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Is it possible yet to use off-camera second-curtain-sync with any of Canon's native wireless-radio-flashes?

After searching, I can't find any recent articles on this. Most of the older articles assume it will only be a matter of time before Canon fix their "oversight" to allow off-camera second-curtain-sync. But, nowhere can I find anything to say Canon have actually done so yet — which, admittedly, probably answers my question. Nevertheless, it'd be good to know definitively.

Currently, I'm using one or two Canon EX430 II flashes along with Yongnuo triggers which allows off-camera second-curtain-sync, but it is a cumbersome solution — too many batteries, too many on-buttons! Also, the Yongnuos, as good as they are, seem susceptible to radio interference and occasional misfire. Being able to use Canon wireless-radio-flashes would be much less hassle.

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4 Answers 4

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As of February 2021, yes. You can now get 2nd-curtain sync with the ST-E3-RT version 2 and Canon's RT-capable speedlites. This is a new model. Canon Europe offers an update service for ST-E3-RT owners that must be done at a Canon Professional Service Centre.

The three features the version 2 model has over the original ST-E3-RT are:

  • 2nd-curtain sync [only with 2020 or later body; i.e., 1DX Mark III, R5, R6, M50 Mark II and later bodies]
  • 1/8192 power "micro flash" capability (with the EL-1)
  • FE Memory (what I call "TTL locking": the ability to convert a TTL-set power level and use it as a Manual setting).

If you shoot a Canon body with the new multi-function hotshoe (R3, R7, R10), then the ST-E10 transmitter also has these three additional functions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is undoubtedly good news. However, there is a caveat: the ST-E3-RT (version 2) will only allow second-curtain sync (SCS) when using camera bodies manufactured from 2020. So, for example, none of the Canon 5D series cameras would get SCS. \$\endgroup\$
    – mooie
    Nov 20, 2022 at 9:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ A Canon Service Centre can upgrade original ST-E3-RT devices to the same specification as the ST-E3-RT (version 2). The cost at the time of writing is around €100. \$\endgroup\$
    – mooie
    Nov 20, 2022 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mooie, thanks! I'll update with your information. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Nov 20, 2022 at 23:56
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And, from the horse's mouth ...

Thank you for your request and for contacting Canon. Regarding your enquiry about second-curtain sync on the Canon Speedlite 430EX III RT, I have to confirm that second-curtain sync is not available during wireless flash shooting.

Unfortunately, I don’t have information regarding the inclusion of this functionality in the future.

Email from Canon Services & Support (UK)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's the official Canon line, but it actually does work with some third party radio triggers/receivers because they fool the flash into thinking the receiver hooked to the flash is the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 25, 2022 at 19:18
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Canon RT flashes and RT triggers will not do what you want. There are 3rd party RT triggers and flashes that will.

The Yongnuo YN600EX-RT and YN-E3-RT, for instance. Unlike your Canon 430EX II flashes, the YN600EX-RT and several other third party flashes have RT receivers built in, so you could eliminate the need for external trigger receivers and the accompanying batteries for each of your flashes.

Since this answer was originally written, I've also used the Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II (rebranded Godox radio transmitter) and Godox X1R-C receivers to use second curtain sync with my 430EX II.

I've also dumped all of my Yongnuo flashes and replaced them with Flashpoint/Godox products. In my experience the Godox stuff has been very reliable, unlike the Yongnuo flashes.

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I'm not familiar with this particular issue and no longer own any Canon bodies or flashes, but unless I misunderstand the situation, it sounds like you have the equipment at hand to very easily answer your own question. Or do I misunderstand? Just set up a shot with motion and a long exposure and attempt to use 2nd curtain sync (wirelessly). And see if it works. Shoot with first curtain and second curtain and verify you see the difference. If you don't see a difference between the two shots (i.e. both are "first curtain"), the issue still exists, right? Otherwise, it's an old issue that's been resolved. Does that make sense?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. But, perhaps I didn’t make my question clear: the current flashes I have do not have wireless-radio capabilities. I’m asking as I’m thinking of upgrading, but only wish to do so if second-curtain-sync is possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – mooie
    Apr 1, 2018 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even if the OP had some Canon wireless flashes, it's entirely possible that a firmware update could address the issue. Asking about it here isn't an unreasonable thing to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Apr 5, 2018 at 17:59

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