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Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter for Canon 580EX II, 430EX, 430EX II Speedlites
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- 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
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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.
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On a recent wedding I was able to easily control a 580EX Speedlite in a Westcott Rapid Box Octa and make some very beautiful images of the cake, the brides shoes and the rings. Not having to jump up from camera position to adjust the power on the flash was nice and the TTL exposure was actually outstanding. I have previously used the 580EX as the master to control an off-camera 550EX but now I can use both speedlites off camera as I did for a multi-flash image of my daughter indoors and of a model outdoors in dappled sun. Though the outdoor performance was somewhat hit-or-miss I did get the majority of exposures with both flashes firing. I would still reach for Pocket Wizards for 100% hits but the ease of TTL exposure is worth giving this a try first on my shoots.
If you already have one or more 430EX, 430EXll, 550EX, 580EX or 580EXll speedlites and you want to try using off-camera TTL on-the-cheap then I highly recommend picking-up one of these transmitters, provided you can find a nice one for around $100 or less as I did. As long as you have line-of-sight with your flash the system seems to work ok. Indoors is far more forgiving that out so be aware. The one complaint I have is that the mounting to the hotshoe is rather loose. I have confirmed that this is very normal but that is not really all that comforting. I have tried this on both of my Canons; a 5Dmkll and a 1DmkiV.
Its biggest drawback is that it uses 2CR5 lithium batteries, which can be hard to find in stores. I've taken to ordering several at a time, so I always have extras on-hand. However, you can easily get over 1,000 shots out of a fresh battery, so at about $6 per battery, that's not too bad.
Overall, it's a solid device that works well with several EX series Speedlites (check their specifications to see if they have a slave function) that I think is worth its price (I got mine used for about $150).
The only downside is that it does not come with batteries, which are not-cheap and not-easy to find. But once you get the battery it lasts for quite a lot of shots!
I really recommend this item, it has been working flawlessly for me. Unless you have a very large studio, or the need to shoot outside in bright light, this is a perfect companion for your speedlite!
distance in a large room or outside is limited, especially if you are attempting wide angles to the flashes.
it is also rather large and 80's looking.
my personal reccomendation is to save a few bucks, and get an additional 550 or 580 flash. that would allow you to still offer the master function this provides, as well as offer some front fill flash... just a thought.
after owning this for almost 2 years, i find i use the 550 on the camera and my 430 off the camera mainly.
- On a side note, i was able to use this unit with my two flashes for doing some very up close macro work with fish fry ad larvae.. so aside from large group shots and studio work,. this can make a big impact on macro work as well!
very easy to master buttons, you will figure this out much quicker than all the functions of the large flash units. 80's styling and 80's buttons i guess...