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Canon Speedlight 270 EX as a macro off camera flash?

Rising Star


I´m considering to buy tomorrow, a second hand unit for a nice price (+-50,00 USD) of the older Canon Speedlight 270 EX (not the version II) as a macro off camera flash?

The bounce head feature seems a nice way to use for my macro subjects (for bounce light) or direct light with the flash upside down/belly up firing to my subjects directly.

My question is this:




can I use this older unit with a flash cord?

(This flash isn´t capable of wireless/infrared communication. So only with a ETTL cord I guess).



which Canon cord should I use?


As an example you can check macro DYI rigs using both 270EX and 270EX II unit.

Mine will be the older 270EX (version I)


My macro rig is Canon 5D Mark III+Canon MP-E 65mm macro and 100mm L macro.

Thank you very much for your help.





Yes, any OC-E3 type ETTL cord will give you a very good setup for Macro flash using any "EX" compatible flash. You don't need much power from the flash due to the close working distances involved. 


The link you provided is excellent evidence of this. 

Mike Sowsun

Thank you very much Mike for the help.

This version "I" of the 270EX isn´t capable of wireless work or with other units but I guess that for a "one-flash solution"+natural light/or with a reflector could work for extreme macro situations like x5 magnifications where natural light isn not enough.

I cannot put this unit too far from the camera, neither use it as a slave but maybe the use of it is just like those macro rigs from the link.

One point in favour; I think I can control it with the camera menu even if its not the 270EX version "II".

Thank again for the cord info.

Yes, the 270EX is fully compatible with your 5D Mk III's flash menu. 

Mike Sowsun

5D Mark III 😉


Any "Off Camera" OC-E? cord will do the job. They allow exactly the same function as mounting the flash directly in the camera's hot shoe. I use OC-E2 and OC-E3 interchangeably.


The only significant difference between OC-E2 and OC-E3 is the way the end locks onto the shoe... the E2 uses a "dial" type fixing mechanism you tighten, while the E3 uses a lever mechanism. The E3 was redesigned to be more water/dust resistant, at the same time as the 580EX, 430EX and some other flashes were intro'd with a similar mounting foot.


Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories


I have the original "Off camera Shoe Cord" that also works just like the OC-E2 (Off camera Shoe Cord 2). They are nearly identical except for some minor differences in the "foot".



Mike Sowsun

Thanks a lot Mike .-)