Master flashes vs slaves


gardna

Senior Member
Apr 17, 2013
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#1
Sorry keep asking about flashes..


Anw, just asking..
Canon said that only the 580/600 series can be used as master right?
the rest(270, 320, 430) all only as slave.


but i actually used a 90ex on my 6D and it actually fired off the 600EX.

So my question is, is the master function in the flash or the camera? Given that i can even control A:B:C on the camera body using the 90ex, i can just use a simple 90/270 on board to fire off the more expensive flashes right??


Or am i wrong?
 

gardna

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Apr 17, 2013
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#2
Turns out the only 90ex can be used as master, my 270 ex cannot


Really suprised
 

one eye jack

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Jun 11, 2011
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#3
Turns out the only 90ex can be used as master, my 270 ex cannot


Really suprised
I'm surprised too given 270 has EX designation!

Please don't confuse yourself again...haha. 550/580/600 can be used as master or slave because they have built-in reciever (as slave/ optical "wireless"). Definition of master is on-camera flash that is on camera hotshoe or even off camera via extension. Slave is any flash not connected to hotshoe. In the old film days slave flash is activated by trigger "master" flash's light output being recieved by slave's light triggered slave attachment on slave hotshoe.

I would think the actual control would be in the camera as the " master control center" since camera
need to communicate with flash. Canon 90EX has multiple flash control capabilty so it's not surprising you can trigger the other flashes but whether it has e-TTL2 or wireless optical reciever to work as slave, I'm not sure with regards to auto exposure or it has only on flash exposure sensor.

www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-90EX-Speedlite-Flash-Review.aspx
 

gardna

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#4
what does EX mean? haha


the 90 ex is basically a 550/580/600. Minus zoom capability(fixed 24mm), either no second curtain or HSS, cannot dont fire, no RT, cant remember the rest.


Thats what im understanding.. i read somewhere that its like killing of their st-e2 which only can control A:B (whereas 90ex can control A:B:C.
Just like a upgraded st-e2 i think, imo?
 

one eye jack

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Jun 11, 2011
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#5
what does EX mean? haha


the 90 ex is basically a 550/580/600. Minus zoom capability(fixed 24mm), either no second curtain or HSS, cannot dont fire, no RT, cant remember the rest.


Thats what im understanding.. i read somewhere that its like killing of their st-e2 which only can control A:B (whereas 90ex can control A:B:C.
Just like a upgraded st-e2 i think, imo?
EX means canon's current flash technology having features like E-TTL2 metering and wireless slave flash triggering, etc. Actually models like 430EX -600EX qualify as in the catagory in addition to 90EX as wireless trigger/transmitter.
 

gardna

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Apr 17, 2013
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#6
Surprising thing is that 90ex cant receive...

270 got ettl II metering and can receive signal no?
 

thoongeng

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Jan 26, 2010
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#8
I haven't played with Canon flashes for some time, hope my information is updated enough (I did google first) and if any errors hope the masters can help to point out.

In Canon terminology Master / Slave is for their ETTL system. When you press the shutter of your Canon camera, the 'Master' flash fires a few pre-flashes (and also instructs the Slaves to fire pre-flashes) which are detected by the camera, which does the TTL calculations, then sends the information of the flash power needed to the Master which then sends the information to the Slaves as additional pre-flashes before they all flash together.

So the 'Master' is in the flash. Those that can work as master can be used to control and fire off slaves. Some examples that work as Master is the Canon EOS 70D's built in flash, ST-E2, 90/580/600 EX flashes.

Canon Slaves have an optical sensor to detect the pre-flashes, then fire the flash together with the Master only (from what I know they don't act as 'dumb' slaves in that they don't flash whenever another flash fires). Slaves still flash even if set in Manual power mode, as the 'Manual' just refers to the flash power set manually, but it still detects the signal from the Master when to fire the flash.

