Wednesday 16 July 2008

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2

I have three 580EX II Speedlites that I use for lighting but I still find the ST-E2 wireless flash controller to be a useful addition to my kit - it's very light and compact compared to having a 580EX II mounted on camera as the master controller, and it can also be used solely for its AF-assist beam.

It does have a few limitations compared to a 580EX II though. It can only control two channels, A and B (you can have as many Speedlites as you want in each channel but you can only control the flash output ratio between the two channels as a whole - from 8:1 to 1:8), as compared to the 580EX II which can control three (A, B & C). Also, the ST-E2 cannot communicate flash exposure bracketing or manual flash instructions, unlike the 580EX II. Another point of difference - the ST-E2 sends instructions to the slave flashes using near infra red, whereas the 580 EX II Speedlites communicate using visible light.

How do I use the ST-E2 transmitter? For indoor portraits of the bride and groom and for the cake-cutting pictures are two good examples. I set up two 580EX II Speedlites on stands with diffusers, as fill and key lights, set an appropriate ratio between the two light sources, and then off I go. I feel fleet-of-foot and liberated from a composition point of view.

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1 comment:

tangcla said...

Hi David, I've just emailed you a question about the ST-E2. Thanks :)