Nikon Speedlights/Wireless

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by andrew99, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys, can anyone with experience with the Nikon wireless flashes comment on how reliable the wireless is? I believe it's infrared and needs line of sight to work. How is the range, and do you run into situations where the infrared is limiting? Also, say for example I have my SB600 on a stand and aimed backwards into an unbrella, will it still be able to "see" the infrared signal?

    Currently I have a Nikon D40, SB600 flash and the Nikon cable which allows me to use this flash off camera. I'm thinking about adding an SB800 which I'll use on-camera (or with the cable) and use it to trigger the remote SB600 wirelessly. Or would I be better off getting a cheaper flash and some pocket wizards or some other solution? I'm a bit limied with the D40 (it has no wireless commander mode), so I'm not sure if a better body should be the priority. I see guys with D300's and pocket wizards, which makes me think upgrading the body won't solve all my problems! :)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pocket Wizards...or any of the good radio triggers will most likely be more reliable than Nikon's system...especially outdoors.
    Of course, with radio, you loose the TTL flash metering and remote control functions...you can only trigger the remote flashes.
     
  3. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    It's not IR. It's visible light. The Commander signal is buried in with the monitor pre-flash.

    I have the D80 and have used the pop-up as a Commander. I've never had a problem but my distances weren't all that great --- perhaps twenty feet indoors and also outdoors.

    Edit --- I frequently use the pop-up as a commander for my 600 on a Stroboframe bracket (Nikon's extension cable is too long and it's clumsy with the Stroboframe). The pre-flash can't hit the 600's sensor directly. It must bounce off a wall or ceiling. It pretty much doesn't work at all outdoors but it's 100% reliable indoors and my son's yuppie house has 10-feet ceilings.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Speaking from experience, indoors it works awesome. Outdoors I am good to about 20 feet, BUT if I turn the off camera strobes to point towards me a little (and point the heads in the direction I want the flash to go), I have gone 35-40 feet from them on a bright day and not had issues with misfires.

    I am waiting for the Radio poppers, so that I can use CLS or high-speed synch from *WAY* further and not need to worry about anything.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually it is IR. IR is a more robust transmission mechanism than visible light. The SB-600 and SB-800 have an IR filter on their sensors. But yeah point taken the flash visibly fires.

    I'll also second that indoors it works well. It works around corners behind the flash, the trigger needs just a small amount of light and providing there's a wall or roof nearby the flash will trigger from any angle, even behind the subject.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I too have not had any issues with them firing when not in line-of-sight indoors. I have had my flashes positioned behind the camera, in another room even. I just make sure the receiver sensor is pointing in the direction of the on-board flash. You can twist and adjust the flash head in most any direction you desire.

    I have had some misfires outside in bright sunlight when at ~15" away. But that was early on when I got the flashes and it could easily have been my error. I haven't tried in a while.
     
  7. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, thanks for the insight, guys! The SB800 is definitely going to be my next purchase! Even if I decide to go RF sometime down the road, I think having an SB600 and SB800 will be a great combination. :)
     
  8. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I didn't think that my D80 has an IR transmitter so I did some investigating. I discovered that the pop-up mixes a visible light monitor flash with an IR commander signal and, obviously, the IR signal can not be seen.

    Nikon recommends an SG-3IR filter in front of the pop-up if the subject is extremely close and there is a risk that the monitor flash will illuminate the subject. The filter blocks visible light and allows IR to pass. The filter is also recommended when rear curtain sync is used but I do not understand why.

    The filter is included with the R1 and R1C1 close-up speedlight kits but apparently it's not available as a separate purchase.
     
  9. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    what i have just learned and think i will end up doing is getting an sb-800 and throwing a pocketwizard on that. And then buying other flashes will slave mode and using the 800 to command them. That way, i can upgrade to more pocketwizards when i really need them, and i can utilize the good $80 flashes.


    Something to think about
     
  10. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you're looking to just have a commander on the camera's hotshoe to control multiple slave units, you can use the SU-800 commander.
     
  11. skoundrel

    skoundrel TPF Noob!

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    i am so pleased with the nikon cls on both my old d70s and the d300. The d300 can control the output of all the flashes (in different groups so they can be set to differeent values) right from the camera!

    i havent shot around other nikon photographers shooting in commander mode though at the same time.. does anyone have any experience/problems with this?
     
  12. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    you just saved me some money sir.... This will command non nikon slave units as well?
     

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