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Thread: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

  1. #1

    Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Hello all
    I wonder if I could have some advice about an on-camera flash transmitter unit compatible with the Canon EX430 mk I speedlight. I own the latter and would like to experiment with off-camera flash. Rather than using wires I hoped I could use a wireless transmitter unit. I know that other flashes such as the EX580 have built-in transmitters to control the EX430 as a slave, but I don't want to buy a second speedlight just to control my existing one. I also don't want to buy a pair of (eBay style) transmitter/receiver units, nor the dedicated and very expensive Canon ST-E2 unit, I want to make use of the receiver built-in to the EX430 with a smaller cheaper affair.
    Can someone recommend a unit that will attached to the hotshoe of the camera (EOS 550D) and control the flash wirelessly using the flash's own built-in receiver, please?
    My budget is around 20.
    Thanks in advance,
    Daniel
    Last edited by dc197; 9th September 2013 at 07:38 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Hey Daniel, I don't know everything about flash, but I've done a fair bit of off camera work.

    I don't think I entirely understand what you're looking for, so let me make sure I have a few things straight:

    1) The 550D is NOT capable of firing an off board flash with it's pop up flash. So that's not an option.
    2) I don't know if you are, or are not interested in something like this : http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Yongnuo-RF-60...item51b1958464
    3) You don't want to buy another Speedlite.

    Since #1 is not a viable option, and #3 is more expensive (although I can almost guarantee that when you get into off camera flash, you're going to want a second, and then third, and then fourth Speedlite), #2 is really your best option, inexpensive, but at a loss of ETTL.

    There is option #4, which I know you also said you wouldn't like, but I have one, and love it. Use it all the time for studio work, not so much for out door, or on location shooting:http://ocfgear.com/cords-for-canon-e...rd-extra-long/ - AND, you'll get ETTL.

    Doesn't seem like much of a help, in fact, I'm pretty sure I've just reiterated what you've already wrote!!! But, I think these are some of your only options.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    You should try this: The Yongnuo RF remote trigger.
    I have the version for Nikon and it works with my Nikon D60, D90 and my new D7100. Only US$32, definitely within your budget.
    http://www.amazon.com/Yongnuo-RF-603.../dp/B0099SGFZI

  4. #4

    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Thanks for the replies.
    Andrew, you have understood correctly.
    With option 2, that's almost what I want, but I want only half of it. I want only a transmitter, and want to make use of the EX430's built-in receiver.
    I will consider option 4, on your recommendation, but will see if I can find another brand that's cheaper.

    Yauman, does the device you suggest transmit ETTL data, or can it only be used in manual?

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by dc197 View Post
    Thanks for the replies.
    Andrew, you have understood correctly.
    With option 2, that's almost what I want, but I want only half of it. I want only a transmitter, and want to make use of the EX430's built-in receiver.
    I will consider option 4, on your recommendation, but will see if I can find another brand that's cheaper.

    Yauman, does the device you suggest transmit ETTL data, or can it only be used in manual?
    Not sure about this, but the ads don't state the Yongnuos transmit ETTL data, so assume manual only (not surprising given the price). As for using the flash's internal receiver, not sure you'll find that: too complicated to get the protocol right, only to sell less and more expensive units...

    But, does your flash have an optical slave? in that case, you can use the pop-up flash to trigger it (and use some foil to block direct light to your subject, by reflecting it to the side or upwards).

    @Andrew: I suppose you mean that the on-board flash can't fire another flash using ETTL? Afaik, using the popup to fire a manual flash is only depending on the flash having an optical slave unit...

  6. #6
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post
    But, does your flash have an optical slave? in that case, you can use the pop-up flash to trigger it (and use some foil to block direct light to your subject, by reflecting it to the side or upwards).

    @Andrew: I suppose you mean that the on-board flash can't fire another flash using ETTL? Afaik, using the popup to fire a manual flash is only depending on the flash having an optical slave unit...
    The 430EX II does not have an optical slave - and the XXXD model of camera the OP suggests he has, is not capable of using the pop up flash to trigger the flash he has. For the Canon system, an appropriate Master is required to fire the 430 flash.

    The Yongnuo units are great - I have 4 of them. They work quite well, in fact I've even tested them to the limits of they're distance recommendations, but they do NOT transmit ETTL. Only manual.

    Daniel, the OCFGear cord that I recommended is fantastic - it is expensive, but I think you'll find it is that way because it's the only non-coiled one on the market. Of course, options like this are available: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/TTL-Off-Camer...item19e1ba00a8

    But the coiled cords drive me crazy! Hope that helps - although it's probably not the answer you're interested in hearing!

