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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 11 Nov 2017 (Saturday) 10:20
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If 430EX ii do not optically trigger ... what speedlites will ???

 
mdvaden
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Nov 11, 2017 10:20 |  #1

Presently I'm a newb to optical triggering, having mostly relied on Phottix Odin, or in the past Canon's ST E2. For some reason I was under the impression that my Canon 430EX ii could also fire by sensing light, but either am mistaken or haven't figured it out. I don't find the manual completely helpful for my way of understanding.

Some months ago, I watched a video where a guy set off an array of about 1 dozen speedlites for effect, apparently using light to trigger. It looked like something I would like to start experimenting with, provided it can be done without buying more wireless receivers.

What affordable brands of speedlites can fire as a slave acquiring just pulse of light?

I also have two Flashpoint 360s but haven't dug into the manuals on those lights yet.


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Bassat
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Nov 11, 2017 10:25 |  #2

The 430EX II will fire as a slave if mastered by any Canon optical system.


Tom

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MalVeauX
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Post has been last edited 7 days ago by MalVeauX. 2 edits done in total.
Nov 11, 2017 10:29 |  #3

Canon doesn't have optical slave built into their flashes, at least, to my knowledge that I remember. They use Canon's wireless/encoded stuff when setup as slaves.

Flashpoint R2 series (Godox) are equivalent quality and have optical slave as an option. Cheaper too.

I think your Flashpoint Streaklight 360 can be used as optical slave too (with preflash ignore turned on, etc).

Very best,


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mdvaden
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Nov 11, 2017 10:30 |  #4

Bassat wrote in post #18493956 (external link)
The 430EX II will fire as a slave if mastered by any Canon optical system.

So ... not that I have Yongnuo ... but if I did, and put one on my camera, that means the 430EX ii wouldn't fire? But they would if just using something like a 580EX ii?

Even if I need to get more flash, I'd like units that would trigger from a light pulse of any flash detected.

My understanding is very shallow along these lines, but if other units can work that way, I could use a Phottix Odin to trigger my 2 Canon 430EX ii's if those in turn could trigger another brand.


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DaviSto
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Nov 11, 2017 11:02 |  #5

MalVeauX wrote in post #18493960 (external link)
Canon doesn't have optical slave built into their flashes, at least, to my knowledge that I remember. They use Canon's wireless stuff when setup as slaves

Syl Arena (Speedliter's Handbook) is categorical that they do. Are you ready to call Syl out?


Comment and (constructive) criticism always welcome.

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MalVeauX
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Nov 11, 2017 11:10 |  #6

DaviSto wrote in post #18493984 (external link)
Syl Arena (Speedliter's Handbook) is categorical that they do. Are you ready to call Syl out?

Optical slave?

Optical slaves can be triggered by any light source. I'm pretty sure Canon's implementation of this is that there is a master flash and slaves and they're encoded signals, but that the slaves are not true optical slaves. Canon's system will only work with Canon and Canon-clones for their triggering via flash (encoded). They're not true optical slaves. Canon's system is not the same, even though it does use light as a trigger. There's a difference.

Very best,


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DaviSto
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Nov 11, 2017 11:17 |  #7

MalVeauX wrote in post #18493986 (external link)
Optical slave?

As mentioned, I might be wrong. But the original question was to be setup as an optical slave. I'm pretty sure Canon's implementation of this is that there is a master flash and slaves, but that the slaves are not true optical slaves. Canon's system will only work with Canon and Canon-clones for their triggering via flash. They're not true optical slaves.

Very best,

No ... they work as optical slaves. The master unit emits a pre-flash that transmits the required settings for the slave unit. The slave then fires with the main unit. It's clever ... far more clever than is now probably required given the ubiquity of cheap wireless triggers.

Check out Syl. He's 'the man' when it comes to Speedlites.


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Wilt
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Nov 11, 2017 11:18 |  #8

The confusion can arise because the term 'optical' can be used ambiguously.


  1. Classically 'optical trigger' means that a unit detects a sudden increase of light intensity and interprets that as the output of another flash unit...this is what many/most
    studio flash units can do (but NOT Canon speedlights)
  2. Canon speedlights used IR encoded optical signals to send eTTL signals from a Master to a Slave, and the settings you input with the master unit attached to the camera are
    also automatically transmitted to the slave units which are controlled by the master unit via wireless IR...Canon 430EXII
  3. Most recently Canon speedlights use radio signals to send eTTL signals from a Master to a Slave, and the settings you input with the master unit attached to the camera are
    also automatically transmitted to the slave units which are controlled by the master unit via radio transmission...Canon 430EXIII-RT

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Bassat
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Nov 11, 2017 11:19 |  #9

Before Canon came out with the radio system of the 600EX RT, all of their EX units were capable of being slaved to EX slaves. The list of slave includes: 270 EX & II, 430 EX & II, 550EX, 580 EX & II, and probably others. The 550EX, 580EX, and 580EX II could be used on-camera as masters. So far, I've used the gear listed to do just that. Some cameras can also act as masters: 7D, 60D, 70D, 80D, 7D2. I've used the first three as optical masters. Canon also makes some optical master that mounts on the camera hot shoe. I've never used that.

