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Mixing Speedlite 600EXii's and 580EXii's.

by Brian
(Somewhere in Texas)

Speedlite 600 Vs 580 LCD Screens

Speedlite 600 Vs 580 LCD Screens

"I have a ST-E3 Transmitter, two Speedlite 600EXii's and two Speedlite 580EXii's. Currently using the two 600's as radio slaves. Works fine. I'd also like to use the 580's in close proximity to the 600's. So, I would think that I could keep using the 600's fired (via radio signal) and use the 600's, in turn, to fire the 580's optically. But I don't find anything in literature and no menu options that indicate that the 600's can act as radio slaves and optical masters at the same time."

Hi Brian,
Thanks for your question about combining Canon 600EX II Speedlites with Canon 580EX II Speedlites. That's quite a question. I have both the Canon 600 and 580 flash units too.

Canon Speedlite 600EX II Vs. Speedlite 580EX II

For the benefit of other Canon Geek readers, one is built using light rays and one is built using radio waves to signal other flash units (as masters and slaves) in a lighting setup with multiple flashes.

I'm a simplicity geek (especially when it comes to lighting) and I've never attempted a lighting set-up with several of my Speedlites at the same time, so you should take my answer with a grain of salt. I would take the big step and update to all Speedlite 600s and the superior radio (instead of optical) communication between your speedlites.

Probably not the answer you're hoping for-I know it's a big investment. I made a similar decision when I was using Q-Flashes for shooting weddings a long time ago. I had 2 systems from the same company, but the jump in technology advances made the two flash systems incompatible. It was tough to update.

Let me know how you solve your dilemma,
Bruce

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by: Brian

Thanks Bruce. You're correct...That wasn't the reply I was hoping to hear. Good news is, two flashes are adequate for almost anything I will be doing. I just want the extra power for a couple experimental thing I want to do for fun. I'm determined to figure out a way to use all four in high speed sync mode at the same time...even if I have to physically tether them. I'll let you know what I come up with. It may not work with EttL but I could probably get a separate optical (not IR) trigger from e-bay.

Thanks again,
Brian
(ItinerantLens on Instagram)

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Author Bruce Lovelace
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Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

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