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A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: JJ
Date: May 03, 2015 02:03PM
I have a Rebel XT and my daughter wants to use it for a college class. The email she has fromt he school says the following:

"You will need access to a digital SLR camera, detachable electronic flash unit, and a method for sync-firing that flash unit remotely off the camera"

I was looking at several Canon flashes but I am confused about the "method for sync-firing that flash unit remotely off the camera" requirement. Do external flashes usually come with this or is there an additional piece of equipment I need to buy?

Thanks in advance,

JJ
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: pipiens
Date: May 03, 2015 03:54PM
Canon is indeed confusing and probably not your best option. Canon has a proprietary system for their flashes that 'automatically' set the exposure. This is probably not what your daughter needs. The flashes do have a manual mode but you will be paying for electronics she does not need. It also complicates the interface.

There are three main ways to fire a remote flash.

1 Some flashes have a slave mode. When used remotely the slave is triggered by another flash such as the flash built into the Rebel

2 You can use a long flash sync cord to connect the hot shoe on the camera to the flash unit. This is cheap, but a little bit clumsy.

3 You can mount a radio transmitter on the camera and a receiver on the flash



1- All you need is a basic manual mode. Canon does not have slave capability in their flash units. Nikon does, old models eg SB-28 are a available on Ebay. Yongnuo makes a manual flash that would work.
[www.amazon.com]

A more expensive route is an LP-180. This has a great warranty and excellent support.
[mpex.com]


2 You can get flash sync cords at flash zebra along with all sorts of flash stuff.
[flashzebra.com]
There are two types of connectors in general use 1/8" miniphone and PC. PC is the most common and also very unreliable.


3 there are lots of xmitter/rcv combos available
Generic Chinese - unreliable
Youngnuo - better
Paul C Buff - great
Pocket Wizard - top of the line

David Hobby at has a ton of info on flash photography at
[www.strobist.blogspot.com]
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 03, 2015 04:19PM
The Rebel XT does not include any built-in remote flash capability.

If you want to do it the Canon way, they make an ST-E2 infrared transmitter which should work with most Canon flashes with model numbers >= 430EX. The ST-E2 is not particularly cheap although it's not too bad used and Yongnuo apparently makes a cheaper clone (no personal experience with the Yongnuo version). This will give you both manual and E-TTL (automatic) modes.

If you don't want to do it the Canon way, there are any number of remote flash transmitter/receiver solutions which are cheaper and could be used with inexpensive non-Canon manual flashes (a Vivitar 285, for example). pipiens mentioned several, but there are tons more out there.



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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: pipiens
Date: May 03, 2015 05:13PM
Quote
AllGold
The Rebel XT does not include any built-in remote flash capability.

If you want to do it the Canon way, they make an ST-E2 infrared transmitter which should work with most Canon flashes with model numbers >= 430EX. The ST-E2 is not particularly cheap although it's not too bad used and Yongnuo apparently makes a cheaper clone (no personal experience with the Yongnuo version). This will give you both manual and E-TTL (automatic) modes.

If you don't want to do it the Canon way, there are any number of remote flash transmitter/receiver solutions which are cheaper and could be used with inexpensive non-Canon manual flashes (a Vivitar 285, for example). pipiens mentioned several, but there are tons more out there.

There are indeed lots of manual flashes you could use. Old Vivitar 285s run at high enough sync voltage to damage electronics. The new ones seem to be fine.

My guess is that in learning mode a pure manual flash would be best. Adding automatic exposure costs money and complicates the interface.

There are two schools of thought on the subject of manual vs auto for real work. I have a strong bias for manual. I shoot tons of stuff manually. In any event I think starting to learn that the best way is manual. Of course I am biased. Maybe some others here have some good reasons why I am wrong.
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: MEG
Date: May 03, 2015 05:26PM
Sorry to answer your question with a question but... how far away is remotely (your daughter will probably have to follow up for the answer).

If it's a short distance, a simple off camera shoe cord will suffice. One end mounts on the hot shoe of the camera and the other end on the flash unit. Your "remote" ability is limited by the length of the cable.

3' cord ($14): [www.bhphotovideo.com]

A 6.5' cord is $33 and a 33' cord is $47 (these are just examples, no experience with this specific cable - I have some other generic one bought of Amazon years ago that works fine).

The other alternative is wireless where you use Canon's system or go third-party.