None of this is compatible with any other system, such as Godox, YN, Popper, or anything else that I know of. The Canon works very well indoors, over short distances. It IS NOT limited to line-of-sight functionality. Again, I've used the Canon optical flash master/slave system extensively.

For larger rooms, or outdoors, I rely on YN 622c and -TX systems. Also, excellent gear. And again, not compatible with Canon's optical flash control system.


Tom

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Bassat
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Nov 11, 2017 11:21 |  #10

There is some confusion about Canon's 'optical' system. It is NOT controlled by the red-plastic covered AF assist light. It is controlled by a very quick, encoded flash from the same WHITE light that lights your scene milliseconds later.


Tom

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OceanRipple*
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Post has been last edited 6 days ago by OceanRipple*. 2 edits done in total.
Nov 11, 2017 11:23 |  #11

Yes, before 'RT' that is Canon Wireless over Radio . .

there was Canon Wireless over Light/IR.

So 'Ex' & Ex II Speedlites had 'Optical' (ie Light/IR) but it was strictly proprietary Optical - not simply the fire-in-sync-generic-optical. Canon Wireless Light/IR type always had one or many Pre-flashes which complicated things further.

If the OP can stick with Radio (My Odins are still brill), that is usually more reliable. 'Simple Optical' can work well but 'line of sight' & bright ambient conditions can easily confound simple optical.

You can source add-on simple Optical triggers for Speedlites - BUT, Canon EX Speedlites are extremely picky about which they will work with. Lon's Flashzebra site used to be brill for this stuff . . .

(Edit: Still is:
http://www.flashzebra.​com/products/0272/inde​x.shtml (external link))




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Bassat
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Nov 11, 2017 11:34 |  #12

OceanRipple* wrote in post #18493996 (external link)
Yes, before 'RT' that is Canon Wireless over Radio . .

there was Canon Wireless over Light/IR.

So 'Ex' & Ex II Speedlites had 'Optical' (ie Light/IR) but it was strictly proprietary Optical - not simply the fire-in-sync-generic-optical. Canon Wireless Light/IR type always had one or many Pre-flashes which complicated things further.

If the OP can stick with Radio (My Odins are still brill), that is usually more reliable. 'Simple Optical' can work well but 'line of sight' & bright ambient conditions can easily confound simple optical.

You can source add-on simple Optical triggers for Speedlites - BUT, Canon EX Speedlites are extremely picky about which they will work with. Lon's Flashzebra site used to be brill for this stuff . . .

Misleading at best.

Canon's optical control slave/master system is butt-easy to use. It most certainly does NOT require line-of-sight visibility to work well indoors. I've been using about 5 or 6 years. It has never failed to fire a remote flash in any situation I've set it up for. That said, working withing its limitations is required.

More reliable is debatable. My Canon system works every time I use it. How do I get a system that is more than 100% reliable?

If you are going to add a flash control system, IMHO, you'd be hard-pressed to beat the YN-622 system for the money.


Tom

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mdvaden
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Nov 11, 2017 11:55 |  #13

MalVeauX wrote in post #18493960 (external link)
Flashpoint R2 series (Godox) are equivalent quality and have optical slave as an option. Cheaper too.

I think your Flashpoint Streaklight 360 can be used as optical slave too (with preflash ignore turned on, etc).

Very best,

I just tested my 360's with the 430EX ii's. The Flashpoint set to "SLAVE 1" did fire optically. But I haven't delved into "preflash" yet.

If the 430EX ii is set on "M" / Manual mode, is it's flash fire WITHOUT a pre-flash?


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Bassat
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Nov 11, 2017 12:00 |  #14

mdvaden wrote in post #18494024 (external link)
I just tested my 360's with the 430EX ii's. The Flashpoint set to "SLAVE 1" did fire optically. But I haven't delved into "preflash" yet.

If the 430EX ii is set on "M" / Manual mode, is it's flash fire WITHOUT a pre-flash?

The 430EX II can only be used as a slave. Set it to ETTL, and SLAVE, and control it with whatever flash or camera is doing your control. None of the Canon systems work without a pre-flash. The first pre-flash reads the scene and determines output on all of the slave units. The second pre-flash is sent to control the slaves. The third flash (if there is one) is the exposure flash. They are indistinguishably simultaneous. You'll never see the pre-flashes unless you have your master set to NOT contribute to the lighting.


Tom

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DaviSto
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Nov 11, 2017 12:04 |  #15

mdvaden wrote in post #18494024 (external link)
I just tested my 360's with the 430EX ii's. The Flashpoint set to "SLAVE 1" did fire optically. But I haven't delved into "preflash" yet.

If the 430EX ii is set on "M" / Manual mode, is it's flash fire WITHOUT a pre-flash?

I'm not the authority on this ... but, as I understand it, the 430EXii cannot act as a master unit within the Canon Speedlite ecosystem. It will, however, fire any generic flash unit set in optical slave mode (all it takes is a bright flash and the slave units will pop). But, if the Speedlite is firing a pre-flash for ETTL purposes, there is a significant risk they might fire too soon.

I think you will be OK if the 430EXii is in manual mode ... because there will then be no pre-flash to confuse the slave units. But EVERYTHING will have to be set up manually. The 430EXii will not operate as optical controller for any make of flash gun.


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If 430EX ii do not optically trigger ... what speedlites will ???
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