Buy couple of Canon 600EXs or set of set of monolights ...

Started Mar 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Yan Duval Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Buy couple of Canon 600EXs or set of set of monolights ...

Sailor Blue wrote:

mike cooper wrote:

Full Disclosure: I am asking this on the 5D as well as the Lighting Forum …

I currently own several Canon Speedlights (old and new) as well as the ST-E2 and thinking about an upgrade. I have a very old 420EZ from my film days and a 220EX, 420EX, 550EX, and a 580EX II.

The two options I am thinking of is selling all the old flashes, except maybe the 220 EX as that is what I put in my pocket when I do not want to carry a big flash, and buying 2 600EX-RTs or keeping the 580EX II and buying a couple of entry level monolights (e.g. Impact). Also if I go the 600EX route should I sell the ST-E2 or can you use it with the 600s in IR mode?

I already know this is an apples and oranges comparison but thought I would toss it out there. I am an advanced amateur and I am starting to put together a small studio in my house for portraits but most of what I do is shooting at parties and events – so portable. I also know the monolights will be no good for traveling – that is unless someone wants a big setup for portraits at their event.

Thanks for taking the time … Mike

For your party shots speedlights are best because of their portability and E-TTL II capability.

For a studio you want studio strobes because of modeling lights, power for larger diffusers, and the short recharge time.

I wouldn't buy the 600EX RT since the RF system is propitiatory, locking you into buying more 600EX RTs. You can use it as an optical master, which makes it compatible with the other Canon flash units, in effect becoming a way over priced 580EX II. The 600EX RT is also compatible with your ST-E2 as an optical slave.

Personally I would keep your current hot-shoe flash units and add some studio strobes. Add another 580EX II if you want another good flash, but buy it quickly - they are now discontinued.

If you want RF triggering of the off-camera hot-shoe flash units then buy a Pocket Wizard, Phottix, or Yongnuo trigger. Don't get locked into Canon's system.

Impact strobes are the B&H house brand and have a pretty good reputation but I don't recommend them because they only offer you four stops of power variability. My recommendations are AllienBees B800s from PCB and the Flashpoint DG600 from Adorama (house brand).

Please read over my article on equipment for a small studio before buying any equipment. Don't do what I did the first time and buy equipment that won't do the job just because it is cheap. My first studio strobes wound up in the trash - a total waste of money. I wrote the article to help others avoid my mistake.

Sailorblue - PhotoCamel - Equipment Guide for Setting up a Small Home Portrait/Glamor Studio

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

I have a 4Ti, with a 430EZ and 420EX, and I wish to expand too.  I don't have a lot of experience but read a lot to figure out what to do.  I'm still undecided.  This is a very complex issue with lots of compatibility problems when you want to reuse your existing hardware.

I mostly agree with Sailorblue.  The only thing where I diverge is about the proprietary nature of the RT system.  I don't think it is very important, as long as the 450-RT will have a decent price. Hopefully, Canon or a 3rd party will also introduce a compatible receiver to trigger other flashes or studio lights.  If this happens, it will be a great system. For now however, the price is too high in my opinion.

My realistic "dream" system consists of 5 off-camera lights for use inside.  Since 2 AlienBees B800 with remotes are cheaper than a single 600 and offer more light, I will probably go with that for the main lights.  The 3 other lights are going to be speedlites used in manual Mode for background or hair lighting.  (This should mean I get rid of the 420EX)

Outside, 3 off-camera speedlights will be great, probably all used in ettl.  (Now, I want to get rid of the 430EZ!).  So I think I will buy 2 used 580EXII to complete the 420EX, and keep the 430 EZ for inside.

The remaining issue is the triggering.  My choice is currently the Phottix Odin, since it allows control of several types of speedlight

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