I was given my Grandad’s Canon AE-1. I’ve let it sit in a closet for 18 years. But I fixed it & It’s back in business now. I want to use it & sync multiple flashes to do some … flash stuff. So i’ve been learning to really use a flash meter & work stuff out.
What I’ve Learned
The 580EXii can act as a commander in manual mode for 3 groups NOT connected to a TTL camera. You can just power it up and program in your power levels for the 3 groups A:B:C…DOPE! OR you can do the whole ETTL-style thing with power ratios…but i’m going to not pay attention to that ‘cause I can work out the ratios in my head, & I feel safer & more “grounded” if i’m working with 1/8th power, 1/4th power, etc…
You can even fire your grunt flashes by setting your power levels (on the commander, mind you, this is the key to the neat-ness) & hitting the pilot button, & they will all fire correctly, for old school manual realness.
A 580EXii can be fired/triggered from the camera either by a PC sync cord, or the hotshoe via a long cable.
(but callisonic…why don’t you just use pocketwizards?…
cause i spent a year using pocketwizards and getting black frames when the shitting things wouldn’t communicate with each other…i switched over to a hybrid long hotshoe-corded / McNally method of line of sight, and saw my flashes all start to work in a rock solid fashion EVEN OUTDOORS. seriously 33% of all my shots were missed cause the pocket wizards couldn’t hang.)
The 580EXii *doesn’t* transmit commander info when synced/fired by the PC cord method. dang!
The 580EXii *does* transmit commander info to grunt flashes if triggered by the hotshoe cable. EVEN if that hotshoe cable is a “dumb” hotshoe cable…not a modern ETTL hotshoe on the camera…even the Canon AE-1 (&presumably any camera with a hotshoe connection) will trigger the flash which will send out the commander pulses to the grunt flashes. DOPE!
They don’t tell you this in the manual so hopefully i just saved you 15 dollars on a pc cord purchase that’s unnecessary.
Can’t wait to make multi-flash photos with my grandad’s 35mm film camera. yeah.
Sidenote: I’m going to try and refrain from using MALE/FEMALE & MASTER/SLAVE language when I talk about this stuff from now on. That’s gonna be hard to do as an A/V nerd. but that language needs to be deprecated, stat.