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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> 550ex question
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02/25/2005 04:50:16 PM · #1
Can anyone tell me if I can use my 550ex flash off camera without using a cord or accessories? ie. using the camera itself in some way.
I have looked through the manual and can't find any reference to this.

Thanks,
Paul.
02/25/2005 04:56:25 PM · #2
The 550 EX needs a trigger signal, either an electrical signal from the camera, as when mounted on the camera, or when connected via a cord, or by an infra red signal, as supplied by the ST-E2 transmitter, mounted on the camera. There is no way for the camera to fire the flash "by itself".
Sorry!
Hugh
02/25/2005 04:58:08 PM · #3
Originally posted by hughletheren:

The 550 EX needs a trigger signal, either an electrical signal from the camera, as when mounted on the camera, or when connected via a cord, or by an infra red signal, as supplied by the ST-E2 transmitter, mounted on the camera. There is no way for the camera to fire the flash "by itself".
Sorry!
Hugh

Thanks Hugh, what about using as a slave to the built in flash?
03/09/2005 10:28:19 PM · #4
Bump. I was wodering this as well. Maybe putting something over the built-in flash to filter the light to something only the 550EX will pick up?
03/09/2005 10:30:57 PM · #5
The built in flash will not trigger the slave.
03/09/2005 10:48:56 PM · #6
Big warning here on the optical slave path for the 420/550/580ex ... and I would love a solution if anyone has one ......

Most of the hot shoe style optical slave's will not work with these units. Apparently it is something to do with the Canon pin arrangement (i.e. the 4 retractable pins that are not the main firing one). I thought I had this solved a while ago but did not.

I was going this path as I needed the ex unit to fire optically when my studio strobe(s) fired. N.B. This has NOTHING to do with the digital pre-flash issue, that does not come into this system at all (can expand on that if needed).

Basically....

1) I bought one of the hot shoe optical slaves. Fires the flash perfectly .... ONCE. You then need to turn the entire unit off/on to fire again, even using the manual fire button on the flash.

2) Got advice on this from B&H. They told me it was a known issue, some units worked, told me to buy a Kaiser hot shoe (no slave) and then connect a Wein peanut slave to fire the unit. Ordered them (overseas), got them, despite having told they would definitely work they did not fire the flash AT ALL. Spoke to B&H, original person had left, and was told "why did you buy that, it is completely wrong" ..... when I sent them back their own e-mail that *gasp* told me to buy that as it was exactly right, I was basically told I should not have listened to the guy and they took no responsibility. First time I have been very disappointed in B&H who are usually excellent.

I have ended up using a cable to fire them. I also have the (excellent) ST-E2 but you can't use that with studio flash optical slaves as the pre-flash info triggers them too early.

If anyone does have a hot shoe style optical slave that works with a 420/550/580 ex and knows the EXACT model of their unit, I would love to know it :)

P.S. Th trigger the flash in manual mode all that is required is a connection between the main pin and the one higher up on the side. The other 4 pins are things like e-ttl, telling camera when flash is ready etc etc etc. I have been wondering what would happen if I mask off those 4 pins, as in theory the flash then fires without the other issue. I can't test it though as I returned the optical units I had that fired once and then froze, but the theory here at least is sound.

Message edited by author 2005-03-09 23:01:54.
08/20/2005 06:00:00 AM · #7
Don't mean to hi-jack your thread peecee...but I was wondering the same thing...
Can this flash be acuated via a 3rd party IR transmitter. I know there wont be any e-ttl support, if the flash is in 'slave' mode and the output is set manually can the flash be fired by a standard IR transmitter.
Cheers

Message edited by author 2005-08-20 06:03:48.
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