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430ex II off camera with Phottix Strato wireless triggers

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    1 Feb 2012 - 11:26 AM

    Hi people, wonder if anyone can help...

    I've just got my first speedlite flash, the 430ex II and have also purchased a light stand and umbrella for off camera use. I got some Calumet badged Phottix Strato wireless triggers yesterday and set it all up to have a play last night.

    The triggers are really good as I expected from the good reviews I've read. The only thing that I'm not sure about is that I couldn't access the flash controls via the camera menu. The body I'm using is the 40D.

    Now if the flash is connected to the hot shoe of the 40D the flash menu on the camera is accessable and I can change flash power etc.

    Is this normal behaviour? Is it because the flash is the 430ex II and therefore off camera it is a slave only and therefore you can't access the settings from the camera or is just that you can't do this with any flash even ones that act as a master, unless it's directly connected to the hot shoe? Or is it something wrong with the triggers? They worked fine for actually triggering the flash.

    Any advice would be great thanks!

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    Mayfly  9485 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
    1 Feb 2012 - 12:53 PM

    The strato's are great little triggers but they do just that - trigger the flash. They work as a one way system.The Transmitter that sits on the hotshoe of your camera detects that you are taking a photo and sends a radio signal to the flash via the receiver unit, telling the flash to fire. That's why you pay the extra dosh for wireless TTL setups like Pocketwizard that enable you to maintain the TTL functionality of your flash system.

    You will need to set your flash manually, I use Nikon kit but the same principals apply. I usually set my ISO to 200 Shutter to 200th /sec (max synch speed for these units) and start with f5.6 - f8 with the flash set to 1/4 to 1/2 power. Obviously the distance from your flash to subject and light modifiers play a big part in your settings but have a play around and you'll soon learn what setting you need to use and TTL will all but be forgotten Smile

    Have fun,


    1 Feb 2012 - 1:01 PM

    hi andy. thanks for the reply.

    thing is i'm not trying to use the flash in TTL mode. I've got it set in manual mode.
    basically i'm trying to find out if i can adjust the 430ex ii flash output power via the camera external flash settings menu rather than having to get up, go to the flash on the light stand and physically adjust the power with the controls on the flash itself?
    this is what i was having to do. don't get me wrong i got great results after just adjusting the power on the flash. I just wish I could be able to dial the flash power up or down via the camera rather the physically on the off camera flash unit.

    cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
    1 Feb 2012 - 2:05 PM

    I'm not a Canon buff, But if the 40D has a " Commander " mode, ie: The ability to control a remote flash unit via the 40Ds own onboard, Then you do not need a wireless trigger as well.

    Basically you set your remote ( if it has the capability ) to " Slave " then set your onboard to " Commander " or Master, Then the cameras onboard flash sends command signals to the remote, This give it the correct settings as per the camera body.

    The minute you stick the remote flash on a 3rd party wireless system, You loose that communication between Speedlight and camera body.....!!!

    That said you need to check that " Both " your camera body and the relevant flash do infact have the required specs for this type of communication.

    Well! Thats how it all works in Nikon land, My other halfs Canon gear does similar but thats 5D MkII and a Ex 580 II, These are compatible with the remote Canon setup.

    1 Feb 2012 - 2:27 PM

    thanks for the reply.
    no the 40d doesn't have the ability to remotely trigger an external flash. hence why i'm using the wireless trigger kit.

    i'm starting to think that in a 1 flash setup, if that flash is wirelessly off camera that you can only access its manual power settings via the camera if that flash can act as a master...which of course the 430ex ii can't. wirelessly off camera it is only a slave.

    or maybe you just can't adjust an off camera flash's power setting from within camera. thoughts anyone?

    Last Modified By lastcoyote at 1 Feb 2012 - 2:30 PM
    2 Feb 2012 - 2:33 PM

    after more research it appears that the majority of radio triggers lose the ability to access the speedlites flash menu within camera even when using it in Manual. I didn't realise this would be the case. Of course when the flash is in the hotshoe of the body and set to manual you can make changes from the camera menu.
    basically i'd need to spend on one of the big radio trigger kits like the radio popper's or the PW's mini/flex/ac3 system or the phottix odin.
    i kind of thought i'd only lose ETTL with the cheaper triggers, rather than also the ability to manually change the flash power at camera position. oh well. it's all a learning experience Smile

    Last Modified By lastcoyote at 2 Feb 2012 - 2:34 PM
    duratorque  11413 forum posts United Kingdom
    2 Feb 2012 - 2:35 PM

    I use a 430EX for off camera flash as well. The only way to control the power is to physically change settings manually. There are system around which you can control the power remotely, but you are talking about a few hundred pound a set. You can always change to a 60D or 7D. They have remote flash control build in.

    2 Feb 2012 - 2:44 PM

    thanks duratorque.
    from what i understand though with the 60D or 70D it's not radio based, rather you have to have the built in pop up flash up for communication and also it's restricted to line of site also. i could be wrong though Wink

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