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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 28 Oct 2009 (Wednesday) 13:39
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ST-E2 or 580ex as master for RP Setup?

 
Muskydave22
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Oct 28, 2009 13:39 |  #1

I have been thinking about getting a few more flashes and getting a radio popper setup. I know they are pricey but I think it would be worth it in the long run. Anyway, I was wondering if it would be a better idea to use a ST-E2 as the master for the RP's or a 580ex? I am leaning towards the ST-E2 because it is about $140 cheaper than a 580exII so I could save some money that way. Any help would be appreciated!!

Dave


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k_strecker
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Oct 28, 2009 14:01 |  #2

I'm pretty sure the only thing you gain with a 580EX as master is the availability of the flash On camera to act as fill, and the addition of the C group.

ST-E2 is much smaller, lighter, and cheaper . . .




  
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Muskydave22
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Oct 28, 2009 15:29 as a reply to  @ k_strecker's post |  #3

So if i have the 580ex on the camera acting as master I can have control 3 OCflashes and with the ST-E2 its only two? I never really understood canon's whole A, B, C group thing if someone can help me out that would be great!

Dave


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colormaniac
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Oct 28, 2009 17:22 |  #4

Muskydave22 wrote in post #8912810 (external link)
So if i have the 580ex on the camera acting as master I can have control 3 OCflashes and with the ST-E2 its only two? I never really understood canon's whole A, B, C group thing if someone can help me out that would be great!

Dave

With groups, you may specify the relative intensity of the flashes in each group differently, giving you various lighting effects. I don't have a 580 EX II. I heard that it can control three groups, but ST-E2 only controls two groups. However, actually if you can easily move the flashes closer or farther away from the subject, or use modifiers, even flashes in the same group may have different intensity on the subject.



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Muskydave22
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Oct 28, 2009 17:27 |  #5

Okay, so if I am understanding you right the option for three groups instead of two is not very advantageous for me since I can move the lights closer or further away from the subjects, i can get differences in light from just 1 group. Also, one more question if I fire the flashes in manual I do not need the groups correct? The groups are just used for ETTL? I would most likely be using ETTL anyway just wondering if I am understanding the groups stuff.

Dave


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colormaniac
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Oct 28, 2009 17:39 |  #6

Muskydave22 wrote in post #8913471 (external link)
Okay, so if I am understanding you right the option for three groups instead of two is not very advantageous for me since I can move the lights closer or further away from the subjects, i can get differences in light from just 1 group.

In general, yes. But I forget to add one point. While moving closer or farther away changes intensity, it may also change other things like casting harsher shadows, the degree of which depends on the kind of modifier used.

Muskydave22 wrote in post #8913471 (external link)
Also, one more question if I fire the flashes in manual I do not need the groups correct? The groups are just used for ETTL? I would most likely be using ETTL anyway just wondering if I am understanding the groups stuff.

Yes, grouping matters only in ETTL mode. As a matter of fact, the ST-E2 cannot trigger a Speedlite set in Manual mode. EDIT: wrong information about manual mode here, see #10.



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zerovision
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Oct 28, 2009 17:40 |  #7

I recommend you look up the 580EX manual online or find some info about the flash before you invest in either. I bought the 580EX II and have a 580EX and two 430EX IIs. I am still in the learning phase right now, but the 580EX II has an A,B&C. The 580EX II is the master and does not affect the lighting. The flash from the 580EX II (on camera) sends out the signal to the other three. You can set each flash to A, B or C. All slaves will have the same settings as the master. A & B can be set to opposite sides and you can control the ratio between the two with your on camera flash. The C slave, can be adjusted the output separate from the other slaves. I still haven't found out if I can use the master flash for fill with three slaves, but the 580EX II on camera allows you to make adjustments to all the slaves without have to go to each unit and make adjustments.


  
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Oct 28, 2009 17:42 |  #8

I have used both the 580EX II & the ST-E2. I would rather use the ST-E2 as the master.


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Muskydave22
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Oct 28, 2009 17:47 as a reply to  @ TheFloridaShooter's post |  #9

Hmm... I did not know the ST-E2 would not work with flashes in manual mode. Can you change the settings of each individual group from the ST-E2 like you can with the 580exII? I might have to get the flash, or I could just change the settings on the flashes.

Dave


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colormaniac
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Oct 28, 2009 18:05 |  #10

colormaniac wrote in post #8913535 (external link)
Yes, grouping matters only in ETTL mode. As a matter of fact, the ST-E2 cannot trigger a Speedlite set in Manual mode.

Muskydave22 wrote in post #8913575 (external link)
Hmm... I did not know the ST-E2 would not work with flashes in manual mode. Can you change the settings of each individual group from the ST-E2 like you can with the 580exII? I might have to get the flash, or I could just change the settings on the flashes.

Dave

Sorry. I screwed up previously. ST-E2 can trigger the Speedlite even when it is set to Manual mode.



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colormaniac
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Oct 28, 2009 18:06 |  #11

TheMissouriShooter wrote in post #8913553 (external link)
I have used both the 580EX II & the ST-E2. I would rather use the ST-E2 as the master.

