Alien Bee with Nikon D5000

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by LW918, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. LW918

    LW918 TPF Noob!

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    I recently purchased a single Alien Bee B800 unit and need some help figuring out how to get it to work wirelessly with my D5000. The D5000 has no internal slave. I'm kind of new to the equipment aspect of this so I'm at a loss for what I need to purchase to make this work for me. Anyone else using this set up? What do I need and what brands to you recommend?
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    You need a transmitter and receiver. There are many brands ranging in price. Alienbees CyberSyncs are good bang for your buck. THere are cheaper Cactus triggers that some folks like as well.

    AlienBees - CyberSync™ System
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, first the negative - why the HECK did you buy something you have no clue about?!
    Now the positive :)
    ABs have an intern optical slave, thus will work when you're using a flash on camera (manual, w/o preflash)
    Alternatively, you can buy cybercync receiver/transmitter pair (I have those). Work very well, and affordable units and use that. You'll place transmitter on hotshoe and receiver will be pluged in to the AB unit - both on same channel. you can by other radio receiver/transmitter brands - makes NO DIFFERENCE which ones as long as you have the right cords for the plugs that are available.
    Good luck.
    OH YEA one more thing - u should shoot in M mode otherwise camera has no clue that you got a light there and what its putting out.
     
  4. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    As Montana mentioned, pick up the receiver and transmitter from Alien Bee. They work very well and are quite reliable. The Cactus triggers... well, you get what you pay for. I have a set sitting in the box that I stopped using many moons ago. My CyberSyncs rock and I get a lot of mileage out of them.
     
  5. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    THe optical slave works well for multiple monolights. Use a trigger for one as slave the rest.

    However using it for one is sometimes hard to do, especially outdoors. Plus you have to dial down your camera flash so as not to influence your photo with it. And you need to disable your preflash on your camera.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You do not need ANYTHING else....go into the D5000's menus and set the camera's built-in pop-up flash output to MANUAL....then, set the flash power fairly low, like 1/16 power...then, flip the slave trigger switch on the Alien Bee to ON...the MANUAL flash setting on the D5000 will cancel any and all pre-flash, and the Alien Bee will synchronize with the camera's flash firing.

    Set the camera in the M mode, and set the shutter speed to 1/160 or thereabouts...you'll have synchronization...

    You do not need anything else, just the D5000 and the Alien Bee monolight.
     
  7. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Have you tried the commander yet Tim?

    Good to see you still around here.
     
  8. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I got it for Christmas I think last year? Has it been out that long? It was a gift from the wife is all I know. :) But yeah, I use it regularly. I use the CyberSync transmitter to trigger the lights but do all the adjustments with the Commander. It's slick. It could be better in terms of build and it has a few quirks, but for the price it's pretty amazing.
     
  9. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Great advice for studio shooting, how well would that work outdoors in sunlight though?
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Depends on how good the slave unit for Alien Bees is. I have some older, Vivitar slaves from the 1980's that have Hi and Low sensitivity settings, which work remarkably well outdoors in bright sunlight, but a lot of newer equipment seems to have only one,single slave sensitivity setting. Ambient light "level" is not the determinant of when a quality slave trigger fires, but rather a rapidly brightening or "peaking" light source.

    How are the Alien Bee slaves, InTempus? Are they reliable outdoors, or are they sketchy???
     
  11. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    In my experience, they are great indoors and sketchy at best outdoors. I would get a trigger to remove any doubt.
     
  12. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I've not used the slave feature outside. I've used it indoors several times and found it to work very well. But of course outside is likely a different story. I do know that the slave doesn't have multiple sensitivity settings though.

    If the OP is interested, I can run a couple of tests outside to see how it performs.
     

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