  7. #7
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    The built-in receiver of the 430EX (Mark I) can only be mastered with the following units:

    Speedlights:
    600EX-RT (in light-based mode)
    580EX II
    580EX
    550EX
    Metz 58 AF
    Nissin Di-866
    Yongnuo 568EX II
    90EX

    Triggers only:
    ST-E2
    Yongnuo ST-E2 clone

    The big advantage of these triggering methods is that you maintain the full communication of the hotshoe protocol between the camera and the flash, and nearly everything you can do with the flash on-camera, you do with the flash off-camera. This is why they're so much more expensive. The feature set and convenience can be higher than with manual-only triggering.

    However, these triggers are light-based (with the exception of an ST-E3/600EX-RT combo but that's really expensive), and typically require line of sight and a smaller, enclosed, lower-light setting (i.e., inside a room) to work really well. Think of it as being similar to using a television remote. Outside in bright sunlight on location, the range and line of sight requirements become much stricter (without bounce surfaces and with the light possibly overpowering the flash signalling). And you cannot place solid objects between the flash's sensor panel and the signalling flash burst (i.e., place the light behind a door, or outside).

    Which is why we like radio triggers. Radio triggers are not line-of-sight or range limited in the way that light-based triggering is, and tends to be much more robust and reliable. However, most radio triggers (like the RF-602 or 603 triggers) can only communicate two signals: the one to fire, and the one to wake up. All the other functions, such as eTTL (i.e., auto mode for your flash), HSS, etc. cannot be communicated. And, even if you had a menu-commandable speedlite (which the 430EX Mk I isn't) you will have to change settings directly on the flash's back LCD, rather than from the camera menu.

    There are some radio triggers that allow for full protocol communication, but these tend to be expensive. The only cheap TTL-capable trigger I know of is the Yongnuo YN-622C, but this relies on using the in-camera flash control menu to command the flash's functions, and with a Mk I Canon EX speedlight, you only get HSS and eTTL-II; not remote power/zoom/setting/mode control. These triggers, however, are still higher than your budget.

    For 20, the only solution I can really come up with are the super-cheap manual-only triggers, like the Yongnuo RF-603s, or a "dumb" optical trigger that attaches to the hotshoe of the flash. This would be manual-only, and you'd probably have to have the capability of putting the pop-up flash of your camera into manual mode (not all dRebels let you do this). This is a very stupid trigger. It works along the lens of "see a flash burst--fire the flash"; and can be set off by ANY flash burst, and has all the same weaknesses of the built-in optical firing system.

    This is just my advice--feel free to ignore it--but you really want to put aside a bit more budget for a good triggering system if you're going to get into off-camera flash. Equipping yourself with lighting gear is a LOT like equipping yourself with lenses: you get what you pay for, and going supercheap may end up being more expensive as you'll end up having to replace it with better gear down the line.

    Lastly, most of the current Canon camera bodies have master units in the pop-up flash. If you were planning on upgrading your camera body soon, anyway, there may be no need to purchase a separate master unit if you pick up, say, a 600D/60D/7D body.
    Last edited by inkista; 27th September 2013 at 10:48 PM. Reason: typos.

  8. #8

    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by dc197 View Post
    Yauman, does the device you suggest transmit ETTL data, or can it only be used in manual?
    The Yongnuo 603 wireless trigger is manual only. For ETTL you need the more expensive YN622.

    I have 4 of the 603s and while they are manual only they do have one function that the YN622s don't. The 603s can be used as a remote shutter release. Very useful when you want to avoid any vibration caused by pressing the shutter button. I have one 603 mounted on camera with the shutter release cable plugged into the camera, one on each of my two flash units and one in my hand, used as the remote shutter release.

  9. #9
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Of the three bargain triggers that you'll often see recommended, the Yongnuo RF-602, RF-603, and Cactus V5, the Cactus V5 might be the best choice.

    The RF-602s are the cheapest, but have separate Tx/Rx units, and the Tx unit uses a very weird battery. They also use a proprietary three-pin Olympus connector for sync cables, so you have to buy them from Yongnuo directly. Channel selection is done with tiny dipswitches, and the foot that goes on the camera hotshoe has no locking ring (not a big deal, since the transmitter is small and light, but it can fall out).

