SB 900

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Olive_Miceli, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Olive_Miceli

    Olive_Miceli TPF Noob!

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    I recently purchased an SB 900, I already have an SB 800, and my camera is a Nikon D80. I've done some research on the internet but I'm hoping to clarify a few points.
    Is it true your camera will always emit light with the built-in flash, acting as your commander? If so, how do I make it stop? Does it not hamper your creative ability to move the other lights around and starts to just make flat lighting?
    Is there a way to make the SB 900 the true Master and have your camera NOT emit a flash?
    OR
    Is there a way to have a pre-flash off the camera to act as trigger?
    Insight is much appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. edouble

    edouble TPF Noob!

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    I am fairly certain that the D80 does not have Nikon's CLS but it does have a built in commander. The built in flash will fire to communicate with the external Nikon flashes. If you can use sync speeds of 1/350 or higher than the built in flash will not show up in the exposure. You could use a PC cable to tether you D80 to your SB900. Then set the SB900 as commander to control the SB800. I just bought Cactus V4 wireless triggers to fire my two SB800's with my D5000 and it works great. With my camera I have to use external flashed remotely and use the built in speedlight to fire the flashes. My sync speed is a max 1/200 and even at the lowest built-in flash power it was affecting my exposure. With wireless triggers there is no need for the built-in speedlight to fire.

    Try adjusting your sync to above 1/250 if possible to eliminate your built-in commander light from affecting your exposure.
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    You could use an SU-800 infrared commander on the camera to control the SB-800 and -900. If you don't need to move the SB-900 very far from the camera you could use an iTTL cable. Nikon and third-party (Dot Line, Zeikos) versions are available.

    If you can wait, keep an eye on developments with dedicated PocketWizards for Nikon - these are radio commanders instead of infrared, which requires line-of-sight positioning.

    I'm surprised that setting a too-high shutter speed stops the on-camera flash from showing altogether. Usually it would show a partial exposure with a focal plane shutter.

    Best,
    Helen

    Edit: Please see my post below - you may not need the SU-800 or an iTTL cable. The D80 looks like it can do this on its own.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  4. edouble

    edouble TPF Noob!

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    It all depends if the D80 has HSS or not. If it does shutter speeds over 1/1000 could be used with no problem. Whereas my D5000 does not have commander mode or HSS so I get the joys of seeing my shutter at sync speed of only 1/250 :(

    The op maybe in the same boat as me and might have to invest in wireless triggers or a PC cable and possibly a PC hot shoe.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Normal wireless triggers and PC cords will lose the iTTL abilities of the D80. Using an infrared SU-800 or an iTTL cable will keep them. There is also an iTTL compatible radio PocketWizard in the works, but it isn't available yet.

    I think that you misunderstood what I wrote about sync speeds. My point about using speeds over the sync speed of a focal plane shutter is that (if it is possible on the camera) it will not result in a plain flash not showing up at all, but as a partial exposure from that flash.

    HSS-capable flashes will show a complete exposure with an HSS-capable camera, if connected properly, but that is a different issue.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Just a thought: can't you use the D80 in commander mode without the on-camera flash firing? You probably don't need an SU-800.

    Setup using the custom settings ("Pencil") part of the menu. Set the built-in flash commander mode (22) to -- instead of TTL for the built-in flash (Built-in flash -> commander mode -> built-in flash control). Does that do it on the D80?

    See page 96 of the online pdf manual: " - - Built-in flash does not fire, but AF-assist illuminator lights. does not appear in control panel
    flash mode display. Note that the built-in fl ash must be raised to emit monitor preflashes. "
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  7. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You can buy a thing that blocks the light from the pop up, but has slits to let IR through.....I'll see if I can find it for you. Anyway, I've done tests with mine and while I do get a tiny bit of spill....the amount is so small (very very small) that it would never effect my final pictures.

    Yup...here it is....if you are very worried about it...spend the $12 to make sure the pop up doesn't contribute.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/410445-REG/Nikon_4905_SG_3IR_IR_Panel_for.html

    ...and D80 does have CLS...Commander mode is a part of the CLS. You can use your popup to fire them...use the SG-3IR to keep the popup from adding any light. It doesn't add much light in the first place with the right settings, but the SG-3IR could also help with kids that tend to blink on the pre-flash firing of the popup..
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Even though the built-in flash can be set to (--) and sends only a pre-flash and is not supposed to contribute to the scene. It does have an affect when close to your subject; particularly when the subject has reflective properties.

    See this example. http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...7323-using-sb-600-wirelessly.html#post1943300


    The Commander mode on the D80 is part of Nikon's CLS.


    Correct and yes.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also one thing to note is that the flash still fires. This is how commander mode communicates with other units, however this will not show up in the frame which is delayed.

    You can try this yourself. Set your D80 to commander, set internal flash to --, and don't pull out your SB800 or SB900. Look how dark the resulting image is despite the flash still going off. :)
     

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