As alluded to by others, Canon's system isn't cheap. You either have to have a transmitter built into the camera (not the Rebel XT) or have unit that can act as a transmitter (e.g., the Canon 580EX series and above or newer, or the ST-E2 for the camera and a flash that can be a slave (e.g., the Canon 420EX series and above or newer).

Pippins hit the major third party wireless players. Basically you buy a transmitter that mounts to the hotshoe on the camera and receiver unit that the flash mounts on. So, make sure you buy both parts if you go this route.

Wireless, while, expensive, is nicer for longer distances or remote placements. However, Canon's system requires line-of-site between master and slave so take that into consideration.

One of the cords will be the cheapest options and probably best for class purposes unless you daughter's really getting into photography and is willing to make an investment.
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: pipiens
Date: May 03, 2015 05:45PM
Quote
MEG
Sorry to answer your question with a question but... how far away is remotely (your daughter will probably have to follow up for the answer).

If it's a short distance, a simple off camera shoe cord will suffice. One end mounts on the hot shoe of the camera and the other end on the flash unit. Your "remote" ability is limited by the length of the cable.

3' cord ($14): [www.bhphotovideo.com]

A 6.5' cord is $33 and a 33' cord is $47 (these are just examples, no experience with this specific cable - I have some other generic one bought of Amazon years ago that works fine).

The other alternative is wireless where you use Canon's system or go third-party.

As alluded to by others, Canon's system isn't cheap. You either have to have a transmitter built into the camera (not the Rebel XT) or have unit that can act as a transmitter (e.g., the Canon 580EX series and above or newer, or the ST-E2 for the camera and a flash that can be a slave (e.g., the Canon 420EX series and above or newer).

Pippins hit the major third party wireless players. Basically you buy a transmitter that mounts to the hotshoe on the camera and receiver unit that the flash mounts on. So, make sure you buy both parts if you go this route.

Wireless, while, expensive, is nicer for longer distances or remote placements. However, Canon's system requires line-of-site between master and slave so take that into consideration.

One of the cords will be the cheapest options and probably best for class purposes unless you daughter's really getting into photography and is willing to make an investment.

A cord is cheap and can work well with the limitations described. I believe the Rebel has a PC connector for sync. I find them to be a PITA. If so, you can get a gizmo to plug onto the hot shoe that will provide a 1/8" receptacle. No matter what you will need a flash unit. If you get one that has a flash slave mode you will not need the cable. Light from the Rebel built in flash can trigger the slave remote.
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: JJ
Date: May 03, 2015 07:24PM
Thanks everyone for the help.

Ended up buying new equipment all around.

Hopefully I did it right.

Rebel T5i and 430EX II should work together right?
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: MEG
Date: May 03, 2015 08:39PM
Quote
JJ
Rebel T5i and 430EX II should work together right?

Yup, that'll work. What a dad! smiling smiley
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: May 03, 2015 09:31PM
The Canon ST-E2 and a 4030EX used will be a solution that should work. I have not personally used 3rd party solutions but some people have with good success. I like the ST-E2 due to the fact that it can control output of the flash power. No need to run over to the remote unit every time you need to make an adjustment.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: JJ
Date: May 03, 2015 11:17PM
We spent some time setting it up and it does work!

I needed a solution right away and could not find an ST-E2 at a brick and mortar near me.

I have been thinking about getting a new camera for awhile and this pushed me to do it.

I might pick up an ST-E2 so I can use the flash with the XT also.

Thanks again everyone!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2015 11:18PM by JJ.
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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: May 04, 2015 09:57AM
Quote
JJ
We spent some time setting it up and it does work!

I needed a solution right away and could not find an ST-E2 at a brick and mortar near me.

I have been thinking about getting a new camera for awhile and this pushed me to do it.

I might pick up an ST-E2 so I can use the flash with the XT also.

Thanks again everyone!


BTW, the Canon 7D has a commander mode built into the pop up flash. I think 7D have been sinking in the used market. Get a wireless compatible flash and you are good to go.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: A little help please--Rebel XT flash question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 04, 2015 11:16PM
Quote
pipiens
There are indeed lots of manual flashes you could use. Old Vivitar 285s run at high enough sync voltage to damage electronics. The new ones seem to be fine.

Going a little off topic, but just for the record, I believe it was the old 283s that had outrageously high sync voltage (I have one that is 330V!). I think the 285s, even the old ones, were ok.



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