    The RF-603s are transceivers that can be purposed as either Tx or Rx units, and use standard AAA batteries, and 2.5mm minijack sync connectors, so you could build your own cables with parts from Radio Shack. However. Like the 602s, the on/off switch is placed awkwardly where it's hard to reach once the flash is mounted. You're still using dipswitches for channel selection, only now they're in the battery compartment, and there's no locking ring for the unit that will act as Tx on the camera. This is a much bigger deal, however, because the RF-603 has a pass-through hotshoe, so if you want to have an on-camera flash on top of the RF-603, it can be VERY unstable. Also, the units switch into Tx/Rx mode automatically by sensing a signal on a TTL pin on the camera hotshoe. This means the units cannot be used in hand to trigger flashes (say, for metering), and that they cannot be used on multiple brands of camera gear if you shoot multiple systems--the TTL specific signal has to be there. However, as was stated above, they can be used as a shutter remote, as can the RF-602s and the Cactus V5s.

    The Cactus V5 triggers are also transceivers and use AAAs. But they have locking rings on their feet, and a hannel selection dial. They have a Tx/Rx switch on them, so can be used on any ISO-compliant hotshoe (i.e., across brands), and the on/off switch is easily reachable with a flash mounted on top of an RX unit. They also use a 3.5mm minijack sync connector, which means you don't need different connectors on either end of the cable with studio lights, which also typically use a 3.5mm minijack.

    The YN-622Cs not only give you TTL and HSS, but they use AAs (so you don't have to carry two different types of batteries for your triggers and flashes), have their on/off switch on the side, channel selection buttons, and locking rings on the feet. And the sync connector is a PC [Prontor-Compur] port [headdesk].
    Last edited by inkista; 27th September 2013 at 10:49 PM. Reason: typo. wide -> side.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by dc197 View Post
    Thanks for the replies.
    Yauman, does the device you suggest transmit ETTL data, or can it only be used in manual?
    It manual mode only. I use it with my Vivitar thyristor old style flash which I usually use in off-camera setup.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    For 20GBP, your best bet might be eBay or used gear. I went a little nuts with my triggering system and flashes, but I use the crap out of everything. If you want TTL, you definitely need to save up. I use a trio of Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 E-TTL compatible radios, and they rock, but they were about $145 apiece off eBay. My MultiMax manual trigger was $100, very used, at a local camera store. I use all four radios for main & rim light triggering at derby bouts, and for some really fun remote camera setups. Pocket Wizards can be pricey, but they're excellent. At the moment, their cheapest radio is the Plus X, which is simple, but quite powerful (1600ft range) for a $100 (new) trigger.

    Some photogs use Canon cameras with Nikon flashes. Many of them have built-in optical slave eyes, which will fire the flash when it sees another flash. This would let you use your pop-up flash to fire everything in manual mode. However, if you don't want to sell the 430EX, Flash Zebra makes a range of optical slave trigger circuits that plug into Canon sync ports. I believe the 0118 model is what you need. I've been meaning to get some of these to mess around with. At $16 apiece, they're dirt cheap. Rugged, and they don't need dedicated batteries. Could add an interesting option to my kit, and might be the solution you're after. But sadly, wireless TTL is impossible for 20GBP.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    ... Flash Zebra makes a range of optical slave trigger circuits that plug into Canon sync ports. I believe the 0118 model is what you need.
    Lex, the 430EX and 430EXII do not have a sync port. The OP needs a hotshoe-adapter and the green-based Sonia slave. At which point, the price gets very close to cheapie manual radio triggers.

    I've been meaning to get some of these to mess around with. At $16 apiece, they're dirt cheap. Rugged, and they don't need dedicated batteries. Could add an interesting option to my kit, and might be the solution you're after.
    I use them, but they're something of a pain in the butt being even less sensitive than the Canon built-in wireless system in some cases. They also will absolutely NOT ignore a pre-flash, so if you have a dRebel model older than a T3i, you can't use it, because you can't put your pop-up into Manual mode, and there's a forced pre-flash. Given that the OP hasn't stated which camera body is being used...

    But sadly, wireless TTL is impossible for 20GBP.
    However, it would only take 56 to get a pair of YN-622C triggers. Which is why I mentioned them and recommended saving up for triggers. If you're not a pro, then PocketWizard reliability may not be something you require, and cheap-as-chips Yongnuo could be a way to go. The main problem with using the YN-622c triggers, however, is that you really do need to have a Digic III or later Canon body with the flash control menu AND a menu-controllable flash (MkII EX units or, say, a YN-568EX) to take full advantage of the feature set.
    Last edited by inkista; 11th September 2013 at 10:53 PM.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Lex, the 430EX and 430EXII do not have a sync port. The OP needs a hotshoe-adapter and the green-based Sonia slave. At which point, the price gets very close to cheapie manual radio triggers.
    Important point. Thanks. Why the heck would Canon manufacture a mid-range flash with manual settings, but no sync port?
    Last edited by RustBeltRaw; 13th September 2013 at 01:21 PM.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    Important point. Thanks. Why the heck would Canon manufacture a mid-range flash without manual settings,
    Ummm... you mean with manual settings? Although the 420EX didn't have manual settings, come to think of it.