'EX' designation just mean that the Canon system can communicate with the flash, doesn't indicate other capabilities

Hope this helps to clarify. I suggest you read up on the Canon flash system if you need to do more advanced stuff, like Syl Arena's 'Speedliter's Handbook' (I feel easier to understand), or NK Guy's book / website (http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/)
 

thoongeng

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Jan 26, 2010
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#9
Surprising thing is that 90ex cant receive...

270 got ettl II metering and can receive signal no?
90EX has Master control capability because it can fire the needed pre-flashes, but it does not have the optical sensor so can't be slave.

270EX/430EX was not given the ability to do the pre-flash stuff so cannot be Master, but does have optical sensor so can be Slave
 

gardna

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Apr 17, 2013
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#10
my comment on the 270 was because one eye jack mentioned why it was given the EX naming even though it was lacking in a few features, but small matter =)



i think we are just suprised that the 90ex was given the master mode and not just a standalone glash for the eos M line up (pre eos m3/m10) when they had no built in flash.



Anw, just wondering, do you guys use control the flash settings on the flash itself or on the body? (lets say the 580/600 where control can be done on either)
 

Mar 10, 2007
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#11
The 90EX is not really similar to its bigger brother. When configured for wireless control (i.e. acting as the master) it does not fire as a flash. It is operating more like the ST-E2 In this mode.

For control, I prefer to use the camera body as I don't have to walk around to change the setting. I have since decided to use 3rd party radio triggers these are more versatile (do not rely on line of sight) and also have a more friendly configuration screen - no need to switch the camera body display to view the various menus and options (live view, Q etc).
 

gardna

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Apr 17, 2013
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#12
doesnt fire meh? i see in the camera that it cannot dont fire. Unlike the 580/600 where they can switch off and send only the signal but they still come out abit of light, presumably to trigger only i guess? unless the 90ex does that too.. Of course, unless im confused with what the "fire" and "dont fire" mean



you use radio trigger mean i guess you dont use the 600rt(whichever brand)?
 

Mar 10, 2007
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#13
doesnt fire meh? i see in the camera that it cannot dont fire. Unlike the 580/600 where they can switch off and send only the signal but they still come out abit of light, presumably to trigger only i guess? unless the 90ex does that too.. Of course, unless im confused with what the "fire" and "dont fire" mean



you use radio trigger mean i guess you dont use the 600rt(whichever brand)?
From the EX90X manual page 15:
During wireless flash shooting, the 90EX fires to control the slave flash but does not fire as a flash.

You can see the EX90 'flash' but this is actually the optical signal that is used to trigger and control the slaves.

I use radio trigger for as I have different branded flash - Nissin, Canon and even a Canon EZ series which I use in manual mode.
 

gardna

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Apr 17, 2013
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#14
haha icic, i stand corrected


any reason why you choose different brand? or just happen to be what you have?
 

Mar 10, 2007
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#15
any reason why you choose different brand? or just happen to be what you have?
I wanted the flexibility to trigger in manual flash mode even for 3rd party strobes or cheap manual strobes. My set can trigger E-TTL for EX 580 and Nissan Di 866 and manual trigger my EZ 560 using different groups settings. Works like a charm and cheaper too.
The downside is that you will need lots of batteries :(. If I use the configuration above, I will need 20 AA batteries in total.
 

gardna

Senior Member
Apr 17, 2013
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#16
i presume you mean nissIn? haha


So let me try and understand..
You want to trigger some flashes in ETTL and some in manual? am i right?
So in your above post, how many flashes and how many triggers do you use?
 

Mar 10, 2007
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#17
i presume you mean nissIn? haha


So let me try and understand..
You want to trigger some flashes in ETTL and some in manual? am i right?
So in your above post, how many flashes and how many triggers do you use?
Your are right - Nissin.

The number of flash units depend on the lighting configuration you want to set up. I seldom use more than 2 flash units. I play with multiple flashes mainly to try out the lighting configuration. When shooting, I prefer to use available light and use flash for filling in only.
 

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