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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Apr 2010 (Monday) 14:43
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Optically Triggering 580EX II?

 
Two
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Apr 05, 2010 14:43 |  #1

Question from a noob,

is it possible to trigger a 580EX II using the flash of light
from another flash?

I have a buddy whose camera has a pop up flash and thought
that it would be cool if I could trigger my 580EX II with the
burst of light from his pop up flash and add some light to his
photos.

Thanks,

Tony.




  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 05, 2010 14:45 |  #2

Short answer No. The canon wireless system uses visible light/ near infra red as a trigger but that would require the use of a master flash, st-e2 transmitter, or a 7D with built in controller. But if you are thinking just as a plain old optical slave unit, no dice.




  
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jjmucker
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Apr 05, 2010 14:46 |  #3

I believe the pop up flash from the 7D allows you to do this.
as well as some of the other obvious choices.

Canon ST E2
Canon 580 Ex Mark I and Mark II


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jjmucker
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Apr 05, 2010 14:47 |  #4

He beat me to it :)


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Apr 05, 2010 14:51 |  #5

You can't do it natively (unless you use the ST-E2 or a 7D, or another speedlight as already mentioned), but you can plug this into the side and trigger it optically (manual mode only!)

http://flashzebra.com/​opticalslaves/0100.sht​ml (external link)

Watch it though - the pop up flash may be firing pre-flashes, which will optically trigger the 580ex a little too soon - premature flashing, if you will ...


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Two
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Apr 05, 2010 15:07 as a reply to  @ pcj's post |  #6

Fellas, thanks for all the advice!

Since my buddy's camera is a Point and shoot (and he's really
handy with that thing), i have to use some sort of optical
method to fire my flash. The flash zebra thingy looks like
the ticket. And if I'm reading it right, it's only 12 bucks
plus shipping. Looks perfect for playing around with my
idea. Too cool.




  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 05, 2010 15:24 |  #7

Two wrote in post #9938024 (external link)
Fellas, thanks for all the advice!

Since my buddy's camera is a Point and shoot (and he's really
handy with that thing), i have to use some sort of optical
method to fire my flash. The flash zebra thingy looks like
the ticket. And if I'm reading it right, it's only 12 bucks
plus shipping. Looks perfect for playing around with my
idea. Too cool.

Can his point and shoot be adjusted manually? If not, its not going to meter/account for the additional light from the 580. The additional flash may either blowout the scene, or cause the camera to underexpose depending on how the P&S meters.




  
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Apr 05, 2010 17:33 |  #8

gonzo,

my game plan involves some trial and error. I figured that I'd
play with the manual output of my flash until we find a combo
that works. For me, that's part of the fun factor.

I hope that this is possible. am I being naive?




  
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pcj
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Apr 05, 2010 17:41 |  #9

Two wrote in post #9938960 (external link)
gonzo,

my game plan involves some trial and error. I figured that I'd
play with the manual output of my flash until we find a combo
that works. For me, that's part of the fun factor.

I hope that this is possible. am I being naive?

It's possible, it'll just take a while to do trial and error - a light meter would help (it'll tell you what to set your camera at when you fire the flash in full on manual mode).

Personally, thats what I did for some time. When I shoot with *just* the 580, I use ETTL and let the camera figure it out. When I shoot in the studio, I switch the 580 to manual and use a wireless trigger (just a radio wave version of the optical plugin that I linked to above), I meter and am happy.


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Apr 05, 2010 17:52 |  #10

Same here on the ETTL mode. Modern electronics + software = nice deal. I usually use the 580 mounted on my hotshoe. I've got a 3 foot (or so) cord to get it off camera when I'm feeling adventurous.

That buddy of mine with the P&S was showing me a few things the other day. He was
taking a macro shot and i asked him why he wasn't using his flash. He said that because he's
so close to the subject, the pop up flash goes right over the subject. That's when I started
thinking that it'd be cool if I could set my 580 on manual and play around with having it
optically triggered.

Since this is a hobby for both of us, i thought it would be fun to see what we could come
up with. Fun stuff.




  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 05, 2010 20:47 |  #11

ettl wont work because there is no communication with the camera. The P&S unless it has manual control is going to recalculate each time it shoots. You would think if nothing changes in the scene it would act roughly the same each time, but there is no guarantee of that. So even testing it and adjusting may not yield dependable and repeatable results.




  
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Apr 05, 2010 21:20 |  #12

I just ordered the Flash Zebra photocell along with the Sync Port Shoe (external link) because my 430EX II doesn't have a sync port. I tested it using my onboard flash to trigger it, and it works like a champ. I'm sure that if you try this outside on a bright day, you may get less than stellar results though.


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Apr 06, 2010 06:47 |  #13

Thanks for the heads up. Regardless how it turns out, it'll be fun trying.




  
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Optically Triggering 580EX II?
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