Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter for Canon 580EX II, 430EX, 430EX II Speedlites

Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter for Canon 580EX II, 430EX, 430EX II Speedlites – Product Description:

Canon ST-E2 Speedlite TransmitterThe Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 is compatible with Type A EOS cameras (E-TTL, auto flash) and Type B EOS cameras (manual flash). The ST-E2 is designed to control slaved Canon 550 EX flashes, enabling simultaneous flash use in professional settings. The wireless controller has a flash ratio control, allowing for several different A:B ratios, 1:8 to 8:1 in half-step increments, as well as slave confirmation via a test transmission button, which sets off slave A, followed by slave B, at 1/64 output.


Product Features :

  • Wireless flash controller for the Canon 420EX and 550EX and other Canon flashes.
  • Indoor transmission range of approximately 40 to 50 feet
  • Outdoor transmission range of approximately 26 to 33 feet
  • 1,500-transmission battery life
  • Turns off after 90-second idle

Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter for Canon 580EX II, 430EX, 430EX II Speedlites – Review:


I used the STE2 with two Canon 430EX Speedlites to do some portraits with excellent results. I mounted the Speedlites on stands with 30 inch shoot-through umbrellas using hot shoe multiclamps. I shot with a Canon 50mm f1/4 lens on a Canon 30D set to manual with a 1/60 shutter and f4 aperture. With E-TTL enabled, the flash power is automatically adjusted to obtain the correct exposure. I found the flash power to generally be right on but on the occasion I felt it wasn’t, I simply adjusted the flash compensation on my camera. I did not need to meter or use a gray card so I was able to focus more on composition.

I really like the convenience of this wireless setup because there are no cables to trip over and that makes it really easy to move my lights around and try different angles. With a two flash setup, you can easily change the ratio between the two flash units on the back of the transmitter without touching anything else. This often helped me get better shots because I could quickly modify the light setup to capture a moment without stepping out from behind the camera.

I would prefer radio control but this setup is very compact and I did not have any problems with the Speedlites not firing even if they were not quite in direct line of sight. I even turned my shoot-through umbrellas around to act as reflectors, effectively blocking the line of site between the camera and the Speedlites, and they still fired so apparently there is a bit of flexibility in that line of site.

Update 5/25/2007: Although the STE2 worked well for portraits in relatively small rooms, I recently tried to use it for some wedding formals in large churches, reception halls, and outdoors and found it didn’t work so well. Even after putting in brand new batteries, I was quite limited on where I could position my flashes so they would still fire. I had to have the flashes in front of me and just off to the sides for it to work. I have since decided to purchase some radio slaves for my wedding work. The other thing I noticed is that if you are shooting a bride in a white dress, E-TTL will tend to underexpose the shot so its value is diminished which makes non-TTL flashes and old-school metering for off camera formal work much more desirable.



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