Yongnuo ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter Review

Yongnuo Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 Review

Yongnuo Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 front and rear view
Yongnuo ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter


The Yongnuo ST-E2 is a speedlite transmitter very similar to the original Canon ST-E2. Rather cheekily Yongnuo have even added a few of their own improvements and added some new functions.
1. Improved infra-red range of maximum 25m indoors
2. Improved AF assist range of 25m
3. Takes 2 x AA batteries rather than the difficult to find 2CR5 lithium battery while still maintaining a battery life of 1500 transmissions
4. The unit is rotatable (a great improvement) – when attached to the camera hotshot it can be turned 135º left and 135º right allowing you more scope to place your slave units (can even be placed behind you).

Guide Price: 

Model discontinued so you’ll have to look on ebay.


The Yongnuo ST-E2 Transmitter is an optical wireless transmitter and acts as an on-camera master controller for all canon speedlites that use the ETTL optical wireless communication system such as the Canon 430EX, Canon 430EX II, Canon 580EX, Canon 580EX II and basically any Canon Speedlite with an “EX” in the name including the new Canon 470EX-AI, Canon 600EX ii-RT & Canon 430 iii-RT.
It will also work will all Yongnuo speedlites with “EX” in the name.

ST-E2 rear view showing controls

Flash Head Tilt & Swivel

Transmitter head can swivel 135º left and 135º right (unlike the Canon version which is fixed)The transmitter coverage is ±40º horizontal and ±30º vertical.

Manual Exposure

The ST-E2 can be used to fire slave speedlites in manual mode, however, manual flash power cannot be set using the ST-E2 transmitter and has to be set directly on the slave speedlite. There is no dedicated manual control button, the slave speedlites must be switched to manual mode by hand.

ETTL Exposure

Canon ETTL. Controls such as flash exposure compensation (FEC), flash exposure lock (FE lock) and flash exposure bracketing (FEB) can only be set using the camera controls and menu and not on the ST-E2 itself.
In ETTL mode the slave flashes can be fired all at the same power (Ratio Off) or as a ratio between 2 groups A & B (Ratio On). Ratios can be set between 8:1 to 1 and 1 to 1:8 in half stop increments.

Transmitter front top view showing infra-red focus assist panel

Wireless Communication

Radio Wireless (RF)
No radio wireless capabilities.

Optical Wireless (Infra-red rather than visible flash)
Line-of-sight communication. 
Transmitter maximum range approximately: Indoors: 12-25m, Outdoors: 8-10m
No. of groups: 3 (A, B & C)
No. of channels: 4
Master/Slave: Can only function as an on-camera master controller

Multiple views of the optical wireless controller

Auto-Focus (AF) Assist 

AF-assist beam: Yes
Number of AF points supported: 1 to 45
AF-assist beam type: Infra-red light pattern projection
AF Assist Beam Min Focal Length: 28mm (APS-C 18mm)
Beam range: 0.6-10m at centre, 0.6 to 5m at periphery

Other Features

High speed sync (HSS): Yes (set on ST-E2)
Second-curtain flash sync: Yes (set on camera menu)
Modelling flash: Yes (set on camera)
Colour temperature info communication: No
Remote shutter release: No
Custom function: None
Flash settings from camera menus (with compatible cameras only): Yes
External flash exposure sensor (S1, S2): No
PC terminal: No

Package contents includes transmitter plus soft pouch

Batteries & Recycling Time

Battery: 2 x AA batteries (alkaline or Ni-Mh)
Battery life approx 1500 transmissions.

Build Quality

Dust and water resistance: No
Mounting foot material: Metal
Size: 63 (w) x 63 (h) x 82(d)
Weight: 115g/4oz (excluding batteries)

Compatible accessories: 


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