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Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter for Canon 580EX II, 430EX, 430EX II Speedlites

by Canon
86 customer reviews
| 20 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Wireless flash controller for the Canon 420EX and 550EX and other Canon flashes.
  • Indoor transmission range of approximately 40 to 50 feet
  • Outdoor transmission range of approximately 26 to 33 feet
  • 1,500-transmission battery life
  • Turns off after 90-second idle
5 used from $119.00

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The Canon 2478A002 ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter is a dedicated clip-on transmitter for E-TTL / E-TTL II wireless flash system. The auto flash transmitter can control an unlimited number of 420EX, 430EX, 550EX and 580EX flashes, in two separate groups; A and B. It sets and controls all functions of its slave units. The flash output ratio between groups A and B can also be adjusted from 8:1 to 1:1 or from 1:1 to 1:8. Under low-light or low-contrast conditions it emits an AF-assist beam linked to the EOS-3's 45 focusing points.

The Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 is compatible with Type A EOS cameras (E-TTL, auto flash) and Type B EOS cameras (manual flash). The ST-E2 is designed to control slaved Canon 550 EX flashes, enabling simultaneous flash use in professional settings. The wireless controller has a flash ratio control, allowing for several different A:B ratios, 1:8 to 8:1 in half-step increments, as well as slave confirmation via a test transmission button, which sets off slave A, followed by slave B, at 1/64 output.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 3.4 x 2.6 inches ; 3.5 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00004WCFY
  • Item model number: ST-E2
  • Batteries 1 CR5 batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at August 17, 2000

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Baron Williams on January 26, 2007
Straight on lighting from a camera mounted flash is unnatural and unflattering. The Canon STE2 Speedlite Transmitter is a must have item if you own a compatible Canon Speedlite (580EX/550EX/420EX/430EX). Your subject will really appreciate not having the flash pointing directly into their eyes. Plus, with the right angle, you can cast natural looking shadows that will greatly improve the look of your portrait shots. With this transmitter you can place your Speedlite anywhere you like to get the perfect lighting for the shot. It's a really great system when used with two or more Canon Speedlites. I own two Canon 430EX Speedlites that I use with this transmitter. One flash I use as the main light source is fitted with a unidirectional diffuser to soften the light. The other flash used as a fill flash is fitted with an omni-directional bounce diffuser. This transmitter allows you to easily set the balance of light between two Speedlite groups (group A and group B). You simply press a button on the back to adjust the balance. A lighted meter on the back of the transmitter shows you the balance setting. This allows you to easily balance the light between both flash groups without having to touch or move any of the flash units. Very handy! With this setup, you can create professional portrait shots with ease, and not have to worry about lugging around a bunch of heavy lighting equipment. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT!
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84 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Foster on February 23, 2007
Verified Purchase
I used the STE2 with two Canon 430EX Speedlites to do some portraits with excellent results. I mounted the Speedlites on stands with 30 inch shoot-through umbrellas using hot shoe multiclamps. I shot with a Canon 50mm f1/4 lens on a Canon 30D set to manual with a 1/60 shutter and f4 aperture. With E-TTL enabled, the flash power is automatically adjusted to obtain the correct exposure. I found the flash power to generally be right on but on the occasion I felt it wasn't, I simply adjusted the flash compensation on my camera. I did not need to meter or use a gray card so I was able to focus more on composition.

I really like the convenience of this wireless setup because there are no cables to trip over and that makes it really easy to move my lights around and try different angles. With a two flash setup, you can easily change the ratio between the two flash units on the back of the transmitter without touching anything else. This often helped me get better shots because I could quickly modify the light setup to capture a moment without stepping out from behind the camera.

I would prefer radio control but this setup is very compact and I did not have any problems with the Speedlites not firing even if they were not quite in direct line of sight. I even turned my shoot-through umbrellas around to act as reflectors, effectively blocking the line of site between the camera and the Speedlites, and they still fired so apparently there is a bit of flexibility in that line of site.

Update 5/25/2007: Although the STE2 worked well for portraits in relatively small rooms, I recently tried to use it for some wedding formals in large churches, reception halls, and outdoors and found it didn't work so well.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Ahamed B. Iqbal on March 18, 2007
First off while the name given by Amazon only lists the 580EX, 550EX and 420EX speedlites, the STE2 transmitter will also work with the 430EX.

I got this transmitter after being inspired by the potential an off camera flash can have after reading Strobist. I got two 430EX flashes to get a very portable and easy to set up lighting system.

The STE2 Transmitter allows you to control an unlimited number of flashes in a few different ways. As long as the visual signal can reach the flashes, they will fire (indoors this is easy because the signal bounces off walls).
The STE2 lets you control the relative flash output between two flashes (or groups of flashes) through a simple control on the back. For example you if you set it to 1:8 between A and B, B will get 8 times the 'power' as A.

Even without two flashes, the STE2 lets you move the flash away from where the lens is and creates more pleasant lighting. Additionally, if you take photos of people with glasses or of objects within glass, you can angle the flash so that glare is eliminated.

All in all a great investment, I doubt I will mount a flash directly to the camera ever again.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By MiRSD TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 13, 2010
(See updated notes at bottom!)

First off, awesome idea!

Unfortunately, the idea wasn't perfected.

Getting your camera off the flash has gotten MUCH easier over the years - wireless triggers, ETTL cables, hotshoe-slaves, PC-Sync cables, you name it.

The problem is getting that flash to carry ETTL wirelessly. So far only a few transmitters do it, and they're all VERY expensive (requiring not only a transmitter, but also a receiver for each flash). That's where this little guy steps in.

The STE2 pops in your hotshoe and wirelessly triggers your Canon flashes (with slaves). The first problem here, is the "Canon" part - unlike the other options which work with ANY brand of flash, this one works with the Canon system. If you only own Canon flashes, no problem! If you own a mix, you've got a problem (the Canon's don't come cheap!)

The next problem is that it's line of sight based. This means it has to be able to "see" the other flashes. Not so much of a problem indoors (it'll bounce off walls and generally hit the flash), but outdoors you'll have issues. Sunlight, especially, causes signal loss and (especially using multiple flashes) it's not something you want to have to rely on (you'll spend time either trying to correct it, making sacrifices or not notice that half your flashes didn't fire (which would be too late)).

If you already own a Master/Slave flash (like some canon 580EXII's), try that on wireless mode to see how well it works outdoors, that should give you an idea of what to expect from this. Unfortunately, with it being unreliable, I just can't recommend it for anyone planning to use it outdoors.
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