D70 and the SB-800...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by rob1116, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. rob1116

    rob1116 TPF Noob!

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    Hello-hello,

    I just picked up an SB-800 for my D70. Despite the dizzying amount of control it provides, I managed to set and practice all but a few functions, including wireless control of the unit using my D70 as the master, ("Commander" mode) .

    Couple of questions:

    1. I can't seem to make the High Speed Flash Sync 'FP' come on... the one that allows flash sync speed above and beyond what the camera provides. According to the manual, I'm sure it's supposed to work on the D70, and it's supposed to come on automatically when I select a shutter speed of less than 1/500. Instead, the shutter speed is limited to 1/500 when the flash is attached.

    2. Did I miss something, or is there no way to turn off the D70's speedlight when using the SB800 wirelessly? I understand it has to be up, but there is no way to stop it from firing, or at least control the output? It seems like when you select the 'Commander' option in the Flash menu, you lose all control over the built-in speedlight. If that's the case... that stinks :thumbdown:

    So far though, I'm very impressed with the SB800. Fantastic range, sweet build quality... well ok, I don't know anything about this stuff so that's the extent of my 'review' :mrgreen:
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    That only works if you're using a non nikon flash or you cover one of the contacts. 1/500 is technically the top speed you can synch the flash with.

    The SB800 is fired when it detects the flash. The only way to do it without the built in speedlight is with the flash cable.
     
  3. Rogue Monk

    Rogue Monk TPF Noob!

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    Wireless uses light to transmit directions, not radio or IR. The flash you see from the camera is the camera's way of communicating with the external flash.

    Technically, the flash from the D70 shouldn't add substantial light to the final image, but at close distances it will. There have also been reports of the pre-flash causing undo blinking (people blinking during the shot. I haven't experienced this part myself, but it happens only with TTL settings).

    From what I've read, the pre-flash on the D70 is brighter than most others. Even Nikon telephone support is at a loss as to why. If you're using wireless and you can put distance between yourself and the subject, you'll find the built-in flash falls off quite quickly (it still communicates fine).

    I keep expecting to hear about a firmware update to adjust this, but I haven't seen anything yet.
     
  4. rob1116

    rob1116 TPF Noob!

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    Re: Non Nikon flash only for FP

    Hmm... from the SB-800 manual: "High-Speed flash sync at your camera's highest shutter speed is now possible. In this mode, the Auto FP High-Speed Sync mode is automatically set when the shutter speed exceeds the camera's sync shutter speed. This is useful when you want to use a wider aperature to achieve shallow depth of field to blur the background." It lists 'compatible' cameras as those with Nikon's Creative Lighting System , which it also says the D70 supports... arggh!

    Re: Wireless uses light to transmit directions, not radio or IR. The flash you see from the camera is the camera's way of communicating with the external flash.

    That's what I gathered, but I was guessing the pre-flashs I hear from the D70 were doing the 'Commanding' , but does the actual flash provide the sync? I didn't try it that many times, but it seems to me that the built-in speedlight fires before the shutter sequence begins, and then both the SB800 and the speedlight fire simultaneously, with the speedlight at full power.
     
  5. Rogue Monk

    Rogue Monk TPF Noob!

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    That's an interesting thought. There's one way to test it. Do a long exposure with rear-curtain flash. If what you say is true, you should see the pre-flash, then the exposure, and then both flashes will fire.

    I tested the brightness this way, but not with the wireless function. I can't try it right now, but I'll definately have a go later.

    Like I said previously, the fall-off of the on-camera flash is pretty fast. Even a little distance will stall the light coming from the camera. You can also put something directly in from of the flash (usually use my hand) and the external will still fire (I haven't tried taping over the entire flash, but it might be an option).

    Someone is bound to come up with a solution. We just have to keep trying.
     
  6. rob1116

    rob1116 TPF Noob!

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    I will definitely give that a try aswell.

    Too bad you can't do the opposite, and set the SB800 to master and control the built-on as a slave. The 800 gives you so much more control. And again, it seems as if you can either control the D70s flash from the menu, or control the SB800... not both.

    I wonder if anyone sells a little pop-on diffuser or cover for the speedlight.
     
  7. Rogue Monk

    Rogue Monk TPF Noob!

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    So I tried doing a rear curtain flash during wireless (2 second exposure--my room was kind of dark anyway). The cool thing is the way TTL balances correctly. You'll also notice that in the initial flashes the external also gives off one pulse--probably to tell the camera that its ready.

    The bad thing is that both flashes went off at rear curtain.

    It also appears that you can't cover the on-camera flash completely. It can be diverted, so the light isn't moving toward the subject, but covering it (with black tape or otherwise) will cause it to stop working. I figured this would happen, but it was worth testing.

    Still playing. I'll post more if I find something new.
     
  8. rob1116

    rob1116 TPF Noob!

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    well... doesn't that suck then.

    Maybe a strong diffuser would make it fall off really fast, but still trigger the external flash.
     

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