D90 Commander mode question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hankejp, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    So I'm trying to play with the commander mode on my D90. And sometime the off flash wouldn't fire.

    I had the flash off to the right and in front of the camera about 10 feet away. It was sunny out where I had the camera and flash. The sensor was in view of the on camera flash but the external flash wouldn't fire.

    Any ideas? Is it possible that it was too bright out for the exernal flash to fire. I put the same setup in my garage and it was firing normal.


    Hope I explained it good.

    Thanks
     
  2. thenikonguy

    thenikonguy TPF Noob!

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    I know next to nothing about commander mode, as my camera doesn't have it, BUT, I do believe that commander mode works best indoors.. and here's why.. commander mode works on a "slave" premiss.. so what happens is, your camera built in flash, fires(dimly) which then triggers the slave on the external flash, which causes it to fire.. if you are outside, on a sunny day, and your cameras built in flash fires dimly, the sun can over power it, and thus, the slave on the external flash will not see it.

    Now, I could be totally wrong here, as I said, I don't know anything about commander mode.. but, thats my guess.
     
  3. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the response. That was my best guess as well. I had the onboard flash set to disabled so it wouldn't show up in my shot. I never tried it using a different EV.
     
  4. thenikonguy

    thenikonguy TPF Noob!

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    if you set your on board flash low enough, and your external flash high enough, the external will over power the on board, and you won't even see it. But you need to set the on board high enough that the external will see it.
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Although there are only a few, that's one of the shortcomings with Nikon's CLS system. Being an IR system rather than a RF trigger, the bright sun can over power the signal between camera and flash.

    thenikonguy nearly had it with regard to the built-in flash. It's not a dimly lit trigger, it's a pre-flash to signal the flash. In TTL mode, the pre-flash communicates proper flash output based on the camera settings. Through the Commander mode, you can adjust the output of the built-in from full power to preflash only. I keep mine set on pre-flash only marked by (--) in the menu because I don't want it to contribute to the scene, only the off camera flashes.

    This assumes that the Commander mode of the D90 is the same as with the D300 & D700.
     
  6. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the replies. Yes, the pre-falsh is symboled by the --. Maybe I will try giving is as little power as needed for the 600 to flash.
     

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