I have a 430EX ii speedlite which is controlled by the built-in transmitter in my 600D. I want to use the built-in flash as a fill light while using the off-camera speedlite as a key light. How can I achieve proper exposure with this setup? I have tried yesterday using my speedlite in ETTL mode, but images were over-exposed. Thanks in advance.


You don't want to have the Speedlite in E-TTL mode. This tells it it will be getting control signals from the hot shoe connector. To use this mode off-camera, you'd have to be using an off-camera shoe cord like Canon's OC-E3 or Syl Arena's OCF33. That, or an E-TTL capable radio trigger.

Instead, you should have the off-camera flash set to Slave mode, with the same communication channel set as on the camera. It should be in group A for that setup, since it's the primary. You'd set the on-camera flash to group B, then adjust the flash ratio to suit. You want more power to group A than group B to make B (the on-camera flash) the fill.

  • Thanks Young. From your answer I learned that my speedlite cannot be used in E-TTL mode wirelessly. But I wonder then at what power would it fire? And on lcd of speedlite I can see E-TTL mode displayed, is that misleading? – Khalid Jul 1 '12 at 11:38
  • That's really a separate question, but the 430 series lets you manually dual in the power for slave triggering. – Warren Young Jul 1 '12 at 13:02

You can use it wirelessly in ETTL mode if you get a Canon ST-E2 wireless trigger, which costs about $120.00.

  • While you can use an ST-E2, you don't need to as the 600D's pop-up flash is a more capable wireless eTTL master. – inkista May 21 '14 at 20:03

Just set the 430 into slave mode. Then use your built-in flash of the 600d to trigger the 430. But first, you have to change the menu of the flash in the 600d.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange. When answering questions, please try and add new information which isn't contained in the other answers - in this case, putting the flash into slave mode is already in Warren Young's answer. If you think an answer is useful, you can upvote it once you've got a small amount of reputation - that's better than having multiple answers saying the same thing. – Philip Kendall Jan 14 '14 at 11:28

Sorry to fall back to an RTFM type of answer - but it really is the best way to find this out! :-) Read section 8 of the 600D manual on Wireless Flash usage (p.189 - and the bit you'll specifically want is on p.197), in conjunction with section 3 of the Speedlite 430 EX II manual (p.25). You should be able to work out from this how to have both flashes fire, with the 600D as master, but have them in separate flash firing groups to have them at different power settings.

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