Could you please share your experience? I don't have 580EX II to compare. Thanks!



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Oct 28, 2009 18:25 |  #12

There are a lot of inaccuracies here so let me try to set things straight for you all. :)

The purpose of the different lighting groups is to allow you to control the intensity of the light of each group independently of each other. For example, you can set Group A as fill light and Group B as main light (or vice versa) and then control the intensity of each group to obtain the lighting ratio you wish. The light output from both Groups A and B are metered to determine the overall flash exposure.

You can have more than one light in a group but, as the term "group" implies, those lights should be grouped closely together (relative to the subject and not necessarily physically) so that the resulting light appears as one light source.

Group C is available for lighting the background or providing rim or hair lighting. The output from Group C light is NOT used for determining the overall exposure. However, you can control the output of Group C (using FEC relative to the outputs of Groups A and B ) to make the background darker, the same or brighter than the subject lighting. (The ST-E2 cannot control Group C flashes).

If the master is in ETTL mode (versus Manual mode), the slave flash to subject distance will have no bearing on the intensity of the light hitting the subject (or the background) as long you are within the working distance of the flash. If you move the slave farther away from the subject, ETTL will just compensate by increasing the output from the flash. If you move the slave closer to the subject, the flash output will be decreased so that the light on the subject remains the same as before. What can vary the amount of light on the subject is the FEC and the A:B ratio set on the master. FEC set on the individual slaves will also affect the light output of that slave. The same applies for Group C lights.

There was mention in one of the posts that a 580EX II used as a master does not affect the lighting. That is not exactly correct. The only time this is usually true is if the master has been set not to fire. If the ISO is set very high, though, there is a good chance that the master may contribute a noticeable amount of light to the image even if it's been set not to fire.

If you are using one of the EX flashes as the master, you can have it contribute lighting to the picture. It will automatically be in Group A. If the master flash is mounted on the camera or very close to it, then it should only be used for fill lighting. If it is used as the main lighting, the result will be generally flat lighting.

Forgot one more thing. Grouping is applicable in either ETTL mode or Manual mode. Grouping is used to differentiate flash groups so that they can be controlled independently, whether the output is controlled automatically via ETTL or manually.


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Muskydave22
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Oct 28, 2009 18:59 |  #13

Wow PacAce, thanks for the great info!! Now I should ask in your opinion which would be better to use the Radio Poppers with? the 580exII because of the group C option or the ST-E2 and save some money and space?

Dave


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colormaniac
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Oct 28, 2009 20:59 as a reply to  @ Muskydave22's post |  #14

As a newbie, I may not be having completely correct understanding, but I do have a point which I would like to clarify. While I understand and agree with PacAce's explanation, PacAce's explanation kind of overlooks a minor point.

If there is one flash, it doesn't matter how far it is from the subject as ETTL will make sure that the amount of light to be the same, in order to ensure the required exposure. Changing the distance probably only change the way the light falls onto the subject. This is exactly what PacAc tried to say.

However, what I was trying to say is that, in case when there are 2 or more Speedlites (for simplicity, suppose there are two, one on the left and one on the right), even though altering the distance of the Speedlites from the subject does not affect the overall exposure, the relative brightness would still be different. Suppose the one on the right is moved farther away, everything else being equal. Then in order to maintain the same exposure, the one on the left would be a bit stronger, when the right one also gives more light. This way the overall exposure, composed of different amounts of light from both Speedlites, is still the same.

To illustrate what I said in the above paragraph, please see the results of an experiment that I just did:

There are two Speedlites, initially with equal distance from the water bottle, forming a right-angle triangle with the water bottle. In the first three pictures, ST-E2 ratio is set to be 1:1. The left one is Group A, the right one Group B. However, the distance of the Speedlite on the right is then doubled, then tripled. We can see the difference changing distance makes to the relative brightness on the water bottle, even though the overall exposure of the bottle, according to the ETTL calculation, is still the same. One noticeable difference is the shadow of the water bottle, which proves that the amount of light from the left is increasing.

Left-right distance ratio, 1:1. Left-right light ratio, 1:1.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

Left-right distance ratio, 1:2. Left-right light ratio, 1:1.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

Left-right distance ratio, 1:3. Left-right light ratio, 1:1.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


Then I set the ST-E2 ratio to 4:1, the one on the left is 4 times stronger than the one on the right. Then, again, the distance of the right Speedlite is then doubled, then tripled. Again, the relative brightness on the water bottle is changed, even though the overall exposure of the bottle, according to the ETTL calculation, is still the same. One noticeable difference is the shadow of the water bottle, which proves that the amount of light from the left is increasing.

Left-right distance ratio, 1:1. Left-right light ratio, 4:1.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

Left-right distance ratio, 1:2. Left-right light ratio, 4:1.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

Left-right distance ratio, 1:3. Left-right light ratio, 4:1.
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


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Muskydave22
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Oct 28, 2009 21:23 as a reply to  @ colormaniac's post |  #15

Thanks for clearing that up Colormaniac! I truly love this forum for all of the awesome information on it!

Dave


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