Speedlite 580 EX II Master / Slave HELP

Started Apr 20, 2013 | Discussions
CMC123 New Member • Posts: 4
Speedlite 580 EX II Master / Slave HELP

I have two Canon Speedlite 580 EX II flashes that I would like to use at the same time.  One on the camera hot shoe, the other on a light stand with an umbrella, using the wireless function.

Problem is that I cannot seem to get them to fire a the same exact time.  There is a noticeable 1 second delay until the Slave flashes, which does me no good since the shutter has already take the photo.

I have the first one (on hot shoe) set to Master, the second one (on umbrella stand) set to Slave and it is all ETTL.  I have not messed with any other settings.

I thought maybe it was a communication issue... but even when I take the flashes off, and have them face each other directly (an inch or two apart) and press the "pilot" button on the Master for a test fire, the Slave still will not flash at the same time,there is a 1 second delay.

What am I doing wrong?  Or... is this how it's supposed to function?  If so, doesn't that render the Slave useless?  By the time the Slave flash has fired, my photo has already been taken.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

BTW -- the Master flash does actually fire (I haven't figure out how to turn that part off, I would like to just have the Slave fire, once I get this part figured out).


hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,753
Re: Speedlite 580 EX II Master / Slave HELP

Weird. I don't have the EX II, but I've got the 580 and 550 and some of the earlier Canon speedlights and I've never had this issue. I use them all the time for location biz portraits.

Try this. Try setting them on 1/8 manual exposure and see if they sync properly. Also, maybe there is an issue with second curtain sync. (I'm thinking some sort of tricky advanced setting has gotten dialed in. Canon has some doozies.)

Finally, if worse comes to worse, these days I use a set of cheap radio slaves to trigger my stuff.

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Dougs_Photo Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Speedlite 580 EX II Master / Slave HELP

During a test fire the master flash will fire first and the slave will fire second. If you are using groups such as "A:B:C", A will always fire first on a test flash followed by B and then C so you can determine which flash is which, however they will all go off at the proper time when you take a photo.

Try taking a photo without holding the camera to your eye but instead looking at the remote flash while  actually taking a photo and verify the flash timing.

Disabling the on camera flash from adding to the exposure is explained in your camera manual, however it will still flash instructions to the remote flash before the actual exposure takes place.


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Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 4,142
Re: Speedlite 580 EX II Master / Slave HELP

You might want to take a look at Syl Arena's Sppedlighter's handbook. He know his Canon flashes inside out and is quite good at explaining the stuff.

If you set your flash to manual, how can you use eTTL?

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