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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 May 2013 (Sunday) 00:57
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PW Flex TTL w/580EXII vs w/430EXII vs upgrade to 600EX-RT

 
sacral
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May 05, 2013 00:57 |  #1

I'm looking to upgrade my flash system and OCF triggering system. Currently, I have 3 x 580 EX II (which I love), and two different triggering systems: the ST-E2 transmitter (which has a built in focus-assist - AWESOME), as well as Elinchrom universal skyport transceiver system.

I like the ST-E2 and master/slave setup with the 580 EX IIs d/t the fact that it transmits ETTL-2 data to the OCF. However, I hate the fact that it is infrared, requires line of sight, and does a crappy job outdoors.

I like the elinchrom system because it is extremely reliable and triggers pretty much every time d/t the radio frequency transmission rather than IR. However, it's more "stuff" to deal with, and can only be used in manual flash mode.

I've been thinking about getting the Pocketwizard system (Flex/Mini), but after several hours of research, I'm seeing that the 580EX II needs to be modified to reduce RF interference, and that this particular PW system is unreliable with the 580 EX II. HOWEVER, I've also seen many articles stating that the PW are MUCH more reliable with the 430EX II system, which would be somewhat of a downgrade from the 580 EX II.

I've also been looking at the newer 600 RT system. Does anyone have experience with this new system of flashes? Reliable? Consistent? Worth selling all 3 of my 580 EX II for 2 x 600EX RTs? Would eventually like to have 4 flashes in total. I've also read that the new hotshoe trigger from canon (ST-E3-RT I think) does NOT have a focus assist beam built in, which is ridiculous in my opinion.

I've NO experience with the 600 RT system...


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SMP_Homer
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May 05, 2013 06:52 |  #2

Love the PW - 403EX2 combo, and love the PW - Alienbees combo
Had 5 flashes at one point, but when 4 bees came in, I got rid of some flashes

If you're never going to want to mix, may as well go to the new Canon stuff... I'm going to convert all flashes to the 600 - will work with the PW stuff, but there are times when something more portable is needed...


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sacral
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May 05, 2013 08:33 |  #3

SMP_Homer wrote in post #15899100 (external link)
Love the PW - 403EX2 combo, and love the PW - Alienbees combo
Had 5 flashes at one point, but when 4 bees came in, I got rid of some flashes

If you're never going to want to mix, may as well go to the new Canon stuff... I'm going to convert all flashes to the 600 - will work with the PW stuff, but there are times when something more portable is needed...

More portable? I sort of had the feeling that the 600EX-RT system would be the ultimate in portability, since it's really minimal gear to deal with. PW + canon flashes are just more things to deal with.


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4g63photo
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May 05, 2013 10:26 |  #4

I was in the same shoes three weeks ago. I was aout to buy the pw. I stumbled accross the phottix odins. Have you lookes into those?


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May 05, 2013 10:31 |  #5

Check out the yn622c. There's a huge thread here about it. It's awesome for relatively little money. Also works great for mixing w other types of strobes.



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May 05, 2013 11:08 |  #6

losangelino wrote in post #15899611 (external link)
Check out the yn622c. There's a huge thread here about it. It's awesome for relatively little money. Also works great for mixing w other types of strobes.

This^

If I was starting tomorrow, this is what I'd get. They'll do everything your current radio triggers and more, including allowing the focus assist from the STE2. You can use cheaper TTL guns as well, so if you want to experiment with loads of flashes off camera (use in banks) then you can get a bunch of YN flashes too.


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klr.b
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May 06, 2013 02:43 |  #7

Modifying your 580exII flashes to work with third party triggers makes absolutely no sense to me. Neither does downgrading to the 430exII flashes just to use Pocket Wizards. The 430exII will eventually be replaced by Canon as well.

I agree with the last few posters. Take a look at the Phottix Odins or the Yongnuo YN622C triggers. Those should both work with what you have. If you feel like upgrading, then the 600EX-RT look great.


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djlb
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May 06, 2013 04:41 |  #8

I had 4off 580EX2 and 3off PW FlexTT5/AC3

Sold the lot and bought 4off 600EX-RT and a ST-E3-RT

the 600 system is quicker to work with and more consistent.
also it's less units to carry and set-up

for me, speed is important




  
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sacral
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May 06, 2013 09:45 |  #9

djlb wrote in post #15902066 (external link)
I had 4off 580EX2 and 3off PW FlexTT5/AC3

Sold the lot and bought 4off 600EX-RT and a ST-E3-RT

the 600 system is quicker to work with and more consistent.
also it's less units to carry and set-up

for me, speed is important

I'm of the same mind I think. less stuff to worry about and carry.

Looks like i've made up my mind...damn it's expensive though.


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May 06, 2013 11:44 |  #10

I went with the yn-622's and haven't looked back. Plus I can use them on other flashes or my strobes.

And still buy a new lens. (a pair of 622s run about $90 vs pw pair is ??)


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Deanhedges
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May 06, 2013 20:01 as a reply to  @ ksbal's post |  #11

I had 580exII's with the Odin system, worked.

I sold it all for 600EXRT's and STE3RT. Why? Less parts, less batteries, less possible failure points.

The 600's won on speed and reliably, my main needs.

With the 600's you will GIVE UP RADIO 2nd curtain sync and zoom settings.


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May 06, 2013 20:32 |  #12

Deanhedges wrote in post #15904764 (external link)
With the 600's you will GIVE UP RADIO 2nd curtain sync and zoom settings.

Since you're using a 5D2, this may be true. There are allegedly a few features of the 600EX-RT that won't work with Canon models manufactured before 2012. I had a 5D2 and three of the 600EX-RT speedlights and was worried I was missing out on key features like HSS and being able to shoot at max sync speed...but both of those were just fine with my 5D2. After I upgraded to the 5D3 I was very happy to be able to use my on-camera flash in E-TTL and my remote flashes in Manual or E-TTL. However, using the 5D2 with three of the 600 EX-RT units was a great combination and I never regretted selling all my Pocket Wizard gear (three of the TT5 units and an AC3 Zone Controller), which I used with my 580 EXII units, always wondering if everything was going to work (I had about a 50% failure rate with that setup). One thing I have noticed, however, is that my 600EX-RT units do seem to eat batteries a lot faster, and they also seem to overheat a lot faster (than my 580EXII units did).


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sacral
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May 27, 2013 13:19 |  #13

Update: will be receiving 3 x 600EX-RTs in the mail this week. Will see how things work with the 5DmkII, check consistency of color, etc. I considered the yn-622s, but have read a lot of inconsistency of flash as well as color shifting, etc.

We'll see...


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Trailboy
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May 27, 2013 14:34 |  #14

sacral wrote in post #15972440 (external link)
Update: will be receiving 3 x 600EX-RTs in the mail this week. Will see how things work with the 5DmkII, check consistency of color, etc. I considered the yn-622s, but have read a lot of inconsistency of flash as well as color shifting, etc.

We'll see...

My 622s have been extremely consistent with 580exIIs.

How can a trigger cause colour shifting?




  
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sacral
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May 27, 2013 16:18 |  #15

sorry misunderstood, thought you were talking about the speedlights, not the trigger.


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PW Flex TTL w/580EXII vs w/430EXII vs upgrade to 600EX-RT
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