update on Canon 580ex flash units

well the deeper i delve into this situation with our flash units and trying to learn something new. brian at B&H video was right when he said ‘learning studio flashes are easier than learning canon flash units.’

the canon flash units are Infrared ‘IR’ units which need to have a line of sight in order to work. that’s why they didn’t talk to each other shooting through my softboxes. so in order for me to get them off camera and use ETTL i need to use the 2′ extension that canon sells as OC-E3 $70.00 which i have. but it does limit my off camera axis, then there is line of sight limitations.

so i called a friend of mine who now owns a 5D Mll and pocket wizards and asked how he’s been shooting these days. well it seems his problems are between his pocket wizards and the 580exll causing radio interference and the work around from pocket wizards is to add an interference sock to the 580exll.

now it seems to me that ‘pocket wizards ll, $170″ are the state of art for wireless radio control. that is until other people got involved such as ‘radio popper, $249‘ an and a chinese company selling on ebay  the CTR-301 P $25, and maybe a few others i don’t know about. doing a google search today wasted most of the day reading but hey learning something new isn’t too much of a waste. also i hear the paul buff’s ‘commander series $250′, and ‘cybersync, $90’ works on the canon series but haven’t talked to them yet.

some of the radio slave problems seem to be how to attach them to the various flash units but i understand some of the companies are working on that. but it’s always a good idea to have some gaffer tape along, ya never know when it’ll come in handy.

the 580ex flash units won’t work with these slaves unless they have a hot shoe connection adapter because no sync cord connection as the 580ex ll does. this is a dark jungle this world of flash. keep your eyes and ears open before you move, this next step could cost you.

but back to the meat of the 580ex flashes. don’t expect them to work in the direct sun light as the bright sun overpowers the infrared sensors and makes the ST-E2 transmitter canon sells for $220 useless as are the sensors on the flashes. when you’re developing products in the dark, these things happen.

now i am just learning how to use these flash things but you’d think that canon photographic engineers might know something about how the cameras are used and by whom. who are these ‘photographers of light’ and what planet do they live on? can they speak outside of photo expo stages?

i know there was a problem with the 5D Mll over the 5D using second curtain external flash as the 5D Mll improved
the system so this function is disabled using non canon flash units. canon service reps told me they couldn’t design a camera system for other flash units. i guess petty cash funds are limited at lake success and there are no camera stores on the long island.

but there is a workaround for second curtain sync. as with all problems someone comes up with a solution too bad it’s not the manufactures. need and answer? google it. there are discussions on photonet and a few cool videos on vimeo and other groups.

yes i know to find the right answer you could spend all day learning things you never knew, or how to ask the questions  you never knew  existed  and waste a whole day doing it.

oh if you’re interested in learning more about the 5D Mll software issues and solutions you might want to view magic lantern.

just sharing another wasted day with you, oh it’s dark outside so it must be night. where’d it go?

jene youtt, nyc


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