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Registered: ‎08-18-2015
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Shooting 430 EX II remotely with 6D

Okay, after searching around I know this question has been asked a lot. And I have gotten some very worthwhile information. However, I have not seen an answer to a simple question that still has me baffled. When shooting the 430 EX II remotely with a 6D, is a receiver and transmitter required or just the transmitter? Is it only in certain cases both are required? Please help!

 

Also recommendations of equipment that'd help would be appreciated.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,854
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Shooting 430 EX II remotely with 6D

The 430EX II is capable of being an "optical" slave (that's builtin... no additional accessories are required provided it is being used with a Canon "master").  It cannot be a "master".  This means it will function as an off-camera flash provided it has "line of sight" to notice the on-camera "master" trigger the flash.

 

The 6D camera body doesn't have a "trigger" built-in (the 6D does not have a pop-up flash).  

 

As for the "master" (trigger), you can use either:

 

  • ST-E2 Speelite Transmitter (this unit functions as a "master" but is not actually a flash.  It also has a focus-assist beam to help focus in the dark.)
  • 600EX-RT - This is Canon's flaship flash.  It can be a trigger or slave.  It can also work optically or via radio. It also has a focus-assist beam builtin.
  • 90EX - This is a very small, low power flash, but it can function as an on-camera master to trigger a remote slave flash

There are also third party products that can act as a trigger and receiver.  Some are expensive -- and there are some more basic units which are fairly inexpensive (but don't support E-TTL -- the flash would work as a "manual" flash.  Canon's system supports full E-TTL capabilities.

 

The 430EX II will be more reliable if you point the lower body to face the on-camera trigger (and then take advantage of the swivel head to point the head wherever you need the light.) 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,973
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Shooting 430 EX II remotely with 6D

[ Edited ]

@Coolhandnico wrote:

Okay, after searching around I know this question has been asked a lot. And I have gotten some very worthwhile information. However, I have not seen an answer to a simple question that still has me baffled. When shooting the 430 EX II remotely with a 6D, is a receiver and transmitter required or just the transmitter? Is it only in certain cases both are required? Please help!

 

Also recommendations of equipment that'd help would be appreciated.


Your least expensive option to use your 430EX wireless (optically) off camera is the Canon 90EX flash.

 

From Alternatives to the built-in flash: EOS 6D 

 

Wireless flash: Speedlite 90EX as a Master Unit
 

Perhaps Speedlite 90EX's most compelling possibility to the serious EOS 6D user is its ability to act as a "master unit" to trigger off-camera EOS speedlites. Using traditional optical-based technology, this makes the Speedlite 90EX the smallest, lightest and least-expensive "master flash" option – far less expensive than a Speedlite 600EX-RT would be, and significantly less than the traditional Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2.

Using the External Flash Control menu on the EOS 6D, a Speedlite 90EX as a master unit can perform the following with off-camera slave units within approximately 23 feet (5m) indoors:

 

  • Control up to three groups of slave units (A, B and C), or fire them all at even power
  • Control an A:B ratio over a 6-stop range... 8:1 ~ 1:8 lighting ratios, controlled in 1/2-stop increments
  • Provide choice of 4 channels, to avoid setting off another nearby Canon EOS shooter's wireless flashes
  • Trigger slaves to fire with high-speed flash sync (note: the Speedlite 90EX itself cannot fire with high-speed sync, but as a master unit, it can signal compatible slave units to do so)

So compared to those Canon EOS cameras with built-in flashes that can also function as master units for Wireless E-TTL, a Speedlite 90EX is a very interesting and certainly affordable way to mimic this built-in flash functionality. It's the only compact EOS speedlite that has master flash capability (keep in mind, the Speedlite 90EX cannot be used off-camera as a "slave unit"), and thus is an intriguing alternative (or addition) to a Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 or high-end flash for master unit operation with Wireless E-TTL.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 790
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Shooting 430 EX II remotely with 6D


@Coolhandnico wrote:

Okay, after searching around I know this question has been asked a lot. And I have gotten some very worthwhile information. However, I have not seen an answer to a simple question that still has me baffled. When shooting the 430 EX II remotely with a 6D, is a receiver and transmitter required or just the transmitter? Is it only in certain cases both are required? Please help!

 

Also recommendations of equipment that'd help would be appreciated.


The key question is "how remote?"

 

If not too far off-camera, you also could use a cord. Canon makes a coiled Off-Camera-Shoe-Cord that can allow the flash to be on a flash bracket or up to a couple feet away. I don't know if they still make it, but there used to be a five or six meter straight wire connector, too, I think... But I seem to recall it required some sort of hot shoe adapter. You also can get custom cords made (Google "Paramount Sync Cords"... they can make just about anything you might need). All the above can provide ETTL control of the flash.

 

Or, if using the flash fully manually only, you probably can find some sort of simple PC sync cord for the purpose, if the 6D has a PC sync socket... or via a hot-shoe to PC sync adapter if it doesn't.  (Paramount also makes custom PC sync cords with the Canon style connector if needed, in any length you want.)

 

I wasn't aware that the 90EX could act as a master, too (I learn something every day!) I know the 550EX, 580EX, 580EXII and 600EX all can. You have the option to dial these on-camera flashes way down or even turn them off completely, so that only the off-camera flash is providing light. The trick with these "master" flashes and the ST-E2 master/controller module is that they communicate optically. The red panel on the receiving flash (your 430EX) and the red panel on the controlling unit (any of the above) must be able to "see" each other to communicate. This somewhat limits placement of the off-camera flash to line-of-sight only locations.  All these can control multiple off-camera flashes, in up to three separate groups, if wanted. (Note: The MT 24EX Twin Lite macro flash also can control multiple off-camera flashes... not sure if the ML 14EX Ring Lite can, too, I'll have to look sometime.)

 

Your 430EX, and the other 400- and 300-series flashes can only act as slaves, in an off-camera setup using the optical method. They cannot serve as the master/controller unit. AFAIK, few or none of the 200-series flashes can act as slaves... maybe just the 270EX II? I know for certain that none of them can act as master/controllers.  

 

I seem to recall there was a radio/optical hybrid control option, too... being made by Paul C. Buff or one of the other lighting manufacturers. This involved a transmitter in the camera's hot shoe that uses radio signals to comminicate with a receiver that's strapped to the flash, which in turn converts the radio signal back to an optical signal the flash can understand. I haven't used these and think they were rather expensive, but they would give some semblance of ETTL flash control (not sure if it's full ETTL or not). 

 

If able to use the flash in strictly manual mode, there are simpler and, in some cases, less expensive radio triggers from Pocket Wizard, Radio Popper and others. Some of the really cheap Chinese knock-off radio transmitter/receiver rigs might work, too (Yuongnuo?). Just look for models with a hot shoe built into the receiver. But, again, these are purely triggering devices so there would be no ETTL flash control. It would be a strictly manual flash setup. Trial and error exposure setup might be possible... just set your camera's max flash sync shutter speed (1/200?) or slower, then fiddle with aperture and ISO until you get an acceptible exposure. A flash meter would be ideal... faster and likely a lot more accurate. (Personally I use Sekonic L358, Minolta IV and Minolta IIIF flash meters... but there are others from Sekonic, Gossen, Kenko, Polaris/Shepard and others.)

 

***********


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
FLICKR & EXPOSUREMANAGER 

 

 

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-18-2015

Re: Shooting 430 EX II remotely with 6D

Thanks for suggesting the ST-E2! There are plenty of used ones for sale for very cheap considering how handy it will be. I think that'll be my best investment especially getting more speedlights going forward. THANK YOU!

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