Assistance with Triggering 430EXIII-RT and 270EXII Speedlights Please!

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French Fry Regular Member • Posts: 179
Assistance with Triggering 430EXIII-RT and 270EXII Speedlights Please!


I have purchased two speedlights that I had hoped could be used together (simultaneously) in the field while shooting mushrooms and small wildlife, but I think I may have miscalculated the compatibility of the equipment. Would you please help me confirm?

Here is what I have:

- 430EXIII-RT selected as the primary off-camera speedlite for shooting macro at night and the occasional farther away subject with a better beamer.

- 270EXIII selected for occasional use as an off-camera secondary unit when shooting macro at night with the 430EXIII-RT, or as a rarely used on-camera fill flash that can be easily thrown into an already too heavy camera bag when I don't want to carry the 430EXIII-RT.

I had hoped that the two speedlites could both be used together, but have not been able to get either flash to trigger the other. I'm now wondering if my initial research was too superficial regarding masters/slaves and if they are just not compatible?

My goal was to use the ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter (not yet purchased) mounted on the camera hot shoe to trigger the off-camera 430EXIII-RT via RT most of the time. (I still think this would work.) I had hoped that once the 430EXIII-RT was triggered via RT, it could then emit a flash that would optically trigger the 270EXIII, which does not have RT. (I no longer think this secondary part is possible.)

I have since learned that while the 430EX III-RT can be a radio master or slave, it can only be an optical slave, not master. This would explain why it cannot trigger the 270EXIII when the 270EXIII is in optical slave mode. Additionally, the 270EXIII can serve as an optical slave, not master, so it cannot trigger the 430EX III-RT.

Am I right in deducing that purchasing the ST-E3-RT would enable me to use the 430EX III-RT off-camera, but would unfortunately NOT enable me to fire the 270EXIII at the same time? Are there any alternatives to the 270EXIII that are roughly the same size/weight but that have RT capabilities?

Since both the 430EXIII-RT and 270EXIII have an optical slave mode, what options are there for an optical trigger? Is there a downside to using an optical trigger on the 430EXIII-RT all the time instead of an RT? or would it be best to purchase both the ST-E3-RT (to use with the 430EXIII-RT and an optical trigger (to use with both speedlites or just the 270EXIII)?

I'm using a Really Right Stuff B87-QR: Medium Flash Bracket with Orbiting Tilt Mount, so I am somewhat nervous that the optical light could be at least partially blocked by the metal ring.

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the different speedlite options' lack of compatibility with one another. Bottom line is that I really like the form factor of the 430EX III-RT, and I would love a secondary small flash for the times where I don't want to carry the 430EX III-RT around or the times where a second flash is required. I just can't seem to find the best way to accomplish this goal...

Any guidance you can provide is greatly appreciated, thanks!

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