
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/johnebersole/se​ts/ (external link)

  
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Bearmann
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Jan 06, 2015 21:36 |  #5

I just bought some 600EX-RT's too. I have two 550EX's, one I bought new and one I bought used from a friend some time ago. I was thinking of selling one of them, but changed my mind. They are work horses and the used price is too low for the quality. I'm going to sell my 580EX II and a LumoPro flash. I can still use them with the optical transmission of the 600's if I want. They are too sweet to part with.


Barry

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Moppie
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Jan 06, 2015 21:57 |  #6

I still use a pair of 550EX's professionally, great solid old flashes, and very predictable. They work extremely well with the Phottix Odin system as well.

I've used 580s and 600s but never seen the need to upgrade, they don't do anything I can't do with the 550s.


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LincsRP
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Jan 07, 2015 03:30 |  #7

I was watching the video clip from Syl Arena on the optical-trigger parts before he introduces the 600EX and I bet a lot of folk learnt something from that video and wondered why they had purchased a 600!


Steve
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draderusa
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Jan 07, 2015 15:17 as a reply to  @ LincsRP's post |  #8

What video clip are you referring to? Trying to imagine what Syl would say in recent years that would lead someone to choose optical triggering over radio. ;-)a


Dave
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LincsRP
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Post edited over 3 years ago by LincsRP.
     
Jan 07, 2015 16:04 |  #9

Here:

http://www.learn.usa.c​anon.com …ite_600exrt_sem​inar.shtml (external link)

Syl is not suggesting optical over radio but I bet a lot of folks didn't realise just how the optical system could be boosted. The suggestion of mirrors and white surfaces together with positioning of the slave receptors Syl explains might, I would suggest, have led the 580mk2 owners to perservere a bit longer had they had this info. I do know of a lot of 580/580mk2 users who have purchased radio systems and lost the Canon E-TTL benefits. Even indoors.

Some years ago I shot a bunch of images of a model in a graveyard (ok, I know it's a bit ghoulish) in full sun midday and the 580's worked with the 580 as Master. Didn't work with the STE-2 at all.

That said I've declined further work in graveyards ... :-)


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Moppie
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Jan 07, 2015 16:15 |  #10

LincsRP wrote:
=LincsRP;17371164. I do know of a lot of 580/580mk2 users who have purchased radio systems and lost the Canon E-TTL benefits. Even indoors.


Which is why systems like the Phottix Odin are so good, full E-TTL, or manual control, over radio from the camera.


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WillMass
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Jan 07, 2015 19:40 |  #11

I have three 550's. About a year ago two of them started acting up. Finally one died and won't power up. The other fires at full power only, no adjustments, no ETTL. When I called Canon to send them in for repair, I learned Canon no longer supported them. Seeing the writing on the wall, I bit on three 600's and later added a YN-E3-RT. I gotta say I love flexibility and control the new system gives my. I still use the one remaining 550 from time to time.


You can only fish for so long before you gotta throw a stick of dynamite in the water. :cool:

  
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Jan 08, 2015 06:37 |  #12

The YN-622C-TX/622C combo allows for remote pseudo-manual adjustment on the older Canon flashes, 550EX included. Though not terribly accurate, it's adequate for a hacker like me using a 380EX.




  
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agv8or
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Post edited over 3 years ago by agv8or.
     
Jan 08, 2015 15:45 |  #13

I have absolutely no nostalga for the 550EXs or any of the optical EX Speedlites for that matter. I started out with 550 and 420 EXs, upgrading them over the years as the 580 and 430 EX series were introduced. I still had 3 of the 550EXs left when I upgraded to the 600EX-RTs. They were good for what they did but they had many short comings and they are outdated technology.

When Radio Popper introduced the PX radio triggers I never used my Speedlites in Optical Wireless again. I have owned Phottix Odins and Yongnuo 622c radio triggers as well but all these work around, add on radio triggers create just as many issues as they address when converting the wireless optical system to radio. The 600EX-RTs are not perfect by any means but in a Speedlite only enviroment they are hands down better than any of the previous EX Speedlites.

Canon has left the 600EX-RTs and Wireless RT system wanting for more but, having the RT system built into the flash and the new <Gr> Groups mode is the game changer. Even with the short comings of the 600EX-RTs I have never once, for a second wished that I had my 550EXs back nor have I felt any nostalga for them and the antiquated wireless optical system. I am looking to the future even if that means leaving the Canon Speedlite ranks entirely and any nostalga associated with it be damned.


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LincsRP
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Jan 08, 2015 16:00 |  #14

agv8or wrote in post #17372770 (external link)
I have absolutely no nostalga for the 550EXs or any of the optical EX Speedlites for that matter. I started out with 550 and 420 EXs, upgrading them over the years as the 580 and 430 EX series were introduced. I still had 3 of the 550EXs left when I upgraded to the 600EX-RTs. They were good for what they did but they had many short comings and they are outdated technology.

When Radio Popper introduced the PX radio triggers I never used my Speedlites in Optical Wireless again. I have owned Phottix Odins and Yongnuo 622c radio triggers as well but all these work around, add on radio triggers create just as many issues as they address when converting the wireless optical system to radio. The 600EX-RTs are not perfect by any means but in a Speedlite only enviroment they are hands down better than any of the previous EX Speedlites.

Canon has left the 600EX-RTs and Wireless RT system wanting for more but, having the RT system built into the flash and the new <Gr> Groups mode is the game changer. Even with the short comings of the 600EX-RTs I have never once, for a second wished that I had my 550EXs back nor have I felt any nostalga for them and the antiquated wireless optical system. I am looking to the future even if that means leaving the Canon Speedlite ranks entirely and any nostalga associated with it be damned.

Oh. So in 1998 did you have the Phottix Odins? Did you have PW or maybe Yongnuo?

Just a thought ...


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Moppie
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Jan 08, 2015 17:47 |  #15

agv8or wrote in post #17372770 (external link)
When Radio Popper introduced the PX radio triggers I never used my Speedlites in Optical Wireless again. I have owned Phottix Odins and Yongnuo 622c radio triggers as well but all these work around, add on radio triggers create just as many issues as they address when converting the wireless optical system to radio. The 600EX-RTs are not perfect by any means but in a Speedlite only enviroment they are hands down better than any of the previous EX Speedlites.

Canon has left the 600EX-RTs and Wireless RT system wanting for more but, having the RT system built into the flash and the new <Gr> Groups mode is the game changer.


If your going to bash a product in a thread where people are being nostalgic about it, at least get your facts right.

The Radio Popper system took the Canon optical wireless system and translated into a radio signal, then back into an optical signal.
The Phottix Odin and Yongnuo systems work like the Canon RX system do, they take the ETTL signal normally passed directly between the flash to the camera through the hot shoe, and turn it into a radio signal.
As far as the camera and flash are concerned, the flash is still operating on the cameras hot shoe, even if it isn't.

Then they add extra features to it, like groups and different channels.

The Phottix Odin takes a very old, outdated flash like the 550EX and gives it the same functionality and usability for off camera work as the new 600EX-RT.


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A 550EX - a touch of nostalga
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