AlienBees and Commander Mode, D300

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by iflynething, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I am using my pop up flash in commander mode and set to -- instead of TTL or Manual just to trigger my B800's.

    I do not get good results at whatever flash setting I have it set to. Both strobes fire, but not to the correct power setting.

    I can use my SB-800 set to 1/128 just as a "trigger" and they work fine. Full power give me full power lighting but not with the pop up flash.

    What would cause this? I need to get some trigger and am looking at the CyberSyncs. I will be using 3 lights for a shoot I'm doing. 2 light will be used for some group shots, and one for individual shots (they are portraits of a dance studio).

    I can get one transmitter for the camera and 2 receivers, one for one of the group flashes (the other will be optically slaved) and the other for the single B800 for individuals. This way, I won't have to swap receivers. I have seen other triggers but would much rather go for reliability (proven) than cheap and from eBay. You pay cheap, you pay twice.

    ~Michael~
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Commander mode has nothing to do with strobes. The built in slave does not get TTL. You sound like your clueless with more equipment then you can shake a stick at and are willing to buy more. Understand what your stuff does and how it works and you wouldnt have this issue. No offence
     
  3. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    It's not about TTL, strobes are not by TTL, I am using the optical slave which wouldn't matter if there was TTL or not. When it sees another flash, it should go off at whatever flash output I set it at 1/32 1/2 or full.

    My point is, it sees my pop up flash, the bees fire, but not at the desired power. I use my SB-800 and they fire at the desired power

    ~Michael~
     
  4. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    I think the issue is your on camera flash interfeering with your AB's esposure. So your saying you set your cameras on camera flash to 1/128 or -3 EV and the AB's dont fire at 1/1? Are you sure your in manual mode?
     
  5. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    in COMMANDER "--" when you fire, the preflash sets of the electric eye on the ABs and they fire. PROBLEM is that when they fire is not really when your shutter is open.
    So, it's no wonder why you get better results at LOW power of SB800 but not other wise.
    Now, it would be wiser for you to invest in a radio transmitter/ receiver (at least one) to set to the ABs.
     
  6. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Actually, no. On Nikon camera's (most that I know of) you go into the commander mode menu. You have Camera flash, Group A, and Group B. For your camera flash (the pop up) you can set it to TTL, M, or --. TTL and M are self explanatory.

    The "--" is a feature that is only used as a trigger for CLS flashes (SB-600, -800, -900). It uses preflashes, which I believe is my problem and that "fires" the speedlights. The Alien Bees "see" those preflashes and fires, but the duration of the AB's is long enough to where some of my exposure comes from their flash.

    To stop that pre-flash, I'm just going to do what you thought I was doing and set it to M and 1/128 power.

    ~Michael~
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  7. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    ayeeee thats it. If you just set you built in to manual mode you shouldnt have any issues
     
  8. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I set the camera flash to M and 1/128 power and am getting the same results.

    I used the sync cord from the AB to the SB-800 set to SU-4 mode and OFF the camera and got the same result.

    I used the SB-800 ON the hotshoe and got the right exposure. The came holds true for using they sync cord, which of course is going to work right - I'm just looking for wireless right now until I get triggers.

    I am going to get the CyberSyncs probably, just wanting wireless for now until then

    ~Michael~
     
  9. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    I still dont get the issues or how you have this setup.
     
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the only "issue" you might have with using built in to set the rest of is that it'll ADD to your exposure. At 15 feet 1/128power ISO 200 is like peeing into the ocean - MEANINGLESS, but at ISO 1600, 1/30sec, f/2.8 10feet that extra little juice will have a meaning. I'm using these numbers as an example but hope you get an idea.
     
  11. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    2 AB800's. D300 with pop up flash set to on. In the commander menu, my camera flash is set to "--" which apparently has the preflashes and it setting off the Bee's before I need them to be.

    When I use the sync cord, they work - duh.
    When I use the SB-800's as a "trigger" they work and "sync" because the SB-800 does not have a preflash and does not set off the AB800s when I don't need them to go off.

    I will just have to use my SB-800 until I get true wireless triggers.

    ~Michael~
     
  12. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Get it out of freakin commander mode. Even if its on manual exposure in commander mode its still not gonna work. Theres no need for commander mode. Set it in either manual or ttl dialed down and it will work. Commander mode is only for CLS. I dont know if you understand what im saying but thats the issue.
     

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