Getting my Sb-800 Wireless

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bdavis, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. bdavis
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    bdavis New Member

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    Ok here's the deal. I already know how to do this with my D90, but I had my D90 replaced and the new one I received doesn't seem to be working correctly. Here's what's going on.

    I want to have have my camera trigger the flash wirelessly, so I set my flash on remote. Then I go into my flash settings on my camera, I tell the built in flash to be a commander instead of TTL. Then I go to the next screen and tell the built in flash to be (--) which means it should be inactive. Then I tell my speedlight to be manual at say 1/4 power. I should be good to go. I open my pop up flash (without doing that it wont trigger the speedlight) and I dial in my settings. I focus, compose, then shoot and strangely enough, both flashes go off. The pop up shouldn't even go off with the (--) setting. My other D90 never had this issue but I'm thinking this one might be defective. Am I missing something?
  2. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    I may be missing something, but if you have your built-in flash set to Commander, then it has to go off to trigger the slave. The CLS works because the slave units sense the illumination from the commander and fire accordingly. It sounds to me like it's working exactly the way it should.
  3. bdavis
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    bdavis New Member

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    What you say makes sense, but if I recall my first D90 never triggered the pop up flash, it simply sent out a signal to trigger the SB-800
  4. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    The answer is in here, I am pretty sure of it. Make sure the camera is in COMMANDER mode (if it can do this), and that the flash is up. If the camera cannot act as a commander, then the SB-800 has to be the commander.

    Also, don't be afraid to reference your camera and flash manuals.
  5. bdavis
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    bdavis New Member

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    As I stated above, I did set the camera as a commander and the SB-800 was a remote slave. I set the camera to the mode (--) which should be off, then selected manual at 1/4 power for the SB-800. I popped the flash up so it would trigger the SB-800 and the SB-800 went off, but so did the pop-up. So basically, the pop up flash went off even when it was set at (--) which means off.
  6. Village Idiot
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    Village Idiot Well-Known Member

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    The popup triggers the remote flash. That's how CLS works.
  7. kundalini
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    kundalini Well-Known Member

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    If your previous D90 did not fire the built in flash, then it had a fault. This is how the Commander mode works. Setting the built in flash to (--) will trigger the off camera flash but not contribute to the scene, unless you are up close and particularly at a reflective surface. All is good.
  8. bdavis
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    bdavis New Member

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    (sigh of relief) thats good. I've been living on strobist for about 2 days now and finally getting the hang of using off camera flash. I went home last night to try a few things and noticed this and wanted to make sure everything was ok.
  9. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    Send the signal by magic? CLS is an IR technology and the brightest source of IR on the camera is the flash.

    Here's a trick. Set everything in the commander to (--) and take a photo. The CLS signal is encoded with the TTL pre-flashes. The flash fires and THEN the shutter opens. That way the flash triggers the wireless slave, but doesn't affect the image.

    This is also why you can't take a photo of a cat using CLS when they are looking at the camera. The CLS flash + TTL preflashes are longer than their blink reaction so when the photo is actually taken they have their eyes closed. :lol:
  10. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    Using the remote manual mode cuts down on the # of preflashes (al TTL light measurement preflashes are removed) and this may let you get your cat before it blinks... but maybe not. Some cats are fast (lol).
  11. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    No maybe about it:

    Figured it out a while ago. Shot in SU-4 mode manual 1/4 power, with camera flash set to manual 1/16th with my hand blocking the flash from hitting the cat directly.
    [​IMG]
  12. In2daBlue
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    In2daBlue New Member

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    The only way to remotely fire an off camera strobe is with a PocketWizard or some equivalent. The commander mode works in IR and thus requires some form of flash from the pop-up. That is why the commander mode doesn't work when you are out of sight. If it was truly remote, as a PW is, then it wouldn't matter.

    Cool shot of the cat, BTW.
  13. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    Hate to be the pedantic engineer here, but remote means exactly that. Not directly attached. Now whether the signal is sent via light, radio, microwave, or even sound, remote is still remote. Much like your infrared TV remote. ;)

    Not being able to shoot around corners makes it no less of a remote. :) (esp given the price of PWs :( )
  14. In2daBlue
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    In2daBlue New Member

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    Clarification taken. You're right. But, my point about PW (or some equivalent) being the only way to fire a strobe out of sight from the pop-up (wirelessly) is what I was trying to get at.
  15. jake337
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    jake337 Well-Known Member

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    Mirrors....
  16. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    4-16-09 was when the thread died a natural death. :lmao:

    Grave dessicration is a crime. :confused:
  17. jands
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    jands New Member

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    I'm actually glad it got resurrected. I didn't know I could set my on-board flash to -- and have it react the way described above. I always set it to to the lowest setting and use card board or something to block the flash from hitting the subject.
  18. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    That is all covered in your D90 users manual, the Custom settings menu e2 (page 185) and Commander mode, page 188.

    You might want to read the manual sometime, so you can be sure you know about all your cameras capabilites, rather than relying on someone digging up an old dead thread.

    If you've misplaced your D90 users manual, you can download it here: User's Manual - D90 - Guide to Digital Photography
  19. jands
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    jands New Member

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    hmmm... while I agree with you I should probably take another look at my user's manual, because it has been awhile... I don't think there is anything wrong with me finding useful information about photography, on a photography forum.

    I'm not advocating we should go resurrect all old threads... I'm simply pointing out how it helped me in this case. Which goes to show how resurrected threads can be helpful. That's the point of a forum... to share knowledge.

    And I think "rely" is a strong word. People learn through all kinds of avenues... it's not exclusive. I'd be willing to bet you've "relied" on SOME piece of information from somebody else pertaining to a piece of equipment that you've owned without referring to the manual.
  20. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    True, but it's very inefficient.

    The point of the forum is to make the forum owners money.

    I "rely" on my users manuals, and other definative sources - like Nikon's web sites. Any other stray information I pick up is gravy. ;)

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