    ... but no sync port?
    Because that's what Nikon does, too? The SB-600 and SB-700 also lack sync ports.

    No, the REAL head-scratcher was why the 550EX and 580EX didn't have sync ports. It was only rectified with the 580EXII. Of course, Canon's lower-end dRebels and current XXD models (60D/70D) don't have sync ports, either. [eyeroll].

    There are reasons to go to Radio Shack, get out the soldering iron, and just make your own damn sync ports out of 3.5mm mono minijacks. I can now use a green-based Sonia slave with my 580EX.

    Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I
    Modded YN-560 and 580EX with 3.5mm minijack sync ports.
    Last edited by inkista; 12th September 2013 at 07:17 PM.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    There are reasons to go to Radio Shack, get out the soldering iron, and just make your own damn sync ports out of 3.5mm mono minijacks. I can now use a green-based Sonia slave with my 580EX.
    Kathy Li, you're awesome!

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Kathy Li, you're awesome!
    Yes. Yes, I am.

    But this is what happens when you hang out too long on the Strobist and POTN: you start thinking pulling out a soldering iron and modding your flash gear is a perfectly normal thing to do...

    p.s. If you're in the US and want to do this to a 580EX, but don't want to solder, Len at FlashZebra sells an already-modded foot assembly.

  17. #17
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Ummm... you mean with manual settings?
    Yes, I do. Corrected. Thanks for the (failed) sanity check.

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista
    There are reasons to go to Radio Shack, get out the soldering iron, and just make your own damn sync ports out of 3.5mm mono minijacks. I can now use a green-based Sonia slave with my 580EX.
    I would like it on record that Kathy is a boss. The electromotive Force is strong with this one. I did the same thing with my camera sling after getting pissed at an off-the-shelf version. Mine's the most overbuilt device since the Russians made nuclear-powered icebreakers.

    Didn't realize that so many speed lights lacked sync ports... Wonder how that got through the planning process at Nikon, Canon, and Yongnuo. I guess they didn't anticipate the revolution in off-camera flash with speed lights.

  18. #18
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    I would like it on record that Kathy is a boss. The electromotive Force is strong with this one.
    Yesterday, I was but the learner...

    I did the same thing with my camera sling after getting pissed at an off-the-shelf version. Mine's the most overbuilt device since the Russians made nuclear-powered icebreakers.
    Pictures!!

    Didn't realize that so many speed lights lacked sync ports... Wonder how that got through the planning process at Nikon,
    Actually, Nikon has PC sync ports on all its high-end flashes and never let them go.

    Canon,
    Ah. This I point firmly at the difference in philosophies of Canon and Nikon. Nikon remains backwards compatible for as long as possible, so their system adopters can put faith in the longevity of their gear. Canon, otoh, likes to be forward-think bleeding-edge and could give a rat's ass about backwards compatibility (e.g., FD/FL -> EOS mount, RT flash). They probably removed the PC sync ports once they built in the wireless eTTL system, thinking it was such GREAT tech nobody would possibly ever want to go corded again...

    and Yongnuo.
    With Yongnuo, I figure it always comes down to cost. That said, every YN flash I've ever purchased has a PC sync port and the other feature Canon's been really dumb not to include: dumb optical slave modes. All of the hardware needed to accomplish this already exists in the Canon flashes. You will note, Nikon flashes still have SU-4 mode.

    I guess they didn't anticipate the revolution in off-camera flash with speed lights.
    I don't think anybody knew the wave that was coming when David Hobby started blogging in 2006.
    Last edited by inkista; 13th September 2013 at 09:16 PM.

  19. #19
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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista
    Pictures!!
    I'll put a thread together to explain the details.

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    Re: Flash - Master transmitter unit for EX430 mk I

    for Canon ETTL I flashguns I use the Hanell Tough transmitters. These retain ETTL so cut flash when sufficient for exposure, but do no do so proportionally, though adding a nd filter in front the flash achieves better modelling.
    For canon ETTL II the hanell viper are better, but do not work with series I flashguns.

    Another option is to get the small low powered canon flashguns such as the 90X can also control the slave flashguns.

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